This site is designed for, and tested with, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 (or higher) and Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 (or higher). It should also work with Safari 3.0 (or higher), but I have not tested the site with that browser since December 29, 2008 and that was on the Windows platform only.
I have no plans now or ever to tweak this site for Opera, Chrome, Dolphin, Netscape, K-Meleon, Lynx, Konqueror, Camino, Galeon, iCab, or any browser other than Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari, including earlier versions of those browsers.
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How This Site Came To Be
I first got broadband in the late 1990s, when I was living in an apartment complex in Dunwoody, Georgia. The complex had an unusual setup in that the cable bills were paid directly by each renter, but the overall infrastructure was governed by the complex. So although each unit got a bill from MediaOne every month, the features available to the renters were limited to what the leasing office approved… much like a condominium association where there is only a single corporate account for the entire complex and each household pays the bill indirectly via their homeowner’s fees. And, for whatever reason, the leasing office couldn’t get approval from the ownership to upgrade to “advanced” services like digital cable or high-speed internet. So BellSouth DSL was my only option.
A couple of years passed, and I moved to Alpharetta, a booming suburbanite town a few miles north of Dunwoody. BellSouth repeatedly promised that DSL would be waiting for me when I moved in. As you might guess, it wasn’t. So I called BellSouth 27 times and got 27 different answers as to when or if I’d be getting DSL transferred to my new place. “Three days”. “One week”. “It isn’t on already?” I heard every answer you can imagine.
As luck would have it, I had a very good friend who, at the time, worked for EarthLink as “customer advocate liaison” between EarthLink and their broadband providers, like telcos and cable companies. So if you signed up for EarthLink cable or DSL service and had some problem with the installation, you’d call EarthLink, and my friend would call these “super secret” phone numbers and talk to people at BellSouth who actually knew what they were doing. These weren’t garden-variety tech support people, they were more like NOC people.
I eventually wore my friend down into giving me the BellSouth number. And so I called them. The NOC guy kept asking who I was and how I got that number, but I eventually found out that my local DSLAM was full, and that BellSouth had no plans to update it until late November of that year… as in, around 9 months from the day I called. I was so livid that I immediately called the regular BellSouth DSL number and gave them an ear full. I kept getting escalated to ever-higher supervisors as I was finally able to tell them what was wrong… on their end!
All the while I was on the phone, I was surfing MediaOne’s website. I was so pissed off that I signed up online for cable Internet whilst on hold for some other BellSouth jerk. At the time, this was an expensive thing to do: most cable companies required you to buy your own modem, and even though I could have bought one locally for around $59, I was so spiteful of BellSouth that I told MediaOne to bring one… for $250! That’s how angry I was! The MediaOne people were as pleasant as could be, but it would still take a week or two to get cable Internet up and running.
By this time I’d been without a POP email address for over a month. See, rather than “transfer” my account, BellSouth had simply canceled my old account and opened a new (non-working) one. So, without warning, my primary email address was gone… which was one of the main reasons why I was so mad with BellSouth. Anyway, like a lot of people at the time, I had an unnatural prejudice against webmail, so getting a temporary Yahoo! or Hotmail address just wouldn’t do: I had to have a POP account. I checked in at the Ars Technica Forums, where a company named Aletia Hosting was highly recommended. Although I had long planned on getting my own domain, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back: I spent around $100 to register this domain and get my new email account set up.
And that’s all jimcofer.com was for the first couple of months… just an email address. But back then I was living by myself. I spent most Friday nights home alone as my “decompress night”. I’d pick up some Chinese on the way home from work, catch Jessica Alba in tight leather pants in Dark Angel, and then stay up late playing video games or mucking about on the computer.
One Friday night, I was just hanging around when I noticed that I had a fully-licensed copy of FrontPage sitting around doing nothing, and a web hosting account with no website. Although most web designers hated FrontPage, I decided to load it up on my computer and tinker around “for kicks”. Within a couple of days, I had created a site from the built-in “personal website” template. Just for laughs, I published it to my web server, and jimcofer.com was born. Since then the site has undergone numerous changes in theme, style and content. But I’m still here, having fun running this site for you!