Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, December 08, 2021

Looking for a jar or two of Vegemite? I know where you can lay your hands on some…

This photo was not taken in Australia, but right here in New York. Specifically at Tuck Shop (“The Great Aussie Bite”), the main spot for any and all Down Under expatriates who are within easy distance of the East Village. The Shop is just off the corner of 1st Avenue and 1st Street — so perhaps it’s not too surprising to find such an outlandish window display so near the Kramer-declared “nexus of the universe” (for you “Seinfeld” fans).

I did take this picture myself, with my cameraphone (see Flickr for better versions). I’m kinda pissed that I had to. I first came across this sight over the weekend, when I was taking a rare walk up 1st Ave.; I didn’t have time to stop to take a shot, but mentally noted it and figured I’d find someone else’s photo of this scene online. Alas, I did not — one more instance of the Internet letting me down. Seriously, this is New York — I can’t be the only one in this town who deemed this to be photo-worthy, can I?

So I had to drag myself back there today and snap my pictures, while freezing my butt off. Worth it, I guess — the cameraphone’s poor resolution and my own photographic ineptness notwithstanding.

Despite my instant fondness for this yellow-and-red lineup (I estimate about 85 jars visible in the window), I don’t have resultant hankering for, say, a Vegemite sandwich. I hear it’s pretty nasty.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/08/2021 08:49pm
Category: Food, New Yorkin', Photography, Pop Culture, TV
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What are the odds of something that I uploaded a dozen years ago still being up on the InterWebs, more or less unchanged?

That “something” happens to be the very first full-fledged website I ever built. Slide on over to deyton.com, and you’ll find the online home for The Deyton Group — “Technologists At Work”. In all it’s 1996-coded glory.

No joke. I’ve looked at the text-heavy content, the links in the left sidebar frame (many now broken or redirected, thanks to long-ago consolidation in the tech-storage hardware industry), and the page-source HTML. I don’t have the backup files anymore, but I’d bet any amount of money that 99 percent of that work is the original coding I did before the turn of the century. About the only thing that’s changed is the addition of that background graphic in the top and left frames (formerly plain white), a new email address destination for the now-decrepit contact form, and maybe one or two more tweaks.

It’s hard to believe anyone could maintain a business website for this long without much updating — and just the basic, necessary content updates, at that. Aside from the big-name links, I’d imagine the product list is way out of date (and yes, I’m pretty sure that list contains the same stuff I originally text-dumped in there in 1996). I’m guessing the site’s sole purpose is to provide contact-information brochureware; everything else is basically explained away as, “we need to update that at some point”.

The background story isn’t much. Basically, in 1996 I was put in touch with the owner of Deyton Group through a coworker; the company’s headquarters consisted of a home-office bungalow on St. Pete Beach (I’m guessing that remains the HQ to this day, with that Colorado address doubling as a vacation home). I’d been doing my first tinkering with Web media — nothing more complex than throwing up handmade graphics and copy via America Online’s late-’90s DIY tools. But that qualified me as an experienced webmaster during the Windows 95 era. The owner had already bought the deyton.com domain name; I believe his son’s name was Deyton, so he named his concern after the boy. He was hot to establish a presence on the Information Superhighway; he had the copy and general layout of the site already set in his head, so he just needed a code monkey (me) to make it real. I recall he didn’t want the copy edited or refined at all, despite my recommendations — and true enough, that same bloated wording remains there to this day! I did the dirty work of setting up the directory, recommending the frame structure, doing some logo work, designing the contact form, etc., and turned it around in probably a week. All for (I think) 300 bucks.

I never expected it to last this long. I would type the URL into my browser a couple of times over the past few years, just to check on it, and noticed that it was staying pretty static. I figured that, at some point, it would either shut down or else get a facelift. I guess if it’s not broke…

I wonder how many other virgin website attempts have managed to survive for over a decade. There’s something pleasing about it, given how impermanent Web documents are in general (even with the Internet Archive). It’s slightly embarrassing to have such a primitive site still on display, but it’s not like my name’s attached to it (at least, not until now ;) ), and besides, for its day, it was no worse than most of the contemporary small-business sites that staked out the early mass-market Web.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/08/2021 11:42am
Category: Business, Florida Livin', Internet, Tech
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If, from about a foot away, I can hear the indistinct (but definitely audible) buzz coming out of some guy’s iPod-attached earbuds, despite having my own iTouch playing in my own ears at a generous volume… That probably means he’s skull-blasting his ‘Pod far too loudly, right?

It was easy enough to ignore, by focusing on my own tunes. I felt a twinge of pity for others on the subway this morning who had to endure the low-level noise; but I quickly got over that.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/08/2021 10:44am
Category: New Yorkin', iPod
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