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New Look for Yet Another Web Thing

Well, here it is, the new look. I have to say sorry though, because it’s not entirely complete yet. Oh well. And along with the new look, comes a few new directions, a few old observations, and a few last words.

First off, I’m not the only one these days launching a new look for a site. Lance did his mega GlassDog launch (2021 edit – find Lance on Medium now) on Feb 1. Pretty, and pretty darned impressive. In fact, I considered putting this launch off for a week or two as to get away from a bit of the frenzy over Glassdog’s new look and feel. But after talking it over with a buddy, he said I shouldn’t worry about it too much. So here I am!

Lance has geared the new GD toward DHTML capable browsers, and he’s using a ton of tricks to exploit the 4.0 and above browsers. In fact, he’s totally tricked out, and that’s very cool. Everyone knows how I feel about Lance and his work, so I won’t extrapolate that.

But I will say this – I considered going the full CSS / DHTML route for this site revision, but I decided against it. In fact, this site was designed with three core goals in mind – one, a completely new look; two, heavy backwards compatibility, including proper ALT statements, a 575 pixel wide conformity, and graphics that can be viewed identically on any color monitor, as long as it’s color level is 256 colors or more. (in fact, every new graphic on this site, save the jpegs, is designed and indexed to the 216 browser safe palette – even the drop shadows!); and lastly I had a design style I’d been planning for a while, and I finally figured out the way to present it, while conforming to the above two rules.

The result is what you see here. I’m actually quite proud of it, mainly because, with the exception of a few table tricks and font FACE tags that aren’t compatible down to 2.0 of some browsers, these pages will look almost exactly the same on just about any Mac, Unix graphical, or PC computer that visits here. That’s the first time I’ve been able to achieve this goal – especially when it comes to the graphics end.

So why didn’t I go for the CSS / DHTML route? It’s quite simple actually. While a strong proponent of the “upgrade your browser” camp, I know (from my logs and from friends around town) that a lot of you, about 40% or more, can’t display DHTML. Some of you are regular visitors. I don’t want to force you to do something you don’t want to do. I’ll suggest the upgrade, but I won’t demand it. Some of you don’t upgrade because you don’t know how, or because you can’t, or simply because you don’t want to. A lot of you are still surfing the web at 640×480 resolution, 256 colors. Even my friend Peter, in town here, surfs at that resolution, and the guy’s computer is a Pentium 166 with a 15 inch monitor and a 2mb 3D video card. I berated him about switching to at least 800×600 and full color. He was surprised that he could do that, so he did, but next time I visited him, he was back down to 640 again.

“Why did you do that Pete?” I asked. He said he just preferred it that way. ’nuff said

Now before I go on, all you soap opera luvin’ types, don’t read anything into this – I’m not criticising Lance for going his U3 way – not at all – we need to push the standards from time to time. I am just saying, I could have gone that route as well (and after spending 3 months digesting everything possible on DHTML, it would be easy) but I decided not to.

Now back to this site. There’s a very long rant I need to get off my chest before I make my “web persona change” hinted to at the top of this page, but I’ll have to save that for the next rant, coming February 5th. In the meantime, let me get you up to speed on what’s new around here.

Ok, I mentioned the graphics, right? heheh. Lessee. Oh yeah. There’s a brand new quiz now – and it’s not even about me anymore! In fact, it’s a quiz that just might be given to some Grade 10 History student way off in the future, like in the 24th Century (Star Trek geeks, settle down! :-)). I sort of got the idea from my Saturday paper a month or two ago – when they talked about the best and worst things about the 20th century. Go on, pop over, take the quiz, and soon, I’ll have a new page up showing the most popular results.

The Survey is sort of the same, but I’ll be revamping it in a week or two, once the dust clears – but it does have a new look.

You may notice some complete sections are gone, most notably the sports section (which barely got any hits) and the Personal and Hobby sections. I pulled the latter two because STINKY SKANKY Lawyers representing Future Shop dissected some stuff and used it against me. I’m still pissed about this – they basically took away my freedom of speech. As you might know, I used to have a factual commentary on my old Future Shop web site, and the process it went through. it was like a history, a narrative, and it was my own words. I had to pull it after threat of a lawsuit from the skanks. I didn’t like that much. oh well.

Lemme just say this – Future Shop – the company that seeks to surpress your freedom of speech! If they had their way, word of mouth advertising would be outlawed, I’d wager.

Also, I didn’t particularly like how some people on the Net used my very personal information just because they didn’t like me. So, as a result, it’s gone. And, you may have noticed, the GruntleMeter is on hiatus on this page. Not many people have been voting in the last few months, so I’ve pulled it for now. If you miss the GruntleMeter, let me know!

In it’s place, you’ll find an expanded Archives section, the place that can be your one stop area for everything old on this site – rants, stories, and anything else I cram in there. You’ll also notice another new section – Coffee Time. Those who know me know I absolutely worship at the alter of Java, and I have my own shrine to the gods. This new section will be all about coffee – coffee-related stories, recipes, pictures, links, and anything else I can think of. I know it sounds mighty boring for tea drinkers (heheh) but pop by – after all, coffee is probably the world’s biggest social drink!

And that’s about it for today. I invite you to stick around, take a stroll, visit the nooks and crannies. There are still bugs, still “old” pages that need to be updated, but there’s also a few surprises and gems here and there to find… that’s the best part, but I can’t go into that!

See you next time!



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