About This Site
This Page

I started writing a web journal in 1998, with the purpose of keeping track of my adventures in the US and as any easy way to let my friends and family around the world know what mischief I'm getting myself into. For the most part, I think this has been successful, as I have friends around the US and at home who comment on it from time to time, and my family also sends me notes when I haevn't updated in a while. Also, funnily enough, at least two of John's friends uses it to keep tabs on what he has been up to, too (November 2001).

The original version of this site was started using a tool called Arachnophilia, which is essentially a text editor with some html formatting tools built in. I used it primarily because I wanted to do frames. You will have noticed that I've moved away from the frames concept with this new version of my site. However, beyond the first few pages, I stuck pretty much to just using TextPad as my editor.

Some time during 2001 I was starting to get bored with the site as it stood and so downloaded and played with a number of web design programs to see what they could offer me. Most were quite powerful, but left me with code that I considered inelegant (I can be a snob like that). My aim was for HTML4.0 aboslute conformance, with an aim to XHTML conformance. This meant, of course, no frames.

During October of 2001 I took the bull by the horns and sat down with my exercise book and a pencil and started to plan out my new site. It was to look similar to the old one in that it had a series of menus on the left and a header at the top, but that was it. No frames. So I had to work out the table structure. Once again, I wanted it clean. I think I have managed to do this successfully.

I next wanted to use cascading style sheets (CSS) to make control over appearance more controllable. I think I have succeeded in those pages that I have concentrated on. The earlier journal entries (1998, 1999, 2000) probably won't be updated to this standard until I take a longish break.

This time, I have used TextPad exclusively, referring to my two refernce books as necessary.

I felt like a change for June of 2004, so I played some more with the power of CSS and some of the formatting that is possible with it. I'm so far liking the results.

In January of 2005 I decided that I needed some more flexibility on the engine I was using to build the web pages, so I completely rewrote it. I like the results a lot.

Early in 2002 I bought a new computer. Because of my previous experience, I bought another Dell, this time a Dimension 4400T, with a 40GB hard disk and 768MB of RAM. This is a 1.7GHz Pentium 4, and has a DVD-ROM. This time I'm running Windows XP Professional. There are things I like about XP and there are things I don't like about XP.

I still have my Dell Dimension XPS T450 PC, with a 450MHz Pentium III processor, 224MB RAM, running Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional. This box has 19GB primary drive and an 80GB data drive.

Most of the photos from March 2002 onwards were taken with my Canon PowerShort S30 digital camera. The older photos were taken either with a Minolta Explorer Freedom Zoom camera or one of those disposable jobbies and then scanned using

  • a UMAX scanner
  • (until September 2000)
  • a Hewlett Packard ScanJet 4300C
  • picture CD that came with the development of the photos

They were reduced to a manageable size with LView Pro.

I'm connected to the 'net via Mindspring's DSL service. In October 2000 I signed up with AM Hosting and migrated my web site to their servers under my own funky new domain: www.boywithoutasoul.com. Why boywithoutasoul.com? Well, it comes from one of my favourite songs by one of my favourite bands.

I upload the content using CuteFTP.

My webcam is a cheap Logitech camera, and I'm using ChillCam to capture and upload images to the website.

I use Firefox as my primary browser and recommend you do, too.

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