Web Design: Satisfying Accomplishment

Most of you reading this are already lost, right?

I spent most of last night in my office working on a website. It’s a little thing I’m doing for myself, five or six pages with some video. It’s difficult to explain the feeling, but creating a website is really rewarding in a creative way.

The first step was installing WordPress on a webserver. It only takes a few minutes. WordPress is very mature. Ease is built in.

Most of you reading this are already lost, right? Here’s WordPresses own explanation.

WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.

The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine. Over 25 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call “home” — we’d love you to join the family.

This site is built on WordPress too. The new site looks nothing like this!

WordPresses ‘themes’ creates the look. There are thousands of themes I could have used, but I modified the on that comes standard (it’s called Twenty Ten). That’s the most rewarding part!

Reskinning the theme requires a little programming skill in wrangling three languages: php, css and html. I know just enough to be dangerous. That means I’m writing with a few books at the ready because there will be questions! If I did this more I’d be a lot faster.

It’s all so elegant. Within a few minutes what began as an instantly familiar barebones WordPress site began to look like the site I wanted!

I spent five hours working on the site last night. It’s nearly done. Later tonight or tomorrow it will be done.

I have a very satisfying feeling of accomplishment.

Fix It Until It Breaks

The deeper I got into the site the more wasn’t working and I was finding stuff no one had found before. It’s not supposed to be like this.

screengrab-blog-redesign.jpgIt’s been like performing dentistry on myself! The goal was to make my life simpler by developing the new look for my website on a server installed on my desktop PC then move it to a commercial server when finished. Maybe it will be easier. It hasn’t been so far!

When I went to move it off the desktop machine to its final resting place the site responded with an error message. Later it was the “white screen of death.” Finally I could see the home page but all links, even links to log in, were dead!

These are the times that try men’s souls. I had achieved Helaine’s oft spoken fear when I delve too deeply. I’d fixed it to the point of breaking it!

In an earlier entry the subject of the “WordPress Community” came up. WordPress is the platform on which the new site will be built. The community was there for me tonight, though not in the flesh. There is a treasure trove of archived forum posts online.
If something can be broken it already has been! I was able to go to school on other poor schlubs.

I wrote what you just read around 3:30 am. Before I could start patting myself on the back things broke so badly I had to stop writing. I didn’t get to bed until nearly 6:00 am.

It’s now after 1:00 pm. Where were we?

The deeper I got into the site the more wasn’t working and I was finding stuff broken no one had found before! It’s not supposed to be like this.

I started deleting plug-ins, which add functionality. That’s the typical response to this kind of problem and it usually works. Not here.
I will spare you my tooth gnashing. The problem seems to be a version of php, a programming language critical to blogging (and other dynamic sites). The blog was built with php5, the current version. My web host offers php5, but defaults to php4. They are not the same–think Latin and Pig Latin.

Worse still, when I finally found and put in the fix (the line “AddType x-mapp-php5 .php” was inserted in a hidden file called .htaccess) I left out the space between php5 and .php! Now the site was so dead I couldn’t even get to the administration screens!
It’s all fixed now and the site is up, but hidden in plain site at a different web address for the time being. There are still cosmetic fixes that need to be made. Sometimes text gets larger and smaller for no apparent reason. Mostly though I accomplished what I set out to do and I hardly pulled out any hair.

The new look debuts this weekend–maybe.

My Dev Website Is Still Down

The site is still down as I write this! Why? I could have gone to Best Buy, picked up a new PC, loaded a “LAMP” suite (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) and restored from a backup hours ago.

A little before 2:00 AM 1and1.com finally responded to my “website down” complaint.

Thank you for contacting us.

We do apologize for the inconvenience.

Currently the server on where your sites are hosted is down and that is the main reason you couldn’t pull up your site. Our admins are now working on it right now to fix the problem in the fastest time possible.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.


Christian Rey Tanilong

Technical Support

1&1 Internet

The site is still down as I write this! Why? I could have gone to Best Buy, picked up a new PC, loaded a “LAMP” suite (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) and restored from a backup hours ago.

If it goes much longer, replace Best Buy with mail order from NewEgg.

There is a recent backup, right?

I’d Like To Program

I dabble with computers. I can take them apart and put them back together. I write code–not a lot. Not very well. I can rewrite other people’s code in languages I hardly know. I wish I knew more.

