Reviewed January 9, 2016

IssuesImagesGlimpses Work SamplesExperienceHomepage

Some Observations & Items

Tips or ‘experiencing’ and understanding (yeah, right) the Internet.

An Internet advocacy moment -- benefits and cautions, briefly

The Internet represents the best full color value for businesses. There is no delay in updating materials, or in having to ponder updating compared with tossing the 42,731 "outdated" printed brochures crammed into your storeroom. But timeliness is a two-edged sword. To be worth visiting a second time, your site must keep updating, addictively so. A sustained effort is required to keep your site fresh, and free from the dreaded "Under Construction" animation of some tortured soul pick-axing their time in Internet Purgatory. And we have digital backlash, as some folks want to read a piece of paper much more than a computer screen. I can't fault that.

Speed Limits -- It’s not necessarily your computer

The speed at which you can access sites on the Internet is not primarily dependant on your computer. The speed of connections, outside of your control, is often the key determinant of the rate. A faster modem for your computer does not completely address the speed your data travels once it leaves your computer. The information grid is clogged in most Western nations, causing slow downs and inconsistencies during prime user hours. America Online's legendary problems years ago with too many customers making their service stagnant and inaccessible was not unique. All Internet Service Providers (ISPs) face similar specters if they are successful, whether dial-up, DSL, or cable.

(Get a high speed connection -- now. Today. Stop reading this and get one. It will change your life.) 

When is a picture not a picture? When it's s-l-o-w-l-y loading into your computer! Mercifully, the days of needlessly heavy graphics on every Internet site are gone, but because of the continuing speed problems caused by massive traffic on the Web, every byte of every file you download counts. Several Web gurus have written that folks only will wait five to ten seconds before moving on if they perceive nothing is happening. But some folks haven't analyzed their graphics for size yet. To find out how large a graphic is, browsers can identify the property of each component of a Web page. For Windows users who have Internet Explorer, just position the mouse cursor over a graphic image, click the right mouse button, and select "Properties" at the bottom of the list of choices. You might be mildly shocked that images two by three inches on your screen take up 72,000 bytes, larger files than five-page word processing documents!

Why, you ask, are some of these pictures so big in bytes when rather small in size? The answer is that the images are not tailored to the limitation of the Internet. Several compression schemes can squeeze the bloat out of the images, without altering how the image appears on the video screen in any way. Limiting the colors in the image will also lower the byte size of the file. Why is this important? Internet users are impatient. With a limited attention span of perhaps no more than 30 seconds per page. If there isn't something very, very worth waiting for, they will move on before the pretty (and large) files load. After all, with over 1,000,000,000 websites to visit, there's no point is vegging out.

Typically, graphics for print are rendered at 300 dots per inch, so they'll be crisp on paper. Graphics for video screens are rendered at 72 dots per inch, to be compatible with both Windows and Mac computers. A graphic of one square inch would have 90,000 colored dots in it at 300 dots per inch. At 72 dots per inch, that graphic would have only 5,184 dots in it. The video resolution is dramatically less than most graphic artists are accustomed to.

Extraterrestrial Life & Tech Support

Vegetation and steam on Mars, an ocean on Europa, ice volcanoes on Enceladeus?

Astounding images have been released from NASA's Mars orbiters and rovers, the Galileo Jupiter probe, and Cassini at Saturn. Keep the NASA website in your Favorites folder!

Internet Traffic and Who's Your Tech Support!

WASHINGTON (AP) --  The Internet is growing faster than all other technologies that have preceded it. Radio existed for 38 years before it had 50 million listeners, and television took 13 years to reach that mark. The Internet crossed the line in just four years.

- In 1994, a mere 3 million people worldwide were connected to the Internet.

"Countries that have an insufficient supply of skilled workers will see high-skilled, high-paying jobs migrate to countries that can supply the needed talent," a Commerce Department report said.

During the Y2K thrashing, India supplied vast quantities of trained programmers who worked on corporate accounting and database software from around the world. Now India is providing the "tech support" staff for major computer hardware and software companies including Apple, Dell and HP.  The tech support person you're talking to when you can't figure out how to get your new printer connected may be in Bangalore. Now India is undergoing a shortage of useful IT and tech support people because only 25% of their engineering graduates have the people skills now required to be effective in IT.  

Issues Images Glimpses Relevant & Irreverent Sites Experience Homepage