underground internet advisor

Welcome to my online advice column!
Write me with "advice" in the subject line, and your request may appear here. Be sure to include something alluding to your question in the subject line as well!

Transparent Backgrounds

Like the one behind my Latest Links page

Date: Fri, 07 Jul 95 16:55:58 -0700
From: Lori Walker <pepsi@southwind.net>
To: justin@cyborgasmic.com
Subject: HTML Page Designing Question

>Hi Justin -
>I would appreciate any advice/suggestions you may have regarding
>different types of programs that may be utilized to create your own icons
>and background wallpaper for HTML design.
>I am especially interested in how to make the background transparent and
>which program accomplishes this most effectively.

I opened my .gif in PhotoShop and played with the brightness and contrast. It don't need to be that big a utility, it could be much more modest. Brightness and Contrast are fairly common features.

Figgerin' out Forms

From: Mark Ace <ace@europa.com>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 95 18:39:03 -2400
Subject: http://www.wired.com/Staff/justin/dox/HTML2.html#link
Thanks for your nice work with your "Links..." Do you know where I can find information on online ordering forms? Specifically, I have seen a couple of nice ordering forms that include fields for credit card numbers and I would like to be able to do that. ANy ideas? Thanks. --Mark
Important questions you ask - forms are integral to interactivity in this web of ours, and what's the point of the this great communications medium if you can't hear from eachother?
The official word on HTML to forms is available from the Mosaic folk at their textbooky Mosaic for X version 2.0 Fill-Out Form Support page. Once you get the data, and you need help decoding them, check out this more uder-friendly Common Gateway Interface: Forms page. From here, you will be linked to a few different options for decoding the data you pull down from your forms (like C, or PERL, or TCL).
Good programming!

Rapid Text Editing

Date: Thu, 22 Dec 1994 17:49:44 -0800
From: FutureN@ix.netcom.com (Paul Farrell)
Subject: Easy-To-Use html editor for pc


I enjoy & admire what you're doing.
How about some advice.

I'm ready to get "into production" with a true "electronic newspaper."
My homepage went up a month ago, however, it remains "static."
I want to update, edit & upload the new file 2-3 times a week, plus add some linked files.
I'm not getting the kind of help I thought I would from some so-called Internet experts.
Question: What's the best, easy-to-use html-pc (sgml?) editor for a guy who's a writer/publisher ... and definitely not a tekkie?
Any advice?
Thanks, and happy holidays,

Dr. Paul B. Farrell
Future News Network

Paul -

In terms of HTML editors, I edit and change my pages almost daily, and I find that a good knowledge of HTML is the best thing. It is unbelievably easy to pick up, and frankly, I can't do without the hands on control of my content. If a program is doing the marking-up for me, then I can't see what codes are where, and whether the program is keeping them neat or not.

I prefer to edit my files directly online - in a Telnet window, using the text editor emacs. While the learning curve for that may be a little steep, I find the ease with which I can fly in and make changes is more than rewarding enough. If you are going to be changing your conent as much as it sounds, you might want to look into learning this stuff. Otherwise, editing in a text editor on your computer, while it works, it can be really annoying over the long term.

That said, here's a list of Tools for WWW providers. I can't recommend any in particular.

I may not have given you the answer you were looking for, but I gave you mine.
Best of luck,

Macintosh Map Making

For us Macintosh users, there is software that allows you to read images and make imagemaps. One such program, WebMap is available online.
Good Mapping!

Hit Hunting

Date: Wed, 23 Nov 94 23:37:08 MST
X-Personal_Name: Dave the Rave
From: nspin0404@alpha.nsula.edu
Subject: Counting hits


I've been surfing your page for a while (so count me in in your mega-hit count), and wanted to start off by complimenting you on an ever-updated, constantly evolving and improving (can it GET any better?!) page (or group thereof).

Now...my question is thus: I have a not-near-as-snazzy launchpad oriented home page at http://rever.nmsu.edu/~maldrin/ (check it out sometime, lemme know what ya thinks)...and I'd like to be able to count hits on said page. Since you mention a hit count in your page, it wasn't too hard for my tiny noodle to surmise that YOU know how. So, of course, I'm askin ya to share that knowledge with me. I'd certainly appreciate it!

I guess that is all. Again, thanks for populating the Web with such a righteous lotta links!

respect, peace, all that rot,

Dave Pine
Digital Samurai maldrin@acca.nmsu.edu/nspin0404@alpha.nsula.edu

Ravin' Dave -

The software I use to measure web hits is called wwwstat - and it is available at the Distribution Information Web Site. It is a freeware script you set up on your Unix box, requiring PERL and access to the logs on your server. It takes those files and compiles them into a list that looks like this.

More information about the script, installation, and features is available at the web site mentioned above.

Good Counting!

Job Hunting on the Net

Date: Fri, 21 Oct 1994 20:56:32 +0000
From: Deanna Hnatiw <dmh121@arts.usask.ca>

Since I am a new user, I am very unfamiliar with digging up data.

I will be graduating in the spring from a music program at the University of Saskatchewan. I was wondering, is there a way to find teaching jobs in my field through the internet? Please help me if you can.

Deanna Hnatiw

Deanna -

I have tried the Internet job hunting route before. There was a time when I thought I might be able to get a job in Singapore through gopher connections. They weren't very receptive, actually.

I would recommend you check out the job-oriented news groups:

In addition, try any newsgroups related to the field in which you are seeking employment. I'm not too familiar with the teaching groups, but given the number of prefessional educators on the web, there should be some places they congregate.

