February 20, 1997

Dear Diary:

Weather today -- too early to tell
Mood today -- entering a depressive phase
Fly count for yesterday -- Flies hibernating or whatever they do during the winter saves me from being a fly murderer.
HF Today -- 634%

It seems another round of depression is coming upon me. Things that don't normally bother me a bit are really getting to me right now, and I'm having a hard time pulling myself out of self-pity mode. Rudy corrected my spelling of "hypocrisy" yesterday (I'd put "hipocrisy" knowing full well it looked wrong but was unwilling or too lazy to look it up). Now normally, his proofing my diary doesn't bother me. He does it every day and generally I appreciate it and even learn from it. I don't usually make the same spelling errors again once he's pointed them out (and this often leads to our famous--or infamous, as the case may be--discussions of English usage and verbiage). Anyway, the point here is that tonight when he informed me of my misspellings, I didn't take it very well. I wasn't gracious and appreciative; rather, I got depressed and started running myself down in multiple areas of my life, not just my spelling and proofreading skills. The upshot of all this hullabaloo is that I'm going to write my diary entries either the night before or very early in the a.m. and send them to Ru to proofread. I must admit, his proofreading skills are tops. I keep telling him he should go to work as an editor for a publishing house, but I don't think the idea of sitting around reading manuscripts all day is quite his cup of tea.

Jetlink has finally assigned someone to my cgi goto script and I expect it will be up and running within the next couple days. I'm delighted that the new assistant SysAdmin, Paul, is taking over this responsibility. I visited the SysAdmin's homepage recently and discovered that a large factor in the problem with getting this cgi business straightened out is due to the fact that he's a fulltime Master's degree candidate as well as a full time+ employee of Jetlink. It's my impression that he generally works 20 hour stints at a time, and that cannot be good for him or Jetlink, at least not in the long run. Paul tells me he's gone on leave of absence until Monday, which doesn't seem like a long enough break to me. My frustration with the procrastination on my project aside, my primary concern is the wellbeing of a fellow human being. My best wishes to Adrian, and my thanks to Paul for taking on this project, something he admits he knows little about. I think the setting up of the cgi-bin will be quite simple and straight forward, though, so I have full faith in Paul's ability to handle the request. If you read my diary yesterday, you know I was also questioning the amount of my March invoice from Jetlink for my domain and server space. One of their employees wrote back with the itemization I requested and all is in order. I feel a bit better about my provider today than I have for several weeks.

I've added three beautiful graphics to my "Favorite Homepages" section for three very dear friends who have sent me logos for my friends page. I want to divide that particular page up in a different manner from what it is now, but I'm undecided on just what I want to do with it. I know I want to write a bit of a description for each of the pages under the friends category, but I'm not sure how to incorporate the individual graphics for those three sites which have supplied them while still highlighting the other sites as well. I would love it if every site on my list sent me a little logo. And I'd like to rename the page something more catchy than "Favorite Homepages." It's so much more than that! I'll have to mull this one over and come up with something. :) Many, many thanks to DianaDru, the Lady of Passion and Mystery and Cajun Country USA and Down On the Farm With Granny for sending me their special friends logos.

The Gif Wizard utility I mentioned yesterday is working out just great. I reduced the load time of this page (using a 28.8 modem) from 2.5 minutes to 1.5 minutes. I think a bit of clarity and definition was lost in the "Directory of Pages" image, but I suspect I'm the only person who will notice. :) If anyone else notices the difference from two days ago to now, please email me and I'll rerun the image through Gif Wizard using a higher number of palette colors. Speaking of graphics, I think I've convinced Rudy to offer his own award now that he has a semi-homepage (or at least his own subdirectory on my account with four of his own pages in it). It's to be called The Lurve It! Award ("lurve" is from his IRC nickname, lurvedoc, which is a funky way of saying lovedoc) and I'll be working on it in Pixelsight today. Sharon, bless her heart, is sending me her CD-rom of PhotoImage, which I've heard wonderful things about, so the award from Pixelsight will most likely be a temporary one. Heh. If I don't win that one, he's in some deep yogurt. :)

