When I was nine or ten, I built my first website out of tables and clip art. It was titled Isle Net, the homepage of a fictional island I’d dreamed up from seemingly nowhere. I can’t recall what had inspired it or much of anything that was written on the site. But what I do remember is that I’d set the background to #FFCC00, a sickly sweet neon orange sherbet color.
My dad spent an hour on the phone with tech support to figure how to upload the pages to the 5 megabytes we had been allocated by our internet service provider. (It was especially difficult because to make an outbound call, we had to disconnect the dial-up internet.) The first time he saw the page was when it went live. He found some typos, which he made me go fix in Microsoft Frontpage.
But generally, my dad seemed confused by the site. What had he spent the past hour doing? What had his son built with the expensive software he had begged for? Not knowing how to vocalize his disappointment, he suggested I change the background color to make the site easier to read, and I remember dismissively telling him that he simply “didn’t get it.”