The Edward Ringwald Blog: Now on WordPress!

As you’re probably aware, EdwardRingwald.com has been around since 2000 and the Edward Ringwald Blog has been around since 2007.  A lot has come a long way since I began my web site as a Introduction to the Internet college course project at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa in March 2000.  What began as Edward Ringwald’s Home Page morphed into the website Where I Strive To Have The Best Site Anywhere On The Internet For Everyone!

When I started the Edward Ringwald Blog in 2007 I hosted it on Blogger which is easy to use for the beginner who wants to get into blogging.  I agree, Blogger has a lot of good features that are easy to use, and I can’t complain about that!

But over the years, I needed something better to help manage the Edward Ringwald Blog.  When I changed web hosting companies in January 2018 my new web hosting provider, InMotion Hosting, gives me more for my money when it comes to hosting not only my website but my other websites, Interstate275Florida.com, DrawBridgeAhead.com and my website portal, EdwardRingwaldWebsites.com:  The ability to host blogs and forums and a whole lot more, more than what my previous web hosting provider had.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about WordPress, and I like the better capabilities that WordPress provides over Blogger.  So, I went ahead and installed WordPress on my site and I was extremely impressed at the look and feel over Blogger.

Right after I completed installation of WordPress it was just a matter of fine tuning WordPress to my liking including adding the cover pictures to the elements of the blog.  Then it came time to import the blog entries from Blogger over to WordPress.

And I am very impressed!  That said, I want to say welcome to the new home of the Edward Ringwald Blog, powered by WordPress.

From this day forward, all new posts for the Edwarad Ringwald Blog will be on the WordPress platform.  For the time being, the Edward Ringwald Blog on the Blogger platform will be maintained as a legacy blog meaning no new entries or updates will be made on the Blogger platform.  Eventually, I intend to set it up so that if you go to a blog entry on the Blogger platform you will be redirected to the new WordPress platform.

One more thing, and this is just a reminder on commenting:  When you comment on an entry, please keep it clean as the Edward Ringwald Website and Blog are family friendly sites, and I will do everything in my power to keep it that way.  In addition, you may want to review the Community Guidelines for the Edward Ringwald Blog over at my website portal, EdwardRingwaldWebsites.com.

And speaking of commenting, I have used to allow anonymous commenting on my posts with moderation.  With the changeover from Blogger to WordPress, I have changed the commenting system to where you will need a Facebook account in order to comment.  In fact, when the Tampa Bay Times revamped their website they revamped their article commenting to require a Facebook account as well:  Back then you could use a Facebook account or a site registration account but today the Tampa Bay Times took away the site registration for commenting on articles.  Besides, a comment made on a Facebook account provides more accountability vs. a comment made anonymously even with moderation.

So, in order to comment on a blog entry, simply write your comment.  If you are prompted to log in to Facebook, do so; be assured your Facebook login details stay with Facebook.  You will have the option to select whether you want to share your comment on your Facebook timeline; if you want to simply check the box.  If not, just leave the box unchecked.  If you are already logged in to Facebook, your profile picture will appear to the left of the comment box.  Once again, all comments are subject to moderation.

Once again, welcome to the new home of the Edward Ringwald Blog, proudly powered by WordPress!

Major updates to EdwardRingwald.com!


If you have logged in to EdwardRingwald.com starting today (Saturday, 27 September 2008) you may have noticed some updates I have made to the site. Here are the details of the updates I have made to EdwardRingwald.com.

In the Roadtrips category:

I visited the Los Angeles area a little over a year ago over Labor Day weekend 2007 and I brought you photos and much more from that trip. A highlight of this trip is the side excursion to San Diego and across the Mexican border into Tijuana. I recently noticed pages of broken links to the pictures in days 3, 4 and 5 and I have fixed them; turns out I added a preceding zero to the day number when I had it set up otherwise (for example, I had it set up as “Day1” and when I coded the web page to make the links I typed in “Day01” – just a little web design reminder to check your work as you go along for any typos you may make!). But days 3, 4 and 5 have been fixed and the picture links have been brought in line with days 1 and 2.

After a few years here on EdwardRingwald.com it was time to retire the Baltimore and Washington roadtrips I made in 2005 and 2006. Like the other roadtrips I have made in the past my server space is limited and I can’t show all the roadtrips I have made since EdwardRingwald.com premiered in 2000.

In the Interesting Topics category:

In my Christmas 2007 and New Year 2008 post on the Edward Ringwald Blog one of the items I have mentioned was a discussion on one of Florida’s draconian laws, specifically Florida’s trespassing laws and how it is applied in a discriminatory manner when it comes to commercial public places. So, I spent the first half of 2008 crafting a white paper on why Florida’s trespassing laws are a recipe for discrimination and abuse of power. This is a must read for everyone, especially Florida residents, and you should read it word for word.