Specifically, I wish I knew more about PHP and MySQL. I’d like to write in those languages. They’re a powerful combo.

This is a good time for a quick lesson about the web and it’ll be pretty geeky. I’ll understand if you stop reading here.

If you’ve never written a computer program you should know there are lots of computer languages. Most are optimized for a specific task. All the languages are distinct but they are similar.

The underlying programming language on the Internet is HTML–hypertext markup language.

You can create HTML using PHP, another language. The reason you use PHP to create HTML is because PHP is built for databases. Using databases you can insert fresh information into otherwise static webpages.

Think of sites you know that always look the same even though their content is always changing–this one for instance. Most likely PHP (or Microsoft’s equivalent) is working behind-the-scenes to insert the data into pre-ordained slots.

MySQL is a database program. I’m not 100% on the licensing but it’s basically “free to use and modify” software and it’s running some huge websites.

If I knew MySQL and PHP I could develop websites. I’d like to do that. Scratch building websites is a design process not unlike architecture or writing a book. It’s a creative process which appeals to me.

There are online tutorials, but I haven’t found anything yet that is well taught and at the right pace. Distance learning is not for the faint of heart nor the uncommitted.

I Don’t Know How To Program

My case of “coder’s block” was unwarranted–though very real. I feared trying my ideas. I put everything off as long as I could. What a fool I am.

I am creating a website for a friend. It’s almost done, but it’s still at the stage where the “robots.txt” file is telling Google and Yahoo to stay away. It’s built on WordPress, a program I hardly know… in fact, until this project I’d never used it. I love it now.

Yeah WordPress, I love you.

This weekend I was going to enable some menus for the website. The site owner wanted them ordered in a specific way with some items excluded. I guessed at how it could be done. I anguished over it. I put off coding it. I didn’t start until 1:00 AM this morning!

It worked the first time. I’d ad libbed something the program wasn’t set up to do but was still capable of doing. One glance at the documentation was all it took. This program is great!

My case of “coder’s block” was unwarranted–though very real. I feared trying my ideas. I put everything off as long as I could. What a fool I am. This, unfortunately, is the story of my life. It is the weakest part of me. I hope my daughter doesn’t inherit this trait.

I enjoy programming. It is a very logical experience. I’d like to do more.

When you do something right the result is predictable and dependable. I wish I knew more about more languages. WordPress with its simple scripting language is easy. PHP, Perl, and Javascript–not so much.

There are things I’d like to do if I only knew how.

The Evil Within (My Website)

I have been complaining for a few weeks now about the disappearance of my website from Google. It was a problem that only appeared when a page was clicked directly from a search engine, not entered by hand. Instead of my blog, spammy pages of links appeared, looking like they were coming from geofffox.com.

I looked and looked and couldn’t find the content ascribed to me. Nothing.

A few times, I asked for assistance from the Google Groups Webmaster Help Forum. They didn’t solve my problem, but they did help me figure out where to look.

Tonight, I think the mystery is solved.

On November 23 at 9:04 PM and again on Dec 10 at 10:54 AM someone gained access to my server.

Whether it was a hack or exploit doesn’t matter. My host would like me to think it was an exploit – meaning it was through my doing. Whatever.

New .htaccess files were inserted in every directory on my web site. These files, which begin with a dot to make them normally invisible, control how certain web requests are handled.

These .htaccess files looked for 404 errors. That’s what you get when a page is missing.

This explains why I couldn’t find the spammy files on my website. This exploit only worked if a file name that DOESN’T exist was entered. Only then were they composed on-the-fly.

On top of that, a second file specified the trick should only worked if the request was coming from a search engine. No wonder I couldn’t make these spammy pages appear.

As awful as it is, I have respect for the programmer who accomplished this. It’s a very sneaky trick, and it sat on my site for a few months before I discovered it.

The .htaccess file called a php file, which is similar to the one this web page is served to your browser on. One set of these php files had an all numeric filename (002314.php, etc) and was 617 bytes long. The other used simple computer-ish names (server.php, command.php, etc.) and was 1260 bytes.

Every web attack has a weak spot and I had found it. Having the files all be the same length, and placed on my machine on specific days, made it easier to scout them out.

To make matters worse, permissions were changed all over the place. These are the rules that decide who can or cannot read, write or execute files. Lots of stuff was turned 777, meaning anyone could do anything!

