Tag Archive for Yahoo

Remembering GeoCities

If you haven’t heard, GeoCities is being shut down by Yahoo.  Back in 1998, after a short period of putting updates in a finger file on my mIRC client, I decided to build my own web page.  GeoCities was the leader in free web space, so I signed up with them.  I honestly cannot remember the account name I used or the URL I had.  But I remember the page, and somewhere on a CD I burned a few years back I still have some of the graphics I used, though I’m not 100% sure I could find that CD.

The thing I remember most about GeoCities was in trying to comply with their advertising requirements without making my page design look like garbage.  They had various schemes of watermarking and drop downs and popups and floating toolbars and other things, and each of those could be avoided by putting certain branding on your pages.  If you threw a GeoCities graphic on the page some stuff would go away, if you included links more stuff went away, and if you voluntarily put a static version of their ad panel on a page on your site then most of the rest of it would go away… at least until they changed the rules and the hidden branding you put on your site failed to comply and the annoying elements returned.  But then again, GeoCities wasn’t meant for real professional design, at least not for free.

Ultimately, the branding and the ads and the bandwidth limits drove me off to find my own space on the net, a trail of providers and domains that would eventually lead me here.  As much as I disliked working with GeoCities, if there had not been a GeoCities its possible I might have never started a web page, and I’ve enjoyed the last nearly eleven years of posting junk to the Internet.

So, farewell GeoCities, I may have hated you, but I wouldn’t be who I am today without you.  Thanks.

Digsby

A long time ago, in an apartment far, far away… I was a gaming geek, and other gaming geeks with whom I chatted on IRC were talking about a new instant messaging tool called ICQ.  It was kinda like the instant messaging that AOL had, but you didn’t have to be an AOL user.  I wish I still had my old ICQ#, it was low, and that made me leet… sadly, I forgot the password, had the account set up with an email address I didn’t have access to, and after much pleading with the ICQ guys I gave up and got a new account.  But I barely use ICQ at all anymore.  Over the years, AOL made their IM client available to everyone, Yahoo put one out, and so did Microsoft.  There are more, like Google Talk, X-fire, and most social networking sites have some sort of integrated chat, but I haven’t signed up for most of them.  The real problem was having all that crap installed on your PC.  For years each network was completely separate.  And even now, only a couple of them have linked up to share.  That was why when a friend showed me Trillian, I was extremely excited.

Just think!  All my instant messaging clients wrapped up in one application where I could manage them all!

Trillian has served me well over the years, but a while back they simply stopped going forward.  The developers were pouring all their time into Astra (I’m in the beta), their next multi-IM client, but even it is going forward slowly.  It also doesn’t seem to be expanding on the features of the old program very much.  I’m in the beta, and I’ve been using it… its basically the same thing with a slightly different look and feel.  In fact, really, the only thing that Astra has is a web version that promised to have the same contact and configuration info as your desktop client does so you can get on your IMs from anywhere you can open a browser to their site.

A couple months ago, someone pointed me at Digsby.  I poured through the feature list and got very excited again.  They promised to integrate with MySpace and Facebook and others, they also promised to allow me to manage my email accounts (like hotmail and yahoo) without having to open the webpage if I didn’t want to.  And it delivered… with one tiny flaw.  See, they had this feature that allowed you to alias and merge multiple IM accounts for the same person under one entry, so now I wouldn’t see the same person four times, I’d see them once with four options for chatting.  The flaw was that after moving all my contacts around, when I closed and then re-opened Digsby, all my contacts were gone.

So, I trudged back to Trillian after one glorious day of Digsby.  But now, a few months later, I decided to check up on ol’ Digsby and it turns out they claim to have fixed many of the bugs, including the one I ran into.  I fired up Digsby and it auto-updated to the latest version, and blam! all my contacts!  In fact, all my contacts in the way I had grouped them prior to them vanishing!

It looks like I’m giving Digsby a second chance.  I’m still not uninstalling Trillian/Astra, just in case I need to recover my contacts again, but maybe this time ol’ Digsby will stick.  I hope it does, because I dig all the extra feature, none of which look like they are going to make Astra any time soon.

Product Placement

I was watching Flash Gordon the other night. No, not the movie (which is awesome), but the new Sci-Fi Channel TV show (which made dozens of needless changes to the Flash Gordon mythos but has potential if they can avoid more silly crap like the “IMEX”). In one scene, Flash goes to Google some information… no, wait, he doesn’t Google it, he “Snifferbot.com”s it, or something like that.

