Pique launches into cyberspace By Oona Woods We're all dialled up now as Pique Newsmagazine goes global on that big ol' world wide web. Every single week the information station at www.pique.bc.ca hosted by Whistler Networks will be bringing you the straight dope, including features, news, sports, columns, listings and classified ads. There will also be a display ad section containing information on rates as well as providing a channel to submit designs over the web. The production department is on the case. Craig Jenkins and Duane Hepditch have been avoiding daylight and humans in order to cultivate just the right amount of geekiness to make the whole thing happen. Now they have emerged blinking into the light of day to stand by what they've done. "We wanted the pages to download quickly," says Hepditch, instantly appealing to everyone who has ever looked at the bottom of the screen with a sense of desperate boredom when it says "8934827 bites downloaded at 1 per sec." "We are making information the most important part. Information is more important than graphics and technology. There will be content from the newspaper with five or so of the top stories in each section, as well as columns and features." The dialled-in duo have taken pains to make sure pretty much everyone will be able to access the site. "Anyone with a 486 and up, Pentium II processor, Mac view 68K, Power PC or whatever. You can get by on eight megs of RAM," says Jenkins. "That's to cruise the 'Net, no one will have a problem because all the graphics files are small." "We worked on a 14.4 modem," adds Hepditch. "If anything we did was too slow, we scrapped it and did it again. There's no point designing for people using super high fast computers." One of the fancydance aspects of this new improved presence on the 'net is the Cybernaut column. Written by self confessed art-house designer and borderline techie Jenkins, the column will provide links to each week’s recommended cool sites. This will let you step right into the sites without any messy typing. Jenkins says the Internet presence can only be a good thing. "It's world-wide. You can be anywhere. Anyone with a computer can access it. Whistler has so many transients. People just come and go. This will help them keep in touch with what's happening here." As well as news, the website will provide information on entertainment and activities. "It's basically two sites," says Hepditch. "There's the regular one, all news content with an easy tool bar and text displayed simply. It's about reading the paper, not being bothered by flashing graphics. The entertainment section is more graphically enhanced. We wanted it to be different from the rest of the paper." Hepditch says that the entertainment section will have its own search engine. "You'll be able to search the listings by date or by a range of different fields. You could look up country music on a Thursday night in Whistler. You'll be able to chose the music, atmosphere and night. Then you'll get a bunch of information about where you should go." In the future they hope to add sound bites for bands, flash cartoons and motion. "We really want people to tell us what they think," says Hepditch. "There's a contact section on the very first page. Click and hold on the top bar and there's a list of short cuts for getting around the site. Inside Contact Us there's a list of all our e-mail addresses. Or people can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org." The Pique web page is up and running now and will be updated each Friday.