Internet Service Providers
After about 13 months on Alink, Davison Online moved to Slip.Net, which was a terrific Internet Service Provider until they were bought out by First World Communications whereupon they went to hell in a handbasket. Davison Online is currently hosted by MacAtoZ LLC.

For a short period, my Internet connectivity was handled by the excellent Portland, Oregon-based Internet Arena. Unfortunately, their reach didn’t extend to Salem, so I switched to Earthlink. Earthlink, however, did not offer DSL service to my area so to fulfill my desire for high speed broadband access, I joined AtHome. Their cable modem service was flakey for a couple of months, but they eventually got a DS3 line connected for my area, and speeds went zooming. AtHome eventually discovered that they had no business sense, and all customers in my neck of the woods were transferred to AT&T Broadband. More recently AT&T Broadband discovered that it’s better to make money than to lose it and sold their broadband service to Comcast. I expected Comcast to jack the prices soon after the AT&T buyout, and sure enough up they went. Nonetheless, Comcast has provided decent speed and fairly good reliability for several years now, and if you can afford their $55 a month cost, I think it’s worth it.

Production Equipment—Hardware
I produced this web site on five computers, though such is the magic of WordPress that I could technically update it now from any Internet-connected machine.

1. Henry
The site was first created on an Apple Macintosh IIci (“Henry” ) with 20 megabytes of RAM and a 100 meg hard drive on an Apple 13″ RGB monitor. This was considered state o’ de art circa 1990. I was, of course, using Henry in 1997 and 1998. Henry is now retired.

2. Zeke / Zephyr
The site underwent most of its significant growth and revision on an Apple Power Macintosh 7500/100 with a PowerLogix 275/275/1 G3 accelerator (“Zeke”). Zeke had 208 megabytes of RAM, a 9.1 GB hard drive, a 1 GB hard drive and a 4x CD-ROM. Zeke ran a dual display setup via an ATI Rage Orion video card plus 17″ VGA and 16″ RGB monitors. Both Zeke and Henry used to upload files to the web server via a SupraFAX 28.8 modem (flash upgraded to 33.6k). [Poor old Zeke suffered a motherboard failure in 2003 and was replaced by Zephyr, a Power Mac 7600 with a Sonnet Technologies G4/700 card. Zephyr was strickly a music production machine for awhile; he’s now been retired.]

3. Trinity
For several years the site was primarily updated and maintained on a PowerBook G3 (FireWire) 500-MHz laptop called “Trinity.”  Trin had 384 MB of RAM, a 30 gig hard drive, and a high degree of portability and connectivity. More often than not Trinity ran a dual display with its own 14.1″ LCD display and a Princeton EO90 19″ CRT monitor. [UPDATE: The Princeton went down in an exciting shower of sparks, afterwhich the dual display ran on a 15″ Compaq MV720 CRT.] Trin has an Adaptec PowerDomain SlimSCSI 1480 Cardbus interface which allows it to hook up to a UMAX S-6E 4800 dpi (interpolated) color scanner and a 1 GB removable cartridge Iomega Jaz drive. Trinity uses a built-in 802.11b wireless Airport card to connect to an Apple BaseStation which in turn is ethernetted to a Motorola 4200 cable modem linked to Comcast’s high speed Internet service. Erin begun using as her school computer in 2005; Trin has since been sold.]

4. Mystic
The main production machine from mid-2005 to mid-2007 was a PowerBook G4 1.5-GHz with 2 GB of RAM named “Mystic.” The PowerBook served as my main battle axe for a couple of years and proved quite capable when coupled to a 20″ Apple Cinema Display. I’ve got some Logitech speakers for sound and a Brother CDP 8065DN for scanning as well. Mystic replaced Trinity as Erin’s school computer in 2007 and was sold in late 2009 when Erin moved to Khartoum, an Intel iMac.

5. Asgard
An Intel-based 2.2-GHz MacBook Pro called “Asgard” ran the show from mid-2007 to early 2010. Asgard has 4 GB of RAM and offers really impressive performance as long as I don’t load up a couple hundred fonts at once (which I’ve been known to do both wittingly and unwittingly). I used Asgard as my main “in-the-field” Mac for several years.

6. Big Iron
An Intel 8-core 2.26-GHz Mac Pro, aptly named “Big Iron,” now powered things for over a decade. Twenty GB of RAM, 64-bit capable and blazingly fast on computationally intensive tasks. Finally decommissioned in 2024.

7. Harmony
Harmony was a first generation wifi-only iPad with 32 GB of RAM. I frequently used it for blog or Facebook updates. I soured on the iPad as a production device over the years, and the iPads have had since Harmony have been used almost entirely for consumption—a task at which they excel.

8. Gungnir
My iPhone 3GS when I absolutely, positively cannot help but blog. Mostly the thumb-typing is annoying for longer passages and I confine myself to updating Facebook this way. Later iPhones—and I’ve had many of them—have all been consigned to consumption not blog production, though iPhone photography has advanced to such a state that about the time of the iPhone 4 they replaced all the cameras I’m about to mention below.

Most early pictures in the Photo Gallery were taken with a Canon S300 PowerShot digital camera which, in its day, totally rocked. Later shots come from a Canon S500 PowerShot digital camera which rocks even harder. Newer shots come from a Panasonic Lumix with a 12x optical zoom. These cameras, including the Lumix, were all replaced by iPhones over the years. The Lumix was better than a number of them because of that 12x optical zoom, but the best camera is the one you have with you and the iPhone is always with me. 

Production Equipment—Software
Software originally used in the creation and implementation of this web site includes: Adobe PageMill 3, GoLive CyberStudio 3.11, Adobe Photoshop 3.0.5, Kai’s PowerTools 2.1, Alien Skin Software’s EyeCandy 3.0, ExaChess Lite 1.2, Ambrosia Software’s Snapz Pro, Fetch 3.03, Netscape Navigator 4.04, MacBench 4.0, UMAX VistaScan 2.3, and Aladdin Software’s StuffIt Deluxe 4.5.

Software used in the creation and implementation of a more recent incarnation of this web site included: Adobe ImageReady 2, Kai’s PowerTools 3.0, Alien Skin Software’s EyeCandy 3.0, ExaChess Lite 2.1, Ambrosia Software’s Snapz Pro, Fetch 4, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.2, Reunion 8, and Adobe GoLive 6.

After Adobe killed GoLive, I moved everything to a WordPress-based site. Software used in the creation and implementation of the that site included: WordPress, Adobe ImageReady CS, Panic’s Transmit, and Apple’s Safari.

Nowadays, I used WordPress, Red Sweater Software’s Mars Edit, and that’s about it. 

The original design of the site was my own Adobe GoLive-based creation. In the web site’s Movable Type era (roughly 2005-2006) the stylesheets and templates were derived from a design by Neil Turner. The 2007-2009 WordPress design used the free MistyLook made by Web Hosting Bluebook. Then the site used the Spotlight theme. Nowadays it’s Elegant Software’s Divi them.