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My Beginnings

On October 7, 1997 I finally got through the sign-up maze at Geocities to get my free home page space. Using the provided HTML editor provided online proved cumbersome, so I began downloading the source of my pages and editing in Notepad. Next I tried the Internet Assistant add in for Word 95. That was pretty nice. I could type and format pretty much like I was in a word processor that I was used to, and the code would be written. It has the ability to switch to an "HTML source" view for some of the finer points of formatting.

Search for an HTML Editor

Actually, it is a search for an HTML editor and web site management tool. The new packages are geared toward doing much more than typing up individual web pages. They have features to keep track of the structure of all the pages on a site, check links, and handle all the publishing tasks, which is the job of getting the files from the computer's hard disk up to the file server.

HotDog Pro 4.03

I downloaded a trial version of this program from the website at Sausage Software. There is no WYSIWYG editing with this program. All the text and HTML codes are entered on a screen that looks like a word processor. There are a good assortment of tool bars, which you can turn on and off through Toolbars under the View menu.
I have gotten at least one computer crash with this program. It was listed as an "Exception EAccess Violation in module HOTDOG.EXE". I don't believe that there was any actual loss of any data with that crash.
There have been a couple of other glitches such as the scroll bar and arrows for the editing screen getting stuck on so that the document would scroll when I just held the mouse cursor over the arrow button without even clicking anything. That actually just happened as I am typing this on 11/29/97. I just closed the file and re-opened it. The scroll bars are working fine now.
Just had another crash. The program uses the spell checker from my Microsoft Word 95 (7.0), and that's fine with me. The trouble is that I just had a lock up while doing it. I think I'll give up on using this program until I get the new version on Monday.
In fairness to HotDog, their support people sent me the following message:
". 4.5 full release is going to be out on Monday, and that adds a LOT of functionality to it. I suggest that you check it out if you really want to see what HotDog is about.
I hope this helps! Feel free to contact us again if you have any further inquiries."
These are nice people with a very interesting product. You can bet I'll be downloading the version 4.5 to give a trial on Monday...

Office Assistant Add-in for Word 95

This was the approach I used to create most of the first updates of the early pages. I downloaded this Word Add-in from the Microsoft site, and it made a pretty good almost WYSIWYG editor. I haven't checked yet to see if I have the same feature installed with Word 97.
5/7/98 The HTML feature wasn't in my installation of Word 97, so I re-ran the Office installation program and included it. I am back to using Word as my HTML editor.

FrontPage 98

I downloaded a trial beta version of this program from Microsoft's web site. The thing I like most about this program is the ability to edit and enter text right on a screen that pretty much shows how the page will appear.
This program appears to use some HTML codes I'm not familiar with and it uses some of the ones that I am used to in ways I haven't seen before. For instance, to center something, I'm used to putting a tag in front of the material to be centered and then a close-center tag at the end. FrontPage 98 uses a format that says "align=center... with no end mark. Another thing I found odd about this program is that it uses a closing code for the "paragraph" code.
I'm not sure if these things are the newest standards of HTML, or if Microsoft just does things differently. I would think there would be a preferences menu to change some of these things, but I haven't found it yet.
This program appears to have great promise for total web site management. It supports changing the link addresses in local files as they are dragged to a different directory in the structure of the web site on the local hard disk.
I also had at least one system crash while this program as well Additionally, this program takes up a whole lot of disk space.

Front Page Express

2/7/98 This one just sort of appeared on my new computer. I guess it came as a part of the Office, Small Business Edition that Gateway included on the new computer. I'm updating this page with it now.


"Interstitial Ads" and "GeoPops"

On Friday, November 21, 1997 Geocities began an experiment. Occasionally, when one tries to load a member's page into a browser, an ad page for Geocities pops up for 10 seconds instead. If you have the correct browser technology installed, the page you wanted will load after 10 seconds.

5/7/98 It looks like I may need to go back to advertising the Geocities address as the address of the index page of my website. When I move to the CyberRanch, Easy.com, my current ISP will be a long distance call. I can always link from Geocities to the actual pages on my new ISP, as I am doing with my Easy.com site now. I only wish that Geocities would let us use an "images" subdirectory on their free site. They do offer this feature if you pay them. The links in all my pages are set to use images from a subdirectory.




Any thoughts or opinions?

PIM Project 
Treo Phone
Nokia N800
Asus eeePC
Adventures in Linux

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created 2/7/08
updated 2/7/08