I have been publishing my writing on the Internet for 14 years, mostly using software and web sites owned by other companies. During the last 6 months I've been slowly consolidating some of that writing and associating it to domains that I own.

The majority of the sites, which have similar appearances but are dedicated to different topics, are associated to frankmcpherson.net, or what I lovingly refer to as FrankNet. If you look at the menu bar at the top of this page, you will see the FrankNet menu that points to following sites:

  • Real Personal Computing is where I write about my experiences and opinions about personal computing. On the site I promote two ideas, first that personal computing is no longer about a single device but instead an experience across multiple devices, and second that smartphones and tablets are really the first personal computers and what we have been calling PCs all these years are not at all personal.

  • Sports Beat is where I write about sports. My first, for pay, writing gig was for small town weekly newspaper called The Current. I covered high school sports and wrote a weekly column, Sports Beat with Frank McPherson.

  • The Narthex is where I write about my faith. As an aspiring follower of Jesus, my faith is a life long growing process. All too often faith and belief are used interchangeably, but they do not mean the same. Faith is a verb. Jesus calls us to follow him. To love God by loving our neighbor.

  • Just about everything that I write about is associated with something that I have learned. Learning is a process that includes taking notes and some of those notes I publish in my Work Notes site for later reference. What is there is mostly for me, but you might find it useful too.

  • Books Notes is where I write about the books that I have read. Many of these books are about religion and the notes you see here are mostly outlines that I use for facilitating a book group that I lead at my church.

  • Web Notes is my weblog, or blog. You can think of it as my hub on the Internet, with links to my writing, along other things that I find interesting on the Internet.

You don't need to keep checking all those sites to read my writing, just come back to frankmcpherson.com, which will bring you to my blog where I will link to my other writing. If you use RSS, you cal also subscribe to my feed and have the lastest FrankNet updates pushed to you.

07/26/14; 05:28:11 PM

Ultimately, I don't think Microsoft's failure in smartphones has anything to do with consumer vs. enterprise. I knew the Windows CE/Windows Mobile folks and they got consumers. The real problem is that back then (and maybe still today) marketing ran Microsoft and the mantra was preserve the Windows brand at all costs. The Microsoft phone UI must be the same as the Windows desktop UI because that was the way Windows remained relevant.

I think the Modern UI (the UI formerly known as Metro) is clear evidence of this thinking. When Windows Phone and its new UI first was released, and had modest success, Microsoft was faced with the old issue of maintaining Window's relevance.

Finally, having come to the decision that the old Windows UI doesn't work on small screens, Microsoft did the only thing they could do and that was to change the Windows desktop UI to match the Windows Phone UI so that they could still call it Windows and keep it relevant.

The difference at Apple is that they are not about preserving crown jewels, they just build great products and if iOS ends up relegating OS X to the discount bin, so be it. Microsoft could never, ever, allow Windows to go to the discount bin. If Windows fails, Microsoft fails because they were one and the same.

Had Microsoft, back in the late 90s, not let marketers drive their strategy and accepted the fact that they could, in fact should, have different user interfaces for different device types, and further accepted that if that means Windows some day goes away, they may have stayed in the race rather than falling so far back that they could never catch up.

07/25/14; 11:42:26 AM

It has been a while in coming, but I have recently consolidated my writing on the Internet to a domain that I own and hosting services under my control. I've been publishing my writing on the Internet since the fall of 1999 when I started blogging using a service called EditThisPage.com.

Over those 14 years I have had to move my writing from one service to another as each has gone out of business. From EditThisPage.com to Weblogger.com to Blogger.com to Wordpress.com and now to frankmcpherson.net, or what I am calling FrankNet.

In The Beginning, EditThisPage.com

EditThisPage.com and Weblogger.com both ran on software called Manilla that did not render static HTML. While tools were made available for backing up and exporting data, I never was able to convert that to HTML. Consequently, the only place where some of that early writing is still accessible is on the Internet Archive, some times referred to as the Wayback Machine.

