So I thought I’d take a moment to give an update to the sites that I’ve been working on. The good news first? Or the bad news? Okay, the good news. Well, I finished the hosting site I was working on, nowse hosting, I really shouldn’t say that it’s done in the complete, I’ll never mess with it, kind of sense. I still need to put in a shopping cart for purchases. I held off because I don’t have a permanent address right now and all the payment processors require and address. Besides, if I’m being real, I’m sick of working on it.

The bad news? The other day I was taking a break from the hosting site and decided that I’d finish this site. I wrote a post about fixing some of the problem I had with it. Well, I fixed everything that I could tell was wrong and uploaded the finalized pages. All good until you go to the blog. It’s all jacked up. I spent about six hours trying to fix it and no luck. There’s a conflict between the css in my regular site and the blog. I kind of know what’s wrong, but I’m not really sure how to fix it. I was trying to be clever yesterday and find some work around, but I think I’m going to have to dive in and redo the blog’s template. The thought of it just makes me cringe. It will be probably a two or three day job.

Back to the good news. The hosting site is based on the same designs that I’ve been doing for the last few years. Big header, responsive design, and kind of big. This time though I decided to use illustrations instead of photos for much of the design and I’m really liking it. It’s the first time I’ve done it and I’m kind of proud of myself. The illustrations are child-like and fun, but I think that they work.

If you’ve got the time and want to give me some advice on the design, or anything else, the actual address is, http://www.nowse-hosting.com One thing that I’m starting not like is my use of shadows in some of the cards. I’ll leave it for now though. I’m so burned out on it that I don’t think I could sit for another hour.

The site I worked on this weekend. Seeing it like this, I don’t know if I like it.

The last few days I’ve been spending most of my time on a new design for one of my hosting companies. I’ve probably worked all of Saturday and most of Sunday on it. This morning I decided that I was totally burned out on it so I had the great idea to try and fix this site.

If you view this site with a screen bigger than a smart phone there is a chance that you didn’t even know that there was a problem with it. The real issues are on smaller screens like phones. Since I only look at my site with a screen of a laptop the problem never really bothered me. I knew that they were there, but if I don’t see it, is there really a problem? :)

So yeah, I decided to try and fix the layout. Just to give you an idea of the problems that I was going to fix..

  1. Put a background color on the drop down menu at break point
  2. Fix the sizing of the videos so they flow better with the size of the window
  3. Change the break point text to fit with resized screens.
  4. Fix generic sizing issues.

So now that you have a basic idea of what I was trying to do. I did fix some of the problems, but crap, it was tough. When I built this site it was my first try working only with divs and using Bootstrap. Since I was learning as I went along, I tended to “Frankenstein” the site together. I remember struggling to figure things out, and I also remember thinking that I did an okay job. The truth though is something a little different.

I had used about three css files when I should have only used one. Trying to fix the problems I have to go through about 8,000 lines of code. I mean, I do have ways to make the process a little bit faster than just reading code, but if I’d built the site the correct way and only used one css, I probably would have had it fixed by now. As it stands now, I’m about a quarter way done on just the home page, some of the fixes I did today will fix some of the problems in the other pages. There is also a possibility that some of the things I did will cause problems on those pages too.

I didn’t upload the page yet, so the problems I’m talking about are still there. If you’re interested in what I’m talking about show up when you make your screen smaller. So that’s my day with the site. I did work on my book too, but only for a few hours.

kenneth curtis Art and TechnologySo where do I begin? I don’t really have a lot to talk about, but it’s been a week since I added to the blog, and if I want the site to be listed in popular search engines, the content has to change. I’ve never been sure how much change is needed, but more than once a week I’m sure. Oh well, what can you do if you’ve got several sites to work on? I guess write about nothing at least once a week. :)

KennethCurtis.com is coming along fairly well. There are a lot of things that I like about it, but then there are some things that I think need to be changed, but it’ll be a while before I get around to it. I’ve been trying to decide who I want to interview for the site next. I have kind of decided that I’ll hopefully get one interview about every three weeks. I’ve just got too much on my plate right now.

The list I’m currently doing now, in no particular order:

    • Started my new book two days ago
    • I’ve got a video that I’ve started editing
    • I’m taking online class to learn php and Mysql
    • Friend asked me to develop a site for him
    • Trashed my hosting company site and started the redesign
    • Checking and sending out applications for job
    • Started an app last week… kind of put it on hold though
    • I’ve been pushing myself to learn motion graphics

All of these things are time consuming, for example, doing a site usually takes me about 40 hours to get it done and checked. The problem I’m having is that I’m pushing myself to do different things and to learn something that I feel I need to know. The new site, nowse-hosting.com is going to have a shopping cart. I haven’t done one in years and years. I’m also going to try and design directly from wordpress and bypass my normal framework. Earlier this afternoon I opened up the site and started to work on it. I think it only took me about a minute to realize that I’m out of my element not using Bootstrap. WP is completely different to work with (for the record, bootstrap is coding in html and css and WP uses some of that, but also has automated hooks).

