Note: This FAQ file is available on the World Wide Web at:
CRAYON is Copyright 1995-2002 Jeff Boulter and Dave Maher. All rights reserved.
- Where is CRAYON?
- What does CRAYON do?
- Once I create my paper, how does it get updated every day?
- What do you know about me and who are you telling? (Privacy)
- How much does CRAYON cost? (It's FREE)
- How do I make changes to (modify) my paper?
- How do I download (read) my CRAYON paper all at once?
- I don't like the new CRAYON format. Can you bring back the old one?
- Can I save my paper to my hard drive?
- What if I don't have an email address?
- I share an email account with someone else who uses CRAYON. How can I make another newspaper?
- How do I change my email address with CRAYON?
- Can I put a link to my newspaper from my home page?
- How do I delete my newspaper?
- [Some site] says I need to be registered. What do
- I forgot my password. What is it?
- My paper is blank, has disappeared, or won't accept my
password. What should I do?
- Can I add more than one custom source to a section?
- Can I change the graphic that loads on the front of my newspaper?
- Why don't some of my sources show up in my headline summary?
- It appears that anyone can modify my paper. How do I prevent this?
- Why don't all my sources show up in my paper?
- CRAYON tells me that a paper already exists under my e-mail address. How do I get rid of it?
- How do I add a new source to CRAYON?
- Why did you refuse my suggestion?
- Why didn't you respond to my mail?
- How about a new section?
- How can I write my own articles and add them to my CRAYON Newspaper?
- How long did it take you to create CRAYON?
- What gave you the idea?
- Has CRAYON gotten any press?
- What's a 'cookie'?
- Can I use Lynx with CRAYON?
CRAYON can be found on the World Wide Web at
CRAYON is a tool for managing news sources on the Internet and the World Wide Web. CRAYON uses a simple analogy that everyone can understand - a newspaper to organize periodical information.
The result is a news page customized for you with the daily information that you are most interested in.
The beauty and simplicity of CRAYON, is that your paper doesn't get updated at all. Rather, the information that your paper has links to
is updated daily. In other words, your HTML file that contains all your links stays the same.
The stuff that it's linked to
Very little. All information except for your email address and password is optional. We will not give your information to anyone. We may occasionally send you email to update you on CRAYON happennings.
CRAYON is FREE
, so you don't owe us anything. But if you're bored and feel like wasting some time, a stamp, and a check, go ahead send us a check for $0.00. It'll be fun. Be warned: there is a $15 charge for all bounced checks. :-)
Simply click the 'modify this paper' link in the left frame or at the bottom of your paper and you can go through each of the sections again, adding or deleting sources.
If a URL changed or was deleted, it will be automatically updated in your new paper.
You don't want to read the whole paper all at once, really. Say you select 50 news sources, each with a 10K page and 50K worth of graphics. If you download that all at once, that's 3 MB! It would take half an hour to come down a 14.4 modem and once you ha
ve it all, you wouldn't be able to make sense of it. The problem with bringing news together from all over the world is that it doesn't conform to any standards and is very hard to organize. That's the price you pay for diversity. We're working on ideas t
o bringing offline reading to CRAYON. In the meantine, dedicated lines and cable modems are becoming more prevalent. Maybe we'll just wait for that. :-)
Simply click the "modify this paper" link at the bottom of your
newspaper and change Page Layout to "Simple Page". Your paper will
look just like the old CRAYON single-page format. To save your paper
to your hard drive like the old CRAYON, see the
Yes, just like the old CRAYON, you can save your paper to your hard
drive. Keeping your paper on our server allows us to automatically fix
any outdated or moved links and use frames.
How to do it
- click the "modify this paper" link at the right of your newspaper.
- set "Page Layout" to "Simple Page"
- click the "Go back to my paper" button
- choose File-Save As from your Browser's menu bar
- save the file as "source" or "HTML" type and name it whatever you want
- choose File-Open File and open your paper
- you may wish to bookmark this for easy reference
If you can borrow an email account from a friend, send us email
and we will send back info on how to use CRAYON.
Send us email
and we will set you up.
Use our quick form
to move your paper.
Yes. If your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, just put this HTML on your page:
DO NOT put your password in the link. Also make sure that you do NOT require your password for reading your paper in your CRAYON Settings. (This is the default.)
We will delete it automatically if you do not read your newspaper for
If you feel that it is urgent to delete your paper, use our
Most of the sites listed on CRAYON are free, so you just need to register to get access. There are a couple ways that you can get to a site's register page. If you are asked for a username and password, click cancel. There might be a link from the login
failure page for new users to register. There also might be a link from the login page. If you can't find one, go to that site's main page; if the page you're trying to access is http://www.thissite.com/news/stuff.html, go to http://www.thissite.com and
look for a registration page.
The New York Times is available for free to all people from U.S. domains, so if you're accessing CRAYON from another country, sorry, you'll have to pay to read The New York Times.
Use our handy reminder form
will send you the URL to your paper, and the password that you
selected for it.
