About

This site uses PHP (see below) and MySQL to create dynamic pages. Click here, for a real time count of the records used in the tables. 

This site has existed since December 2000 till present. I started this website for the purpose of learning various Internet/Web technologies, especially PHP/MySQL. So I guess you can say I was a full stack developer before I even knew what the term meant. Actually I started on a personal web server, but felt it would be better to place this on the actual Internet. And I believe I have learned much over the years. But there is always something new to learn. I have been an actual (paid) computer programmer, systems programmer and database administrator (DBA). But in regards to the Internet I am basically "self taught". My background has helped though. For example being a DBA gave me an appreciation for databases and prompted me to learn about SQL. This in turn led me to learn and use MySQL for this Website and SQLite for my personal projects.

My weakest area is Website design. Sure I can get better, but I don't think I will ever be great, I think you need that artistic gene. So for the most part I concentrate on creating functional web pages. From December 2000 till December 2005 it was workingwebdesigns.com. I think this was a cooler name than the current name but I was uneasy with the "design" part of the name. It was taken offline early Dec. 2005 for about 30 days while I looked for a new host (because my host sold out). In January 2006 it was moved to a new host and renamed billslittlewebsite.com. (I'm not crazy about the "little" part of the name it sounds a "little" too cute. I wanted billswebsite.com. but it was already taken. Oh well.) This hosting company lasted about 10 months. I didn't attempt to revive it until June of 2007. I then signed with a new host who never gave me any account information and site seemed to have problems. So I got a refund. So in July of 2007 I once again found a new host with the features/price I was looking for. Hopefully I will be here for a while.  

July 2018 - Moving website again. I was happy with my old host and with them for over 10 years. However I've been running up against old hosts 800MB storage limit, getting "Disk Usage Warning warn" for over 3 years. I know I asked about it (around April 2016), and was told something to the effect that I could order more space for a price increase. They (old host) offer new users 50GB. I really didn't want to switch and go through the hassle of moving. I think (fingers crossed) new host offers everything I need to replicate my website. However I couldn't ignore the increase from 800MB storage to 20GB, they also offer 50 MySQL databases as opposed to 5 at my old host. I can only hope the new host will be as good as old host.

Here is a log I started in March 2008 of my work on this web site. It is not complete. Everything that I have done is not here. Some of the dates I got by looking back at old backups. After 11 years as a static web page that I had to manually edit, I moved it, in July 2019 to WordPress.

CSS

Being non-artistic I probably don't devote as much time mastering or even just using CSS properly, as I should. Some things I thought were quirky not long ago, I now find was just because I didn't spend enough time understanding CSS. I've already admitted I'll never be a great designer. However I can envision becoming better at CSS...if I put in the time. But that brings me back to the point of not really enjoying the artistic aspect in the first place. That in turn cause me to not...put in the time!

I've also briefly looked at other possible solutions...that might offer a solution, such as Grid, Flexbox & Bootstrap.

Well slowly I'm getting the layout more like I want. The home page although not perfect is not bad...at least on the browsers/screens that I've tested on. It even looks good on my android phone. The main problem is that I never found a documented solution, and basically got it to work by trying a combination of things, with not truly understanding why it works. Not the best way, I'd much rather be able to say I did this because. In programming if something doesn't work...I almost always understand why. The biggest change seems to be moving the footer in the html and adding overflow: hidden; to the css content section. Here's the about page after creating a basic CSS layout, not at all the way I wanted it at all. And here's the page (the way I wanted it to display) after adding overflow: hidden; to the CSS content section. Which is the way this current page is. Not clear to me. So if I hide the overflow...I now see more? More being the white background color.

PHP

The following 3 PHP programs were written in the early 2000s...starting in December 2000. So they were written using PHP version 3 or 4 depending on my host at the time. Over the years, I didn't keep up with new PHP advances and I had to fall back to version 5.3 for them to run. I finally got around [June 2019] to changing the Birthday & Dog programs to run on version 7. I probably won't update my Calendar program because you can find much better PHP calendar programs on the web, however I need to find another place to use my quote database.


Main Menu

Birthdays
I don't know why but when I was a kid I was interested in knowing who was born the same day as me. I would look in a old paperback almanac we had. This page displays famous birthday's for the current day. In addition you may search by name or by Month and Day. I also added a button that allows you to view deaths that occurred within the last six months.

The database also contains a field where additional information may be included. If this information is available, you can access it by clicking on the name. I could say much more about the initial creation of this database, interesting in itself...but won't go into detail here.

