About the 'Usual Fluff' website
I'm definitely in the 'amateur' category of website publishers. I'm learning as I go.
The site's called 'usual fluff' because it's not really the usual 'pictures of my niece' website. I can go a long time without stumbling through a stranger's online photo diary full of inside jokes. I try to put up things that a total stranger could get a laugh from. And I know a preposition is bad for ending a sentence with.
I use Netscape Composer (in Communicator v4.5) to flesh out the basic page design, and then use Notepad to edit the HTML directly. Composer adds a lot of redundant tags, and the image/text wrap feature doesn't seem to work well, so I fix that stuff in Notepad.
I'm starting to like formatting a page using tables, but it's not perfect. If you find something that just looks horrible on your screen, let me know.
I surf with Opera, because it's not from Netscape or Microsoft. That's reason enough to like it, but it's also very fast and flexible. I try to make sure a page looks ok on all three browsers (Opera, Netscape, MSIE). Pages often look different in each browser, but usually you can make something simple look right in all three. If you don't have Opera, you're dumb (unless you're runing Linux).
I can never get the "publish" function to work with my UCLA server, so I use WS-FTP to upload files to the server.
The images are mostly JPEGS, scanned from 4x6 photos. I crop and size them using PhotoSuite II or uLead PhotoPlus 4. I set the options halfway between 'best' and 'worst' image quality,and it makes images that are fairly small and still attractive.
I've also used a Kodak DC50 to take pics, like for the 'tech repair' articles. It's handy, and after a little getting-used-to, I can take ok photos. One thing worth noting is that the colors are way off. I don't know if it's this camera, or allDC50s, or digital cameras in general, but the colors are off. Obviously, for a personal web page it's not a significant error.
The background image on disease.html is a panoramic radiograph (panorex) of yours truly, scanned with a transparency scannner. I pixelated it and stuff with Adobe PhotoShop. I also have MRI scans of my head that will be used as background images in the future. A lot of pages don't have background images because I don't like them. I mean, should I put a background image on each page simply because I can? Well, in a word, no. If I picked up a book and the text was obscured by the background, I wouldn't read it, so why do people read webpages like that? Back grounds are nice for photo-only pages, or if you really fade out the image first.