Yes, I know I gave my blog a face-lift not long ago, but I quickly grew tired of it and felt it just didn’t reflect who I was.  So here is a completely new design, completely my own work and totally different to anything I’ve done before.  I’ve used a picture of a Fender Stratacoustic, which is what my own guitar is, and used a funky green colour scheme.  It’s actually been quite a challenge, design-wise, since it’s so different from anything I’ve designed in the past, so at the moment I’m reasonably pleased with it.  That said, if you’ve got any opinions on the new design, do feel free to leave a comment!

I’ve also changed the functionality of the blog slightly.  For a start, you’ll notice that not all of the post is displayed on the main blog page – if you’re reading this then you’ll have already realised that!  The reason for this is mostly to do with the narrow column used to display recent posts; if the whole post is displayed, the page is rather excessively long, so reducing it down to a short introduction streamlines things a little.

You’ll also notice that there are different categories listed top left, where I hope to make posts slightly more organised, grouping posts together depending on their content.  And since I upgraded to WordPress 2.0.4 recently the back end is might nicer to use too.

In completely different news, I was looking today at some of Google’s latest offerings to the world of web.  The Google Calendar looks very stylish, in keeping with the rest of Google’s web applications, and does pretty much everything you’d expect from a calendar program.  In fact, it’s very similar in many ways to Apple’s iCal program, with the added advantage of being online – you can view your calendar from anywhere in the world, share it with other specified, even make it publically viewable.  Google’s Spreadsheet and Writely (word processor) web applications look impressive too.  In fact, it seems that Google is quickly taking over the internet in almost every direction.  Thankfully, unlike companies like Microsoft, I think I would approve of that sort of monopoly – Google are not money-hungry and tend to be at the forefront of technology wherever possible, which is always a good thing!

Categories: Technology


Phill · 11 October 2006 at 4:07 pm

The new design looks good. But the text is really small and quite difficult to read (the main blog text, that is). Also, I’m not sure about the link hover colour / style – the background is quite dark, and with the links going a dark red as well I’m not 100% sure about it. Other than that, looks good 🙂

As for Google Calendar – I use it myself, and it’s neat (to borrow an Americanism). Also Google Reader (which has just had an overhaul, with some cool new features). They’re definitely really useful, and well-built applications!

Having said that, I’m not sure if you can class Google as not being money-hungry… they’ve just bought YouTube for $1.6billion – they must be expecting to recoup that money somehow 😉 They also do rather dubious ethical things such as bowing to oppressive regimes (giving in to pressure from China…).

As they say, absolute power corrupts absolutely!

Matthew · 11 October 2006 at 4:19 pm

Thanks for the comments Phill. I’ve made some subtle adjustments in light of what you said, though obviously I’m not sat in front of your computer to see how it looks for you! With the link hover colour, I’ve actually lightened the colour instead of darkening it, since the contrast is slightly more pleasing to the eye. I’ve also increased the tracking on the main text so it’s a little easier to read.

Like I said, it’s a new design approach for me, so no doubt it’ll need some more tweaking yet before it’s perfected!

Dad · 11 October 2006 at 5:36 pm

Yes, uuh… like the new green blog. Although I do think you should get out more! The main blog text is not easy to read, mainly because of the minimal contrast between the white text and green background. In my experience, large amounts of text are easier to read when placed on a white (or light coloured) background. Maybe try a dark green text on a pale green background.
Beware, Google is taking over the world. Pretty soon they’ll be providing your electricity and running our trains.

Matthew · 11 October 2006 at 6:55 pm

Ok, I’ve bowed to the pressure and changed the text colour. Seems other people didn’t find the white text as easy to read as me!! It’s a shame, because I think I personally preferred the white text; there’s an optical illusion going on where the white text appears to be coming out of the page while the black text is going in, almost like it’s cut out of the background. Or maybe that’s just me. I just don’t think the text stands out as much any more, the design as a whole doesn’t look as lively, it’s all too dark. Anyway, it’s black for now, or at least a shade of black, and it’s all down to you blog-readers!

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