Seriously, does Google (or Yahoo or MSN or whoever) really charge a ton to be able to use their site in a TV show? This kind of little junk is usually what ruins TV shows for me. How can I ever suspend disbelief when they completely detach from reality like that? I thought companies paid money to get product placement… why are no TV producers taking advantage of having their actors actually drink Coke on screen instead of “Cola”?

Wake up guys. People are not watching commercials anymore. Except maybe during the Superbowl. If you want people to see your products, you need to get people in these fantasy worlds to be using your products.

On the flip side, last week when the esurance animated superspy chick showed up on Who Wants to be a Superhero? I threw up in my mouth a little bit. It was like someone hit the show with an esurance bomb and it got esurance goo on everything. There is a line… please don’t cross it.

Cloverfield

I could tell you about the Transformers screening I went to last night, and about how it was better than I thought and go into details about this new relaunch of the eternal struggle between Autobots and Decepticons. But frankly, the details are unimportant, it was better than I thought, and its a good fun summer action film. Stuff blows up, giant robots fight, and good wins out in the end with just enough nods to the old cartoon to make us old folks smiles without entirely rehashing the old cartoon.

Instead, as the title suggests, I’m going to mention Cloverfield. But what is it? If you go to the Internet Movie Database you won’t find an entry for it. If you go to Apple or Yahoo, you won’t find the trailer. In fact, right now the only way to see the trailer is to go see Transformers. But if the thought of that movie completely repulses you, then you can at least go here to get the low down.

There really are few trailers for movies that get me excited without knowing anything about a film. Normally, I know what’s coming, I know the story, or the characters, I know what the movie is generally about. When I saw the trailer for Cloverfield, I was stunned. I’d never heard of it (in fact, the movie isn’t even named in the trailer and Cloverfield may not be what it is really called) but despite that I was riveted. The last time a trailer got me like that was Cliffhanger.

But seriously, Transformers was good enough that when coupled with this trailer make it totally worth the price of admission.

The July Stats

Not much going on here… still fixing up the house so I can move in. With the lack of interesting stuff, I decided to go ahead and do one of those posts where I talk about my site stats.

Let’s begin with the fact that my website is about 4500 times more pornographic than I thought it was. 4599 people found my website in July while searching the internet for “free porno”. 30 people got here looking for “sexualintercourse”. Overwhelmingly, more people found my blog while looking for porn than anything else.

16 people did get here looking for information on Puzzle Pirates. Poker, PoE, Doubloons, how to cheat, how to uninstall it. I hope they enjoyed my writing.

12 people came here looking for Scooby Doo, all of which were lead to The Duality of Doo, my review of the two Scooby Doo movies. One of those people was specifically looking for “pictures of Scrappy peeing on Daphne”. I’m sorry I couldn’t help.

10 people came here seeing answers to why the alliance sucks at pvp in World of Warcraft. Only one person came here asking why the horde was better. Next week I will publish a paper using my extensive research that will conclusively prove that people who play WoW are very “glass half empty” sorts of folks.

6 people came here looking for solutions to problems with their Jeep Cherokee. Hopefully they got the answer… take it to the shop, don’t drive it when its overheating. I do these things to educate you at my own expense.

4 people came here looking for my City of Mist raid guide. I guess the new EQ progression servers drummed up some interest, its just a shame I don’t have the guides anymore. But check the Google cache…

1 guy came here seeking the meaning to the Seven Mary Three song “Oven”. As much as I love the song, I don’t get it either.

There were tons of other searches, mostly just getting here once, and far too many of them I expected. I didn’t seem to get any of the crazy search phrases other sites post about. Well, except the porn stuff.

On the other hand, how do people actually get here? By looking at the referrers I can see that, obviously, most people got here from Google or Yahoo while looking for porn. Beyond that I appearantly appear on the Portal Network MMO bloglist. Neat. I also got 4 people who got here from Nerfbat. Most of the other referrers, however, indicate that I am my own best promoter… Many people come here as a result of my posting on message boards (link in signature) and making comments on other people’s blogs (link on name).

So, to all you people who manage to find my site somehow… welcome. Enjoy your stay. Come back often and feel free to comment.