Bike USA: How we update these pages

The only part of this website that gets periodic updates is the log section. Before we left on the trip, we created the whole site including template files for the log. We are using some special Cold Fusion tags to help automate the entries.

For a new entry. all we have to do is write the paragraphs and add code for the photos. Then we save it as a numbered file (ie. 0615.htm) and upload the file and photos. We then update a list file so that we can annotate our entries (ie. written by…). When you click on a link in the list, a template file is loaded with the content of whatever number entry it is. Gee, I hope this makes sense.


I mentioned that we are using Cold Fusion. Cold Fusion Server is known as middleware. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Mark’s employer, is generously hosting our site for us. When you click on a link on OMSI’s server and that link has the .cfm extension then the Cold Fusion server intervenes and translates any Cold Fusion code into straight html which it then passes to the regular web server. This allows us to generate dynamic pages where the pages’ content depends on circumstances of the instant. The template files are examples of these .cfm files and the log entries are the content.

Most of the entries written by Mark are written on his palm-sized Windows CE device, a Casio Cassiopeia E-105. This device runs on an OS very similar to Windows for the desktop computer. It has a compact flash slot which is also the media that his digital camera uses. To edit his images he copies the image files from the camera and then uses a program called Pocket Artist to crop and rotate and color correct or adjust the brightness/contrast. The text and images are uploaded with a compact flash modem and an ftp program called Scotty FTP. Mark has an account with AT&T which has local numbers in most urban areas and an 800 number as well. Unfortunately, there are some long dry spells where we don’t have access to a phone jack.

Max writes his entries using a Sharp Pocketmail device. He can send and receive email using almost any phone. He just calls an 800 number and holds the device to the phone receiver. So he emails his entries to Mark which Mark then edits with the Cassiopeia (Mark telnets to his Reed account to get his email) and uploads to OMSI.

Max’s photos are taken with a Sony Mavica, so they get uploaded when we have access to a PC with a floppy drive like at a local library or internet cafe.

For more info on any of this, just do a search for what your interested in using any search engine or email us.

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