The site

Decorative Shingles first web site happened in 1995 but was under a different URL It was experimental. it was the age of blazing fast 14.4 kb/s telephone modems, complete with dial tones and handshakes. It was actually a struggle to be connected and keep connected back then. Decorativeshingles.com got it’s URL birth back in 1999. It was intended to be an informational site which also eventually supported the marketing and sale of “Before the Tin Man V1”. Like many first versions – it suffered from a few technical issues, & was pulled from the “shelves” and eventually replaced by the V2.0 release in 2002.. The web site stayed active until 2015 when Before the Tin Man became out of print and CDs had seen their day. The site has remained inactive until 2021 when Before the Tin Man V#3.0 and a resurrected website update was deemed a suitable Covid project.

For those who may have visited back then, the following screen shot may bring back memories. All images were indexed 8 bit color so blazing fast downloading was possible (considering the times). The background images were tiled so it could be graphic intense without causing too much dialup noise.

8 bit Indexed repeating tiles made these two columns and a
repeating, seamless tile was used for the background

The Equipment

Computers and high tech

This high powered computer – a Mac Plus, was THE upgrade from our original 128k Mac. This one helped in the design of the Tulip/Kastner Rope pattern in the background. Note the advanced, stainless steel nail stripper, hatchet and scroll saw – all state of the art and advanced tech in 1987.
– The rug wasn’t stylish then either.

Jim McNeil


Jim grew up in a roofing family and always admired any decorative shingle project encountered and considered them to be “high art” and were always “looked up to”. Some of his first decorative projects go back to the early 1970’s and most are still being enjoyed to this day. He was forced to retire from active roofing due to a sudden stop after an unintended descent from a roof. After recovering the use of his legs, he attended Seneca College School of Communication Arts (Toronto) for a diploma in computer graphics. He went on to establish a small, specialty printing company keeping his decorative shingle skills honed. In 2002 he released a data CD on decorative shingles called “Before the Tin Man”.

Email: james.mcneil@icloud.com

Specializing in
  • Graphic design
  • Decorative Shingle design
  • Consulting
  • Drinking Coffee

Check out the above YouTube link to learn about nail strippers and stick nailing.

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