The creaky topstep

We’ve got the worlds most horrible carpet. It’s a persian blend of red, brown and black, and it’s truly offensive to most people’s eyes. Even the cat spends hours trying to rip it up.

After 6 years of living in this house, we are finally going to get rid of it and have the floors sanded and sealed.

It’s funny how you live with things that need fixing for so long just because they are familiar. After a while you don’t even notice them, until you have to apologise for their horrendous offensiveness. Or until you go away for a month and come back to discover just how much more bright and offensive the carpet has become while you were away.

So with persian carpet in mind, I’d like to apologise for the teeny css glitches all over this site. They’ve been there so long, as each new browser is released I keep thinking that I must fix them. And yet I live with them.

Maybe I’ll redo the entire site. Next year. I’ll hire a sander and scrub the code back to the bare boards.

The only worry then is – what if I end up living with bare boards for a few years? 

Only time can bring the answer to that.

This is not a blog

Of course it isn’t – that’s why it’s called the anti blog. Because a blog is supposed to have some kind of regularity of posting. This is definitely not a blog.

But of course, I do have a place where I blog. At first I hesitated to join my personal blog with my professional site, but in the end I decided that as writing is something I hope to capitalise on more on in the future, then it only makes sense to link the two.

And in fact, I’ve just received my first “payment” for some writing I’ve done. It’s very rewarding to be paid for your efforts. In the same way that it’s very frustrating to do commissioned work and then not get paid for it.

I guess it all comes down to motivation. It’s important to have motivation for your work. And sometimes you need to give other people some motivation in order to pay you. I must present a persuasive argument. But in the end, it often comes down to honesty.

This is a vague and confusing little post, I know. But the upshot of this is that I want to leave you with this: Be honest in your dealings with others. Have integrity in your professional conduct. Avoid people who have neither. And if you can’t – and if you don’t find out until afterwards, don’t let them get away with it.

When you have nothing to say…

…it’s usually best to say nothing. But that’s not the way the world seems to work anymore. Every day more and more systems pop up to enable people to share their monosyllabic grunts with each other.
Twitter is my biggest bone of contention. It’s like facebook status without the rest of facebook. And what is the point of that? And what seems even more pointless about twitter is that it doesn’t make any money at all – despite several rounds of funding – it seems to have no future value. And yet it has millions of users. It seems to me that if it people had to pay to use it, then almost no-one would.
If something has value, then people are willing to pay for it. So in social networking, what exactly is valuable? And is social networking as we know it now aptly named? The main systems that are available place all their emphasis on the individual. That’s not really social, now is it. I think that eventually all of these systems will collapse on themselves in a whorl of mindless babble. Something new will emerge from the rubble – something that actually IS social. More on that later.

upgrading the engine

I’ve just upgraded the software that runs this site (it’s moveabletype in case you’re wondering!) and discovered a whole new look to my backend. Which isn’t nearly so eyebrow raising as you think, those of you with dirty minds.
I’ve always like moveabletype for its clean and simple administration area, so for a moment I was totally lost and wondering where all the menus had gone! But after a quick browse around I am really enjoying the new layout and the added extras.
I’ve used moveabletype on quite a few of my clients sites because it gives them a very manageable system that doesn’t drown them in features that they don’t need. And I like the fact that there is NO html code in the templates unless I put it there myself. So unlike joomla and its nested table debarcle (just try and use relational sizes for a td and see what happens in some browsers) i have total control over how the content is displayed.
The learning curve for mt is quite steep IF you’re not already familiar with html and basic markup. But once you are au fait with it, building dynamic sites is a breeze.
I have recently been using drupal for a client, and I have come to the conclusion that either I need to spend another year learning it, OR it should be flushed down the toilet forth with. But I think that my harsh opinion of it is that it’s a system for programmers to play with, not designers. I did find some of the management part of drupal to be very un-intuitive, and a bit “bolt on” in aspect. That could be true – it’s not often that a system get built from the ground up with the end in mind, now is it.
Joomla, on the other hand – is currently in my bad books for upgrading and making me learn a whole new way of building templates. However I think that there is a glimmer of light in the distance. The changes do seem logical and a step forward. I am only annoyed because I have had to learn it very quickly when I needed to upgrade 3 sites in quick succession.
Even though this is an antiblog, I do have a real blog hidden away somewhere. It gets a new entry once a month or less, and an average of half a comment per entry. But looking at the new moveabletype I am almost seduced into the idea that I could blog. Hopefully I will put that idea away quickly. But if I don’t – this system will make a much sexier version of my blog than yuku ever could.