So Dave, how do I use this site?

I’ve tried to make this look as much like the old one, but there are some new features here. Please give the Comments feature a look. If you’ve got something you want to say, just click Comments and write away. No registration required. Punch in your name, and if you want, your e-mail address and Web address. Spam-filter your e-mail address if you want. Or leave it out entirely. Use an assumed name if you want. I think my system logs an IP address somewhere, so don’t go posting death threats, but aside from that, comments can be anonymous. For privacy hounds, e-mail is a greater threat to your privacy than the Comments section. I can find an awful lot about you from your e-mail headers. (Not that I bother–who’s got time for that?)
So when should you e-mail me? If I’m not talking about what you want to talk about. I read all my mail, but I can’t always be timely about it. There are days when I leave here at 7 or 7:30 a.m. and then I don’t get home until after 9 p.m. On those days, the last thing I feel like doing is reading a ton of e-mail, so it sits while I fix something to eat or listen to music or read a book (or all three). I don’t read my personal mail from work. But I have been known to take a quick peek at the site from work during breaks or slow periods. I’ll read the comments and sometimes fire off a response.

Basically, I’m trying to encourage you to use the Comments section. It’s getting harder and harder to deal with all the e-mail. Comments will get a faster response from me, if they’re necessary. And it saves me the time of posting them, which is good. Lively topics can quickly bury me in e-mail; I’ve started to avoid such topics for exactly that reason. But I do like lively discussion, so this is a nice solution to that problem if people use it.

One last thing on Comments. Please keep it clean. I can’t imagine 11-year-olds being interested in the topics here, but I want the content to be appropriate for all ages. I know I’ve dropped an F-bomb here and there, especially really early on back on my original site whose contents are temporarily unavailable. I started to watch that after a schoolteacher commented about that. Greymatter can optionally filter words out. For the time being, I have that turned off. I’ll turn it on if I have to.

You’ll also notice a Karma rating. If you read something and really like it, click the little plus sign. If you hate it, click the minus sign. If you’re neutral or indifferent, leave it alone. It may be possible down the line to write a script that tallies up the karma and gives a “Best of” based on your votes. I haven’t looked into it yet, but I think I’d like that. Short-term, I look at that to see how I’m doing. If certain topics consistently get me negative votes, I’ll probably avoid them. If a topic gets tons of positive votes, I’ll probably head that direction some more. It’s just a quick, easy, anonymous way to give a little feedback.

The search engine works, but there isn’t much to search yet, obviously. Performance may lag once there are a lot of entries, but that’s curable. Down the line I can always throw more CPU at that problem. On the plus side, the search engine searches both my entries and my comments.

The site’s very unfinished, as you can see. I plan to add more features as I think of them. I’m open to ideas of course. This is a community.

Not sure what we’ll get back to tomorrow. I’ll come up with something.

My apologies to those whose e-mail I haven’t answered yet. I just haven’t been up to it. See Sunday’s post. Later this week, I hope, I’ll get caught up.

9 thoughts on “So Dave, how do I use this site?

  • May 2, 2001 at 8:19 am
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    I didn’t say how to add a comment. Click the link that says how many comments there are, and at the bottom of the resulting screen, there’s a set of fields to use. Sorry for that oversight.

  • May 2, 2001 at 10:48 am
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    I like the karma idea. Should be bery useful.

    I’m not sure how it works, but you might want to make the karma link open in a new minimized pop-up window, because the page blanks while it’s doing its thing. I’d rather keep reading onto the next section.

  • May 2, 2001 at 1:29 pm
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    I’ll see if I can look into that. I’m not quite sure how it works myself, or if I can redirect its link to a minimized popup window that closes when it’s done its thing. I think popup windows are rude, but that would be less rude than making you look at a blank screen while my P-120 cranks through files.

    I’ve got a new pet idea I’m working on at the moment that will take first priority. For the first time ever, my Web server is sitting right next to the PC I develop on, and I have complete and total control over it, so I’m looking for new and interesting things to do now that I’ve suddenly busted out of that shell. I’m sure the ideas will come.

  • May 2, 2001 at 1:32 pm
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    Dave – I like the way you’re running your New! Improved! site. A nice answer to your e-mail overload, and easiy for me to comment. Win-win. I PARTICULARLY appreciate that I do not have to REGISTER! and LOG IN! in order to post a simple comment. Thanks, Dave.

    Regards,

    JHR

  • May 2, 2001 at 4:09 pm
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    Dave, I like the feel of this! Keep on going.

  • May 2, 2001 at 6:06 pm
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    Where do you stand on the dynamic DNS?

  • May 3, 2001 at 12:07 pm
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    Not far enough. I’ve been putting that off. I’ll have to sign up and download a client tomorrow. I think I’ve got time to do that then…

    Thanks for reminding me.

  • May 3, 2001 at 9:47 pm
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    I like the direction this is heading.

    Regarding the DNS prob;em? Just leave it the way it is.. DNS is an abomination, causes a large proportion of the problems on the net and a not insignificant percentage of the traffic. It’s just as easy to bookmark the IP as it is the DNS’ed site name.. and significantly faster. can you imagine the un-holy mess the phone system would be if we had to type in everyone’s name and then wait for a kludged togeher system of un-managed, miss-managed and half-managed servers to search the globe and translate the name to an unambiguous telephone number?

  • May 4, 2001 at 12:19 pm
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    Except for one problem… This isn’t a fixed IP address. So if I ever have to restart the modem or router for some reason, I’ll lose the address.

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