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Dave and Jan's travels:
Readers' comments
First, the competitions. We've had two of these: see the picture competition and the word competition.

Also on this page:

Readers comments
By popular demand, the page where you, the reader, get your opinions publicly aired (unless of course we decide censor you). Just mail us and wait for stardom...

Questions and answers
Here's the questions and answers. If something's bugging you, then a swift email might elicit the answer (then again, it might not. It all depends how tough the question is).
Question Answer
So who is Billie? (various) Billie is Dave's Aunt, who is joining us for the Alaskan phase. Her diverse roles within the party include bear spotting and making  decisions.
...and why has she got a piece of tape stuck on her nose?... (Pete Adams). (For a possible explanation of why he might have asked this, see this photo). The short answer, direct from Billie, is "bog off Pete Adams". For a more detailed answer, see this close-up.
Why do aliens carry umbrellas ? (Neil Evans) 'Cos umbrellas can't walk
[you need]...sound...and video ! (Mike Pierce) Good idea, Mike. Would anyone who'd like to sponsor the purchase of the necessary hardware please email us asap. We will be providing a full corporate sponsorship deal, including your logo on this page!
More pictures of Jan and Dave please! (various) Well, this is really too kind. There are actually a few of these out there, here's a summary (as of 16th June). The only significant changes in our appearance so far are that Jan had a haircut, and we both got bit by a lot of insects.
  • (15th June) Huskies
  • (14th June) Camping in Denali
  • (10th June) Panning for gold
  • (2nd June) Saddle sore cyclists, Skagway
  • (31st May) Happy hikers, Skagway
  • (26th May 99) Bridge over Indian River
  • (23rd May 99) Rain in Ketchikan
  • (22nd May 99) Chatting on the ferry
  • Is the car American-made? (Mark Leonard and others) As you might imagine, this is an important question for many of our readers. The full story is described here.
    One thing I find frustrating is that there is no way of knowing who has written which piece of prose. Therefore I find it hard to judge whether it's Jan writing with passion and feeling, or Dave writing [email protected]..... (Neil Evans) Most of it gets written by one of us, then edited by the other: about 75% of the first drafts get written by yours truly, with Jan removing the more offensive excesses and adding the good bits. All the photo processing and html'ing is down to me, but then I am the geek of the group. (this bit written entirely by David, on his own, without artificial aids).
    Umpteen people have asked about the technology in use

    Basically we're lugging a Sony Vaio laptop around (about 3lbs with its power supply thrown in), and a Kodak 220 digital camera for the piccies. The former is excellent, and the latter is pretty neat. Thanks to Charles Karnati we have a 48 megabyte memory chip (a couple of hundred full detail pictures' worth) and a must-have item, the PCMCIA adaptor. This turns a 48 megabyte upload from an hours-long serial port wait into a few seconds using the Windows Explorer. The only downside to the camera is its puny 24-48mm zoom, which explains the lack of wildlife shots in this website.

    For software, we use Windows 98 (kids, just say no, don't get me started), ibm.net's online services (not cheap, but full South American coverage and plenty of online space). HTMLing is done with NoteTab Pro and a small Smalltalk program for the tedious plumbing of images. This has been a great step forward from Notepad, which in turn was a great step forward from various free WYSIWYG editors like Frontpage Express and Netscape Composer. It is possible that their more costly big brothers might be useful, but I doubt it. Image processing uses Paint Shop Pro which is the dogs'. Adobe PhotoDeluxe had quite good functionality but ran at about one third the speed and crashed frequently. We also use ACDSee, a spectacularly good shareware image browser, to organise pictures.

    Is that enough?

    Pedants' roll of honour

    Nit picking comments about bad links (Mike Pierce, Mia Giuliano and Alan Salsbury) Mike doesn't know Alan and Mia, but they'd probably get on, as they are JUST THE KIND OF PEOPLE that WOULD spot something like that. Actually, though, only joking as it is nice to know that someone is reading this stuff...
    Nit picking comments about grammar (Mark and Esther) Particularly galling, this one. I pride myself on the quality of the grammar that I write my sentences with.
    Thanks to Neil Evans for spotting the misspelling of supersede (we wrote supercede). To quote Neil himself:
    The correct spelling is superseding, which is derived from the latin "super" (above/over) and "sedeo" (I sit). Don't worry though, as supercede and superceed are commonly mis-used by those without a classical education....
    What can I say? I can think of almost no-on else that I wouldn't rather have had spot this. A gold star for pedantry and etymology to Mr. Evans.
    Thanks to Mark Leonard for assistance with a grammatical issue. Should I say "...a few moments time..." or "a few moments' time"? After much research and the enlistment of significant professional resource, Mark determined that:
    this usage is the objective genitive case which requires an apostrophe...the Chicago Manual of Style...
    Still not entirely conclusive: this is merely an American style manual. Anyone care to come up with an opinion from the mother country?

    Joke corner


    Thanks to Neil Evans for our first trip joke.
    Looking forward to the following conversation on your return...

    Neil: What was the name of that big place you went to in Alaska - french sounding name.....
    Jan: Juneau ?
    Neil: No, that's why I asked

    All: General Tittering