Feel free to drop me a line if the question you want is not here.
Who are you? What is this site? Why?
First of all, one question at a time. You will learn patience.
Who are you?
My name is David John Welsh. I used to be an ALT in Joetsu City, in Niigata. I then spent a while working for an IT company, developing patient recordkeeping software and designing web applications. Now, though, I'm back in the education realm again, where I belong.
What is this site?
It is a collection of free resources that came in handy to me when I was an ALT. I put them here in the hope they will also be of use to the next generation of ALTs. In my current job I have many opportunities to create new pages, so I will keep adding new things. I'll also update the old pages, when I have time, and I am wide open to suggestions for new things you want to see.
Why so much Joetsu stuff?
I was an ALT there. Most of that stuff was made when I was there, and I still have contacts there. If you want me to host your regional guide, magazine or other documents on the site, I'm happy to do so. Just contact me via the Contact page.
You're awesome. Can I give you money?
Nah, I'm just kidding.
Although do feel free to buy me a drink if ever we meet.
Food would be okay, too.
And, you know, if you have any gold bullion you don't want anymore. That'd work.
Actually, I recently discovered that I am not, in fact, made of money. In an attempt to confront this fact, I placed some advertising on the site. However, given its high intrusiveness-to-earning-power ratio, I've decided to get rid of it.
Why do some pages not work on my computer?
A note on Internet Explorer 6: I assidiously test all pages in all the browsers available to me. This no longer includes IE6. If you are on a network that for some reason will not allow you to upgrade to a later version, try downloading a different browser. I recommend Google Chrome, as it can be installed without administrator privileges, meaning anyone can install it in a matter of minutes. It's also the sleekest and fastest browser.
I do test the site in Internet Explorer 7+, Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Safari on Vista and Windows 7. I also test in Ubuntu. If you are using any of those browsers, and the page looks odd or doesn't work as expected, then it is a bug. Please tell me about it via the contact page, and I will endeavour to fix the problem as soon as I can.
Some pages have bugs that are known to me, but for which a workaround has not yet been devised. I hate releasing things half-finished, but if the bug is minor enough, I think the potential benefits from having something outweigh the drawbacks from having nothing. Where this is the case, I have noted it in the page's explanation. If you find a bug that is not in the explanation, please let me know, as it's obviously something I have overlooked.
Why doesn't the page fit in the window?
I designed most of the pages to be about 980 pixels wide and 720 pixels high. On some computers this may look too small or too large. All modern browsers have a zoom function, which you can use to solve this problem. The zoom function can be accessed from the various browsers' menus, but the quickest way to do it is via the keyboard shortcuts - CTRL & + to zoom in, CTRL & - to zoom out, and CTRL & 0 to reset the zoom. On some pages using the browser zoom will cause the page to stop working properly; where this is the case I have noted it on the page description.
Why are some pages, like, really lame?
Many of these pages were made a long time ago, before I really had any idea they would be for public consumption. There's also the fact that I am entirely self-taught, so my abilities evolve as I learn. I'd like to think I have come a pretty long way over the past few years. When I first started, though, I didn't know that much, so many pages were made before I knew there were better technologies available. Many pages were also rushed into existence so I could use them in a particular class.
The upshot is that the process generally went (and still goes) like this:
- Have an idea for a page.
- Make a rudimentary plan and produce a working version using the knowledge I have at the time.
- Learn the very next day that there is a much better technology I could have used.
- Decide to redo the old page using said technology.
- Suddenly have an idea for a new page that wouldn't have been possible without the new technology.
- Work on the new page, putting the old page on hold for the moment.
- Forget entirely about the old page.
This cycle continues consistently until... well, I'm not sure. It doesn't appear to have ended yet.
Right now, the number of things I have to update far, far outweighs the amount of time available to me. This makes it hard to do anything at all. If you have a specific request for an update, it helps to galvanize me, though, as I can put that item at the front of the list. So do let me know.
Why does the page not work when I zoom it?
I made a lot of these pages before I knew about how browser zooming worked. The way I programmed things, the calculations that are made to determine where the mouse is on the page are thrown off when the page size is not 100%. I am working on a way around this problem.
This is also a problem, but for different reasons, on the Clock and Nations Quiz pages. Those pages use Java, and the Java applet is embedded in the browser in such a way that zooming won't make the actual applet any bigger. This is also a problem I am aware of, but coding around it will take a fair amount of work, so it probably won't be solved in the immediate future.
How can I get the pages to work better?
Download and install Google Chrome. You don't need administrator privileges, meaning you can install it on a work computer without affecting other users. It's also lightning fast and smooth. If you're stuck in an environment with an IT department that insists on using Internet Explorer, just install Chrome.
Can I submit an idea for a page?
Sure, on the contact page. If I think your idea is workable, I'll give it a shot, and you'll get full credit when/if it works out.
Where do you get the images you use on the site?
Apart from the ABC Flashcards and the What's This images, which were both my own creations, I get almost all the images from OCAL and Clker.com, sites dedicated to sharing public domain clipart. Something in the public domain is totally free to download and modify, and since I have no money to buy decent artwork, and no artistic skill with which to produce it myself, the public domain is my heaven.
The flag images are modified versions of those downloaded from Flagpedia, which also has a wealth of other information about each and every country in this little world of ours. I highly recommend it.
Can I redistribute the things I download from the Resources page?
If it were up to me, all of this stuff would be free for everyone, but I can't grant usage rights for things I don't own.
Many of the downloads should contain a README text file, which explains among other things what the usage rights are. Generally speaking, the offline versions of pages are free to redistribute as long as you don't change them. The images are free to redistribute if they are ones that I created, which is most of them. Not all of them are, however, so check the readme file carefully before you make any assumptions.
I think that it is probably a bad idea (and utterly futile) to attempt to stop people sharing these things. In general, however, I would prefer that people download everything from the site itself. That way you can get the latest versions, not to mention that downloading them from here is (and will always be) free of charge.
Not that I think it likely, given the quality of the things I produce, but if you see anything that originated on this site being exchanged for money, please let me know immediately. That ain't how I roll, as they say. (Presumably. Somewhere in the world.)
Can you make a vocab page for the new textbooks?
What's the best way to cook a chicken?
Roasting is the simplest way to cook a whole chicken. First remove the giblets (they're usually wrapped in paper inside the cavity) and rinse the chicken well, inside and out, with cold water. Pat it dry an pull off any globs of fat around the cavity. Next, squeeze half an orange or lemon over the skin and rub it inside the cavity. Sprinkle the bird with salt, pepper, and a dash of paprika. Lay a few dots of butter on the back and legs d place the chicken in a roasting pan just large enough to hold it (use a ck if you've got one). Roast the chicken on the center rack of a preheated 350'F oven. Cook for 20 minutes per pound (about I hour 10 minutes for an average-size broiler/fryer), or until the juices run clear when a thigh joint is pricked with a knife.