Bob Eichler's Web Site
|Last updated July 20th, 2015|
SAY GOODBYE TO THIS SITE...On July 16, 2015 I got an email from Comcast informing me that starting October 8th, they would be "discontinuing personal web pages". What that means is that after Oct 8th, every page under the home.comcast.net URL (mine and every other site set up by a Comcast user) will vanish into a puff of greed.
How can they possibly justify this? Aren't they supposed to be an Internet Service Provider, one of the biggest and most profitable ones in the business? Well, apparently they came to the realization that most of their customers are happy just putting all their content up on Facebook or some other third party site that profits off them via targeted advertising. Those of us who liked to maintain our own web sites were a small enough minority that Comcast figured losing a few of us who were really, really angry about this was not going to hurt their bottom line.
Their official excuse is that they're switching to a different web hosting service provider to "improve customers' web experience", and this new host can't support personal web pages. Which sounds like a huge load of bull to me, but there you have it.
I was looking for a low-priced (preferrably free) alternative site to host these pages, since they're basically just a vanity project and I can't really justify spending a lot of extra money per month on web hosting. For now, I'm trying out a free hosting site called Byethost - here's the URL for my new site:
If you have this page bookmarked, please change it to the new page. Thanks.
To anyone who ever took the time to email me feedback (which was overwhelmingly positive) about the site, I thank you. If there's any particular content you really like, I'd recommend archiving it off somewhere. If you'd like to contact me about this, use my Comcast email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, although as soon as I can convice my wife that we no longer need Comcast, I plan to switch to a different ISP.
Here are the bits that I've gotten the most emails about:
03/25/2015 - A History/Review of Genesis - yet another entry in my ongoing series about "music no one under 40 even remembers". Well, Genesis were pretty popular into the early 1990s, so maybe we can say "no one under 30 remembers" this time.
02/01/2015 - A History/Review of the Music of Yes - adding more content to the "music no one born after 1990 cares about at all" section of this site, here's a lengthy, rambling and opinionated review of the catalog of the band Yes, with a lot of info about the band's history mixed in. This started out as a review of the "Studio Albums 1969-1987" boxed set that came out last year (which I got for Christmas), but then it got totally out of hand.
12/15/2014 - Isaac Asimov's Robot/Empire/Foundation saga - I reccently re-read this classic sci-fi series and decided to throw together a web page about it.
11/14/2014 - Pink Floyd's Endlesss River - Some thoughts on the new Pink Floyd album.
09/15/2014 - ProgDay 2014 - A belated write-up of this year's outdoor progressive rock extravaganza, the 20th annual ProgDay. A vacation followed by illness delayed this year's write-up, but it's finally here.
07/17/2014 - Electric Light Orchestra - Doing that Cheap Trick page put me in the mood to write some more about music, so I picked another of my favorite bands from the 70s/80s, ELO, and did a write-up about each of their albums. Enjoy, or ignore - the choice is yours.
06/07/2014 - Cheap Trick - Cheap Trick has long been a guilty pleasure band of mine, and last night I got the chance to see them in concert for the first time in many years. To get ready for the show, I listened to all their albums (you might be surprised at how many discs that is) and decided to write up a little blurb review of each one, which ended up turning into a web page that's pretty much a career overview of the band.
05/11/2014 - The Best Yes Solo Albums - Recently I've found myself listening to a lot of solo albums released by the various members of the band Yes over the years, and at the same time trying to teach myself some of the basics of web page layout using style sheets. So the natural result, of course, is an overly-opininated, styled-to-the-point-of-being-an-eyesore web page about the best Yes solo albums.
Year after year, I got more and more interested in "archiving" the event - making low-budget audience recordings of the performances, taking lots of pictures, collecting programs, etc. Starting in 2007, I took a lot of that material and started putting together a "scrapbook" web page of my ProgDay experience. I've done the same for each year since. If you want to read WAAAAY too much of one man's opinions about the longest running progressive rock festival around, check out:
10/03/2011 - iPod Rant - I wrote this several months ago at work when I had some free time and emailed it to my home account to put up on this web site...then completely forgot about it. I just found it while cleaning out my email inbox, so here it is...why the iPod is really overrated.
09/17/2010 - How I Connected an iPod to my 2005 Prius - After being told by two different professional car audio installers that it was impossible, I found an adapter that could let my Prius connect to my iPod and installed the thing myself. Dang right I'm proud of myself. :-)
11/13/2009 - Cerebus The Aardvark - back on my old dial-up web site I had a sprawling review of the comic book, er, graphic novel series "Cerebus" that eventually strayed off topic and became a rant about the author and his religious beliefs. I didn't re-host it over to this Comcast site because the only email I ever got about it was the occasional hate mail from people who were offended by my remarks about religion. But just today I got a request from someone who was cleaning up dead links on a Cerebus fan site asking if I could put my review back up. So here it is.
11/13/2009 - The Dark Tower - while I'm at it, I might as well put the sprawling review I wrote of Stephen King's Dark Tower series of books back up as well.
8/7/2009 - Vacation Travelogue - Pictures, stories and gripes from our family vacation to Disney and Cocoa Beach in July of 2009.
4/8/2009 - Yesoteric - A historic documentation of the massive collection of rarities by the progressive rock band Yes. WARNING: Waaaay too long and boring to anyone but super-obsessive Yes fans.
6/19/2008 - Brandy - a tribute to our beloved hound, who was taken from us far too soon.
12/21/2007 - Video Game Memories - yet another rambling, lengthy monologue, this time about all the video games that I've played and loved over the last 30 or so years. It started out as a response to a web article that I read about the 50 most important releases in video game history, and grew out of control from there. Read only if you have a lot of time to kill and a love of old video games.
Undated: Why I hate Stored Procedures - A rant that only a crusty computer programmer like myself could identify with. My bosses at work made the decision, against my strenuous disagreement, that ALL database access should be done via stored procedures. What the heck, they weren't the ones who had to do the programming. It made life a living hell. If you are a programmer and you've been forced to use stored procedures against your will, give this a read and see if you agree.
If you want to send me an email to point out the flaws and spelling errors of this site (I know there's got to be at least a few), feel free. My email address, and hopefully this will be confusing enough to confound spam bots but not too confusing for humans to figure out, is this: my last name (see top of this page) in all lower case letters, followed by the number two (in digit form, not spelled out) at Comcast followed not by dot com, but rather by dot net (look at this page's URL for example). No spaces or underscores or anything - just run all that together and you've got it. I know, no one will be able to figure that out, but it's better than getting tons of spam.
Last but not least, here's a cool picture of a sunset I took from my front steps one day in early 1999. Why's it here? Because I really wanted to include it on the web site somewhere and couldn't come up with a better spot. It actually started out as two photos taken a couple seconds apart and from different angles, but someone named Timothy Kreitz saw it on my web page and photoshopped it into one big picture for me. Thanks Tim.