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Ramblings from the Marginalized » 2007 » August

August 2007

News August 31st, 2007 by HMTKSteve

A few days ago I wrote about my desire to put a new face on this blog. I am in the middle of designing a new wordpress theme just for me and I'd like to tell you a few things about it before I change over.

One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to WordPress blogs is the amount of whitespace I see. Look below the sidebar and what do you see? Nothing! That waste of space annoys me to no end. My new theme will fix that problem.

The Footer is an often overlooked part of a blog. I intend to put my footer to better use than I do now. I will likely use it to show off things that the dedicated reader is looking for but the casual reader is not. The way I see it the footer can be a good source of real estate for thanking your readers and telling them about popular content on your site. Besides, once you are done reading an article where are you? You are looking at the footer!

Because the majority of my readers use a screen size of 1024x768 or larger I will be moving to a fixed (980 pixels wide) width theme. This will better allow me to use the screen real estate you have and not leave you with tons of whitespace to look at. I'm running even wider than that but I can always bring the sides of my browser in.

I will be bringing in the rounded corners and other Web 2.0 goodness. I'm going to try to do it entirely with CSS but I may have to cheat and use some images. I'm currently trialing some of the rounded corner ideas over on my other blog Cats and their famous owners.

If you have any suggestions or comments feel free to post them below!

Family and Star Wars August 31st, 2007 by Force Drainer


Hi Folks,

Just as the title says, The 501st Legion will be making MANY appearances during the month of September. Some are benefits, some are promos, ALL ARE FUN. Come join us, won’t you?

EMPIRE CITY GARRISON EVENT: Invisible Children/ Project: Restoration
Date: 9/8/07
Time: evening
Place:New York City's Columbus Park ,between Mulberry and Baxter
This gig benefits TWO organizations: 
Invisible Children, which is dedicated to children who have fallen through the cracks throughout the world, and project: Restoration, a new organization dedicated to combating eating disorders. This gig actually takes place during FASHION WEEK. A ton of cool sponsors and DJ and artists have signed on, as well as runway models from Ford, Bella, and others.

Date: 9/19/07
The dedicated staff members, along with those they serve will have their annual picnic in Bethel, CT. The 501st Legion CTG will be there to spread cheer and present a check to this fine company for al the work they do with disabled individuals.

WEIRD AL CONCERT: We’ll be performing on stage with him during his Star Wars songs!
Date: 9/21/07
Time: 9:00
Place: Foxwoods Casino, Fox Theater
Price: $35, $45

THE BIG ‘E’: We’ll be in the BIG closing day parade
Date: 9/30/07
Time: 5:00
Place:1305 Memorial Avenue,West Springfield, MA
Price: $15 for adults, $10 for kids, children 5 years old or under are free

Games August 30th, 2007 by HMTKSteve

QuartileMy new game Quartile recently won a Major Fun award. My only complaint is that it won in the family category and not the thinking category.

Don't forget, my current Quartile contest runs out on September 15, 2007. what are you waiting for?

If you want to order a copy be sure to go to the website.

Nintendo and Wii August 29th, 2007 by HMTKSteve

On August 27, 2007 the Nintendo world Store released the new Metroid Prime 3: Corruption game to the mass of eager fans waiting outside. check out these cool pics form the event.

Nintendo Fans waiting in line

Nintendo fans lined up as early as 4 a.m. at Nintendo World in New York to purchase Nintendo's new Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for the Wii home video game system on Aug. 27, 2007.

Nintendo Fans in line

Nintendo fans lined up as early as 4 a.m. at Nintendo World in New York to purchase Nintendo's new Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for the Wii home video game system on Aug. 27, 2007.

Game Kiosks

Game kiosks at Nintendo World in New York were outfitted to receive Nintendo fans who lined up as early as 4 a.m. to purchase Nintendo's New Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for the Wii home video game system on Aug. 27, 2007.

Kiosk Gaming

John and Nicole Paulsen of Castle Rock, Colo., are among the first customers in the world to play Nintendo's new Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for the Wii home video game system. The Paulsens visited Nintendo World in New York to purchase the game on its Aug. 27, 2007, launch day.

Will I be getting the new Metroid game? Sadly I am unlikely to get it. Not because the game does not interest me (it does) but because I had trouble playing the last two on the Game Cube due to motion sickness issues. It's all part of getting old...

Internet and Social Bookmarking August 28th, 2007 by HMTKSteve

digg Videos

OK, is this some sort of joke? Why is Digg forcing me to include at least one category of videos?

