Blogger Insider This round’s questions

This round’s questions are from Derek at WebJunkiesPalace. Good questions…

Ok so this is a little one sided, but I have to ask… why AOL? I mean I know that they are advertised as , but that seems by volume sales only(ribbing just a bit).

That’s an excellent question, and I honestly don’t have an answer. If you’re new to computers, old, or have kids, then AOL’s a good choice. If you know what you’re doing, like the latest technology, know what sites you want to go to, and want to be able to do things like IRC without people laughing at you, then AOL’s not for you.

Now that thats over… might I get some inside info as to just how bring your own ISP works… seems as many of our users (as well as those who might read this) have questions about this…?

One of the big costs to AOL is upkeep and deals for all those access numbers. The BYOA plan was created as an incentive for people to connect over the internet to AOL instead of using a modem, hence the price drop (I’m not sure what it is now, but it used to be $9.95).

What got you started in the software development arena?

I used to work in tech support for AOL (you think your calls are bad…). At one point, AOL had a small business webhost called PrimeHost. I switched over to take those calls, and they gave me my own site with AOLserver and a sweet (at the time) Illustra db. That’s what started it. I saw what some of my friends were doing with their databases, and started asking lots of questions. I spent 6 months getting up to speed with the latest in HTML (this was ’97), then Tcl and SQL and had the time of my life. I built all kinds of horrible db applications and pages.

What is your most favorite thing that you have discovered on the Internet?

I realized that there’s something on the web for everyone. This is incredibly liberating for people living in rural areas, and can be so for everyone else. There’s content online related to pretty much every avenue of human interest. All you have to do is find it. The web is also becoming, more and more, a great place for support and community. Its amazing potential for bringing people together is the greatest thing I can think of at the moment.

The photos of your son are adorable… What is the best ‘adventure’ young max has had this year?

Well, this year’s only a month and change old, so for this year, it’s probably playing in the snow for the first time. He loved it.

AOLserver… what exactly is its purpose? considering the banner on my site about AOL which I am sure is the one you got when visiting (or will after reading this), did you write AOL server (or portions thereof)?

AOLserver is an open-source web server. It’s scalable, extendable, modular and kicks some serious ass. Most of the sites at AOL run it and handle insane amounts of traffic. It stacks up favorably to Apache, beats the crap out of IIS and is just a lot of fun to build stuff for. You can build some insanely complex applications without ever having to look under the hood, by using just Tcl. No, I didn’t write it, but I know the guys who work on it. I write a lot of stuff for AOLserver, and wouldn’t suggest using anything else (but, I’m partial).

How long have you been into blogging? And do you insist on a blog entry daily?

According to the archive, I’ve been blogging for about 18 months. I didn’t really get into it until the middle of last year when I started playing more with CSS and wanted to improve my writing. I decided to start sharing all the stuff wandering around in my head and try to communicate it in a way that made sense. It’s been a lot of fun. And no, I don’t insist on blogging every day, although I usually do.

What do you feel the next hot language will be for the web?

It’s not a language, but the hot topic I see on the horizon is the whole standards movement. As we start to phase out the old browsers (Netscape 4.x, I’m looking at you over there in the corner), people who build sites will be better able to divorce data from display, be able to build more complex and usable sites, and we’ll all be happy little web slaves. XML, CSS and XHTML will play big parts in the next couple years in making this possible. Personally, I can’t wait.

I am guessing you rooted for the Pats in the superbowl, how did you feel about their game play?

I didn’t really root for anyone. I loved watching the Rams during the regular season take people apart. Watching sheer domination is kind of fun. The Pats had a nice story and were the emotional favorite, and they played a great game. I don’t think Tom Brady’s numbers warranted the MVP. It should have gone to the whole New England defense who found the key to corralling the Rams offense.

Who is your all time favorite sports hero?

This one’s hard. Since I started watching football during the ’90-’91 season while I lived here during high school, I have to say Mark Rypien. He was quite and unassuming but ran that amazing offense with amazing skill. During their playoff game, against Deion Sanders and the Falcons, in the mud at RFK, Mark threw a pick to Deion. As Deion took off for the end zone, Mark, and all his 6’2″ and 250 pounds cut him off and slammed into him, creating a giant muddy heap as the two slid 5 yards out of bounds. It was amazing that after a mistake like that, he switched gears right away and took Sanders down.

Is the glass half empty or half full?

What color is the glass? Shape? Size? I’d say it’s half and half.

Who is a better commedian, Letterman or Leno?

Letterman in a landslide. Leno just bugs me. He’s annoying and a suck-up. His jokes aren’t funny, and his bits are lame. Letterman’s still got some zing and gives his guests a hard time when they deserve it.

And one more question about AOL (trying to learn also) is it in any way possible for a subscriber of AOL to connect without using the AOL CD? It seems that the latest release is troublesome for some users… that and a plain ol browser is just good enough… (more ribbing).

I’m assuming by “CD” you mean the software? You can get your mail on the web, and use AIM without the software. But, if you really want the whole “AOL Experience”, you need to software. I haven’t had any problems with 7.0 at home… Don’t worry about the ribbing. I have enough problems with the way AOL does stuff that it really doesn’t bother me when other people have problems with them. And by the way, sucks. I mean, come on. Be original in your criticism. Have you even looked at your own site? Try a little design, people! No one’s going to take you seriously if your site looks like a 5th-grade class project from 1997.
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By Kevin Lawver

Web developer, Software Engineer @ Gusto, Co-founder @ TechSAV, husband, father, aspiring social capitalist and troublemaker.