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Updates in March 2005

Lune Venus (El Hazard)
Thursday, March 31, 2005

Added a DVD Release Update to my A Tale of Two Sisters review. Added an anime profile for After War: Gundam X.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Wrote a review for the animated film Fragile Machine.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Added the anime profile Earth Girl Arjuna. Added the character profiles of Ryoko (from Geneshaft); Hayate (from Pretear); Kyo Komachi (from Tenchi Muyo! GXP: Galaxy Police Transporter).

On Saturday I decided to attempt the writing of a function for my profile generation script that would take an image file and return it's width and height information so that I wouldn't need to manually obtain this information and input it as part of the profile. In C or C++ this would be no problem, but I wrote the profile generation script using JScript, which made it a tad bit more difficult. As far as I was able to determine, in JScript you can only read files as text, not binary data. Of course, JScript still has the ability to read one character at a time, and whether or not it is read as a single bye character or single byte number, it's still basically the same data. Thus the only real challenge came down figuring out how to convert the character into is ASCII value equivalent.

JScript does have a function called charCodeAt() that returns the numerical value of a character, but unfortunately it returns the Unicode value, not the ASCII value. The two systems match for the 128 characters, but after that they diverge, so any byte that was not one of the first 128 ASCII characters would give me the wrong numerical value. I couldn't find any way in JScript to return the ASCII value of these characters, so I was figuring I'd have to either look up a conversion routine (if one exists) or just make a conversion table. Luckily, I discovered a VBScript function called Asc() that did exactly what I needed, and I knew from past experience that I could write a function in VBScript and then access in JScript. So that's exactly what I did, just wrote a wrapper function around the Asc() function and everything worked great.

About a week ago I ran a link checker on the site and it came up with a ton of broken local links. So another function I decided to write and add to the profile generation script was one to check for any broken local links. This one was pretty straightforward, just grab all the address to all the links on the page, ditch any ones that contain "http://" or "mailto:", delete anything in the address that occurs after a "?" or "#", and then just check to see if the file exists. It's already found a few broken links where I mistyped the file name or mistyped the HREF or left out the equals sign, so I'm definitely glad I added this routine, even if it does slow down the page generation just a tad.

Some other changes I made dealt with the feedback section. I merged the page with the form for submitting the feedback and the page that displayed the sent confirmation into one file, although visually nobody should be able to tell the difference. This enabled me to re-display the form with everything that was already typed if the message didn't get sent, either due to a form validation issue or just some kind of connection error. I also added some server-side e-mail validation, so you can still send a message without providing your e-mail address but you can't send a message if you provide an invalid e-mail address (or my e-mail address). Then I renamed the page that displayed the feedback information and guidelines from feedback_info.php to feedback.php.

Then the last change that I can remember doing deals with the profile submission forms, where I changed the minimum character count requirement for the description before allowing the profile to be submitted. It used to be a minimum of 200 characters, but I figured it would probably better to force a minimum number of words rather than a minimum number of characters, so I changed it to a minimum of 50 words.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Added the anime profiles for Fake, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, Mezzo Forte. Added the character profiles of Nolt Marcus (from Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust); Enrico Salvaletti (from Hellsing); Gojo Shioji (from Excel Saga).

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Added the character profile of Ryoko Balta (from Tenchi Muyo! GXP: Galaxy Police Transporter).

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Added anime profiles for Dai-Guard, Magical Princess Gigi, Mezzo: Danger Service Agency, Dead Leaves, Kujibiki Unbalance, Gravion, Dark Shell. Added a character profile for Beatrice Ratio (from Geneshaft). Added an additional description to the anime profile The Cat Returns.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Wrote a review for the movie Bad Girls from Valley High. Ran a link checker on the local links within the site and fixed up all the broken ones.

Treeses and I went to see Constantine today with one of her friends. She had already went and saw it on Monday, her day off, but wanted to see it again, especially with someone whom she could discuss the religious aspects brought up in the film (that someone being her friend, not me, as I don't discuss religion or spirituality). It had some really nice looking visual effects, but I can't say much for the story. My advice: wait for DVD. We went to Denny's afterwards where they had what seemed to be a very enjoyable conversation, espeically since it went on long after we had finished eating. I had fun too, though, as I played Phantasy Star on my Game Boy and saved up enough to buy the Ice Digger.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Added anime profiles for Magic Teacher Negima!, Kurogane Communication, Figure 17 - Tsubasa & Hikaru and Appleseed (2004 remake). Split Tenchi Muyo! GXP: Galaxy Police Transporter into a seperate directory. Made up some banners and buttons for the website. A little over a week ago I improved the script that optimizes the HTML files, but doing that caused the RSS Newsfeed to stop being generated automatically, so I fixed that.

