Thursday, August 01, 2013

New Edition Day

The URI! Zone turns 17 today with my 3010th blog post, accompanied by 6943 reader comments and over 140,000 unique visits in the last decade alone. Originally hosted out of my dorm room in 1996, the first site was the wasabi of the Internet: a dollop of spicy, zesty, static HTML that might destroy you like an academic ninja if you were to overdose on it.

Had you been involved in any incidental banging back then, you might now be going broke, putting your 17-year-old lovechild through Harvard (because he's obviously as smart as you), while trying to convince him to attend one of our many fine in-state schools, like Virginia Tech, JMU, William and Mary, VCU, ODU, GMU, NOVA, Longwood, Mary Washington, or Christopher Newport.

The nice thing about aging is that you attain levels of achievement simply by hanging around with minimal effort, not unlike most video game achievements today. Simply by continuing to pay hosting and domain name fees, my website keeps a firm grip on the achievement of being older than Google, Netflix, Slashdot, PayPal, DVD players, Diablo 1, the PNG image format, and Jaden Smith. Additionally, the URI! Zone has outlasted both Geocities and "Jeeves" of AskJeeves. Looking into the future, I predict that the URI! Zone might earn more Oscars than Jaden Smith (but will definitely earn more Oscars than Shia TheBeef).

Here are some of the refinements you will find in this new edition:

  • More responsive UI for Photos: Remember how nice Picasa was before Google rebranded it as Google+ Photos? This was the primary reason I wrote my own interface for the Picasa data stream of my photo albums. I've updated the UI to be more responsive to keyboard navigation (P and N for previous and next). This will allow you to stalk me at least 75% faster.

  • Sidebar on the Left, Content on the Right: The sidebar was on the right for the last six years, but the asymmetry was no longer appealing. It resembled a British highway or Metro escalators during tourist season, and no one likes either one of those things.

  • Play Augmented Fourth without Java: It always felt unnecessary to require a Java applet to play a text adventure game, and Java applets haven't been cool since the late 90s when every page had a rippling lake reflecting the title of the page in an applet. I don't even have a Java plugin installed in my browser anymore, and you shouldn't either. Instead, you can play Augmented Fourth with Parchment, using nothing but your web browser and your brain.

  • More sketches and captions: Because art is funniest when taken out of context.

  • Updated Bloglog: The date of a blog's last post is now listed next to the link, in order to shame authors into posting more (because online bullying is a legitimate mechanism for social change). Have a blog that I should be reading? Send me the link!

Thank you for your continued visits to this literary paradise over the last 17 years!

Date: Mon, 09 Sep 1996 15:12:04
From: Noel Uri (noeluri@MAILBOX.ECON.AG.GOV)
To: llamaboy@vt.edu
Subject: RE: Homepage

Great homepage. Am I getting my money's worth or what?

tagged as website | permalink | 1 comment
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