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The ALEX VAN STARREX Website


INTRODUCTION


GENERAL INTRODUCTION

SPECIAL NOTE: Increase the size of the text - using your browser's "Fonts" control - if you find the text here too small.

This site is devoted to information about myself and my interests, as well as to topics and links that might be of interest to friends, acquaintances and casual browsers. It provides a convenient departure point for my explorations into the net, as well as a handy reference for people wanting to contact me for whatever reason. And, of course, it marks out the carving of my initials into the slow-drying pavement of the "information superhighway".

I'm sure you'll find it worthy of bookmarking and returning to. The more time that you spend here, the more you'll realise why The Sydney Morning Herald featured this as the "Best personal site on the Web" in September 1999.

For the latest news - in music, recent/coming events and all things generally - check my Personal News page. hello

For 2004: The Personal News page also contains details about the updates for this site, or lack thereof.

My other main web sites are/were:

Other sites, and links to me, my family and relatives can be found here. Links to the present site can be found here.

FEATURES

Don't be put off by the "low-tech" appearance of this site - it is absolutely crammed with features:

Players for the Real audio and video material are available from www.real.com.

There is a search engine for this site - at the bottom of the Master Page Index. Type in any word, and the search engine will generate a list of pages which contain it.

The other search-engines include specialised ones devoted to (take a deep breath) Amigas, anagrams, art, Australia, bands, biographies, books, bots, brains, buddhism & tantra, cars, CDs, cults, currencies, drugs, (online) fraud, genealogy, government, health, history, human genomes, i ching, (general) information, language translation, law, life expectancy, literature, lyrics, mailing lists, maps, medicine, mental health, MIDI-files, movies, museums, mythology, new age, new websites, news, newsgroups (including my own newsgroup postings and mentions), newspapers, people, philosophy, photography, political science, psychology, religion, science, sex, tablature, television, Tensegrity, urban legends, webrings, website tools and world travel. Just remember that completing an actual search on any of them will take you away from this site.

LAYOUT

The site is divided into several sections - each with a table of explanation, plus links to the various sub-sections or individual pages. At the top and bottom of each page are links to most essential parts:

Most of the sections are divided into several pages worth of material - which it why I've created 'index' pages for them. The index pages are cross-linked through the subject headings, while the individual section-pages are linked with 'previous' and 'next' markings. Where the sections are small enough, all information is contained on the one page. As well as accessing the site through the contents, section and page hierarchy, users can access the subject matter directly through the Master Page-Index.

In respect of the non-personal subject matters, the aim of this site is to present not just some text and a few links, but a total immersion in the material. Therefore, for any individual subject, the reader will usually find:

CONSTRUCTION

This site was initially constructed on my humble Commodore Amiga 1200, during March/April 1998. Although I have a few web creation tools, I've done most of the HTML creation myself, on a simple text-editor. It has been tested on quite a few different machines and browsers, but if something on the site looks as if it's been coded wrongly, or could be improved in some way then please let me know. Also mention what configuration of computer and browser you are using, so I can take this into account.

Since the arrival of my Gateway 2000 computer in late October, 1998, I've moved onto the Windows platform. Unfortunately, certain incompatibilities with the site running under Internet Explorer meant that every page had to be updated - this time using Microsoft's Front Page Express. as a result, a lot of excess 'correct' code has been added - blowing out the page sizes in the process. Also, it's much more difficult to add extra links, search engines and other components to my site through Windows 98, WYSIWYG-editors notwithstanding. So I'm not making as many small adjustments to the site as I used to.

JAVASCRIPT ALERT: There is javascript on two pages of the site - A Random Story and World Time - to make it more lively and entertaining. This should only present a problem to a tiny percentage of browsers - those who may have javascript disabled, or which may not even be able to use javascript at all (e.g. very old computers and minority platforms). A third page - Merlin's Page (utilising Microsoft Agent) - has been deleted, as it was too troublesome to maintain.

FUTURE PLANS

REMOVING DEAD LINKS & NON-FUNCTIONING SEARCH ENGINES: I'd appreciate help with weeding these out from the site - readers can use either the 'comments' form or the email address at the bottom of each page to alert me of these. This being said, though, it's just as interesting (if not that useful) to see what the site was capable of as opposed to what it is capable of.

ADDING NEW LINKS: I usually have a tremendous pile of links on my home computer that I haven't added to this site - over 2,000. Email me if you want info on these, or to tell me about new sites that I might want to check out. Also note that there are some sites and topics that I have no intention of covering from here (as in the following section) - even though I may be aware of them.

SECTION UPDATES: I have a few of these up my sleeve. Otherwise, a list of past modifications and short-term future plans for the site can be found here.

GENERALLY: The site will be 5 years old in April 2003 - and looks it. It's now more of a museum piece than an living, changing thing. While I'd love to devote time to keeping it up to date, it simply isn't worth the effort. So I won't make any guarantees about major changes.

'SEX & DRUGS & ROCK & ROLL'

There are occasional references on this site to three things that may raise the indignation of 'concerned' parents and members of the moral majority (not to mention webmasters and people in the press): sexual matters, drug-taking and bootleg recordings. Please note that I am not seeking to advocate unbridled participation in any or all of these pursuits. Nor am I offering availability to any of the aforesaid materials from this site (other than including some links in each of these areas). (I'm not really a member)

I simply assume that visitors to this site - whatever their age - will be responsible enough to know what they're doing when they read about these subjects, or try to follow these links through. As with any endeavour, it is a question of balancing the perceived risks with the rewards. And, of course, an informed choice is far better than simply stumbling through whilst being oblivious to the consequences. If anyone has a problem with this viewpoint they can raise it with me, or politely keep it to themselves.

I could, of course, take the easy way out and have a nice, wholesome sanitised website like so many other people. Certainly this would have assisted with the various awards that I've nominated my site for in the past. But we don't live in Disneyland, and I hope that readers will appreciate not being patronised or protected from the "evils" which are both identified and propogated by censorship.

COMMENTS AND CONTACT

People are reluctant to use the 'comments' form - but I don't mind either way. It's just as easy - probably easier, in fact - to email. Consider contacting me officially if you want to help improve the site, or want to get your name, email address and/or website URL added to this one. This being said, I haven't added personal comments to the site for a long time.

If you feel obliged to establish deeper or more direct contact, then please check the details on my Contact Information page. If you want to visit me, check the details about My Home.

Happy browsing!

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URL: http://homepages.tig.com.au/~avanstar
EMAIL:
avanstar@tig.com.au
Alex Van Starrex