Like1 other designers (who are much more talented than myself), I've decided to cut back and redesign things around here. Unlike those designers however, I don't quite have the guts to strip things back totally but things are pretty bare at the moment. I'll gradually be tweaking and tinkering to put some clothes back on this plain frame
If I'm being honest, I've been sporadically planning and thinking about a redesign ever since Pink October came to a close but hadn't really had time to sit down and work on things properly. However, I've found that bringing work out in the open is a good way to get things done and besides, if Bryan and Dan are willing to work naked, then maybe I can hide behind their shadows and try to sneak some work out as well.
Things will, of course, break and fall apart2 whilst I twist things back into order3 so apologies in advance. But maybe that's not a bad thing. I'm tired of pixel-perfection. A bit of roughness never did me any serious harm.
- It was, of course, inevitable that shortly after I wrote this post and went live, Dan would go live with his redesign and render this whole passage moot. [back]
- It does, for example, look pretty awful in places such as the comment area (esp. the form) and on IE at the moment. [back]
- Which may not be for a while. The month of the Christmas holidays is probably the worst possible time for a redesign but there's a certain appeal to slimming down before the winter break. [back]
If there's just one FF extension that you have to install, then it's the new beta release of Firebug.
I'll write more later but for now, wow. Just wow.
As well as making Virtual PC 2004 available as a free download, Microsoft have also offered a VPC image containing a pre-activated Windows XP SP2 with IE6. This image is only functional until April 1, 2007 but nonetheless, it's a nice nod by MS to web developers.
"In other words, it's like setting the scene for a play rather than recreating the world as it is. If you don't tell people they should be making a stage, they go ahead and try to make an entire world. There is an art to how you properly set a stage and that's what I had to carefully explain."
Whilst I wouldn't say I am the most active seeker of traffic, I have to confess that there is a certain pleasure in seeing traffic flow in. Hence, when a thread on unusual search phrases popped up on the 9rules forum, it brought to mind the topic of Search Engine Optimisation.
Fellow 9ruler Neil Patel, who did some SEO work for me recently, has a number of posts covering the subject 1 but as he'll point out, many of important things you could do to your site to aid SERP ranking are also sensible and common-sense.
Using semantic markup, dynamic meta tags, usable title names, pretty permalinks, alt and title tags; as well as aiding SE discoverability, it's comforting to observe that, just as importantly, they all have the side effect of improving usability2.
There are downsides to SEO however. Finding out your highest commented posts aren't your more serious pieces but are instead less important pieces such as this one on MGS 4 and Yahoo Passwords can be a bit deflating3.
It's posts like this one which gives instructions on how to safely upgrade MT that make me glad that I went with WP1.
There's a revealing comment by Elise further on in which she writes the following:
You can delete the old [backup] directory. But I wouldn't right away.
Problems and issues have a way of cropping up unexpectedly. I think I waited at least 6 months after my upgrade to MT3.2 before I deleted the earlier directory.
As Angie writes, whilst such posts are extremely useful, they shouldn't need to exist in this day and age. Software shouldn't be this difficult to use.
- When I started this blog, the choice was basically down to a homegrown solution, WP or MT. In the end, I plumped for WP due to the ease with which I could use, modify and extend the system. [back]
Bad: Finding out that you've forgotten your house keys.
Worse: Finding out that you've forgotten your house keys only when you've made it back to front door after an hour long journey. With no-one else at home to let you in. And at around midnight. Yep, happened to me last night. Not amusing.
Good: Played in a poker tournament and received my first straight flush ever and to top it off, had it beat someone else who though they'd had the nuts. Still had a lot of work to do that but managed to finish in first place and win. It was a fairly low stakes game but a win's a win:)
Penetrating Wagner's Ring? Someone's clearly had fun evading the censors.
Reading on, it's clear that the readers has cottoned on and run with the joke with his review:
Despite it's massive appeal, each person can have their own, intimate experiences within and surrounding The Ring. Although the man himself is no longer with us, his Ring will remain in the memory of all those who have previously admired it. This book is a great tribute to the man and his Ring, delving into areas previously uncovered. The Ring has entertained me in times of sadness and joy - and can even cause me to brim over with inspiration […]
An excellent piece of work on Wagner's Ring, getting right to the bottom of this seminal work. To my mind, his writing is absolutely cock-on, and a great roadmap to anyone exploring the Ring for the first time.
Wagner's Ring, whilst large and expansive, exerts tight control over all who are prepared to delve in there, and this book really does give it that final polish.
Apparently, I write like a girl…
Inspired by an article in The New York Times Magazine, the Gender Genie uses a simplified version of an algorithm developed by Moshe Koppel, Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and Shlomo Argamon, Illinois Institute of Technology, to predict the gender of an author. Read more at nature.com.
Clearly, I need to write about sports more…
Quite what the guys at Toshiba were thinking when they decided that sticking a monitor on your head was a good idea.
I've grabbed a screenshot of the story as Mainichi news didn't provide a decent permalink for the story.