Résumé       Weather    Blogs    Galleries    Books    Music    MythTV    Alpine    HOPS
Mail  M

col-o-phon \'käl-e-fen, -,fän\ n [L, fr. Gk kolophô summit, finishing touch; akin to L culmen top -- more at HILL] (1621) 1: an inscription placed at the end of a book or manuscript usually with facts relative to its production 2: an identifying device used by a printer or a publisher.
  - Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary

I like to keep my pages simple. No need for Flash or big JavaScript or PHP frameworks. No database back-end. Nothing flashing or moving around. Just information, presented elegantly I hope, pictures, and a sprinkling of JavaScript to help things along.

This site was originally built in Summer 1995, on OS/2 Warp with hand-rolled HTML augmented with Rexx scripts, tested with IBM WebExplorer and served by an ISP that charged me $250 upfront for six months and then never again for the next 3 years as they faded away after the Dot-com Bubble .

This list was last updated in 2007 and I have none of the hardware I had back then, but still use much of the same software, though now all Linux-based. A quaint trip down memory lane reading that old list.

Composition    Desktop . Laptop . Androids 
I work on my Desktop when home and Laptop while away. The Desktop is pretty beefy and makes image-processing much easier. 32G makes things like stitching panoramas from a half-dozen 4000x3000 photos pretty trivial. I use the Tablets for layout testing.
Desktop    custom-built 6-core AMD . 32G · 3 x 1T . ViewSonic 27"
Laptop    Lenovo T61 2-core Intel . 4G . 500G
Tablets    Chinese no-name 2- and 4-core Cortex . 4G . 16G
Phone    Samsung Galaxy Note 3 . 3G . 32G
Web Server    Free Cast-off Desktop Machine 
I've always used cast-off machines for my Internet Services (web, email, firewall). I paid $100 for #1, but since have got them free. Sometimes I upgrade the drive(s), but standard drives have long-since been plenty large enough. This is #3 since 1997. #4 is waiting in the wings, another free cast-off: a Dell 850 1U that's going to go into a data centre so I can have my own cloud.
Dell Evo    1.8G Celeron · 500M · 80G
Support Gear    Network · Power 
There are a lot of wires under my desk. :-)
Network    D-Link 10/100 wireless router · 2 x D-Link 1000 switches
Power    CyberPower 1000AVR · APC Back-UPS Pro 1300
Photography    Canon PowerShot SX230 HS · Samsung Galaxy Note  
See the Opening post on my Galleries blog for my photography endeavours.
Scanning    HP OfficeJet J4580 All-in-one 
Only the scanner works anymore, and a stand-alone scanner is way more expensive than an all-in-one, and I very rarely print anymore. Or scan.
Operating Systems    Red Hat / Fedora Linux 
My first Internet server was built on Linux , specifically Red Hat Linux version 5.2 in 1999. I had read scary things about the digital evils that lurked on the Internet and Linux was the only secure and securable system that was available to the hobbyist, as far as I could tell.

Red Hat 6.2, a few years later, was I think the last software I bought. I wanted "box and docs" for this new thing, and for $50 5.2 was a good deal. 6.2 too. There were other distributions around, but Red Hat sounded pretty complete and "official."

So I read all the security stuff I could find (which at the time was on ftp and gopher and a few web sites), then put 2 network cards in a cast-off 486DX making it a router with a firewall, and added web, email, DNS, and ftp services.

Now I use the free-as-in-beer Fedora Linux .
Writing    vi 
This document is, ultimately, about words and thus text. No amount of GUI mousing around can replace the hot-wired brain to keyboard to magic that vi gives a capable driver. I use the Vim variant.
Programming    Perl 
Quite amazing what one can do with a Practical Extraction and Reporting Language... The next tool is built with Perl and I have have several tools of my own, mostly for my Blogs and photo processing.
A whole bunch of Perl that takes a markup language way better than HTML and generates all the HTML your browser can eat, produced by a very good friend and inspired computer scientist. No WYSIWYG or Framework overhead, but styles, aliases and macros expressed as Perl functions (with bracket-matching courtesy of vi) that let me make links like My Sunbeam Alpine as @myAlpine and sophisticated but sweatless table layouts like the Rebuild Checklist. That page is one large table built from about a half-dozen macros and aliases.

