Welcome to Larry’s Phat Page Site Help. In this section, I will answer as many questions about the site as I can think of, as well as making the usual “this site is best viewed” suggestions.
I suggest viewing this site using 1024x768 screen resolution, and 16-bit color (65,536 colors). You can also view the site using 800x600 screen resolution, but be aware that your browser may cut off the last letter or two of words near the right edge of the screen (especially in Microsoft Internet Explorer). If this happens, follow these instructions in Windows:
- Right-click on your desktop. Click Properties from the menu that pops up.
- Click the “Appearance” tab near the top of the window.
- Go to the “Item” menu, and select Scrollbar.
- Change the number in the “Size” area to 12 or less.
- At the bottom of the window, click Apply, then OK.
This will change the size of your scrollbar so that your browser will not cut off letters.
I also recommend that you enable screen text anti-aliasing if your operating system supports it. In more recent versions of Windows, the “ClearType” option is probably the best way to do this; here are the steps to enable it.
- Right-click on your desktop, and click Properties on the menu that pops up.
- Click the “Appearance” tab near the top of the window.
- Find the “Effects…” button, and click it.
- Ensure that the checkbox next to “Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts” is checked, and select ClearType from the pull-down menu.
- Click OK to close this window.
- Click OK to close the main properties window.
Trust me, this will make text on your screen much more readable, no matter what program(s) you run.
I have only tested this site using Microsoft Windows-based PCs, and cannot make any absolute guarantees that it will work with every possible combination of device, operating system, and browser on earth. It should work with most systems, though, and I do try to be diligent in writing my code so as to be as universally compatible as is reasonably possible. I can attest to this site being 100% compatible with the most recent Windows XP versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla, and Mozilla Firefox; these are the ones I have been able to test.
What doesn’t work right in other browsers/operating systems?
For the most part, any deficiencies on other systems will be superficial — mostly things like fonts that are different than the ones I specify, or incorrect font-point sizes. These issues should not affect the working of the site at all.
In some cases, particular combinations of browser and operating system have various annoying incompatibilities with this site. For example, Netscape 6 on Windows systems does not display an underline when the mouse pointer is hovering over a link.
If you notice something wrong or unusual about the technical workings of this site in your particular combination of operating system and browser, I would like to hear about it — please go here to e-mail me.
Here are a few more questions I think might come up.
What software do you use to maintain this site?
I use Trout Software’s HippiePro, an excellent WYSIWYG HTML editor. I hand-code all the HTML on one side of the window, and am able to preview the finished product on the other side. It even color-codes different parts of the HTML for easier readability. Once the pages are complete, I upload them to my server using GlobalSCAPE CuteFTP 7.
I’m running 1024x768 or higher screen resolution, and the pages don’t take up the entire width of my screen. What’s wrong?
Nothing. Every page on the site is designed to be approximately 780 pixels wide, regardless of how many pixels you are using across your screen. If you run anything higher than 800x600, the pages will take up less than the full width of the screen.
How can I contact you?
Click here to go to the “E-Mail Me” page.
On the RSS feed, the date shown in the update “title” sometimes doesn’t match the date my RSS reader shows. What’s wrong?
Nothing is wrong; it’s a matter of your being in a different time zone. On this site, I observe the U.S. Central Time Zone which is used in my current home in the U.S. state of Illinois, regardless of where I actually am at the time. If you live in a time zone that is significantly ahead of or behind U.S. Central Time, you may occasionally notice this apparent discrepancy in dates; this is normal.
This site’s time observance since May 2015 has been Central Standard Time (CST, UTC–6:00) from the start of the year until 0800 UTC on the second Sunday in March, then Central Daylight Time (CDT, UTC–5:00) from 0800 UTC on the second Sunday in March to 0700 UTC on the first Sunday in November, then Central Standard Time again from 0700 UTC on the first Sunday in November until the end of the year.
From 2007 to May 2015, this site observed Eastern Standard Time (EST, UTC–5:00) from the start of the year until 0700 UTC on the second Sunday in March, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT, UTC–4:00) from 0700 UTC on the second Sunday in March to 0600 UTC on the first Sunday in November, and Eastern Standard Time again from 0600 UTC on the first Sunday in November until the end of the year.
From 1998 (the beginning of this site’s existence) through 2006, the observance was Eastern Standard Time from the beginning of the year until 0700 UTC on the first Sunday in April, Eastern Daylight Time from 0700 UTC on the first Sunday in April to 0600 UTC on the last Sunday in October, and Eastern Standard Time from 0600 UTC on the last Sunday in October until the end of the year. New U.S. laws regarding Daylight Saving Time took effect in 2007.
If and when I relocate my permanent residence to a different time zone, I will at that point change this site’s time observance to conform to the appropriate local time-zone and daylight-saving rules, as I did in May 2015.
What is so “phat” about this site?
The name “Larry’s Phat Page” was born in 1998, at the same time I first posted a web page. I was a freshman at the University of Michigan at the time, living in a dorm; for whatever reason, “phat” was a word I tended to overuse that first year. Some of my hallmates caught on to this, and one of them eventually suggested I insert the word into the title of my then single-page site. The site has grown, changed, and moved many times since, but the name “Larry’s Phat Page” has stuck.