Monthly Archives: January, 2005

ICON

ICON is a local science-fiction convention that is run by some people I know. In previous years, their website has been a monstrosity built using M$’s Frontpage (similar to their parent org’s1 current website). However for the next ICON2, the comittee (con-com) running the con includes people I personally know and who I was able to con persuade into doing something a bit different. You see, I had this vision of a website that the con-com could log into and update themselves. This would free up their web person to simply cook up a pleasant3 design and allow the site to be updated whenever the con-com needed it vs. whenever the web person could get around to it. Since I know the main man of the con-com for ICON 30; I proposed the idea to him and he seemed interested in the idea. So I cooked up a site that I ran on my little home server to give him something to look at. Later he stopped by for an evening and said that the site looked good to him. Shortly thereafter, I got the site posted and now ICON30 is running WP to keep people informed about the con. There are a few customizations and plugins that have been added onto the site to make it work the way we wanted, but overall I’m very pleased with it.

What my next step? Why to redo the parent org’s website of course! Though, I’m thinking that they might want/need something a bit more involved than what I cooked up for ICON.

1The parent org is Mindbridge
2ICON 30, Slaying the Dragon of Tradition! October 28 – 30, 2005 in Cedar Rapids, IA
3Naturally said design would need to be based on valid XHTML & CSS.

Mac Mini

While I don’t own any computers from Apple (unless you want to count my iPod); I have friends that do and so I tend to follow any news about them. Today at MacWorld Expo 2005, Steve Jobs announced many things but in particular he announced 2 products that sound very interesting in deed. I’m speaking of the iPod shuffle and the Mac mini. The first interests me as my iPod is an older model with less battery life than I’m happy about (plus, I think it would make a cool birthday gift for the fiance). The second is interesting for a number of reasons:

  • It’s a Mac and it’s affordable.
  • If it’s really as quiet as they’re saying; it could make a great computer to put next to the TV, for watching video files off my server1.
  • It’s smaller than the phone on my desk at work!
  • Did I mention it’s affordable?

Of course, these products have only just been announced and aren’t available just yet. Not that I’ve got the money to buy either one right now. *sigh*

1 For the record, those video files are episodes of fan-subbed anime that haven’t been licensed in the US yet.

As if the days weren’t already too short…

NASA Details Earthquake Effects on the Earth
January 10, 2005

NASA scientists using data from the Indonesian earthquake calculated it affected Earth’s rotation, decreased the length of day, slightly changed the planet’s shape, and shifted the North Pole by centimeters. The earthquake that created the huge tsunami also changed the Earth’s rotation.

Read the rest of this article here

Lovely Weather

Snowy Tree

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned previously, I live in Iowa. The last couple of years we’ve had cold winters but haven’t really had that much snow. Apparently, Mother Nature was feeling it’s time to rectify that situation and we’ve been having quite the snowstorm. Seeing how I like taking pictures and dislike getting cold; here’s a quick shot I took out my bedroom window. I apologize for the grainess of the image, but I took the picture during my lunch hour and I didn’t have enough time to try removing the window screen before taking it. That and I didn’t want to stand around outside in the cold taking photos; unlike some people I’m not all that eager to suffer for my art. 😀

WordPress is Web application of the year!

I was just over at ArsTechnica, checking up on the lastest news and noticed in their
Looking back at 2004 article that WP had been declared the Web app of the year. Way to go WordPress devs!

Web application of the year

We asked forumgoers to choose the best web application or development framework of the year.

Web-based applications provide interaction for all users regardless of platform or location. If you can connect to the web, you can use it. Forums, blogs, administration tools, collaboration frameworks; there were many excellent options to choose from in 2004.

Winner: WordPress

Let’s face it. Blogs are in fashion, and why not? Vanity knows no bounds, and there are some people who actually do something productive with theirs. From the influence of blogs on the coverage of the US presidential elections to every random teenager who has problems with their partner/parent/teacher/cat, blogs are out there allowing your most intimate feelings to be shared with random people at wifi hotspots. WordPress is the most prominent rising star of weblog software, completely free and with a large and active community. Styles, plugins and hacks are readily available, with problems such as comment spamming being addressed far more rapidly than competing applications.

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