Tag Archives: jaredwsmith.com

A relic of computing lore: the General Protection Fault

Netscape 3.04 Gold chokes on jaredwsmith.com

Netscape 3.04 Gold choking very badly on jaredwsmith.com.

Netscape Navigator Gold was the lens through which I first saw the Internet. Thanks to my Windows 3.11 VM and evolt.org’s browser archive, I can attempt to re-see the Web as if it was 1996 all over again. The results are most certainly not pretty, with an abundance of JavaScript errors and, in the case of this very site, a General Protection Fault — remember those? (Interestingly, Internet Explorer 3.01 for Windows 3.x gracefully degraded, while its Windows 95 counterpart crashes with a stack fault.)

Focus (Or Lack Thereof)

Something I’ve always struggled with is my blog’s focus. I tend to zero in on topics for a little while and then drift to something else. It quite fits my semi-neurotic personality — I’m definitely a “phase” kind of guy — but I realize that for the few folks who do read me from time to time that my lack of focus can throw you off. Some people come here for my weather updates; that’s cool and all, but what if I go on a binge of technology posts about FriendFeed and Facebook and leave the weather alone for a while? What if people showed up for me to talk about the Padres when I haven’t mentioned them on here since April? Writing such a blog can be tough on the readers because that noise makes what one might perceive as “the good stuff” that much harder to find.

I’m trying to mitigate some of this issue in the next design by reinforcing a topic-based scheme that should more easily direct folks to what they’re looking for. I’m doing a little of that with my weather section right now, but I’m planning on doing the entire blog in a topic-based navigational scheme come redesign time. The goal is for folks to be able to see on the homepage a quick overview of my posts by topic, versus one giant aggregation that could be all over the place. I’ll still retain the all-over-the-placeness on the blog homepage (equivalent to jaredwsmith.com/blog now), but the homepage should at least help people be directed to what they’re interested in that I might write about.

This will help me be able to produce more content in more topics and give each topic pretty close to equal time. If I go on a binge of personal posts — I’m in something resembling a quarter-life crisis at times, so this is entirely possible — the noise generated from those won’t drown out my weather posts, so those who don’t give two rips about me ;) can still find out what kind of damaging winds will inevitably not materialize because I blogged about them. I’m really hoping that this works out the way I intend. There are some avenues I want to explore via the blog that I haven’t really felt like exploring yet because the necessary organizational balance has not been in place. I’m looking forward to those controls coming into play, and I’ll be interested to see how it affects readership down the road.

Fun With Analytics

I’m in the midst of reworking my blog, and any good reworking starts with a hard look at statistics. While I definitely don’t shoot to be any sort of traffic maven A-lister type, I do like to know that at least some of what I’ve written is being read…and boy, is it interesting to see what people like to read and how they find it. How they read it is a big deal, too, as statistics tell me what the trends are for browsers, screen resolutions, etc., and this plays a huge role in redesign decisions that I’m currently making.

The report I’m running is from January 1st to today, a little over seven months of traffic. Continue reading

A random jumble

I torture Twitter so much with my rapid-fire randomness these days. It’s amazing that I have as many humans as I do actually following me because I get so random and off the wall there with things. So, I feel it’s only fair that I take some of this randomness to the blog for a change.

  • I should’ve gone out singing last night. Wild Wing downtown does a pretty good karaoke night on Thursdays. Only problem? They don’t have any songs by Tantric. My range is right between Hugo Ferreira and Todd Whitener, so Tantric is pretty much perfect. On my birthday, I settled for Days of the New, which I do pretty well with, but Tantric has an energy you can’t deny.
  • Had a pretty decent severe thunderstorm roll through West Ashley earlier, and of course I snapped a few photos of the onset. The cloud was wild as it approached (didn’t get my camera in time to get that shot) — it was very much like those spaceships in Independence Day.
  • I’m slowly chipping away at a new look for this place. I’ve started over about three times now. That work won’t be wasted, though, as I usually find a way to take the best aspects of each design and meld them together. The goal in the next revision of the site is simplification: I’m cutting a lot of deadwood, recategorizing every post (that will take a while), and a lot of other stuff. It’ll be nice, though; I suspect it’ll be the biggest revamp we’ve seen here in a long time.
  • Not sure who to vote for in November now after the FISA Obamination. My tirades against telecom immunity are well-documented here, and it just blows my mind that Obama voted for that bill. It’s a complete breakdown in principle that I wasn’t expecting from him at all, and this is really teetering on the edge of deal-breaker for me. Barack Obama’s just another politician now, and you know, I’m looking for more than pandering and broken promises for a change. He’s going to have to work very hard to win my vote back. (No, I’m not going McCain, either.)
  • A lot of people have brought up how Clinton voted no on the FISA bill. While that’s admirable, Obama was still the better pick for the party based solely on Clinton’s baggage. However, I can’t help but wonder what John Edwards would have been able to do had the media given him 30 seconds of attention.
  • Regardless, part of me feels a little had. This episode is a good reminder that with very few exceptions, there is very little separating the Democratic and Republican agendas. How much more do we have to take before third parties become viable in this country?

Enjoy your Friday, folks!