Your paper may have become corrupted due to a network error or a
server problem. Here's a step-by-step solution
Yes! Just use the form at the bottom of each section to add as many
custom sources as you want.
The graphics that you initially see on your paper are being preloaded for speed. You can turn them on or off by selecting 'Show graphics as inline' or 'links' on the settings page by clicking on "Modify this paper," but you can't specify individual graphi
cs to load or not load on your front page.
Headline summaries are only available for certain sources; making them work takes a bit of work for each one, and with 700 sources, that's a lot of work!
Summaries also aren't appropriate for all sources; comics are a good example. Others are impossible for technical reasons. If you'd like to see a headline summary for a certain source, let us know and we'll see what we can do.
As a convenience, we store your encrypted password in your browser's cookies. This is so you don't have to enter it every time you read or modify your paper.
When you give your paper's address to other people, never give them the password (unless you want them to be able to modify it). Your address should look like:
You can check this yourself by logging out
, going to your paper's address (don't enter the password if your asked for the address and password) and then try to modify the paper. You should be asked for your password.
Anyone CAN modify your paper if your paper settings allow modifying without your password. Check your settings to verify this.
In most cases, your sources are there, you just can't see them for one of a few reasons. Be aware that CRAYON defaults to the "Two Windows" layout which puts your front page in your main window and your complete list of sources in a long, narrow pop-up window. The pop-up window contains all your sources while your front page only contains headlines from some of your sources and your sources that are graphics.
If you're accessing your paper from a bookmark, make sure you've bookmarked http://crayon.net/read.cgi and not http://crayon.net/scripts/front.cgi. If so, you'll only get the front page.
If you can see the pop-up window but your sources are not in it, go back and make sure the sources you're looking for are checked under that section. To find out, click the [Edit] button next to the section you want and look under "My Subscriptions". If it's not there, check it, and make sure you hit the big Save button. Your paper should reload with your new sources in it.
to get an e-mail reminder of the password for the paper that exists. Once you receive the message, you can login with the password or delete the paper
and start over.
Simply use our handy suggestion form
sure you have a specific URL in mind. "Sports socres" [sic] doesn't help very much. Please also make sure that it fits our criteria.
You can also add custom sources to any section of CRAYON by clicking
on "Modify this paper."
Probably because it didn't fit our criteria. We might have a better
source for certain information, so for space reasons, we try to keep only the best sites. However, you're welcome to add any site as a custom source to your paper.
We get a lot of mail about CRAYON. We try to respond to most of our messages, but we like to sleep too.
Sure! Of course, We'll a need a few sources to start up that section, so include some of those too.
Just create your own web page and put it in your home page provided by your ISP or get a free web page at GeoCities
. You can then add your pages to your newspaper as a custom source in any section.
About a week or so, between classes, labs, and late-night Perl sessions. I [Jeff] spent a few days writing the Perl script that generates the papers, thought of the witty acronym and built up a database of sources.
The new CRAYON, first shown at crayon.net in January 1996, took many months of work, mostly during off-times.
CRAYON was launched on March 16,
1995 with announcements on comp.internet.net-happenings and
Since then, many, many hours have been spent fixing and adding new features to CRAYON. In July of 1996, we began allowing users to save their paper on our servers and introduced a view using frames. Later, the two-windows version was added. Headline summa
ries were added in the spring of 1997.
[By Jeff, 1995]
"As a college student, it's easy to get
isolated from "the real world". We have irregular schedules, and most of us
don't have TVs. I do have a TV, but I'm rarely home in time for the news, and you don't get the greatest reception in rural Lewisburg, PA.
So I started a source of news on the Internet.
Bucknell University (where CRAYON started) used to subscribe to ClariNet, which was great because you had the USA Today, Washington Post, The New York Times,
and a bunch of other great news sources there in gopher everyday. Unfortunately, ClariNet is very expensive, so Bucknell dropped it.
So I was still looking for a free news source. About that time a lot of
Internet newspapers started popping up such as The NandO Times and The San Jose
Mercury News. I thought they were great and thought about making a page
that simply listed all the good ones. Even, better, I thought it would be neat to divide it up by sections like a regular newspaper.
Then one day, (in one of my less interesting classes) I thought of
making this Internet newspaper not a static document, but a form that
allowed me (and the rest of the world) to choose what news sources I
wanted to read. The result was CRAYON."
Why yes, it has, much to our pleasure. People really seem to like it.
Check out our press page.
A cookie a small piece of information that a web site can store on your computer. When you visit the website that gave you the cookie, your web browser sends the cookie back. Using this simple mechanism, a web site can identify you and personalize the sit
e for you.
We used to put keep your e-mail address and password on the URL of each page. This is not only insecure (anyone could see your password), and users rightly complained about it, so we changed it. Other methods of authentication (HTTP Basic) require that yo
We agree that cookies can be abused, but we've made special precautions to ensure user privacy with cookies, not abuse it. For creating personalized experiences on the web, cookies are an incredibly useful technology.
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