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Archives for: December 2007

Filed in:Informative

HaPPY New YeaR

December 31st, 2007  · stk

We have no sage advice, heartfelt annual retrospective or rosy prognostications for the new year. We offer a holiday greeting that is short and sweet. A Cheshire-cat grin will leave people wondering, "what ARE they up to?"

:D
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Updated: 1-Jan-2008
Web View Count: 4227 viewsLast Web Update: 1-Jan-2008

Christmas Magic

December 28th, 2007  · stk

Alex gets a visit from Santa. Video of Alex's excitement & joy from a personal visit from Santa (courtesy of the North Cedar Fire Hall). Engine 1 arrives with lights & sirens, then Santa climbs down, with a gift for one very excited little girl! (A bit of Christmas magic)

Alex 'n Santa - Christmas Magic

The Oop turned four years old in October and she is fully into the swing and spirit of Christmas. It was a special holiday for us and the guys at the North Cedar Fire Hall made it even more so with a bit of Christmas magic.

First, Oop and Dad joined the other volunteer firefighters and their families for an old-fashioned hay ride, through town, on Sunday night. Candy canes, hot chocolate, music and lights made for a festive, although chilly, trip.

Then came Christmas eve.

And Santa Claus!

 

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Updated: 30-Dec-2007
Web View Count: 15808 viewsLast Web Update: 30-Dec-2007
Filed in:CSS
Web Dev·XHTML·The Web

Rockin' da Sidebah

December 22nd, 2007  · stk

Merry Christmas! How about a pure CSS technique to finish out 2007? Introducing "pop-Info" boxes, an XHTML/CSS-valid method of popping up sidebar information. It's cross browser compatible, written to standards and doesn't require any javascripting. (There's even a click-only version - same deal). Have a peek!

flower background pop-Info - (A CSS Technique for Popping Information)

popInfopopInfo jack-in-the-box

AFAIK everyone likes the <acronym> tag. Hey, it provides a nifty way to expand an acronym (or abbreviation ... or other abuses) into "more information". This detail shows in a tool-tip, when you move your mouse over it. Nice.

Normal Sidebar

This is an example of a sidebar (a short, often boxed, auxiliary news story that is printed alongside a longer article). It often contains additional, contrasting or late-breaking news.

On a web page, the sidebar breaks up the flow of the main article and takes up page real-estate. Why not have it display like an acronym (hidden ... until the visitor decides they want to see it)?

I expanded on the idea, using an info class with a <span> tag, to provide more information on a concept or word. Cool.

Unfortunately, it's limited to a short amount of text.

What if you want to include more information about some detail of the main article? What if you want to include an image? What do you do then?

In journalistic jargon, we've now entered the realm of the sidebar. A sidebar is a short news story, containing supplementary information, which is shown alongside the feature story, often in a box. It's similar to a pull-quote or callout.

What if a sidebar could display like an acronym, in some type of a tool-tip-type hover? Hmmm. After playing a bit with photo-caption zoom figure numbers, I got the idea that such an idea might be achievable. It is! Have a look at a popInfo Sidebar box "PopInfo"  Sidebar BOOM! A popping sidebar! Centered for liquid layouts, it can pop anywhere for fixed-width layouts. popInfo css toy Add images and other styling. It's XHTML & CSS-valid, cross-browser compatible (IE6, IE7, Opera, Netscape, FireFox, Safari) & we think it's a cool way of displaying "more information", saving page real estate and amping page SEO. .

For more popInfo examples, a click-version, the CSS and XHTML code, as well as a discussion on the method ... sally forth ...

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Updated: 3-Feb-2008
Web View Count: 28183 viewsLast Web Update: 3-Feb-2008

Four the Third Time

December 16th, 2007  · stk

Last week was an interesting one, for this website. We were hosted on a dedicated server (till a HDD failure), moved back to our yucky shared host and then finally settled with a new VPS (Virtual Private Server) host. Learn more about hosting option (we've now tried them all). :p

Web Hosting: Free, Shared, Dedicated & VPS
We've tried them all. Which is right for you?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

With Christmas right around the corner, the last thing I needed was a server failure. Unfortunately, along with a high blood pressure diagnosis, the impending holiday season and four chickens rapidly outgrowing their temporary home ... that's exactly what happened.

Last week, we moved randsco.com from a failed dedicated server, back to our old shared host and then to a new VPS. We went from peachy Georgia, to too-big Texas and finally settled with all the lovers in Virginia. We went from an empty football field, back to cramped quarters of shared hosting and then to - what we hope is - a cozy condo.

Like Goldilocks, we had to try them all on, in order to find something that felt "just right".

For five years (1999-2004) we used a free web host. Then we moved to a shared web host account for three years (2004-2007). We outgrew that (about a year ago, actually), and had recently moved to a dedicated server, with some mates. However, after an unexpected hard disk drive failure, which knocked out our website for several days, we wondered if we were up for the rigors of a dedicated server.

After a bit of investigation, we've decided that a VPS host was more our speed.

If you're deciding on a web host or want to learn the differences between "free hosting", "a dedicated server", "shared hosting" and "Virtual Private Servers" (via a simple analogy) ... read on!

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Updated: 18-Dec-2007
Web View Count: 6265 viewsLast Web Update: 18-Dec-2007