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Restarting the interactive e-diary

31st October 1999
After a long hiatus this e-diary is thus officially relaunched as of now. The interim period has been filled with writing an MA dissertation and moving house. Both of these things have been successfully completed (we went to the MA graduation ceremony yesterday) and I have probably got a little time left over to carry on where I left off.

This half-term I have been trying to sort out the web site ready for a relaunch under a new and slightly snappier name - Chairweb. I have been trying to use FrontPage 2000 which I got as part of a very good value academic copy of Office 2000 at the beginning of the autumn. My intention was to try to crack some of the site management problems associated with running a website with an advanced and sophisticated web management tool. It took me three days to read the instructions and I'm not sure I'm much wiser. 

I am teaching more IT this year, some of it as part of DT and some as a stand alone subject. We are doing posters and some html and word processing with the Y5s. This has been quite good fun so far.

Gordon Brown has announced plans to distribute computers amongst the needy this week. It is so that they are not left behind in the e-future. The hype is close to becoming hysterical. BT have yet to make access to the net any cheaper so the poor are unlikely to be able to afford to actually connect to the net. And then, being poor, they are not likely to be able to avail themselves of the bounties of e-commerce to much extent. And as for the knowledge of the net - did they ever send round book tokens to the poor?

11th November 1999

The 'improvement' of the web page is taking somewhat longer than I expected due to my fantastically poor original organisation. I didn't realise that it would become quite that complicated and sorting it all out is quite a tiresome business. I plug on.

18th November 1999

Spent a bit more time on the old web pages this evening after another hard day in the IT room. Some of the things these wysiwyg editors do are quite frustrating though when they do what you expect they are quite effective.

24th November 1999

I went to a conference on Saturday for artists about selling themselves and web pages were mentioned a lot.  I thought "You twit Cope, you have a perfectly fine web page already and should make more of it." So I have tried to tidy it up, as I said, with a view to making more content in the future and generally upgrading the thing a bit. The content hasn't changed that much so far but the underlying structure is much better.

I was also interested in trying to use FrontPage 2000 and it's web site management aspects. I thought this might be useful for some putative school web site should we ever get round to making one. I'm not sure that I have cracked it yet. There should be a counter on the first page and it should show more than one. If it doesn't something somewhere is not working properly. The FrontPage extensions don't seem to be working.

We have been playing with something called Web Artist at school which is supposed to make web pages but which does it with out mentioning HTML once. Possibly this is going too far the other way from hand tooled code. There must be a kid friendly middle way! Weirdly the program does not even save the page as code but in a strange proprietary file format. The kids like it because it is full of backgrounds and animated gifs. Short on content though.

Today the A6 Wacom graphics tablet that I had ordered arrived at school. PE and I got it going in 15 minutes and very fine it is to. I was particularly impressed by the variable pressure thing. Should be a lot of fun.

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