Category Archives: site

sites, themes, and screens

There are a couple of changes to be noted in regards to the site over the last couple of weeks:

  • Some may have noticed slow loading times within the last month. After some consultation with tech support, I’ve had the site moved to a new server. Load times are now much improved.
  • CGHM Nature has been revamped with a stylish new theme and a couple of new nature photos. Remember that it’s a good alternative to going outdoors in the centurial temperatures.

And now for the bad news: the right quarter of my Droid’s touchscreen is no longer responsive. The digitizer appears to be defunct, and as a result navigating the phone is a real hassle (as I knew would be the case when the winds started blowing in an all-touchscreen direction). As was the case with Inspy, a hardware failure has forced me to consider upgrading sooner than I’d anticipated.

http://www.motorola.com/Consumers/US-EN/Consumer-Product-and-Services/Mobile-Phones/DROID-3-by-MOTOROLA-US-ENNow there are dozens of nearly-identical high-end Android devices available, and I have serious designs on getting the Droid 3, or waiting and getting a Droid Bionic. There are numerous gripes with the Droid 3, including its lack of 4G, limited RAM, too much BLUR, and less-than-stellar screen, but most of those may end up being issues with the Bionic as well (except the 4G thing). I’ve really come to appreciate the physical keyboard when using various emulators, and the Droid 3’s keyboard is top-of-the-line.

It’s a shame to have to upgrade now, with a new Nexus due later this year and quad-core devices on the horizon. But there’s always something new on the horizon.

We’ll see.

frostmageddon

I awoke to a bedroom at 51 degrees Fahrenheit, with the power out and my window panes frosted through. Perhaps it’s a factor of geography, but I was unaware that the condensation on the inside of the window could freeze. The glass is thawed now, although the outside temperature is just below 20 degrees.

In the meantime, I’ve enjoyed two successive “snow days,” a delight I rarely, if ever, got to experience as a child. As fun as it is to have an unexpected vacation, being “snowed in” (by a total of zero inches of snow) can get dull fairly quickly. It is a reminder that there’s more to life than video games and technology.

On the topic of technology – Google showed off their latest Android version today without addressing “Google Music,” a long-rumored service that would allow users to, purportedly, upload their music to “the cloud” to stream wirelessly to their Android handsets/tablets. This would allow those with large libraries to avoid having to sync their music or just carry partial collections…and it’s something I’d love to see. Consider me disappointed that all we’ve gotten is a web-based Android Market (which is somewhat useful, I suppose). Surely the music service is coming soon…

Finally, I’ve spent quite some time the last few days looking at new themes for this site but coming off unsatisfied. The site may or may not get a new look in the near future, maybe. Or maybe not.

what happened to cghm?

What’s going on here? There’s an extra step to get to the website?

I know. The regulars will hate it – at least initially. But the new, lovely CGHM Home Page is actually a great idea. Let’s allow a friendly Q and A to tell us why.

Q: What’s the point?

A: First and foremost, it’s a celebration of the 10th anniversary of CGHM Networks. Yes, something needed to happen. Many things don’t survive ten years, especially not in the technology realm. Founded in February 2000, CGHM actually predates Facebook (2004) and Wikipedia (2001), even if it’s not quite as successful as those Internet behemoths. A nice visual home page is a great birthday present.

Q: Yeah, but what does it accomplish?

A: One could argue that information was more accessible before this change. I would argue that this actually improves access to what CGHM now has to offer. The truth is that it’s been years since CGHM was all about the individual websites and not focused on CGHM itself, namely the articles. This home page will highlight the different sections of the site and give more exposure to things that would go overlooked if only the most recent article was up there.

Just type in something to search for and prepare to be wowed. Or follow one of the big links on the left. Or wait for a recent article that sounds interesting to appear at the bottom.

Q: But why is this really happening?

A: It’s no conspiracy. But there’s some truth to the fact that I haven’t been able to keep up the pace of the articles, and probably won’t be able to in the future, so this will serve as a way of directing people to what already is here, rather than having them sit and wait for what is to come.

Those answers should suffice for most people, but if you’re really curious, there are more after the break.

Continue reading what happened to cghm?

searching justice

bing_cghm_09

You can all feel free to make Bing your default search provider now, if you so desire. The egregious error has been corrected.

This is just a follow-up to a previous discussion of Bing‘s main shortcoming: its inability to make cghm.org the number one result in a search for “cghm.” Well, Microsoft must have read the site because cghm.org is now the number one search result (fitting for a top-level domain). And just in time to celebrate, no less.

While on the topic of our site for a final time, I temporarily regained access to the forum (don’t bother – I closed it again) and sifted through all the crap that was piled in there…thousands of posts, actually, which was more impressive now than I realized at the time. And I found this gem, the thought of which brings a tear to my harvest-loving eye:

harvest_mooniac_first

in case you weren’t watching

you don't need the y-axisAll right, you say – so CGHM has been delivering random content for four years now, but what has it done for you lately?

