Blog Styling Update

It’s been over 6 years since I started this blog, and today I felt like it was time for a styling update. It’s not that anything is broken, rather, the internet is constantly evolving, so that a even a good website will inevitably become obsolete in 6 years.

To illustrate, here’s the old style, using the Contempt theme:

ss_old

The problem is over half of the screen space is taken up by the gray bars at the side. The content has a fixed width of 800px or so, which is great for the 1280×1024 displays that were common in 2010, but looks pretty terrible on the larger displays today.

At first, I tried to tweak the CSS for the theme, but you need to get a premium subscription on WordPress to change the CSS (and it didn’t look that good anyway). So instead, I browsed through a bunch of themes and switched everything to the Hew theme:

blog-new.png

This is more in line with the trend for blogs nowadays, with minimal clutter and text in large font in the center of the page. The widgets, which once occupied a third of the vertical space, are now hidden behind an options menu.

It’s a cosmetic change, but hopefully it will motivate me to blog more.

Calling for a new file host for this blog — and how drop.io failed me

Back when I created this blog in February 2010, I chose WordPress to host the text of the blog, Imgur to host my images, and drop.io to host all my downloadable files — as a free user of WordPress my abilities to store media directly on WordPress servers are limited. Here’s a screenshot of drop.io in 2010:

So far, WordPress has not corrupted a single one of my posts, neither has Imgur lost any of my many hastily photoshopped images. But some time in December, readers started emailing me telling me that my download links were broken. WHAAT?

Sure enough, when I clicked one of my own download links, all I got was a blank page telling me that their service had shut down last week without notice, and all the files have been deleted. Fml. I thought I could count on you, drop.io!

Well — not exactly without notice. In October, a month before closing down, they announced their closing down in a blog post. If only I had known this before everything was deleted.

I can’t say I’ve ever anticipated that such a popular service suddenly closing down, so I never made backups or mirrors or anything. Fortunately I had most of the files stored on my computer, but at least one or two of the files are lost forever 😦

With drop.io gone, I need a new file host:

  • I only upload relatively small files (<1MB usually)
  • They should store files indefinitely (not automatically delete them after 6 months, or a month without 20 downloads, or whatever)
  • I have to be able to link files from my blog
  • Preferably painless (I dislike captchas and 60 second waits but I suppose I can live with that)
I’m thinking of Mediafire, but I’m open to suggestions.

One year of math blogging

One year ago on February 11, 2010, I created this blog. In one year, this blog has had:

  • 68 posts
  • 741 spam comments
  • 111 actual comments
  • 30,000 hits
A few months ago I installed the live traffic feed (visible on the right of the page), and for about two weeks afterwards I collected different countries that visit the blog (inspired by a post by Brian Bi) and I got 110 of them before I got bored:
Algeria
Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
Brunei
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Chile
China
Columbia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Fiji
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Guadeloupe
Guatemala
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Iran
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Malawi
Malaysia
Malta
Martinique
Mauritius
Moldova
Mongolia
Montenegro
Morocco
Namibia
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nigeria
Norway
Pakistan
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Romania
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Serbia
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria
Taiwan
Tajikstan
Thailand
Trinidad and Tobago
Turkey
U.K
U.S.A
US Virgin Islands
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
Venezuela
Vietnam
Zimbabwe

Obviously there is some geographical diversity among visitors.

I’m not much of a statistics person, but I like looking at a few graphs of pageviews over time:

Apparently there’s a slight decrease of pageviews as I write less the past few months, but I seem to get around 3000 to 4000 hits a month. Yay.