Another topic I have posted is about the Florida FCAT exam. For you parents of K-12 students out there the FCAT test is a required rite of passage, especially in the 10th grade of high school as this decides whether your child gets a high school diploma or not. I feel that the FCAT test needs to be done away with completely and replaced by meaningful end of course exams that truly reflect what was learned; doing so would put some meaningful education back into Florida’s public schools rather than the FCAT song and dance your children learn presently.

In the Drawbridges of the Pinellas Beaches category:

As we St. Petersburg and Pinellas County residents know the new span of the Johns Pass Bridge is complete and open to traffic. The new bridge is much more beautiful and more attractive than its 1971 northbound counterpart. What makes it so unique for you motorists out there is that the new bridge is concrete all the way across; you will not have to dread the monotonous sound of the steel grid deck which is the case with many of Pinellas County’s other drawbridges.

This is the second new drawbridge to be built with the movable span being a concrete deck. The first new drawbridge to get a concrete deck on the movable span was the new Treasure Island Causeway which opened in 2007.

If you haven’t been by the Johns Pass Bridge lately, you owe it to yourself to take a ride across the new span. If you drive south from Madeira Beach to Treasure Island, when you drive across it has the look and feel of Interstate 275 because of the emergency breakdown shoulder on the right lane. However, this is a new bridge carrying Gulf Blvd. (FL 699) across a body of water created by a hurricane way back in 1848. In fact, you should take a stroll across the new Johns Pass Bridge as it features a much wider sidewalk and observation decks on either side of the movable span; you can even get up close and personal as the drawbridge lifts and the tall boats go by.

The new Johns Pass Bridge is actually the new southbound span that will eventually carry southbound Gulf Blvd. (FL 699) traffic. Presently the new bridge carries two-way traffic while the 1971 northbound span is demolished and a new northbound span is constructed. In fact, I paid a visit to the new Johns Pass Bridge recently and the old steel grid decks have already been taken down. The new northbound span of the Johns Pass Bridge is scheduled to open around 2010.

I have added newer photos of the Johns Pass Bridge showing the construction and opening of the new southbound span for your viewing enjoyment.

In the overall EdwardRingwald.com category:

A security deterrent has been added to all EdwardRingwald.com pages on the site. If you attempt to right click anywhere on any EdwardRingwald.com page including any links you will get a pop-up message. I have tested this out on a few pages with good results and I have decided to apply this security feature site-wide.

I have had a few incidents with MySpace users who either (1) right click on a link to find out the exact URL for an image so that it can be copied onto a user’s MySpace page or (2) worse yet, download the image and then re-upload the image into MySpace. It is true: To download an image you can right click on the link and click on “Save Target As”; indicate where you want the file saved and you are in business.

However, EdwardRingwald.com and my sister site, Interstate275Florida.com, are hosted on shared web servers where I pay a monthly fee for. Part of that monthly fee is for bandwidth; if I go over my monthly bandwidth allotment my web hosting provider charges me for this. My pictures I have posted are my own creation and I don’t like to say this, but I cannot have users from MySpace or any other similar site going around and sapping my bandwidth. In other words, my pictures are there for your viewing pleasure and not for downloading and posting or hyperlinking to your MySpace page. Besides, EdwardRingwald.com and Interstate275Florida.com are copyrighted.

This same security deterrent will be also applied to Interstate275Florida.com when it gets a major update somewhere down the road. But it takes time, especially if you want to do things right.

Hopefully you will like the changes I have made to EdwardRingwald.com recently. Let me know what you think of the changes I have made.

Image Hotlinking at EdwardRingwald.com and Interstate275Florida.com

Today I would like to discuss a topic here on the Edward Ringwald Blog about hotlinking of images from both the EdwardRingwald.com and Interstate275Florida.com websites. If you are one of those out there in the land of the World Wide Web that has a profile of yourself on the popular social networking site MySpace this blog topic is for you.

What is hotlinking?

According to altlab.com hotlinking is direct linking to a web site’s files such as photos and making it so that it appears as if it were your own image. The key to this is an HTML tag called img. In a web site when you make a reference to a photo that you have on your own web site it is done in two separate formats:

A relative tag: img src = image.jpg
An absolute tag: img src = http://www.someonessite.com/image.jpg

In web design we use these tags to link to images. However, when you use a web design program such as Microsoft FrontPage these tags are taken care of for you.

However, when you are designing your own web page such as a personal profile page in MySpace depending on who you use it is a straightforward process. I believe in MySpace there is a way to link to an image – and you don’t have to know HTML to do it!

Why should I be concerned about hotlinking?

Hotlinking when it is to an image or any other object that is not your own is unethical. It’s stealing. Why?

