The Cyotek (and Ariad Software) websites have gone through a lot of iterations over the years. The current website software dates from 2011, with the design from 2013, and both are in drastic need of an overhaul. As I plan on redeveloping the site using ASP.NET Core, I'm also going to introduce a new look at the same time. With that in mind, I thought it might be interesting (for myself at least!) to put together a rogues gallery of some of the iterations.

Fortunately I still have the archived source code for the oldest versions on this page, and the Internet Archive was able to supply snapshots for iterations between version 10 and 12. Some of the designs I forgot were ever a thing!

I did find that the oldest versions ("For best results, this site requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher, and a screen resolution of 800*600, high color"!) don't actually render properly in modern browsers, there were issues with font faces and spacing. Amusing as that was, I ended up taking screenshots of these old sites using Internet Explorer in IE5 compatibility mode. The remainder were captured as a personal last huzzah in Edge before Microsoft abandon it in favour of something far worse.

Version 12

  • First published: 21May2011
  • Technology: ASP.NET MVC 3 / 4 (2013) / 5 (2014), SQL Server, C#
  • Editor: Visual Studio (2010, 2012, 2013, 2015)

This is the current version of the software and longest running version of the website. It has a very long change log of all the bits that have been bolted on over the years, bug fixes, performance improvements. A lot of work!

The current design was introduced in 2013 and has had only a few touch-ups since.

Current home pageCurrent product page pageOriginal home page

Version 11

  • First published: 01Aug2009
  • Technology: ASP.NET MVC 1, SQL Server, C#
  • Editor: Visual Studio (2008, 2010)

This was the first version developed after bringing back online after a 4 or 5 year break. Originally it just hosted a blog as at the time we had no products (Visual Basic and ActiveX were dead), but I did want to write, and also see what the fuss was with MVC especially as I am not a fan of WebForms.

Unlike the older versions of this website, version 11, 12 and likely the upcoming 13 use purchased templates which I then tweaked to suit my needs. Website design had come on in leaps and bounds since the older days of the web and I make no pretence at being a UI/UX designer... table based layouts are so last millennium!

While I have the source code for the site, I don't have any readily available populated database backups and so the screenshot is from the Internet Archive.

Home page

Version 10

  • Date: 2001-2005
  • Technology: ASP, Microsoft Access, VBScript
  • Editor: Microsoft FrontPage 5.0 / 6.0

Out of all the versions of this website that have existed, new and old, the style of this version is my favourite. I love the dotted lines mixed with Times New Roman headers and Verdana font. Not sure what I was thinking when I designed that last sidebar though...

Another reason these websites look better in some ways that the newer versions is the lack of adverts. It is high time to start getting users to pay for our software instead of relying on adverts.

Regretfully, this was the last version of the website before it took a several year hiatus - and I can't find a single copy of the databases it used in any archive I possess. In those days Innovasys used to host the website, but after 14 or so years, I somehow doubt they have a backup either.

At some point in this period we renamed from Ariad Software to Cyotek, moved to and here we've been ever since.

End of life placeholderFinal home pageHome page iterationHome page iterationHome page iterationHome page iteraion

I also found this dreadful banner graphic I created at some point.


Version 9

  • Date: Aug2000
  • Technology: ASP, Microsoft Access, VBScript
  • Editor: Microsoft FrontPage 4.0

This was the first version of the site to be something other than static HTML, and also the first version to be on its own domain - Basic forums were added, and the links page was also data driven. A product registration system was also added, although this database is empty so I don't recall if it was ever fully implemented.

When trawling through the Internet Archive I found multiple different styles of home page as the style transitioned to what became version 10.

I also fondly remember when my operating system allowed me to customise its appearance, instead of the increasingly dumbed down and inflexible system that Microsoft have forced down our throats since Windows 8.

The logo changed from the original triangular shapes to a bizarre webbed version, created using an auto shape in Serif DrawPlus and far too little imagination. A little later the square logo was introduced which we've been stuck with ever since.

Home pageProduct pageForumsOriginal home pageOriginal product pageOriginal Forums

Version 8

  • Date: Feb2000
  • Technology: HTML
  • Editor: Microsoft FrontPage 4.0

This version (and all lower versions) were hosted on GlobalNet, the first real ISP I used after CompuServe. Astonishingly, it's been at least 20 years since I had an account with them, yet the final page I added to that account (to redirect to for version 9 onwards) is still present - That is really impressive.

The side menu is using JavaScript to make 3D buttons when the mouse passes over them. Earlier websites had used JavaScript to update the "you are here" footer, but I think this might have been my first use for adding visual pizazz. I didn't see any evidence in the later versions, but I specifically recall purchasing a program called DHTML Menu Builder to do more advance menus.

I remember the first time I saw Xara's vector graphics program I was blown away. Here was a program doing real time gradients, even while resizing the shapes or rotating them - I hadn't seen that on Windows before at such quality and speed. I don't remember using that program, but I did use their Webstyle program a lot to create the graphical bullets, and headings used in ActiveX product demonstrations.

HTML Help seems to be the new hotness and so my WinHelp content looks like it is getting deprecated in favour of more ActiveX controls.

Home pageProduct page

Version 7

  • Date: Apr1999
  • Technology: HTML
  • Editor: Microsoft FrontPage 3.0

The site is starting to grow up a little, with lots more downloads, new ActiveX controls and new product - Ariad ScrapBook code repository. There's even files with version information in for update checks. All still static HTML.

Home pageProduct page

Version 6

  • Date: Dec1998
  • Technology: HTML
  • Editor: Microsoft FrontPage 3.0

Nothing but a home page.

Home page

Version 5.x

  • Date: Oct1998
  • Technology: HTML
  • Editor: Microsoft FrontPage 3.0

Quite a basic website, the only downloads available were for HelpWrite Professional, our software for authoring Windows Help files and a smattering of ActiveX controls authored using Visual Basic 6. There was a small support section with a few Knowledge Base articles and the de-fact Links page. All done via static HTML files, although the download pages have a form bound to a Perl script.

And of course, it wasn't enough to be Ariad Software, but Ariad Software Online!

The main difference between the point versions was the appearance, not the content.

5.2 Home page5.2 Product page5.1 Home page5.1 Product page5.0 Home page5.0 Product page

Update History

  • 2019-03-13 - First published
  • 2020-11-23 - Updated formatting

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