Nuts and Bolts
A lot has changed since the last time I embarked on an extended ramble. That was in 1993 - postcards and letters served as the slow boat of communication with those back home. My mom and dad were thrilled when I telephoned from Manila but that feeling subsided quickly as I told them "I'm off to Viet Nam, you won't hear from me for awhile". The US had no diplomatic relations with Viet Nam at that time and going there as an American was an exercise in "trading with the enemy". Today, Viet Nam is connected to the Internet and cybercafes are readily found.
the big picture
nuts and bolts
prep notes
shout outs
Enter the Web
When I returned home from that trip, I had a pile of photos and a head full of new interests fueled by extraordinary experiences. I spent much time at the public library reading old newspaper articles covering the UN sponsored elections in Cambodia - events that I'd witnessed first hand. I started writing and I fantasized about being published.

Right about that time, I heard about something called Mosaic and this Internet related thing known as the World Wide Web. Less than a year later, I had self-published my photography and writing on the web and was working in the industry.

After a thrilling 3-year ride developing web sites and processes for Ikonic (acquired by USWeb which in turn merged with CKS), it's time once again to travel.

Evelyn and I met working together at Ikonic. I still miss working with her. But less so now that we've spent so much time working together on Our skill sets are perfectly complimentary. I handle the HTML, Javascript, database development and Cold Fusion coding. She works professionally as a project manager but also has experience and a fair amount of talent in the realms of graphic design and user interface design. In other words, she tells me what to do. ;)

The premise for is to develop and maintain a rich web site that can be populated from cybercafes around the world relying exclusively on a browser and a connection to the Internet. We're not carrying a computer.

The backend is being developed with Allaire's Cold Fusion.

Basically, we're developing two web sites - the public site (which you see) and the private publishing system that only Evelyn and I use. Changes and additions that we make in the publishing system show up on the public site.

Handling Images
The one piece of equipment that we are carrying for use on this site is a Sony TRV-900 3-chip digital video camera. Not that we'll be posting any audio or video - that will have to wait until after we get back home - but rather for digital stills.

One significant challenge of the site has been the handling of images. With the TRV-900, you can shoot stills to tape and later selectively download to floppy via an external (and reasonably small) floppy disk drive. This allows for a convenient way to get the images out of the camera and onto a computer at any given cybercafe (assuming the machine has a floppy drive and that we're allowed to pop in our disc).

The publishing system takes it from there as it has file upload and handling capabilities.

The Unknown
The system works well here at home but out there... it's the big unknown. Slow and unreliable connections, old technology, long waits to get on a machine and the absence of cybercafes is are all very real possibilities.

So yea, basically it's one big experiment. We plan to find out first hand, what is the state of Internet access around the world here at the edge of the millennium.

Gregg, San Francisco, 3/31/99
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