Originally Web posted Wednesday, 4 September 2013.
Content last modified Tuesday, 9 August 2016 .
External links last verified Thursday, 2 June 2016.

Siber-Sonic Site History

In Reverse-Chronological Order

This has turned into mostly a chronological list of when new articles were added. As such, it is as close as this site is getting to a Site Index, so far. Major changes are highlighted like this.


16 September 2016
Improved Breville 800ESXL Repair article navigation, suggested by a site visitor.
8-17 July 2016
  • In the process of updating the Apple Mail S/MIME article, i finally started testing some pages on the latest version of iCab (5.6.2 on this date). iCab still does not smile, related to just a few lines of CSS which are used on nearly every page of the site. I continue to believe that iCab’s error report is spurious. W3C has no problem at all with my HTML and CSS. I still like iCab (even though i’m not using it very much so far in OS X), greatly appreciate its existence, and would love to keep (in a sense) advertising it on most of my pages. However it is not fair to iCab/its creators/me to false advertise that my pages make iCab smile when they obviously no longer do. Therefore with sadness i am removing all references to iCab smiling, except on some legacy HTML 3.2 pages and maybe one or two others which do not use the site-wide CSS file with the problematic lines and thus still smile.
  • Related to the above testing, i discovered that some image minimization (file size reduction) i’ve been doing since maybe 2013 using ImageOptim has altered some images in such a way that Cyberdog 2.0, this site’s former reference WWW browser, can no longer render them. Attempting to load any of these images individually in Cyberdog gives a corrupted file error. It very well could be that ImageOptim is violating file format standards. I do not have time to research this/test this. Therefore i am removing “Cyberdog Savvy” from the affected pages, and in some cases updating those pages to be more rigorously semantic (some may not receive such updates and retain their legacy HTML). If anyone is still using Cyberdog, email me and share some reminiscences. There are still some pages which are “Cyberdog Savvy”, though not many. Bye bye, Cyberdog! Thank you so much for all the empowerment, information, and memories!
  • Related to the above two items, re-did the entire X-10 subsite, fixing a slew of broken links to Ido Bartana’s site, some weird bugs i somehow created with alert boxes, and updated to modern-ish CSS and HTML 4.01 (and closer to semantic markup, but not 100%). Thanks to several of you (site correspondents) for pointing out the broken links over the past half year or so.
  • Also related, the Extreme Irrigation subsite was quite the mess of HTML and CSS from the very early days through fairly recently. It too was updated to modern-ish CSS and HTML 4.01 (and closer to semantic markup, but not 100%). Cleaned up a fair bit of CSS cruft in the form of a group of kludges for this one long series of articles. Found and repaired two previously-undiscovered damaged images from a suboptimal 2013 version of ImageOptim. Many CSS changes were in the main CSS file, so there might be some collateral damage as there are too many pages on this site to check each one carefully without spending several days.
2 June 2016
New article: Chrysler Intermittent (Delay) Windshield Wiper Operation, Troubleshooting, Repair
4 December 2015
  • New article: Lennox G20 Series - Electrical and Other Adventures
  • In the process of creating the above new article, i re-evaluated the status of line drawing art, such as schematic and block diagrams. I concluded that SVG looks so much better on the iPhone 4S i sometimes borrow for testing, works OK even on many of the older WWW browsers in my test suite, and as of this date is widely supported, that as of this date i am transitioning most drawn images on this site to SVG. In addition to being the best choice for iOS, the smaller file sizes should lower my hosting costs (or at least keep them from going up as much).

    Regrettably, this means that older WWW browsers which cannot handle SVG will not see some artwork. Amongst my test suite, this includes Camino 2.1.2 and iCab 3. Yes i am aware that it is entirely possible to add fallback image formats, but that negates the SVG advantage of smaller file sizes and my lower hosting costs.

    My current plan is to use SVG on new material and leave older images on existing pages in their current (older) format(s). In some cases i may choose to update or redo selected line art-type images in SVG. It will really surprise me if anyone is negatively affected by this change. If you are, i’d be curious to read a fact-based, minimally ranty account of your situation. By the same token, if you are using a modern device (especially one with a small and/or high-resolution screen) and a particular drawn graphic/article presents itself especially poorly, i’d like to know about that.

