Monthly Archives: April 2014

Blog Assignment #4 | My Dream Computer

I have rotten luck with computers — they inexplicably crash, video input stops working, and keys fall off seemingly at random and with high frequency. This is the fourth laptop I’ve had since I started high school, so the road of new computer shopping is well-worn for me, though still a little bit scary. Such an expensive purchase is something you have to mull over very carefully, because unless you’re satisfied with what comes in the mail, you have to deal with the hassle of returning it or swapping out parts. I usually have to find a model I like, get five outside opinions, and mull over the computer for at least a week before I buy it. So for this assignment, I had to face this fear head on and just go for it, with a $1700 budget (for the record, I could spend much more than that on a computer. Oops)

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Cooking with Friends, or the Dangers of Giving Intrusive Javascript to a Cannibal | Minisite #3

A screencap of the registration form on my website, which prompts users to fill out information to make an appointment with Hannibal. It's not too late to press the back button!

A screencap of the registration form on my website, which prompts users to fill out information to make an appointment with Hannibal. It’s not too late to press the back button!

This minisite was an enormous challenge for me. Despite all the practice with JavaScript in class — and even after this project — I still feel a little shaky about my programming skills. Nevertheless, with a little luck, a bunch of help,  and a lot of troubleshooting I was able to wrangle together Minisite #3. My website is Hannibal-themed, because what better way to demonstrate how potentially dangerous intrusive JavaScript can be than through a man who uses it to track down his victims? (Fridays at 9 PM Central on NBC!)

The JavaScript coding was a long, arduous, uphill battle throughout. I spent hours just trying to re-understand the syntax of things as simple as document.getElementById and the way variables are set up. Sometimes things just don’t stick, but you just have to keep at it until you get a grasp of the concept as best you can.

did have a few specific problems that I’m proud I figured out. I had particular difficulty with trying to use conditional logic on elements in a drop-down selection list on the registration form. A major chunk of the ‘Commerce’ page revolves around what axiom a user picks from a drop-down menu to describe them best. The phrases are all plays-on-words of body parts, so if the user selects that they think they are “forward thinking,” the JavaScript squirrels that information away and presents it on the commerce page as a recipe for brains. I couldn’t get that particular section to work in the registration page, so I ended up referring to the option ID’s as strings on the commerce page, and it finally worked! Sometimes you just need to attack the problem from a different angle.

I also had a problem where the conditional logic of my radio buttons wasn’t working for hours. It was, of course, caused by the fact that I used curly braces instead of parentheses in a crucial block of text. I was glad it was an easy fix, but it’s amazing how much you can fret over such a stupid problem.

Overall I probably spent about 15 hours on this site and found it very difficult, but I’m very happy with my final product.