The person who attacked my machine had opened all the doors. Now anyone could gain access and do anything.

Good grief!

I called on my friend Bob Hart to help.

Bob claims not be be a computer expert. Right.

His logical, organized, well exercised mind knew all the commands and tricks to remove thousands of files and reset an equal number of pointers without hurting anything. He dictated long strings of characters for me to type in… and they worked!

Is there an Emmy for computer assistance? I nominate Bob.

So, now you know the good news. The bad news is, it can happen again because I don’t know how the miscreants got in. I’m working on that next.

Hopefully, in deleting files, rewriting permissions and changing passwords, I will slow them down until a solution is found.

Once again, I’m begging Google to let me back into their good graces. Traffic on the blog is down about 75%. Geofffox.com has slid off the face of the Earth!

Problems With This Website

If you’ve tried to get to this website over the past few days, you’ve probably experienced some difficulty. I was going to blame my hosting company, but the fault lies elsewhere.

On the right side of each page of geofffox.com is a plethora of weather data. I can’t imagine anyone really uses it, and I should remove it to reduce clutter and load times. Tonight, it bit me on the ass.

A line of php code plucks a list of extreme weather across the country and places it in that column. The list is actually produced on my friend Bob’s site, www.coolwx.com. His site, or maybe just this file, is unavailable, so my site sat and patiently waited for this little file… and waited… and waited some more.

This evening, using the free WiFi at Las Vegas McCarren Airport, I edited the code on my site to remove the link. Everything’s OK now.

The Return Trip

I’m typing from seat 3A aboard Southwest Flight 616. It’s a direct, as opposed to non-stop, flight from West Palm Beach to Hartford via Baltimore. All the passengers, save four, thought Baltimore was far enough.

This afternoon I couldn’t help but think of my first commercial flight. It was on a Lockheed Electra L188, a second section flight on the Eastern Shuttle&#185. I was on my way to a college interview in Boston. That was 40 years ago. A lot has changed in flying.

Back then I could have asked to see the cockpit without being arrested.

I remember looking out the window during that flight, much as I looked out the window on this one. I was fascinated by the countryside of Connecticut and Rhode Island as we flew from LaGuardia to Logan. Today I was fascinated by the clouds that floated above Florida and the adjacent Atlantic.

We headed pretty far east before heading north today. The pilot did a good job avoiding the towering thunderheads. I wonder if anyone else on board knew how bumpy it might have been?

I don’t remember the flight attendants from that first trip, though they probably would have been puzzled by the term “flight attendant.” They were stewardesses, mainly young, probably pretty. To me, a seventeen year old unaccustomed to any of their world, they were glamorous and sophisticated.

None of my flights for this trip have been full. From what I read, that’s unusual. No one sat in the middle seat between me and the strangers with whom I’ve shared the row. Nowadays, that’s a luxury.

Being an early boarder from Southwest’s Group “A”, I had my my choice of seats. On the way down it was on the aisle. Now I’m at the left window, chosen for its access to a view of sunset. I try to sit forward of the wing, where first class is on other airlines, the better to snap a few shots.

I watched a PHP tutorial video on the computer, ate an unbelievably expensive sandwich I bought in the terminal, took some photos, loosened, then removed, my sneakers and fidgeted. Helaine should be glad she wasn’t here. My fidgeting would have driven her nuts.

I just looked down to see a dense lattice of streets. I didn’t recognize it at first, but it was Brooklyn. In the distance, Manhattan was underwhelming. I made it out by its shape more than its lights.

I did catch the lights from Shea Stadium and the Tennis Center, but mostly everything under me is nondescript. Anything I recognize from here in will be because I’ve lived there.

I’ll be flying this route again Wednesday. This trip was a last minute deal because of my dad’s hospitalization. Next week it’s my mom’s birthday.

Actually, this turned out to be a pleasure trip, didn’t it?

&#185 – Back then, if the plane was filled, another would be rolled out for the remaining passengers. Though the scheduled flight was on a jet, an old prop plane served as the backup.

Loose Ends

I’m off to Florida this afternoon. First, another trip to get my glasses problem fixed, then a haircut.

I plan on checking no bags. Much of Helaine and my discussions last night centered on what can and cannot be brought on an airplane. My deodorant is 3&#188 oz. Anything over 3 oz is considered a lethal weapon by TSA&#185.

