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  1. #1
    Foozle Reducer ServerStorm's Avatar
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    John Betong - July's MOTM - Please Congratulate John!

    [Q]
    I'm sure, the very first thing we all would like to do is to congratulate you for the MOTM (Member Of The Month) Award for July 2012!The interview text is in honour of your colourful shirts
    [John]
    I am gobsmacked to be even considered from among the thousands of other members. Many thanks.



    [Q]
    You have been with SitePoint a long time (close to this month back in 2005). So an important question is how did you find SitePoint and what has made you stay?
    [John]
    Most surprised that it has been that long. I think it must have been Google that found SitePoint. Main reason I stayed was the web related forum topics are frequently updated by some very knowledgeable posters.



    [Q]
    Online you have posted that you are 'semi-retired'. It seems to me that people that say 'semi-retired' really are saying "I should be retired but...". What's your take on this, and are you more 'retired' or more 'semi-working'?
    [John]
    I am retired but still available for selected projects. As far as 'semi-working' is concerned then it is more of a hobby in trying to keep abreast of technology.

    [Q]
    You are active in not only PHP but JavaScript, Marketing, Hosting, Layout forums. If one wasn't careful we might get the impression that you are a web designer - I know unusual to find at Sitepoint - but what has driven you to be so well rounded?
    [John]
    Too much time spent on these numerous and increasing technologies and not enough exercise.

    [Q]
    What do like best about SitePoint and what areas do you think could use some improvement?
    [John]
    The forums are the best feature, followed by news articles and tutorials. As for improvement then I would like to be able to add/edit posts rather than be locked out after a short period of time.



    [Q]
    What do you see in the future for web development? Your thoughts on the 140 character twitter universe and how it is impacting the coming web designers.
    [John]
    Daily the speed of data transfer is increasing and allowing enhanced multimedia. Next step is for mobiles to have a projector feature. Web developers will need to think bigger rather than smaller.



    [Q]
    Most people might think your name is John Betong, but even in one of your online profile it lists you as John Rutherford with your Introduction being "John Betong, loves, traveling, motorsi's and Roti Chanai". So what is your connection with Betong?
    [John]
    Late last century I visited Malaysia, bought a 600cc Kawasaki motorsi' and remained for a couple of years. The motorcycle was used for exploring Malaysia and Thailand. The latter had a very popular mountainous bike ride to the Thai border town of Betong, 'A Town in the Mist with Beautiful Flowers'. The weekend ride and overnight stay was so frequent that my fellow riders nicknamed me "John Betong".



    [Q]
    That brings up a few more questions; you mention that you like to travel where have you gone and what has been your favourite destination?
    [John]
    Immediately after serving a five year apprenticeship and a fortnights notice; I joined the Merchant Navy for four years. Countries visited were in Europe, Mediterranean, Africa, India and Australia. After completing further studies I worked in construction then took the overland Hippy Trail to Nepal. After Nepal I returned, via Pakistan to Iran where I worked for a couple of years before returning to UK. Numerous positions, self-employed and then managed a contract to Brazil which became my favourite country. The Brazilians live life for today and enjoy their music. The weather also helps.



    [Q]
    I guess that motorsi's stands for motorcycles and I notice that you have a IAM Motorcycle License, is a IAM designation normal for motorcyclists in your area or does this have special status?
    [John]
    Motorsi's is the Malaysian and Thailand name for motorcycles. When in UK police motorcyclists taught me how to pass the Institute of Advanced Motorists Motorcycle License. Their motto was "Make Progress" which was quickly forgotten because Malaysia driving licensees can be purchased for the price of a Big Mac. My new motto became "Survival".



    [Q]
    Roti Chanai is an Indian food, do you have a favorite cultural food group or many likes from many different cultures?
    [John]
    Roti Chanai is a delicious Malaysian breakfast dish of hot unleavened bread served with curry sauce. Available from street vendors or small coffee shops. Strange that here in Bangkok the Rotis are all sweetened with sugar and fruits. I also like Thai food and especially their oysters which are blended with sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami ingredients. Separately strong flavours but when combined the oysters are absolutely delicious.



