Blog entries tagged with "website"

Oh, the CRTs

Sunday, October 9th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Part of the MR LAN site that I made available yesterday was timelapse videos of three events. These three videos are now up on YouTube so a greater audience can bask in a room full of CRT monitors:

Our first big event

Watch on YouTube

MR LAN – Evento Cinque

Watch on YouTube

MR LAN – Evento Quattro

Watch on YouTube

These videos were made by having a computer control a digital camera to take a photo every minute. To make the videos suitable for the internet of ten years ago I reduced it down to 240 pixels, but I am going to see if I can find the original images as I could then regenerate it in high def.

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The chronicle of Monash Region LAN

Sunday, October 9th, 2011 at 12:39 am

I what seems like a lifetime ago some friends and I would have LAN parties (how you played multiplayer games before fast internet) that grew from being held at people’s homes to large events. While it petered away eight years ago, I did keep a backup of the site, a backup that I have cleaned up and made available:

Of course we were plenty of other groups, most of them bigger, that doesn’t mean we didn’t have fun for a time.

Now I have been meaning to put this up for a while (because these days hosting is cheap and it might as well be out there) and it was moving the camera club site to new hosting that triggered me into action.

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A brand new site in 8 hours

Friday, October 23rd, 2009 at 10:53 pm

Three days ago I became the webmaster of the Waverley Camera Club. Tonight I rolled out a brand new site that combined the existing static content with existing posts from an external blogspot blog.

Around about 8 hours of effort. Most of that was working my way through the migrated posts to both sort out better categories and to remove garbage markup that screwed up the rendering.

I also hadn’t planned to release the site so soon, but my testing/experimentation was going so well that it would have been a shame not do.

How?

By using WordPress and making the decision that I would just assemble the pieces, I avoid writing code.

I chose WordPress for two reasons. One is that I am familiar with it and two that I knew it would be suitable for what we need the site to do at the moment. In the future I know it won’t be suitable if we proceed with some of the ideas that have been talked about.

Once I knew I would be using the latest version of WordPress my next decision to make would be how the site looked. To avoid the hassle of designing and then building a theme, I turned to the Free WordPress Themes directory. I wasn’t there for long as there were a couple of possibilities in the featured themes list. After running them by another committee member I decided to go with Pixel. The deciding factor was the info box at the top of the sidebar where we could put the club’s logo.

It was at this point that I started the largest task: importing the existing posts from blogspot. That specific task was easy using the import tool. What took time was going through each of the 140 posts to set a new category and to check that the post would render. I couldn’t believe how much crap had been added by blogspot. The biggest issue was badly nested divs, but second to that was the apparent random application of fonts and colours.

In the midst of this work I also played around with the widgets to customise what was in the sidebar and footer. It was only once there was content that widgets such as recent posts would make sense. This also allowed me to add the credit to the footer which is part of the conditions of the free hosting for non-profits. If it weren’t for the widgets my approach would have been to edit the theme.

But that isn’t to say that I have not modified the theme. Although the theme was working quite nicely, there were a couple of niggles. One was that in the header the tag line was too dark to be read, and another was that an empty box was showing below posts that would contain tags, if we were going to use them.

A while ago I read about WordPress theme inheritance where you can selectively override parts of another theme. So that’s what I did and my only changes were two CSS statements, one to change the text colour and another to hide the tag box. I later added a 404.php to give a slightly better not found page.

And that’s mostly it, except for some additional plugins that are quite nice to have:

Of course there is still content to migrate from the old site and it hasn’t yet had any real use. But that is for later.

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