What is happening to me?! I can't seem to leave the computer. I used to dread the computer lab so much. I visit as little as possible; and when I do, it's usually the night
before a paper that has to be typed, or to answer Email messages before
my friends sever all ties with me. Now...this is like an addiction.
When I'm in front of this monitor, this key board, this mouse, I don't feel hungry or tired anymore (even if I do, I
can't eat or sleep here anyhow...although I'd like to). When the lab
finally closes and I get my final warning to get out, I find myself
wondering which other lab opens at this time of the night. When I'm home
or at work sometimes I'd blurt out, "Oh, I forgot to link that onto my
home page!" Even after I dragged myself home to take that much needed nap
before work, I'd lie half asleep thinking about a href's and img src's.
Am I obsessed? Is it normal? What is happening to
Darkness, anger, depression, confusion...were few of the things I had felt in the beginning. You would too, if you spend every free minute trying to squeeze into a computer lab and
get absolutely no result after working for hours and hours.
Sometimes I would leave the lab feeling so sick at myself for my hopeless
incompetence that I'd think of dropping (I never dropped a class in my life). Why? Why did I enroll into a class which require the use of a computer...the monster sitting before me
now...something I don't know anything about? I have thrown myself into
the 8th ring of Dante's hell. Nothing I whine or moan about can help me
I was still in hell when that fateful lab came around one day...
We were in what must have been our 5th class meeting. Everyone was making such progress. People asking Dr. James questions in a language totally incomprehensible to me. Dr. James have E-mailed instructions for us to read Dorys Penton's report 1. I sat very quietly behind someone, tried hard not to make any sudden movements, in case Dr. James ask me how I've been doing with my reports.
We were paired up to go the lab. The confused paired with the not-so-confused. As I sat in front of the computer, I felt more embarrassed than ever. I have nearly no files in my directory. I did not even know how to open one, and by some miracle I accidentally did open report1.html just a few days ago. So Conrad Moreno, my partner, tried to open other files for me. But I guess since he had the 409 class at the same time, he got a bit confused about opening a file without creating a directory.
Out of desperation I peer over to see what others were doing. Just so happens Amy Lam was sitting next to me and she was showing people how to open files through pico. What she did was go to the CSS server through UHUNIX, then just type pico and the new file name and wham...a newborn file (looked like $pico hp.html). After that, whatever is typed into the file can
be saved and view on Netscape (save by Ctrl-X, don't close the CSS
connections, just go into Netscape. If it doesn't show changes you
probably did not click the gray Reload button on top). That was my
enlightenment, because I knew most of the comments and what to do after
It was a very happy
As I spend more and more time on the computer...cyber poisoning began to show. I was not eating, not moving, not sleeping...causing eye bags. I didn't care about how I look when I'm on the computer. I would not call myself a computer nerd because I still don't understand how it works...but I don't mind being a Cyber Bum, which is probably more appropriate anyhow.
Readers are probably disgusted by me at this
point. But do you know how it feels?...to spend hours typing down
something like I am doing now, in this ugly black-and-white Microsoft
print, and after saving it, correcting it, searching for topics and
graphics, linking files and ftp-ing icons into the remote system...and
after repeated attempts, all of a sudden--beautiful backgrounds and
magnificent icons and different fonts and colored links jump on your
screen. It's like...it's like creating a life...a beautiful wonderful
burst of joy.
And for me, a feeling that perhaps...I'm not so
incompetent after all.
Since I had such a hard time in the beginning, I want to help future generations so they'd have an easier time.
To Conquer Netscape
As you already know, I was a total computer idiot when I first took the class. The only things I knew how to access on the computer were e-mail and the word processor. I hardly knew what the World Wide Web or Netscape was. The only homepage I've ever seen was my cousin's. Sounds pathetic, huh? Strange...the thing I tried hardest to avoid has become a passion. I want my own computer now, and I want to know how to use it.
Don't panic...at the first class meeting Dr. James may seem to be speaking a foreign language, but until he opens your CSS account there's nothing much you can do. First, of course, you have to have an UHUNIX account. If you don't have one, bring your student ID or pink slip to Keller Hall and apply for one. Then, for the time being, familiarize yourself with the vocabulary. (Like PINE, PICO, EMACS, CD, RM, DIR, MKDIR, MV, RMDIR...what do they do?)
After your UHUNIX account and CSS account are ready, get on a computer and try them out. I had a very hard time doing this because I didn't know how to get into the CSS server. What you do is: get into UHUNIX, login and type your password. A prompt (%) will appear, if you want to check your e-mail you'd type PINE here. If you want to get into the CSS server and open your account you'd type WWW.SOC.HAWAII.EDU instead.
Changing PasswordThis is something you have to do to get into your CSS account.
You are already in the CSS server. Another login prompt should appear. Type in your login name, then the password Dr. James gave you. After that another prompt ($) will come up. Here you type PASSWD and it'll ask you for your old password and new password. You're in, you're in!
Opening That First FileOkay, you've logged into your CSS account. Everything should come easy now. Right after you logged in, there should be another one of those $ prompts. Type DIR and you'll see all your directories. I assume you'll see nothing because you just got into the account. The $ come up again. To open up your first file, type PICO(space) REPORT1.HTML...or whatever the file name should be (it'll look like this [$pico report1.html]). You'll see a blank screen but don't panic, YOU'RE NOT LOST. Try typing your title the way you've seen through source on other homepages...you know, with the angular brackets and codes like h1, title, center, etc. Save them by Ctrl-X, answer Y(es) to save the changes, and Return. Do NOT logout of CSS. Just click back to Netscape. Open your address (like mine is--http:www.soc.hawaii.edu/club/student3/jeana) and you should see all your directories or files, including the one you just created. One important note is, if you don't see anything, you probably need to reload. So click on the gray Reload button on top of Netscape.
When I first began to construct my files, I didn't know about the reload function. I can tell you I almost gone crazy...changing the file in pico, saving it a half million times, and it still turned out the way it was. REMEMBER ALWAYS TO RELOAD!
Icons and Copyright
We were in
class--a week before midterm deadline--and I felt so happy, not because I was ahead of
the class or anything--because I was not, but because all my icons were
in working order and just about everyone who's seen my files complimented
on them. Then, a stormy dark cloud out
of a clear blue sky, Dr. James told us we might have to take off those
icons after midterm because we do not have the copyrights. I can
actually feel a burning sensation in the corners of my eyes. Why? Cruel
world...and copyrights? Just when I finally got them to work.
can see, most of my icons come from one source, Ramna 1/2 one of the
best Japanese comics I have ever read. The icons are the pride and joy
of my page. How can I save them?
The answer is: ask them for
permission. And I do mean them, because who should I ask? I
found the icons through Net Search, which led me to this wonderful page full of Ramna, which led me to another page with the characters. I could ask the person who constructed the page full
of Ramna 1/2 characters for permission (I Emailed him almost immediately), and he could ask the people who he got the icons from to give me
permission, then they can ask the people whom they got the icons from to give me permission...and so on, and so on. Finally they shall reach Rumiko Takahashi, the artist (if they ever do), to give me permission to use her comics in my page (that's
how it should work, right?). Because she has the copyrights...
To avoid the conflicts, we should just use a simple picture of something to decorate our pages. But don't take it out of other pages; we can never be sure whether or not we have copyright permission. And don't scan it off some magazine, or else we'd have to get the permission from the magazine and the photographer. The best thing to do (ha, ha), is to take the picture ourselves and then scan it. And of course, do not take a picture of
something that has a copyright.
And you wonder how all those home
pages could look so nice.