Gallery 3 Installed

After more than seven years using Gallery 2 on my website, I finally migrated to Gallery 3 this weekend. Now that the product has matured, converting my database of nearly 10,000 images went without a hitch. The only real work was adapting a theme to fit my aesthetic preferences. Shaping it to fit "my vision" was a bit of a hassle as gallery three has a more complicated structure, but it was entirely doable. The upgrade should make browsing my photos faster and slightly easier, but the new backend was my main motivation for upgrading.

On the downside, I've broken hundreds of external links and lost years worth of search engine caching. My brief attempt at .htaccess redirection was unsuccessful. To offset the loss, I took the opportunity to move things around and improve the URL naming, so I should see more favorable results after Google and company crawl through the new gallery. I have also made mention of the upgrade on my 404 page so any motivated visitors will still be able to find what they're looking for the gallery's own search function.


2011 VAIO Wallpapers

This year's series of desktop wallpapers released with the new lineup of Sony VAIO computers is now online. I hadn't seen them pop up elsewhere on the internet so I again enlisted the help of members at the Notebook Review Forum and got a quick response. I would still like to get the special "Extraction of VAIO Design" content from My VAIO Gold Pass but I have not found it avaliable freely online yet.


Mr. B's Domain Version 9 Launched

This latest iteration of Mr. B's Domain comes two years after the last redesign. Unlike the last few major updates, this one was not spurned by any specific goals. I just wanted to make something new. In the process I did accomplish a few things. I made another attempt at a light background website, more successfully this time around. I learned some new tricks like CSS sprites and I have incorporated some backend upgrades into the work. WordPress has been installed for future operation of "The Log."


VAIO 2009 Wallpapers

I took on a second job recently, but I did find time to update the VAIO wallpaper collection this week. I managed to find the VAIO 2009 wallpapers online and they now top the page. I also found some new product wallpapers on Sony's Malaysia and Taiwan websites thanks to a NotebookReview.com member. There are now 390 desktop wallpapers in the collection. I am not expecting any significant updates to be necessary for a while but I will be keeping my eyes open.


August VAIO Update

I just completed another update to the VAIO wallpaper page. I had a couple items waiting since the last additions a few weeks ago. Earlier today, I found the most recent Sony Originals posted on the Notebook Review forums and was compelled to get them on my website quickly. As they are relatively new I elected to place them at the top of the page.

In addition to the "new" stuff I have also uploaded some older items including the wallpapers from Sony Japan's Type E debut and some more 5th Anniversary material.


VAIO Update

I completed a substantial update to the VAIO wallpaper page this evening. 36 new wallpapers have been added and I categorized some items as simple alphabetical order no longer appears sufficient. I also updated the page three weeks ago with 21 additions. Both updates bring the total to 175 separate items. Prior to the most recent update, I spent an embarrassing amount of time scouring the net looking for "new" material, namely wallpapers yet undiscovered by myself.

Along with the items recently posted I also learned of the existence of dozens of items which I was not able to actually find available for download. I find that it would be much easier to keep the VAIO wallpaper stocked with new material if I could read Japanese. Having recently acquired another VAIO notebook, an old C1M series, I have a somewhat renewed interest and I will keep poking around in my free time.


Maintenance

With summer here I have the free time to fiddle with the website. Over the past few summers, I have had renewed interest in redesigning Mr. B's Domain. Unfortunately I simply haven't thought of anything better yet. Rather than a complete makeover I have contented myself with minor tweaks. A few weeks ago I merged the FAQ and contact pages. I upgraded the software that powers my photo gallery and daily log this week, largely out of necessity for security fixes. I also made one visible change, a search function for the daily log. I've wanted this for my own convenience for years and the recent upgrade has finally made it easy.

I hope to give the website a new look this summer along with some other online pursuits. Thanks to CSS and PHP, should inspiration strike, a facelift should not be terribly painful.


Housekeeping

I upgraded the software that runs my log, Fusion News. The latest version is several months old now. I'm not often motivated up change such things since they already work and upgrades tend to break things, as they did in this case. The upgrade script jumbled the entry index file but I was able to update the file formatting manually by creating a macro in Word. Although there are no visible changes, the log software code is now valid XHTML, which is nice. In addition to the upgrade, I also did some unremarkable housekeeping on a few other pages of the website like updating the links page.


CR Series Desktops Added

The most recent addition to the Vaio wallpapers page are the desktop backgrounds included with the upcoming CR Series laptops. They come in five different colors, each with its own themed background. I am still looking for the "Champagne" version, however. Also included with this update is yet another "Aqua Breeze" desktop and additional resolutions for the "long battery life" wallpaper.


C Series Desktops Added

I just added the Vaio wallpapers from the C series desktops to the Vaio wallpapers page. They were unavaliable at the time of the last update.


New Vaio Wallpapers

For the first time in over a year, I have made additions to the Vaio wallpapers page. There are twelve new desktops and additional resolutions available for existing wallpapers. Although I have not been updating the page regularly, I am still committed to having the best Vaio wallpaper collection on the internet. However, I still have no intention of hosting unofficial wallpapers or the calendar-branded desktops that Sony releases every month. Such desktops are available at Sony's official website and the Unofficial Club VAIO Blog.


