art, astronomy, biology, bookmarks, books, cams, classics, computing, dictionaries, digital photography, earth sciences, food, freeware, genealogy, google, history, html, humanities, Hume, Kant, libraries, literature, Locke, militaria, microscopy, microscope, palaeontology, philosophy, philately, physics, poetry, rocketry, science, search engines, Spinoza, stamp collecting, video, weborama, weborama 2011, wine
elcome to WebOrama 2013. Here you will find over fifteen hundred links to specially selected web sites, portals to thousands more. Additionally there are links to pages of my digital photos, favourite poems, computing, genealogy of my name, and the odd jotting on this and that. This is not, however, a general list of links from A to Z. It is limited to subjects I care about or of which I find of interest. This explains why I have chosen this artist rather than another or that author rather than someone perhaps more famous.
Clicking on any of the following general headings will take you to more detailed selections on this page, use them to navigate down. This is a long page built for speed, so use the Sections list links to go directly to a section, it's much faster than scrolling. E-mail access to me and access to a Guest Book for your comments is at the
bottom of this page.
Try passing your mouse pointer over the images, or clicking on them; all will have some information but many may surprise you.
Michael Flanders - do listen to Stephanie Flanders' broadcast. Not to be missed.
Second part of "Coming Home". I was interviewed for this programme. It gives a flavour of the utter chaos at the end of WW2. Be patient, the programme starts after the news. The whole series, "Coming Home", by the late Charles Wheeler, can be accessed here.
You can get thousands of worldwide radio links direct from Windows Media Player and Real One Player now and this is now the best way to get live radio broadcasts. Consequently I have reduced my list of radio links to specialist radio sites:
Edge. The mandate of Edge Foundation is to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues.
Leonardo. The online journal and gallery of technology based art media. They were absurdly sued by a French firm for using the name Leonardo. Happily the matter has now been resolved, visit for a full account.
Ubu Web. An independent electronics arts magazine with a refreshing difference.
Architectural Links. A huge portal and guide to architectural web sites maintained by Jeanne Brown at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
The Courtauld Institute has one of the finest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings in the world including major works by Cezanne, Degas, Gauguin, Manet, Monet, Modigliani, Pissaro, Renoir, Seurat, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh.
Escher. A detailed biography and examples of his art.
Ho-Am Art Museum. Exquisite artifacts from Korea, and incidentally an excellent example of good web design.
Back in 2000, when I first started this website, searching for second-hand books was relatively easy, Bookfinder was really all you needed and I had a link to it. Now there are hundreds of thousands of book-search pages (enter "book search" in Google and you will get well over half a million hits). This seems to be a retrograde step, hindering rather than facilitating searches.
There are currently two types of book search facilities on the net: accessible data banks and assisted searches. With assisted searches, you enter the details of the book and give an e-mail address where the results will be sent often many days later. With databank searches you enter the details of the book you want and the results appear after a few seconds. The first group of links below are all databank searches.
Here's a search tip. Use any book finder engine and enter details of the book you want. At the first hit, copy (Ctrl+c) the ISBN number, in subsequent searches just paste in (Ctrl+v) the ISBN number. This simple expedient will get rid of all false hits.
Bookfinder A superb search facility for second-hand books first developed in 1996 by then-19 year old UC Berkeley undergraduate Anirvan Chatterjee. BookFinder.com accesses over 30,000 bookshops. I usually start with Bookfinder, so I have placed it first, the rest are in alphabetical order.
Gutenberg Digital Reproduction of the first printed book, circa 1454. This is the Göttingen vellum copy, bar far more lavishly decorated than the two British Museum copies. There is also much information here on the life of Johann Gutenberg and the invention of printing.
The Gutenberg Bible. This links to the two copies (on paper and on vellum) in the British Museum.
The Samuel Johnson Sound Bite Page.
Over 1,600 quotes from the great Dr Samuel Johnson. On exercise: "Exercise!! I never heard that he used any: he might, for aught I know, walk to the alehouse; but I believe he was always carried home again."
Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts.The Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts is a collection of public domain documents from American and English literature as well as Western philosophy.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20, put through its paces by Mike Curtis. The Panasonic DMC-FZ20 has an astonishing Leica Vario-Elmarit zoom lens, an amazing 12× zoom (36mm to 412mm) at an aperture of f/2.8 throughout (the nearest lens I can find to it is the super-telephoto Canon EF400mm f/2.8 USM, a fixed lens weighing 13.4 lbs and is 34.8cm long, at over £4,700). I got an FZ20 recently and I'm delighted with it, but there currently seems to be a long waiting list for it. Quite a camera for £400. Incidentally another model, the Panasonic DMC LC-1, is identical (same Leica lens and same Panasonic electronics) with the Leica Digilux 2, but the Leica badged camera is £160 ($300) dearer.
All Promise. Computer guidance for oldies (mid 80s to 105 year olds especially welcome) based in Chicago and active primarily in the Chicago area, but providing good basic computer guidance for all. The website is a model of good design.
Annoyances Org. Collection of information assembled for and by actual users of Microsoft Windows. Day to day problems answered by experts. Meet Ricer 46, triplate, Carl, MJB, GM, JAZZ, and many many others in a very helpful and friendly forum.
Installing Windows XP Recovery Console. I wish I had seen this before I installed it, it is exactly the method I used but I had to find out step by step, the hard way. All official instructions to install it involved partial XP reinstalls and pressing R at a precise moment, and of course this is the method you will have to use if you can't boot into Xp. Should you install it? Against: 1. It will slow down your boot process by about 5 seconds. 2. It will take up about 7Mb of disk space. For: 1. The recovery files are stored on the same drive as your Windows system files. 2. You don't need the hassle with BIOS options or boot CDs to recover from serious problems.
Process Explorer. This is a free Microsoft tool for tracking down DLL-version problems or handle leaks, and for showing the way Windows and applications work.
Old Computers Museum. This is a superb online museum. There are already 683 exhibits in a growing collection. The computers can be located by name, manufacturer, or year, with photographs and full details of each model. Highly recommended.
SETI the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Like to take part? But you would need a massive super-computer to trawl millions of galaxies, wouldn't you? Well, all you need to beat the performance of a $50-million mainframe super-computer is a little software and just a fraction of the people on the Internet to run it. There are already over two million participants, resulting in awesome computing power. It is also called peer-to-peer computing. This is the way the Internet will go in the 21st century.
The latest Search Engines, such as Fast and Google, use this technology of parallel inter-connected computers to access billions of pages almost instantly.
Here are some other internet multi-computer project sites:
There are some quite useful freeware utilities on the net, some very skilfully programmed. Why free? For many reasons, often because a young programmer wants his/her skills to be publicised, possibly leading to lucrative professional employment.
However, you should be aware that many free programs carry SpyWare. Spyware gathers information on your Web surfing activity and secretly transmits it back. But it is not only some freeware which is guilty of this. Netscape, for example, uses spyware and increasingly you can pick up spyware by just visiting many commercial web sites. Now there are thousands of nasty bits of Spyware on the net and this has got so bad that in any session online you will almost certainly pick up spyware, or other malware. A recent survey found that on average a PC is hosting 47 pieces of Spyware, and over a hundred is not uncommon, When challenged all, without exception, claim that you cannot be personally identified and that it is done to direct relevant advertising to you by checking what sites you visit; all however do this covertly. What is particularly bad about spyware is the aggressive way it installs itself without checking if you already carry it. It is not unusual to find twenty or more identical spyware cookies on a machine, all taking up bandwidth and reporting back on your every movement at your expense, and slowing down your machine in the process. If you wish to know what spyware is already infesting your computer get Ad-aware from Lavasoft. a very useful utility (the free version is fully functional) which will detect and remove all spyware.
The only problem with the free version of Ad-aware is that it only detects spyware after it has been installed and a complete check of your computer can take a long time. A more advanced anti-spyware utility with added features is Spybot - Search & Destroy by Patrick M. Kolla, a brilliant German computer student, this can be set for very advanced work but the default setting is easy to use and suitable for beginners. The great advantage of SpyBot is that it stops spyware from being downloaded onto your machine, prevention always being better than cure. Another excellent spyware stopper is SpyBlaster, which can also be set to stop Flash, should you so wish.
