Dawning.ca Spruced Up

Previous Dawning.ca Layout
Previous Dawning.ca Layout

I’ve just spent a few hours re-designing the layout of Dawning.ca. The old one served me very well and I really liked it. I had heavily modified the previous theme to work for me and work it did. I may tap it some time in the future as a backup… As you can see to the right, the new style is fairly different compared to the image. Although I kept the workflow as I think it was already pretty good.

Objectives

Basically, I was trying to get the site to be:

  • Simple to use
  • Uncluttered
  • Attractive
  • Professional & Casual
  • Technically Interesting
  • Simple to use
  • Did I mention, simple to use?

I feel I accomplished these goals. Though I felt I had to sacrifice some technically interesting features in order to reduce the clutter. I had made some cool logos awhile ago that looked good on the more cartoony past version of the site, but they looked horrible here. I ultimately decided to just get rid of the top banner all together, I don’t think people need to keep being reminded of what site they’re on. Anyway, comment below eh!?

Technical Blah

I’m using a few css tricks I’ve learned in the last while to round corners, shade and pretty things up. Mainly, for rounded corners I use tricks such as those found here.

In terms of the shading, if you carefully look at my setup, the black gradient on the red background is made from a 1 x 200 px png image file overlayed on a red background. CSS for that trick is that like this:

background-image: url('/media/bkgd.png');
background-repeat: repeat-x;

Most shaded regions are made using 10 x 10 px images repeated that are very transparent png images. I use css nearly identical to that above for this too, only difference is the repeat statement has no -x to it.

I built up the new theme using the very famous and helpful Atahualpa theme. I’ve used this theme for various WordPress websites of mine including those for:

Also, my buddy Devin who I recently helped get his first Apache/MySQL/PHP/WordPress server install going is using the Atahualpa Theme for his website, it truly is a great WordPress theme for both advanced and beginners alike.

Your Turn

What do you all think of my redesign? Any suggestions? What WordPress theme do you use?

PCB Etching Progress

HappyThawts
HappyThawts
Freshly Transferred Toner
Transferred Toner

Well, a few of us Protospacers met up and worked out some more home-made cheap Printed Circuit Board progress.. Vast thanks to the help of my esteemed friend HappyThawts, we finally got out a board of usable quality! Woot! We used a single sided Arduino pattern I found (saved me some seri

ous time). And followed a fairly well documented process involving use of Ferric Chloride, Acetone, Clothing Irons, Cheap Magazine Paper, Water and patience.

Freshly Etched
Freshly Etched
Finished Board
Finished Board

All in all, it worked damn well. I’ve been getting ready to run a Protospace workshop on the topic for awhile now, so this particular attempt had been intended to be the first run through with a big group. But after several failed attempts at getting a usable PCB out of the process (and some other problems involving shipping stuff from China taking for FREAKIN’ ever), I decided to delay the first real workshop somewhat. Nevertheless, the results were great and I’m certain the next attempt will be a great deal better on account of the toner transfer used here was several days old and probably a lot more settled than toner that’s minutes old. 😀

SCHS 2002 Graduation

Well, it may have been 7 years ago now, but I was cruising through my files and came across this old video.. I don’t really know who recorded the original footage, but I decided to clean it up a bit and put it out there, after all, there’s little point having this video if it’s not shared!

So, here it is.. I hope many good old SCHS friends check it out and that it brings back a few nice memories for them. I expect some time around 2012, we’ll have to get a reunion setup. Hope you’re all doing well! Cheers.