Sunday, November 01, 2009

My time at GeoCities

Yahoo GeoCities closed sometime Monday, October 26, 2009, perhaps at the end of the day, as it was still available earlier in the day. I had been on it for a long time. I got a surprising amount of traffic for a while, though I got little or no traffic in the later years.

Before I joined GeoCities, I had been looking for a place where I could have my own web page. I chose GeoCities because it had just been acquired by Yahoo, and I already had a Yahoo email account.

The earliest file creation date I have on my C: drive for copies of my GeoCities files is for an old version of Index.html, the starting page for my site. The date for the file is Tuesday, July 4, 2000, 7:15:00 AM, meaning I probably joined GeoCities around that time.

I used one of their templates to create it, a pale green one. It had a place for a picture at the top left, with the part below that occupied by a short set of default links (to Yahoo locations), my name and email address, a smiley face that indicated whether I was online or not, and two links to the guestbook, to leave a message or to view the messages. I later replaced the Yahoo default links with ones of my own, and though the list remained short, it got long enough to affect the display and I had to adjust the code several times, to both place the links closer together and lengthening the lines that were used to frame the page.

On the right side of the page, room was given to write something. I devoted it initially to talking about what was on the other pages, with links to them, and also about being mentioned by a famous FoxPro book writer and programmer, in response to something I asked her about, and with links to that. I later also mentioned this blog. Originally the text the template used in this area was very small, but I eventually adjusted to display slightly larger.

The lines that framed the page were actually pictures and not connected to each other, with small square blocks at the corners that were in two sizes. The blocks weren't connected to the lines. If the page was stretched due to adding too many links or because of adding too much to the text, the vertical lines and the small blocks at the bottom corners grew too far apart.

I had been intending to redo the Index page and make the two sides two cells in a table, and get rid of the bordering picture lines and the associated code. This would make the page a lot easier to update. However, when I discovered that GeoCities was going to be discontinued, I dropped the plans. I had not actually written anything anyway, so it wasn't a big deal in that regard. I kind of wish I had done it earlier, though, and got it up, so it would be there for a while and I would have the satisfaction of having done it.

Two of the pages on my site were colored. The Index page, as mentioned already, was a light green. The color code for it was "#CCCC99". My Resume page was a kind of yellow-cream, with a code of "#FFF8CB". I found the color by looking for a web site that had a color close to what I wanted somewhere on it, then checking the source code for that page and finding the background color code for what I saw. I then did a little bit of experimentation with it on one of my web pages, perhaps the Resume page itself, to see if I could make the color a little closer to what I wanted. The rest of the pages were white.

I put site counters on all the pages, except those concerned with the guestbook. At one time the Index page counter showed over 800 visitors, but it got reset at some point, perhaps because of excessive time between visits. Some of the other pages also had high counts. All had shown very low counts for years, though, and the style of the display had changed on its own to show tall, thin, narrow letters. In researching and viewing things near the end, I noticed that it said that the settings would be dropped if there was no activity on that page for 90 days. That would explain some of it, though I'm not sure why the main page would reset. I tried to visit it more often than that, though I guess it's possible I could have been away longer than I thought a time or two. The pages had not only lost their counts, they lost the type of number display I had chosen, changing to the tall, narrow, hard to read numbers, which was frustrating. In going through it again near the end, I saw that the thin, narrow number style was the default one, so that it explains it. I changed it back for the Index page to normal looking, easy to read numbers, though it probably just had hours left to go at that point.

Besides the Index page, I had a resume and a long list of programs I had worked on, with links to descriptions of the programs. The program descriptions were in two files, one for utility programs and one for the others. I put code in to take the viewer to the specific program that was chosen. Because of the length of the two pages, I have divided them further here. The utility programs occupy two posts and the other programs occupy four posts.

There was a problem with the guestbook files, that occurred sometime along the way. While I could view the messages left (there was only one, plus a test message from me), I found near the end when I wanted to see what the display looked like for the one where a viewer enters a message, I got an error for the file not being found. The link pointed to a GeoCities file, that presumably would have pointed back to the file at my site containing the entry form. The entry form file (addbook.html) was still there that the file linked to should be looking for, and after opening it up to look at the code, I found that it seemed to reference the same address that the link had (going back and checking I found it was shown in a FORM clause). I doubt that it ever looked for addbook.html once the error started happening, though. It would have failed at the address linked to on the Index page. After a while I seemed to remember seeing this error years ago, and attributed it to a Yahoo-Geocities problem of some kind, since there wasn't any other reason for it not working. I had made no changes in it for a long time, and even then just to the text displayed with it, not to anything important.

