Trying to Update this Site from a Computer at a Public Library

Friday, April 29, 2005

On the afternoon of Thursday, April 28, I needed to update this web site from a public computer at a public library in the area I was traveling. Had I posted the two articles I wrote to a blog, it would have been easy to use a web browser to log in to the blog and add material to the articles. I used web server space provided by my ISP, which makes the process a little harder, but still do-able.

So I used View Source in Internet Explorer to view my source html files, added some material to the files in Notepad and saved the html documents to the My Documents folder on this public access computer. So far so good. Then I used Internet Explorer to log in to my ftp server space by typing in the browser web site address field

I was able to log in to the ftp server space, but could not find any menu item to upload my html file. Netscape has such a menu item.

So I went looking for a librarian who could get me access to Firefox. Firefox might be able to let me upload my html file. The friendly librarian I found explained that Firefox was not available on the public access computers. I asked in a nice way whether he thought it would be desirable for it to be available. He replied in the affirmative, and then said, "The reason we don't have Firefox installed is because of virus and security issues." This is the first time I've heard that Firefox is less secure than Internet Explorer, but I didn't quibble. This librarian is an information professional. That is his area of expertise.

The files I wanted to upload from that public library computer on that day explained how visually impaired persons are within the class of excluded persons in the Fairfax County Public Library audio book policy. I will do that now in a separate file.

Sometime I need to come back here and share some more thoughts about what it feels like to be locked out from updating your web site using a computer in a public library setting. Imagine having something important you want to say and not being able to say it.