The Ideas

Way back in 1999, high-speed Internet connectivity, while not new, was just becoming affordable to small businesses and even upper middle-class homes. Using HTML to throw up a business card website was all the rage, but using a website for actual commerce was expensive, time-consuming and confusing at best for most business owners. Then there was the development-side of things: Tools like HotDog, Dreamweaver, Ipswitch FTP were just coming off 1st and 2nd revisions. Most coding was manual and Macromedia Flash was in its infancy.

toshiba PDR-M5Analog Cellular technology was just decent enough to allow 4.8k or so of data transfer rates; webhosting costs were coming down and consumer digital photography equipment could take decent enough images to post a 640x480 pixel photo in an HTML page without needing massive horsepower and 4 hrs of time to do it.

smartbeetle diagramSo, a plan was hatched. Rip apart the VW Beetle, buy some decals, connect the Dell laptop to a Logitech Quickcam, Toshiba digital camera, Nokia 5120 cell phone, have some sweet logo vests and postcards made, sketch a plan on a map and hit the freakin' road!

It just so happens to coincide with Lent of Y2K - how perfect for a recovering Catholic to spend Lent in the supposed new millenium - drive the country and see the sites.