March 7, 2008 Newsletter
It’s been a while since I sent out a newsletter. Work has been keeping me away from my website more and more. But I figured that I ought to make a comment or two, especially since the number of emails I have yet to reply to grows day by day.
Jenny and I moved into a new home in February. It’s a bungalow style home built in 1920. While most people seem to look for new homes, we were looking for a place that felt like it belongs in the countryside or in the mountains of Colorado. I’ll post a photo of it as soon as I dust off the camera and the weather lets up.
I am indebted to the help of friends who helped move. Most of all I need to thank Mike and Julie Schirtzinger for putting in a week of late nights helping move. My cousin Chris Himes also helped generously.
Projects in which I am currently involved include:
- Learning to program in ActionScript. Several months ago I made an XML output feature for Webonizer that allows webmasters to use Webonizer as a backend but present their sites in any fashion via Flash (or any other potential environment that accepts XML). To utilize that feature, I have been learning to design sites in Flash and Flex.
- Continual work for Stewart Granville’s villa advertising sites. 95% of my computer time is devoted to maintaining and updating his sites. Stewart recently re-released a website called Last Minute Vacation Homes which is a world-wide website modeled after his highly successful Florida-based site called Last Minute Villas. One of the projects I am doing for Stewart includes making an interactive Flash-based interface for these two sites.
- A few months ago I helped Corbin Law integrate their design ideas into their Webonizer-backed website at corbinlaw.com. That website is one of the first Webonizer sites to break free from the default Webonizer presentation.
- With the help of Andrew Penry, I converted Webonizer to PHP 5 in the last few months. The updates include some major architectural changes; the latest version of Webonizer now runs only on servers that have PHP 5 and MySQL 5. We have not yet released the installer for Webonizer 2. The new installer will be available in March or May.
- I have not yet had time to finish the Hidden: Source map that I promised to release last year. But I have started learning how to create Models in 3D applications such as Blender and 3D Studio Max to import into maps designed in Valve’s Hammer Editor. That will help improve the quality of the design in my mapping.
My friends have kept fairly active too. John Dalmas has been posting new essays and articles on politics, philosophy, science fiction and other topics regularly at JohnDalmas.com. Also, Andrew Penry has started working on a website devoted to the game Battlefield 2142.
Well that is it for this time. Until next time… stay creative.