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      What will happen if it takes ten minutes for a web page to appear in your browser. You probably will have pressed your STOP button long before that. It will have to be something very special for you to wait that long. If this happens at subsequent pages, you will run away to never come again. Web surfing is synonymous to waiting. The World Wide Web is often dubbed as the World Wide Wait. But there are limits to what one can endure.

Try holding your breath for as long as your home page takes to load...

    Great graphics, flashy Java applets, Shockwave, Real Audio, all seem very tempting. You can make great pages. If the page is on your own hard disk, it will quickly load. But your page will be on the internet. All that beautiful stuff will have to be squeezed through a telephone line. And often through a 14k4 modem on the other end of the line.
    But wait! There's more! It is kind of getting busy on the internet. In an ideal world a 28k8 modem easily pumps up 3.5 kilobytes per second. But you will probably end up with a throughput of about 1 kB/s. A faster modem won't help you, even if your phone company will do anything to make you believe it will, and try to sell you an ISDN line.
    It won't get any better for years to come. The infrastructure of the internet lags behind the increase in users. Bandwidth slurping applications pop up everywhere: streaming audio, video conferencing, push channels, you name it. There are many promising developments, like cable modems, ADSL-lines, optic fibre connections. But that won't do you any good for now. You will have to do with existing connections. Noisy phone lines and 14k4 modems. Use your available bandwidth wisely.
    This limits the usable size of web pages and associated files to 50 kiloBytes max a page. It will then take a minute for your page to load. If it is larger, the content must be worth it. Otherwise you had better shrunk your page to a more modest size.
    At first sight this may seem very little. But you can still do a lot with it. You can use several tricks to overcome these limitations. To use limited resources and attaining a very acceptable appearance of your site. How this is done, I will show you in the following pages.
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