I've been playing with the idea of starting some kind of online club or membership participation group. I'm a member of a number of such clubs and have enjoyed participating in them immensely. An idea I really like occured to me finally last evening. The info page isn't set up yet, but the group is going to be called NARC, an acronym for Netizens Against Rudeness in Cyberspace. One of my pet peeves is the rude manner in which some people deal with others on the 'net. On the info page, I plan to have a "graciousness" tutorial, links to other sites promoting politeness, a listing of club members whose sites carry the club logo and whatever else I can think of. I might try to add some cgi that will enable club members to send in their suggestions for netiquette. The reason this all occured to me stems from two things: first, the way some people sign guestbooks with something like, "My site is awesome. Come visit it and sign my guestbook"; and second, from the man who plagiarized my text for his awards page. I think in the first case it's a matter of the individual in question not thinking through how their words will be perceived, and in the second instance a case of the individual not understanding or having an appreciation of accepted netiquette with respect to giving credit where credit is due and copyright issues. I can think of loads more things that should be S.O.P. for netizens: for example, when signing guestbooks or any publically-viewable format, sticking to only positive comments about the topic under discussion. I think it's only polite to save any complaints for private emails. I've worked diligently to develop a gracious style with regards to signing guestbooks, and I know others have as well. I'd like this "club" to be a means of uniting those of us who seek some elegance of expression on the 'net. More on this topic as it evolves and unfolds. :)

The Webmaster at TOAST Guestbooks and I got to shooting the breeze yesterday and he has some really nifty ideas for personalizing guestbooks far beyond what's available now anywhere. I volunteered my site as the guinea pig site, where he can test out his ideas. Being rather unknowledgable of cgi in general, I was lost when he talked about what his ideas are. I don't pretend to have a clue what's being bantered about here, but here is part of the email he sent me. If someone wants to 'splain it to me, I'd be most grateful. :)

>>Hmm.. how does an online diary with a TOAST interface sound? > >Actually, that sounds REALLY cool! Hmmm. There must be some way to >capitalize on that thought... > My partner and I are looking at the possibility of doing this. We like it because only one person gets to make an entry, which is much better for the security of the server. Technically, we do not forsee any great difficulties in its implementation. As we have quite a few guestbook owners, they may get on irc or what have you and make enemies who want to flame them. And trying to kill a guestbook is often irresistable, and is the cause of the slowdowns that we sometimes experience. The good news is we get our own server machine soon, so we can reboot it at will. I think for now, we will just use your guestbook decor for the online diary. I think we can also use your TOAST name and password for the entry. SO to make an entry you would call program A which would ask for your name and password, Hm.. we could just make that an option on the guestbook manager... with an instruction below how to link to your diary.. which would show up every time you made an entry.. heh heh and you would link program B which would display the posts on your page. This will be called http://www.abctec.com/cgi-bin/diary?your_guestbook_name Keep sending me ideas and bugging me about this. The squeaky wheel gets the grease!!!! :) You are going to use it, so how do you want it, and is it much different from TOAST? Anyone know what he's talking about? I did write back and tell him I was unclear on what he had in mind but that I'm willing to try out whatever it is on my site, but I've not heard back from him yet. When I told you TOAST Guestbooks has personalized, timely service, I was NOT blowing smoke. These guys are just the best! I hate the idea that because they're so responsive and their book is so flexible and dependable that it won't be long until they have a major share of the guestbook market... and the problems inherent with that. I hope they can always maintain the wonderful service and personalization we now enjoy, but I suppose that's rather idealistic. All I can say is I love my guestbook and I recommend TOAST to anyone and everyone who has ever experienced the impersonalized atmosphere and considerable down time of Lpage or the gimme money scheme at Pergatory II (which I hear has gone up to ten bucks now instead of five for a lifetime guestbook.... I just *knew* they couldn't be trusted!).

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