mugshot

        About Me


This entire site is one big "about me" page. My goal was to put down once and for all the things that keep my mind occupied. But is a man's interests and hobbies sufficient to characterize him?

I used to derive a lot of identity from the car I drove. And no wonder - my first car was a 1979 Mercedes 300D. And not just any, but one deserving of the appellation Diesel Demon. My next vehicle was a 1986 Toyota 4Runner, and at the time I attached a lot of myself to it. So it was no surprise that in 2001 when it was totaled that my sense of self was disrupted. Since then, I've become more well-rounded as a person and no longer do I see my car as an extension of me - in fact I'd just as soon get rid of the thing if it were practical to do so.

About this site

When my friends and I started experimenting with web pages in the mid-nineties, our pages very often were just collections of hyperlinks to other sites that we found interesting. I've returned to this with "Matt's Web Guide", but have structured the big page of links into categories. In each of the categories, or topics, I plan to have semi-biographical articles explaining my interest in the topic. Another core concept for the site is the interconnectedness of all of my interests. So each topic page will link to two or more other topic pages, creating a miniature web. Finally a significant motivation for my work on the site is purely out of interest in web design. The current design reflects an experimentation with so-called liquid layout (or my implementation of it), and dynamic content processed on the server using PHP.

I hope most of everything is self-explanatory. The Dashboard merits some explanation. It is my experimental window onto the world, a heads-up display of current information. The left-side elements are labeled, but the starchart and METARs may be confusing. The star-chart is programmed to provide me with a display of visible objects at the next local midnight, from my house in Oakland. It should be somewhat useful for others in North America, if your latitude differs little from mine. The METARs are meteorological reports encoded in a format used by meteorologists and aviators. I've set it up to give me weather information from Oakland, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Huntsville, and these reports are updated hourly.

Improvements

At the moment this site is optimized for Mozilla Firefox. On Internet Explorer some elements may get chopped off or otherwised displayed incorrectly. It's the bane of any web designer's existence. I'm of the opinion that a majority of these discrepancies are caused by IE's loose adherence to standards and it just being an older generation browser. I may fix some of these display problems through so-called "IE hacks" but I'm hoping (perhaps naïvely) that future versions of IE will behave properly.


Vital Stats
Height 1.80 m
Weight 75.5 kg
Age 43.48 y
Age 15881 d
Dining style left-handed european
Myers-Briggs INTP