Visit the ModemJunkie Archive - - Impressions and commentary on the online world and much, much more.
I was reading the March 25th issue of Circuits in the New York Times, the old gray lady's weekly technology supplement. Circuits is usually filled with techno-hype. Article after article touting the latest gadgets and fads in the computer and online world. But this week article after article touched a chord - the need for balance between old and new. The result is my current article Validated: Balance in the Brave New World.

Welcome to

The ModemJunkie's Portal


This page has been my portal, my gateway to the Web for a long, long time.
Abandon all hope ye who enter here.

Enjoy your visit.

Getting Started

Getting started on the net is easy with the right tools. The most important is a good starting point. But I don't like other people to tell me what I should see. A valuable source of 40 to 60 new sites a day is Net-Happenings, a service of the Internet Scout Project in the Computer Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The postings are also available via a USENET newsgroup at

For years, my favorite source of new sites has been CIWA. Much broader than Net-happenings. Unfortunately for a while, keeping it up-to-date seemed to overwhelm it's valiant moderators. But now it is back. CIWA is available as a newsgroup at News:comp.infosystems.www.announce. If you'd rather read the newsgroup in HTML, book mark What's new from CIWA an up to date archive of the CIWA announcements. Anyone interested in helping to moderate this newsgroup should contact the current moderator.

The Robot Wisdom WebLog edited by Jorn Barger. An amazing compendium of links to the latest on the Web. Updated several times daily. It has become my most frequently visited site. This site is filtered through Jorn's sensibilities, but it is an excellent source. (I was cuting down my online time when I discovered his page. Since then . . .)

Search Engines

The Web can be a bewildering, vast, source of entertainment and information. AltaVista and Infoseek are two of the many fast search engines designed to help you find what your are looking for in seconds.

Also available are tools like Who/Where to enable you to find e-mail addresses, phone numbers and even reverse directories to tell you whose number that is scribbled on that scrap of paper in your wallet.

I do my searches right from here. If you don't find what you are looking for, try Lycos or Excite, or one of the many other search engines available on the Web. Here are some of the best:




Search and Display the Results


Infoseek Guide

- H o t B o t -

HotBot is easily configured and is great for large searches so here is a link to their service.


This form will enable you to search the Usenet news groups, I have found it extremely useful.

 [Deja News] Search Usenet For:
Select documents matching all any keywords.
Display histlist in concise detailed format.

Return to index

If you are looking for just the right word to use in your next page or project, check out the OneLook Online Dictionaries That site allows you to search over 50 online dictionaries with one click.

Return to index

Great Lite Software

I am hooked on viewing, creating and editing Web pages, as you can see. (Take a look at the Temple Har Zion page and the Gropper Windows page, for example.)

Readers of my columns and viewers of my pages know I like to keep things simple. I believe it should not be necessary to upgrade your computer every 6 months or add RAM every few weeks to write a letter or browse the Web or even to create Web pages. So, I appreciate applications that do their job with out requiring much in resources. I am happy to share with some recent finds:

DiDa for Windows

DiDa is a simple, small, freeware HTML editor for Windows created by Godfrey Ko. The executable is less than 460 K. Beta version 1.72 is available here. The whole zipped file, is barely 300 K. While it is not a WYSIWYG editor, the app includes a fast previewer which will let you view your page without opening your memory-hog browser (and it will let you see how your masterpiece will look in browsers that don't handle "netscapisms," as well). This streamlined application has features not found on much bigger editors, including a status line indicating what line you are on, an invaluable feature for making corrections after running validation programs like Weblint.

A professional version, DiDa Pro is now available from the DiDa home page. Godfrey can be reached directly at Tell him I sent you. Check back here regularly for the latest version of the freeware edition. He has also created a whole range of useful web related tools. Check out the Faico home page. All of my pages are edited or created with DiDa.

Return to index

Professional File Editor

PFE is a large-capacity, multi-file editor that runs on Windows 95-8, Windows 3.1x, and Windows NT 3.51 and 4.0 on Intel platforms. Although it's primarily oriented towards program developers and contains features like the ability to run compilers and development applications, it also makes a very good general purpose editor for any function at all. You can learn more and download the file on thePFE home page. Amazingly, the zipped file is only 603,028 bytes. Added June 27, 1998.

Opera -- A browsing masterpiece

Last year's great find is getting better!! Opera, the shareware browser, meets my requirements for special mention. It is small (the compressed file barely more than one meg - - it still fits on a single floppy -- great for getting new machines online) and offers many innovative features. Its zoom feature is worth your attention. With just a click you can magnify a page (both text and graphics) as much as 1000% or reduce it to 20% of its original size. Thus Vision impaired users (including bleary eyed late night surfers) can enlarge the screen to legible size. On the other hand, it is also possible to reduce the screen so that you can see how a whole page is laid out at a glance.

Version 3.51 is now is available to download for evaluation and purchase. Opera's authors will listen to any problems or suggestions you have and are very responsive. Additional information, including links to sites with software for the disabled is also available at the original Opera home page.

See the new Opera page for information about the new features and more.

