A man, a cat, and some books

Questions and answers…

Regarding Robert

What’s a part-time polymath?

A professional diletante. For more information, please consult a dictionary, or the works of the late Douglas Adams, in particular the Dirk Gently books.

What sorts of systems are designed and constructed?

I earn a living as computer systems consultant, specialising in analysis and design in the realm of databases, corporate information systems and Unix systems programming. For more detail please refer to my resumé.

What do you mean by “things medieval?”

Apart from having been a member of the Richard IIIrd Society and having a passionate interest in all things medieval, I’ve been involved in Living History for many years. Most of the craft activities I undertake are related to this interest. I am particularly interested in 14th, 15th and 16th century Europe, and in medieval and renaissance fencing.

Regarding This Website

Why does the website exist at all?

The website is primarily an opportunity for me to explore, demonstrate and experiment with on-line publishing techniques and markup languages. It also serves as a venue for publishing my resumé, and as a way to have some control over what information about me is publicly available.

Why “The Occasional Masthead”?

When I began toying with ideas for the design, I was thinking about newspapers (hence the largely monochrome treatment), all of which tend to have excitingly dynamic names involving words like “Herald”, “Express”, “Courier”, “Times” and “Mail”. Since part of the web site was more or less a journal, a temporal adjective was needed, but daily, weekly or even bi-annually suggested a rigour of publication I was not willing to commit to! Hence occasional as an accurate description of the frequency of update. So, “The Occasional Something”. Something, something — what could I call a masthead? It’s rather obvious when you think about it — the masthead is called: The Masthead. Thus, obscurely, the obscure and rather quaint title.

Why is the website all in black and white?

It’s not all in black and white. If you look closely you’ll see that most of the images have shades of grey, and the links are in red and green. Over time some colour photographs may creep in. Your humble correspondent can hazard the guess that response does not truly answer your question.

The largely monochrome appearance is a deliberate design choice, intended to suggest the style of early 20th and late 19th century printed materials. The design themes are carried over into business cards and letterhead. The choice of this particular design theme is in part a reaction to the enormous number of poorly designed and garishly coloured websites in existence, partially because it completely removes most of the colour fidelity issues that plague the web, but primarily because I am fond of late 19th and early 20th century designs. Please refer to the colophon for more details about the design and sources.

What’s a Colophon?

The online Merriam-Webster dictionary has:

col·o·phon
Pronunciation: ’kä-l&-f&n, -“fän
Function: noun

Etymology: Latin, from Greek kolophOn summit, finishing touch; perhaps akin to Latin culmen top

Date: 1774

  1. an inscription placed at the end of a book or manuscript usually with facts relative to its production
  2. an identifying device used by a printer or a publisher

Why don’t some of the pictures show up?

Many of the images are stored in PNG format. If you are viewing this with an elderly or non-compliant browser, that document format may not be supported. I hope in time to provide alternate images for browsers that cannot handle PNG images. You may also have problems if your browser is so old that it does not support the <object> markup as a more accurate alternate to the <img> markup.

Why doesn’t your email address work when I click on it?

Because it’s not wrapped in a <mailto> HTTP tag. This is a deliberate attempt to reduce the number of mail-harvesting spam merchants that can obtain the address. The cognoscenti may enjoy peeking at the source code for the page to see how I further obfuscate the address. If you can see the address, but it doesn’t seem to respond, your browser may not support JavaScript, or JavaScript support may be disabled.

What does “Parva Leves Capiunt Animas” mean?

Go forth and Google

Thursday, 13 February 2003, 4:05 pm

Oops. I just noticed that Google query brings this page up near the top of the list, leading to unwarranted recursion. To avoid that, the definition: “Small Things Amuse Small Minds”

 

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