About

These

Web

Pages





Welcome to the personal web pages of Jym Dyer. That's me. I first wrote a "home page" back when the web was just a bunch of computer techies running Mosaic, and it's evolved into an "eco page," with lots of other pages accompanying it.

At first these pages served as a catalog of links I was interested in: a hierarchical set of bookmarks, in the days when browsers didn't have such a feature. I retained vestiges of the catalog structure even when I started to add my own content, so you'll find a number of pages that are mostly collections of links. The resulting effect is archaeological: if a page looks like the cutting edge of mid-1990s web design, that's when I wrote it.

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Decorative Floral Thing

Where Are All The Frills?

You might notice that I've got more text than graphics here and that when there's a choice, my links go to a page with fewer graphics.

Multimedia can really enhance communication, especially with good visual design, but too much flash and dazzle can also get in the way. Right now I see more of the latter than the former -- and I'm sick of downloading ads! Here's hoping this all changes: I'd like to see more art, better visual navigation, and fewer billboards here on the Infobahn.

For my own part, I'll try to keep your interest by providing something worth reading. Sometimes I write articles for publications, and naturally I think they're worth reading, so I put them here when I can. I've appended true stories to many of these pages, even the ones that are just collections of links, and most pages have an epigram near the bottom.

My pages are designed to look okay from a text browser, and they don't use a whole lot of bandwidth even when a graphical browser is used. ASCII graphics also come in handy for this, and you might see a few of my ASCII graphics .sig files lurking at the bottom of some pages (after the epigrams). I will endeavor not to use ASCII emoticons as a substitute for good writing! :-)

I've got one little bitty low-bandwidth animated GIF file in these pages, but in general I don't like them: they gobble up bandwidth and browsers don't seem to know when they're done loading them (or, at least, they don't indicate it).

(A tip for all you web page designers out there: You know that old saying about a picture being worth a thousand words? It's not a reference to byte count!)

These pages also don't play any annoying background noises; there are some sounds here and there, but you have to select them to hear them. I know a great way to give your web pages some background music while using very little bandwidth: just quote a catchy and popular lyric fragment ("I feel stupid/And contagious"), and it will become a meme stuck in the reader's head while reading your web pages, and perhaps even for the rest of the day!. That's the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it, uh huh, uh huh.

This Is A Frame Free Web Site

Oh, also, I really hate frames. I don't use them, and my links go to frame-free pages whenever possible. You're welcome.

Maybe someday the browser-makers will figure out how to implement frames so that users could actually navigate them with keyboard shortcuts, or let the "Reload" or "Images" buttons actually do something reasonable on a page that uses frames. Until that day comes, though, I'm agin 'em.

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Your Privacy and Security

You can turn off cookies and Javascript when reading these pages, and there will be no failures. These days I use the Mozilla Firefox browser for most things because it allows me to refuse cookies except for certain sites of my choosing. Also, I can enable Javascript only for certain sites, though the real issue there is that no site should require the use of Javascript.

(There are no Java applets on these pages, either, but that's not because of privacy or security worries; I simply don't have a need for them right now. There's Java on the server side, though.)

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Credits

Every page here was written by me (the HTML). All of the text here was also written by me, except for some of the articles in ef/ and greenpeace/, which I'm simply making available online, and much of the writing in fun/, which was culled from the Internet (usually emailed to me by friends). I don't know who the authors are for many of these. Epigrams are, of course, attributed.

Unless otherwise noted, all photos, graphics, and ASCII art were created by me. A couple of the pen-and-ink images I drew are copies; you should be able to figure out which ones. Graphic images in awards/ were created by others, for the express purpose of being put on web pages like my own. I've tweaked the colors and sizes in a few of them. Graphics that look like bitmaps, most of which are in icons/, are either copylefted for general use or are based on X-windows cursors that were created by unknown others, culled from the Internet. I've tinkered with all of them to some extent.

The U.S. copyright law governing credit for photographs has changed during the lifespan of these web pages. As I understand it, credit is due the person who held the camera to take the picture, even if I owned the camera and film, composed the photo ("Hey, take a picture of me in front of this tourist trap, and make sure that woman with the orange pants is in the shot!"), and paid to have the prints developed. The reason for this is that the person holding the camera has made creative decisions, such as how to frame the shot, which filters or modes to use, etc.

I have given credit accordingly. However, every one of the photos here is also my work to some degree: in the course of putting them online and "digitally imaging" them, I also made creative decisions, such as re-framing the shot, adjusting the brightness, contrast and hue, and sometimes using those fancy filter plug-in thingies.

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Boring Technical Details

Site Created With Notepad:  The Right Way I write all these pages with a text editor. No, not Notepad (hee hee), I use Emacs. This keeps them crisp and, I think, elegant; unlike all tool-generated HTML. I've also used Emacs Lisp to generate some HTML from other file formats. Crisply.

GIF files have constrictive licensing issues, and while all my GIF files have been created legitimately from a duly-licensed product, I am in the process of converting them to PNG and JPEG graphics formats wherever possible.

My color scheme is mostly "web-safe," but uses two colors that aren't part of the 256-color palette for old Macintoshes with 8-bit displays. I tried to do the right thing and use only the 216 colors common to both palettes, but I found that I really do prefer these colors (hey Apple, what have you got against teal?). Besides, it seems to me that folks who are using Macs these days would be using 24-bit displays.

These pages used to be ...
Solar-Powered


"For Web pages, bare bones design is the way to go."
    -- Edward Tufte

:::.-----.:: Jym Dyer   http://www.things.org/~jym/ ::.-----.:::
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::\ \___/ /:: Disclaimer:  "I'm sorry ... that's   ::\  /|\  /::
:::`-----':::::::::::::::  Mr. Caffeine speaking!" :::`-----':::