You can find more in depth software reviews and commentary in the ModemJunkie archive.

Return to index

Quinion's Spell Checker for Edit Boxes

Michael Quinion's Spell Checker for Edit Boxes isn't new but it is extremely useful for those of us who write online. I have used it in Eudora Lite, NewsXpress, DiDa, and the PFE editor. People used to make fun of my typos. Now they will have to look a lot closer to find them. The spell checker itself is only 136 K to download. Dictionaries range from around 300 K to over 700 K depending on the language. They include British English, US English, French, French-Canadian, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, and Norwegian. There is also a developer's kit available.

This application is very versatile although it does take some getting used to. It seems to perform differently in different environments. Sometimes a context field pops up, sometimes not, sometimes I can follow the position of the checker by observing highlighted areas in the original text, sometimes not. And it seems to have entered some unwanted characters in this page when I tried it with DiDa, my html editor. But, still, it found some outrageous errors which had been here for a long time, and the KGV validator found the odd entries. Try it. Entry added:10/18/97.

Return to index

Chicago User Groups

My addiction to computers can be blamed on George Matyaszek's great BBS, Chicago Syslink and the people who hang out there. If you know anyone who needs a simple, inexpensive e-mail address you can get it there and get the benefits of a full service BBS thrown in. Let your modem dial(708)795-4478

It was on George's board that I first learned of two great user groups:

Return to index

Searching for Real Estate

I am proud to announce that my wife, Sally, has become affiliated with the Baird and Warner Real Estate Agency in River Forest, Illinois. So if you are looking for a house or condo or have one to sell, in Chicago or the suburbs, drop her a note at Please put "Sally" in the subject line.

Return to index


Here are links to pages I have created or maintain and other places of interest including law and government related sites and some special sites related to the Web itself:

 * The Gropper Windows:Genesis in Glass. This set of pages celebrates a magnificent series of stained glass windows by controversial artist William Gropper.

For something a little different take a look at the unedited, computer translated French version of the Gropper home page and then at the retranslation into English.

 * West Suburban Temple Har Zion.
MACA You may also want to take a look at the home page of the Mid-America Congress on Aging which has links to many resources on aging.

Web Related Sites

If you are serious about the development of the Web and HTML you will want to look at Terry Sullivan's All Things Web and his companion Perspectives pages.

If you are in a less serious mood, take a look at The Care and Feeding of Web Pages an essential text for web authors. (^_^)

Learn why you should be interested in opening the Web to all users. Take a look at Cathy Murtha's Web Accessibility page and the resources there.

No conscientious web author should fail to point his readers to sites like The Kinder Gentler Web Validator or to thank Gerald Oskoboiny or the many others out there who make possible free services which make it possible to validate the code which make possible what you see. Thanks.

And just in case you missed it before, don't forget my own Reflections of a ModemJunkie. My new ModemJunkie columns also appear each month in WindoWatch Magazine as well. WindoWatch is a great source of information and humor in PDF and ASCII formats.


Return to index

Law and Government Related Sites

Other sites of Interest

 * The Oak Park Tourist has an excellent set of links to information on the creation of web pages, search tools and other fascinating places.

Return to index

I am interested in your comments, great thoughts and criticisms. Send e-mail to: (private) or leave a note in my Guestbook   * (public).

Return to index

Leonard Grossman
The ModemJunkie
Blue Ribbon Campaign
Just as the strength of the Internet is chaos, so the strength of our liberty depends upon the chaos and cacophony of the unfettered speech the First Amendment protects. ACLU v. Reno

WDG AWARDHTML 3.2 checked! This page has received a WDG Award for accessibility . Although this page has been validated to the WebTechs "Wilbur" (HTML 3.2) standard, it is not my intention to restrict viewing to any particular browser. If this page presents any problems on your browser, please drop me a note.

STATS In June, 1996 my pages approached 10,000 hits. Since then (June 22, 1996) statistics about this page have been maintained by HTMLZINE. At the end of 1996 total hits approached 25,000. The count is now well over 100,000 hits.

In late March 1997, I installed a new freeware utility to generate statistics about my pages and my visitors. I especially enjoy seeing how many countries they come from. You can select from an archive of data going back to installation of the program, cumulative statistics (the previous month) or a report showing just the previous day's activity. Installation is not for the faint hearted, but you can learn a lot in the process. For more information go to the Analog2.11 home page.

Today's activity on many of my pages.

Return to index

Welcome visitors from Third Age. Thanks for the publicity. For information go to

Best O' CIWA In April 1996, this page was included on M.L. Grant's Best O' CIWA list of outstanding sites.

Created with DiDa! .
"Best O' Logo" by Kate McDonnell. The Living Computer image created by Don Showalter In the interest of readability I have removed the crumpled paper background. I miss it. I have replaced it with a new background source which was modified by Terry Sullivan to whom I give thanks. What color would you like to see?

Page revised: 4/17/1999 6:09:57 PM

I've heard that there is a 12-step program for modemjunkies. Unfortunately, you have to log on to participate. I hope I haven't made things worse.