fyvie.net home
home | photos | diving | resources | projects | E+ | info | search

Frequently asked questions

Scientest shrugging shouldersDo I look like I know?

From time to time I get emails from people asking various questions. This list contains information which may answer a question you may have. If not, feel free to get in touch. Otherwise, please feel free to use the links to the top or left and see if your question might be answered in another other part of the site.

Where did the forum go?

Unfortunately I have taken the forum offline. There wasn't much point to having one on this site, and people kept posting technical support questions for ExhibitPlus, even though there were notices everywhere telling them not to. In addition, the forum software I used, phpbb, was a constant source of security problems, and I got tired of upgrading version after version.

Hey! Where are the links?

You'll find links and tips about things that I find useful, people whom I know, etc. in various sections of this site. Sometimes you may find some under resources, or sometimes under the projects section. In summary, you can find external links anywhere where they might make sense. Isn't this a more sensible approach than just having a page with a big list of links?

Which camera did you use for your photos?

I've used various cameras. My first cameras were rather underpowered: Canon IXUS 300, Canon IXUS 330 and Canon IXUS v3. Despite being such poor performers I still managed to churn out the occassional interesting shot. But I had to throw away a good deal before I got a result I was happy with. The latest generation of "prosumer" cameras are giving me much better results. After much deliberation I settled on the Olympus 7070 "wide zoom". I also purchased the wide angle adapter, external flash, and of course the underwater housing. I haven't bought any further underwater accessories like strobes or wet lenses for it yet. Following on from Olympus 7070 I decided to try out a DSLR and bought an Olympus D-500. I'm unwilling to spend the sums of money required for taking a DSLR underwater, so I now stick to the 7070 for underwater and the D-500 for abovewater.

Can I use your photos?

I usually have no objections to my photos being used by others for non-commercial purposes. Please contact me for permission. If your use is commercial please contact me and tell me what you'd like to use them for. I'm perfectly reasonable when it comes to commerical use as well. If you wish to use the images on a website then please load them directly from your server, don't sideload them from mine. If you contact me I may also be able to provide you with high resolution images without any watermarks.

Are you Swiss?

Close-up of cowMoo

No. I've lived in Switzerland since 2000, but I am not Swiss. In Switzerland, assuming that the authorities approve of me, after 12 years of living here, I may be eligible to become Swiss. That is if I don't come from Eastern Europe (which I don't), or any other country that they don't like and they think of me as a "good foreigner" (which I'm sure they do). Then I would have to pay a very large sum of money and go through a long administrative process to receive the "honour" of a Swiss passport. Having this honour would also mean that I'd be bound to do military service, but since I am too old to start I'd have to spend 3 weeks per year doing so called "Civil duties" - not unlike the community service orders handed down by judges to people convicted of minor crimes in other countries. If I failed to do my civil service I would be liable to pay a fine of 2% extra on my taxes each year. But if I were Swiss I would be allowed to vote and my car insurance premiums would be lower.

So in short, I'll remain like 30% of Switzerland's population (25% of this group were also born in Switzerland) - a foreigner thanks very much. I get a little tired of being constantly reminded that I am one, but it's something I've got used to through the course of my life.

Why isn't your website also in German?

As much as I love sitting here and typing content until my wrists ache, I don't think there is much need for it. While a lot of German-speaking visitors come to my site, most of the visitors are from different parts of the world. There isn't much "local" content here, so I expect any visitors to this site to be able to understand at least a little bit of English. The time required to maintain the site in two languages would simply be too great.

Can I write to you in German?

Of course you can. Since I can write faster in English than in German, I will most likely respond to you in English (unless you ask me not to). If it is faster for you to write in German than English, then I'll afford you the same courtesy.

Can I write to you in another language?

You can try. I've even had people write to me in French before. But if you write to me in a language I don't understand, I don't think I'll be reading your email...

How did you do your website?

I write everything using an excellent text editor called Textpad. Esentially this is the only software I use, I do the HTML and CSS by hand - I prefer it that way. Afterwards I use a program I wrote myself called htmlcutter to cut up one large text file into the individual files which make up this site. It might seem time consuming, but it's actually faster than most CMS programs and a lot easier than using authoring programs like Dreamweaver, Golive etc.

In which time zone do you reside?

During Nov-April CET (Central European Time) - or UTC(GMT)+1. During May-Oct CEST (Central European Summer Time) - or UTC(GMT)+2. If you are American and don't quite understand that you need to check the time first before phoning people in what turns out to be middle of the night for them, I'm between 6 and 9 hours ahead of you. This is because the Earth is round and rotates on its axis, so we get daylight at different times than you do.

valid XHTML 1.0! valid CSS!