Q) I dont get how you can put so much of yourself out there for everyone to read?
Different strokes. People have been writing diaries for millenia and publishing them for a great deal of time. This is just a different medium. The reality is that not very much of you does actually go into the web page, there is a lot that is not there. For the stuff that is not I do tend to put anchors into the text that remind me of an event or way I felt. So if your reading something and think 'what does that mean?' it is probably an anchor, either that or I was having a moment and got my verbs and nouns mixed up.
Q) Did you do the background yourself, how and what does it mean?
Yes, I wanted something that would break up the monotony of the white screen, but be almost imperceptible enough that it did not intrude on the text of the main pages. It was created in Fireworks, although its just an amalgamation of different shapes that I then used the distortion tool to give different dimensional aspects. Once I had the image sorted I then toned it down using the alpha channel which basically fades the image away untill it was at a visibility level I liked.
These processes are all available in modern web capable graphics editors, the whole image was good to go in no more than 5-10 minutes, and was probably the quickest, impactfull thing I ever did on this site. It really does break down the screen, while adding to it, without being intrusive.
As for what it means, no idea. I wanted something that showed things linking.
Q) Why did you create a website about yourself?
A) Since the late 90's I had been wanting to learn HTML development skills and ultimately create a website but my major problem was I didnt have anything to create a website about. This really was a big problem, more than anyone might imagine.
Now maybe with a modicum of design skills I could create a fairly engaging site about anything. At the time however the whole goal was to learn how to design websites and in that scenario I think it is really important to have a clear definition of what the site is about. Otherwise, as I did prior to 2002 you spend more time working out the fundamentals of what your site is about more than you do on creating the site. Thats why the mission statement for this site contains the line;
"WHY - I couldnt think of anything worthwhile so I decided to create something that wasnt"
Q) Surely as a programmer learning HTML was easier for you than anyone without programming slkills
A) I am not a programmer, I have programmed. I think its all about application. As far as web site design is concerned HTML bares no semblance to any programming language I ever used. HTML is basically a script that allows you to fashion how information is presented in a web browser, this includes graphical, textual and layout. Its the presentation of information. Programming is the creation of processes.
Nobody automatically knows how to create HTML or program for that matter, some just persavere more than others.
Q) Why johniebg?
A) I was trying to create an account on Yahoo early in 2002 but all variations of my name were already used. So I was faced with forever entering a username like firstname.lastname@example.org or come up with something original. After about ten minutes someone came up with the idea of johniebegood. Hopefully it doesnt take a great stretch of the imagination to work out johniebg from there.
Q) When I first started looking at your website you used to have a section title 'Top Birds', where has that gone.
A) Arrgh! The good old days. Top Birds, for the uninitiated was a section containing profiles and a number of pictures of women I admired. It happened that these women were mostly admired for their physical charms and as a result that section of the site was very popular.
At that time my concept for the presentation of the website was as if a tabloid newspaper, so it all fitted in rather well. Now times have changed and 'Top Birds', nor Top Blokes for that matter feature as ongoing sections of this website.
However, you can view the 'Top Birds' section as it was the last time I updated it circa early 2003 from Other Stuff and the front page to 'Top Blokes' is now available through iWrite.
Q) What did you use to create this site
A) From the very beginning to this day I have used Macromedia Dreamweaver (design) and Fireworks (graphics) and Swish for animations. If I ever need to edit the HTML code alone I find UltraEdit has greater scope for editing than Dreamweaver.
There is also a hefty chunk of imagination thrown in for good measure.
Q) What books do you recommend for learning HTML
A) I generally go for a 'Quick Guide to Learning xxxx' or 'xxx For the Absolute Beginner' type books and read them front to back. Once you have the basic knowledge of whats required its then your understanding of the information you want displayed and your desire to do it that will allow you to learn HTML.
Additionally, the web is an extremely good resource for information as long as you are prepared to spend time searching from sites such as Google.
Q) Why does your front page show diary entries from latest to oldest but you diary archive show entries show oldest to newest?
A) Ummmn! Well I think the front page needs the latest entry at the top so the visitor can see new content has been added.
If they were in chronological order the oldest entry would be at the top of the page and the newest out of site at the bottom and not obvious to the casual browser, giving the impression the page was not being updated unless the browser made the effort to scroll down.
With the diaries I think they read better if you read them in chronological order so the events of the year pan out as they occured.