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By: The ChatterBox .... Continued

Just about anyone using WebTV knows the name Draac, as certainly most all know the man who brought us Gifs 123. Recently, Draac went "dot.com". Yes, we have Draac, the man behind the monkey, for our feature article in the first publication of Web News Now.

Draac logged onto WebTV in February of 1997, being one of the first few hundred people to "play" with this new piece of electronic equipment. He already owned a computer, but was intrigued by the fact that you could surf the internet while relaxing in your lazyboy. Draac and a few others found capabilites within WebTV that even WNI did not realize, such as HTML in e-mail and the lack of WebTVers being able to isolate image URLs, etc.. Thus, the birth of Gifs 123.

Immediately, fellow webbers were searching for the means to learn all Draac had supplied to them, therefore, the school of HTML was born. From his own school of HTML, he founded the alt.discuss.html newsgroup where WebTVers can post a HTML question and get a variety of responses. Recently Draac went "dot com" with an easily navigated site that supplies surfers with an e-mail server, banner services, and the like. Now let's hear from the man himself....

We know that the name Draac came from the movie "Enemy Mine", but where did Dr. Gonzo come from?
Dr. Gonzo is what they call Hunter S. Thompson, who is an off the wall writer from the 1960 era. I enjoy his writings and style of life, so I named myself after him.

What previous computer training did you have before purchasing WebTV?
I had a computer but it was not hooked up on the internet, though I did put it online a few months after getting WebTV. And I have no computer training, as everything I've ever done in life has been self taught.

What do you do in the real world?
I'd rather not say what my job is in real life, but for fun I do play a lot of golf and travel around the USA for business and to the Carribean Islands (primarily just for fun, I'm a tanning fool...hee, hee).

How have your thoughts and feelings changed regarding the internet and WebTV from the beginning until now?
I would not say my thoughts have changed. My thoughts on the internet are that we are at the start of something that will change the way the world does business. In the few years I have been online, I have seen it grow 100 fold toward this goal. I like the way the internet is ever changing, what is here today is gone tomorrow; what is not here today will be built tomorrow. In order for the internet to continue to grow it must remain fluid, if it gets over regulated that will squash its growth potential.

What do you foresee for the future of WebTV?
WebTV...many do not see that we are nothing more than a test market for the software and hardware. My belief is that WebTV's (Bill Gates) goal is to make the TV side of this appliance so good that no manufacturer will say no to adding WebTV "inside" their TVs. In the future, if you want to have your new digital TV with you online, WebTV will be built in to do so. If he can get the WebTV hardware/software into televisions manufactured in the future, he will own the internet on TV market. This is my opinion anyway....:+)

What are your thoughts on JS, CGI, CSS, Perl and C+++?
I myself am just learning this way of programing. Much of what we use today will be old hat in a few years, as the internet is an ever evolving medium.

What sites do you frequent and why?
I don't do a lot of surfing, I mainly look for infomation that I might need at the moment. I do visit my own sites often and tend to stay there awhile, the reason being that I'm always checking and rechecking what I have up there to make sure it works properly. There is no bigger turn off than going to a site that has many dead links and errors on the page.

Any hobbies besides helping others?
Well, before the internet came along, I used to build one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture. I have not done this in awhile but do enjoy what I have already built. Most of the pieces I have made are being used in my home. Now I enjoy building on the internet and golf (you can never play enough golf, I have played all winter so far up here in Boston, as we have not had any snow yet. It's a beautiful thing....:+)

What is the most peculiar or outrageous thing that has happened to you on WebTV?
This is a tough question for me, for nothing ever surprises me on the internet. I guess I just expect weirdness on this thing....:+)

What is the involvement of Gifs 123 with GIFworks and Tripod?
Tripod is officially hosting the Gifs 123 pages and they are supplying me with a vast amount of space on their servers. I have met with them several times, including a nice weekend up at Tripod to see the place. GIFworks has joined forces with Tripod and I was asked by them to put the edit/upload links on the Gifs 123 pages to tie my pages into GIFworks. It is a nice feature to have on my site, and there is also a link back to the Gifs 123 pages on the Tripod version of GIFworks. I thought that was nice of them to do....:+)

Is there anything new that you want to develop from the partnership with GIFworks and Tripod?
Right now, I'm happy the way things are going. It's a lot of work tending to almost 9000 files in the Gifs 123 pages. I would just like to coast for awhile and focus in on another internet project I'm doing for a state agency here in Massachusetts.

Building a domain is a big financial step on the web, dealing with upkeep and hosting fees, why Draac.com?
At the time I formed Draac.com I was in fear of losing my pages at Tripod and I wanted a place I could teach HTML without the fear of it being gone one day. Tripod has since opened up talks with me and, as you know, we are on very good terms these days. I defray the cost of hosting through banners I sell at Draac.com. I don't get a lot for them, just enough so that Draac.com is paying for itself.

Do you have any plans scheduled for the future of Draac.com?
I do have some long range goals for Draac.com but I'd rather not say what they are. Sometimes plans have a way of not turning out as they were intended. For now I would like to continue to grow Draac.com slowly, always with the focus on helping the new person to HTML and with building their first web site.

From my understanding, you have been on WebTV since they came on the market, what changes to WebTV have you liked and disliked the most, and why?
Yes, I have been on WebTV since the start. I am not like many others who think WebTV should be giving us more internet features. I think they are on the right track enhancing the TV side of this appliance for the reasons I stated above. I would like to see WebTV around for a long time, but they must win the war on internet TV and this will only be done through the TV side of the box. They can fix the internet side later, it works good enough for now.

You know about the School of HTML, what are your views on that concept and the spirit in which it was created?
I first assumed you meant my school of HTML, and it was created so that others at the time could put a simple signature together. They all wanted to know how it was done, and it was much easier to put the basics on a page for all to see.

And, with regard to Randy Barbour's creation of The School of HTML, Draac responded:
I don't know that much about it, all I know is that it's a chat room that helps with HTML. I have never been to one of these chat sessions, just not my cup of tea. I guess anything that is set up to teach new people HTML is a sound idea to me.

Being totally an optional question, have you any comments on the disarray of the newsgroup at alt.discuss.html?
It's all how you look at it. Some see it as disarray, I see it as "change". Like I stated before, the internet is fluid, and when it becomes stale and static, I'll shut the thing off and go find something else to do. The newsgroup has evolved many times over and will do so in the future, we can't stop this, so we must go with the flow and remain open minded.