Blog Improvements

Today I installed the Now Reading widget to my WordPress blog. This is just what I needed, a way to manage the information on what I’m currently reading. Unfortunately my life is so dull that I have nothing to report except the books I’m reading. This widget uses my Amazon Associate account to display the thumbnail so it serves the same purpose as the Amazon Link plugin for Windows Live Writer which I’ve been using. In other words, I may get a little commission if anyone buys a book after clicking on my Amazon links.

I finally noticed that my blog was looking like crap in Internet Explorer 7. I’ve been using Internet Explorer 8 for several months now and I usually view my blog in Firefox 3. I spent about a half hour tracking down the CSS issues that plagued my blog in Internet Explorer 7. I didn’t mind this because it is good exercise in troubleshooting a web design. I documented everything I learned for future reference. The page was too wide because I needed another width property on the wrapper element. And the sidebar was dropping down the page because I needed a overflow: hidden; property on the container div. Now that I think about it these were hardly obvious errors. Even Firebug did not provide any clues on how to fix these problems. I had to do some research on the Internet to figure it out.

I’m getting tired of this WordPress design so I’ll probably try to come up with something better soon. I’d like my blog to look more high tech with maybe some video themed graphics.

Other than that I spent most of the day struggling with AJAX for ASP.NET. I replaced an Update Panel with a WebMethod for better performance. I had to figure out how to get detailed error messages and JSON data back from the WebMethod. It does look like this will be better than the Update Panel way of doing things.

One of my clients has decided to mothball his project so now I’m left with just one client. Actually, this has made me very happy today because now I can concentrate more on just satisfying one client. I’ll also have more time to work on personal projects without feeling guilty. But I don’t want to lose my last client or I won’t have anything to fall back on in this bad economy.

Update: Unfortunately, the Now Reading plugin causes problems with Windows Live Writer so I may need to disable it to use that program. However, being a programming god and all, I may be able to hack a fix for this problem.

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