  • (Finally) noticed that some pages that are marked as making iCab smile do not in fact make iCab smile. For now, this is in-progress, waiting for me to try a newer/current version of iCab to see what it does, then go from there. This issue may possibly remain for a good chunk of time.
6 March 2014
  • Finally figured out the CSS trick for images on small screens:
    img {max-width: 100%; height: auto;}
    The site should now suck less on small screens (iOS devices, etc.), though i still don’t own such a device and am still learning, so at least parts of the site will still suck on some/many/all handhelds. Specifically, there are a number of pages which are still HTML 3.2 which does not allow cascading style sheets and thus where the trick won’t work. There are also known issues with some of the Extreme Irrigation pages, the X-10 home page, and a few others.
  • Minimized the main and home page CSS for your faster loading pleasure.
28 November 2013
Added significant new material to Working with Macintosh Floppy Disks in the New Millennium and corrected a major systematic error throughout the article where i confused density with the number of disk sides.
Summer 2013: Major Site Redesign (released 4 September 2013)
The first ever significant site redesign since initial publication in 1996! Changes include:
  • New home page design: first real redesign ever. Instead of an endlessly long list of all articles on the site, the home page now links to shorter lists for individual sections of the site.
  • Unified color themes: one color theme for each section on the site, with a few exceptions (the FM Reception article, because it was my very first and i still like seeing it in its 1996 glory; Extreme Irrigation because it is such a big article on its own, a couple of others for historic/quirky reasons).
  • All site pages checked to see how they might look to people with various types of colorblindness. All but one (By The Numbers) appear viable in the simulator.
  • iCab 3, the former site reference WWW browser, has been deprecated: i try to get things to work on it, but iCab 3 will likely no longer smile on many pages, due to new HTML/CSS features it knows nothing about. iCab 4 should continue to smile. For the time being the reference WWW browser remains Safari 4.1.3 for OS 10.4 Tiger.
Note: no actual article URLs have changed, so existing deep-link bookmarks/references should continue to work. Site policy is that when pages are moved, which is seldom, i put 301 permanent redirects in the appropriate .htaccess file.
26 June 2013
After 1 1/2 decades of delay, finally added two long-neglected broadcast-related articles: Somewhere in the world, somebody is still using or rediscovering the insanely crazy format of broadcast audio cartridge tapes. Hopefully that person will thank me.I am a dunce (smiley)!
15 April 2013
Major new article, several years in the making: Secure Email in OS X, Apple Mail
30 November 2012
New article: Setting Up and Using Accounts on Apple Time Capsule
24 February 2012
New article: Craftsman 47711 Torque Wrench Repair and Calibration
19 January 2011
Joined Project Honey Pot. New articles:
2010
Reference WWW browser is now Safari (the newest version at any point in time for OS X 10.4 Tiger). New articles:
27 May 2009
New and a bunch of old yet newly-indexed or WWW published articles:
2008

Spring and Summer 2008 saw two major site hosting changes within a few months of each other, as California.com wound down. For a few months in the spring, we were kindly hosted by a good friend. The volume of our domain email spam (i’m a Spam Killah!) brought her server to its knees, so we had to move. Since Summer 2008, domain email has been handily provided by Fastmail.fm, and website hosting brilliantly provided by Nearly Free Speech.net (NFSN).

The Wayback Machine is glitching out for this year, so all i can tell you is that the following articles appeared:

25 July 2007
New articles:
2006
The Wayback Machine is glitching out for this year, so all i can tell you is that the following articles appeared:
24 May 2005
Brief update on the Ultimate Character Set Pages.
16 March 2005
Apparently, i’d not been mindful of spell checking my pages up until this point. Updates on Weather Software Review and TechTool Pro Review.
6 February 2005
Update of Weather Software Review.
2004
This is around the time i ceased optimizing how pages looked in Cyberdog 2.0, instead going more and more towards standard CSS/HTML 4.01 (gradually… very gradually). My reference WWW browser was iCab (versions 2, then later 3). I continued to compatibility test new pages in Cyberdog for several more years. New articles:
4 March 2003
Decided that color web browsing is here to stay; toned down the obnoxiousness level of the color lack of contrast on the home page.
12 December 2001
Around this time, i moved up to BBEdit full/standard as my by-hand HTML editing application. I still use it as of 29 July 2013. Added WPoision anti-spam protection and link to spam.abuse.net.
26 October 2001
Minor home page update to push back against 11 Sept. 2001 anti-freedom misguided “security” insanity.
2 June 2001
World O’ X-10 debuts, adding to the collective wisdom regarding the first home automation system.
10 December 2000

Somewhere around this time, we moved both our ISP and site hosting to California.com, which actually was an ISP in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving both locally and a pretty wide footprint nationally. We kept our site hosting with California.com until 2008.

