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A Few Notes
By The Centaur ~ March 1, 2002

In the grand tradition of "Dead Piro Day" (read Megatokyo long enough and you'll get the drift) I've decided to use today's entry to chat about some of the mechanics of the site, rather than making yall wait on an essay that ain't done. So chill out and lissen.

The Schedule. Currently, I plan to do a new blog entry once every two weeks, at which time I also plan to upgrade the site to use more advanced features like printable versions of stories and essays, comment pages, and so on.

The Software. Thanks to everyone who's sent in pointers to weblog software like Greymatter and Slashcode. However, to keep my scripting skills fresh I plan to do the first versions of the software myself, and once the software is in a reasonably stable state I plan to post it to the web site (whenever possible, open source!)

However, I may move to a more professional system eventually, so keep the pointers to useful software coming! Just send mail to the Contact link at the top of the page.

What's up with your Contact link? It's busted. No, it isn't. It's an intelligence test. Or ... more apropos, think of it as a Turing Test.

Countless spambots troll the net, looking for email addresses embedded in web pages. One study found that an address posted on a link could get spammed within eight hours.

To discourage this, I've encoded the link in a way that's doesn't match most obvious rules for parsing addresses, but which should be trivial for a human to decipher. (I thought about writing it backwards or some nonsense like that, but since not everyone is a computer expert I didn't want to add the difficulty of deciphering the address to the chore of sending mail).

The way I see it, if you can send me mail via that link, you are either (a) a person worthy of my attention or (b) a damn fine machine intelligence, and I'll read your spam any day of the week.

A lot of other links appear busted too. Yes, they are. I hope to have the existing site links fixed by the 15th of March. Always striving for the virtue of laziness, I hope to have a simple link validation system built in by the 15th of April.

The Future. Once the site is stable, the software is complete and I have a good idea of the production schedule, I plan on starting to release more of my fiction and art through the site. At first this will consist primarily of "support" material on the characters and history of the Alliance universe (something a number of my fans have asked for) and rereleases of previously printed material like Sibling Rivalry and the back issues of the Far Trader fanzine.

Ultimately, however, I hope to feature on this site stories and serials intended for web publication first, and print publication later. The details are still in development - keep your fingers crossed.

To Tide You Over. If I don't have anything interesting to say one week, I plan to point you to something interesting someone else has said instead.

Recently, I came across a trio of articles discussing three closely related topics: productivity, creativity and giving. Each of the three has helped me creatively and spiritually over the past few weeks.

The first was a piece by Bruce A. Epstein on Procrastination. While I don't agree with everything in the article, he makes some good points and the can-do attitude of his article helped prompt the Renaissance of this site.

The second was a piece by Piro on MegaTokyo on the art of gifting. This article really started to crystallize my thoughts on what I want to do with this site - to add to the pool.

The third of these springboards was a book I had recommended to me: The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. This book has served as a lightpost of creative inspiration for me over the past few months, reminding me that we are all given our talents for a reason - namely, to use them to create.

Neat stuff. You might want to check them out. And that's it for now. Cheers.

See you in 15!
- The Centaur
Renaissance Engineer

Related Links
Weblog Software
- Greymatter
- Slashcode

Web Comics
- MegaTokyo
- Sluggy Freelance
- Argon Zark

Physics Sites
- String Theory
- Science Fiction Writer's Resource
- The Mars Society

The Library of Dresan
The Library of Dresan ~ (C) Copyright 2002 Dr. Anthony G. Francis, Jr. ~ All Rights Reserved
Writer / Artist / Producer: Anthony Francis