The earliest writing of mine from EditThisPage.com that you can find is from May 20, 2000. On that site I kept an index of some of the writing I did for some other sites, and some of that is in the Internet Archive.

Weblogger.com And 9/11

By the end of 2000 the EditThisPage.com site was becoming increasingly unstable, and therefore I moved my writing to Weblogger.com, which also ran Manilla and therefore made the migration simple. Unlike EditThisPage.com that was free, I payed to host my content on Weblogger.com and with that came the expectation the service was more reliable. I used Weblogger.com until 2008 when the company hosting it apparently went out of business. Suddenly one day I could no longer access the site, at which point I moved to Wordpress.com.

The earliest of my writing on Weblogger.com that is in the Internet archive is on March 31, 2001. Perhaps the most significant of what I wrote during this time occurred after 9/11, the first of which was on September 13, 2001. Then on September 15, 2001, and then one final one on September 22, 2001 after which I apparently moved on.

Wordpress Sanctuary

As I said, I've been using Wordpress to host my original blog, Notes From The Cave since 2008. Wordpress is a much larger brand and company than either of the others that I used in the past, and I am using their free service to host that blog.

I've actually been really pleased with Wordpress, and I am using it to host RealPersonalComputing.com, which is where I am writing my more "professional" online content on personal computing. About six months ago Dave Winer, who created the Manilla software released a product called Fargo.


Fargo is an outliner that runs in a web browser, written by Dave Winer, the father of outliners. In many ways Fargo is the merger of the products, Frontier, Manilla, EditThisPage, and the OPML Editor, that Dave created prior running almost entirely within the web browser.

Fargo exists due to the maturation of web applications and the existence of robust web services like Dropbox, Amazon Web Services, and node.js, and I think it is a testament of how far we have come.

For example, back when I used EditThisPage.com I had several painful experiences of losing what I wrote when the web browser accidentally refreshed. I learned the safest thing to do was to use Notepad to write and then copy and paste my writing in the EditThisPage.com web form.

I have yet to lose significant content in Fargo mostly because what I write is automatically saved to Dropbox as I write, a feature you used to only find with desktop apps like Microsoft Word. However, because Fargo is entirely on the web, I can use it to write using any computing device connected to the Internet.

Blogging Again

As an outlining tool, Fargo is a powerful organizational and productivity tool that people use it to maintain to-do lists and write programs, but it also includes powerful web publishing tools.

The web publishing part of Fargo is capable of rendering sites in a handful of different formats, such as the "blogHome" type that this site uses. Earlier this year Dave added a blog type format called "stream" that in reality is a return to blogging.

Somewhere along the way blogging moved from a date oriented format to a title oriented format, and I honestly think that with the change blogging stopped. For me the change occurred when I moved my blog from Weblogger.com to Wordpress.com, which emphasizes the title oriented format. Dave Winer attributes the change to Google Reader, which forced RSS items to have titles.

If you go back and look at the version of my blog on EditThisPage.com you will see that the "title" for each page is a date. In the beginning, blogging was literally a daily log of items one found on the Internet which you either wanted to share with others or store for later retrieval. Along with a link to another web page, you may find a sentence or two about the link, perhaps an comment about why one found the item worth reading.

The creation of my own stream type blog in Fargo made me recall how I used to write back then, and how similar it was to the sharing that occurs on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, but with the benefit of being stored on a server in your control.

So, I am happy to say I am now blogging again, on my new Webnotes site, but there is still room for stories (or articles) or essays and for that I have a few other sites, a few of which are dedicated to a specific topic. I've also redirected frankmcpherson.com to point to the Webnotes site as my primary location on the Internet, previously I had it pointing to my Google Plus profile.

07/19/14; 03:27:28 PM

Last built: Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 5:35 PM

By Frank McPherson, Monday, July 21, 2014 at 10:01 AM.