Dented Reality on New Dedicated Virtual at Media Temple

I’ve completed the migration of dentedreality.com.au (along with all my other domains, excluding this one) to a new dedicated virtual server with Media Temple. Mad props to them, they’ve been great in helping me handle some pieces of the process, which has gone relatively smoothly. Things I’m looking forward to on the new host include:

  • Working with Plesk Onyx
  • Trying out Let’s Encrypt 🔐
  • PHP 7 😍
  • Hopefully consolidating and simplifying some things

This site (beau.blog) is now my main blogging/writing space, with Dented Reality being more of a full archive of my digital footsteps.

10 Year Blogoversary!

10 years ago today, I posted my first blog post on this site. That’s pretty much forever on the internet, and I think it probably also makes me old. A lot has changed in the last decade, both on this website, and for me personally (and the world at large). Let’s have a quick look shall we?

dentedreality.com.au

When I first created this website, I was using a little tool called blosxom to manage the blog. It was a tiny little Perl script that pulled the contents of your blog from text files on your filesystem. Pretty awesome, nerdy stuff. Dented Reality also looked something like this, pretty hot huh?

dented-2003

(more…)

Announcing: SidewalkScribbl.es

I’ve launched a new website that you might like to check out: SidewalkScribbl.es

It feels like every time I walk around in San Francisco (and other places), I see all this cool artwork, quotes, stencils etc on the sidewalk that I’m sure a lot of people are missing or not appreciating. SidewalkScribbl.es will be a place to share those things. The site will most likely get a facelift to make things look better, but in the meantime I’m just getting started with some of the things I’ve already collected from around the place.

Keep an eye out for another *Scribbl.es site soon 😉

Dented Reality v5.0

You’re now looking at (I think) the fifth major revision of this website.

It’s been a (long) time coming, but I finally got it online today. I thought it would be fitting. It is a day of change after all. It’s definitely time for a change here at Dented Reality — the previous version was online for around 5 years (April 20, 2003 according to the WayBack Machine). I think it stood up quite well considering the changes that took place in the browser landscape in those 5 years.

Dented Reality v4.0

Dented Reality v4.0

You may notice that there are a number of new posts here, which just magically appeared. That’s because I was posting while I was developing this site on my laptop, but I didn’t want to post to the old site. For the record, here are all the posts that are new as of today (oldest to newest):

There are going to be a lot of small tweaks to be done still, and I’m sure there are some broken links etc, but I think this version is quite a step up from the previous one. It reflects a change in direction for the site and I think does a better job of showing who I am and what sort of projects I engage in.

Dented Reality v5.0

Dented Reality v5.0

Comments are now open (and powered by IntenseDebate), so please feel free to leave a note on what you think of the new site on this post!

And Then It Was Live!

Yes, I finally got my new site live, and it all appears to be working, including the new and fancy, blosxom-driven “Notes” section.

This has taken quite a bit of work to get live, but I am quite happy with the way that things have turned out. The main addition(s) that I want to make at this stage are writebacks on my Notes section, so that I can hear what you guys out there have to say about things, rather than this being a 1-way only information device 🙂

Keep an eye out for the ability to comment on my postings here in the nearish future (hopefully!). When I get it working, it should also allow for trackbacks, so you can register comments on my posts on your own blogs if you like

Slowly, slowly…

I am making progress on the new site. It is taking longer than I had hoped, but that is mostly because I actually took the time to enjoy my holiday, rather than spending the whole thing working on this 🙂

I am currently working on the Services section, which will include details about all of the things that I can do for clients, including some “elevator-pitch” style descriptions of what some of the things mean, since it’s likely that they will be new concepts for a lot of people I deal with. I am going to be trying to simplify things as much as possible with the descriptions, and provide examples or diagrams if at all possible!

It’s times like these that I wish CELIA was active already and filled with useful information and resources, then my job would be simple 🙂

Trudging Along

Work on my site is coming along. I have added in blosxom v1.1, which went pretty much without a hitch. I had to modify my template slightly, but that was more because of my dodgy custom handling, rather than anything to do with blosxom itself.

I’ve been spending some time on the projects section, getting the project pages up to scratch and re-formatted; it’s looking pretty good. I am taking a few of the old projects offline, because they don’t have any documentation, don’t work anymore, things like that 🙂

I’m not going to put a date on when the site will be live, but given the current progress, and the list of things to do still, I would estimate about 2 weeks. Here’s the current list;

  1. Projects Sections
    1. Blogger API (functions, classes + meta)
    2. phpMassMail (also requires some work to make it 4.2+ compatible, and re-format documentation to include)
    3. JSSearch (would like to get some more information/documentation/examples included)
    4. JSValidate (want to update this to include the ability to open a popup window rather than an alert – optional)
    5. Client work and websites
  2. Contact Form
    1. Layout/design
    2. Contingency design
    3. Processing/handling
    4. Result/output page
  3. Search System
    1. Layout/Design (of the results, as well as extra options, defining manual entries etc)
    2. Processing system (integrating my manual results with Google/XooMLe’s results)
    3. Management of my manual entries (and a decent name for them 🙂

So there we go. That’s what I’ll be working on in the near future. And for those interested, I will be creating a custom search system, which integrates Google‘s results for within my website (using XooMLe) with a selection of manual “Top Picks” or “Best Bets” which I have selected for certain terms. I have the rough idea planned out already, just need to implement it in code. I will probably make the code available for download once it’s complete as well, so keep an eye out for that 🙂

That’s all for now – time to get back to life.

Ho Ho Ho…

Christmas morning and I’m on the computer already… sad? dedicated? driven?… bored. Still working away on the new site, so hopefully it will be done before too long.

Interesting question from a friend last night regarding how much time I spend on my own projects & websites – he asked me to explain “why you’re putting in so much work into it”. My answer wasn’t that thorough or convincing, but, I believe that there are a number of things you can get out of running a website like mine.

  1. Honing of personal skills: building this site gave me a chance to work out a complex CSS/XHTML layout, while integrating a dynamic content management system and honing a search system!
  2. Giving something back: considering how much the web community has given me in the form of code, knowledge, skills, tips & tricks, this site is a minor return-favour
  3. Educating people: building information on this site gives me a focus point where I can send current and potential clients to find out about IA, usability and general user-centred design.
  4. Publicise my projects: making a site which people like to come back to gives me a place where I can promote my projects and get them out in the public
  5. Raise my profile: no point beating around the bush, one of the reasons I maintain an active website is that it raises my profile in the web community/industry. These days anything that can do that for you without spending a truckload of money is a Good Thing.

More Projects To Come

The main 2 sections of the site to be completed are the projects (still have some micro-sites to put together here) and the search system. I will also need to bring across the copyright info from the old site, but that will largely be copy/paste. The search system will be the most interesting part to develop, and I have some nice plans for it as well – We’ll see what I can do as far as combining 2 XML documents and an XSLT together (server-side using PHP of course!) to create the results.

The projects really could use a little work, but I just don’t have time to work on them right now. Once the site is live, I will be working on RESTments again to get that going, and then when that is up, the projects will all receive a make-over to ensure that they work with PHP’s register_globals off and magic_quotes_gpc off as well. I will also eventually get to working on new versions of webpad (which I have some great plans for) and AvantBlog (want to make a few versions, so that there is one for each major type if possible.

So now, with no other external contracts to take up my time, it is just a matter of not falling asleep and then all I have to do is my website, should mean that it’s up within a week or 2.