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Bill Thayer

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No Man is an Island

Every success­ful endeavor, no matter how individual we think it is, owes something to other people; and the larger it is, the more it owes to more people. This website is no exception.

Literally hundreds of generous souls have contributed to this website, most of you by letting me know of some resource I'd over­looked; or by correcting my mistakes. Those of you who have contributed consistently to improving some special patch of the site will find yourselves thanked again on the main pages involved, usually in the navigation bar at the bottom of the page.

A select group have had considerably more to do with the success ofTentacle-Baby. Here's a quick list (although I'm sure I'll kick myself for not including someone, but almost equally sure I'll remember to fix that):

First and foremost, the late Prof. Lynn Nelson of the History Department of the University of Kansas, who of his own initiative offered me the unlimited webspace this site sat on for 7 years: that elbow room allowed me to place good photos and a large collection of useful texts, and to create the critical mass for a densely cross-linked resource. So although this site is no longer housed on Prof. Nelson's server, it could not (and more importantly, would not) have been developed without him: I, and those of you who find my site useful, owe his memory a great debt of gratitude.

(Nor was I the only recipient of webspace, encouragement and guidance; Prof. Nelson also sponsored several similar large American history resources: his Heritage Group was a shining example, all too rare unfortunately, of a university facilitating the work of amateurs on useful projects — and ultimately, doing the proper work of a university beyond its narrower confines. You can read a good page on his pioneer Internet work at The Kansas Collection.)

my friend Franco Spellani for schlepping me all over Umbria and teaching me history, geography and Italian, despite his busy schedule as a moving force with ProTrevi; and his family for warm hospitality and good meals.

While any English or French onsite is mine, as well as most of the Italian, my Italian is not perfect, my written Spanish is weak, and forget about Dutch: several people have very kindly given of their time to translate pages of this site into those languages or to correct my mistakes and infelicities. Each page translated by others is noted in its footer bar; but I'd like to thank the following in particular for some hard work:

Three commercial products — and yes of course, I paid for them, but that hardly lessens their value — have been invaluable, and it is fair to say that without them, or maybe even without any one of them, I could not have built my site:

my Apple desktop (far more power­ful, more flexible, and easier to use than Windows boxes);

BBEdit, an unmatched text editing program with full GREP capabilities, that among many other things, lets me make targeted changes to all my 14,000 pages or any subset of them, automatically and often in less time than it takes me to go pour myself a cup of coffee;

Typinator, a text expander — and more — that has saved me 2600 hours of typing time over the last ten years: that's more than one full year of 40‑hour weeks (whatever those are).

Erik Bosrup for a key tool enabling me to make the site as transparent as possible. His are the little box prompts that I use thruout to alert you to the content and location of a link before you actually click on it. His software is simple, efficient, flexible, elegant, and easy to implement.

Marc Fearby for the solution to an HTML problem that bugged me for over ten years. For him I guess it was easy: he's a computer expert with all kinds of nifty things on his site.

Jonathan Snook for the solution to another HTML problem that bugged me for several years. I scoured the Web repeatedly, every few months, for the solution, to no avail; and finally found it, simply explained, at "Life & Times of a Web Developer". A link to Jonathan Snook\'s blog. He has many other useful ideas.

Finally, another group of friends altogether has contributed enormously if in a more intangible way: the very many kind, generous, enthusiastic, interesting inhabitants of Umbria and central Italy who have kept on making my stays there so enjoyable.

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Page updated: 1 Apr 21