Hacking around the Internet & other dumb stuff!

What a wild and crazy place this information highway has become, huh?

Can you name me any other place that has a more useless, mindless, un-informed, misinformed, money grabbing, dishonest, vanity crazed group of people crawling around it than the Internet?

Aw’right, aw’right, I hear some of you screaming, WASHINGTON D.C.! WASHINGTON D.C.! Well, I can’t argue with that, except to say I think there are more of these scuzzy, slimy people on the Internet due to the fact that there are a lot more people that use the Net than there are people in our nation’s capitol.

This virtual highway, or community if you wish, has become very crowded, tiresome and oft times claustrophobic for me. There’s nothing I hate more than pasting a new URL in my browser and having to sit and wait, sometimes up to 90 seconds for my browser to either elbow its way into the new site or just give up and turn on me with a diabolical, “You can’t get there from here, try again later” message! It makes me want to scream. And sometimes I do! After all, I just drove the information highway halfway around the world to look at something and now some stupid computer has the audacity to tell me to come back later! What kind of bull is that? My ISP says I have unlimited access to the Internet and, by golly, that’s what I want! So after giving this problem some Miner Thought, I have devised a way to gain immediate access to any Web or FTP site on the Net at anytime, day or night. Armed with only my Hackin’ Mac and a little imagination, I proceeded to do things my way!

In order to do this you must understand how Web sites are laid out on servers. Without going into the boring details, I’ll just say that Web sites, like big department stores have more than one door to enter and exit from.

If getting into a crowded Web site is all you desire, you only have to surf up to the front door, get in line with the rest of the people and wait your turn. This may be okay for people who don’t mind being in large crowded areas, e.g., your local shopping mall two days before Christmas. But that’s not okay for me. No sirree, I hate crowds, I avoid them at all cost. In fact, I don’t even start my Christmas shopping till February or March, for the previous Christmas that is.

When I visit a Web page, I want the whole site to myself. No pushing and shoving, no little kids screaming and crying and I certainly don’t want any pushy salesperson breathing down my neck. But most importantly, I don’t wanna stand in line (electronically speaking) behind some big burly sweaty truck driver who is taking 20 minutes to read one small Web page. What I want from a Web site is fast access, peace and quiet, and freedom of movement.

I accomplish this with a fairly straightforward hack I devised that will empty out a Web site quicker than you can say “get the hell outta here!” Some may not think this is a very moral or ethical thing to do, but hey, I don’t really care!

When I encounter a Web site or ftp site that is full to capacity or even one that’s just a little bit too crowded to suit me, I immediately find a back door to the site, enter, and initiate my hack by pressing the command, option, and “H” keys.

What this does is identify and make a connection to every other computer that is logged on to that site. It then sends the following false message to each of those computers.


Fire! Fire! Fire!Works every time! As soon as those people click the OK button, Poof! They’re gone! I’m not sure where they go but that’s inconsequential to me. All I know is I’m left to browse and peruse the site at my leisure without any slow downs associated with a heavily used site.

I’m not sure if it’s a crime to yell FIRE in a crowded Web site like it is in a crowded movie theater, but nobody has come to arrest me yet!

If any of my loyal readers have been confronted and chased out of a Web site with the above error message, I apologize. The next time this happens to you, you’ll know it’s just me scaring people off. If you don’t hit the OK button the message will disappear within 30 seconds and you can go about your business. But don’t crowd me! And please, don’t tell your friends about this, okay? I would hate to think what would happen if a lot of people knew about my little scheme and didn’t pay any attention to the warning message thinking it was only that idiot Pete Miner trying to hog the whole Web site for himself and then a REAL fire actually did break out. I think would feel terrible. Or maybe not!

Another aggravation for me while I surf the Net is the amount of bloated advertising I encounter. Especially since the advent of animated graphics. Did you know that it takes an average of 14.9 seconds longer for the average corporate Web page that has an average of 3.4 animated advertising graphics, to load? Of course you didn’t know! That’s why I’m here. That’s why you read my column every month. To learn the kinda stuff that you can’t learn anywhere else. Isn’t it?

