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MINI-VERSE.COM News
#1
Today, I finally got around to linking mini-verse.com to this new board. I had meant to do this much sooner, especially since there is a link from this board to its home page, which is mini-verse.com. Now, they are linked together from both directions.

I plan to spend the next few days doing some work at the mini-verse.com site. I do need to get back to work at macjr.com soon, but since I had already put that on hold to take care of a few things, like making this new version of the MACJR'S Mini-Verse² Forums, I might as well take at least a few more days to get some work done at the home site for this new board.

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
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#2
(02-05-2016, 04:46 PM)MACJR Wrote: Today, I finally got around to linking mini-verse.com to this new board. I had meant to do this much sooner, especially since there is a link from this board to its home page, which is mini-verse.com. Now, they are linked together from both directions.

I plan to spend the next few days doing some work at the mini-verse.com site. I do need to get back to work at macjr.com soon, but since I had already put that on hold to take care of a few things, like making this new version of the MACJR'S Mini-Verse² Forums, I might as well take at least a few more days to get some work done at the home site for this new board.

MACJR

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#3
Today, I moved the Links to Elsewhere pages to a sub-folder of the Mini-Verse² pages. I decided that they did not need their own sub-domain. I am only allotted so many sub-domains anyway. I might as well be a bit more conservative with their use, until, or unless, I decide to upgrade to a higher priced web hosting service package.

Also, today, I finally removed all the dead links, and the links that no longer connect to the content I originally linked to, from the Links to Elsewhere pages. I should have done this sooner, but at least it is done now.

Today's work was just the beginning of the next stage of my work on the Links to Elsewhere pages though. Some remaining links need to be updated. Some of the web sites have changed their names, and some old URLs are being redirected to new URLs. I might as well direct the links, from my side, to point to the new URLs. These are not critical items though, so I will wait until I have finished upgrade the HTML and page design for the Links to Elsewhere pages before I update site names and links.

The final phase will be to find and add more links. Some of my link categories were decimated by the removal of dead or bad links. At least three whole category pages had all their links removed. Gotta fix that, or remove those categories.

It may take a few more days before the Links to Elsewhere pages are finished, but work has been started.

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
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#4
Update: I decided to hold-off on the redesigning of the Links to Elsewhere pages, for a few days. Instead, I started work on upgrading the HTML, from XHTML to HTML5, for the main Mini-Verse² pages. Once this is done, then I will use the upgraded Mini-Verse² HTML pages as templates for the new Links to Elsewhere pages.
 
The book I am reading, to learn the latest on HTML5 and CSS3 is, "HTML5 & CSS3 For The Real World." by Alexis Goldstein, Louis Lazaris, and Estelle Weyl Copyright © 2015 SitePoint Pty. Ltd.
 
I do like this book, but it could use a heck of a lot more examples, and sometimes, a bit more in-depth information about some items mentioned, but nor fully explained. The book also relies a lot on linking to other sites (I have the Kindle version of the Book, so that is not a big problem for me) for more information, rather than cover the material themselves. For people who have the paper version of this book, I would image this over-reliance on links to other sources would be rather frustrating.
 
Still, "HTML5 & CSS3 For The Real World" is a very informative book. I think it was worth the price I paid for it, and I am finding it useful. This book is definitely NOT for beginners though. It does not walk your through making web pages, not in a consistent or useful way, anyway. You are given a site, and material to analyze, but this book assumes that you know what you are doing and that you do not need help to figure it all out and put it together yourself. This is okay for me, because I do know enough about HTML and CSS to figure these things out on my own. Wink
 
There are much better books for beginners out there, like, "HTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide," by Elizabeth Castro and Bruce Hyslop. I have not read the last few versions of her books, but the few I do have (all written when she was the sole author of the books) were all very helpful, back when I needed more help understanding the material than I do now. Her books tend to be filled with many examples of how to do things. Very useful for beginners.
 
Well, time to get back to work. Just thought I would pop in and leave an update about how things are progressing, and tell you a little about the resources I use, or have used in the past, for my HTML and CSS work.
 
MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
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#5
The mini-verse.com site has now been upgraded from XHTML, to HTML5.

I am not done with the mini-verse.com pages, yet, but I now have the base design in place, ready to be built on to add more content. I am now ready to get started upgrading the Links to Elsewhere pages.

In other, related, news:

The new pages look more consistent between my PC, tablet, and smartphone than they did before, too. Although the use of HTML5 may have something to do with that, I believe that I have to give at some credit for for the more consistent look and feel of my new pages to the "normalize.css," that I now use in addition to my own custom styles. What normalize.css does is compensate for a variety of different web browser default settings, and gives me a default point to work from that makes my styles look more consistent in more web browsers, even in the lowly tablet and smartphone mini-browsers.