And, I can hack the crap out of it to do anything extra I want. Sometimes, like my Music catalogue, Perl reads something and writes Apalon which then gets processed.

I could not have as much fun putting things on the web as I do without this tool. Finding a browser plugin that updates a page when it changes makes my vi-Apalon-browser combo into a word processor.

Web Serving    Apache HTTP Server  
Apache is free and used by most web servers on the Internet. This site is all static HTML, the simplest, lightest and safest way to run a server.
Image Processing    Various 
Like everything else I use, these are free Open Source tools.
GIMP    cropping · manual panoramas
ImageMagick    bulk manipulations
GwenView    browsing and viewing · panoramas
KolourPaint    annotations and markups
KSnapshot    screen capture from Google Maps
KImageMapEditor    image maps
Working Tables    LibreOffice Calc  
Even with a markup language like Apalon, HTML tables are tough to manipulate, so why bother? I use a spreadsheet for anything I need to actually work on over time. I write spreadsheet macros to create Apalon strings in a column to the right of my work area. It could create HTML strings the same way. To generate a page I Copy the list of strings to the clipboard and Paste them into a file for processing.

In the early 1990s I used Lotus 1-2-3 and a formatting add-on called Allways to lay out my first BSS business cards. Because it had a flexible grid to do the overlapping bars I wanted. I used LibreOffice Calc as a sketchpad for the latest logo work for this rebuild, 20 years later.
Web Browsing    Various 
I use pretty straight HTML with a lowest-common-denominator view to presentation so browser compatibility isn't much of an issue unless I get too fancy.
Firefox    development baseline browser plus the Auto Reload plugin
Konqueror    my favourite commodity browser
Chrome    desktop · tablet · phone
Publishing    rsync  
An old Linux tool for synchronizing files. I wrap some Perl around it and can push from my working site to the public site with a keypress.

Going in the reverse direction, rsync sends a copy of the whole Tree back to my desktop into another place, in case I need to push the whole thing onto a new machine in one big piece (2G as of 2015.01.19).
Internet Access    Shaw Cable Business Internet 
Back when I started, they were the only game in town and then known as Videon until they were purchased. I had dial-up years earlier but it wasn't until cable Internet that hosting my own Internet server (without an ISP) was feasible.
External Resources    Various 
The Internet is several orders of magnitude more developed than when I began, even since top-level The BRIDGE Tree got its last major overhaul in 2007.
Google    research · Maps · Images
Wikipedia    While working on my Blogs this became my favourite default reference because it seems to be the best portal to use for the extensive out-linking I do.
Tell Me    My own contact server, necessary with the rise of SPAM as a fact of life in the late 1990s.

How It's All Put Together

I spend most of my time in vi, writing Apalon. Or selecting and prepping images when there's a big batch. The only time I use a mouse much is for image processing and browsing. Except... my keyboard is a desktop version of a ThinkPad keyboard, with a TrackPoint mouse built in. I can do any kind of fine mouse work I need with it, and it makes copy-paste from other sources, like the Wikipedia addresses from a Google search, sooooo easy to include while writing.

Getting the Auto Reload plugin for Firefox transformed my web authorship. No more need to Alt-Tab between vi and Firefox - pressing F9 processes the page into HTML and Auto Reload reloads it in Firefox. Like a word-processor!

Once I'm ready to publish, I press F10 and rsync does its magic. For this January 2015 overhaul it will handle all the changed and moved files and directories automagically.

The BRIDGE Tree has evolved over the last (almost) 2 decades, each new section extended what was done with the last section. Work I did on the original site inspired the Jerome's Sunbeam Pages site and a couple others. Then when I got a notion to do some other Internet publishing my Blogs took that earlier work and extended it much more seriously because I wanted an active communication platform. And that work has (finally) come around to inspire this latest rebuild.

Now we'll see how old and dated this becomes, perhaps as chuckle-worthy as seeing what it replaced. :)


Résumé       Weather    Blogs    Galleries    Books    Music    MythTV    Alpine    HOPS
Mail  M
EPQ/UKBL/0.2 - 2015.01.23    |    Colophon