I’m taking it anyway. What a rebel.

The trip to Florida will take about five hours. That includes a 1:35 stopover in Baltimore. As I remember, they have pretty good WiFi coverage in the terminal.

Air travel may be cheaper than ever, but it’s not any faster. Even Southwest, who claims to not be a hub and spoke airline, shuttles a lot of people through Baltimore and Las Vegas, which sure seem like hub airports.

I have some tutorials for Javascript and PHP, two computer languages, I’m taking along. I plan on spending my travel time learning to better program. Last night my mom asked why I was doing that? Is it OK to say, I don’t know?

&#185 – Though written for effect, that statement is literally true. They don’t want me to bring any liquid or gel over 3oz because it might be used as a weapon of some sort!

Free Education

Helaine and I have some ideas of things to do on the web. In our case it’s a ‘get rich slow’ schemes!

A good idea is pretty close to worthless. It’s only if you can flesh out your idea and implement it that you have a chance of (catch phrase alert) monetizing it.

Helaine thinks I’m an Internet whiz. That’s sweet – but not true. I know enough to begin to understand what I don’t know… and that’s my jumping off point.

Our web idea is database driven. PHP and MySQL are important. Don’t know what they are? I barely do, and certainly am not conversant in either.

This brings me to the point of this posting (which only took 5 paragraphs to get to). There is a way for me to learn about PHP and MySQL online and for free.

Let me repeat the operative portion of that sentence: it’s free.

It all part of the HP Learning Center, sponsored by Hewlett Packard. There are loads of courses, mostly computer oriented, though not totally.

I’m not sure what HP is getting out of this – though, shhhhh, don’t tell.

Helaine and I are both through lesson one of the PHP/MySQL course. I’m hoping it will move me from where I am to knowing enough to be dangerous… at least as far as this web idea is concerned.

Thanks Google – Much to My Surprise

As websites go, this one isn’t Wal-Mart, it’s mom and pop. Actually it’s just pop, as mom doesn’t code websites in PHP, HTML, CSS and the other obscure computer languages I deal with.

What I’m getting at is, this is a very small site run by one individual. Though I want lots of people coming here, I have no way of attracting them except by links from other sites (always appreciated) and citations on search engines like Google.

A few months back I noticed lots of people going to my September 2003 archive page. What was driving them there? The answer: Google!

If you go to Google’s image search and enter “hurricane photo“, the resulting page has one shot of a ship that stands out. That phony hurricane photo, which has been circulating across the net for years, is on my site.

Yesterday I found if you enter “Thanksgiving Day Parade“, one of my photos is first on the screen! Interestingly, if you leave out the word “day” you’ll find someone else in the top spot and my photos nowhere to be seen.

Website traffic is not the difference between life and death for me. On the other hand, more is definitely better. By understanding how Google decides to do what they do, I can get more people here. I think I understand why my images do so well. Now if I could only get my text to register the same way.

Just Killing Time

It was a slow night for me at work. The skies were speckled with clouds from the west. Temperatures had leveled off after a brutal, record breaking start this morning.

We now have two live teases in the 7 and 8 o’clock hours, so I can’t go far, but I did feel like getting out. I hopped in my car and headed north on I-91 toward North Haven. My final destination was Barnes and Noble.

I’m not sure why, but I could probably spend the entire day in a bookstore and never want for more.

The Barnes and Noble in North Haven is in a small strip shopping center in a busy commercial area. It’s across the street from BJ’s and Home Depot. Its parking lot is shared with Office Max. Down the block are Target, Circuit City and a few more large stores.

My first stop is always the computer section. The amount of room devoted to computers has gone down over the past few years. It’s probably because computers are mature and not just the province of hobbyists. The thickness, price and relatively short shelf life of computer books is mind boggling.

I took a look at a few books on digital photography – especially the concept of ‘work flow.’ There were a few books related to cameras and Photoshop, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger to buy.

There was also a section of $9.95 books on somewhat more arcane computer topics. I thumbed through a book on PHP and though I would have enjoyed having it, I wasn’t sure I’d ever use it (though I’d like to… right after I become organized).

After the computer books it was off to the magazine racks. I believe this B&N has four free standing two sided racks – each jam packed with titles on just about every subject you can think of. My favorites here are a series of British computer how-to magazines. They are oversized with lots of how to articles and a CD or two taped to the front cover. At $15 or so each, they’re the priciest magazines I look at.

