Paul Hawthorne's Web Site

Copyright Notice

Paul Hawthorne's entire site is Copyright ©1999-2024 by Claudia Robyn Mattil. All rights reserved. The site may not be copied or duplicated in whole or part by any means without express prior agreement in writing or unless specifically noted on the site.

Some material on this site is copyrighted by others. Such content is always so marked.

This copyright notice applies to all content located at https// and any folder or sub-directory within.

Usage Rights

Material from Paul's site may not be copied and included on another Web site. You are always welcome to create links from your site to the appropriate page here.

Special eBay® Usage Rights

Paul's Asian banjo information is often copied for use with eBay listings. Such usage is permitted provided that only the information relevant to the particular banjo model is copied and the source of the material is cited. The preferred citation is "From Paul Hawthorne's site. Copyright ©1999-2024 by Claudia Robyn Mattil. Used with permission." A link back to the cited page is encouraged and appreciated.

About This Site

Paul Hawthorne's site is maintained, hosted and curated by Will Fastie.

I am publishing the site at the specific request of Paul under the terms of a written agreement we executed prior to his passing. I was obligated to publish the site through 2012 and thereafter as long as I was able. I will try to make arrangements to have the site survive me but cannot make specific promises for now.

New vs. Old

Paul used a serif typeface for his pages, usually Times New Roman. My technical design preserves this. If you are reading a serif typeface, you are reading Paul's words.

All new pages and most new elements on old pages (such as editor's notes) are set in a sans-serif typeface. You will see either Verdana, Arial or Helvetica depending upon the fonts installed on your computer. It is thus very easy to differentiate new pages, such as this one, from Paul's original content.

All pages contain an update notice at the very bottom. The notice shows the last date Paul or I edited the page. If Paul's initials are not on the page, it is a new one.

On July 15, 2006, Paul uploaded updates to almost every page in the site. Many of the changes had to do with navigational changes he was making at the time. He marked all these pages with that date, as was his habit. We thus cannot know when he actually updated the content on most pages. He took ill just a few weeks later and made very few changes thereafter.

Editor's Notes

Editor's notes have been added throughout the site. Their purpose is to explain what's happening with the site, to clarify something Paul wrote or included, to make some corrections and additions, to add information about why Paul wrote what he did, and, if possible, to give greater insight into the man.

This is what an editor's note looks like. You know, like Post-It® Notes.

Paul's Site Technology

Paul used two software tools to develop and maintain his site and one tool to publish it. All the tools Paul used shared one important and endearing (to him) characteristic: they were free. I found his choices interesting and sensible, at least for the time.

Arachnophilia is the HTML editing tool Paul used. It was written by the very thoughtful and thought-provoking Paul Lutus, creator of the best-selling software program Apple Writer for the Apple II and formerly a designer for NASA. Paul (Hawthorne) used version 4 because it ran well on his older computers. Version 5 was written in Java. Paul tried that version but it ran too slowly for him. Paul liked both the program and the philosophy of its author, so he was quite wedded to it. I agree that is it an excellent tool and I am happy to report that Mr. Lutus has been making updates after a long hiatus. Paul was on the verge of getting some faster computers (but still retro by ordinary standards), so I think he probably would have graduated to the new version.

One of the challenging parts of building a Web site is handling menus. Almost immediately upon deciding to build a site, Paul discovered a rather peculiar little program called WindowHTML. Given a list of menu items, it created a bitmapped image that looked exactly like a tabbed, Microsoft Windows 95-style dialog box. This handy tool allowed Paul to build his original menus without much heavy lifting. As time went on, the maintenance of this style of menus became difficult because any change to the menu structure required changing every page that used it and it was a tedious change. That is probably the main reason Paul had decided to update the technical side of his site.

Paul published the site using an FTP utility called LeechFTP by Jan Debis. It is no longer available from its author but can still be found on many software download sites. A Python version, called FtpCube, is under active development. In 1999, when Paul first published his site, LeechFTP was not only a very good program but was priced to Paul's liking. Paul used this program despite the fact that Arachnophilia included a built-in FTP capability.

Those interested in a free, open-source FTP client might find WinSCP or FileZilla good choices.

Current Site Technology

The site is currently developed, maintained, and published using Microsoft Expression Web, the successor to FrontPage, and a few other modern tools including the PHP programming language. Paul was effectively boycotting Microsoft software and probably would have winced at my use of a Microsoft tool. I explained what I would be doing, that I would be using Microsoft tools, and he said "I don't care." He was not one to impose his beliefs on his friends.

My choice of tools and techniques is based on one thing - efficiency. I'm more productive using my toolset. Paul would have understood the time savings.

Why Where's

When Paul asked me if I wanted to publish his content after his passing, I said I would be happy to do so for an indefinite time as long as it didn't add to my Web hosting costs. The only way to do that is to make his content part of my site. My hosting plan provides "sub-domains" and that is the method I chose.

Paul's domain name,, was allowed to expire in 2014.

Paul was happy about this arrangement. But there was something else. True to Paul's frugal nature, his hosting plan was free, part of his telephone service. A problem he faced was bandwidth - his plan limited him to 500MB per month, a lot when he first launched the site but not much today. Bandwidth usage was closing in on him and he had planned to move his site to an economy hosting plan. Today, it's not a problem.

Bookmarks, Links & Search Engines

If you have a browser with bookmarks to Paul's site, or if you have a Web site that links to Paul's site, I have taken steps to prevent those links from "breaking." For example, if you had linked to, you will now be taken automatically to

I'd keep things that way, but there are search engines to consider. Google et. al. will eventually find the content at the new location. All roads will someday point to

Therefore, I have provided a table to assist you with converting links. Please update all your links and bookmarks to Paul's site as soon as you can.


I have not changed Paul's content except as follows:

Of this you can be sure:  Paul's thoughts and writing remain absolutely intact.

Aging Content

Most of the content on the site is timeless. Some, however, ages badly. For example, the Links page contains hyperlinks to many Web sites, an increasing number of which are no longer available. As time allows I will deal with such problems but please be aware that aged links may be broken.

Site Design & Browser Compatibility

I have made a significant effort to keep the look and feel of Paul's site as he created it. I will continue to do so, but starting in 2017 I began to make adjustments. The most visible changes have to do with the size of text and the width of the site. The constraints that Paul faced in 1999, such as keeping the site narrower than the 800px width prevalent in displays of the time, no longer apply.

Many changes are technical and invisible. Paul's site did not conform to any Web standards (Paul knew it), so in 2007 I converted the site to XHTML and eliminated table-based layout. Now it has been converted to HTML5/CSS3. The site has been converted to PHP pages to simplify my maintenance of the site.

Historically I tested all pages using a suite of Web browsers. With stronger Web standards and Web browsers that conform to those standards, it is less important to test as exhaustively as I previously did. I now do spot checks with a few browsers and when I make bigger changes I will check more carefully.

Paul carefully developed his site to be frugal with a visitor's resources by making pages as "light" as possible. 20 years later the landscape is different; even smartphones have enormous bandwidth compared to those days of slow telephone modems and expensive access plans. Pages will be heavier due to code added to enhance functionality but I doubt most visitors will notice.

About This Page

The notes on this page were written by Will Fastie.


Updated 09 Jul 2018 by WF