My name is Anthony Atkielski (pronounced /ˈæːn.θəˌniˑ ˌætˈkɛl.skiˑ/, at least in my American English-speaking family), and this is my Web site. If you're bored by long introductions, feel free to click on the topic of your choice in my table of contents—otherwise, read on.
I first developed this site well over a decade ago on CompuServe, and I set up a permanent domain for it in 1997. Traffic has built up over time from a few hundred hits per month in the early days to around 1.6 million unique visitors annually today, mostly thanks to my large photographic galleries: the Photo Gallery itself, my Cool Wallpaper section, or my Street Scenes gallery, which attract people searching for pictures of Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, or other Paris sights on Google or some other search engine. You are thus one of a small minority, since you are reading a page on my site outside the photo galleries, and I very much appreciate your visit (although I appreciate visitors to my gallery, too!). Except for some occasional interruptions due to financial problems (I pay for this site out of my pocket), this site has been up continuously since I first developed it.
I check my own web site myself, and I always look at my Guest Book to see if anyone new has signed it. If you have a chance before leaving, please feel free to sign my guest book. It provides me with tangible proof that real human beings have visited my site.
I suppose I should give you a quick rundown of what you can find on my site, since it looks like you may be interested in other things besides cathedrals and iron towers.
If you've been here before (yeah, right!), you can check out my Site News page to see what new and exciting changes I've made to my site. (You can also subscribe to a mailing list that I notify of any changes, if you want.) The Introduction link will bring you back here, if you wander off and get lost.
The Search page simply lets you search my site, courtesy of Google. The Donations page is a page from which you can make donations to help me support this site, which is expensive to maintain (I get some advertising revenue from space I rent to Google, but it's not nearly enough to pay the cost of running the site).
The Photos and Images section of my site, the first in my table of contents, contains … images, especially photographs, as the name implies. The Photo Portfolio contains overall samples of the photographs I take, in various categories. My Photo Gallery contains a collection of touristy photographs for your viewing pleasure, along with extensive comments (almost all of the photographs are pictures of Paris, France). This gallery is the most popular section of my site by far. In addition, I also have a Video Gallery containing a couple of videos, mostly touristy videos of Paris, also. Street Scenes is a collection of black-and-white, day-to-day pictures of Paris, if you like street photography. Finally, the Art Gallery is a collection of pictures I've drawn or otherwise produced myself, as well as pictures and photographs that I have digitally altered or synthesized.
In the Services section, Ive enumerated the various services that I provide for a fee. This is the only for-profit section of my site. Current services include my Personal Paris Tours, customized guide and photography services for people visiting Paris.
The Downloadable Stuff section of my site contains things that you can download. There isn't much there at the moment, although I hope to add more in the future. Simple Software is a collection of programs I've written, of so little worth that I've little choice but to give them away for free. Various Documents is a collection of various documents, of dubious interest and utility, that you can download and print for your own use, including signs, a few famous works of literature in the public domain, a Paris subway guide, a colorful periodic table of the elements, and several technical essays. Cool Wallpaper is a collection of photos of Paris and other images that are specifically designed for use as PC desktop wallpaper; I added this after seeing the large number of visits to my Photo Gallery in the site logs, and the collection continues to grow. ESL Materials is a collection of materials I've prepared for teaching English as a second language or foreign language, free for use by other teachers.
The FAQs and Essays section of my site contains lists of frequently- asked questions (with answers) and diverse rants by yours truly. The Paris Blog is just a blog on Paris, externally hosted on Blogspot and written by yours truly. The Flight Blog is a log of most of my simulated airplane flights (I like flight simulation). Web Security is a list of questions and answers (a FAQ, in other words) about the security of web surfing—a lot of people seem to wonder just how much information is being communicated to a web site by their computer when they visit, and so I've tried to provide some information on this. Site Photography is a FAQ answering questions concerning my own photos on my site. City of Paris answers questions often asked of me concerning Paris. Eiffel Tower is a FAQ concerning the Eiffel Tower; it is intended for linking to my pictures of the Eiffel Tower, but I've also provided a direct link to it here. Ditto for my Notre-Dame FAQ, which addresses questions related to Notre-Dame Cathedral. The Reliable PC is a list of guidelines that I have found to be useful in ensuring that a PC will remain stable and reliable over long periods. Paris Fast Food provides a few pointers on where to look for cheap, fast eating in Paris (for those who visit Paris for reasons other than the food).