    [Q]
    Speaking about cultures, you seemed to have lived in many places around the world. Most people don't get this opportunity so how did it happen for you?
    [John]
    I was never happy with the UK weather especially after having a couple holidays abroad. Fortunately I managed to be accepted in the Merchant Navy and also to work abroad. I am now living in a country where the "weather suits my clothes" and surrounded by smiling people.



    [Q]
    You have certainly built a online space that has a great affect on people beyond SitePoint, why did you choose to create Johns-Jokes.com? When creating these questions, I noticed that you had 2,646 pages on your Joke blog, so would it be safe to say that your site is popular and well-used?
    [John]
    A webmaster with a very popular Thai site recommended PHP for a web site. A joke site seemed an ideal way to learn how to present and handle data Johns-Jokes was registered, web techniques developed and it is now quite popular.



    [Q]
    Do you have a favourite Joke?
    [John]
    My latest favourite is The-Concerned-Anthropologist



    [Q]
    Outside of those hobbies already mentioned, can you let us know about of the other hobbies and interests you have?
    [John]
    Photography of people and not so much places is another hobby. Also reading fiction, current authors are Lee Child, Allen Folsom and Geoffrey Archer.



    [Q]
    What is the best advise that you have every been given?
    [John]
    Robin, the C++ teacher told me to "always read the error messages".



    [Q]
    Anything that hasn't been asked that you would like the Sitepoint community to know?
    [John]
    Learn how to search. I am still amazed at the comprehensive search results. Also life is too short to stare at a single monitor, use two even if only to watch YouTube.



    [Q]
    The MOTM is granted to opportunity to promote yourself, your site, or your passion. This is your chance for blatant self promotion.
    [John]
    If you are still here then take a look at Johns-Jokes.com, there must be at least one joke that raises a smile, then share with your friends.
    The browser command line "Johns-Jokes.com/" followed by space separated words can be used for searching.

    If Google Chrome can do it...



    [Q]
    Any final thoughts?
    [John]
    We have all been there so be grateful and take the time to help others - especially the 'newbies'.



    [Q]
    It is fantastic to have you in the Sitepoint community and it has been a pleasure getting to know you better
    [John]
    The pleasure is all mine. Thank you once again.



    [Steve]
    John, SitePoint welcomes your great contributions to our community! Thank you!!! Give John some ups!!!
    ictus==""

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Congratulations, John! Thanks for your contributions around the forums. Was nice to get to know you better.

  3. #3
    Life is not a malfunction gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    TechnoBear's Avatar
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    Congratulations, John - and thanks to you both for an interesting interview.

  4. #4
    The CSS Clinic is open silver trophybronze trophy
    Paul O'B's Avatar
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    Congratulations John and an a insightful interview - well done

    I did raise a smile at your favourite joke of the moment.

  5. #5
    Foozle Reducer ServerStorm's Avatar
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    John it really was neat learning about you and your travels, thanks for the interesting interview!
    ictus==""

  6. #6
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy TheRaptor's Avatar
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    Interesting interview John! Congratulations, more than well deserved.
    Last edited by TheRaptor; Jul 1, 2012 at 15:12. Reason: typo
    TheRaptor - Joe

  7. #7
    Programming Team silver trophybronze trophy
    Mittineague's Avatar
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    great interview!

    Odd, but I can relate to your history although the differences are striking. Almost like a parallel off-one.

    As for the post edit time limit, this is to help prevent SPAM. i.e. member makes a legit post, moderators see it, then member returns and edits in SPAM, the chances increase that moderators will miss the change.

    -But- increasing the time limit a bit can certainly be discussed amongst Staff. No promises other than it will be considered.