First, consider the issue of bandwidth. Take a small water pipe and try to push a very large amount of water through it. No matter how much you try the flow through the small pipe will be slow. You can increase the flow of the water through the pipe by increasing the diameter of the pipe. That’s the same principle with bandwidth, only the stuff that flows through the pipe is data rather than water.

Let’s say one hotlinks to an image on someone else’s web site from a MySpace page. Every time someone accesses your MySpace page it also sends a request to fetch the image from the web site you got it from. Multiply that by so many MySpace visitors and users and the potential for web site overload exists.

In the case of EdwardRingwald.com and Interstate275Florida.com my web sites are hosted on shared web servers at GoDaddy.com, which is a web hosting and domain name provider. I am given a bandwidth allocation per month and if GoDaddy sees that I am exceeding my monthly bandwidth allocation I can be charged extra per month. That can run potentially into the thousands of dollars. Now if you host your own web site on your own it gets very complex, which is why the majority of web sites use a web hosting provider in order to try to hold down costs while concentrating on other things.

Second, consider the issue of copyright and passing off one’s image found on the Internet as your own. You can’t go around the World Wide Web, grab an image or two, and put it on your web site – images you find on someone else’s web site are copyrighted and if you do so you could find yourself on the receiving end of a stern cease and desist letter from an attorney or, at the worst, the losing side of a lawsuit.

In 2005 the principal of Springstead High School in Spring Hill (a community about a hours’ drive north of Tampa on the Suncoast Parkway (FL Toll 589)) learned her lesson the hard way about passing someone’s words as your own. As part of a graduation ceremony address the principal used words which belonged to someone else and passed them off as if it were her own. That incident prompted me to register my web sites for copyright with the United States Copyright Office in September 2005 during a trip to the Baltimore/Washington area. You can read more about this by following this link to my website for a web topic discussion on copyright; there you will find links to two articles in the St. Petersburg Times on stories related to Springstead High and the 2005 graduation snafu.

So, hotlinking is not just taking something and passing it off as your own – it’s theft. It’s theft of computing resources. It’s also theft of intellectual property rights.

What is being done about the hotlinking issue?

It depends on the web site owner and how it is addressed.

A web site owner often knows of someone hotlinking to his or her files as part of a web site by way of the site server logs – logs that detail where a visitor has come from among other things.

Here at EdwardRingwald.com and at Interstate275Florida.com I have site server logs that I examine periodically to check for hotlinkers. In September 2006 and just recently in April 2007 I have had two incidents of MySpace members hotlinking to images at EdwardRingwald.com and Interstate275Florida.com. Letters were sent to MySpace requesting removal and to date MySpace has complied, which I appreciate.

Most other websites out there usually send warning emails telling someone not to hotlink to an image on their website. The vast majority of hotlinkers usually do it without any ill intent of violating intellectual property rights or not knowing the fact that the hotlinking adds a lot of bandwidth to the website the image is hotlinked to. It is the small minority of hotlinkers who keep on hotlinking to someone else’s image after being warned not to that more action is needed.


In a nutshell, what can be said about hotlinking?

  • Hotlinking to someone else’s image is stealing that website owner’s bandwidth
  • Hotlinking to someone else’s image is violating that website owner’s IP rights
  • Hotlinking is stealing, period!

If you have a web page out there, whether it be your own personal profile page at MySpace or somewhere else – be creative with your own stuff, but don’t use stuff that you find on the World Wide Web that does not belong to you!

Welcome to the Edward Ringwald Blog!

Hello and welcome to the Edward Ringwald blog!

Since 2000 I started out on the web initially as a few pages on a student server at Hillsborough Community College while I was taking a Introduction to the Internet class. A few months after the class I moved the pages from the student server to its own hosting home. Over the years I featured Interstate 275 in St. Petersburg (which was moved to its own hosting home as well in 2003) as well as various roadtrips from time to time. I have also livened up the look of EdwardRingwald.com with the acquisition of Microsoft FrontPage software as well as updated content from time to time.

Now I have entered the new stage of the web – the blogosphere. Hey, if Southwest Airlines has their own corporate blog why can’t I? After reading their blog plus other blogs from elsewhere I decided to start on a blog not only for EdwardRingwald.com but for Interstate275Florida.com as well. So, here we are!

Before I go on further, let me go over some quick ground rules for the Edward Ringwald Blog: Please keep your replies clean as EdwardRingwald.com is a family friendly site and I intend to keep it that way. Additionally, replies are subject to moderation prior to their being posted.

In the meantime, keep checking back here at the Edward Ringwald Blog frequently and often; you’ll never know what I may have from time to time. And don’t forget to visit the website where I strive to have the best site anywhere on the Internet for everyone, EdwardRingwald.com!