January 2012 Update

It's hard to believe that it's been almost a decade since I began working on the current version of this web site! Visually, nothing much has changed: I'm still using the same basic layout with the brown header, the dark yellow index on the left side, and the body pages with the pale yellow background. I am still using the same style sheet, the same navigation, and the same sections (though I've added one in February of 2011, Rants, for Opinions, convictions, biases, beliefs...). In the last few months, however, I have been forced to make a couple of changes that have been rather time-consuming to implement:

1. Alternate Web Site

For the alternate web site, I chose to host it myself. It is now located at http://www.kiechle.com/alternate. The many links on this site that pointed to the alternate site were all updated, and hopefully none were missed. The most difficult page (with some 400 links that needed updating) was the one describing the blog, but there were many others. Hosting the alternate site in my own web space definitely keeps it safe and should be transparent to any visitor. Be aware, however, that any old bookmarks that you may have created will have to be changed. Here is a quick list of the main links:

Sadly, some features of the alternate site will not work in the new environment. For example, the search function in the Blog is no longer available, and it is no longer possible to subscribe to be notified of content changes. This is not really a big deal as the alternate site will evolve minimally at best. What is worse is that all comments made by visitors have been irrevocably lost because there is no way I could transfer those.

2. Galleries

The galleries, which I have named "Third Eye Captures" are now located at http://photos.kiechle.com (note that there is no "www" in this URL!). It is also possible to type "Third Eye Captures" into a Google search field and the galleries should come out on top, or at least near the top of the results. By default, accessing the main URL produces a slide show of a subset of all photos (choose an option from the main menu to exit the slide show), but it is possible to navigate directly to individual sections:

The new gallery pages are actually quite a bit more sophisticated than the older ones in that they allow the creation of collections (i.e., groups of images culled from several galleries) and groups (i.e., containers, or folders, that can accommodate multiple galleries). A nifty feature available throughout the pages allows viewing the contents of any gallery or collection as a slide show. I typically upload gallery images in fairly high resolution (up to 3600 x 2400 pixels); they are automatically scaled down to the current display size so that the presentation should be optimal.

I have not moved every single gallery; some of them will thus disappear. If someone complains loudly enough about a missing gallery, I'll recreate it (I obviously have all the photos). Navigating the galleries should not present any particular problem; indeed, it should be a great deal more convenient now. Please note that a few galleries are not available to the public; thank you for your understanding. If you feel you should have access, send me a quick email.

3. Other changes

Ten years ago, I was very much concerned with minimizing the size of these pages; this translated into just a few relatively small thumbnails per page and medium-sized, heavily compressed images. These days, dial-up is practically a thing of the past, and so the pages have been getting much larger. At the time of writing (January 2012), typical thumbnails are 390 x 260 pixels, images 1500 x 1000 pixels, and the quality setting (which determines the compression rate) an eight or nine. The difference is especially telling when viewing some of our older pages which have not been updated and won't be.

July 2012 Update

The introduction of the Macintosh MacBook Pro with Retina display prompted me to make further changes. Starting with the pages published in June 2012, all thumbnails are stored in a size of 780x520 pixels, though they are still displayed at 390x260 pixels. On an Apple Retina display, this yields a substantially better viewing quality. If you do have a Mac equipped with a Retina display, you can take a look at this page to see what I mean. For the same reason, I changed the website icon to a higher resolution one and got rid of all the bit-mapped page titles and headers (in the brown strip on top of every page). They have all been replaced by actual text that scales beautifully and therefore looks great on ulta-high resolution displays. Finally, I have updated all pages published in 2012 to have Retina-ready thumbnails, and I may do some more in the future. Any page that has been modified in this fashion will show optimized for Retina display at the bottom, between the page's URL and the copyright notice. In addition, such pages will be flagged with an asterisk in the section indices.





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