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Rock13.com is a forum for exploring some of my interests. Which includes fan pages for TV shows, web authoring topics, Perl, photography, or bicycling. Rock13.com is constantly evolving. Many topics are often revisited, expanded, or added to.
In a nutshell I was annoyed by sites, when I could find them, that featured the topics that Rock13.com originally focused on; i.e. World Wrestling Entertainment and La Femme Nikita at LFNikita.com. (Keep in mind, this was late 1997 when Google was just beginning.) Hehe, I was using Google before Google was cool, and well before google became a verb; back when it was still hosted at Stanford. As the years passed, WWE realized the power of the web and have all sorts of information archived including everything they got in the WCW acquisition; thus I have little reason to continue in that area of Rock13 other than the occasional commentary or article.
Much of the material here is as much for my own use as yours. I'm not making money off of it, okay so a little from the Amazon affiliate program (and clicking those links before you buy something does help by the way). I'm not being graded or held at gun point. I could just as well reference the files locally but I thought I'd provide some resources that someone may find useful.
Many changes have been incorporated over time to simplify navigation, to provide a more standards compliant site that displays well in old (and future) web browsers, and to improve load and rendering time (so most of us are on DSL or other highspeed connections now but fast loading time is still a goal). Of course some of the changes have been made to improve search engine indexing, but most have been made to make navigation and or bookmarking, easier for you -- the user. Isn't that nice of me?
Technically, Rock13.com was originally created with Tripod's online page wizard about January 1998. But essentially none of the original mark-up remains. More on the history of Rock13.com below. Anyhow, here's some tools I use (or used) and recommend to any web author.
Was my editor of choice while I was using Windows and I still keep it around. I used it for both mechanics (HTML, CSS, Perl, etc.) and content. Note Tab is a programmable text editor (no WYSIWYG) designed to aid in web authoring and programming. Along with the many built in functions, including a regex search-and-replace, Note Tab uses 'clips' (macros) which can serve a multitude of functions. Although it should run under Wine or some other emulator I'm currently using Dreamweaver (as a text editor essentially, on Mac.
IrfanView is the best image viewer I've seen; only runs on Windows. It opens a wide array of graphics formats, super-quick, and can give a 'slide show' of images. It does batch conversions, and can pull the icons from .exe and .dll files. Furthermore it converts between numerous formats and has built in editing functions and filters. Who says you can't get something for almost nothing? I still keep it around on my Windows laptop. You might also consider Paint.net, or Photoshop Elements.
On the Mac I'm mostly in Photoshop Lightroom or Photoshop for image editing and cataloging; mostly for my Family and Senior portrait work.
ActivePerl is ActiveState's binary distribution of Perl. They have many binaries available that may be preferable to compiling your own. I found it easy to install on Win95 (with the upgrades), WinME, Windows 2000, and XP were just as simple. The Linux machines I've used all head Perl included so I didn't have to bother.
Some things once implemented in Perl CGI are perhaps more efficiently accomplished with PHP but Perl is a very useful language for more than just creating dynamic web pages. For more on my exploits in Perl see Webhelp: Perl. And if your server is running mod_perl, as many do, then the performance advantage of PHP is minimized (the more important factor being which tool lets you get the job done more efficiently).
Apache is the popular and free HTTP server that is used by a large number of web hosts. On Win32 it's not considered stable or secure enough for a live server (although that has greatly improved with version 2.0+), but I only use it on Windows for development anyhow; and have the web ports blocked with a firewall. This is especially helpful when your host runs Apache as well. You can execute CGI scripts locally for testing, and have local files parsed for SSI just as it happens on the production server.
By FTP of course (Related RFCs at the Open Directory). While it originally got here with FTP you should be using Secure FTP or another secure method now. Seriously, when I got my first computer in January 1998 I quickly got the urge to start making my own web pages. After viewing some page sources and not understanding what was going on, I got an account on Tripod. My interests at the time became the topic of my website. I soon tired of the online wizard Tripod made available and went in search of a tutorial. I began learning to write HTML in February 1998 when I discovered Joe Barta's tutorials. (Now at pagetutor.com; free and member based material.)
The semester came to an end and my web design work was limited to editing files locally since I did not have an ISP yet. I spent the summer reviewing the portions of Joe's tutorials I had saved and pounding out an all new site. That fall I was back online and started refining my site. However, it still looked about like any other amateur site, circa 1998, and really didn't improve until I moved it to my ISP account and began reading the Usenet group alt.html.
Since that time I have struggled to get the old material into more modern standards compliance, and created new material with more original content.
I did silly! See About: Rob or this short biography.