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|              *** THE BIGNOSEBIRD.COM NEWSLETTER ***                  |
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|      Everything You Need to Create and Maintain Great Websites       |
|  June 9, 1999                                              Issue #2  |


Here is the second issue of the BigNoseBird.Com low volume newsletter.
Our thanks for allowing us to add just one more deperately needed 
item to your inbox. 

                           THE BNB BBS

An often overlooked resource here at BNB is our Bulletin Board.
We have it set up with catagories including: Scripts, HTML, Graphics,
Servers, NT, and Unix. Sometimes we pop in and render advice or
answer questions, but our readers do a pretty good job of helping

The odds are if you are having a problem, or are trying to figure
something out- you will find it in there. If you see a question that
you know the answer to, here is your chance to perform your random
act of kindness (this will make sense later in the newsletter).
This is a friendly place, not a purgatory of flames!


This is sort of hard to explain (as most nested things are), but I
am sure you will like it if you use SSI. Did you ever need to use
an SSI directive in a file that is being included in a document?

As an example, the web page index.shtml has an include such as

   <!--#include file="file.txt" -->

In file.txt you want to place a directive such as:

  <!--#echo var="DATE_LOCAL" -->

The odds are nothing will happen. Here is the trick: 
Simply rename "file.txt" to "file.shtml" and it will be parsed
before being included in the main file! My thanks to 
Gene Stair at for the idea.

                        DREAMS OF BANDWIDTH

All I can say is DON'T start fattening those graphics up so fast. 
Much of the talk regarding DSL and CableModem is just that- talk.
My personal experience with CableModem has been to say the least-
disappointing. Let's just say that I normally have a credit balance
with Cablevision of Long Island (@home is the connectivity provider).
The problem with broadband at this time is simple- too many parties
all pointing fingers at each other when there is a problem. 

Compounding the problem in the case of cable is the "We are Cable" 
attitude.  For some reason they don't see a week of downtime as a 
problem. They also don't seem to see much wrong with 10% to 25%
packet loss!  So in addition to cablemodem, I also have to keep 
my dial-up account. What a deal.

DSL (Digitial Subscriber Line) providers are advertising like crazy.
Only one problem- it does not seem to be available anyplace. Many
postings I have read seem to indicate that having to deal with the
DSL provider, telephone company, and ISP is a nightmare in logistics
and coordination. I guess having a T1 for $40 a month is too good to
be true... for now anyway...

                         PRIVACY STATEMENTS

A major issue these days has to do with privacy (or lack of thereof) on
the Internet. I am sure many of you might have heard about the little
feature that Intel added to the Pentium-III that allows webmasters to
identify a particular computer. Intel claims it can be disabled and
some hackers in Europe said they can remotely re-enable it. As with
other aspects of our lives, privacy does matter. There is nothing 
wrong with using customer data for commercial purposes and gain- provided
you tell people what you plan on doing with their information. 

By all means, post a "Privacy Statement" on your site. If you need an
example, have a look at ours at
I think it is pretty complete and to the point.

                        VIRTUAL ROAD RAGE

With so many new people hopping on the Information Superhighway of late,
it has been getting to be like the Long Island Expressway during Friday
night rush hour. 

I have been getting some rather unusual mail recently, not directed at
me, but having to do with some interesting issues. It is not my intent
to be the Ms. Manners of the Internet, but perhaps a few words on 
"How to be nice" couldn't hurt.

   SCENARIO 1: "... John Doe's home page is linking directly to my 
      graphics, and he is stealing my bandwidth. I sent him a nasty note, 
      but he won't respond to my mail or do anything about it..."

   Hmmmm... Why did you send a nasty note? Wouldn't a nice, friendly
      note explaining the problem have been a better method to try?
      A lot of people new to the Internet are not aware of things
      like how to save files and then upload them to their own 
      servers. Since you are most likely the seasoned guru, it is
      up to you to help educate the newbie as quickly and as pleasantly
      as possible. None of us were born knowing what we know. I have
      actually made some good friends this way!

