While I was googling the web for pages relating to Sibu – my hometown, I stumble upon links that appeared so familiar to me – It was the SMK Sacred Heart Sibu website. How long has it been? centuries? I’m not sure when was my last visit to one of my teenage online productions, but it’s been hell of a history and my memory was flashed-back to those good old days…

During the closure of year 1996, my dad bought me a PC as an incentive for a good performance in UPSR. I was given a PC with specs of Pentium 100Mhz CPU, 1.2GB HDD, 32MB RAM, and the technician said then,

“Man, this PC is whopping fast, it has a 32mb RAM!!”

Yeah, that was the technology then. That piece of RAM is obsolete and now laid to rest in my own prehistoric museum of technology. On top of those specs, I’ve a 14″ monitor, a Creative SoundBlaster soundcard plus speakers! Logitech mouse and keyboard, all for RM4,000! Damn, RM4,000 for those junks?! I added another 2.1Gb Seagate harddrive later for RM700. You guys tell me, how good a PC can you get for RM4,700, today, right now? I’m gonna stop comparing anymore before you guys give me lessons on inflation and economic, but man, RM4,700!!!

Alright, the point is, since then, I started getting online and dipped my hands into web designing. In 1998 (Form 2), I was approached by one of my school teachers through e-mail when he stumbled upon the school website developed by me and one of my friends. What we did then was too brief and he would like to setup a webteam to make it better. And the result…

First ever SHS Sibu website
The first-ever official SHS website was officiated in June, 1998 by YB Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew. The website runs Java Applets for the flashing “SMB Sacred Heart Sibu” caption on the left hand panel, which we thought was cool then. Javascript for mouseover image swap for the menu system, with its images created in Paint Shop Pro 4 – my primary graphic editor then. Basically, the main entrance page is quite attractive and promising. But when you click into it, please, you’re welcomed to make comments.

It’s so bad that when I see it today, I laughed at what I did last time! despite it being my pride back then. The techniques then were so lame, the size of a small monochrome picture of a school’s board member could take up to 35kb! Man, no wonder we were complaining how slow TMnet was back then.

Then, a couple of years later, Sarawak Information Systems (SAINS) organized a state-level secondary schools web design competition, and without hesitation, we enrolled. A new webteam was developed cause the seniors had graduated and moved on. The new talents were cool – a programmer and a graphic geek. Just the boost we needed for the competition. Our main competitor were the guys from SMB Methodist. Both of the schools were competiting with each other in every aspects, from academic, to sports achievement, to resources and facilities, etc.

Well, that’s when the battle of the Internet began between both schools. In the end, we won the competition. Too bad the site hosted on SAINS was removed a couple of years ago. I didn’t have a screenshot nor backup of the site to show you guys. But I still found a news at the site to prove my words.

*Update: Found the website with news of us winning the state-level secondary school web design competition.

SMB Sacred Heart, Sibu emerged as the champion while SMB St. Joseph, Miri and SMK Teknik Sejingkat, Kuching won the 2nd and 3rd Prize respectively. Another ten Consolation Prizes were given away to secondary schools from various parts of Sarawak.

The Champion was awarded a Multimedia and Internet-Ready PC, a laser printer, a Colour Scanner, a set of Lotus SmartSuite software, a Training Module of 3 days for 10 persons. The second and the third prize winners were also awarded PCs, printers, softwares and training modules. All these prizes were sponsored by Sarawak Information Systems Sdn Bhd.

Source: Sarawak Information Systems

Below is a few left-over pages of our winning website that are still in the SAINS webserver, which I’ve managed to dug out.

The Flash introduction page
The Mega Tour (Flash-based tour of SMK Sacred Heart.

After the competition, I developed another website for my school in collaboration with some of my schoolmates. It was hosted on Geocities.

SHS Website on Geocities
Made this while I was in Form 4. Much better version with appealing layout and stylings than the early days.

SMK Methodist Website
At the same time, SMK Methodist developed a new website for themselves, too. Very good-looking image-based site.

Well, I think the Internet battle between SHS and SMK Methodist has now ended as the latter went on and took charge of the lead. Since I left SHS, I haven’t heard news of any major updates to the school’s website. SHS should really do some catch up on their Internet presence, seriously, before they go tech-obsolete.