Absolutely. You can even do it without a degree in computer science. All you need are a place to put your new page, a few key tools, and your own imagination.

First you'll need a home for your new pages - in Internet parlance, this is referred to as a Web Host. See What is a Web Host and why do I need one? for more info on web hosts.

Next, you'll need a software program to build your page and possibly a graphics program to create your images for it. See What software do I need to build my own web page? for more information on these tools.

Finally, you may need an FTP program to move your new page from your computer (where you built it) to the web host's web server (computer). Some web hosts (such as Brinkster.com have a File-Upload utility that negates the need for an FTP program (which saves you money). See What is FTP and do I need it? for more info on FTP programs.

There are dozens of web hosts who will host your pages for free. Disk space, bandwidth, and features are the most important criteria in selecting a web host. And a free web host will offer you a limited amount of each to you for free hoping that, once you're signed-up with them, you'll find that you need more of at least one of the three so that you'll upgrade to a paying account (I did - see below for why). Let's look at what each is and why it's important.

Disk Space - Each page you build will take up a certain amount of space on the hard drive of a computer. Since this space is not limitless, a web host can only alot so much space to each customer. Disk space will be measured in megabytes (Mb) and web hosts typically will offer 5Mb - 50Mb as part of their free accounts. 10Mb will be more than enough for most chippers' pages. However, if you plan on building dozens of pages with hundreds of chip scans, you might need 50Mb or more.

Bandwidth - bandwidth, or Data Transfer, is the measurement of how much traffic your visitors generate as they view your web pages. Again, since usually their bandwidth is not limitless, most web hosts alot only so much to each customer. Bandwidth will be measured in megabytes or gigabytes (1Gb = 1000Mb) as well and defines how much data can be transferred from your pages to your viewers' computers each month. Most web hosts will offer between 100Mb and 2Gb although many web hosts offer Unlimited bandwidth. 1Gb will be enough for most chippers' pages. However, if you anticipate lots of traffic to your site, you may want to select a web host offering unlimited bandwidth.

Features - Web hosts offer a wide range of features such as Usage Statistics, File Upload Managers, Database Access, and Server-Side code handling (ASP & CGI). If you're really interested in knowing all the statistics of who's viewing your pages, you might choose a host with advanced Usage Statistics. I chose a host with a free File Upload Manager which saved me from having to buy an FTP program. If you are an advanced web developer and wish to store information in a database or to run server-side code such as ASP, you will want to select a host that offers such services.

You can lots of free web hosts at CompareWebHosts.com. This is a useful site that compares dozens of free web hosts by what they offer in terms of disk space, bandwidth, and features. I chose Brinkster.com as my free web host, and I highly recommend them.

Also, you'll find that hosts differ in terms of what platform (operating system) they run on their web servers. It is usually Windows, Unix, or Linux. For basic web pages it doesn't matter what the operating system is. If you have advanced pages that contain ASP, CGI, etc., you may need to be more selective and choose a host that can accomodate your needs.

One final word... in selecting a "free" web host, make sure you check to see if there is a Setup fee. There are some hosts that won't charge you monthly, but will charge you a one-time fee up front to set up your account. There's no need to pay this fee. Find you one that is truly free.

First you must obtain a digital image of the chips. You can use either a digital camera or a scanner to accomplish this. I highly recommend scanning chips instead of photographing them. You will get a much clearer and closer image with a scanner than with a digital camera.

Use the scanner or camera to capture an image of your chip and then save the image on your computer (typically in a .jpg or .gif format).

Once on your computer, you may choose to use a graphics program to adjust the image. It may need cropping or resizing. You want as clear an image as possible in as small a file as possible. Often, you can reduce a file's size by reducing the number of colors contained in the image if your graphics program is capable of this. Once your image is adjusted, you now have a couple of options for putting it on the Internet.

First, if you have a web page, you can add the image to the page (using an tag) and then FTP the new image and the updated page to your web host. See What is FTP and do I need it? for more information on FTP.

Second, you may be able to upload the image to a 2nd party's web site such as The Chip Board (see the File Upload link) where you'll be given a link to it to use as a reference in a bulletin-board post or email.

This is a sensitive question. Many developers of personal, non-profit pages, see no problem with saving images from other web sites for use on their own. However, others who've invested time and possibly money in creating these images see this as stealing and object to it. As a rule of thumb, if you're not positive it's ok to use an image, email the author of the original page and ask their permission. Odd are, if you're polite about it, they'll let you use it.

That being said, once you obtain permission to use an image, make sure you copy it to your own disk space on your own web host and reference it there in your web pages. If you simply reference the image by its URL on the original page, everytime someone views your web page, the computer will have to visit the original page to get the image. This is bad because it wastes the viewer's time, wastes the original author's bandwidth, and poses the risk of not displaying the image at all if the original author's computer is not online.

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