I browsed for twenty minutes, looked at my watch and called it quits. My book store itch has not yet been scratched. I’ll be back.

The Scariest Type of Spam

I got an email this evening from Bank of America. My email client at work, Mozilla for Linux, brought it right to me. At home, Popfile thought it was spam.

Dear valued Bank of America Customer!

As part of our continuing commitment to

protect your account and to reduce the instance

of fraud on our website, we are undertaking a

period review of our member accounts. You are

requested to visit our site by following the link

given below. This is required for us to continue

to offer you a safe and risk free environment to

send and receive money online, and maintain the

Bank of America Experience. After verification you will be

redirected to the Bank of America home page. Thank you.


Copyright 2003 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.

That’s what it looked like – but looks can be deceiving. The link to www.bankofamerica.com was really just text. The actual web link, hidden in the source code of the email, was different (I’m going to change a few characters so it will show up here, as it is specifically formatted to be invisible!&#185):

http://www.bankofamerica.com %01%01%01%01%01%01%01%01%01%01%01%01%01….. %34:%38%30/%77%77%77/%62%6F%61/%73%74%61%74%65%5F%63%67%69%2E%70%68%70

So, what have we here? It’s an exploit, taking advantage of the way Internet Explorer (and possibly other browsers) treat what they see. You’re not being sent to a Bank of America website but actually:

http://www.bankofamerica.com/state.cgi?section=generic”>http://www.bankofamerica.com +stuff_snipped+


In other words, the info you see is treated as if it were a username or password and the real destination is a directory on That IP address, is nothing out of the ordinary. Every website has a numerical address hiding behind its URL. This site, www.geofffox.com, is really

So, who is It’s a website, hosted by Chungwa Telecom Co, Ltd.

netname: HINET-TW

descr: CHTD, Chunghwa Telecom Co.,Ltd.

descr: Data-Bldg.6F, No.21, Sec.21, Hsin-Yi Rd.

descr: Taipei Taiwan 100

country: TW

Are you confused yet?

Let’s get very simple. Someone sent out emails, looking like they were coming from Bank of America, asking people to log in and provide account details. What looked like a Bank of America website was really a website located in Taiwan.

The normal user of this IP address is Spectrum Research and Testing Laboratory, Inc. More than likely, they had no clue what was going on, and one of their computers had been hijacked for this exploit.

What’s even stranger is that the actual email was mailed from a Comcast home customer! It’s possible that the Comcast subscriber was a conspirator, but more often than not some piece of ‘malware’ has invaded that home machine and it’s now a ‘zombie’ doing the bidding of these potential identity thieves!

It just sounds too weird, doesn’t it? But this kind of stuff is going on all the time! Many people, maybe most people, who get this kind of email will bite and enter their info. Everything looks legit. Everything seems on the up-and-up.

As of this evening, the site mentioned in the email is down. How many user names and passwords were gotten before it was stopped? Your guess is as good as mine.

Catching the crooks is going to be tough. The miscreants who devised this probably aren’t in Taiwan, or using a Comcast cable modem. They could be anywhere in the world, getting ready to go on the shopping spree of a lifetime. On the Internet, there’s really no difference between Brooklyn or Bulgaria or Buenos Aires.

This is the cancer that has invaded the Internet. I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. The Internet in general, and email in particular, will become devalued unless a method is devised to accurately verify who is the sender. This will mean a total reconfiguration of email protocols – but it’s got to be done. And, it’s got to be done sooner rather than later.

Tonight, there’s someone, somewhere, who suddenly has the money to mount the research into writing that new email protocol – but that’s the last thing he wants.

I could not have begun to tell this story without the help of Spamcop and SamSpade. Both are top notch in getting to the bottom of spam.

&#185 – (01-10-04 3:33 PM) I just got a call from Mike, at the Cingular Store, who was reading my webpage. It seems even including the altered code from this email was enough to set off McAffee Virus Scanner! I have changed the code again and McAffee now passes it. This just goes to show how nefarious these ‘phishing’ emailers are!

Who Came Here in 2003

I don’t have an incredibly long history as a webmaster. So, for me, it’s often confusing and at the same time interesting to peek at the inner workings of this site. I have owned the domain name geofffox.com for a few years, but it’s only been since late July that I’ve mounted this blog and photo gallery.

