Cynthia Kiser


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Finally I am going to put up a real web server of my own! I have had a home page since reading an article about this new fangled World Wide Web thing while procrastinating over experiments I should have been doing. Through a combination of nostalgia and laziness, it is still in place over at UGCS. Other relics of that time in my life can be found on this server - my PhD thesis and a couple of papers.

Then I found a great scam - having someone else provide content while I play with the HTML and programming. The folks at the Caltech Counseling Center let me play with their site. I did some HTML markup - including for a pretty insightful article about procrastination that I still refer to some times when I find myself wasting time.

Once their new content was in place, the counseling center staff were really curious about how (or if) students were using the information on the center's web site. Putting web counters on each page was pretty easy and then Kevin asked the totally reasonable corrilary: could we collect information about how may folks were using the links from the center's home page to other sites on the web? It didn't sound hard - because I had never thought about how the counters worked. They count hits as they come into your server - but if the link goes to someone else's site, then there are no hits on your server - just on the destination server.

It did not take me much searching to find an explanation - and solution - to the problem: the ACS clickthrough module. But installing it would have required being able to run programs on the web server that was hosting the center's web site. Have never gotten access to do that and the center still doesn't have a means of tracking their web referrals - but I got a great job at ArsDigita out of the question.

While working at Arsdigita I built an on-line community site for the Caltech community and taught bootcamp at Williams College's Winter Study. But I spend most of my time building a fundraising system and Donor Advised Fund product for GivingCapital. GivingCapital has been a great client and I am going to miss the gang there but I am really happy that they have sucessfully taken their maintenence and futher development efforts in house.

Once GivingCapital was fledged, I took some time off to start learning to ride in earnest. January and February were beautiful here in Southern California and I took advantage of that to ride nearly every day. Ansel approved. After a short stint at Visualize, I was seduced back to Caltech by the prospect of setting up their new web server. That has to be purchased, set up, and on line by September so don't expect any updates to this page until after that.

Since I am not the exhibitionist that some of the other people I used to work with are, this web site was not mostly so that you could read my web life story. It was so that I had a place to collect all the useful Unix and Oracle notes that I otherwise would have scattered around different work computers, and store my master .emacs and bookmarks files. I would also like it to be a place for my friends to collect stuff of their own - like pictures of our college reunion or the list of books we have read in our book group, and short reviews of some things I/we have found interesting. But Ictinike's main purpose is to provide a showcase for Tim's fabulous photos.


cnk@ugcs.caltech.edu