pilobilus.net a website that might grow on you

About this website...

© 2010 SF Kinney, Released under CC BY-SA 3.0 License

Hi there! I built this website for three reasons: So people who get curious about the domain name in my e-mail address will have someting to look at; as an occasional test platform for design features and marketing gimmicks; and to amuse a few friends who have nothing better to do with their time than... um, what you are doing right now.

Pilobilus? Well, it's a fairly amazing organism. Individual pilobilus cells are self sufficient, behaving more or less like amoebas. But when enough of them come together, they form a creature called a grex, with distinct organs and complex behavior. Destroy the grex (i.e., mash it through a strainer), and the individual cells revert to their free swimming state and go their merry way. This has always reminded me of the way the Internet works - because ultimately it is a self-organizing network of human beings. I learned about Pilobilus many years ago because of the most creative and original dance troupe in the world. Purists will note that I had to misspell the word "pilobolus" to use it as a domain name because the "correct" version was taken.

Although this site is only getting started, you might already notice that "how to do stuff" is a dominant theme here. Computers are massively powerful creative tools. A typical home PC now has more processing capacity than all the Universities in the world combined in 1970. If you are not using yours to make and do original things you are missing a whole world of potential, and worse, the world is missing what you have to contribute. I enjoy showing people how to do things they never thought they could, with tools they didn't know they already own.


This website is made with Free Software, from the Linux Mint box on my desk to the Free BSD server that delivers the site to you, and everything in between. I use the Bluefish code editor to build and maintain the site, and the GIMP and Inkscape to create and/or process the images used here. In addition to my own original work, many of the images used here are from the Open Clip Art Library and the Wikimedia Commons project, which provide libraries of images anyone can use - check the license terms & conditions for details. Web designers may notice that this page is hand made using a pure CSS layout & validates as "XHTML 1.0 Strict". The drop down navigation menu is based on the Suckerfish CSS code from Partick Griffiths and Dan Webb.

I used to recommend the Ubuntu operating system, which brought a new level of convenience to the Linux family of operating systems. But alas, Ubuntu's owner, Mark Shuttlworth, has deliberately destroyed it. The new Ubuntu 12 includes a substantially crippled desktop designed exclusively for use on touchscreen devices, and worse: Ubuntu 12 actively spies on its users. Search your own machine for something, this search is forwarded directly to amazon.com, and you get Amazon advertising along with your real search results. Ubuntu is dead and it's time to let it go.

Privacy Policy

No personal information I learn about my visitors will ever be sold, traded, or given away without the express written permission of the affected individual. I may quote excerpts from incoming messages freely, without disclosing the identity of the poster.

The normal Facebook "like" button seen all over the Internet these days is a spyware tool that reports back to Facebook every time a user lands on a page that has one. I built the one on my pages myself, and it does not talk to Facebook unless you choose to click on it yourself. Then, all it does is give you an option to share the page in question.

This site uses Google Analytics to collect traffic data. See Google's privacy policy for details. If you don't want to be tracked by Google, install AdBlock Plus in Firefox and manually create a rule that blocks "google-analytics.com". Strangely enough, the default filters in AdBlock do not block Google Analytics, the largest tracking and traffic analysis operation on the Internet.

Security Notice

I follow a rigorous network security protocol in the maintenence of this website, and will never host any content that is dangerous in any way (except perhaps to the sanity and peace of mind of the reader).

Visitors using Internet Explorer versions 6 and 7 will see a security notice at the top of each page, with a link to Microsoft's download page for Internet Explorer version 8. They may also see errors in page rendering here and there throughout the site because IE6 and 7 do not render CSS page layout elements properly. This website looks right and works correctly on Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, Epiphany, and Konqueror. Even IE8 knows how to display this website. If you are using IE6 or 7, please fix your web browser, it's free and only takes a couple of minutes. The computer you save may be your own.