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Hello, my name is Ed Baker. I have an apartment on the corner of Patterson Avenue and Monroe Street. I have put up this websight so I can keep the public informed of the current status of the streetlight outside my apartment. I feel that this helpful websight will be of service to people that are going to cross this street to drive to work, home, the store, etc etc.
DISCLAIMER: The stoplight's status is for vehicles ONLY. If you are a pedestrian, please do not read the green light as an indication saying that you may cross the street! You should obey all traffic laws and cross only when the pedestrian sign says you should cross! I do not take any responsibility for pedestrians who attempt to use Stoplight.com as a tool to plan when they cross either Patterson Avenue or Monroe Street! This web-site is for vehicles ONLY!
This news is updated frequently, so please check back often and refresh the page.
NEWS UPDATE (8-12-2000 - 7:07 pm): I got a phone call from my ex-wife Carolyn. She is trying to take me to court for not paying child support. I have been paying the child support though. She really knows how to push my buttons. I bragged to her about my site and how it's being featured on SomeThing Awful, but she just laughed at me. The woman is a heartless harpy.
I've been getting a lot of e-mail lately. Here are a few other ones I'd like to respond to:
From: Amber Hollingsworth
Subject: Stoplight.com is amazing!
I have to say, your website, stoplight.com has changed my life!! I am a 23 year old woman, and unfortunately I'm permanently blind. I dont like accepting "charity" from people who try to help me feed myself or cross the street, so I drive myself everywhere. I have a problem while I'm driving though, because I never know if the stoplight is red or green. Needless to say, my insurance premiums are through the roof, and I'm scheduled for 29 separate court hearings this week. Thanks to your revolutionary website though, I can use a Braille translator on my laptop and I ALWAYS know what the status of the stoplight is. Thanks to you, I haven't killed a single pedestrian at that intersection.
You've changed my life, thank you so much!
This is a very heartwarming e-mail. Thank you very much. I will print this e-mail out and tape it to my refrigerator. May God bless you.
Here is another e-mail I have received. Unfortunately, it is not as positive as the above one.
From: Sam Medini
Subject: Serious problems with the monitoring system!
Hi Mr. Baker, I think your light monitoring system is just incredible, but I do not have a laptop computer to take in my car so I can see the state of the light when I am at the intersection. I managed to equip my car with my desktop computer, along with the 21" monitor that sits on the dash (although I have to hold it with one hand so it doesn't fall). I have a small generator sitting in the trunk which powers the computer via a power cable that runs through to the front of the car. When I approached the light I was fixated on the monitor so I would know if I should start slowing down (if it turned red). However, I did not take into account the lag time between your site and my computer, and so while I thought the light was still green, it had actually already turned red! Coupled with the fact the monitor was in the way, I accidentally ran over a poor individual and dragged him with my car for several miles before I noticed his screaming (I was listening to ABBA mp3s on my computer). Anyways, he was rushed to the hospital and should be fine. I didn't get to say sorry because he passed out, but I asked him to say his name to make sure he didn't have a concussion, and he said it was Justin Harkey (though I cannot verify that he was right).
Anyways, please mention the issue of Internet lag to prevent future accidents. Ask your friend Brian if you do not know what lag is.
I am sorry to hear of your dangerous encounter. I will ask Brian about this "Inter-Net Lag" or whatever you're talking about.
NEWS UPDATE (8-12-2000 - 3:20 pm): I have not gotten a formal apology from Mr. Robert E. Waring (see the news item I wrote at 2:23 PM), but I did get a rather unfortunate message from another viewer:
From: Justin Harkey
Subject: A very urgent matter!
Hello Ed Baker, I am Justin and I am a very avid reader of your articles on your "awesome" site.Your site was very thorough but there is room for improvement however...You failed to tell what the stop light was FOR. I didn't know it was to aid the driver, I however, thought it was to aid the common pedestrian and I was viciously smashed by the incoming cars and drug a few miles after mistaking you sites advice. I demand that you fix this error for the safety of the public.
Justin, I am very sorry for your tragic accident. I have corrected this terrible error, and can only pray that what happened to you never happens again. Please accept my sincere apologies.
NEWS UPDATE (8-12-2000 - 2:23 pm): I went to check my e-mail, and found out I had received the following disturbing message.
Note: I have not edited the message at all, so you may want to make sure your kids are out of the room before you view it.