After the last site redesign Digg removed videos from the front page all together. Now that they have added them back they are forcing me to include at least one category of videos in my home page preferences.

"You need to have at least one videos topic selected or you won't see any videos." is what it says. What if I do not want to see ANY videos? Notice the grayed out "save changes" button?

Internet August 28th, 2007 by HMTKSteve

A few blogs I read recently went under the knife and came out with new Themes. One such blog is John Chow dot com who has a much improved appearance thanks to the work of Nate Whitehill of Unique Blog Design.

As nice as John's new theme is I have to say that on my old laptop, which ran at 1024x768, the header area takes up far too much space. In fact, on that old computer I could only see the top half of the article title when going directly to his page. When I see all header and/or advertising before I see content I go somewhere else. I'm not against monetizing your website (I sell advertising here) but I am against the practice of shoving everything but your content above the fold.

I am currently looking into creating some custom themes for several of my blogs but before doing so I took a quick view at the Google Analytics information for one of my blogs to see what screen resolutions people are using to visit the site. the following data is a short sampling of data from PokeFarm dot com.

Screen Resolutions

As you can see the majority of visitors use a screen size of 1024x768 or higher. Because 50% of my visitors use 1024x768 I will probably aim to make the site look best at that resolution. As for those who run with a smaller resolution? Well, all 8.5% of you should consider getting a bigger monitor!

There are benefits to a blog redesign not least of which is the freshness factor. Even here on hmtk dot com I can feel the malaise of familiarity creeping in. There is a certain blindness to some areas of the page. Do you even notice the advertising anymore? My checking account balance says that most of you are ad-blind on here!

Unlike John Chow who suggested readers quit complaining and buy a bigger monitor while also saying the site was designed with 1024x768 in mind I'm going to make sure the site looks good to someone browsing at the most common screen resolution.

At any rate, expect some blog redesigns to happen around these parts soon. I'm checking out color schemes right now ;)

Nintendo and Wii August 27th, 2007 by HMTKSteve

Nintendo releases more new titles than everyone else!Have you heard the news? The Wii is kicking major butt all over the place! Not bad for a system with no games, eh?

Wii emerged as the month's best-selling video game system of any type in the United States and achieved its highest weekly sales rates since December, despite pricing shifts in the industry, according to the independent NPD Group and internal Nintendo figures. Wii and Nintendo DS remained the two best-selling video game systems in the United States, with Nintendo hardware outselling all other systems combined!

Nintendo is averaging 9 new games every month for the Wii since launch, which is more than any of the other consoles out there. Add in the huge catalog of DS games (300+ games) and you can see a very bright future for Nintendo.

Nintendo also claims six of the industry's top 10 best sellers, including the top three: Pokemon Diamond (overall No. 1) and Pokemon Pearl (No. 3) for Nintendo DS, and Wii Play (No. 2) for Wii. I know why the Pokemon games sell so well but I'm not so sure about Wii Play.

Tomorrow we can expect the next top game to be released: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption!

Technology August 27th, 2007 by HMTKSteve

Here it is, day two. Last night I let the Transfer Agent run all night long on my laptop yet some of my settings did not transfer over. I am talking about Firefox, the browser I prefer to use.

After a little bit of work I manually transfered over my Firefox data and now I'm going to tell you how to do it so when you eventually make the upgrade you will not be scratching your head the way I was.

Where are my Firefox settings?

To find your original Firefox settings you need to go onto your old computer and find the following directory (or folder as the newer folk call them) : C:\Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox . In this folder you will find all of your Firefox settings.

You need to copy that entire directory/folder to: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla . Why is the folder labeled "Roaming"? I currently have no idea! what I can tell you is that there are three folders in the AppData folder and roaming is the one where you want to send these files.

What about my Thunderbird settings?

Just like Firefox you have to look on your old computer for : C:\Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\Application Data\Thunderbird . In this folder you will find all of your Thunderbird settings and messages.

You need to copy that entire directory/folder to: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird .

I just happen to have a huge amount of email stored in my Thunderbird client. Since I could not get my new Vista machine to see my old XP machine on the network I had to be a bit creative in order to move the 4GB of data.

Moving large amounts of data not using the network

How did I do it? I used my 30GB iPod as a mass storage device and copied the data to it. I then transfered it to my new machine via the faster USB 2.0 jack. It took over an hour to transfer the data too the iPod and only four minutes to get it off of the iPod. Damn i love USB 2.0!

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