Another effective spyware blocker and cookie controller is AnalogX CookieWall from AnalogX. However, Cookie Wall has to be set up in that you have to select which cookies you want blocked. To identify them I now use Spybot or Cookie Sweeper, and having identified them, I block them with CookieWall. I have them all installed and auto-loaded at start-up: Ad-aware, SpyBot, SpyBlaster, and CookieWall, all regularly updated.
To which I have now added IE-SpyAd, far more powerful than CookieWall and a real 'must-have'.
Steve Gibson's OptOut Web Site contains an extensive summary of the issues and problems surrounding the use of advertising agent programs, parasites, and spyware. See also:
Click here to optout of DoubleClick spyware cookies. This is a direct link to the Double Click server and stops spyware tracking on your machine. This is a step in the right direction, but DoubleClick do not publicise it and the URL is quite complex (http://optout.doubleclick.net/cgi-bin/dclk/optout.pl), but all that is taken care of.
Don't be put off by this, just be careful and test for spyware. And now for some freeware sites and utilities:
CCleaner. A freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up disk space. The best cleaner I've found. See reviews here.
Clip Art. Where to get it, online and CD, by Péter Jacsó.
AboutTime. Accurate time synchronization, efficient and free, by Paul Lotus (Arachnoid).
Web Time 2000. A free utility program that will synchronize your PC's internal clock with one of the several atomic clocks maintained by the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology.
I MET a traveller from an antique land
Who said: 'Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.'
The Bible - Vulgate This is the full Latin text of the St Jerome 4th century Bible, modified in 1539. Just one of many fine things on John Walker's splendid web site. [No, this John Walker, I hasten to add, is not the American John Walker arrested in Afghanistan]
'Good-Morning; good-morning!' the General said
When we met him last week on our way to the line.
Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of 'em dead,
And we're cursing his staff for incompetent swine.
'He's a cheery old card,' grunted Harry to Jack
As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack
Virtual catalogue of Roman coins a Web site devoted to helping students and teachers learn more about ancient Roman coins. These pages contain images and descriptions of coins from the Early Republic to the end of the 4th century A.D.
Rome Reborn. The ongoing digital model of ancient Rome.
Rough Rider Links to the Past A list of 1300 historical links in chronological order, historical indexes,outlines and directories. This site was designed to help U.S. History students with their research.
Malware, hijackers, phishing, trojans, worms, and viruses.
If you want to keep your PC safe, follow these four golden rules:
1. Use a good anti-virus application, with regular virus definition updates. Install only ONE.
2. Regularly run anti-spyware utilities, such as Ad-Aware, SpyBot, and of course Windows Defender. Install and use more than one.
3. Keep your operating system up to date with security fixes.
Free antivirus protection, avast! has had excellent reviews.
AVG Anti-Virus. One of the very best anti-virus programs from Grisoft - and it's free for home users. Latest version protects against spyware too.
CWShreader. The stand-alone free version traces and destroys all variants of CoolWeb, a name covering a wide range of browser hijackers.
PC Flank. Test your ports and system for Internet threats.
GMER. A free rootkit scanning tool, widely hailed as the best at ferreting out stealth rootkits from PCs. Rootkits cannot be detected by most anti-virus programs. Download gmer.zip.
millersmiles. Upto date news on scams with a massive archive of phishing and identity theft email scams.
Secunia.The security site. The very latest information on all program vulnerabilities and Internet threats.
If you don't know what HTML (HyperText Markup Language) looks like, you can view the HTML source code of any page by accessing Document Source in the View Menu in Netscape or Source in the View Menu in Internet Explorer. Netscape presents a clear colour coded layout, on the other hand Microsoft's Explorer conveniently puts the code into Notepad, ready to edit. (In the View menu, select Source).
HTML Course (Alan Levine) Clear, lucid, and free! I started to construct web pages within days of discovering Alan Levine's excellent course. Download the lot and study at leisure. Go on! Build your own Home Page!
webmonkey. The web developer's resource. Everything you'll need.
I wrote all the code for my web page on Notepad so I could get to grips with the basics of HTML programming, this page alone now has over a 3,300 lines of coding and I have switched to WordPad to edit it. But if you are not attracted to learning a lot of code and tags, and are not bothered about understanding how it all works, then a good HTML editor will do all the donkey work for you. Take a look at Arachnophilia, an advanced HTML editor, highly professional and free.