From: Robert E. Waring
I hate your new site.
Robert E. Waring
President/Owner, Hulka Networks
Sgt Hulka's Bootcamp - http://www.hulka.com
I am very offended by such a hate-filled and vulgar messages. Feedback to my idea has been overwhelmingly positive, with the exception of this e-mail from Mr. Waring (or "Sgt. Hulka" as he apparently wants to be called). I do not understand why he expresses such anger towards me and my web-site. I did nothing to offend you, Mr. Waring, so please refrain from sending these cruel and mean-spirited e-mails to my account or I shall forward your letter to a hate crime / Inter-net abuse company. I believe there is more than enough room for all of us to exist on the Internet, so please stop your vulgar campaign of hatred against me, sir.
NEWS UPDATE (8-12-2000 - 2:19 pm): I just realized that I never specified which direction the stoplight is facing. It is facing south. Sorry for any inconvenience.
NEWS UPDATE (8-12-2000 - 12:35 pm): I asked Brian to make a picture of where the stoplight is. He drew a very good picture. He used Microsoft Paintbrush to draw it. Before you ask, I do not know where you can download this art program. I am not a computer artist. Brian is very good at electronic and computer art, but he asked me not to list his e-mail address on here because his wife says if you put your e-mail address on websites, companies will send you a lot of junk e-mail. I do not know if this is true, but I have not gotten much junk e-mail yet so maybe it's not. Brian's wife is a teacher at the Kingston Junior High School. She teaches algebra. Anyway, here is the picture of where the stoplight is located. If you have any questions or need directions, please e-mail me.
Note to the readers: I think the "north" arrow should be pointing more to the right. I don't have a compass though, so I cannot verify this.
NEWS UPDATE (8-12-2000 - 12:11 pm): My friend Brian came over and brought me a lawnchair so I could sit outside on the curb and watch traffic to see how greatly people are benefiting from this service / webpage so far. Things are looking really positive. Although I haven't talked to anybody yet at the stoplight who has used this service, I am slowly spreading information of it via word of mouth. If somebody would like to help me advertise my service, please e-mail me and we'll work something out.
Anyway, here are the preliminary results of the survey I've been taking so far:
How useful do you find Stoplight.com to be?
97% - I have not heard of it before
2% - I have not heard of it before because I don't have any Internet connection
1% - VERY useful
I would like to thank my sister in law (Betty Hunter) for participating in my survey. She has a homepage on Geocities, but I can't find the link offhand. I will put it up once I find it. Please e-mail your friends about my service so we can spread the word and my site will catch on quickly. Thank you.
NEWS UPDATE (8-12-2000 - 8:46 am): I have been sitting outside my apartment and watching the people stop at the light all morning. It appears as if they're slowing down and stopping much more quickly. I think this is because (thanks to this webpage) they know what color the light will be before they get there, and they are now able to slow down ahead of time. This will probably save motorists from a lot of accidents and whatnot. I'm going to ask some of the people in cars if they've heard of my website, and maybe take a little poll or something. I am also getting my friend Brian to draw a little map of the intersection / road so everybody else will know where it's located.
UPDATE: I have found a chainsaw to cut the tree branch in front of my window, but I think I'll need a ladder to get up there, so I'll just wait until Monday to do that. Thank you to everybody who e-mailed me, offering to loan me one. That was very nice of you.
NEWS UPDATE (8-12-2000 - 6:30 am): Mr. Kyanka has allowed me to showcase my new technology on the front page of his web-site today. I have written a script which will display the current status of the stoplight outside of my apartment in REAL-TIME! This means you will know what color the light is the exact moment you click on this page! The applications for this are incredible, and I'm glad Mr. Kyanka feels just as I do. I also had to write this script because I got sick of walking outside to check what color the light was every 15 seconds because I can't find anything to use to cut down that tree in front of my window that blocks my view of the stoplight. If you have a chainsaw or hedge clippers (I guess), please send me an e-mail and maybe I could meet you somewhere to borrow them for a bit (I'll give them back). Please make sure to click here for more detailed information regarding the stoplight.
KNOWN ISSUES: Status does not like to show it when the light is currently yellow. This will be fixed in Stoplight v.2.0's design doc. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, and I hope to have a public beta which includes the "yellow" light as soon as possible.
Questions? Comments? e-mail me, Ed Baker.