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After doing a little research at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, I decided to designate certain graphics and phrases here on The MonT-SteR REPORTTM as trademarks. This bright little idea led me to make small edits to some of my graphics (you’ll notice the itsy bitsy “TM” at the top-right corner of the logo graphic), which in turn caused me a sauropod-sized headache.

My Mac is too smart for its own good. I successfully edited the pictures in Graphic Converter 4.8 to add the “TM” symbol, but thereafter both IE 5.1 and Netscape 7.1 choked on them. Same after saving them in Photoshop. As near as I can figure, my Mac was encoding some resource information in the file (related to custom icons) that neither browser could make any sense of. For awhile, there were broken graphics on my site.

This was a big deal. To me, those little X’s IE displays when a graphic isn’t working are like fingernails on a chalkboard; there was no rest for the weary until I fixed the problem. I ended up having to explicitly tell Graphic Converter not to include any extra resource information in the file when saving, which apparently did the trick.

My woes, unfortunately, did not end there.

I happily uploaded the pictures, and then hit the refresh button on my browser. Voila! Huh? BROKEN DADBURNED GRAPHICS! After uploading the files repeatedly with no indication that there was a problem with my FTP client, I refreshed the file list in the base directory on a whim. To my horror, the pictures just vanished. I uploaded them once more with apparent success, refreshed the file list, and sure enough they were gone again. At this point, my Internet frustration was such that I was ready to cut my ear off and mail it to Al Gore. Before reaching for the nearest Miracle Blade, however, I thought better of it and said, “Gee, that’s gonna hurt, it’s gonna be messy, and I rather enjoy having both ears intact. Let me see if the Web hosting service I use has anything to say about this problem.” As it turns out, files with “illegal characters” such as spaces are not allowed on the server where The MonT-SteR REPORTTM lives, and uploading files tainted with said characters can cause otherwise well behaved FTP clients to mimic HAL9000’s psychotic episode in 2001: A Space Odyssey. So I deleted the spaces from the filenames, and… SUCCESS. Hooray, they uploaded!

Alas, my friends, the story does not end here. Since I changed the names of the graphics files for my site, I now had broken links in the HTML code. “Good grief,” I thought, “will this ever END?!?” So I had to edit my home page and my blog template, and then republish my blog. As long as I’m doing that, I figured, I might as well make a post. So I shared this edifying tale with you, in spite of the fact that it’s close to midnight and I have many things to do before sleepy time.

All’s well that ends well, they always say….