  8. #8
    The Mind's I ® silver trophy Dark Tranquility's Avatar
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    Congrats John Way to go!
    Very good interview there

  9. #9
    SitePoint Mentor bronze trophy
    John_Betong's Avatar
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    Many thanks to all and especially:

    @ServerStorm
    I like the colours and the reference to my Songkran shirt, I am very fond of that photo, it brings back many happy memories.

    @ralph.m,
    The contributions are helpful to me to understand the problems.

    @TechnoBear,
    Glad you like the interview

    @Paul O'B,
    I am pleased you liked the joke, sometimes I think SEO is easier than raising a smile

    @TheRaptor,
    Thankyou for the kind words

    @Mittineague
    >>> Odd, but I can relate to your history although the differences are striking. Almost like a parallel off-one.
    Food for thought.

    >>> Post edit time limit
    How about mentioning the time limit and also changing background colours to show edited posts.

    @Dark Tranquility,
    >>> Way to go
    I wish there was a Way to go back and do it all again...
    Learn how to be ready for The New Move to Discourse

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    Be sure to congratulate Wolfshade on earning Member of the Month for August 2014

  10. #10
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
    molona's Avatar
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    Congratulations and well deserved! Loved the interview! It is great that you took the chance to change your life the way you wanted and you've been very brave to leave your home country to know other places and find the one that suits you best.

    Regarding the joke... I guess I can't understand British humour

  11. #11
    Programming Team silver trophybronze trophy
    Mittineague's Avatar
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    Well, we've had a fairly good talk backstage regarding post edit time.

    We admit that the half-hour edit time may inconvenience some members.

    Ideally, all members would:
    Think before they write
    Preview before they submit
    Proof-read immediately after they post

    We all know what woulda-coulda-shoulda-oughta did

    -But- extending the edit time opens the door for much more Moderating hassle and the possibility of "broken" threads.

    So, the recommendation is that for those times that you second-think a post after the edit window has closed is to simply make another post clarifying the earlier post.

  12. #12
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    A really, really nice interview, John. You have a fascinating lifestyle. I wish I'd travel more, but I'm too lazy.
    Maleika E. A. | Rockatee | Twitter | Dribbble



  13. #13
    From Italy with love silver trophybronze trophy
    guido2004's Avatar
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    Congratulations John for a well deserved award.
    And compliments to both of you for a very interesting interview.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Mentor bronze trophy
    John_Betong's Avatar
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    @molona,
    It was mostly the British weather that I did not like and think I suffer from Winter Depression/Seasonal Affective Disorder.

    Many of my Brit' friends found that particular joke very funny. I always find it strange how humour is interpreted by different nationalities and how I do not find American humor funny.


    @Mittineague,
    Thanks for taking the time to consider extending the post editing cutoff period. I guess I will just have to note your recommendations and be less hasty.


    @kohoutek,
    Strange as it may seem I was always envious of people, such as my brother, who has never had a passport or a holiday abroad.


    @guido2004,
    Many thanks, it was a pleasure.
    Learn how to be ready for The New Move to Discourse

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    Be sure to congratulate Wolfshade on earning Member of the Month for August 2014

  15. #15
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    my congratulations John, i see that you did really much for the forums and i want to make the same contribution to people as you do!!!very very much!

  16. #16
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    Congratulations john! for your interesting interview.

  17. #17
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    I agree John the SPF is the best feature and jewel in the crown. Yes, it seems like driving in Malaysia is an interesting experience by the sounds of things but you're still alive so you did something right.

    Yes, I can see the appeal of living in a place that suits your clothes. Plus understand you don't want SAD for several months. Also like you say we've all been newbies at some time, and we should never forget.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Congrats John, it was overdue!

    >>> Post edit time limit
    How about mentioning the time limit and also changing background colours to show edited posts.
    The only reasonable way this could be fixed is if the software kept all edited versions available, as well as a counter (Stack Overflow and LinkedIn come to mind as doing these, though not always very well).

    We have roti over here in the Netherlands but since it seems to be sold by Surinamers, I'd always assumed it was a Surinamese dish. Instead, we must have gotten it via Indonesia like everything else.


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