My name is Milan Vydareny. This is a personal website. It contains (or will contain) a variety of things that interest me and that I want to share with others. Because of this, organization is likely to be somewhat ad hoc and eclectic. It is also very likely that content and structure will change frequently. I intend to use a lot of photos and other kinds of graphic elements as time goes on, so be prepared to see some interesting experiments.
I'm not very good at this website business right now, and getting Dreamweaver to do what I want using features like Templates and Cascading Style Sheets can be a little daunting. I am getting better so as time goes on, changes will be easier, more frequent and I hope, more sensible.
It has been some time since I updated this site. My reasons for the current additions are, sadly, a consumer rant. Time takes its toll, and I now look like the photo you see here. I'm much more of a curmudgeon than ever but the role suits me well. I no longer much care what people think of me; instead, I'm much more concerned with what I think of myself. Am I true to my beliefs? Can I look at my image in a mirror (horrific wrinkles aside) and not cringe in horror at the hypocracy or sloth that characterizes so much of contemporary civilization? These are the important issues, as Polonius reminds us time and again: "This above all: to thine own self be true, / And it must follow, as the night the day, / Thou canst not then be false to any man. (—William Shakespeare in Hamlet, Act 1, scene 3, 78–82).
I now work full-time in software development and IT support. It has made a noticable impact on my brain functioning as I seem to be less sensitive to the “aesthetic” parts of humanity and more sensitive to the rational and quantitative. I am the lesser man for this shift in cognitive function. Regardless, I still have a zest for life and spend a great deal of time and effort in learning new things and exploring new experiences. One would be hard-pressed to enjoy a better life than I do, even with the ominous changes in energy, health and vitality that accompany the ageing process.
So the world moves forward, with or without me. I have chosen, wisely I hope, to move forward with the world. What are the alternatives? I daresay there are none worth exploring. I urge all to join me in enjoying and experiencing what remains that is beautiful and uplifting in the world.
Why Am I Doing This?
There are a couple of good reasons for me to build a website. First, it's good experience. I haven't done much web work for a number of years and I really need to catch up on the current state of the technology, learn how to use state-of-the-art tools and become at least reasonably agile about making minor changes to websites. Second, I really want to present information in the format of my own choosing. I realize I can post photos on Flickr, videos on YouTube and I even have a Blog. This stuff tends to be all disconnected, especially if you throw in the stuff on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. At my own website I can at least collect all the information in one place along with any links to these other place that might make sense for a visitor to examine if they have the itch. It's kind of like putting all your sox in the same drawer. You stand a much better chance of locating a matching pair if they're all in one place.
How Am I Doing This?
I run my own Windows Server 2003 with Internet Information Services. Again, I do this as much as to learn as anything, but it also gives me extensive control over what I do and how I do it. Working with a hosting service can be very daunting not to mention expensive. This way, if I get an itch at 3:00 AM, I can scratch it.
Web Page Authoring
For web pages it's Adobe’s Dreamweaver. It’s an industry standard so I felt as though I needed to learn about it.
I recently added links from here to my blog at Blogger along with a new web page to contain them. There’s also a button to my main blog page near every set of fly-out menus. Feedburner was acquired by Google (that owns Blogger) so it's very easy to connect Feedburner to your Blogger postings. Feedburner has a feature called BuzzBoost that allows you to link blog entries to any web page in a variety of formats and content variations. A little CSS work and voila! My most recent blog entry teasers now appear on my Blog page.
For photos I mainly use Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom. It's a great tool for organizing, processing and presenting photos. If I need heavier editing capabilities, I switch to Photoshop. I generate web galleries for photos using Lightroom’s automatic features.
For a camera, I use a Sigma SD15. I know that there are a lot of Canon devotes out there but I have found that Sigma is a lot less expensive and in some ways does the job more to my liking. In short, I found it to be a better value for my purposes.
Flash has some real benefits despite some of the problems it introduces. For my first attempts at Flash content I added the news ticker you see in the left side bar on this page. It uses an XML file for content and that means I only have to update the XML content to change the content of the news ticker. It's much easier than updating a whole page.
As I add content to the site I'll mention other tools that I find useful. Right now, these are all I need.
I also run my own mail server. You can e-mail me at wanderer at lionwood dot com. I always appreciate comments and constructive remarks, even if they are critical of what I do. If you just need to bitch about something, save your breath; I don't answer e-mail from cranks and quacks.
I hope you enjoy the site. It's a work in progress and will increase as time moves forward.