Another example is each chapter I do on the programming class takes about 30 minutes. There are an average of about 8 chapters in each segment, and there are 21 segments… doing the math, 4 hours per chapter and a total of 84 hours. Actually that’s not that bad, but then there are times when I don’t quite understand and I have to redo some of them. I’m starting to understand sql better. The other day I was able to create, populate, and query a database with just some small problems.

Then there are all the problems or hitches I get into with just working on the computer. I think it was Monday I spent the whole day trying to update my software and in the end I went back to the old stuff, and the next day updated again and it worked fine. A whole day wasted for nothing, One of the biggest pains happened later last week. I decided that I wanted to create an app for kennethcurtis.com. I found an application that will help me create it, and downloaded it. Turned out that I needed to update my OS to use the app. As I mentioned I eventually was able to update so I could run the app. Then the app required xcode to be able to test the app. I downloaded and installed it, and was doing okay. Then I went to use one of my favorite programs and it wouldn’t work. It turned that xcode broke some of my programs. So I don’t have a real way to test my app that I’ve been building.

I know that this post is turning out to be more of a whine than anything, but it is kind of cathartic to write about it.

 

So today was not bad day as days go. I got up early and headed to the grocery store about 4 miles away. If you know me and you’re aware of my situation, you know that I don’t have a car, so when I say I went to the store four miles away, I mean I walked eight miles plus or minus a few tenths. All good I like the exercise.

When I got home I jumped into the list of things that I have that I need to do. More like the list of things that I need to learn. About two days ago I sat down and decided to list everything that I’ve been trying to do since I got back to the US. The list is pretty long, maybe about 9 items. To give you an idea, things like, start my book, start video on Malaysia, spend at least one hour learning php, you know, that kind of thing. I was surprised that the list was so long though. I don’t think that there is anyway that given the amount of hours in the day, and the need to kind of unwind some after completing each item, I seem to get lucky doing about 5 or 6 off the list.

Anyway, I’m sitting in my motel room and trying to decide if the day is over and I can go watch some tv. It’s after 5pm, so technically I think it would be okay. I think I’d feel guilty though if I called it a night. Maybe I’ll take a break and come back to it in an hour or two. I really am burned out right now.

That’s all for now. I just wanted to release the inner me to everyone who’s reading, which if the current stats are correct, that is about no one, zero people. :)

So the other site is up and running. As I mentioned in the last post it was almost done. The same can be said now, it’s basically done except for shaking it down for errors and finding areas that I need to refine. I’ve found a few but for now I’m not sure how bad they actually are. I’m going to hang back and see if they’re actually problems or not.

The first actual interview is up. I asked an old friend if I could interview him for the site and he graciously said yes. I’ve never actually done an interview before, so the process was kind of messy. In fact it was difficult on all levels, from asking the questions to formatting the post. It seemed that everything was harder.

The interview is up and you can read it at www.kennethcurtis.com. Greg Senn is a metal worker and ceramicist, and professor working in New Mexico. I’ve known him for about twenty years and I thought it would be best to start with someone who would be forgiving if I stumbled a little. He was great and answered the questions I posed as well a wrote a little himself. Thanks Greg!

The last couple of weeks I’ve been watching php programming videos. I’ve been kind of programming with php for years, but I’ve never formally took any courses. So I decided that it was time to actually learn. Damn, it’s hard to remember. The best way to describe how difficult it is, is to use the examples that others have said. It is a language, maybe not a spoken language like German or Mandarin, but learning it has got some of the same issues. Syntax and placement of items matter, just like masculine and feminine attributes in some languages. I’m muddling through it, but it’s not easy.

Come visit my new site, kennethcurtis‘ art and technology

So I think I’m done with my new site. That is kind of a misleading statement because although I may be done with much of the coding and layout, the hard part is yet to come. I will be spending the next few weeks populating the site with data. Then I’ll be able to call it done… again still a little misleading. I’ll never be technically done with it, since I’ll have to update it regularly.

If you’re in the mood to check it out, it’s https://www.kennethcurtis.com. The idea behind the site is somewhat difficult to articulate, but stick with me here. The site is technically for artists. I plan to incorporate information for all types, from sculptors and painters to web designers and emerging media. If it’s a form of art, I want to include it. The other part is that it is for technology and how it affects the creative process for the artists that come to the site. Basically, technology to help the artist, but it could be technology as art too. That’s where it starts to get a little confusing to explain. So, why not head over and maybe take a look around. If you’re in the mood maybe join in.