I usually refresh the design around here by the end of year, and this one comes with some big news, and a little tweak. So, the big news, for the first time in over 10 years, MacManX.com has a logo! Sure, I had a favicon ever since this site started, but it was really just a scaled version of what my header image was when I started out. It was old, low-res, and irrelevant today, which brings me to the new logo, courtesy of friend and co-worker José Marques. The new logo incorporates my favorite shades of blue, along with two M’s and an X (MMX = MacManX), plus it kind of looks like a falcon, and it’s totally awesome.
The small tweak was to the fonts. After being on very slow wi-fi last month, I realized that web fonts are actually kind of lame. If you’re on a slow connection, you sit there looking at a site completely devoid of content while the fonts are downloaded on demand. They look beautiful, and there’s really something to be said about finding the perfect font for your site out of thousands, but the functional tradeoff just isn’t worth it, plus there are some sketchy things to be said about Google Fonts. I went with the Arial family, a font family which is installed by default on over 95% of desktop and mobile devices, and I’d like to give a special shout out to CSS Font Stack for making that choice easy.
I’m very happy with Sorbet, so nothing else has changed. The site should load quicker now without the web fonts (except Genericons, which I’m keeping, because it’s still lighter than using images for the icons), and there’s a great new logo to tie everything together. A huge thanks again to José Marques for the logo, and to friends and colleagues Kathryn Presner and Richard Spees, for always being there to help out when styles misbehave!
Sarah’s first professionally produced album, Soul of the Machine, was released last week! This was indeed one heck of a ride with professional orchestras and chamber groups all over the world recording some of her best compositions under the watchful gaze and mastering of Navona Records.
The album comes with full copies of the scores so you can follow along with the music, and can be purchased on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Classics Online. If you’re a fan of streaming music services, you can listen to the album on Spotify and Rdio too.
And, if you’re in the area on September 3rd at 6 PM, stop by Brave New World Comics for the official launch party!
It’s a new year, which means that it’s time for new things!
As part of my own “Eat Your Own Dog Food” initiative and WordPress.com’s Daily Post initiative, I have dusted the 3-year-old cobwebs off of my own WordPress.com blog to launch MacManX on Music, where I will be blogging at least once a week on the music that keeps me focused whenever I’m on duty as a Happiness Engineer.
Stay tuned to MacManX on Music for the first “official” post, which could appear as early as tomorrow!
Three years ago, I published Save The Environment for Free, a post detailing some of the novel ways that you can help save our environment without having to spend a dime. Today, I’d like to talk about water.
Many of us are used to simply going to the kitchen for a cool and refreshing drink of fresh clean water, but over 800 million people worldwide lack access to clean water, and over 3 million people die from water-related disease each year.
Various charities are collecting donations to provide wells and water filtration to communities in need, but Children’s Safe Drinking Water is taking a new approach by providing two ways for you to provide clean water for free.
If you’re on Facebook, visit PUR’s Daily Drop to donate 10 liters of clean water for the cost of nothing more than a few clicks. If you aren’t already on Facebook, this may be the perfect reason to join.
If you have an iPhone or Android-powered phone, get the CauseWorld app. You’ll gain an average 5 karmas for every store you log visiting. Once you’ve gained 100 karmas, you can cash them in to provide 50 days worth of clean water for a child. 50 days worth of clean water for every 20 stores that you visit is not a bad deal at all, and you aren’t obligated to spend anything more than the effort (and perhaps gas) that it takes to visit the stores.
Want to provide more than just a few liters of clean water per day? Please consider making donations to Children’s Safe Drinking Water, Water.org, and Charity: Water.
After much thought, I have finally removed all traces of www from MacManX.com. Why? Aesthetics, really. There’s really no reason to have www preceding your domain, an ever-increasing number of sites are beginning to turn away from it, and it saves four characters when linking to MacManX.com in a tweet.
Removing www from your domain in WordPress is as easy as removing it from the two URL values at Settings/General, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible and remove all traces of it. Since the overall process involved a few steps, I figured that I’d share it with you if you ever decided to do the same.
The following instructions are Mac-specific using the plain text editor Fraise, but they can be easily reinterpreted using any Windows or Linux-based plain text editor and FTP or SFTP client.
MacManX.com v2.0 is finally here thanks to a new theme courtesy of Joen Asmussen. A while ago, I began to realize that MacManX.com was suffering from the very same thing that I often criticize other websites for: link overload with a lack of focus on the content. I’m proud to report that sidebar links have now been reduced by over 90% and the content is clearer than ever.
If you’re curious about how much the look of MacManX.com has changed over the ages, check out the new MacManX.com Themes gallery.
Weblog Tools Collection, created by Mark Ghosh, has been the number one source of WordPress news for well over six years. Just two days ago, I applied to a newly open news editor position, and I am now trilled to announce that I was hired! In fact, my first post detailing WordPress’ impending requirements change has just been published! You can expect most of my WordPress-related posts to be published on Weblog Tools Collection from now on, while I continue to post about items of personal interest here.
Five years ago, I installed this WordPress blog in a subdirectory at macmanx.com/blog/, imagining that someday I would have some sort of fancy website at macmanx.com, and that this would be nothing more than just a blog. Since then, I have spent quite a bit of time turning this blog into more than “just a blog.” About two weeks ago, I finally made the decision to move this blog out of macmanx.com/blog/ and put it where it belongs, at macmanx.com. The process was relatively simple using just phpMyAdmin, a plain text editor, and an FTP or SFTP client. There were no problems during the overall process, but the cleanup took a bit longer than expected. For the benefit of everyone reading this, I’d like to share my process, the problems that I ran in to after the move, and how I eventually resolved them.
The following instructions are Mac-specific using the plain text editor Fraise and the FTP/SFTP client Cyberduck, but they can be easily reinterpreted using any Windows or Linux-based plain text editor and FTP or SFTP client.
After five years, I have finally given in and decided to move both this blog and Sarah’s to the root directory. That’s right, no more /blog/ and no more basic redirect in the root. Five years ago, we planned on having some well-developed sites that included the blog along the side, so we placed the blogs in the /blog/ directory and a simple redirect in the root there for the time being. What actually happened is that over those five years we wound up developing our blogs into the sites that we wanted in the first place, so I felt that it was time to give them the placement that they deserved.
Fortunately, modern redirects have evolved in such a way that you don’t need to do anything, unless you really want to change your bookmarks or resubscribe to the feed. Everything should be redirecting to the proper place. Unfortunately, not all subscription services will be able to redirect to the new feed, but I’m hoping that they will at least make some sort of notice regarding the problem so that you can re-subscribe to the new feed URL.
I’ll be posting a writeup of the whole move process in a few days, so If you notice anything wrong, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
For your convenience, please feel free to use the large buttons below to re-subscribe to the feed and/or re-bookmark the blog.
I would have announced this sooner, but Sarah beat me to the punch, so I thought I’d wait until the website was done. For the past few months I have been lucky enough to play flugelhorn, and most recently sing backup vocals, with the awesome Clan Dragonas! To paraphrase the About page, “Clan Dragonas embodies Rock music as it was originally envisioned: an emotive and spontaneous performance art. . . . a Dragonas show will leave you spellbound.”
Speaking of the About page, I just finished putting together our website, so I hope you enjoy it.
Our first official concert is just a few days away on June 2nd at 8pm in Skinny’s Lounge. We hope to see you there!