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My paper on "Hutton's Edinburgh" was an outgrowth of my opening adddress at the 1997 International Conference, organised by the Royal Society of Edinburgh to celebrate James Hutton on the 200th anniversary of his death. A synopsis was included in the Proceedings (Geological Society, Special Publication, No.150, 1999). The full text was published in Earth Sciences History (1997) and is included in this website by permission of the publisher.
To make it easier to find references to individual people, I used bold-face to mark significant instances. My friend and former colleague, Gerhard Oertel (UCLA) commented that these bold-face names could have been hypertext links. This was a possibility that had not occurred to me – though, of course, to use hypertext links was out of the question in this particular publication. While technically the links Oertel suggested could easily be included in this website, this has not been done because portraits of the people to which I refer are mostly protected by copyright. Nevertheless, Gerhard Oertel's suggestion opened my eyes to the advantages of using hypertext, and for that I am grateful.
On October 22, 1998, when I was in Toronto, Ken Iverson and I visited Chris Burke (Iverson Systems, now J Software) to have a brief introduction to Hypertext MarkUp Language. This was my start, and three days later, back home in Scotland, I followed Chris' advice and downloaded the HTML editor "Homesite" from www.allaire.com.
My old friend George Clark (Claremont, CA), who for some time had been trying to interest me in HTML, was delighted with the news. He has been a constant source of encouragement and advice. I followed his recommendation and got a copy of the excellent HTML guidebook:
HTML for the World Wide Web.
Peachpit Press, 1997 and later editions
4th edition 383p.
I have used three editions of Castro's book. A color chart is included, and URLs are given for viewing all possible colors. Appendix D lists all HTML tags with a short description of each one.
Another resource which I find invaluable is:
Using HTML 4. Special Edition
Molly E. Holzschlag
QUE. Macmillan, 1999. Sixth edition 2000. 1109p. + CD
Appendix A is a full and very useful alphabetical glossary of all HTML 4.0 Tags and Attributes.
The Note on p.359 gives the URL of a superb tutorial on HTML frames:
I am indebted to Roger Hui for drawing my attention to the University of Illinois' "A Beginner's Guide to HTML" (Revised 1997, 23p.)
Another source of information I later discovered is at:
For a year I was busy with other projects and made little progress with HTML. My interest was rekindled on December 23, 1999, when Ken Iverson sent me an e-mail with a copy of his paper "Math for the Layman" as an html file. It was this paper that convinced me that I had to take HTML seriously.
By the end of January 2000 I had created a web page on my server. With permission of the publisher this made available the text of my paper (Earth Sciences History, 1997, vol.16, p.100-157) on 18th century Edinburgh as the background for James Hutton (1726-1797), the founder of modern geology. I later wrote an essay on the "Building Stones of Perth" and made this available in the same way.
Having taught geology since 1948 I have a large number of 35mm slides which I used for lectures. To make these available was a major motivation in creating a web page.
With help and inspiration from Ken Iverson, George Clark and my brother Ranald McIntyre, and generous technical help from Colin Nowell, I began experiments on scanning 35mm slides. Thanks also to Andy Paterson who gave me the initial help in processing the images.
I downloaded and studied other web sites, but without a great deal of success until October 31, 2000, when Roger Hui told me that he had set up a web site of pictures of his new son, Nicholas. This was a model for me to use in designing a web site that would include geological pictures; e.g. my slides illustrating the building stones of Perth.
Being an admirer of Roger's skills, I knew that his new web site provided the opportunity I needed, and I set about dissecting Roger's HTML code. The structure of my site is a copy of Roger's. He also gave me helpful advice on tools.
To Roger Hui and all the others mentioned here I am very grateful.
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