Normalize.css helped to resolve some issues I was having between different web browsers. While some browsers would display my pages just fine, other browsers (especially the Silk browser) would, invariably, display some of my page elements out of alignment. The normalize.css took care of that for me.

I did have to rework some of my own page styles, after implementing the normalize.css, which is loaded before my own custom CSS page loads, but it was worth the time and effort to adjust my styles to work with the new "normalized" style settings. The benefits were very noticeable, to me. Even the Kindle Fire HDX 7's Silk browser displayed the new mini-verse.com pages better with these new style settings.

For those interested, and into building their own web pages, you can find normalize.css at:

http://necolas.github.io/normalize.css/


MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
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#6
I am still fiddling around with the new design for the mini-verse.com site. I may need to remove the "normalize.css" style sheet though. I do see how it helps, in some cases, but I have also found that it hinders some of my design choices. Mucking some things up, is how I feel about it at the moment.

I decided to try an alternate version of my new pages without the normalize style sheet, to see if I can get alternate pages to overcome a couple of design obstacles I ran into. Of course, removing the normalize style sheet will mean that I have to rework some page elements that now rely, in part, on the normalized style settings. Icon_rolleyes

I may just analyze the normalize style sheet and see if I can keep using those elements that do help, and adjust those parts that work against me. In fact, I may try editing the normalize style sheet first, to see if I can get it to work better for me than it does now.

I have looked through the normalize.css page a time or two, and see that some of the tricks in that style sheet are not new to me. I use, or have used, some of those style settings before. I may just take what I need and dump the rest.

I will tackle that after lunch. If that does not work out well enough, then I will go for the alternate pages, without the normalize.css styles to see if I can get those pages to work better.

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
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#7
Good then. I did not have to dump the normalize.css style sheet (it does help with the Windows Phone Internet Explorer browser). I did find a way to fix the issues I was having, in my style sheet, to work better with the normalize style sheet.

However, there does not seem to be a way to fix things to perfection for the Amazon.com Kindle Silk web browsers, which I believe, is among the web's absolute worst modern web browsers.

"Web standards? What are those?" Something you might hear from whoever the heck makes the Silk web browser.

Actually, the Silk browser is better than nothing, but it sure could be better, and in fact, I think it was better before a few updates ago. It was never perfect, but I think it was better than it is now.

Anyway, rant over.

I spent most of the day fighting to get things smoothed out, and polished. I did solve some issues, and refined yesterday's work a bit more. I feel that I am now ready to finish work on the Links to Elsewhere pages, tomorrow. I thought I was going to finish that today, but I had to take care of those mini-verse.com design issues first.

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
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#8
Okay, all of the Links to Elsewhere pages have now been upgraded to HTML5, and the new mini-verse.com design (which has also been adjusted some over the last couple days).

Over the next few days, I will search for new links to add to the Link to Elsewhere pages, to replace all the links I had to remove recently. I do not want to spend a lot of time looking for new links right now, but I feel that I should at least find a few, especially for those link pages that now have no links.

I have decided to look into doing at least one more project for the mini-verse.com pages before I shift back to work at macjr.com. There should be at least one small set of art pages added to the Mini-Verse² before I set it aside again.

I have not decided just what art pages I will build, or re-create, but I will pick something in the next day or two. I am thinking, right now, that I may post a couple of new (or at least never posted online) artworks, and maybe a few updated old art pieces. I would like to get at least a few of my better works back online.

It feels good to be getting all this work done. My sites had been neglected for so long, and now, I am finally breathing life back into them. There is still much work to do, but at least things are moving along now.

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
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#9
Going through old backups, I discovered that my very first web page was not titled, MACJR’S Mini-Verse². On May 30, 1997, my very first, single page website, that I had upload to the World Wide Web, was simply title, “A MACJR Sample”.
 
All that first page had was one sample of my work, the background image, titled Galaxy 03, which is a 640x480 blow-up version of the small Galazy 3 image that is currently displayed near the top of every page of the new MACJR’S Mini-Verse² site, and near the bottom on the Forums’ index page.
 
The very next day, May 31, 1997, I change my first site’s name to, “MACJR’S Computer Art” and added one more page to the site. That first site would quickly grow after that though. By June 16, 1997, it was up to 14 pages, and still growing. Making web pages was a lot simpler back in those days. Now, making web pages is a complex dance between HTML and CSS (plus JavaScript, PHP, and whatnot, for more advanced pages) that takes far more time to compose.
 
It was not until about July 05, 1997 that the title of my first website was changed to MACJR’S Mini-Verse². Unfortunately, I do not know the exact date that my first site’s name changed to MACJR’S Mini-Verse². I only have proof that the site’s name had changed by July 08, 1997 (the file date is July 08, but the page that HTML file loads is dated July 05).
 
