New Theme, New URL

Instead of designing a new theme from scratch I just went with the off the shelf Easel WordPress theme.  It suits my needs and I don't want to spend a lot of time worrying about form over function.  I have also migrated this blog to the domain michaelridley.info as I think that's better personal branding.  I've had secretelite.com forever and I don't plan to get rid of it, as I use it for other things, but it's not the best choice as far as associating a web presence with my offline identity.  I think I have also fixed the problem with the Twitter integration.  And I updated my bio and picture since it hadn't been updated in about 6 years.  Now it's time for bed.

Redesign Critically Needed

I'm not sure if I ever liked this web site layout.  I don't think so.  I'm pretty sure this was just an interim design that I never finished.  Anyway it's pretty horrible at this point so it's time for a redesign.  I think I'm also going to migrate to a different domain that makes more sense for personal branding as well.  Now I just have to learn Photoshop real quick so I can mock up a new layout.  How hard can that be.....

Poor Neglected Web Site

I just noticed two things. First, my Twitter integration seems to have stopped working as I'm sure I've tweeted since August of 2010. Second, I have completely neglected this web site and haven't posted in ages.

Life has been very busy with starting a new job back in August. I'm doing a lot of distributed computing software development in Java which is really interesting but also really time consuming. Back in December I received my Cloudera Certified Hadoop Developer certification and am currently studying to take the Sun Certified Java Programmer certification exam.

Despite being super busy, I've been trying to stay on top of the tech scene by downloading video podcasts and watching them on my Apple TV. The technology works but finding the time sometimes doesn't.

Community College Libraries

As I have mentioned on here, I have been taking a few classes at the local community college.  One of the unexpected benefits of being enrolled as a student is that I have access to the community college library.  The physical library itself is fine, but what's really cool is that I have online access from home to all manner of databases, full text news articles, academic journals, even LexisNexis.


To subscribe to all of these services individually would be far more than the cost of taking a single class.  It's a great benefit even though I don't really have the time or inclination to do much independent research.  Maybe I'll start?

Trying out MarsEdit

Last week I wrote that I was trying out MacJournal as an authoring tool.  While I liked MacJournal for offline private journaling, it didn't really work for updating this site.  I've downloaded MarsEdit version 3.0.3 to see if it fits my needs better.  So far it does.


The MarsEdit screen is automatically divided into a top and bottom section to compose items before and after the "cut".  It reminds me of years ago when I used the Clarify CRM software which had a top/bottom split window for public and internal case comments.  It's a good design.


I haven't figured out a way to embed YouTube videos using the rich text editor but I can switch to the HTML edit view to post an embed tag.  I'd like a little more native support for such a popular video sharing support, but I can live with it.


MarsEdit does have good support for posting draft versions, categories, and tags.  I think it will work well for me as an offline composer.