This website

Rapid change in the world of web protocols continues apace. It still seems appropriate to comment on the usability of one's website.

This site is not designed for access from mobile telephones or other miniaturized devices. It should be acceptable using some slightly older browsers, but it does use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and so it works best viewed with the most recent browsers, including:

The above list covers (merely in alphabetical order) a few of the browsers for PCs running under Microsoft Windows.
I have stopped mentioning version numbers, as they change too often to keep updating this page.
Comparable versions for Linux systems, and up-to-date browsers for Apple computers are available that also fully support CSS. I recommend to everyone to get as up-to-date a web browser as their computer system can support.

It is easy to tell whether you are viewing this site at its best. First, can you see both sides of the page without scrolling sideways at every line? As of mid 2018, most of the content is still written by hand as individual HTML files, and they do not have any content resizing for a too small browser window. The size expected is half the width (and all the height) of a 24 inch (diagonal), 1920 by 1200 pixel monitor screen; typically this is about 950 pixels wide, and 1190 high (outer measurements in Javascript window properties).

Next, can you see the image showing five browser icons in two places on this page, one in the bottom left hand corner of the page, and one in the top right hand corner of the page? If you cannot see the image in the top right hand corner, the browser you are using does not display the site at its best, because you are missing some of the images.

Second, if you can see the 5-icon image twice on this page, go back to the home page and move the mouse pointer over, and then away from, the large abstract art image at the top. If you see a change in that image, it is a good sign. Next, move the mouse pointer over the various links in the lower part of the home page. If, as you move the mouse, you see changes to the image displayed on the left hand side of the page, your browser is almost certainly displaying the website correctly.

Some recent history

From when I first created my website until May 2016, I had it hosted on the server of my home broadband provider. That was Tiscali (which bought a small company I had it with), then TalkTalk (which bought Tiscali). However in 2016 I had reports from friends in various countries that emails from them to me were being rejected repeatedly (maybe 8 times in 8 days) before getting through. I was sent some of the error messages, which said that a TalkTalk server mx.talktalk.net was blacklisted by other ISPs on the Internet, so that the other companies’ servers were refusing to forward email messages addressed to me. This went on for months.

Incidentally, one of my brothers and some Mensa members with whom I exchange email messages, use TalkTalk now; and the ISP I am now using for email has trouble sending messages from me to addresses @talktalk.net in mid 2018, two years later; so all my efforts to get TalkTalk to address their blacklisting problem were a waste of time. Sending email to them often produces an error message. On 15th May 2018 a check on mx.talktalk.net at mxtoolbox.com/blacklist.aspx list it as OK on all 102 known blacklists, but quite often it fails on one or two.

When I telephoned TalkTalk technical support to complain about this, I was met with total incomprehension and incompetence, so I decided I had to change my Broadband provider. I went to British Telecom, but then found that BT no longer gave free website hosting space to its domestic customers.

For most of the following year, I decided to host my website on a server that I have on my desk at home next to my normal working PC. I have it running Linux Ubuntu and Apache, and I got a web server set up OK. Yet there was a problem: the BT Home Hub IPv4 address kept changing every time the hub rebooted for any reason! It might keep its four numbers for a month or they might change overnight once or twice in a week. This meant that nobody could bookmark any page on the website because the numbers could change at any time.

Therefore, in March 2017 I moved my website to a server space provider. However, I did not have time to move all my website sections there immediately. Some headings and the pages under them are unavailable until I have copied them over and updated them to the revised folder structure which I decided I should change to as I went. So if, when you look at my main menu, some headings say “unavailable”, this is because I am still working on the changeover!

Internet Protocol address update

In December 2017 BT changed my Home Hub from one using IPv4 addresses (which look like this: 192.168.1.24)
to one using IPv6 addresses (which look like this: 2A00:23C7:2B34:F805:C0A:2CF5:375C:239A)
This seemed to make implementing access to any content on my home Ubuntu server close to impossible, to I had to set about moving remaining content to the new provider. In May 2018 this task is not quite complete.