the bio zone

About me

Born when AIDS were things the French teacher brought in to the classroom, and the population of humans on this planet less than half what it is today, I burst on the world in 1955. The sleepy streets in the English county of Yorkshire had seen nothing like it before, and stirred for a whole minute before dropping back to their slumbers. Having lived through the Andrews Sisters and Bing Crosby, I chose to flee the parental fold and joined a commune. Actually, it all started as WWOOFing (I'm not going to explain it if you don't know), but seemed an attractive lifestyle. Not least for the parties, the women and the dope. 

I lived in Australia for two years, saving for a long trip through Asia. After three years, I was still on the road, with merely a short pause in the UK to raise more money through selling my LP collection. In all this time I dabbled in making my own audio amps., camping gear and bicycles. The longest I lived anywhere was eighteen months. It was more my lack of imagination that led to this: in some ways, I liked the idea of a life where I would be able to store my books and CDs without having to box everything up every year or two.

That said, age catches up with all of us, and I have been based in the city of Vienna for the past twenty years, with none of the youthful hops to a new residence at the end of each longer journey. It is great to return to your own space after a longish trip without having to impose on friends.


About where I live

This is a view of the "centre" of Vienna which most visitors know - looking across to St. Stephen's Cathedral from Stephan's Platz.

You can get tourist information about Vienna here (in various languages), and information about Vienna's airport (transport to and from, arrivals and departures) in English here. Austrian Federal Railways' (ÖBB) tickets can be booked online and printed at home. Go here to see the English version of the timetable enquiry page and special offers for different fares within Austria and throughout Europe. If you plan to do any bus travel (trains run in only a few mountainous areas!) you'll need information on the Austrian PostBus services here.

Austria is a small (if you are American it is slightly smaller than Maine), landlocked country with extensive forests and high mountains. The highest point is the mountain called Grossglockner at 3798 metres. Just over 8 million people live here. Along with much of this part of Central Europe, Austria has problems with air pollution resulting from emissions by coal- and oil-fired power stations and industrial plants, and from trucks transiting Austria between northern and southern Europe. This has caused forest die-back in places, and acidification of soil and water. Austria has no nuclear power stations.

The winters are long and hard in the East, somewhat milder in the West, where the Atlantic airstream has more influence. Higher mountains have snow all the year, and skiing is popular on the permanent glaciers. Summers are warm to hot, and thriving vineyards are testimony to the power of the sun here.

German is the language spoken throughout the country; English is widely understood in Vienna. In the Western part of the country the dialects are very tricky to follow if you had "high" German (the regular sort) at school.

About this Web site

This site is currently beaming to you from the huge SoftLayer data centre located in Dallas, Texas, equipped with around 20,000 servers. It's the sixth home for the site in fifteen years and probably the best yet, with good speed and uptime. We regularly exceed 99.9% uptime as you can see from the graphic below.

Check whether site is up - Website monitoring service

The tokezone site rose from the hyperlink dust in April 2000. I hosted it on a free space provider as a bit of fun, never intending much beyond some travel pictures and tips. My decision to use the handle "Midnite Toker" when posting messages on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree travel forum led me to include the lyrics to the Steve Miller song, The Joker on the infant site. This has proved to be a popular part of the present site, though it has little to do with anything else that's on here. I've kept the Pompitous page shunted into a siding with the current menu structure, with more emphasis placed on the travel and online privacy aspects of the site.

Aside from an odd, obligatory "powered by..." notice at the bottom of some pages, this site is free of advertising. I pay for the cost of hosting the pages on the tokezone myself and ask for no donations to support it. As you might have guessed, it's much more a hobby project than anything seriously permanent. So if you see a photo or download you like, copy it now as the site might not go on forever in this format.

I put the site together using Adobe Dreamweaver as the HTML editor. Photos taken since 2004 were taken with Nikon Coolpix digital cameras (various models), and some underwater/seaside shots were done with a SeaLife camera. I used Sothink DHTML Menu to shape the site's drop-down menus. Adobe Photoshop CS6 did miscellaneous image editing, Alligator Flash Designer constructed the Flash presentations, with Adobe Acrobat Pro producing the Acrobat PDF documents. I used Pano2QTVR for the HTML5 photo panoramas after stitching together 3 or more single photos with Photoshop's photomerge feature.


Read about the requirements for viewing this site at its best.

View the old visitors' guest book


About our visitors

May 2016


Not surprisingly for a source of travel information, we see visitors from all parts of the world on the site. However, the largest single group of citizens who use this site are based in (or use an origin looking like it is based in) the USA. Of those users, the states of California, Illinois, Washington, New York and Texas account for the bulk of visitors. If you're someone with an ISP in Montana, you are right down at place #50 in the list of states! Visitors with an IP showing they reside in the Russian Federation or China (whether true or not) are mostly here for no purpose other than a nefarious one. These 'bots' are the background noise of the Internet.

As far as operating systems is concerned, MS Windows is naturally the dominant platform used by visitors, although the presence of the Mac OS has been increasing in recent years. This seems to be due to more visitors browsing the site on mobile devices. A very recent competitor is the Google Android OS, also because of the large number of people using the site with a mobile device. In 2016, Windows 7 was still the dominant operating system (despite a year of MS offering a free Windows 10 upgrade) with Android in second place in terms of hits on pages on the site.

We don't track any visitor who come to this site except in an aggregated way for statistical purposes. If you come here as an online hacker, probing for weaknesses, it's a different story...


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