It's been 5 years since I posted a public update. For those actually finding their way to my site, behold! My lack of news! This site acts more so as a test bed. You figure, I'm not updating because I'm too busy working on other web projects, billable projects. The coronavirus pandemic has given me some opportunity tho. Well at least you know the website's not abandoned LOL
Why am I not updating? What am I busy doing?
Okay, gotta run... or sit, cus it's not like we can go anywhere. I'll likely publish the backdated posts, but as I see fit. Over & out.
October's kept me busy.. Screens on top of screens. Replaced a laptop screen for a Dell, had put in an order for a Lenovo screen to replace. I recently just received that LCD, along with SATA adapters for two other laptops to repair. In between that time, I got about 5 desktops back up and running with new motherboards (capacitors were blown), and upgraded RAM.
'Tis the season, and I'm in a giving mood. I've made up my mind to start giving away desktops and laptops that I have on hand. I'll feel good about myself in the end, while I get my hands on some better equipment.
I'm still reorganizing and re-building the portfolio for the site; I got a lot of sites under my belt that I have to weed out, so that I can showcase my real work and contributions over collaborators and co-workers. I may be the lead developer in most projects, but that doesn't mean what's there is all MY doing. I'm hoping to have that up by Christmas. However, client needs come first so I've been busy!
I will be looking to update this again with some photos. I have some updates in mind for my news platform for better image control. I'm probably just rambling now, hahaha. Much to do! Updates coming soon!
I haven't changed my CMS since the dawn of time; I wrote this back in 2006. A lot of the code has turned out deprecated so I just finished whipping up a new one using CKeditor and some PHP. It's not entirely blog worthy like the WordPress-style one I built for Prince George's Suite but it does its job!
I figured it was about time I update the site a bit. I've been consumed with client site development for work that I had to abandon efforts on my personal site. Clients have come and gone, and I’ve been busy with many new projects over the past couple of years. I’ve been able to launch a couple new CRMs: one for a private investigation firm, and another for an online marketing firm focused on lead-generation.
We also contracted with the local pool in Springfield and I was given the opportunity to build their membership and point-of-sale systems, fixed with touch screens, a register, ID card printing with barcode. The works. So far the work scope has taken a stern direction away from website design and toward web application development. It's a lot of work, but someone's got to do it!
In my research, I've managed to set up fallback code generators for my work and in the process improved the source-coding for the CMS I built. The recent project with the Springfield Ice Rink has allowed me to build a second version of the CMS. Now this website uses version 1: the original NewsPro-ish version, stagnant to one document. I wouldn't even consider it a CMS, since I can't manage my content LOL
Now my version 2, is more-so the up-most scalable version. This one is the "blog" one, I guess, where it features the ability to manage sections and sub-sections of a website. I still gotta deal with file managing, but I'm still re-building the framework for this CMS for faster upgrade development.
Version 3 is an in-between, for 1 and 2, built for clients who don't need that much functionality. With this version, I was able to integrate a secondary WYSIWYG editor - which I will provide a choice-of-use option for the next upgrades in Version 2. Version 2 currently uses TinyMCE.. Version 3 uses CKEditor.. It's too early to tell which one I think is better, but I'll be sure to comment on them once I push them to the limit later..
Back on Frameworking, I've had the time to go through and play with the 960grid, and Responsive.GS -- and they've reinforced the idea that I'm going in a pretty good direction. Before playing with these I was in the middle of developing my own grid system framework - based on fractions.. Where they focused on relative columns of a certain count, I'm relying on relative fractions. But end of the day we're comparing apples to apples. I intend on building either a PHP or jQuery version to compliment the philosophy, but I'm content with my success so far. I've already started incorporating my CSS framework into client designs its working out so far, why wouldn't it?
Now I'm comparing PHP frameworks, and checking out JS frameworks to see how they'd be able to fit my needs as well as the needs of my clients!
So I've accepted it. I'm relocating out of the state onward to bigger and better things. Destination: somewhere between Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.. There's things to be happy about, and things to be concerned about..
While this is a new start, the problem is that it's a new start, meaning I have to re- prove myself to my new future employers, re-settle and re-organize into a new home. Comes with the territory though.
I'm also leaving a good pile of work for my current co-workers to take over once I'm out of here. I have so many creations (code, etc) out there that I loved to maintain and build on.. They're like little ascii-children that I no longer get to see grow. However, I'll be taking on newer, bigger and better projects once I've landed in my new home. It's a world of emotion, but exciting none the less!
