Palm Sunday. St. Petersburg 

Links That Changed Me

by Vadim Makarov

Few internet resources have managed to influence me and my life. Here they are, most recent on top (not including web resources that I have started and been maintaining myself, which undoubtedly changed me, too :-).

  • arXiv preprint archive and all the traditional journals that had become available electronically over the few preceding years. Although instant electronic access to scientific articles is merely a convenience (comparing to a trip to a library), to me it has been a big enough convenience that has encouraged to read much more.
  • 2005  
  • Wikipedia, the first encyclopedia that I could actually read. Mind you, I had owned several paper encyclopedias before, but found them of virtually no use.
  • Lib.Ru helped me rediscover fiction books after many years of almost exclusively browsing the Web.
  • 2003  
  • I finally stopped trying to make a large community site based on the OpenACS toolkit. The toolkit was a geekhole, not really accessible to non-programmers. I wasted two years of time (as a hobby activity) before realizing this.
  • 2002  
  • I discovered Slashdot.
  • 2001  
  • Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox column has improved my understanding of the Web and design of my pages.
  • A primer on how to be a graduate student in physical science or engineering by Chuck Doswell. I read it from first to last byte and found enlightening, in a sense.
  • Radio Liberty (in Russian): listen to the life channel or records from the audio archive while having meals in your office.
  • 1998  
  • news. Became less interesting to me in 2001.
  • a photography community. Its Q&A Forum kept me coming back every day for several years. I took the design style of my pages from its founder Philip Greenspun.
  • 1996  

    All the other thousands of sites that I visited or used were no more than glimpses on the sky of my life.

    Tools and resources I use regularly

    Vadim Makarov
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