This is where you should come on your first visit to get a quick
overview of what is in the various pages. Before going further
it is worth having a quick look at our Mission Statement
- it explains why we set up the site and who may find it useful.
This Introduction is then followed by sections on The Layout of the Home Page,
some details of What's in the Main Pages and How the Site is Presented
Layout of the Home Page
- Navigation Bar: There are a set of links to the main sections of the site across the top. The colours reflect the style of each section of the site. There is also a link to a page allowing Searches of all areas of the site.
- Introduction: The Home Page, as you will have found,
has a very brief introduction to ourselves with hyperlinks to
a few personal activities.
- Index: There is then an Index taking you directly to
the more interesting pages. We have tried to reflect into the
index structure users identified in the "Mission Statement".
- Feedback: At the end of the content comes an opportunity
to provide Feedback. We would be delighted if visitors could spare
a little time to give us some feedback - it is the only way we
know who has visited the Site, if it is useful and how we should
develop it's content and the techniques used.
- Footer: All pages have a standardised footer which it adapts to the device, screen size and size of window but always contains links to Copyright information and our Contact Form along with the date of the last revision of content or layout. There is also a further Navigation bar or Popup menu and most pages have links to allow relevant settings for the page and device to be changed. There is an icon specifying the HTML standard and linking to the W3C Validator when displayed on computers.
What's in the Main Pages?
We respectfully suggest that if it is your first visit that you
do a quick scan down this section before being waylaid by the
hyperlinks never to return!
- News Flashes with the latest news, information and changes of interest to the regular visitor.
- First visit - Where you are now.
- Pauline's OU Homepage - of interest to her OU Students and other Tutors. This Section of our site has been set up to support Pauline's Open University Teaching on M206, B889 and T843. It has become a major part of the site. It provides easy access to the material used in her presentations, guidelines, best practice, support and resources pages and a "diary" of our experiences in Installing the OU Software on our Home Computer.
- Uniquely New Zealand - A Touring and Camping Guide to the places a "Package" can not reach. It concentrates on the things that make New Zealand special and what has shaped the country, its people and their leisure activities. We are frequent visitors and are convinced that the simpler the lifestyle one is prepared to adopt the closer you will get to the real New Zealand and the better you will experience it's scenary, wildlife and sports. This section of the site is now on a separate URL www.uniquelynz.com as the traffic has got too high for www.pcurtis.com to support. The links at the top of the page take one from site to site as required.
- Small Firms Section A section of the site directed towards supporting small firms who need a presence on the Web and/or simple networking. A number of new pages have been added to augment those in the Howto Series of Technical Articles out of which this section has grown. I am also considering offering just enough consultancy to get them up and running so that they can become self sufficient and be able to carry on using the level of technical support provided on our site.
Technical "How to" Articles This is the index to a series of articles written on how to set up and support various activities. Many originated in Diary of a Home Page as detailed documentation of various steps in setting up the computer, it's software, it's communications and the site itself and have additions underpinning the OU pages. New and updated technical articles may be listed below the main link for a period of a few months
Newsletters - of interest to friends.
This is the equivalent/replacement for the regular Christmas newsletter that we and many of our friends have resorted to now we are spread round the world. They start in February 1996 with our visit to New Zealand. To keep it manageable they cover about a year with links to earlier years.
- Travel highlights - of interest to those who want to travel the world. A lot of our older pages covering our travels were getting lost so we have added this page so they are still accessable.
- Peter's Resume, Pauline's Resume and her Open University Lecturing and Consultancy Experience - of interest to potential employers, customers and students.
- Recent Publications and Presentations -
of interest to colleagues. The idea is to provide some of the
abstracts of recent papers and presentations both for professional
contacts and potential employers.
- Diary of the creation of a home page - of interest to those creating a home page. This turned out to be much more wide ranging and significant than foreseen or the title suggests. It not only covers the "Site" but has a lot of the activities on the overall software system have spilled into the diary as they came out of the activity of creating a Site. It covers our experiences of Mobile computing and now extends to 6 parts. It has not been kept up so much recently as the Howto Series and Small Firms structure has become established.
- Fitness Peter's attempts to bring a scientific and objective approach into a world of hype - of interest to all wanting to extend their life.
- Watercolour Painting - Pauline's diary of progress since she restarted painting on a recent cruise - just admire or buy a print.
- Diary of an Author - Pauline's experiences in succeeding in getting a book written and published - of interest to others either contemplating or already starting to write seriously
- Peter's Home Winemaking page This, like many other pages, resulted from friends asking for information. It takes little extra effort to write things up in a way that is general interest and to serve as documentation for our own purposes. A major objective of the site is to save ourselves and others reinventing wheels.
How the Site is Presented
- Heirarchical with Hypertext links: The format is basically
hierarchical, including an index on the home page and lots of
hypertext cross links. We try to put links to external sites whenever
we reference other bodies etc. There are five valid entry points. They are to the Home page, Pauline's OU Pages, Uniquely New Zealand, the Howto Series of Technical Articles and the Small Firms section. The entry pages all have a similar layout with an identical navigation bar across the top. The sections all have a different "style" (background colour, and titles etc) which is echoed in the navigation bar.
All the pages have a standardised Footer
- Standards We converted all our pages to the World Wide Web Consortium
- Mobile Friendly pages. We have commenced making the pages satisfy the Google starndards and complience tests for mobile friendly pages - there is more on the News Flash page
- Pages are mostly on the small side for quick download.
A few are larger and internally indexed so, for example, the Newsletter
can be downloaded for reading or printing by friends off-line.
- Text is mainly used in high level pages- we feel that most visitors do not want to waste time downloading fancy graphics unless they add value.
- Graphics are at lower levels, mostly in the "newsletter", Travel and the Uniquely New Zealand sections. In most cases they are small Icons which display a title when you hover so you can chose those to click for larger "Popups". Some of the Technical Howto Articles for novices have screen captures to show how to setup the software. The Newsletters are becoming more pictorial and the use of graphics is bound to increase now web space is less limited and the speed of access is increasing.