Welcome; Find a Place to Sit
Updated: Wednesday 25 October 1995

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Black pages? Blue ribbons? Free speech?

In response to President Bill Clinton signing the Communications Reform Act, which censors free speech on the Internet, we've adopted the blue ribbon as a symbol of protest. Become informed.


Setting the Scene

Me The tires squealed as they rode over the kinked and ratty 'net feed. Dust shook free from every surface; ancient newspapers that'd been jammed behind the sun visor collapsed into my lap, blinding me. I was about to flame the driver when I heard the thud - we were over the threshold, flying off the Information Superhighway onto some dreary 8-bit side road littered with old WiReD magazines.

No, you haven't reached yet another faux so-hip-and-cool home page from hell; I just wanted to get all that out of the way. Sadly, this isn't some sort of electronic café or global village breakfast nook. The data delivery system that we know and love as the WorldWideWeb just isn't suitable for such a cozy metaphor. Maybe the Web plus some interactive across-the-Internet video like CU-SeeMe will make it feel like we're sharing the same space.

So where are you? As best I can figure, a home page is somewhere between a bookshelf and the bathroom medicine cabinet, measured by how much it reveals about someone. So again, welcome. Look around, share what I have to offer, let me know what you think, and please come back from time to time and see what's new (I'm constantly adding and revising pages).

Bitching, whining, and moaning

I'm available for questions, suggestions, and constructive comments. At the bottom of each of my web pages you'll find a button to my feedback forms-based web page and to a mailto quicky email window. I'm waiting to hear from you.

Legal hand-waving

Unless otherwise marked, the contents of web pages marked as being owned by "Michael Sattler" (at the bottom of the page) are distributed under the GNU General Public License. While cool images and sound-bites are made for digital migration, they remain the property of their respective copyholders, and should not be abused (only enjoyed).

Panels from Dilbert are copyrighted by that special someone who pays Scott Adams to make our live more cheery. Be mindful of your actions. Yesterday's Dilbert is available on the Web. It used to be on O'Rielly's Global Network Navigator (GNN's directory of services has other noteworthy items).

Low-bandwidth survivability

I understand that many people browse the web at 14.4 kbps, and that gratuitous graphics are a headache. To make your visit to these pages a pleasant one, I've placed graphic images only where they add meaning or make reading easier. All graphics are interlaced for faster display on saavy browsers. Where I use a graphic bullet I use only one color per page (so you only have to cache a few hundred bytes). Large images are pointed to by thumbnails. Those of you who use text-only web browsers will find that you're welcome here: all graphic images have a text alternative.

Say it! "I'm not a control freak..."

Unlike a word-processor or painting program, authors of web pages must come to understand that they can't control what others see. A web browser interprets the page description. I can't be guaranteed what size font you're using, or what you've chosen as background color, or the width of your browsing window, or a dozen other characteristics. I can't even be sure what capabilities your browser has. Does it know how to display text first and then show the graphics as they come in? Can it do forms? What assumptions may I make?

That having been said, all is not lost. There is something you can do to make your life easier: use the most advanced browser you can get your hands on, and don't be afraid to change when someone comes up with a better one. A browser is only a tool.

Consider checking out my browser evaluation page; there I'll explain what browser I suggest you use, and why.

What can you expect to see here?

Unlike many of the moth-balled "rest stops" on the information supercliché, these web pages are constantly being updated. A down-side to having my web pages chock full of links to other people's pages is the turn-over; links become stale. If you notice a stale hyperlink, are the creator of web pages and you put a link into my pages, or have a suggestion for a page to which I should link, please let me know.)

Here you'll see "weblets" (my term for a collection of related pages) devoted to social issues, recreation, culture, travel, food, books, technical issues, software & hardware, low- and high-technologies, mental health, and more. I strive to present a well-rounded cybernook, not just a treatise on the latest geek toy I've stumbled over.

Besides the buttons that appear at the bottom of each page, you'll sometimes see:

new! Brand new stuff, hot off of the grill, born yesterday, smokin', freshly-minted, the ink still wet from the presses, ...

under construction While these pages are constantly being revised (primarily because of reader comments), this symbol denotes particularily volatile areas, or incomplete areas that are being researched (or edited :-)


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