As much as I wanted to, I just couldn’t seem to get it together enough to post regularly here. And if you were one of the secret members of my audience who were still following me, I’d like to thank you for checking in on this site every now and then.
But this is not the end of my blogging. I’ve started up a new blog based on typo, which provides me with many features out of the box. I got started using Typo because of this contest, which I’m participating in (wish me luck), and I guess the work I’ve been putting into my submissions kind of made me a convert to the platform.
So, if you want to keep reading about my thoughts on building and managing web sites, please point your browsers here:
I’m not planning on taking this site down anytime soon, but if I do have to, I’ll move over some of my favourite posts so that you’ll still see the content.
Thank you very much for visiting me here. I hope to see you at the new virtual home soon!
Now that I think on it, I’m sure I wrote some articles between May and September last year. For example, I wrote a pair of articles (and published it) on The Great Eye Experiment (1, 2, which detailed my idea about wearing contacts strong enough for reading text off a screen, and wearing glasses for distance work. But they’re not here, and I can’t find them anywhere on my system.
Checks ah-hah! Hey, Nerad! Announcements of my demise are somewhat premature... by about 5 months. But now that you tricked me into writing twice in one day, the clock is officially reset.
I just discovered that I was publishing off a backup, not the original. And I found the original too. That’s why you’re seeing a flurry of articles.
And, to make this post even more random-seeming than ever, I leave you with this observation: I’m the owner of Mac OS X Tiger, and I’ve been typing my posts in TextEdit. Something really interesting is happening here --there’s support for ligatures! Check it out: look at the characters fl and fi.
Checks some more... ah. That ligatures thing? Only on Tiger. If you don’t have it, you can’t see it. It seems that OS X 10.4 automatically replaces fl and fi with their ligature equivalent. That is still very cool, and extra points to setting it up to downgrade nicely (although I’m sure they never took this into consideration as a use case when implementing it).
That Nerad... holding me accountable for not writing! That does it! I’m just going to have to bring you up to speed on my doings.
One year?? Boy the time went fast. Before I tell you what happened, let me first apologize for not writing. Will I write more often? Probably. But it might not be here. So let me explain.
I thought I wrote about this, but I can’t find it anywhere. Strange. Let’s see. Almost a year ago, I lost my job working for an incredible communications company. I chose to view this as an opportunity to start up my own business building web applications and HTML templates. It’s been a very good year so far, but the hours are very, very long.
Along the way, I learned about Ruby on Rails, then learned it. I’ve recently finished my first Rails-based website, and as of this time, it hasn’t yet launched, but it will soon. While I haven’t (yet) seen the wild productivity enhancements other people claim (like 10x shorter development time), it is fast, and I can already see that I’m doing the work of 3 people. The biggest hurdle for me was the ramp-up time. I didn’t get the right ah-hah moment when building with this until about 1/2 way through my client’s web site, at which point things clicked, and I was whipping through the features at an incredible rate.
The biggest problem with this project is the documentation — there’s too much of it, and it’s written for people who already know what they need to look for. This situation is gradually changing, and it seems that the easiest way to ramp up on Rails is to do 2-3 tutorials that are offered.
So, on the horizon, there’s a Rails day contest coming up, and I’m looking to enter it. There seems to be lots of prizes being offered, and that’s really cool. But I’m not in it for the prizes. I just want to have fun and see what kind of rabbit I can pull out of my hat. Maybe the idea I’ve got for my application would be different enough to attract notice. I sure hope so.
Now, I mentioned earlier that I might not write much more on this blog. Please emphasize the word might. I really don’t know what I want to do yet, but I was thinking that it would be nice to host my blog at roberthahn.ca. Yes, that’s my business site. That will mean that I’ll have to think carefully about what I write. Maybe. Maybe I’ll just set up a blog.roberthahn.ca site and continue to write like I always have. Did I mention I don’t know what I want to do yet?
I do know one thing. Building a business is hard work, and does an excellent job of taking focus away from writing. I fully expect that over the next year, things will settle down a bit, and I can extend my focus back to writing. I just don’t know when.
Abstract Games: 2
Reputation Systems: 1
Kid Tales: 12
Mac OSX: 2
Social Software: 3
I have a friend who would periodically send out “Fabulous Adventures” email to a bunch of us at once, which is his way of catching us up on his latest doings. The meme kinda stuck with me, so I’m going to come back from the dark to do a Robert Hahn’s Fabulous Adventures story.
Why has this blog been dark? Not for lack of trying, let me tell you. I have been extremely busy, both at work and at home. My big at-home project was to build my sister’s bookstore web site. The place is called Upper Case Books, you should check it out and send Kristen a nice note. She’ll be happier if you see her new digs, and believe you me, it is well worth visiting. She’ll be even happier if you buy a book from her. So, as I said before the site is mostly done; I just have some CMS bugs to iron out there.
