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Frequently Asked Questions

I have tried to compile a list of Q+A's that might answer questions I have not covered elsewhere -

Q : Why do you have a personal website ?
A :Given that I have HTML and web skills down on my C.V. it would be foolish not to.
This site keeps my web skills fresh , allows me to implement and try new ideas and hopefully also provides some incite as to why I am a good job candidate.
Finally I really enjoy it as well.........

Q : Are you a professional web developer ?
A :No, I enjoy what I do and I'm quite happy to help anyone who asks but I'm also still learning.
I am also willing to undertake website design for friends, family and small companies

Q : Just who are Allan, Linzi, Dave, Marc, Kim, Jason and David to name but a few ?
A : Allan is a like minded IT person who loves to upgrade/break/play with his PC.
Linzi is a uni friend who was part of our C++ project team and also has a love/hate relationship with PC's
Dave I've known for years from our early days rebuilding mini's up to present with his stunning Evo 2 Integrale
Marc and Kim are friends that I met through SS-R car club. Marc also runs The Garage
Jason is also an old friend who now runs a Impreza and 330d estate and shares my passion for cars
David is my wifes sisters boyfriend who's a great guy and also owns a rather nice 206 GT

Q : What's Car Club Car Club SS-R logo ?
A : This is the local car club I am a committee member of. Great club / Great people and lots of events. You can be a member from anywhere in the world but events are based in the UK mainly Scotland.
Find out more from the SS-R car club website

Q : Why have you chosen tables as a design format ?
A : Accessibility. Thats also why my menu bar is left to right (to be read by a text reader)

Q : I've viewed your website source code and there appear to be lots of nested tables. Why ?
A :That is correct there are lots of nested tables (probably too many)
The main outer table is used to force page size to 800 pixels wide (to suit all screens)
I have tried using script to detect screen width and select an appropriate style sheet(defaulting to 800 if no script)
but I did not like the way my site looked in several different screen widths.
I do agree, though that my current format could be simplified somewhat in the future.

Q : What are all the icons at the bottom of the HOME page for ?
A : From left to right - Valid XHTML / CSS / Site Tracker
The first two show my conformance to current XHTML and CSS (stylesheet) standards
The last is a tracker icon that records visitor info. Statistics are freely available to all.
Why not click tracker icon on main home page and have a look for yourself?

Q : Why does the index page take so long to load ?
A : Quite a lot of Javascript is imported in the header for various functions (date/time/updates/copyright etc)
I have optimised images as far as possible and reduced code where possible for 56K modem users.

Q : Why do you have 2 identical menu bars top and bottom of each page ?
A :Ease of navigation for a start but they are also not the same!!!
The top bar is static html , uses relative URL's and can be viewed in ALL browsers independent of Javascript.
The lower bar is dynamically created using Javascript and uses absolute URL's to navigate.

Q : Where do you live in the world ?
A : I live in Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Q : Are you happy with the current website ?
A : Not really! I'm a perfectionist and constantly trying to evolve projects all the time.
This version (v2) is however a significant improvement upon my old design

Q : What's for the future ?
A : Who knows? I would like to move to a paid webhost and use server side scripting to generate truly dynamic content.
I'm also looking to do some Java stuff (ie Applets)

Q : You dont state a 'best viewed with xxxxx' browser....... Why not ?
A : Ideally all sites should look the same in all browsers but standards conformance and design methodology is varied. My site looks as intended in Internet Explorer 6.0 and above. It also looks OK in Mozilla 1.2.1
Many Javascript features are lost when using Netscape or Opera v7 but still useable.
(individual .js files were OK but single header load file and function calls do not work)

Q : Are you currently ranked by any search engines ?
A : Yes I am! Currently google / alta-vista and yahoo. Just look for 'John Oldfield'

Q : What do you use to code your website ?
A : I hand code my site using HTML-Kit with images optimised for web use with Fireworks.

Q : So I presume you have a fancy PC then ?
A :Nope! Currently I run a 1GHZ Athlon machine running Windows 2000 SP3 with 56K internet access (yes I'm still on dial up :-( )
UPDATE : 10th March 2003 - Joined Pipex ADSL service woohoo.....

Have more question you would like answered ? Why not e-mail me and I'll answer them ASAP