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David Zavadsky in 2005  Hello, I'm David Zavadsky, and this is my personal site.

Since this is a Web site, a quirky biography referencing my time on the Internet seems appropriate. In 1990, my mom was kind enough to let me get a CompuServe account. That was when online access was billed by the hour, not by the month--in fact, it was $22.80 per hour for 2400 bps access. I used the CompuServe account to download files for my new Mac IIcx during my senior year of high school.

I went to the UW-Madison starting in 1991, and soon received an e-mail via the Internet from a friend who was going to college in Massachusetts. Tired of $22.80 per hour, I headed to the UW Computer Science department and arranged for an account on their VAX cluster so that I could write e-mails to my friend at more reasonable rates--somewhere around $5.00 per hour if memory serves.

In 1992, I started taking classes in the Computer Science department and got a free dial-up account, and by 1993 the UW was offering dial-up Internet accounts to all students. As you might imagine the e-mail traffic increased, and soon the Web started to become much more popular than FTP sites and "Gopherspace."

I graduated from the UW in 1995, and was forced to fend for myself in terms of Internet access. In October 1995, I registered the digimad.com Web address to be a portal into a computer BBS I was running; that never went anywhere. I also signed up with a local provider for dial-up access, and got, as part of my monthly fee, a small amount of space for Web pages. In the winter of 1996 I went to a conference in Minneapolis as part of my job, and came back with an interest in setting up a couple of Web pages. And so, I became a Web publisher.

Getting a web site hosted in the early days was kind of a chore; there were lots of providers, in every price range, and with varying service. Actually that's still true, and finding a web hosting provider that can do a decent job with e-mail is not easy. I was with AIT for a while, but I hated their terms and conditions so I dumped them for an outfit called FeaturePrice, which wound up going belly-up in a really ugly way. Then I was with DR2.net, run by an enterprising guy with a great attitude; that company was eventually sold and merged to become Mesopia, and then finally got bought by WebHostPlus which became an absolute disaster and I believe also went belly-up. I'm now with a company called RimuHosting, with servers in Texas and support all over the world (though my money goes to New Zealand), and my site and e-mail are all on their own virtual server, so I have control over OS-level stuff on the server side. If you know what you're doing, definitely check them out.

Internet access is kind of a fun story, too. That 2400 bps CompuServe account was replaced by a 14.4 kbps modem to the UW, then a 28.8 kbps modem to my first dial-up provider, then a 128 kbps ISDN connection, then a 768 kbps cable modem, and then a 768 kbps DSL connection. I now have a 3 Mbps DSL connection, and I'm eyeing the 6 Mbps service, since I'm really close to the telco's hut. (It's on my condo association's property, with an easement, of course.) For the price of a bit more than an hour of 2400 bps CompuServe access in 1991, I now get a full month of 3 Mbps Internet access. How times have changed.

As far as computers go, I'm a hard-core Mac user, but truth be told I have a love for any device that gets the job done efficiently. Here's what's on my network, behind the firewalls:
  • PowerBook G4 (Mac OS 10.4; Intrepid)
  • Power Mac G4 (Mac OS 10.4; Arrakis)
  • Power Mac G4 Cube (Mac OS 10.4; Caprica)
  • Power Mac 7200 (Mac OS 8.6; Aldea)
  • IBM ThinkPad 360 (Win NT 4.0; Cassini)
  • AMD Athlon-based PC I built (Linux; Debian Etch; Kobol)
  • TiVo Series 1 (with network card hack)
  • TiVo Series 2 (two tuners, baby!)
  • TiVo Series 3 (now I just need an HD TV set...)
Of course the names are a bit all over the place, but in general I like naming computers after planets and ships in science fiction. I inherited the ancient ThinkPad from work (it's more than 10 years old and has a broken case) and I just have that around in case I should have an overwhelming desire to use Windows.

Welcome, and feel free to poke around my personal pages. You'll find the main sections along the top, and on occasion navigation and supplementary information will appear on the right. If you're interested in my latest travels, click on travels above. And if you're interested in my brewpub adventures, feel free to click on brew.

Have a great visit!

Last modified Monday, July 30, 2007

David Zavadsky

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