Inane Whittering #12

So, long time, no post.

In my defence, at the beginning of October I was signed off of work for 3 weeks due to wrist problems. The assumed culprit was Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Several doctor’s appointments, a course of electric shocks to test the nerves, an x-ray and ultrasound scans later, I finally know what’s wrong.

The Neurologist I saw had no idea what was up and simply said “Kind, die Nerven gehen nicht kaputt.” Naja, I could have told you that after having had electric currents run through them. The Orthopaedic specialist yesterday was far more amusing to deal with. After pushing and pulling my back about and remarking “Sie haben wirklich breiten Schultern – kräftig. Sie können auch ein Bissel mehr essen, aber außerdem ist alles in Ordnung.” (You have really broad shoulders – strong ones. You could also do with eating a bit more, but apart from that, everything’s fine), he decided to send me for an x-ray.

As per usual, it couldn’t be something straightforward. Oh, no – that would make things too easy. I have what’s called Ulna Minus, where the ulna (or die Elle, auf deutsch) in the wrist is too short. This results in a weaker, more flexible joint. The ultrasound then explained the mysterious pains and pins and needles I’ve been having. Ganglions are benign cysts or tumours and it turns out that I have some growing inbetween the nerves in my hand. And ridiculously low blood pressure doesn’t help either – at the time of the ultrasound, I had no radial pulse, which was a bit awkward.

So now I know that more corners were obviously cut when I was built in the factory, I can happily return to work and strengthen my wrists – the only real treatment option. (It’s also the reason why I’ve rekindled my knitting obsession – I last remember knitting when I was 6, so prepare for the ensuing hilarity and blog posts)

Which brings me back to why I’m writing this – computermabob people, I be needing your sage advice again.

I’ve been tasked with redesigning the website. That’s it. Re-structure it and generally make it more accessible. Oh, and somehow fit all the info on one screen without losing content and generally removing the need for scrolling.

Mission impossible? Bring it.

So, after having done some googling and referring back to documentation I remember using last year in Computers and Languages (see, Martin? I was paying attention) I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to build something vaguely tablet-friendly i.e. something with a form of horizontal scrolling. The beta version of the BBC website (only available for UK IP addresses, but I saw it whilst back in Blighty for a lightning-quick visit) was the inspiration, as is GMail’s slick new look, which works wonderfully on my little netbook.

My problem is once again the CMS – I’m supposed to be moving the entire site over to Typo3, which certainly gives me more freedom than our current CMS (there’s even an HTML view! /geekout) I need to work out if I can use javascript – if not, then I’m stuck.

Anyhow, my question is if anyone could recommend anything – I’m already looking at the tab widget that jQuery offers, but then came across this combination of CSS and Mootools which results in a horizontally sliding “follow the mouse” effect.

So, oh Wise Ones, what say ye?
Yay, nay or something inbetween?


Inane Whittering #6


First version of my home page for the project

FINALLY, after weeks of muttering offensive remarks at my poor computer, sulking, comfort eating and generally bemoaning my inability to sort out my layout with regards to the navigation bar and text boxes, I’VE DONE IT.

I’ve even managed to get it to change to pink when you hover over it. Check me and my skillz out.

Yes, there was a need for capitals. You’ve no idea how happy I am. I’m almost as happy as that time when I discovered a new gateway to Narnia.

Gateway to Narnia
You'll never guess what's in here.

Chrono-Syntactic Infandibulum Link #4

So I came home from class today feeling rather overwhelmed after it dawned on me that the amount of work that I have left to do just isn’t funny. I’ve started re-writing the content of one of the first pages and decided to try and use HotPotatoes to create a little interactive exercise. I then discover that this creates a separate page – which isn’t what I wanted – and there are a few other little gripey things about it too, which mean that I can’t do what I want with the silly program. So, I moved on to looking at EXE, an equivalent, but has the same issue of creating an entirely seperate page.

Raccoon sticking his tongue out.
Take that, you stupid programs.

Being unable to get my head around this I turned to another problem: the layout of my pages.

Now, I originally intended to use the one CSS sheet for all my pages – that way I make one change and it’s applied everywhere. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Except the way that I want things to appear on my page is in boxes (because of the way I wrote my navbar – bear in mind I’ve written this all from scratch in Notepad without any web editors at all) and because of the way in which you style and position those boxes, it suddenly occurred to me that every darn page is going to look exactly the same. I don’t know about you, but I get bored real quick when everything looks the same.

So whilst I was stroking something furry in an attempt to calm down and wondering how I was going to find a way round this lovely mess, I thought about what the technical guys at work do for the website there – they have a masterpage. This should mean that I can have the same navbar, header and styling etc, but I pick and choose the content in the middle and somehow telepathically tell the computer to suck on that and bung it all together.

I then realise that the site for work is written in ASPX. So I’m now sitting in front of my laptop trying to wrap my head around ASP.NET frameworks and Visual Basic to somehow translate (oh, how ironic) what I already have into what I want it to be.

On the bright side, I’ve found this tutorial which is really helpful for those who know sod all (just like yours truly) about it.

I think I’ll tackle the other problem later. :|

Oooh, random fact:

Did you know that if you look at the printed Hebrew script, each character can be derived from the Magen David (Star of David)? Now there’s something I bet you didn’t know.

Part one of how the Hebrew Alefbet can be derived from the Star of David
(Reads right to left)

Part 2 of how the Hebrew Alefbet can be derived from the Star of David
Part 3 of how the Hebrew Alefbet can be derived from the Star of David

I bet that’s made your day, too.

I have a cunning and masterful plan..

It involves a teapot, a shaved gorilla, a sponge and a badger.

That is all.

Oh, and before I forget, I’ve spent the entire afternoon working on my website and teaching myself bits of CSS, only to discover late this evening that all versions of Internet Exploxer below version 9 don’t support the one particular feature I have spent the entire day working on.

Manky git.

Ooh, look: a raccoon.

Definite case of tail envy, methinks. Oh, to be tailed.