So I've been going to town trying to play around with file conversions, they present new opportunities in development. I've been trying to use the ffmpeg with the servers I've been given, but I guess I'm not as versed in linux as I thought.. so it's back to the drawing boards. Windows, I'm clearly familiar with, and I was up and ready to convert, but for the time being to cut corners I had to resort to using 3rd party APIs.
It's nice that they're free, and allow me freedom to work with but I don't trust the server to server communication.. My FTPs drop at times, so do my facebook or youtube uploads.. Knowing that it's being done on my server is nice; Knowing that its being done else where without my supervision and then hopefully remitted completely back to my server. It's working now, so I can't complain, but I don't like Murphy's Law....
At least I can handle the API and manage the conversion on at least one server platform, I can be proud of that :)
I've been doing work for clients which required video conversion into cross-browser web-ready video, supporting HTML5 and Flash. Through the experience, uploading my videos to online conversion sites was just too time & bandwidth consuming, I figured out quick that I needed a better solution. So I went off into PHP and engaged myself with command-line software to provide more 'power' to my applications.
Now, using pre-fabricated codes from other developers wouldn't really help: I'd have to rework the scripts to my liking/needs, which could've meant that I'd be writing it from scratch anyway. Not all the time can copy & paste help cut corners, and amateur developers learn this quick they find the code they copied still doesn't work :) So now, my presets are custom, the videos convert, and the display code is generated, almost like a Vimeo/YouTube embed-- but in-house! Then I think to myself, Brightcove ain't all that... :)
Reinforcing my minimalist concept.. Three articles at a time. Once I get passed 4, maybe 5 pages I'll activate direct access to individual pages. Right now its all "next page, previous page.." It's really all you guys need for now.. It's not like I'm running a tech blog or something like that.. I mean, I could.. but that's not my focus.. I might re-use it for the gallery, to minimize the amount of thumbnails at a given time..
The has been re-activated and added to the navigation for you now. The gallery is written by me; I know I could've used a script out there, but I take pride in the learning process. I'll be building on it over time, but I just landed some cross-browser compatibility: tested in IE, FF, Chrome , and Safari..
I also added some history about me and web development. I intend to get as detailed with music and video production, they'll get a page or two as well.
Server compatibility, browser compatibility.. things can get annoying, things can go wrong.. Didn't notice until later there was a bit of compatibility issues going on after the previous updates..
You, the viewer, should not have a problem now, viewing content on my site now. However, I've lost a bit of the effects going on in the transition.. That'll require some time and rework; right now the content is back on display and that's the important part. You can't start showing off something that doesn't work, right? At the end of the day, they don't care about the behind-the-scenes work and the long, hard effort that goes along with it.. They just care about the end result. We all care about results, don't we?
I took some time out this weekend to reactivate the 3 middle buttons on my portfolio page to display more work: Branding, Web Design, and Digital Art.
My intention was to highlight my talents in Photoshop The clients on the right bring about my talents on the back and front end of web development, stepping aside from the graphic side..
I also added quick nav menu for viewers while exploring page content.. Check it out, on your right.. I may change the size, for accessibility. Actually, an A- A+ Idea sounds like a great idea. I'm sure there are areas on the site that can use it, I'm always looking to optimize. Video and Audio Samples to come.. Stay tuned.
Aside from content formatting, client website thumbnails have been added in the Works section for quick preview. Also, some jQuery UI effects have been applied for some easing animation on some of the areas. Client details have been added or modified.
Speaking on the client details, I've posted another feature in one of the local Otsego County news papers (Hometown Oneonta), regarding a client of ISD's that I'm working on: the Community Arts Network of Oneonta (CANO), formerly known as the Upper Catskill Community of the Arts (UCCCA). The branding I've designed made the first page, so I figured it was worth the mention. Mike Halpin, VP of CANO, agreed to pose for a photo with the organization's new logo.
I also took the opportunity of applying web fonts to the site, to extend the design's consistency across browsers. Android smartphones appear to welcome it. The email/contact form is up, and is currently holding the place for my quotes/pricing form.
Video section is undergoing rework for HTML5 support. The site is halfway with the HTML5, and I'll need to do some major validation and clean-up once the rework is complete and tested. Site is currently running fine on FF10+, Chrome 10, and Safari 5, Opera 11, IE8 & 9 (with a random runtime error). On the Android smartphone browser it displayed fine, but I'm still eager to work up the mobile version of this site.. One step at a time though.