If you prefer books, rather than an on-line course, I would recommend:
Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 4 in 21 Days
by Laura Lemay (Sams Net, 2nd edition, revised by Denise Tyler, 2000).
The title is clearly in the tradition of that great success Teach Yourself Brain Surgery in 14 Days and at over 800 pages you might be pushed just to read it in that time. Title aside, this is an excellent introduction to HTML. Laura Lemay is a brilliant technical writer and she explains things clearly and well. Visit Laura Lemay's Home Page for a complete surprise. Especially if you like motorbikes!
Creating Web Pages with HTML and Dynamic HTML - Comprehensive
by Patrick Carey (New Perspective Series, 2001).
HTML in Plain English
by Sandra E Eddy (MIS Press, 2nd edition, 1998).
This is a complete HTML reference book giving thorough information on all tags with appropriate examples.
HTML For The World Wide Web
by Elizabeth Castro (Peachpit Press, 4th edition, 2000).
An out of the ordinary visual guide for beginners and experts alike. You can chat with Liz Castro on the 1st Tuesday of every month at 10 PM Eastern Time (5 PM UK time). She will answer all your knotty technical questions.
(The editions cited are simply the ones I have, check for later editions.)
So, you have finished your HTML code and you have followed the three main rules 1.test, 2.test, 3.test again. Everything seems to be working fine, now what? The next thing is to have your code validated. We all forget closing tags or incorrectly nest tags and even the best HTML Editor programs occasionally churn out bad code. Everything works fine on your computer but some obscure browser can't decipher the page. Only 1% use it? That's around 10 million potential viewers who will see your page as a mess because you failed to validate! The validator I use is
Don't miss Tim Mann's Chess Page One of the top free chess programs, Winboard, is here. Tim Mann is the primary author. His page has many excellent chess links.
Aaron's Winboard Page. Aaron modestly describes his expanded website as a Chess Engine FAQ, but there is a wealth of detailed information here in a well designed and helpful site. If only all FAQs were like this!
Click button to initiate GRAPHICS CARD test. This will take a few seconds only, allowing you to view only genuine cartoons. It will also check to see if your video card can handle linked vector imploded Mk6.04b frame sequences.
The small universe. This would be extremely funny, were it not for the hatred oozing from every page. Sadly, it is deadly serious. Slightly in advance of the flat earth theory, here we have the entire universe revolving around the Earth, 'proving' that astronomy, cosmology, geology, biology, physics, quantum theory, you name it, are totally wrong. Copernicus, Newton, Einstein, along with several thousand other scientists and NASA, have all got it wrong.
Ask a Librarian. A volunteer librarian will email a reply to your query on any subject.
Ask Giraffe United Kingdom Standard Geographic Base data.
Biographical Dictionary This dictionary includes more than 24,000 notable men and women. It can be searched by name, birth or death years, or by keywords such as positions held, professions, literary works, etc.
Science Daily. A link to the latest research and top science news, updated every 3 hours.
James Randi Educational Foundation. A breath of fresh air! Randi has pursued "psychic" spoonbenders, exposed the dirty tricks of faith healers, investigated homeopathic water "with a memory," and generally been a thorn in the sides of those who try to pull the wool over the public's eyes in the name of the supernatural.
Darwin Correspondence Project. This is a huge project, Darwin was a prodigious writer and his letters cover thirty hefty volumes. I have "The Calendar to the correspondence of Charles Darwin", which contains details, including brief summaries, of all the known letters.
Charles Darwin. The C. Warren Irvin, Jr., Collection of Charles Darwin and Darwiniana.
Darwin Online. The complete works of Darwin digitised, 50,000 searchable text pages.
Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District. The full transcript of the verdict. Intelligent Design, formerly known as 'Creationism', exposed for what it is. The quack pseudo-science which dates all the way back to 1988.
EOL The Encyclopedia of Life. Ultimately, the EOL will serve as an online reference source and database for every one of the 1.8 million species that are named and known on this planet. Watch the introductory film for some superb webdesign.
Bird song. A fine range of downloadable bird songs.
10 x 50 Com. Bird song recordings. Another excellent site.
Maps of Scotland. A huge digitised collection of maps in the National Library of Scotland.