   SCENARIO 2: "... one of the free hosting services you recommended
      was hacked or something. I got a bunch of e-mails telling me
      what happened. I wrote them back saying that any more e-mail
      would result in my sending my lawyer after them. They wrote
      me back and told me to read the service agreement and were
      otherwise rude..."

   Ahhhh. Two issues here. Is it possible that the malfunction in
      their mailing was related to the possible hacking? The other has
      to do with lawyers. Some of my best friends are lawyers. (I kid
      you not!) A couple of dozen e-mails all arriving in a short
      period of time would not a case make. Also, those of us in the
      USA toss the word "laywer" around the way kids taunt each other
      over whose dad can beat up whose dad. In other countries, the
      threat is taken more seriously. The hosting company is located
      in Canada. They were correct in stating there could be no further
      correspondence after litigation was threatened.

   SCENARIO 3: "... somebody sent me a very nasty note on by site's 
      e-mail form, so I sent them a nasty note back. It turned out 
      that the person used somebody else's e-mail address and now I
      feel kind of stupid. How can I find out who really did it?"

   Heh, did you really think the person would use their real e-mail
   address? Stop, count to 10 before acting (or reacting). Then count
   to 10 again. If you look at the log entry for that posting you 
   will have the IP (Internet Protocol) Address of the offender and
   the time. You can then do an "nslookup" to see who owns that IP
   address. If you find it so horrible and offensive, then write
   to the ISP. I would not even recommend bothering with that unless
   you seem to have a problem with one person. I had a little problem
   like that one day. It took me about 15 minutes to send a letter
   to his middle school principal! If you are curious, I specifically
   requested that the child NOT get into trouble, but rather he or
   she should be educated on the dangers of the Internet.

To me, a great deal of this is caused by a lack of face to face 
contact. More specifically- a feeling (mostly false) by people that
they are anonymous when they are on-line. It is very much like 
hiding behind the glare of one's windshield, safely wrapped in a car.
Do your best to either ignore rudeness, and of course not add to it.
Try and nurture newcomers to make this place better for all of us.
Do me a personal favor- surprise somebody with a random act of 
kindness when you have a chance.

I close with this thought.... Sugar and sh*t both draw flies, 
but which fly would you want prefer land on your nose?


Just to let new subscribers know.....

This newsletter was sent with the new NoMoDoMo mailing list management
script. Just as one should when possible make their pages usable by
as many people as possible, one should also make their scripts run
on as many servers as possible. As of now, the following original
BNB scripts will run on both Unix and Windows servers:

     BNBFORM:   E-mail/File Form Handler
     BNBBOOK:   Guest Book
     NOMODOMO:  Mailing List and Subscription Manager
     BNB CARD:  Virtual Card Script
     BIRDCAST:  Site Recommendation Script

I have also made the scripts a bit easier to install and added
features as requested by our readers. It might be working since
I have been getting fewer "Help, I am pulling my hair out!" letters.

To my Mac Server friends, I extend my apologies for not having the
resources to develop for that environment as well.

                   CGI BUGS (WHO? US? BUGS?)

No new bugs that I am aware of. It has come to my attention that some
providers do limit the number of e-mails a site can send out per hour.
Check your service agreements to make sure that your greeting card
script, guest book, or nomodomo mail program will not fail when sending
mail. Some such as Hypermart do not allow the SMTP sockets to be used
so you must use their mail inject program.

                         SHAMELESS BEGGING

Okay, no pride here! If you see someplace that you feel that 
BigNoseBird.Com should be listed, you have my permission to 
handle the submission. BNB's popularity is due almost completely
to word of mouth recommendations, and any assistance you could
provide if you feel BNB worthy would be greatly appreciated.

                          REALLYBIG NETWORK

Looking for cool stuff and information for your sites? The 
REALLYBIG network consists of:  Over 3000 Web Master Resources            JavaScript & DHTML Resource                Over 1000 Searchable Fonts             Yours truly!

We are a linked group of lunatics that really enjoy what we do!

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