The Reviewers Corner section of my site contains my personal reviews of various artistic and literary works. For the moment, I have only a few Book Reviews and Movie Reviews to offer, but I hope to add to that in the future.
The Link Collections section is the obligatory list of my favorite links, divided into People I Know, a list of links to the personal and professional pages of various acquaintances of mine; Reference Sites, a list of sites that provide interesting types of reference material (I'm very fond of reference material); Paris Links, a list of official sites related to Paris and France; Various Cool Links, a very eclectic list of sites that I've found peculiarly interesting, including everything from flag collections to Hoover Dam to the British monarchy; and Aviation Links, a list of links to aviation and flight-simulation stuff (flight simulation being one of my hobbies).
Two password-protected sections, ESL Materials, and Site Statistics, contain my proprietary English-language teaching materials and site statistics, respectively. If you have a need to see these, you probably already have a userid and password; if not, and if you think you need to see them, feel free to contact me and explain why.
Slightly over half the visitors to my site (about 57%) are using some version of Microsoft® Internet Explorer, and most of the rest are running Safari or Firefox. All of these browsers, as well as several others (notably Opera), follow W3C standards pretty closely, and so I design my site to meet the W3C's HTML 4.x and CSS1 standards.
I test the site mainly with Firefox and—rarely—MSIE. I also test occasionally with Lynx, in order to make sure that the site is fully accessible to all.
I also try to limit the download volume required to view my pages; although Bill Gates and the Sultan of Brunei might well have 45-megabit-per-second direct pipes into the Web for their viewing pleasure, some of us still don't have broadband and must be content with old-style dial-up modems—and waiting three minutes to see each and every page on a site gets old really quick. This means that I don't have any shocking or splashing “active” components that will be downloaded to your PC against your will, nor do I have any 5000-line scripts in my pages that tell you your blood type or the height of the weeds in your backyard. I leave the cartoons and video-game emulations to other sites. (I do have Flash in the Video Gallery, because YouTube hosts my videos and requires Flash.)
If you find the formatting of my site bizarre, you may be using an incredibly old browser that does not support Cascading Style Sheets, which I use exclusively on my site. Just about everyone visiting my site today is using a browser that supports these, so I felt safe in using them; if yours doesn't, it might not be a bad idea to upgrade, since the browser is probably is a museum piece by now.
I think that computers are the best thing to come along for disabled persons in centuries, and I try to make my pages as accessible as possible for such persons. If you are using a special browser designed to accommodate a disability and you have any trouble with any part of my site, let me know. In response to requests from a number of people who have had difficulty seeing my pages, I've already changed the color scheme and other aspects of my site.
Viewing these pages with a good monitor helps, too (“good” means at least 24-bit color, and at least 1024x768 pixels). Fortunately, 24-bit color and (“true color”) and 1024x768 pixels are increasingly the standard for new PCs, but if you are still wading through the Web with only 16 or 256 colors, or less than 800x600 pixels, believe me, you're missing a lot! My site statistics show that essentially no visitors are that far behind these days, however.
I have some text descriptions for the photos in my Photo Gallery, so that visitors who cannot view images can still get something out of the gallery. It's a lot of work, though, so I've never come close to finishing it all (so much to do, so little time).
I play chess on the Internet Chess Club, under the name Agatel, if you'd like to play chess against me. I'm one of the lowest-rated players in the club and I play only for fun, mostly 5-minute games.
If you like aviation and/or flight/simulation, you can frequently find me flying around VATSIM, usually somewhere in the southwestern United States. I fly a variety of aircraft, but I favor the Beechcraft Baron 58, the Boeing 747-400, the Boeing 737-800, and the Beechcraft Bonanza A36. I do not chat while flying, however.
I'm also present in Second Life, but my identity there is classified. Ditto for Wikipedia. I'm also on Facebook, but not hugely active there. I'm on Twitter as well, but I mostly just follow others.
I post to many newsgroups on USENET, and also to many private and public discussion forums.
In addition to viewing them on my site, you can find my Paris videos on my YouTube channel.
If you have comments or suggestions concerning the content, presentation, or accessibility of my little web site, or if you just feel like sending me a note, feel free to visit my Feedback page. If you have access to e-mail, you can also e-mail me directly, by putting my first name in front of an 'at' sign and following it with my domain name (I can't put the actual address here because spammers will pick it up). I can't guarantee that I'll respond to all feedback and e-mail, but I'll certainly try. And finally, if by chance you'd like to donate some money to my site to help me support the site and myself, please visit the Help My Site page!
Thanks for stopping by.
Last modified on January 1, 2012