The Munros. When you get to the page select a region of Scotland, you will then see all the Munros listed for that region. The Munros are the 284 Scottish peaks (all listed here) over 3,000 feet (914m) high.
The American South West. The web at its very best, this is a huge gateway to Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. Extensive links and photographs, compiled and maintained by John Crossley.
Units Converter. Weight, volume, length, area, speed, pressure, temperature, circular measure, and time; the script will convert miles to kilometres, ounces to metric tons, and centuries to seconds, or any other combination you want.
Through Mighty Seas, the maritime history of the merchant sailing ships of the North West of England and the Isle of Man, through the period from the late 1700's until the First World War. There are histories of more than 1000 ships, indexed by region, and over 140 historic photographs.
In 1998 there were about 200 million web pages on the Internet, by June 2000 the estimate was one billion. There are now well over 8 billion web pages generated by over 58 million domains, an unimaginable colossal number, and the Internet is growing by leaps and bounds. Assuming you visited 100 different sites every day, it would take over 27,000 years to visit a billion sites and 274,000 years to visit 10 billion! And that is not taking into account the many thousands of Newsgroups.
Given our meagre life span, a search engine is essential for finding our way to what we want. But how could you possibly search 10 billion pages in a few seconds? The answer is use parallel computing,
thousands of computers linked together. This is what the latest search engines do, and none better than :
Running on a unique combination of advanced hardware and software, Google's speed can be attributed in part to the efficiency of the search algorithm developed at Stanford University by Google founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin and partly to the thousands of low cost PC's they've networked together to create a superfast search engine. The result is a lightning fast search of over 8 billion Web Pages. A test search I made produced over 4 million results. The 4 million results themselves were then searched for another word in 0.03 seconds, resulting in 159 highly relevant hits. Google is now streets ahead of the nearest competition and is now my first choice and my home page. What truly makes it outstanding is the relevance of its search results coupled with a constantly expanding set of options.
Google World. I suppose it was inevitable, given Google's well deserved huge success. Now Google itself has become an object of research.
Beware, though, of hits 'found' and hits 'accessible'. Google, like all other search engines, curtails the millions of hits you can access to the top 1,000. Apart from taking you days to view 1,000 documents, this isn't a real handicap as web pages are generally linked to other relevant pages.
But with such good search engines why bother with a web site like mine? Well, for a start, I aim to list the very best sites either for quality and relevance or for giving extensive lists of further relevant links. All this saves you sifting through many hundreds of hits thrown up by search engines.
Google Web Directory. Organised by topic. This is a true gateway to the World Wide Web. A gigantic tree which from an initial list of 21 categories finally branches out to 1.5 million web pages. While Google's regular web search is likely to be the fastest way to find information on a specific subject, the Google directory is particularly useful when you're not sure how to narrow your search from a broad category.
DMOZ - Open Directory Project. Maintained and owned by Netscape, The Open Directory Project's goal is to produce the most comprehensive directory of the web, by relying on a vast army of volunteer editors.
ezresult. A HUGE portal, if you dig down you can access hundreds of thousands of websites. Essential Results Open Search Engine, dedicated to keeping the Internet free.
About. A collection of over 700 specially selected sites. A web directory with a difference, the human touch.
Argus Clearinghouse.Expert information. A selective collection of topical guides, carefully assessed and rated.
The next two are multi-engined search programs which you have to download and install on your computer. I have them both, although I tend to use Google and Fast in the first instance.
WebFerret This is a freeware program. When I first found WebFerret in 1998 it used 9 search engines, even then I was very impressed with it and thought it was very fast and thorough, typically returning over a thousand hits within minutes. Release 3.5 used 16 search engines, presumably the current release uses many more. A superb search tool, the free version is superior to many commercial competitors I've tried. An enhanced commercial version is also available.
Copernic Agent Basic is another freeware multiple search engine program which is very good, it uses over 90 search engines grouped into 10 categories and has a very easy to use interface. Copernic or WebFerret? A matter of personal choice, but use both for in-depth searches since some of the search engines are not duplicated. Copernic now includes Fast Search in its search engines, perhaps giving it the edge.
Usenet Archive. An archive of 800 million messages on every conceivable topic dating back to 1981.
News Groups. Get the best of newsnet into your mail box.