Observation, Commentary. Notes, Tips, Humor and Resources

Doc's Notebook . . .

Longtime visitors of this website will notice a different 'look'. I am taking Dr-Fix-It into the twenty-first century by upgrading to the latest standards: HTML3 and CSS3. The appearances will not change dramatically but, I assure you, there is a big difference 'under the hood'.

In college, I took computer programming and coding courses.The UniVac 1108 Computer in 1972 That was back in the days when we were required to key-punch data onto cards and assemble decks to be presented to a card-reading machine. One card equaled one line of code. Sophisticated programs required large decks of cards; so big that some could be moved only by using two-wheel dollies.

I drifted away from computers in the 1970s and '80s. Computers were big and expensive to own and operate. They were something only major corporations had. Utility and telephone bills arrived in the mail with a key-punched card that was supposed to be returned with the payment, and that was about the extent of my involvement with computers for about two decades.

It was, I suppose, in the early 90's when a friend phoned and asked if I wanted to get on the Internet. I had heard of it but wasn't sure how to 'get on it' or what to do once I got there. That was before there was a good way to search the internet. Finding a website was difficult. My friend had downloaded his own spider software so he could bounce randomly from one site to another. So, we just looked at whatever website the spider found. I thought it was great.

Fast forward another few years. It was about 1996 and the internet had exploded onto the consciousness of the world. I was chatting with an associate who was wishing he could set up a website.

"It is too bad that websites are so expensive", he said. "A website costs $10,000 to $20,000!"

I couldn't understand what would cost that much. I said I thought I could put up a website for $100. My friend replied that a $100 website would be impossible. And, that is how it happened. That conversation was the beginning of Dr-Fix-It; a sporting challenge to put up a website for less than $100.

Well, it turned out my friend was correct. While my cash outlay to put up Dr-Fix-It was less than $100, I estimate that if I had charged even minimum wage for my time, the tab would have been well over $10,000!

Most recently, I was forced to turn my back on this website for about six years. I took a job with a national corporation and, as a condition of my employment, I agreed that I would not participate in any outside media. Considering the rate at which the internet evolves, missing six years is an eternity. While I am not starting completely over, today's internet requires my learning an entirely new set of rules and standards to rewrite and update all that has been untouched for six years.

I hope you like the new 'look'. It is good to be back.



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