I've been thinking of putting together a web site for years and have just now gotten around to it. The motivation to do it now is to try a new vehicle for distributing family pictures. Since I gave Nancy a digital camera for her birthday in November 1999, we've taken nearly 7000 pictures. Over time I've used a variety of methods to share them with friends and family.
There's still a need, however, for another way to share pictures with family and friends. Therefore this site. The timing is such that they'll be 2 new grandchildren soon (Jon & Jennie later this month and Christian & Sheila in early May), so you can bet they'll be plenty of material. So stay tuned. I hope you'll come back and visit at least monthly. That's my target for publishing. Expect changes frequently since this is my first attempt at publishing in this fashion. I'll be experimenting with many techniques to try to come up with something that's appealing and can satisfy a variety of visitors. I recognize that pictures can take a long time to download especially for those of you on slow connections. I'll try to accommodate you the best I can by decreasing the resolution of the pictures loaded . Another constraint, of course, is that I can only post a small fraction of the pictures taken. I'll try to strike a good balance between the quality and number of pictures.
Please let me know what you like and don't like about the site. My web skills are novice now but hopefully I'll be able to improve the site as time goes on. Also, if there's additional content you'd like to see, let me know about that too.
Added the animated 'Max' picture. During March, Max came over singing this song. Jon said he just started singing it in the car. It must be the genes.
Added the link to the family tree site.
Added a higher resolution picture of the month.
Added the next month family calendar page. Nancy put together and printed wall calendars for family members for 2003. This is the online version.
This past month the web site had to be deleted and rebuilt due to problems at the host site, Road Runner. Much of November the site was not available. It's rebuilt now, however the 'hit counter' was reset to zero during the rebuild. In the 23 editions, the hit counter had nearly reached 2500. Wow.
Modified the format of the Current Month and Memory pages. They had been prepared in native FrontPage. Now the picture galleries are prepared in Photoshop and imported. Also no more Calendar page.
Added a navigation panel for the various linked pages instead of individual links. The roll-over affect makes it look neater. I had tried to make this change on 2/1 when I published this months page but it just wouldn't work, so the site was published without the navigation. I fooled around with it and somehow got it to work today-- I just don't know how so I hope I don't have problems in subsequent months when I revise the page again. Therefore on 2/7 I deleted the old links and republished. In the process on deleting the old links, I inadvertently deleted the hit counter. That was the same hit counter that was reset to zero a few months ago. I was afraid it was going to be reset again. I added a hit counter back in and set it to start at 3000 instead of zero. I tried this technique back on 11/29 but when published, it would only start at zero. This time it worked showing 3000 hits, again I don't know why. So starting today it's at 3000. That's just an approximation, but it should be pretty close.
Added a Picture of the Month Archive page with thumbnails of the current and each of the previous POM. These are only thumbnails and the full size pictures can still be found on Sony Imagestation http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=4289209869
Replaced the link to Sony Imagestation with a different method for sharing previous Pictures of the Month. Rather than posting pictures to a public site, I now have a program called Sharegear which allows me to establish folders and files on my own harddrive for sharing. This month it's a slideshow file of all previous POM and permits downloading. If this works well, in future months I will most likely add other things to share.
Wow, it's been a year since anything has changed. Unfortunately, the Sharegear service that I began using a year ago is shutting down May 10, 2006. I'll need to find an alternative.
Sharegear did shut down in June. The Bonus Files page has been removed.
Added the Restored Photos page. It's expected that this will be a permanent fixture (until I find a better way to display it). It's a portfolio displaying before and after versions of photos that I've repaired.
The Bonus Files page is back in a different form. I'm using a service from www.pando.com. Let me know what file you would like and I will send you a small email 'Pando' attachment which makes the transfer pretty efficient.
Started to link names, from the Monthly News page, to the appropriate page on the genealogy site, www.tribalpages.com .
Added pdf file for My Photo Restoration Service
Added Pando web links for current month and memory pictures.
Pando links were removed in 2007 due to space constraints. This month added a major upgrade to the Family Tree page including family stories. Approximately 565 people are now in the family tree.
Since the beginning of this website, nearly 7 full years ago, it's been hosted by Roadrunner, my internet provider. On the plus side the service was bundled free into my cable modem fee. On the flip side the space provided has been minimal (5 Meg of storage space) and a number of months I had problems loading it to Roadrunner since I'd run into the limit. That would result in me taking pictures and other content out and a lot a rework. Additionally, while I intended to show pictures of reasonably small resolution for those that did not have broadband internet access, I didn't have the flexibility (space) to also show higher resolution photos.
