Thanks to a suggestion from a site visitor, I was able to locate the Asian banjo catalog pages previously available on Tetsuzo Shiga's Web site. All these images are now available on the Asian Banjo Catalogs page.
That same visitor alerted me to problems with the Contact page, which are now corrected.
Updating the site took about as long as I thought but I got it done sooner than I expected. I didn't do much else yesterday.
The big change is my use of the server-side programming language PHP. The effect for me is simpler maintenance and the ability to add features more easily. The visible effect is that all page names now end in .PHP rather than .HTM. This does mean that some page names changed; see Link Conversion table for details in case you have bookmarks. To the extent possible, references to an HTM page will automatically redirect to its new PHP counterpart.
I have begun a process of tuning up the design and improving the technology of this site.
As mentioned previously, the key design modification is improving readability on modern systems by enlarging the textual elements and making other minor changes. The general appearance of the site will remain the same. Changes in technology are for my benefit, to make it even easier for me to maintain the site.
There will be some disruption because I can't convert everything at once. The old and new layouts will co-exist for a time, with some pages showing the new look and some the old. If you get confused, clicking Home on one of the menus will get you back to the site's home page and its new layout.
Many thanks for your patience and please let me know if you find anything amiss.
Ten years ago when I created the Asian Banjos catalog page, I cobbled together some code to pop up the images of the catalog pages. I'm now using a commercial product that allows zooming to see the full extent and size of each image and works extremely well on mobile devices. It's a big improvement in the presentation.
While working on the catalog page, I discovered that the t-shiga.com site, which contained images of Japanese catalogs, has vanished. The links to those pages are still in place while I research the availability of those pages elsewhere. If you have any information that might help, please contact me.
Ten years ago, it seemed that RSS would be a common feature of Web sites. The sophistication and aggressiveness of search engines has made that unnecessary. Therefore, the RSS feed has been removed from the site. This page has replaced it as the location for news about the site.
After an unexpectedly long delay, I have begun making design updates to the site. So far, the top bar and menu have been tuned up a bit (more to come), the font size has increased, and the site has been widened. Stay tuned.
Paul built his site a long time ago, starting in 1999. In those days the typical display was just 800 pixels wide and thus Paul designed his site to fit by making it narrower than that width, just 763px, so that some of the background would show on either side. His other design decisions were informed by that width. For example, the font for the top menu was sized so all the items would fit. This was all perfectly rational.
Today, however, the result is that the site looks too small on most devices. It's "shrinking." I aim to fix that, to make the site more readable going into the future. As with the technical updates, I'll make these changes as time permits. If I do it well, pages will look the same, just presented using more of the available screen space. As always, holler if you see anything bad. Your comments are always appreciated.
Because I changed hosting companies, the site was offline for almost two days. The fault was mine, not the host. The site is visited every day, rain or shine, so I apologize to anyone who was inconvenienced.
William F. "Bill" Gokey, banjo player extraordinaire, passed away on June 1, 2013. The note on the first page of "Teaching the Kid" was updated.
In an oversight when I originally took over Paul's site, I neglected to add my standard email address protection code. This is designed to prevent bots from harvesting email addresses from this site. This evening I corrected this oversight.
If you are the owner of one of these addresses, I apologize for taking so long to get this right and for any additional spam you might have experienced in the meantime.
All reference to Paul's site will henceforth be at http://hawthorne.fastie.com. Previously they were at fastie.net.
If you maintain a link to Paul's site, please make the adjustment as soon as possible. If you know anyone else who does, please let them know.
The domain fastie.net will no longer exist after December, 2010.
My relationship with Paul was too brief yet more complex than I imagined. That, and my deep sense of the loss of my friend, kept me from writing my own remembrance until now. I have published it this morning.
David Boots' sister Cindy was kind enough to report David's passing from complications of Parkinson's disease. I have updated the Out of the Mould page to remove David's email address and add an anecdote provided by his sister.
Our condolences go out to Cindy and the rest of David's family.
For several years, Paul hosted noted luthier Scott Zimmerman's Banjo FAQs on his site. Paul also helped Scott build his original Web site and at some point that material migrated to Scott's site. This recently came into focus when I received an inquiry regarding the article on winter care. I have updated the Links Conversion page accordingly.
The Links page continues to have a link to the FAQs.
(This page is not complete. Earlier entries will be added as time permits until all items have been added.)