There was a period where we featured our current telephone answering system outgoing message, starting on this date. Didn’t last long: unlike the 1980s and 1990s, the message in the 2000s tended not to change much, so this article went away (making it one of only three so far to have done so in the history of this site through summer 2013).

24 September 2000
I started using BBEdit Lite around this time in preference to SimpleText. Since the last update, 3 new articles have appeared:
11 May 2000
Designing to HTML 4.01 Transitional at this point, which is basically what i still design towards in summer 2013 (with a few HTML 5 bits of goodness tossed in). Several articles were added between January and this date:
15 November 1999
The Wayback Machine tells me that by this point, i was already designing and testing for W3C HTML 4.0 compliance. On this date, there were 6 broadcast articles, one Macintosh article, and 4 personal articles/pages. I was still composing pages in SimpleText, though doing so on all of the Mac Plus, a IIsi, and my then-still-newish Power Macintosh 8600/300.
29 May 1999
First overhaul and modernization. I don’t have any notes regarding what exactly happened, though chances are excellent this was the first transition away from HTML 3.2 to HTML 4.
February 1999
Added the TechTool Pro Review, which i continued to update for several years, until MicroMat dropped support for my newest Mac/OS, and i found i no longer had a need for the product.
Siber-Sonic.com Born 29 November 1998

After the heartbreaking loss of several domain names i wanted (because i failed to purchase them right away once finding them available), i settled on siber-sonic.com as something available and not likely to be wanted by anyone else. This has proven to work out well. The name is an amalgamation of Siber Hussy (my long-time True Love) and Sonic Purity (me).

Hosting as best i recall was provided by KTB Internet, our then-newer ISP. (I swear to this day that the business was run out of a kid’s parent’s house in Glendale… sure seemed that way.)

Vague period of time, between July 1996 and 29 November 1998

The site was moved initially to my personal hosting space on Sirius Connection Inc. (the original sirius.com), my dial-up ISP at the time. Starting sometime in 1998, i transitioned to testing on/optimizing for Apple’s Cyberdog 2.0 Internet Suite, including its WWW browser. Cyberdog was amazingly standards-compliant for its time, and i continued to use it well into the early 2000s, and continued designing with it in mind until roughly 2005.

I didn’t start documenting site history ’til right now (29 July 2013), so let’s consider further details lost to time.

9 July 1998
Celebrated the 2 year anniversary of the Sonically Pure Pages by publishing Revox A77 Tips, which thanks to someone at Yahoo! was for many years one of the top search hits for some combination of “Revox” and “A77” (as of 31 July 2013, this article appears on the 4th. page of Google search results, at least for me when searching on [no quotes] “Revox A77”).
1 June 1997
Added the article Azimuth by Ear.
Site Founded 8 July 1996

The Sonically Pure Pages started out as a sub-site of marika.com, when that domain was owned by a wise, nice, real individual human being, not a heartless corporation too stupid to plan ahead and reserve the domain for themselves. Said corporation used unethical strong-arm tactics to wrest the domain away from its original owner, who lacked massive amounts of $$$ to mount a legal challenge for what is right and propah (sic).

Anyway… the first pages were the still-available-today FM Reception article, Polarity Matters, Easy Polarity Measurement, and Full-Logic Remote Control for Technics SL1200MKII. These articles were done entirely on my trusty Mac Plus, hand-edited in SimpleText. I had no color-able computer system, so i intentionally chose highly annoying colors (especially on the home page) for those who did… and didn’t get around to altering those colors for years. The site was tested on and designed for the MacWeb web browser, version 1.1.1e, and i didn’t really care what it did on other WWW browsers, most of which i could not run.


Sonic’s signatureThe Sonically Pure Pages

This Siber-Sonically Pure Page is Valid CSS! and Valid HTML 4.01! Transitional compliant.