Once Upon a Time (about 20-some years ago)
I started dabbling with computers back in 1989 when I starting researching BBS software for a friend and in early 1990 started up the message-based BBS "Almost Paradise."
Being one of the first female system operators in Central Illinois, I was creating the ANSI/ASCii graphics for most of the local BBS sites. My site was listed in ONLINE AMERICA magazine about the same time when the Danville, Illinois area BBS sites joined the FIDONet system.
Almost Paradise ran on one linem on a IBM 286, 40 MB HD, and 2400 baud modem. The site had regular visitors from the US, Canada, and England. One of our greatest days was when we could "outlaw" 300 baud modems on our site! Our area sites created the Danville Network (D-Net) that, although short lived, was a step forward in the technological world for us.
Once the Internet as we know it today became more available to the public, most of our BBS sites lost traffic. Almost Paradise was retired in early 1996.
The Birth of HBAC
With a backgroiund in journalism, I started doing online graphic design, digital photography, and web design. I contacted student groups at Eastern Illinois University to build or redesign their sites for experience. I learned the value of networking which put me in contact with individuals who I watched and learned from. In 1998 I finally put a name to it all and HB & A Creations (later shortened to hbac.net and then officially HBAC Webdesigns - hbacweb.net) was developed.
The ultimate goal of HBAC was to be able to work with customers on an individual basis to create an affordable website for their personal or business use. Understanding that many small groups did not have the budgets to hire marketing or PR firms, I offered a means for them to make an online presence that looked like they spent a lot, but was actually in their price range.
Starting out creating simple websites, gradually I added database work, e-commerece, graphic and logo design, and photography to the services. Offering a maintenance option was a valuable resource to many small groups who did not have a technical person on staff. Since 1998, HBAC has designed sites for non-profit organization, home businesses, starting entrepreneurs, organizations, and university departments, offices, and organizations. Although some sites have been "passed on" to the next generation of staff - many which now have people with technology backgrounds, I am always happy that HBAC Webdesigns was able to help these organizations get their online start.
Christy and the Technology World
With a background in Journalism from Eastern Illinois University, I was excited when I technology advanced and the things I did on light tables could be done on computers. The whole idea of online journalism - especially the design and layout aspect of it - quickly caught my attention.
I finished my Bachelor's Degree in the Board of Govenor's BA program at EIU focusing on online journalism. I was lucky to work at EIU for five years in the Office of Civil Rights and Diversity which included learning about accessibility of web based sites and materials. I continued my education at EIU, completing my Master's Degree in Technology and certificate in Computer Technology in 2005.
After graduation, I accepted a position at the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign in the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services. I am a part of an unprecidented initiative focused on web accessibility on the UIUC campus. Our work in accessibility creates a better learning environment for all, including those with disabilites.
When not on the computer, I can be found with my dog Ali, spoiling my four nephews or spending time with friends.