The first pages I put up were all hand-coded in emacs. I knew the
HTML 2.0 code pretty much backwards and forwards, and I knew parts of
the then proposed HTML 3.0 standard. I found some features, like
to be bloody annoying, so I don't use them.
(Well, except right there to show why it is annoying.) Setting the
background might seem harmless - but I ran into one cute page that
asks for your favorite color, and then makes all the backgrounds that
color. Great - except I used the same color for the text of links.
Red on red is not very readable. Beware being too cute with your
Ok, enough with the sermon... I attended Web World in Santa Clara,
CA in the spring of 1995 to gather information for a Web project at
work. While I was there I picked up a copy of SoftQuad's HoTMetaL
PRO HTML editor for windows. It takes a lot of the tedium out of
coding HTML, since it provides a WYSIWYG interface and macroing
features that allow easy customization. Yes, this is sort of a sales
pitch - I've had the opportunity to try a large number of HTML editors
and add-on packages, personally and through work, and HoTMetaL PRO is
the best I've found.
I originally wrote the above after using version 1.0 - which was
new at the time. Well, I still say it is the best around, but it was
up to 3.0 last time I used it. I don't use it much anymore myself as
I've become fluent enough in HTML to hand code it all in emacs again,
on the fly.
Playing with my first personal pages gained me valuable experience
with HTML. Enough that I earned the right to step in as Webmaster for
Xylogics! And then I quit and left for Livingston right as things
started to happen. So I had to restart there all over again.
About the same time I swallowed my annoyance with Netscape and started using Netscape
Navigator, aka Mozilla, for my remote browsing. Being in
the networking industry, I was slightly annoyed at Netscape for
messing with the HTML standard and adding some silly features, and
doing some just plain wrong if you go by the guidelines of SGML. But
I have to admit their browser is very, very nice, and it really isn't
that big a deal. I am still annoyed with them, but I still use Navigator
for now. I haven't forgiven them for FRAMES though.
I still have theToshiba T4800CT laptop I mentioned in an earlier version of this page.
The only really annoying thing is it uses a Ballpoint detachable
pointing device. I much prefer the little eraser head
pointing devices in the keyboard. But I got a very good deal on this
one, you take what you can get. I recently acquired the DeskStation
IV docking station, and a 16MB RAM upgrade (to being it to 24MB). My
plan is to upgrade the RAM, dock the notebook, and turn it into a
Linux workstation on the LAN in our new house. I haven't used it in
quite a while, and I have a new notebook that goes with my job at BBN.
A 486-75 would be a bit slow with Win95, but it'll crank with
I also store the files offline on what I consider to be the coolest
computer peripheral device ever, the Iomega Zip drive. This cool little
device uses 100 MB removable disks about the size of a 3.5" floppy,
just a bit thicker. Very, very nice offline backup device and spare
space for files.
I also have a Dell P200
mini-tower at home. I do most of my work on that now. The machines
link to the outside world from a LAN we have at home via a Livingston ISDN
Office Router. Works great! But I have my eye on new MediaOne cable modem
offerings coming in my area, as well as an ADSL trial that is supposed to
be on the way. Faster is better. :-)
And that basically concludes the boring techno-babble portion of
our program. If you read all of this, I'm surprised. ;-) But I did
want to give a fair shake to the companies whose products I use.