Frequently Asked Questions (with Answers)

I thought my website would have been too simple to have generated questions anent the site & its author but several keep coming up. Here are a some answers:

Who are you?

My name is Andrew Hardwick. I am also known in various publications as variants including "Andrew John Hardwick", "Andrew J. Hardwick", "A. J. Hardwick", "A. Hardwick", "Dr. A. J. Hardwick" and the online pseudonym "Duramecho".

I suppose I should insert some biographical information here but I have not got around to it yet. I hate writing glowing CV-like reports about myself and a self-depreciating one on a public website might come back to haunt me :-) .

Does it matter anyway? The purpose of this website is to give useful and entertaining information away free to whoever wants it not for my self publicity. Indeed I kept the site anonymous for its first 6 years of existence as I thought it looked rather arrogant to have a personal website back in 2000 AD. However by the end of 2006 later it was normal for even school children to have public personal web sites, blogs, MySpace social networks and even YouTube video footage of themselves and instead an anonymous website looked weird so I retrospectively put my name to the web pages I have written.

If you want to find out more, I recommend that you use the contact form rather than the email address published on this site as that now gets so much spam that legitimate email can easily get lost in it.

Who are you not?

Unfortunately 'Andrew' is a very common English name & 'Hardwick' is moderately common so there there are confusingly many other 'Andrew Hardwick's on the WWW.

I am: not the lecturer in Warwick Business School; not the film producer who worked on 'Extraordinary Rendition'; not the artist of large impressionist scenery paintings; not the owner of the bouncy castle manufacturing company near Liverpool; not the accountant or the surveyor in Derby; not the surveying company director in Bristol; not the politician in Freeport; not the sales director in Southampton; not the architect in Italy; not the software architect in Oregon; not the promotional material writer in Melbourne; not the editor of a book anent therapy for troubled children; and not the creator of xenophobic petitions to the UK government online site whom I suppose is also the one on the 2008 leaked BNP membership list. Being confused with a bouncy castle making movie producing child therapist is probably not that bad but I don't want to be confused with the racist.

Why the pen-name 'Duramecho'?

I got it when I first set up a personal e-mail account. I set it up on Yahoo in the days when they still did free POP3/SMTP e-mail accounts. Although I had long been using email, I was late to setting up a Yahoo ID so I found my first name, surname, initials, university mainframe username and even surname spelt backwards had already been taken. To get a different word, I split my surname into syllables (which happen to be normal English words), translated them into Esperanto, recombined the words and transliterated it into the ASCII alphabet. I thought it was simple & obvious but only one other person has spotted that connection so far without being told. One colleague working on computer security even joked that it was virtually a multi-level encryption scheme!

Why did you publish this lot?

Simply because it might be of use to other people or might entertain them. I have learnt & obtained a lot for free from the WWW. Such a cooperative system works best if people give as well as take, ideally by helping out not just by paying for services commercially. The huge scales involved fortunately mean that the average amount a person need give is far less than what they take, but they should still give something. I have not had the dedication to get involved in any large freeware programming projects yet but I do have an odd mixture of little bits of knowledge that are might be helpful so I ought publish some of them. Hence this site.

How do you make money out of it without sales or advertising?

I don't. However it only costs about 23 GBP per year to rent the hard disk space and bandwidth for this website (even though it supports CGI scripting and subdomaining) and hosting of several of my email accounts plus about 12 GBP for the '.com' domain name rental. I currently rent it from Virtual Names who were the cheapest I found allowing CGI scripting and hosting of any file type (some rivals ban programs & zipped archives even if they are small) at the time I set up the site and they have proved reliable & helpful since so I have kept with them.

I could have made it even cheaper by using an Internet Service Provider's webspace (which is often at no extra cost if uploaded via the ISP) but that would have their address as the domain name which would change as ISPs change thereby messing up the bookmarks that people have made to this site. Another cheap alternative would be to use an Apache webserver on one of my own computers but I turn my home computer off when not in use and my servers at work are behind unnecessarily restrictive firewalls.

Do you reply to emails?

I try to but my replies are often considerably delayed. The problem is spam. Currently I get about 30 items per day to the e-mail addresses published on this site. That is very little compared to a big business website but far more than than the zero per day which go to my personal email addresses. Every few months I get around to looking through the titles of the emails for ones which don't look like spam so I should find the genuine ones and reply to them but there is the possibility that some genuine email is accidentally thrown out with the spam. Please make the titles obviously relevant and specific to this site so they stand out from the generic "Hi", "About your site", "Re: your article" & "Thanks info@duramecho.com!" type titles automatically generated by spammers and don't get stopped by the automated spam-blocker.

However, please send non-spam e-mail if you want to & hopefully I'll get it. Most of the genuine e-mail I get is thanks (which is nice to receive) or questions (which are also nice, unless they are from students wanting their homework done for them!). A few are corrections which are useful because I am not a good proofreader.

The contact form is better to use than as that fast-tracks through my spam filtering.

Why is it 'duramecho.com' not 'duramecho.org'?

It is a free site not a business so it would more appropriately be '.org' instead of '.com' but this site has not always been this way. I first created a public personal web site in order to test out some CGI scripts when I was asked to make a sales website for a relation's intended organic Indian ready-meals manufacturing & delivery business (off-the-shelf sales website system were all 'shopping basket' style which was inappropriate for fast-food so he needed a bespoke one). Therefore 'duramecho.com' was originally commercial. However he switched from small deliveries to large scale manufacturing for supermarkets & restaurants and I did not want to make web pages as my job (easy money at the time but boring!) but I kept the domain for my free information pages.

As for the 'duramecho.info' option, which is probably the most apt, that was invented after this site was created.

Why is this site written in English?

It is in English simply because UK English is my native language. It is not because I don't realise that there are other languages or that I think the whole world should speak English. There is a lot I want to publish and I can write it fastest if I write it in my native language.

Apologies to those who need or prefer other languages. Maybe if I ever run out of things to publish, I will start translating some of it into Esperanto.

What does 'anent' mean?

It means 'about' in its sense of 'with the subject matter of'. It is a valid English word (albeit rather archaic). All the common alternatives, 'about', 'concerning', 'regarding' & 'on', are ambiguous as they have other common meanings so I use 'anent'. I get complaints wherever I use it, particularly when I try to use it in academic papers where the literary conventions are as important for acceptance as the scientific content, but English really needs an unambiguous word for that meaning so I keep at it. Not all languages lack an unambiguous word for this, for example it is 'pri' in Esperanto.

Why no space in 'infront'?

The spelling mistake of "infront" instead of the conventional English "in front" when used as the opposite of "behind" has been pointed out by readers of this site. I've mostly done it deliberately in my dance notes as it makes them clearer for quick reading both in being a single word to represent a single concept (like 'behind', which it is often paired with) and to avoid "in in" (as in "walk in in front of") which both looks odd and is wrongly flagged as an unignorable error in some common text editors.

Elsewhere on the site, it is mainly a typo (although I still think it is clearer) from having used it so commonly in the dance notes.