Insert quarter. Avoid Klingons.
Collected web clippings, ramblings, and scribblings from me to you.

Monday: June 15, 2009

GeekLikeMe 4.0

Welcome to the latest incarnation of  Things look a little bit different around here, eh? Poke around and have a look at some of the new features - some of which aren't really new in the sense that what was here previously was old. New things include: individual commenting capabilities on individual posts (you can comment on anything that is posted now - ie daily grind, photoblogs, comics etc), better rss feeds, tags, weekdaily link thumbnails, quick comment posting from the front pages, categories, archives, comment badges, and etc etc etc. That's a lot to start off with - and as always more stuff is in the works. I'll be fixing bugs for most of this week until things are sorted out. Leave a comment or two here to let me know if you a) love/hate the new site b) find a bug c) you have an opinion on both options a and b.

Update: for those who asked, regular posting resumes tomorrow.

Posted to Verbose filed in GeekLikeMe / Site Related @ 4:31 PM | Tags (3) | bugs | features | redesign |  | Discuss (10) |  | facebook | twitter | 94 Clicks | Posted by Vin

Use the almighty power of CSS3 to take your designs to the next level.

Selectors, combinators, psuedo-classes, oh my.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Programming @ 7:35 AM | Tags (2) | design | css |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 8 Clicks | Posted by Vin

Friday: March 6, 2009

Daily Grind: Overworked

Name: Vin (aka not at hampton)
How Vin feels today: Overworked @ 3:51:00 PM
What Vin really wants today: To not be at work and to continue following on all the Phish updates coming out of Hampton.

Music Stuck in Head: The Cropper / Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood
This album was a little bit different from what I was expecting. If you dug A Go Go, this one may need some time to sink in.

Stuff to do today:

  • Debate going out to Best Buy to pick up the Clifford Ball box set
  • Wait on this since there will be plenty to listen to tomorrow what with the band is giving out the mp3s for free
  • Move on to other topics
  • Figure out how to solve redesign problem involving media naming conventions for database ids that don't exist yet
  • Keep a running tab of database ids (autonumber) in separate table
  • Above item doesn't work and can be easily broken if a record is deleted thus causing the number to be out of sync
  • Blllllaaaaaargggggh
  • Use IDENTITY to properly assign id to media after insert to database has been made
  • Problem is that most media upload scripts use form collection that puts the image in FIRST so getting the IDENTITY of a record that doesn't exist yet is not possible
  • Move on to way (way) less geekier topics
  • ...
  • ...
  • ...
  • Can't think of anything
  • Finish up work and go home

Posted to Daily Grind filed in GeekLikeMe / Site Related @ 4:51 PM | Tags (4) | database | phish | programming | redesign |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 2 Clicks | Posted by Vin

Monday: November 20, 2006

How not to steal a website design.

I came across an interesting referral in the traffic logs over the weekend. It looked like someone was trying to pull down all of the images and source for this site multiple times. Not entirely odd, this happens normally day to day whenever someone visits the site. It got a little stranger though when I started seeing my own images being called from a remote destination. Turns out someone wanted to take the latest design of and have their way with it and perhaps even call it their own. Take a look:


Looks kinda similar to this site, wouldn't you say? The pixel poaching doesn't stop with just images. It looks like along with my graphics he wanted the underlying HTML code as well. Upon looking at the source code it is almost a note-perfect copy what I had coded here - line breaks and all. And in an even more interesting move, they decided to label their 'logo' geeklikeme.gif in their source. I guess this is to remind the author where they got the design from. Brilliant!



Along with using the initial images from - he also brought along some of the fellow geeks that adorn every left side of a GLM page. Glad to see some of my existing friends get some love on a site that looks like mine, but of course is not mine at all.

What really boggles me about this act of copycatting is that there is really not a whole lot of world class design going on with my site. It's basically just a really simple layout. Why even bother going through the trouble of stealing this and not just make your own? Obviously it was easy for the copycatter to make the code work just by pulling it off the site. There also had to be some sort of Photoshop skills involved to change the actual text on the navigation buttons (although its choppy if you look real close). I guess some questions will never be answered.

The title of this site is apparently called XSU. I come to this conclusion because that's all I can make out from the logo. I am including it in this post to simply show my gratitude for the author of the XSU website for using my design and my code without my permission. Feel free to do with this logo as you wish. A quick moving around of the letters yielded SUX.

In closing, one has to ask the question if imitation really does equal flattery when and if the imitation is so very poorly done. Give XSU a look for yourself.

Posted to Verbose filed in GeekLikeMe / Site Related @ 1:05 PM | Tags (3) | theft | design | silly |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 1 Click | Posted by Vin

Wednesday: June 7, 2006

Designs that were rightfully tossed.

While there are still several things to fix with this site (a long list in fact) I'd like to share with you the designs that didn't make it. These failed attempts were done over the course of the past year or so. Just so everybody knows, I have this fun habit of designing things and constantly being unhappy with everything and anything I can find to criticize about basically anything and everything. I'm sure this is not uncommon among designer-folk. Amplify that by ten and you have me.

On with the garbage:


Why it didn't make it: Too weird.

I had this idea of throwing a strange abstract 3D rendering that would rotate on every page either randomly or by a user's choice. Looking back that might have been potentially annoying. I'm not sure where I was going with that top middle section either (why am I here, why do I care). I think I was trying to be funny. But then again, looking back at it now I don't get my own joke. Genius. I was also toying with the notion of having users create accounts to be able to comment and do fun things with profiles but that fizzled out into oblivion. In the end I rationalize this attempted design with the following statement: It's one of those designs that you spend lots of time on - then go to sleep. Then when you wake up the following morning and look at again, you realize it's not as good as you thought it was.