  • It has kept Tards software silent. Many people would consider this to be beneficial for mankind. The best way to assure yourself that no new terrible programming has been unleashed on the world is to check here frequently, cautiously peeking through your fingers.
  • It has spawned a reading rainbow. The Magner’s Farm and Stock Book and Complete Instructor series is finally done after more than a year in production. All key points of the book have now been made available in digital form on the literature page. Just the other day I used my knowledge of farm law to argue down a disheveled vagrant I found claiming residence on my land. Also, diddlers beware.
  • It got rid of some old stuff. Sometimes it’s not what you add – it’s what you take away. Several old entries that consisted of nothing more than me complaining about ex-girlfriends and recanting sappy song lyrics have been removed to ensure that it’s just posts like these that get in your way from reading fascinating articles.
  • It’s Axminster. MacGyver’s outwitting of the moustached villain is nearly a parody of itself.
  • It has made you thinka lot.

So…it hasn’t done much, but not without good reason. Still, a new Battlefield update (and game), new Pete Yorn album, and a new Zune are always good food for discussion. Something must be going right, because more and more people are stopping by to get confused, offended, and/or bored (see accompanying figure above). The site has changed themes a few times and the nature gallery is updated randomly, so don’t expect stagnation. Just expect the best.

changing faces

cghm_lightword_themeCGHM has a new look, for the first time in a long time. It’s a breath of fresh air just in time for the autumn. I never did make an entry for the last theme the site used, breaking my trend of recording screenshots of the site at different times so that the different looks could be remembered, but it doesn’t really matter. Things I prefer about this theme over the last are its color palate, placement of text for the main article, and more efficient page file sizes. Parenthetically, for what it’s worth, the “modern” version of the site is only a couple of weeks away from its four-year anniversary.

For those curious, the picture in the header was taken by me while passing through Texas before a storm. This was at the conclusion of my visit with nature and shortly preceded the fitting end. A certain someone helped me choose which image to use and the font/placement for the site’s name on the header, so I owe her some credit.

Hopefully the literature page and nature gallery will be more easily accessible. Be sure to check those out if you haven’t yet bothered.

Don’t forget that if you don’t like the site’s theme, you can just view (or subscribe to) the site’s RSS feed so you get the recent content without all of the hassle of looking at something you hate.

feeling uninspired

News agencies have it so easy. Their entire business model consists of observing the fascinating (or boring) undertakings of others and distributing them with the corporation’s logo. Meanwhile, I sit here wracking my brain attempting to fabricate some clever or insightful premise for an article to draw in unsuspecting guests.

I could just talk about Ted Kennedy, or Bret Favre, or wildfires, or health care reform…or even Michael Jackson. But those things are dull, recycled, and over-emphasized. There are plenty of intriguing topics left unexamined, like penguin cross-breeding, quantum mechanics, dental impression materials, and feudal France. None of those are worthy of my time, however.

So I’ll just put up a picture instead, and hope to one day be struck by an arrow from the bow of the Creativity Cupid.

fail owned pwned picturessee more Fail Blog

seeking, not finding

I like Bing. The name isn’t amazing, but the site is beautiful and its features are handy. But ever since it debuted, it has done (at least) one thing wrong…CGHM. Searching for “cghm” on Microsoft’s new search engine yields 7,890 results.

cghm_winter_treeThe actual site is not turned up in the top findings. Individual articles are, but the results are hit or miss (for instance, searching “cghm axminster” does not find one of our most popular articles). Currently, the most recent article is on the first page of Bing’s results, and so is HMWorld, but that’s not good enough. Even searching for “cghm.org” does not work…unless quotation marks are included. Then the main page will turn up – it’s even #1, as it should be – but, again, it’s unacceptable to have to be so specific. Even the Center for Genetics in Health and Medicine cracks the first page of the “cghm” results.

There are no such problems when using Google, the de facto standard in web crawling. As much as I would like to use Bing regularly, until they give Compu-Global Hyper Meganet the respect it deserves, I simply cannot.

netless

Over the past week, I’ve had less than two days of reliable Internet access. The DSL Service seemed to sputter out and a replacement modem failed to solve the problem. After a lengthy chat with tech support, they decided that the brand-new replacement modem was defective in a different way. So we are receiving a third modem that will attempt, to the best of its ability, to solve the problem. In the meantime, we’re churning butter, tending the fields, and whistling “Dixie.” And occasionally we’ll watch ESPN.

Actually, there are several things you can do while your Internet is down. Some suggestions:

  • Create a sand sculpture.

sand_horse

  • Reorganize your network hub (no Internet required).

network

  • Build a fire pit.

fire pit

  • Attend a concert (more on this later).

coldplay_concert_yellow

  • Dethrone a dictator (I have yet to partake in this activity).

The best thing you can do when you have no Internet is to not panic; the world continues to exist, even though you cannot see it. Rest assured more updates are coming as I re-assimilate myself into the web.

close, but no cigar

Tards Software has delivered some powerhouse entertainment in the past, but they really let their guard down on this one. Instead of pressing forth and churning out what should have been an obvious game design, they rested on their laurels and allowed the competition to take the idea and run with it.

close_range_poster

Enter “Close Range,” an excellent FPS game with an imaginative story and some hardcore action. Those unfamiliar with the game or its premise should watch the news report on the game’s website, courtesy of The Onion. From The Onion’s report:

The plot follows A.J., a man with a mysterious past who must explode hundreds of thousands of human faces on a quest to save his kidnapped brother.

It really would have been a perfect game to include in a catalog already featuring such hits as the “ManBoyChildGuy” trilogy and “Moo Cow vs. Chickety DooDah: The Farm Chronicles.” For those who care less about lamenting Tards Inc.’s lack of initiative and more about shooting people in the head, “Close Range” is playable on the game’s website.