Send Me Mail
Unfortunately, now that I'm working full-time (and overtime) and studying in my spare time, I just don't have the time to keep up with my email. I don't even bother to check my email for months. So don't bother sending me email. If you think you have to send me email, here's the rules:
What are you trying to do?
If you have a code problem, Send me whatever files you have (whatever you can) along with a description of what it is you are trying to accomplish. Try to tell me your overall goal as well as the approach you are trying to take. Tell me your expected inputs. If they are files, give me their locations and some sample data. If you want a specially-formatted output, send me a sample of what you want things to look like. If you get error messages, try to include a screen capture or the exact text. And of course, tell me your operating system! Along those lines, tell me if your solution could use other things like QBASIC, Windows Scripting, non-standard utility programs or custom controls to solve your problem. Lastly, if you copied (you know, copy and paste?) code off one of my web pages and it doesn't work right, go back and make sure you don't have any spaces at the ends of your lines. Spaces may be invisible, but they cause problems!
Are you using NT/2000/XP?
Most of the batch programs here were created under Win95 or Win98. Which means ninety percent of the batch programs will not work on NT, 2000, or XP. Until I work up the energy to completely rewrite everything to 2000/XP, feel free to bug me to translate any batch file here into 2000/XP compatible code.
the site first
At least try the search dialog at the bottom of most of my web pages. Including the bottom of this page. If it points you to a plain text page, try backing up one level on the URL to find a web page that will hopefully have more information. The "pico search" may give better results because it is customized for this site.
Why I may not respond
I may class you as spam. I let my mail server toss anything it thinks is spam. Anything. From anyone. For the messages that get through, I check email headers and message content: If you B64 encode your mail, relay through a mail server whose domain doesn't match your email address, or CC/BCC me, expect me to delete your message without reading it.
You may class me as spam. Pacbell mail servers may be blacklisted by your ISP. Most list maintainers and ISPs are smart enough not to blacklist the entire pacbell domain, but it happens. This means I may not be able to send you email. If your ISP is kind enough to tell me they've refused my email, I'll try to resend the response to you through another account, but that may take a while. Bummer, huh?
Don't send me programs.
I won't run them. Ever. If you have a cool program you want to show off, send me a link to a trusted site where it can be downloaded. Scripts, batch files, and source code are all okay to send me. Those I can look at before running! It's just good sense. If I should send you a utility (whether I wrote it or not) and can't provide you with either the code or a trusted source, you should be leery.
Do you want me to write
your program for you?
Unless you need help automating something for work, you'll sort to the bottom of my email list if you send me a "Can you write me a program that does X" email. I'm not saying I won't help you, but my own preference is to help with code that improves productivity. I'll be happy to spend time helping you to work the bugs out of any script or batch file (even non-work-related ones) if you have made an effort and have some code written. Well, unless you send me the kind of scrambled code that comes out of virus kits. Mostly, I'm just trying to persuade illiterate high-schoolers to quit asking me for hacking advice. Trying to help someone who is busy trying to hide their true goal from you is very frustrating.
My philosophy of giving
Most of my code has been explicitly released into the Public Domain. That means you can use it anywhere, any time, guilt-free. It also means you can recompile any of my stuff, take my name off it, sell it, and keep all the money. I do things this way because people in business have to be very careful not to use the copyrighted work of others. And I give my code away (by posting it on the Internet) expecting it to be used. It's just simple code that anybody could write. It's only real value is that it provides a good "this works" starting point. Sure, I could copyright my code, then say it's freely redistributable. Lots of people do. Or I could GPL it all. But the simple fact is that these are (as broad as they are) still restrictions. And I have no intention of hunting down people who might violate these simple restrictions. People who don't intend to fight shouldn't draw lines in the sand.
Lost? Look at the site map.
Bad links? Questions? Send me mail.