Why it didn't make it: Too cute.

The aspiring cartoonist took over when I started mocking up this design. Still clutching to my little line drawings, I wanted to keep some kind of sketched element but also have a techie feel to the site. That little geek icon was to be all over the various sections of the site. Commenting on a post would have looked like the icon was speaking them (think comic book style balloons). Users could have potentially uploaded their own caricatures so their comments would look in the same fashionable way. The thought of that kind of customization scared me off. In the end, I got sick of looking at that stupid drawing and put this design in the 'never speak of again' file.


Why it didn't make it: Too trendy.

I think every trendy element in web design is well represented here. Glossy navigation, check. Reflective logo that simply has to reflect on something, check. Slight but not overly powerful gradient in the background: check. The rest of the design below the navigation was beginning to look like your average blog template. I'm sick of talking about this design already. Moving on.


Why it didn't make it: Too dark.

This is me trying to be radically different with design. I'm usually big on white backgrounds in web design so I attempted to try something different. It did however lead to what eventually would become the current design of this site (basically inverted with some clean up work), which I guess isn't all that bad. The speaking bubbles for taglines and calls to action began to get on my nerves, borderlined being too cutesy again. But I figured that it was just my overly critical side acting up - so I went ahead and starting coding it. I showed it off to some people who's opinion I respect in terms of design. This quote that made me throw the design away instantly: 'People don't want to read a black website for their morning links.'

And so here we are. A redesign that looks strikingly similar to the previous one (minus the icons - see post below this one for snapshot). Whatever, I'm content. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Yea, thats the ticket.

Posted to Verbose filed in GeekLikeMe / Site Related @ 5:49 PM | Tags (4) | geeklikeme | tossed | redesign | trash |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 2 Clicks | Posted by Vin

Monday: June 5, 2006

Goodbye icons, we harldy knew ye.


Welcome to the latest version of GeekLikeMe. Let me run down some of the new areas, features, timewasters, etc.

I should note something before you read any further. I am by no means a professional writer. You are likely to find many grammatical and numerous spelling errors. Rest assured, I do have a college degree (of course not in any type of writing, English, or even computer science for that matter - but that's an entirely different story) but I am however notoriously bad at editing. If something seems out of place, just know my intentions were good.

I have been working to upgrade this site on a massive scale for a long time. Naturally, some things may be broken while other things may work better than they previously did. If you're looking for any kind of clarification on what that means; I really don't know either.

On with the list of new stuff here at GeekLikeMe...

  • Overall - this new version of GLM is entirely done in XHTML and CSS. I tried to keep it all valid, but an error here or there may have slipped through the cracks. I will be fixing them as time goes on. If you don't understand the above buzzwords it simply means that I am a far bigger dork than you know.
  • Design - despite losing those hand drawn icons that previously adorned the left navigation not all that much is different (see above snapshot). I went through several failed attempts to completely redesign this site (I will showcase these attempts in another post for your amusement / my dismay at some point) and nothing felt right until I came back to an upgraded version of it's predecessor. The search bar at the top of every page is a handy AJAXian-Googlish suggest bar that will scurry up links posted to Weekdaily. Start to type Apple for example and you will see links pop up in a suggestable fashion regarding Apple that have been posted over the past 2 years or so.
  • Weekdaily - now sports a most viewed feature. Basically, I keep a log of where people are clicking and I give you the link that was most clicked that day. Hence, most viewed. Why did I do this? Because up until now I have had no idea of what people come here for. Do you come here to see my rampant Apple fandom or do you come for the offbeat links regarding swearing parrots? Well, hopefully this curious mystery will be solved. Commenting is also on its way for Weekdaily posts (except at time of this posting I haven't actually finished coding it yet).
  • Desktops - formerly known as downloads. Nothing really new there, just an updated look. I am however proud of the new coffee cup rating system. Also, there is now a (very) brief description of how a download offering was created. For example, if the image was photo manipulated or rendered in a 3D modeling program - I will let you know. I have some newer offerings that should be coming online in the near future.
  • Photoblog - ah my beloved photoblog. The place where I realize that I am not and will never be a professional photographer. Updated the look and feel of this section as I always thought it was a tad confusing before. On the right is a failed attempt to be Flickr-esque by showing icons of additional photos posted. This probably makes the navigation even more confusing, but I felt like being different. Notice the coffee cup rating system is here too. Word.
  • Polls - absolutely nothing new here. In fact I haven't finished coding this yet.
  • Topic in 3 - this is an idea I had one night that I felt like introducing to the redesign. I give you a topic, you add your two cents. The catch is that your two cents are actually more like three cents. Your three cents are actually more like three words. You are only allowed three words only to get your idea across. I don't know how this section will fare but I felt like giving the idea a chance. By the way as of the writing of this post I haven't finished coding that either.
  • Verbose - YOU ARE HERE. Just as the name implies, this is where you go if you want to read more than 5-6 words from me. Read above for my apologies on writing skills in advance. Expect stuff that doesn't really fit anywhere else to go here.
  • Daily Grind - formerly just labeled 'About' on the old site. This is basically where you can find out how I am feeling/doing/procrastinating on a weekdaily basis. It should be noted that this section proves that while I am slightly skizophrenic; I am also quite good at remedial data entry.

So welcome to my my newly designed website. Hope you enjoy, still loads yet to come (well, I hope anyway).

Posted to Verbose filed in GeekLikeMe / Site Related @ 4:21 PM | Tags (2) | geeklikeme | redesign |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 3 Clicks | Posted by Vin

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