Thinking now that they had changed in some way how guestbooks were handled, I went and set up another guestbook. I discovered that after it was done, I was just given code for the links to add a message or to view existing messages. They didn't have guestbook files on my actual site anymore (though what I had before wasn't bothered, of course; they didn't care about what was there). I tested it out and found that it now worked, but I didn't bother putting the links for the new guestbook on my Index page, as only hours were left and it was seldom visited by anyone now.

The files here have undergone some changes in appearance. Besides that already mentioned, in some cases the fonts may not aways be the same or the same size as they were. Some minor corrections have also been made, and where, in a few instances, the program descriptions were not filled in, they have now been done. Due to so many years passing, they may not be quite as detailed or certain as they might have been, but they should be sufficient. The links now also point to this blog and posts on it, of course.

My Geocities Homepage
My Geocities Guestbook
Program List
Utility Programs, Part I - Printers
Utility Programs, Part II - Error handlers
Programs, Part I
Programs, Part II
Programs, Part III
Programs, Part IV

The GeoCities File Manager

Create & Update > File Manager GeoCities Free View My Site

GeoCities Control Panel
Home Create & Update Manage Promote Help Index

Create & Update > File Manager

Your site: Edit using: HTML Editor Basic HTML Editor

New Edit Copy Rename Delete checked files
Name Last Modified (GMT) Size (KB)
[] / addbook.html View August 02, 2000 Stats 2
[] / dtlpg1.html View August 03, 2000 Stats 47
[] / dtlpga.html View August 02, 2000 Stats 16
[] / geobook.html View November 11, 2000 Stats 2
[] / index.html View March 20, 2009 Stats 17
[] / projpg1.html View August 03, 2000 Stats 6
[] / resume.html View October 30, 2001 Stats 6
Check All - Clear All = Subdirectory = PageBuilder = PageWizard
New Edit Copy Rename Delete checked files

New (Create Subdirectories to organize your files)

Disk Space Usage
0.1 MB
14.9 MB
Total Allocated:
15.0 MB


Notes from the final two days

[ Written initially around 3:26 AM, 10/26/2009, with later additions ]

I updated the counter style for the index page and it did update and did increment (going from 00029 to 00030 after the initial viewing and one or two subsequent ones). The new one is an easy to read square style instead of a thin narrow style (which was the default). (At one time the counter was over 800, but the counter used back then stopped working and I had to replace it, years ago.)

I also added a counter to geobook.html (the old View Guestbook file), and it gave me the code to add to the file. However, GeoCities no longer uses that setup, keeping the guestbook files in a central location. When I had earlier attempted to view the Sign guestbook page, it gave me an error for the page not being found. The link pointed to a Geocities location that would have presumably pointed back toward my file, but that Geocities page evidently no longer exists, having been replaced with the new system. I did not try to actually add the code to geobook.html.

The Control panel page seems to have largely stopped updating statistics a few hours ago. It did finally show 10/26 on the graph, but it came up as zero even though I had just visited it, and I noticed earlier that it had stopped updating 10/25.

Goecities closes today, Monday, October 26, 2009.

Checking it again late afternoon October 26, 2009 (writing this 6:12 PM 10/26/2009), I saw that 10/26 did update to five I think, then to 11 after a lot of viewing, making it the most activity for a day this month.

The counter for the Index page (the starting page for my site) got updated to 33, I think, the other counters don't seem to work, and at least a couple of them seemed stuck at zero. Even the counter for the Index page seemed to work erratically, which is normal.

The final statistics, from the GeoCities Control Panel:

Site Status
Data Transfer Usage
0% 100%
Hourly limit: 4.2MB
Used: 10%
Times exceeded today: 0
Times exceeded this month: 0

Disk Space Usage (MB)
0% 100%
Total: 15.0
Used: 0.1
Extra: 0.0
Available: 14.9

Tired of hourly limits? Need more room? Upgrade your plan.

Site Activity
Page View Summary
Total page views in last 7 days: 23
Total page views in last 30 days: 23
Most page views in last 30 days: 11 (Mon 10/26)

Daily Page Views
0 0 0 0 3 9 11

10/20 10/21 10/22 10/23 10/24 10/25 10/26

Site Statistics
Review all available reports on your site traffic and

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