New Theme

As you can see, I’ve put up a new theme on my blog. I think it’s better than the previous design, which had been described as “a little eyebleedy.”

It’s a bit bland at the moment, but I’m planning to play around with the colors to liven things up.

Update: Holy crap, ask and ye shall receive. I asked Laeren (see brand-spankin’-new blogroll) for some color advice on the new layout, and she went nuts tearing my CSS a new div hole. Thank so much, it looks great.

It’s very close to what I was hoping to do on my own… once I got past the fact that I have so little color sense I can barely match clothes.

If you’re curious about how the unmodified version looks, you can see the original here by clicking on the dropdown and selecting “GimpStyle.”

Updated update: If you’re still seeing the blue and white theme, do a hard refresh by pressing Ctrl+F5. This will work in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Netscape. I don’t know about Opera and Safari. Anyone using those mutant browsers is on their own.

On Writing

As a bit of an aside from the two stories I’ve posted here recently–I want to make something clear.

First off, I have no illusions about the quality of my writing. I know it’s nothing special, and I’m fine with that. What I’ve posted here are the equivalents of an artist’s doodle, minor things scrawled in margins.

I know I’m not a great writer, and I don’t aspire to be. I’m not looking to be the next Faulkner, or Hemingway, or (god forbid) Shakespeare. Nothing I write will ever be studied in a literature class or change anyone’s life.

If I can be a one-off Stephen King or Chuck Palahniuk, I would be thrilled. If I can publish a single novel–the sort of thing you read in two lazy vacation days, then never think about again–I’ll be very satisfied.

That’s not really so much to hope for, is it?

DS Browser

I’m typing this (slowly) on my DS. I bought the DS Browser today, and I have to say that it’s not bad.

There are problems; small screen, difficult text entry, slow rendering… all things you’d expect from a device that wasn’t designed with a browser in mind. The wifi transfer speeds seem unusually slow as well.

With image downloads disabled, download and render times dwindle into the acceptable range. With the daily-increasing number of text-only sites designed for wireless devices, this shouldn’t pose a serious problem. However, if you think you’re going to do any serious browsing, forget it. Digg, Engadget, or Fark would take forever to load. And, of course, there’s no tabbed browsing. You get one window and that’s it.

The browser offers two modes. Overview renders the entire page in miniature on the top screen and allows you to scroll around a zoomed-in version using the stylus. SSR (small screen rendering) mode renders the web page in a single column of text and images. I’ve found that reading BBC news and The Onion in SSR mode works quite well.

I’d say the DS Browser was worth the $30. It’s a decent system that allows me to essentially use my DS as a very tiny, very limited laptop. Overall, I’d say it’s a few steps up from trying to browse the web on a cell phone, and a few steps down from a dedicated device like a Blackberry.*

*I’m guessing on the Blackberry statement. I’ve never actually laid hands on one.