I can’t wait an added 14.9 seconds in front of my screen for some stupid colorful dancing advertisement to display itself. I mean, what if my wife sees me sitting idle in front of my computer and decides that this would be a good time to ask me to take out the garbage or something! I can’t have those kinds of interruptions while I’m surfin’, and neither can you.

So I devised this neat little hack that works like the mute button on your remote control. When I log onto a Web page and don’t have the time or inclination to view their animation, I just hit the command, option, delete, clear, shift, control, return, tab, caps lock, escape, enter, and space bar all at once and it stops any animated graphics from animating.

Yes, I’m aware that this is a total of twelve keys and most of us only have eight fingers and two thumbs but don’t let that discourage you. I’ve found that by using my two big toes in conjunction with my fingers and thumbs I can accomplish this command. You, too, can become proficient at this with a little practice.

If you try this at work, I suggest you have on a clean pair of socks. No need to offend your fellow workers with an unseemly odor. And you ladies better not try this while wearing a skirt or a dress, at least not without putting the keyboard on the floor first.

Okay, maybe this isn’t one of my better ideas, but I ain’t charging nothing for it either!

… What? … You’re not buying any of this? … You don’t believe me!?!

C’mon, this is your friend Pete speaking. Would I ever tell you something that wasn’t true?

Of course not!

As you can see, and were probably hoping, I was going to end my column right here. But I’ve decided to share with you a little game I play while nosing around the World Wide Web.

I realize that by telling you what I do in my spare time can only lead you to one conclusion. “Pete Miner has no life!” My only response to that is, “Yeah, well, live with it, I do!”

For all I know lots of people do this. It’s not really a game, I don’t even know what I’d call it.

What I do is think of a word and turn it into a domain name, slap it into Netscape and see where it takes me.

For instance: Who would ever in their wildest dreams think that, www.cornflake.com would take you to a Web site called “The Martin T Page.” Anything you ever wanted to know about Martin Thompson is here. Martin Thompson, it turns out, is an opera singer. What’s that got to do with cornflakes?

www.white.com was another I tried. So sorry I did! Andrew White must have wanted his own Web page so badly that he not only sprung for the cost of a domain name but after deciding he didn’t have anything to display or write about on his Web page he still had the audacity to install a guest book and ask people to sign it! And you think I have no life?!

www.funny.com. Not at all what you would expect. This page is a commercial site for the “South Valley Internet Farm.” The funniest thing about this page was the picture of garlic being displayed. I don’t know about the rest of you but garlic doesn’t tickle my funny bone! Don’t ask me what that’s all about, I’m just reporting what I see.

www.milk.com. Now this site should have the previous domain name. (www.funny.com, if you weren’t listening.) This site is owned by Dan Bornstein and has nothing to do with milk other than his explanations as to why his site has nothing to do with milk. I enjoyed Dan’s humor in a lactose sort of way.

A friend of mine has the C.B. handle “Hardtimes,” so, what the hell, I typed in www.hardtime.com. Whoa! I ended up in San Quenten prison. Seems the bad boys, in conjunction with their families, have a money making T-shirt business operated right out of the prison. I’m all for free enterprise but I must ask, “do any of their profits go to the victims of these bad boys, or are they using the money to buy cigarettes, VCRs, computers and cutting torches?

www.idiot.com. A GOOD ONE. A must see. Not much content but what is there is worth the trip. Funny!

On the political side of things, I thought I’d give www.clinton.com a try. Nope, it wasn’t him. That domain name is taken by an investment and securities firm, but I must say they have a sense of humor. They tell you that if you surfed to their Web page looking to complain to the big guy, you took a wrong turn. However they do provide you with a link to the White House and even a link to the big guys e-mail address.

My buddy Al Gore better jump on the chance to register the domain www.gore.com because apparently it’s not taken.

Do ya know what I found at www.hillary.com? No, it wasn’t some missing FBI files! This company provides commercial security software. I guess Billy’s wife never did business with her namesake.

Anyway, you get the idea. If anyone happens upon a site that has an off-the-wall domain name that doesn’t fit the content, I’d like to hear about it.

Till next month, Happy Webbin’!

Pete Miner (pete@mymac.com)

Websites mentioned:

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