Vol 4

Page 4



Computers and Stuff


Sam Houliston.


To www or not to www.


Ever  wondered why some web sites require you to enter their full address, whereas others allow you to omit the www bit? For example you can access BigPond’s home page by typing only bigpond.com instead of using the full address:- http://www.bigpond.com whereas you need to enter http://www.ozemail.com.au rather than http://ozemail.com.au to access OzEmail.


The answer rests with the host, the person or company or whatever  that runs the equipment where your information is stored. They decide whether world wide web (www) support will apply if the www is omitted from in front of a domain name. Some do, some don’t.


But what about the "http://" bit I hear you ask. Well, HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language (what else?) which is the format in which normal web pages are written. If the site’s address starts with www, there’s no problem, you can leave it out, the http:// prefix is assumed. But if www is omitted too, browsers like Netscape and Internet Explorer  make assumptions about the initial prefix based on the first part of the name you supply, usually but not always http:// is assumed as the prefix. As an example of something different, if you supply the name ftp.netscape.com to your browser, you will see that it assumes (correctly in this case) a full name of ftp://ftp.netscape.com which means that the browser has forgotten about HTML and is into FTP (File Transfer Protocol). There is a site http://www.ftp.com, in this case simply supplying  ftp.com fails totally as the browser goes looking for ftp://ftp.com when the site is really in HTML format.


The Hosting Thing.


Let’s assume you’ve got a warehouse full of 6BM8 valves, and you want to advertise them for sale to the world. You know there’s a huge market out there for 6BM8’s, and you’d like to include a photo or two and a story about the anode and the cathode, and the grids along with your marketing spiel. You’ve got a computer and a modem, and you’ve been to Telstra and got an extra telephone line into the office and you’ve got yourself “on the net” using their Big Pond and you’re ready to start taking orders. What next??


First up, you need to find someone to handle this for you because you’re ex RAAF and smart enough to realise your Harvey Norman computer’s not big enough to copy with all the millions of people who will want to hear about your 6BM8’s. So you go to an ISP (Internet service Provider) called say Bloggs who has registered himself as bloggs.com.au (the .au at the end because he’s in Australia). Bloggs has a whopping great computer or two, with tons of room on his hard drives, and he takes all your information and images and stores them all on one of his computers suitably formatted as HTML files (and JPEG or GIF files for the images).  You want your web site to be known as www.beautvalves.com.au or www.beautvalves.com (or both) so you get Bloggs to register the domain names of beautvalves.com and/or beautvalves.com.au and to associate these names with your home page (the HTML file that is what people get shown when they simply use the address www.beautvalves.com)


He may or may not have tons of modems and a big bunch of phone lines, because some ISPs also provide dial-up for individuals (like BigPond at www.bigpond.com) and some (like WebKeepers at www.webk.net) do not. He will charge you for what he does because that’s how he makes his money. That’s the easy bit. Now he (or someone) has to let the world at large know about your site. How does he do that???


First thing he does is to make sure your home page is suitably laced with keywords like “6BM8” and “valve” (this is a real art), then he registers your home page with some search engines like AltaVista and NorthernLight. The search engine (why do they call it an engine??) typically takes a look at your home page and the keywords you say are important then decides how to make use of this information when some Netscape user goes to AltaVista and types in keywords like 6BM8 and “valve” in the “Search” spot - (which is a bit like ^F  in Word). 


You can also register pages other than your home page. And if you’re lucky you get lots of “hits”, i.e. lots of people see your site and you make tons of money selling your 6BM8’s.



Did you hear about the cross-eyed circumciser - he finally got the sack!



John Broughton, Jack Hancock and Bill Langton at the Brisbane reunion,

held at the Qld Book-makers club on the 9 October, 1999.






Those who have cats will appreciate this one. Those who don't will appreciate it even more!


  1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby.   Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth.  Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

  2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa.  Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

  3. Retrieve cat from bedroom and throw soggy pill away.

  4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand.  Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger.  Hold mouth shut for a count of 10.

  5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.

  6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, holding front and rear paws.  Ignore low growls emitted by cat.  Get spouse to hold cat's head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth.  Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

  7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains.  Carefully sweep shattered figurines from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

  8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with its head just visible from below spouse's armpit.  Put pill in end of drinking straw, force cat's mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

  9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away.  Apply band-aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

  10. Retrieve cat from neighbour's shed.  Get another pill.  Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

  11. Fetch screw-driver from garage and put cupboard door back on its hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot.  Throw T-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

  12. Ring fire brigade to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologise to neighbour who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.

  13. Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed.  Force cat's mouth open with small spanner.  Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak.  Hold head vertically and pour ½ pint of water down throat to wash pill down.

  14. Get spouse to drive you to emergency room; sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Stop by furniture shop on way home to order new table.

  15. Shoot cat.  Get a dog.


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