Something witty this way comes.

FAQ Page

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.

What does "MBoffin" mean?

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".)

How long has this site been around?

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.

Where is your site hosted?

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.)

What programs do you use to make web sites?

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.