People ask me these questions all the time, so I've answered them all here.
If you have a question not answered here, feel free to ask in the forum.
Okay, but remember, you asked for it....
Way back in 1995, I got a brand-spanking-new computer which came
with Windows95 pre-installed. Windows95 was brand-spanking-new at the
time too, so I was of course eager to find out everything I could about it.
One day I was poking around the user.dat file in the system directory
and found my username and password written right there in plain text. This of
course was slightly unsettling. (Little did I know at the time that that was
only the first of many security issues with that operating system.)
I decided to see if it was just my computer, or if it did this on all Windoes95
machines. I didn't feel like poring through the file to find the username and password,
so I just looked for a string of characters that was near that location so I could
do a search in a hex editor and get to the right part of the file. Here's what I found:
M xB0 xFF I N
Then, about two months later, a friend and I were about to start playing some multi-player
games and I needed a nickname to use. Up until that time I had been using "Semprini" as
an Internet nickname. "Semprini" was from Monty Python, and I wanted something totally
original, so I used MBoffin. (Pronounced "em-boffin".)
MBoffin.com was started in December of 1999. Before that I had been hosting
my sites on my own computer. (Having a T3 connection to my room in college
was quite nice for running servers.) After a while, I realized I really needed
my own domain.
My site is hosted by First USA, Inc. I have
been hosting with them since this site began in 1999. Not only are their rates
extremely good, but their technical support is excellent. I'd like to particularly
thank two people. First, Brian Noel for introducing me to them and for all the help he gave me while
he worked there. Second, Mike Tindor for the top-notch support he's given me. How many people
can honestly say they have no complaints with their hosting company?
If you ever need hosting, this is the first place to look.
(No pun intended.)
For general coding I use EditPlus and Visual Studio .Net 2003. I'm one of
those web designers who actually sits down and writes all his own code. I don't have
a program do it for me. Except for "Intellisense", which I couldn't live without, all
code-generating features in Visual Studio have been turned off. I simply can't stand
a program generating code for me. EditPlus is basically a fully-featured version of Notepad. I used
to use HomeSite, but it started acting up and ended up nuking a number of web pages I had
spent several hours working on. (It nuked them while it was saving them, so I couldn't
just revert to the saved files.) Until I could figure out why it did that, I started using EditPlus.
I just got used to EditPlus and it offered all the same functionality that I like about HomeSite,
so I haven't gone back since.
For making graphics there is no other program than Photoshop.
Photoshop has been the tool for imaging on the computer. Photoshop is
one of those tools you can spend three years learning about and still have only touched on
about half of its features.
For FTP I use SmartFTP. SmartFTP has such a clean,
intuitive interface. And it's free, so you can't beat the price.