The other big news was that I was also really busy at work until two weeks ago, when I was laid off. Yep. I was stunned at the news too. However, I bounced back quickly and saw this as an excellent opportunity to break out and start my own contracting/consulting business. This has been a dream of mine for a very long time, and while it’s earlier than I’m comfortable with, seeing that I have two kids under 4, and a stay-at-home wife (yes, we’re a single-income family, and it’s something we’re rather proud of!). But nothing happens by accident, and all timing is perfect timing. Just you wait and see. I have good vibes about this.
The parting of ways was very amicable. I have it from two people there that I’m going to be the first person they’ll call if there’s any overflow work, and they’re making good on that claim already. But I’ll need more clients, and I bet at least one of you readers might be, or have connections to someone I should be having a conversation with right now. Without further ado:
Introducing my new website: roberthahn.ca. Please visit it and see what kind of work I’m pretty good at. Then contact me so that we can get started on that project you’ve been wanting to get done.
I haven’t decided whether I’ll move this blog over to the new domain name yet. If you care one way or the other, please let me know. Your input may well decide the issue for me.
Special thanks go to all friends and family who came to my aid during this time of transition. Because of my friends, I have some free web hosting, a deal on my high-speed hookup (I’ve been on dial-up for the past 3 years), some WiFi equipment for my home office, some leads, and some good business/accounting advice. Thanks also go to my previous employer, Quarry Integrated Communications who has been very supportive when I was employed, and even now. I make no boast when I say that I have made some raving-fan customers while I was there, but I can also say with no reservations that I’m a raving-fan of Quarry.
I was just going through my access logs when I saw a request for an article in RSS format. Unsurprisingly (to me, anyway) that request 404’ed.
I only have two RSS feeds set up under /rhahn that you can subscribe to. This one is for my Inspired by Integration site, and this one is for the Handbook for Primitive Living web site that I’m helping to build with a friend of mine.
If you have a special request for a particular article feed, or you would like the ability to view all articles in RSS, please contact me and we’ll discuss.
At any rate, while I have your attention, I’d like to take a moment to thank you for reading these posts. I’m always willing to hear what you have to say, so please feel free to drop me a line.
Update: An alert reader with a newsreader was kind enough to point out that my rss feed consisted of links to non-existent rss feeds instead of html. The fix was really simple, fortunately. To those subscribed, I do apologize for the inconvenience.
I have just spent a few days changing the rendering engine from Tiki to Kwiki and Smartypants. I didn’t want to, really, because I had helped Tim debug some of his engine, and he was always polite and prompt in our dialogue, but the more I worked with Tiki, the more I felt that there had to be a better way.
What Kwiki and Smartypants bought me was a clean separation of easy markup (Kwiki) and smart character encoding (Smartypants). Kwiki and Tiki also had extremely similar markup styles, and I found it really easy to modify Kwiki to provide me with any markup that I needed.
With that said, and despite my best efforts, I’m sure you’ll come across some weird artifacts of the transition. If you would be so kind, please bring any oddities to my attention, and I’ll try to fix it.
If you have been expecting regular content from me, then I really must apologize. Almost a month ago, I moved to a new house in a different town 30mins away from the old one. It’s beautiful, and the experience with the builders has been exemplary. Right after the move, I came down with a horrible cough (yeah, that’s right... play the tiny fiddle) that lasted a month (and isn’t done yet... sigh), and have been fighting it. I’ve been looking after my beautiful kids, unpacking, and doing some general settling down.
Moving is stressful. I really enjoy the fact that I moved here, and I love the house, but it’s still stressful. Don’t underestimate that if you’re going to move, ok? I mean it. Really.
I regret the necessity, but I’d like to point out the following:
Should you see any reference to any company, product, or service on these pages, please understand that these names may officially have trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks after their name. If the particulars are important to you, please Google for this information. It is freely available, after all.
If you should happen to catch any factual errors, or feel it necessary to point out that I should refer to a product with a slightly different sequence of words, then a polite letter would endear me to honour your request a lot better than a barked command. Please remember that I’m maintaining this site for the love of it, not for profit, and I think we’ll get along just fine.
 for example, I once worked for a company who had Microsoft Canada as a client, and learned that if I had to refer to a product, I wouldn’t say “Windows”, but “the Microsoft® Windows® Operating System” for a first reference, followed by “the Windows Operating System” in later references on the same page. Many companies have a trademark policy document that describe the appropriate and inappropriate references to their products, so that any corporate communications is standardized. This is simply good business sense. And to the point that prompted this long footnote, this is the kind of change I’d be willing to make on request if it mattered.
I just moved the contents of the archives, all logos and the “In This Site” menu to a separate page. Not sure if this triggers a refresh of the RSS streams, as I’m not in the habit of subscribing to my own site.
Sorry for the inconvenience, folks.