This past month I was informed by Roadrunner that all personal home pages would have to be migrated from their existing hosts to new national based web servers. The Roadrunner web address would change but space would be doubled. That was the good news. The bad news was that after this web site was migrated to the new address I could no longer publish from my local web program (Microsoft FrontPage). I was informed by Roadrunner tech support that not all features of FrontPage would still be supported, but even after making the necessary adjustments then I couldn't publish the web site. They finally I got a tech support answer which told me why. In an unrelated change, my account status changed in the last couple of months from 'residential' to 'business'. That came about because We Energies employees (I'm one) were informed that Time Warner Cable was offering to add the employees to their business telecommuter classification. For me it would amount to about $5/month in reduced internet costs. What I have just been told, is that change also means I no longer get the free website.
I considered going back to residential service which would mean a new account, new email address, and a lot of hassle, and a loss of the monthly internet savings. I also considered giving up the website and putting photos on any number of photo hosting sites that are available. That's still a possibility for the future but I'm not ready to give up the web site yet. Instead I decided the use the $5/month savings and use it for our own domain name and relatively large hosting space (the cost is a push). That's what I decided to do. www.mroz.com , www.mrozfamily.com were taken. Nancy lobbied for www.williamsburgfamily.com which was available. For now at least we'll be at www.mroz-family.com Hope you can find it.
Initially the site URL will be the only change. But now with 2000 times more space, I'll have the ability to do more. Initial thoughts are some higher resolution pictures, some permanent archives, maybe some video, or who knows. I'm starting by adding a Multimedia page with some old time TV commercials and old time radio.
Added an Archives page to store higher resolution pictures.
Replaced the Multimedia page with the Movies Page. The following is the narrative background included on the Movies page.
1/31/2009 This page is still undergoing changes but it's my intent to use it to present family videos. From the beginning (you'll find the detailed story on the Site History page), I've used this website to share family pictures both current and old. Every month since January 2002 there have been dozens of still photos which I've tried to show as unique and interesting. While we still have boxes of older pictures it's getting harder to find the unique ones. If you have older pictures you'd like to share I'd be particularly interested in them. Videos offer another view into our family life (and if you have old videos I'd like to get a copy of them too). The sources of the video material will vary, based on the time period when they were shot. Here's an overview of those sources:
So, using these sources of video, I plan to showcase movies here each month.
Maps is a new section section added.
Like most else on this page it's a work in progress. I'm starting with a map of
where the ancestors of Nancy and I lived in this country. In the future I hope
to have a map of where in Europe they immigrated from.
A map of European origins was added.
Increased the size of Picture of the Month as well as Current and Memory pictures slightly to reflect increases in high speed internet and monitor sizes since I started this website 11 years ago.
Menu changes. Removed the link to Rebecca's blog (no longer maintained), removed the link to family email address and favorite websites, and added a link to a Calendar page.
Problems where encountered when publishing both the October and November updates. Then, in early December, after a Windows 10 update, one of the programs I use to put the website together, stopped working. When I stopped to consider my options I realized that using programs (Microsoft Frontpage 2002, Xara Webstyle 4, and Photoshop CS4), some of which dated back to late 2001 when I started to put this together, was asking for trouble. So I thought about other ways to share family pictures, movies and stories. Of course Facebook would be a possibility, but instead I found another web development program (Microsoft Expression Web -- also no longer obsolete but at least available for free and newer). I may be able to reuse some of the old work, and I'll have to learn a new program, but maybe it will allow me to add some freshness to the website.
Added a new page, Memory Hall of Fame. Following is what I wrote in the Monthly News
This volume marks 15 years, i.e. 180 straight monthly updates to the website. While some months are busier than others, I estimate that I average about 30 current month pictures a month. That's 5400 pictures over that span. Plus about an equal number of memory pictures. When selecting memory pictures, I add a symbol to the file name on my computer so I can look for it and avoid selecting that photo again. To celebrate the 15 year mark I'm doing something special to bring some of them back. I've added 1 new page that I call Memory Hall of Fame. While I like all of the memory pictures, some have a special meaning to me. It might be that the photo tells a story, or brings back a special memory, or it just affects me in some special way. That's the personal criteria I used to pick these photos, almost all of which have previously been on the website as a memory picture. They're not all of my top favorites, but as I made a 1st pass through my photo scans, when I reached 100 I thought it was a good start. While memory pictures are generally at least 10 years old, these tend to be nearly 20 years or older. Periodically I'll add a few more and they might be more current. The highest resolution copies of these photos I have will be a permanent fixture on the Archives page. I may not have taken all of the photos and they may not touch others, but to me they are special and my hall of fame.
Menu changes. Eliminated the Backup tab (The Crashpolan Backup product is no longer available) and Changed the tab labeled Family Tree to Family Stories.