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Home > Start Page

The Start Page Script manages your list of things to do, your favorite links, and any little messages that you've written to yourself. Everything is viewed and updated from a web browser, so it makes a handy start page. It is especially helpful for those who use different computers and different browsers, since everything is maintained in one place.

Latest stable version released July 2, 2003 [ see Version History ].

Check out the Demo! It's a very convenient tool and is best experienced by trying it out.

Download and Installation

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Help File - Table of Contents


Why Would I Want to Use Start Page?

Start page is an organization tool, similar to a DayTimer for the web. You are always reminded of what you need to get done, which links you need to visit, and you can record your thoughts on the fly without having to open additional applications. This script was originally designed for use by a group of programmers who work together on projects from their respective homes - the page acted as sort of a "message center" where everyone could check in and see what needed to be done.

Because it is so easy to use and install, you can impress your clients when making a web page for them by including Start Page.


System Requirements


Security Issues

The Start Page Script isn't meant to hold secure data.

For best results, install the script to a secret location on your webserver. Protect the folder holding Start Page with a username and password, if your web server supports that.



The script is run by going to the URL of the Start Page script - there is no HTML page to anchor it. If you get a "malformed header" or "premature end of script headers" message, it may be because the script was transferred as a binary file at some point (which scrambles the hidden end-of-line characters and confuses the server - always transfer scripts in ASCII format). If you open the file with Pico, create and delete a line, and then save it, the problem usually goes away.

The most common problem is to not have permissions set correctly. Make sure the script is readable and executable by everyone (set chmod 755 start.cgi). You'll also want to make your data files readable and writable by everyone - set chmod 777 *.txt if the only text files in your directory are the data files for this script.

In addition, when you open the file in a text editor to set the configurable options, the editor might wrap long lines, which will prevent the script from working. We've tried to make all the lines 70 characters or less but some long commands went over that limit. Scroll through the script and make sure that no commands have been interrupted in mid-line.

If the script works but the list of links and things to do contains blanks lines or mangled data, open the data files in a text editor. There should be some blank lines in there causing the problem. Delete them. Alternately you might have used the pipe character within one of your links or descriptions - delete the pipe (the pipe is used as the database delimiter, and so it can't be used in the data).


Notification of Updated Versions

To receive notification via email when an updated version is released, join the Notify List. No updates are planned, because sites like and already provide the same service, just better.


Credits and Other Stuff

Thanks to FrAnki for pointing out the missing %addr-book% variable in the 0005 release. Marie Alline has made a lot of suggestions and shown interest and enthusiasm, thereby convincing me to release the 0005 and 0006 versions.

Many thanks go to Michael Hudson for pointing out an error in the earlier version. The new script allows the user to delete multiple list items or links at once, rather than only the final selection.

The newest version, 1.1, has also removed the full URL to the CGI script as a variable, relying instead on a relative link which most users will not have to configure. It also requires the pathname of only the directory of data files, instead of the full path to each data file (though these may still be specified). Finally, the new version allows the user to set the size of the textarea for inputting new memos.