Some of you may have noticed that the website had become much slower than normal last week, and extremely so in the middle of the week, especially for pages running server-side scripts. We discovered that this was happening because the CPU on the server was constantly maxed out, which we believe was somehow caused by corrupted data being written to the hard drives. So everything got torn apart and fixed up, plus we went ahead and did a software upgrade while we were at it. Thus, everything should now be running good as new!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Added an anime profile for Shingu.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Added an anime profile for Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Added an anime profile for Blood - The Last Vampire. Implemented a new feedback system whereby the visitor selects what type of feedback they have, and then information and guidelines for that type of feedback are displayed before the contact form is made available. This should be a better system than the previous one where one page contained and displayed all the information and guidelines for all types of feedback, forcing the visitor to read through it all (or at least skim through it) to find the link for the contact form. I'm hoping this will help cut down on some of the e-mail so I can get back to adding profiles, as well as making other messages more clear.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Added an anime profile for Zatch Bell. Registered the domain absolute-anime.com and set it to forward to absoluteanime.com. Modified the code for setting the color preferences so that it's much smaller, but unfortunately if you had already changed your color scheme then it's going to revert back to the default so you'll have to do it again. Added a listing page of my reviews a few days ago. Changed the Site Map link in the navigation bar at the top of the page so that when the mouse cursor is held over it, a secondary menu will pop up.

Originally this secondary menu was of the drop-down variety, and since they are so common out there on the internet I figured why reinvent it and tried to find one I could adapt to my site. I quickly discovered that all of the menu coding I came across was quite big. I really didn't think it took that much code just to make a simple drop down menu, so I gave up searching and just decided to code it myself.

After a couple hours, I had it all nicely laid out and working just the way I wanted it, and it only took less than 900 bytes of code. But then when I integrated it into the pages, I discovered that in Opera, the drop down menu would always show up behind the iframe that displays the Google Ads. Setting the z-index property, which is supposed to control display priority, didn't help. It worked just fine in Internet Explorer, but I don't use Internet Explorer, I use Opera, and so I had to completely rethink how I was going to do this pop-up menu.

The solution I finally came up with was to make the new pop-up menu horizontal and have it replace the announcements section of the navigation bar. This worked in all the browsers I tested, which is the most recent Windows versions of Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox, and Netscape. It doesn't work in WebTV, but not a whole lot does, and the page itself still works, just with both navigation bars displayed below the announcements section.

Two weekends ago, on Friday (that'd be February 25th), I discovered that I had some kind of ad-ware on my computer. Every time I did a search using Google, Yahoo, or MSN, the first 10 results were all phony. Sometimes there weren't even 10 phony results to display, so there'd be like 8 phony results, then a couple blank results, and finally the real results. I ran every kind of recommended spy-ware and ad-ware program that I could find, and none of them could fix or even detect the problem. On Sunday I finally just gave up and re-installed Windows.

I have an up-to-date anti-virus program always running, but after that experience I also installed the new beta of Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware and a much more powerful Firewall. Now any attempted change to the computer or any program attempting to access the internet is followed by little pop-up boxes that let me tell me what's going on and lets me choose where or not to allow it to happen. It was pretty annoying at first, but I've kinda gotten used to it now. Just sucks that it's necessary.

I was recently asked when I was going to re-enable the Character Profile Submission Form. Well, I'm down to about 30 profiles left to do, but my mailbox has about 200 messages that I need to answer. And those are real messages, not SPAM which I always delete as soon as it arrives. So I'm still pretty backed up, but I'll try to get through all the e-mails as quick as possible. If there are any anime questions, I'll just say "Sorry, I don't know", which should speed things up a little.

Sunday, March 6, 2005

Wrote a review for the movie OldBoy.

Monday, March 1, 2005

Wrote a review for the movie Whispering Corridors.

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