Sunday, April 21, 2002

With over 3100 visitors in nine months, the Sixth Edition of the URI! Domain draws to a close. It's been a great run, and the second semester saw even more people waste their ephemeral lives here than the first. If you've been a regular reader, I thank you for giving me the impetus to maintain daily updates, regardless of whether they were of any lasting value to the human psyche. So I don't burn out on making updates, this site will only be updated on a weekly basis (most likely on the weekends) until school starts up again in August. If you are incredibly bored, take a moment to explore other sections of the Domain, or go to the Archive and read my old news updates (yes, there really are nine months worth of trite news to enjoy!)

I was definitely more verbose this semester than the previous semester, since I actually had an audience that tuned in regularly, for whatever reason. Since I've gotten a few questions about how I actually go about writing for this page, I thought I'd take a moment to eludicate.

I always keep a shorthand list of topics that might be interesting to discuss on the News page. Many of them are no longer topical by the time I get around to using them, but most can contribute at least a line or two. Every day (usually early in the morning or around seven at night) I sit down and decide what sort of interesting things I'll discuss. If I can't think of anything particularly appealing, I'll turn to my list for ideas. I try to keep a balance between the computer and music stuff, because I know that not all readers are interested in one or the other.

After I've written (and hopefully proofread) the day's entry, I'll decide if it warrants a sleek graphic and take some time to create that. I'll then view everything locally, using OmniHTTPd to set my computer up as a local server, to see how it will look to the outside world. Once it's perfected, I upload the news to the Tech music web server and look at it again at the llamaboy address. This allows me to catch the occasional mistake that slips through, like forgetting the graphic. Honestly, I haven't browsed on the Internet with images turned on since I had Ethernet in 1999, so sometimes the graphic gets forgotten and I don't notice it right away. Once everything looks good to go, I'll bump the old entries off to the archive page and I'm done. For the techno-geeks, I write my pages in a hybrid of JavaScript and HTML, so it's incredibly easy to isolate entries and move them around at will. Take a look at the source code for this page in IE if you're interested; Netscape does not show JavaScript code all the time.

When I'm particularly industrious, I'll write a couple days worth in advance. This whole process usually takes twenty minutes to a half hour. On special feature or featurette weeks, it usually takes about an hour, because of the extra research involved. I also get sidetracked when researching sometimes, and forget that I'm supposed to be updating! It's a wonder that I managed to update so regularly with everything else going on.

Tomorrow I'm off to Blacksburg, so there probably will not be any updates next weekend. The next scheduled update will be sometime over the second weekend in May, although I'll try to get a quickie in before that.

Cheers, matey.

Late-breaking update:
I got my FGM employment letter in the mail with a nice $2.04/hr raise attached to it. When I get back to town in August, I'll take everyone out for Chinese food to celebrate. "Hooray!"

"The Trumpet now became a much more subservient instrument. It was 'warned off' the obbligato ground altogether and dethroned from the ridiculously false orchestral position which it had hitherto occupied. This was all to the good in the cause of music. Indeed one may say that without this step the development of the Symphony would have been an impossibility. So long as the Trumpet -- the most aggressive of all instruments -- was allowed to play tunes in its top octave all pleasure in the orchestral ensemble disappeared as far as the unhappy audience was concerned." - Cecil Forsyth in Orchestration

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