Originally all pages were generated dynamically using PHP/MySQL, this would be inefficient in a production system because the same main current day page would be generated each time a person accessed the page.  So I redesigned it so the main daily page would be static. A small PHP program is run once a day at midnight (invoked by a Unix Cron job) that generates a static page for that day. Searches are still done dynamically.

Dogs
Local link to my dog-size.com site. This information may be of actual use to anyone who is interested in dogs, specifically breed sizes. I have been interested in dogs since I was a kid. I own over fifty dog books. I could not find this information easily available for comparison in one place so I created this database. The database contains over 600 different dog breeds. There maybe some information missing especially for the rarer breeds. I will update the database as I get more information. You can search for breeds by specifying height and/or weight criteria. You can also search by breed name. You can use wildcard characters to search. For example '%mastiff%' will display all breeds containing 'mastiff'. If you want you can restrict your searches to the AKC (American Kennel Club) or the UKC (United Kennel Club). This is an add-on domain to this site. 

Calendars  [No longer available]
Decided not to update this old PHP version 3 or 4 program. There are much better calendars available than this old program.

This page generates a calendar for the current month, you may also select a month/year. There is also an option to generate a calendar for the whole year. A random quotation is displayed each time the calendar is displayed, this is my favorite part. I painstakingly read thru many quotes to find my favorites. I sometimes just keep pressing 'Today' to see what random quote pops up next. The quotations are stored in a MySQL database. In a production environment the calendar for the current month should be a static HTML page. A program could be written to run once a month to generate the calendar. See the description of how I did this for the Birthday's program. These are the first PHP/MySQL programs I wrote. They were written in Dec. 2000.


judoplaces.com
This is an add-on domain to this site. I created this as a free service for people interested in looking for Judo classes. I have entered information for the south Florida area. This should be an low traffic site. The static pages are created programmatically. A MS-Access database application originally created the pages. However it has long ago been re-written using Python/SQLite and runs on Linux. It creates 30+ pages in a split second. One nice feature is that it automatically generates the links to Mapquest and Yahoo maps for a map to the Judo locations.


Mainframe
I have worked for over fifteen years in a IBM mainframe (VM/VSE) environment. I have worked as a computer operator, programmer, System's programmer and Database administrator (ADABAS). Here is a small sample of COBOL, Assembler and REXX programs. This link is not on the main menu.



Big Numbers

This Python program doesn't  solve any of life's big problems, but it will help you pronounce very large numbers. We all know the common ones...thousands, millions, billions maybe a few more, but how about something much larger?

MS-Access
Some examples of my personal Microsoft Access programs. I have used Access since version 1, I even had a DOS version. I did some occasional work for a local company (whom I had previously worked for) for many years, but not so much anymore. It may not be cool to say, but I like MS-Access and have created many databases/programs with it. But it only runs on MS-Window. Because I also use the Linux OS, I have converted many of my old Access databases to SQLite/Python, because the databases are portable and can be used used on either OS.


Genealogy
My genealogy page. Of no interest to anyone but my family. I currently use WebTrees software derived from the excellent PhpGedView which I originally used.


My High School Yearbook
The title says it all. Names and pictures of the senior class. Of no interest to anyone but my me and my Classmates. I didn't even care about my yearbook at the time. But my mom knew I would so she bought it for me (She was right). Many of these faces I have known since Elementary school. I decided this would be a good personal project for me. I originally created this in 1999 and enhanced it some in the early 2000's.


PGP/GPG Key

My public PGP key.


I use MySQL because I like it and most Web hosts support it. At home I have also dabbled with PostgreSQL which I like very much, and I have also used/played with Firebird. A very cool small SQL database that I use a lot is SQLite.


Linux

I've been using/learning linux since before 1995. Here is some screenshots of my Linux desktop, provided mostly for new users to give you an example of what Linux looks like. Currently I'm mostly using Linux Mint with the Cinnamon desktop. As you can see it has a nice GUI interface and is probably similar to what you are already familiar with. You may not start out using Virtual Machines...but it's available when/if you want it. Linux and most of the applications are free. If you don't like the look of Mint there are many, many more distros available. If you would like to see other Linux distributions click here. For further information on Linux, see the Linux Documentation Project.


MS-Windows

Being that people like to bash MS-Windows AFTER they learn about Linux...these are my thoughts.


Comments and/or problems with this site may be emailed to me.