About three months after we started this site (in early 2003), it suddenly dawned on us, that you might like to know a
little about us as individuals. This page is to fulfill that purpose--to introduce you to "us".
Ok, you have seen my photo, now you know why I work with computers :-)
My name is Frank, (Franki to all that know me).
I have served in the computer industry in numerous capacities for well over ten years, in capacities that ranged from sales, support, RA, building PCs, network admin, setting up Linux servers for small business, web design and programming.
Some of the above were while working for an international manufacturer and distributor of PC components and others for an Australian national wholesaler. During most of those ten years, I also had my own small business doing most of the same things but on a much smaller scale.
For two years sometime back I worked for an online payment gateway setting up their server network and the payment gateway itself, (much of the software used was my own code) and all the applications used to access the gateway such as shopping carts, buy button systems, etc.
Nowdays, I work in the IT department of a large Australian University fixing computers, writing scripts, looking after some Linux servers and working out ways to streamline things in my areas. Good fun.
In my spare time, I enjoy working on my old boat, one of my old cars, or this web site.
Nowadays this web site and the server it runs on take up more of my spare time then either the boat or cars. When the boat works, I fish on it, when it doesn't, I work on it... I seem to spend more time working on it than fishing so apparently I am not the marine mechanic I once thought i was.
I am based in Perth Western Australia, with a wife and 2 daughters! (just got another little girl!), 2 dogs, a cat and 6 (this last number changes a lot.) fish (and no, I didn't catch these fish). There is not a huge amount to do in Perth, which is probably why I am turning into a computer geek (or at least more than I was before) but it's one of the nicest places I have lived, and the pace of life is slower then most cities which suits me just fine.
I am a professional trained in law who enjoys computers as a hobby and because they are of assistance to me in my work.
As a father of five kids (all of whom know their way around a computer), I need to work hard to stay ahead of the family's
learning curve. I have a teenage son who is building his own computer with summer earnings and a daughter who had a
very popular web site when she was about 12 years old. My kids keep me busy, but late at night when the house gets quiet,
I sneak around the net learning all about html, perl, php and mysql. Not only does it keep me out of trouble, but I
find it is like making a jigsaw puzzle, often providing rewarding results as you piece things together.
I teach (x)html at a local university (I am in the mid-west USA) in the evenings, maintain a number of non-profit's websites, provide web design services for several world class athletes and businesses, have edited several best selling computer books (and a few that just sold a bunch), and now find this as an opportunity to learn myself and share my experience with others.
In my spare time I coach youth teams in basketball and track, officiate track meets, and volunteer in a number of places. I am a barefoot waterskiing fanatic! I am a certified waterski instructor and have really enjoyed the opportunity over a few years to teach a number of burn survivor children to waterski. Often it involves adaptive techniques to compensate for physical limitations. When I was in college I was an All-American runner, but now I live vicariously through my children and channel my sport passion into coaching and skiing.
Nothing excites me more than seeing someone get wings and fly in html. I teach my university classes for this very reason, and I really enjoy when someone visits the live chat here at htmlFIXit.com and I can watch them catch on and run with a concept. It is that joy of watching problems get solved that makes this a rewarding endeavor.
Franki and I actually "met" each other (interesting fact: the first time we actually knew what the other looked like was
when we wrote this page) through participation in a mailing list group for HTML beginners many years ago.
We both cut our own teeth through participation in that group and as time went on, we found we enjoyed helping
others as they got started. One night (well okay, day for Franki who lives on the other side of the globe),
we decided that we could make a more formal effort at helping people learn and get started.
Since we started, we find that we offer a good counter point to each other, each having different strengths
and weaknesses which offset the others nicely. We continue to build the site through the many parts,
free scripts, our mail list server, tutorials, our forum and pages we hope are helpful.
We eventually hope donations by people who benefit from this site will make it a break even proposition.
donating if it is within your means. Every little bit helps us keep going with this--our passion and hobby of
helping others with coding.
On a technical note (Franki is writing this now), the site itself was initially written in SSI (Server Side Includes) but as great as they are we soon found that they were just to slow. So one night a few months ago (several years ago now), most of the site was converted to PHP. Many of the pages on this site are almost totally dynamically generated by either PHP or Perl (or both) and all the code shared between pages was taken out of each page and turned into an include. (basically a file that all the pages call to have included in them). The IRC chat client and the forum are both Perl scripts.
As you have probably noticed from the icons down the bottom of each page, I am a big fan of Linux, This site and many others are hosted from my Linux servers, and I often also use Linux as a desktop OS as well, and the icons down the bottom are to give something back and spread the word about the Operating System that helped me so much, The Linux community are a massive group of generally really helpful people. I have used many different Linux distros over the years such as Redhat, Debian, SUSE even Slackware, but now days I tend to use Mandrake as the base for all my Linux boxes, be they server or workstation. I use Mandrake because its fast, makes a good workstation, can make a good server (for example, the Postfix Mail server on Mandrake by default runs in a chroot jail), and most of all because I'd rather be using a Linux box then working on it, and I have found configuring Mandrake Linux to be faster and easier then most of the others. (doesn't hurt that they offer most of the packages I need straight off the CD's.) There is no way we could afford this site if we had to buy Micro$oft software, (also going from history, It'd probably be cracked in weeks or months and have 2 dozen people I don't know using it.:-) So if your reading this, you can thank or blame Linux for making it possible.
As much as I liked Mandrake (now Mandriva) Linux, they offer only a short window for keeping their distros current with updates. As a result I found myself almost continuously upgrading the servers versions of Linux. After a short dance with Debian Woody (I was an unfortunate soul who set up a Debian Woody server about 6 months before Woody was canned) I started using CENTOS (Community ENTerpise Operating System) and I've never looked back. HTMLfixIT now runs from a combination of CENTOS 4.5 and 5.0 servers and since they are supported for at least 5 years, I won't have to change that for some time.