March 2004 in the Life of Ben (Blog)

  1. January
  2. February
  3. March
  4. April
  5. May
  6. June
  7. July
  8. August
  9. September
  10. October
  11. November
  12. December

All Projects Suspended (again) (28th March 2004)

Because of my parents, I am unable to do any computer stuff. You can read about it here. One day I shall be vindicated, though. Maybe. If you have got a spare room, I can cook my own meals, am generally house-trained and desperate to live somewhere that is not here! c{X¬o

Other Mechanical Overhauls (17th March 2004)

I have decided to remove everything from the site which was creating new windows so that people can choose whether or not they use a new window instead, making the site more user-friendly. I have also been making the pages 100% compatible with W3C standards and have added the relevant badges to the pages which have tested successfully.

Testing Revised Interface for News (17th March 2004)

Due to forced absence #3 still being in effect, I have had time to design and develop ideas for making my site more usable. The result of these ideas has been a development on the current multi-page news system where there is a portal from which you can access all the articles, but the articles only have a link to return you back to the portal.

Whilst testing this I have found it easier to use than the drop-down list. By applying it to all areas of the site I will dramatically reduce the amount of information I need to duplicate when I add a new section or add a new set of articles to a section. In the distant future (perhaps 2005) I am considering moving to PHP but for now this new interface idea seems to work pretty well.

If you are registered at you can voice your thoughts on the new system in this thread.

Forced Absence #3 (14th March 2004)

My parents have silently instigated Forced Absence #3 on me. Follow the link to read the topic about it. All projects are frozen and I am to be considered as totally offline. Do not expect me to be doing anything to the site, to the dozen projects, or adding to the stunt batches. Or anything else, really.

Joran (d8cam) can do his video with what I have already got uploaded, I will not be able to do any more.

Projects List Updated (12th March 2004)

I think that my idea to add a projects list to the Blog is going to prove invaluable to me. It is only been going for less than two weeks but already its full compliment of links and the prioritisation has really been helping me keep track of everything.

Jordan (d8cam) Stunt Submissions (12th March 2004)

I managed to contact Jordan about the new Community Stunt Video today. He said that a couple of my first batch of stunts had gotten in. However, he has the video almost how he wants it so if I am to have my second batch of more extreme and varied vehicle stunts included I will be hard pressed as there are several stunts for the second batch that I have not got replays of uploaded yet.

(Stunt Batch #1 | Stunt Batch #2)

Current Absences (12th March 2004)

I have not been able to get online for the past few days. I am writing this after snatching a few hours during which I made the new GTAForums Writers' Awards voting thread, checked up on modifying projects and updated parts of the site. Unsure whether I will be able to get on over the weekend, so things might remain rather slack for a few more days. c{8¬(

New Stunts (5th March 2004)

During the odd break from being buried in HTML, CSS or some other unpleasant activity I have managed to complete some totally new vehicle stunts. These include a perfectly vertical barrell roll, complete backflips using stairs and walls as well as some new locations where the packer can be used. I am developing these new stunts primarily for the new community stunt video being put together by Jordan Liles, also known as D8cam.

Site Revisions (5th March 2004)

Today I have switched from the points system of setting font size to the percentage system. This now allows users to change the way the page looks via their browser settings. In addition to this, I gave the CSS a full revision after discovering that I could use classes which tied in with the HTML elements at a more basic level. I also made a couple of small style and colour tweaks to some areas of the site during this.

Forum Skinning Progress (1st March 2004)

My skins inspired by GrandTheftAuto and the London 1969 add-on have been going very well. I have got some some excellent preliminary results for their efficiency and the more elemental table setup makes the pages generated much more flexible to suit even the most congested of desktop spaces.

I finished the final mechanical revisions today (I hope) so this week I will spend removing all the indentation to reduce filesize. Due to the manner in which Invision pieces together the HTML from templates which are dynamically filled with data via PHP routines, reducing filesize means the pages take less time for the server CPU to process, less time for the end user to download and less time for the browser the end users has to render the page.

Josh (also known as Rufus) has also allowed me free reign on a forum he had set up so that I can make public distributable versions of these two skins.

New System for Organising Projects (1st March 2004)

Today I have added a new section to the Blog listing all the projects I am currently engaged in and indicating their general priority. This system means I can now keep track of everything I need to be doing by looking in one public place. By being public this allows everyone to see how busy I am and also gives me an extra obligation to complete the things I add to it. c{:-)