My webserver is actually located in Chicago, and run by hostforweb.com. It is shared with other small websites. I have access to most of the server’s guts through shell programs.

In order for you to see what you’re reading now, I have to upload all the files and images and programs from home. There are a number of programs, like the one that produces the weather forecast meteograms that run on clocks and execute a few times a day. I had to write the scripts to do that too.

Running this website has forced me to learn a little about a bunch of computer disciplines, like php, Perl, bash shell scripts, html and a veritable alphabet soup of minutiae. It’s been challenging and like Blanche Du Bois, I am often dependent on the kindness of strangers. The more I learn about computers, the less I realize I know.

With the year over in less than four hours, I though I’d summarize a little of what’s gone through this site in 2003. Since it was only born in July, the stats are (hopefully) less than what I’ll get to publish in 2004.

7.76 GB That’s the total amount of data I’ve spit out. It melts down to 10 CDROM’s worth… or a few DVD’s. The majority of my hits go to the United States, but most of Europe and the Pacific Rim are represented as well.

271.69 MB That’s what Google slurped up. Loads of spiders and crawlers moved through the site, picking up the data that goes into search engines. Google took down nearly 5 times as much data as the next biggest search engine and was responsible for 6711 page views by users. I have chronicled elsewhere my rise in the Google rankings – a feat which both intrigues and fascinates me.

Giblet gravy That’s the most used search engine phrase that sent people to the site. They must have been disappointed because I used the phrase to illustrate a point that had nothing to do with cooking. The next most requested phrase was Scotty Crowe, John Mayer’s road manager.

Thanks to everyone who’s written to ask me for John’s email address. Even if I had it, I couldn’t give it out. You will be glad to know your admiration is not misplaced. There’s a whole lot to admire about John. I don’t think he’ll be spoiled by success.

I’m not sure how or why, but people searching for dangerous Internet cafes in las vegas nv and she had to remove her shoes airport ended up being sent to geofffox.com.

My cousin Michael and his wife Melissa in Sunny Southern California became blog readers. More than anyone, Michael made me realize I could use an editor from time-to-time. I try to spell and grammar check, but you need a dispassionate eye too.

My dad reads the blog every day. That pleases me more than he’ll ever know.

From time to time I’ve looked at my logs, seeing where readers are coming from. There’s someone at NBC in NY who reads pretty regularly, same at the vendor of our station’s weather equipment and Mississippi State University, where I’m taking courses. Most readers are connecting through residential addresses, but I’m amazed by all the different companies and universities that are listed.

Once, I made reference to probes of my home computer by a virus ensconced in a PC at a San Fransisco Honda dealer. I made an analogy that used the word ‘doorknob’. A few days later a computer at a doorknob manufacturer downloaded a significant portion of this site. They’ll be as surprised as the giblet gravy crowd.

In 2003 approximately 17,000 separate viewers came calling to this site. Collectively you visited 30,000 times, downloading 872,000 files. My page counter now sits just north of 60,000.

Every word I write is read, re-read, edited, punched up and perused again before it goes online. One of the more pleasant surprises of blogging is how challenging and how much fun it is to write. I never felt that way about writing before.

Often it is a cathartic experience, allowing me to get something off my chest. Other times it’s fun to let you in on something I observed and want to share.

My family puts up with this to a point. I reveal a lot in this blog, but not everything. A friend wrote to tell me he was surprised to see this ‘warts and all’ self assessment. If there are warts here, they are a small portion of my own personal wart colony. Like most people, I keep a few skeletons in my closet.

Thanks for reading. It really means a lot to me. Really.

Rebuilding the website

I’m not sure why, but I’ve finally got the bug to build this website correctly. whether I can accomplish that is another question.

I figure the first thing I need to do is establish a style, and that means CSS, something I don’t understand 100%. That makes it a bit more difficult.

I also worked on getting some dynamic weather data, specifically forecast model data. That meant shell programming, in BASH. Again, this is something beyond my expertise. Luckily, I have the guidance of Bob Hart at FSU. His knowledge of ‘ix’ languages and GrADS (which I’m using to produce the graphics) is scary.

There is also a version of HAMWeather running, though not customized at all.

This will take time. But, there is a huge amount of satisfaction (as I got a few minutes ago when a PHP enabled include worked) in writing and debugging code.

My last computer class was 1967… and then in Fortran.