I clearly did not save copies of every change that I made to my site back then. There are often big time-gaps in my archives for site backups. Back then, hard drive space was at a premium, and there were never enough floppy disks around to backup everything. It is possible, tough, that I do have backups on floppy disk for dates that I do not have archived on CD or DVD. One day, I may have to dig out my boxes and boxes (and still more boxes) of old floppy disks and go through them all. That would take a lot of time though, so I will not be doing that right now.
 
I do plan to pull out as many of the old Update Notes, from the available site backups, from those early days online, and post them at the new Mini-Verse² site (even though reading some of my old words tend to make me cringe inside when I read them).
 
My next projects, for the new Mini-Verse² site are to restore some of my old art pages, add a few samples of my more current art projects, and get at least some of those old Update Notes added to new Update Notes pages.
 
Although the history of MACJR’S Mini-Verse² goes all the way back to May 30, 1997 (with one name, or another), most of the early Update Notes were either dumped, or merged in with the macjr.com web site, back in June of 2000, after I bought macjr.com and then merged the Mini-Verse² site into macjr.com as a set of gallery pages.
 
Since the Update Notes history located at macjr.com are now very much the history of macjr.com, I feel that it would not be right to move, or copy, that history to the new Mini-Verse² site. Thus, I am starting new Update Notes pages, that will have new, and very old, site update notes.
 
I have another small update for the new Mini-Verse² almost ready, but it may be tomorrow before I upload it. I am going to try to get off the computer a little earlier today, to give my lungs a break. I need to water and rotate the plants in my indoor mini-jungles (4 of them) today anyway.

It sure will be nice when the tree pollen levels drop down a bit. I have enough of a problem dealing with computer fumes, that also cause breathing issues for me, when I am exposed to them for too long, for too many days in a row. I really do not need added causes of breathing problems in my life, thank you.

I am not letting these breathing issues stop my work though. It may slow me down a little, but work continues.  Wink

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
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#10
That small update, I posted about yesterday, is still a work in progress. Although some of the update is ready to post now, the section still under construction is holding things up. Since the updated pages, and the new pages, all link together in one way or another, I have to wait until they are all ready before I upload the site update.

The holdup, specifically, is that I am still digging out old Update Notes from the archives of my earliest web pages, to add to my new pages. It is a long, tedious, process, but I am making progress.

Another factor that is slowing me down, is that my early pages were less structured than my modern pages (they are more than a bit messy, actually). Although I am still learning better ways to write and design web pages, even after all these years, it is clear, after looking back at those first pages, that my web page making skills have come a very long way since 1997.

My writing skills have also improved quite a bit over the years, though they too could use more work.  Wink

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
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#11
I am still working on the mini-verse.com site, but work was slowed down over the last few days. I had to take care of a few things, but it looks like I can get back to work today.
 
A couple of days ago, I left off with a small site update almost ready to post to mini-verse.com. If all goes well, I may post that small update later today, but I would rather make sure it is ready to post, rather than post it too soon. If, after I look things over, and I feel that it is ready, I will post it. However, if I feel that more work is needed before I post this update, it may take a few more days before I upload this update.
 
This update, as I said, will only be a small one. There are some visible changes, but mostly, this update is just a preparation step for the next three site updates. At least two of the upcoming updates will be sets of gallery pages, each with at least a few samples of my art.
 
Before I return to work at macjr.com, I do plan to add at least one small gallery of old art, and at least one small gallery of new art, to mini-verse.com.
 
MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
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#12
I did upload that small update today. It was more or less ready, I just needed to do a few more small detail works, and it was done.

Now, I start work on the next, bigger, site update.  Wink

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
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#13
After a pause of about a year and a half, I finally started working on the mini-verse.com web site again, on November 17, 2017.

On November 27, 2017, I uploaded a refurbished version of the 2005 version of MACJR'S Mini-Verse² into the newly created website "Archives."

On December 11, 2017, I uploaded a revised and expanded version of my old Bio Page. The original version can be found in the 2005 Archives pages. The new version can be found by clicking the new "BIO" button on the mini-verse.com home page.

I also added in some supporting pages, like a Terms of Use page, for my art and other content that people might want to use, and a Privacy Policy page, which is just a long winded way to say, "I am not about snooping on you, my visitors, or selling you out to the sharks that make money by buying and selling people's personal information and online activities." I value my privacy, and am not interested in invading yours.

I am not done yet. There is more coming.

First, there is a set of new Bio Pages coming. The Bio Page, that I uploaded yesterday, is the “Abbreviated version," that will be kept as an alternative page for those who do not want to wade through the more comprehensive set of Bio pages to come.

Second, now that I finally have the supporting pages in place, and the structure and design of this new version of the Miniverse more or less set, the next step, after I finish the new extended Bio Pages, is to start work on the first new gallery pages. The gallery pages will have art, poetry, and prose, both new and old. Some of my better older works, and some new art, poetry, and prose as well.

MACJR
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
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