I just posted a bit of an self-reflective video on my Youtube channel discussing my vision for the channel and this blog, and arguing that even a slow solver can be a solid and relevant contributor to the community:
The rough script is below. Continue reading
Welcome to the newly designed Adventures in Cubing! Goodbye, old cluttered site….
It is ironic, I suppose, that I spent so little time designing the last site — given that I’ve developed probably a dozen other sites, all with painstaking forethought, planning, and attention to detail. By contrast, I assembled the original AIC slapdash in about an hour. Tempered by self-consciousness and certain that the blog would die on the vine, my goal was to keep it wordpress.com-hosted (so much easier than self-hosting), avoid jquery/php/html editing (modifying only CSS via the Custom Design add-on), and put as little time into it as possible (about 90 minutes). So, I loaded up the Spectrum theme, played around with the CSS, and called it a day.
That was about 14 months ago. Now that the blog has matured and I am more certain of its future, I wanted to develop a more polished and refined site. For me, that means a far more minimal and clean design language. I think I’ve accomplished that here, with a customized version of the free Twenty Twelve theme. The full-width header is simple, with its bold color and now-front-and-center logo. The integrated search box with the image-sprited magnifying glass submit button took a fair bit of work, given that I had only CSS with which to work. Some negative margins did the trick, but they do break the blog in Explorer. (Oh well…. I’m done developing for users browsing with hoary technology.) The understated sidebar distracts less from the more important post content, while keeping sprited icons for the Minutiae section.
In the name of posterity and in the spirit of contrast, here’s a reminder of what the old site looked like (click to enlarge):
While there’s still a lot of fine sanding left, I’m pleased with the basic structure. I don’t think the default theme handles comment links very well, plopping them awkwardly at the top of posts without any thoughtful integration. Without the ability to get at the html/php structure, I can’t extract just the comment number (to place in a subtle speech bubble or megaphone or the like). For now, I’ve opted to hide (
display:none) the links. The post footers need some refining still, too. It might be time, finally, to drop Feliks’ video; for now, I dropped it to the bottom of the sidebar. I’m also exploring different link colors (I surprised myself by liking red hovering to gray) and whether I want to underline them in their normal or hover states. And there’s a bunch of old per-post styling I had shortsightedly done that I now want to pull into the stylesheet.
All in due time….
OK. So, maybe I’m not the archivist I claim to be. This whole notion of cataloging everything sort of died on the vine — as I became more focused on my knowledge and understanding of the cube, rather than my times solving it or collection of hardware. On balance, I prefer what came of this blog. Either way, this post is somewhat stale now.
I’m an archivist by nature. I like collecting things, sorting them, tracking them, seeing them change and grow. I believe in elaborate backup systems and in preserving all the digital information I can (photos, videos, emails, college and even high school papers, etc.). A six terabyte NAS at home, mirrored to one at my office, stands as proof.
I enjoy sifting through data. I should have been a scientist or analyst or the like. Anything but a lawyer.
I also have a strange affection for Google. They seem to get it right more often than other companies. Google is to the internet what Apple is to hardware.
So, when I started cubing six months ago, I missed no opportunity to record, track, and preserve as much info as I could. That is, in a nutshell, this blog’s raison d’être. From the beginning, I kept two Google spreadsheets for myself — one tracking my personal best solve times and the other tracking my feverishly expanding cube/puzzle collection. I added a third when I started to learn more OLLs and PLLs. Last week while running (when I seem to do my best thinking), it suddenly occurred to me that I should publish those spreadsheets and embed them here in this blog. Why not?
You’ll notice in the sidebar to the right a new “personal stats” section that is in dire need of rebranding. It links to pages embedding the aforementioned spreadsheets. (Nav sprites, in case you’re wondering.) Continue reading