O Shenandoah! Webbed Woes/Oct-Dec duck

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." -- Article I, Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, enacted December 15, 1791. blue-ribbon

Publisher's note: This bit of nostalgia is from the very early days of website and internet hardware and software development before the field had calmed and settled down somewhat to its present form and general ease of use for technician/users. There were no site development tools, capacity was low, speed slow, and "browser wars" afflicted one and all. Back in "the good old days" only 13 or so years ago, no one really knew for sure what a good, appealing, "user-friendly" site looked like except in the trial-and-error cyclic adventure of creation, production and feedback. "Webbed Woes," a pun on technology and nature, is a window into "the time that was," and to some extent the folks who populated it. Our new federal administration is very tech-savvy and will no doubt push and lead us through funding and encouragement toward ever greater marvels in this realm and many "clean" others like land, air and space exploration to the benefit of more rewarding economies for all. -- jh, 2009

A Few Good Tech Links:
Hexidecimal Color Codes for HTML on White or Black Background. . . . Stroud's Resource Center -- Find the shareware and freeware you need using their search engine. Stroud's rates the best and you can download safely what you need from their site. . . . Matt's Script Archive -- Impressive source of CGI script info, with numerous links to related websites, provided by a technical book author. . . . Microsoft Corporation -- You gotta have this one. . . . Ziff-Davis Magazines -- Not all of the best computer hardware and software magazines are published by Z-D. . . .

Excerpts from Taped Interviews:

December 20, 1996 --

You look more relaxed. Has your internet access improved?
Uh-uh. I'm on a daily dose of ISPs now.
ISPs? What's that?
Here. Read this. It's a public service announcement from the creator of the Shenandoah Directory, who's also a disc jockey for radio station KCY-Harrisonburg.
Oh, okay....
"There's a NEW ISP in town ... no, it's not what you're thinking ... THIS ISP stands for Internet Stress Pills ! That's right! Is your back aching from hours in your computer chair trying to figure out why that !@*&^%$ picture won't load? Are your eyes a bloodshot blur from the flicker of an 800 X 600 resolution on a 12 inch screen? Are your nerves a frazzzle from trying to deal with the "it's not our fault, it's probably your software" littany of your local ISP (Internet Service Provider, in this case)? Then OUR ISP is your ticket OUT ! Just one ISP tablet dissolved in water and you'll sleep like a baby ... for about five years ... then, when you awake refreshened, the internet will be a long gone, far off memory and you can relax as you regale your grandchildren (yes, while you were sleeping, your daughter had a couple babies) with tales of the wild, wild internet before the BIG CRASH.

ISP ... take one today ... forget about where you want to go tomorrow."

You have to ask around. I'd give you some, but they're too precious.
Oh, well, thanks for the info. I better get going.
What do...?
Oops, sorry. No time to talk. Gotta run....

December 6, 1996 --

Hi there! I see you're knitting again. And it's a ... what IS that anyway?
It's a SCARF.
Isn't it a bit LONG? Looks like nearly twenty feet there, kid.
They're calling for a rough winter. I'm gonna wrap it around my neck. To keep warm.
I see. How long have you been working on it?
Started last week.
What happened to your Internet work?
Well,... first the ISP was down.
Uh-oh. How long was it gone?
A day. Then the mail server broke.
Mmmm. How long before they fixed it?
Well, two days, sort of. It still doesn't work all the time. Then the web cable busted.
Uh-huh. How long did that go on?
It was off and on for maybe a week. Then the whole backbone cracked. All the east coast and parts of the west lost their Internet connections.
Jeez. How long did they take to fix it?
About a day. Yesterday the FTP server didn't work.
Uhhhhhhh. Has that happened before?
Oh, yeah. Maybe every other week or so. Then the computer crashed.
Netscape blew up.
Website servers disappeared... Hey! Wake up!
Huh? Oh. Uh-huh. Sounds like you had a rough cyberweek or so?
Yeah. Well, they were more like UNcyberweeks. It was okay though. I cleaned the house. Washed the clothes. Put up holiday decorations. Sent letters by snailmail. Called people on the phone. Knit this wonderful SCARF.
Sounds like an old-fashioned holiday season. And at least the post office and the phone company are still working.
I think they caused it all, really.
Worried about the competition?
Well, cheer up. The Internet'll get better soon.
Sure. I've got a lot of Christmas stuff to do anyway. Probably won't even notice whether it's working or not for awhile.
Great! See ya later.

Hey, want me to knit you a scarf?
Uh-uh. Thanks anyway.
Mmmmm. Okay. Well,... have a good holiday season.
Thanks, you too. Merry Christmas!

More ^#!%(*$@ Links:

blue-ribbon Electronic Frontier Foundation -- Get your copy here of the infamous telecommunications bill and of the three-judge opinion staying enforcement of the "decency" provisions.
Electronic Freedom March on Washington info site -- Volunteers, questions or suggestions, email: march@tico.com



Midi music file, "Old Time Rock 'n Roll," arrangement by D. W. Barnes

Where the heck am I? -- Whisk me away

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Email countryrag@yahoo.com.

Original material O Shenandoah! Country Rag April, 1996. All rights reserved.