About this site — unstyled page version

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This is the fourth major version of my personal web site, but the first under the new domain name of DECEMBER14.NET. It came into being on Monday, August 20, 2001.


I don’t use cookies, scripts or any other tricks to collect information about you while you are browsing this web site.

Like all web servers, my server software logs your IP number when you connect to the site. Even if it were realistically possible, I have no interest in trying to trace you through the IP number (which is assigned by your ISP or host computer). The logs get dumped every few weeks.

The only way I get any truly personally identifiable information about you is if you supply it to me voluntarily, for example by sending me an e-mail or filling in a contact form.

If you do send me personally identifiable information, such as your e-mail address, I promise I won’t pass it on to any other person or organisation, and I won’t send you spam.


I respect any sensible copyrights and copyright conditions, and I hope that you do too. More information is on the Copyright page.

Coding and layout

I’ve coded this site following current recommendations from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which means that the pages are coded in accordance with XHTML 1.0, and presentation is separated from content using Cascading Style Sheets according to the CSS2 specification. I haven’t used tables or other hacks to lay out or control the presentation of these pages.

This means that unless you’re using a modern browser (such as Mozilla or Firebird, or version 6 or higher of Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, or Opera), this site probably looks like crap. (You might think it looks like crap anyway, even in a modern browser — that’s your privilege.) Older browsers don’t support Cascading Style Sheets well enough to display the pages as I intended you to see them. It’s not for me to tell you what to do, but if you’re using an old dinosaur like Netscape Navigator 4, do yourself a favour: upgrade your browser. Not only this site, but many other sites on the Web will look much better if you do.

Regardless of what kind of browser or other device you’re using, the content of this site should be accessible, even if the presentation isn’t as pretty. Which leads us to…


I’ve designed this site to be accessible to people with disabilities, and to those of you who choose not to use a typical graphical web browser to surf the Web. You’ll find more detail on the access features of this site in the Accessibility statement.


Two of the typefaces used in the page headers are from the Metro family designed by the American typographer William Addison Dwiggins in the late 1920s and early 1930s. “Not born on the 4th of July” is set in Metrolight, while “DECEMBER14.NET” is set in Metroblack. Dwiggins was commissioned by the Mergenthaler company to design a rival to Paul Renner’s highly successful Futura family, and Metro was the result. While Metro shares many of the characteristics of Futura, I think it’s a bit less clinical. If Metroblack looks familiar, that may be because it was used by the cosmetics company Nivea as the basis for its Nivea Bold typeface. Metro I find requires quite careful kerning, even on letter pairs that aren’t usually a problem in other faces. Frankly I’m still not sure if I’ve got it looking quite right — it’s complicated a little by the letterspacing I’ve introduced to increase the “openness” of the text. WA Dwiggins died 11 days after my own birth, on December 25, 1956.

The navigation menu text is set in Anna, designed by Daniel Pelavin. Although a much more recent typeface (1991) than Metro, stylistically it’s very much in the same period. Pelavin created the typeface to use on his own wedding invitations, and later on the announcements of the birth of his daughter, Anna, after whom he named it. It’s a more decorative face than Metro but is still essentially geometric, and I think they work well together here.

The font I’ve specified in the style sheets for the body text is Bitstream Vera Sans, so if you’re using a modern browser and you have Bitstream Vera Sans installed on your computer, then that’s what you’ll see. If not, your browser will render the text in an alternative font. You can get the Bitstream Vera family for free on the fonts download page on this site.


I work on both Windows and MacOS platforms, so depending on my location, mood, and the phase of the Moon, parts of this site are built using a PC or a Mac.

HTML and CSS coding

I prefer to hand code pages rather than use WYSIWYG editors. My editors of choice are (for the PC) Paul Lutus’ Arachnophilia, and (for the Mac) Optima System’s PageSpinner.


For preparing graphics and photographs, I use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe ImageStyler, and Xara Webster (one of the best and cheapest web graphics packages ever produced, sadly no longer for sale).


I validate my pages for compliance with HTML and CSS specifications using the W3C’s HTML validator and CSS validator.

I use Watchfire’s Bobby validator to check that pages are accessible to visitors with disabilities. (See the Accessibility statement for more information.)


I test all pages on current and recent versions of Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator and Opera browsers on Mac and PC platforms.


Content management for my blog and the blog archives is powered by Blogger Pro. This may change in the fullness of time…

This page was last modified on Thursday, February 26, 2009