Also look for jobs newsgroups located where you would like to work. Many regions of the globe now have their own forums for posting job notices.

Beyond that, I would say post a web page with your resume, and links to any online projects you have done. See if there's any educational pages that might be interested in you. Point 'em towards your site. And, you can also point potential employees toward your web site to demonstrate the web skills you have.

Gopher could be an option as well, but I have really lost touch with gopher resources recently. I try not to be too web-centric, but its hard, cuz I practically breathe the web daily.

Good hunting!

Domain Name Claim

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 94 17:13:00 EDT
From: kv51539@ga_sybase.sbi.com (Krishnakumar Visweswaran)
To: justin@cyborgasmic.com
Subject: Squatting Cyberspace.

Hi Justin,

I was crawling the web when I came across your fuck.com initiative.
Since I would like to become a CyberSquatter too, I thought of sending an application or ten to the folks at internic.net. The only problem seems to be sections 7 and 8, the address translation servers. Since I do not have an internet connection presently, and my company would most surely not permit me to use their servers as references, I'm stuck for servers.
How does one go about getting a name registered in this situation ?

If one has to know the sysadmins of the servers one specifies, would you permit me to use ramona.cyborganic.com and hyperreal.com as my translation servers ?

Thanks in advance,


Krishna -

I get your question a lot - so I answered it directly on my Domain page.

College Comment Conundrum

Date: Mon, 26 Sep 1994 00:52:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: Darrell Fuhriman <darrell@fiziks.efn.org>

Dear Justin,

After playing musical universities for a couple of years, I've finally found the place I _really_ want to go.... (Reed College in Portland, OR)

I noticed the admissions office had an e-mail address so I got to thinking.... (which always gets one in trouble) and Lo! I had a revelation...

I created an HTML form, which by selecting a few check boxes and filling in your name will create a letter and mail it to "admissions@reed.edu".

So, my question is: do you think I should actually turn it on? (i.e. have it actually send the mail.) Will they hate me?

It's only got a few options at the moment, but check it out and tell me what you think...


Darrell Fuhriman

Darrell -

That's a tough question - whether to use it, because that's what it does, or to just show it to the admissions people because that's what you did. The way they catch wind of it could very well influence their opinion of you and your comment toy.

Sounds to me like you have a great marketing mechanism on your hands - without even having to get people to generate letters on your behalf. The proof of your worth as a potential Reed student is measured by the novelty of your idea, as well as this nice execution you have performed. Whether or not the actual application of it is necessary to prove your point is another question... You certainly don't want to alienate the admissions people at the school of your dreams, so you have to find a way for them to either recognize your HTML/forms achievement, and/or appreciate the genius behind it all.

I say, send them the URL, tell them briefly what it is, and how to get there, and see what they say.

Here at Hotwired, I work with three Reedies: Howard Rheingold, Gary Wolf, and Eugene Mosier. From what I've heard, they all loved it there. Howard can tell you some stories...

Anyone with an idea that quirky and fresh belongs at Reed.
Best of luck,

Domain Doubts

From: tjk@ironwood.cray.com (Tristan Kusnierek)
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 94 18:04:40 -0500


I like what you've done with your mosaic page, I have a few questions for you concerning registering a domain name.

I am thinking of registering a domain name for later use.

how do I answer question #4: Date operational?

What are they looking for in Questions #7 and 8

Anything you can tell me about this would be great.


Tristan Kusnierek
Cray Research, Inc.

Tris -

For future reference, when asking me about questions 7 and 8, please remind me what they are.

Date operational is just that. Give a date you expect to be up and running. Anything in this field should work (something in the near future is what has worked for me).

Questions 7 and 8 - this is a bit tougher. Here you have to supply the relevant info about two servers where your domain will be living. I had servers to input for these, so I don't know if it will work without valid servers. You could fabricate the info for these and find out. Or maybe you could put some back room server at your office/school/home in. Best thing - check to see if any of your friends have servers that they will let you report as the future home of your domain. You don't need to do anything with or to their computers, just use their info. Try it without valid servers and see if they bother to check. They are really busy.

Hope this helps -

In Lieu of What's New

Date: Thu, 8 Sep 94 16:02:08 -0500
From: clarage@dingo.rice.edu (Jim Clarage)


NCSA's What's New on the internet refuses to put
in a link to my innocent collisions of image, voice and fiction:

The Netsam, http://helix.rice.edu/~clarage/netsam

Oh wise and wired one, what can I do... Link or languish...

--Jim Clarage

Gee Jim,

It seems like you've made a great start at advertising your stuff. Sending the link, with flattery, to someone who runs a visited page and is interested in such things is always a great plan. I love that "Oh wise and wired one".

First off, chances are the NCSA's What's New people do not have anything against you or your site. If you've looked at their What's New list recently, it is mega-huge, and they probably recieve at least three times the number of submissions from eager new page posters. My advice is this: think of your favourite web sites, and the places where you could see a link to your page. Go there and tell them about your stuff. Get the links flowing in, and continue working on building up your pages. Meanwhile, keep sending NCSA a message about your site every month and a half or so. There is no choice but to wait if you've got your sites(heh) set on having an entry on the What's New page. It is worth the effort though, one guy I know started getting 14,000 hits a day after he was listed on the What's New page. I think the Swarthmore Folks would kick my ass if I went on there. Be sure you are ready for the exposure.

Buen Suerte,

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