MrBsDomain.com

After nearly five years, I finally have a domain name for my personal website. I registered MrBsDomain.com a couple of months ago, but was unable to use it right away because I needed to upgrade and renew my hosting account to have two domains, an expense I wasn't willing to take on at the time. I decided to go ahead and get it done today because my account was nearly out of disk space. I wanted to update the Vaio wallpapers page this afternoon and didn't have the room, so I ate the cost today. This most recent update only adds one new Sony Vaio desktop, "Dragon." Most of the additions were adding more resolutions to existing wallpapers, all of which I found at Vaio Online Korea.


New Sony VAIO Desktops

I made 22 additions to the Vaio wallpapers page today. Most of the new ones are publicity photographs of Vaio laptops, including the U and QR series. Erik from Sony TR World provided me with the desktops included on the X505 series laptop. I have never seen these posted anywhere else. There are now 90 vaio desktops hosted.


Realignment

Over the last few months, I was feeling a need to redesign my website, although as yet I've had no inspiration or ideas worth carrying to fruition. I needed this article at A List Apart to remind me I didn't need to completely redo my website to improve it. With that in mind, I have reformatted the content pages to better the website.

This latest update corrects what I only recently perceived as a significant flaw to my website: wasted space. Previously, page descriptions and other secondary information was in a sidebar on the right. These are always short however so the remaining length was going unused, a matter of particular circumstance with a fixed-width site.


Gallery 2 Installed

The photo gallery software was recently upgraded to Gallery 2. It's been in development for a couple of years and I've been looking forward to it like so many others. I installed it about a week ago with no trouble but I have been altering the appearance since to integrate it into the website, both by learning the new themeing system on my own and with the help of the forums.


Look Ma! No Tables... almost

After working with the website for about a week, I have converted the website to a DIV based layout and eliminated almost every table on the website. There are a few that remain in the desktop section. The quote container on the home page is still a table as well because I have not yet been able to replicate the effect using DIVs without needing a fixed-width container. Aside from just being a nice little learning experience, the XHTML code now looks alot cleaner and there's less of it to have to look at. In total, 48 kilobytes was shaved off of 27 content pages.


Style-sheet Switcher Fully Functional... Finally

After an embarrassing number of hours, I finally have the style sheet selector working like I want. Previously I was using a some Javascript but with the help of this A List Apart article and some forum threads, the style sheet chooser now works site-wide with just a few lines of PHP.


Additions to VAIO Wallpaper Page

I recently completed a large addition to the Vaio desktops page. The page size has almost doubled with the addition of 26 wallpapers. I added a couple abstract and product desktops, as well as the vector art vaio wallpapers from Tom's Island.


Sony VAIO Wallpaper Page Added

I recently made the first circumstantial content addition to the site recently. I received a Sony Vaio laptop for Christmas and I took an interest in Vaio wallpapers released by Sony. They seem to be more than somewhat hard to find so I added a page to the site with what I think is a nice assortment of them. You can find them here in the desktop section of the site.


Gallery Upgraded to v1.4.3-pl1

I know this is the first new site news since v7 was released, I guess I don't update things much aside from the log. Anyway, I just upgraded Gallery to version 1.4.3-pl1. It was a pleasantly smooth process. It's added a few features, both on the admin and viewer end, and now all the links open in the same window. Browsing my gallery had been rather cumbersome with all the new browser windows. I'll be adding photos more often as photography becomes a bigger hobby for me.


Mr. B's Domain v7 Opens

Yet again, I have redesigned Mr. B's Domain. While Version Seven may not be my most original work, it has been as good a learning experience as any of my websites. I regret that v7 turned out to be a pretty haphazard operation, unlike my previous website which was quickly designed and constructed. For the first time, I have a website with valid XHTML. As a result, Mr. B's Domain works rather well with most browsers. I am also experimenting with multiple stylesheets, enabling visitors to choose a preferred color scheme. The only significant content addition for v7 is the photo gallery, where I have deposited a wide variety of images. Photography is a new and emerging hobby for me, so now I have a place to put my stuff.

There were a few things that I didn't do in the new version for one reason or another. I wanted to convert to a tableless layout, but my lack of experience with the DIV element and apparent hassle deterred me. Version Eight will include that along with more content, possibly valid XHTML 1.0 Strict, and maybe even an interface with some originality. In any event, it will be some time before I even have the slightest idea what I'll do next.


Mr. B's Domain v6 - LCARS.blue

Once again, I have redesigned Mr. B's Domain. This is the fourth incarnation. I decided to give LCARS another try. I saw a blue LCARS screen in a trailer for Star Trek Nemesis. Since blue is a pretty safe color for websites, and I already had a blue site on which to draw inspiration, I made this. Technically, I think it turned out rather well. With each passing version, my hand-coding gets better. I'm still working towards that "Valid HTML" goal, but I'm not expecting to grab hold of the sky anytime soon. This was easily the best planned site I've ever done. Although I always scribble some things on paper, this was the first time I went out of my way to make some half descent drawings. It was a lot easier making the site with a definite blueprint. In spite of all that, v6 didn't turn out as great as I'd hoped. Finding a good color scheme was quite hard and I don't think I succeeded.