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Housekeeping · 9 November 05

13 Weeks

Been working on Eve’s wiring a bit this week, clearing out the unused wires and cleaning up the rest of it. It’s a big task and I’ll post more details in a couple of days. I also have pictures and a bit of info from a new EV owner, James, which I’ll try to post soon.

Also wrapping up a big project at work so my mind has been a bit preoccupied.

Oh, and then there’s that other big project…

Baby 1.0!

I’m very happy to announce that Faith and I are expecting our first child next May. She just started the second tri-mester and is starting to look the part. Mom is healthy and “glowing” without any morning sickness, although she gets a little tuckered out from time to time. Me, I’m just running around getting the “nest” ready, cooking more often, and then sneaking out to work on the EV from time to time.

Even Zeke has started taking a more proactive role. After the first month he started staying home from work: either wanting to protect Faith and the baby or to take advantage of the increased food intake and chance for scraps.

While I’m blabbering about non-EV things let’s talk about advertising.

When I published the first EV articles I would try to provide links to suppliers and related equipment. Vacuum pumps, battery suppliers, stuff like that. The problem with the internet is that things are never static. Even businesses which have been on the web for years are constantly evolving the tools they use and breaking links that you and I put in our web pages.


And then Google came out with the adsense program. By putting a little bit of code into a web page Google automatically serves up relevant ads. They already know a lot about the web pages since they index them for searching so it’s easy for them to tell what a page is about and show appropriate ads.

It’s uncanny and cool.

Ads started showing up in the EV weblog about vacuum pumps, batteries, meters, motors…whatever the page was talking about…and none of the links were broken. I get a small commission whenever an ad is clicked which goes into paying for the hosting fees.

That is why you see the ads in this EV chronicle, but by now most sites have ads and it’s probably more noise than anything else.

I’ve also experimented a bit with these Chitka ads:

The problem is that they aren’t google and don’t automatically pick a relevant ad subject. I can provide hints, but that’s more work for me and I’d rather spend the time working on the EV and writing articles. I’ll stick with google.

Now that we have a new baby on the way I’ve come up with the great idea of taking the money from website ads and putting it into a college fund! Maybe I can make one of those thermometer graphics that shows the progress in what the money can buy so far: cliff notes, mail-order degree, online college, community college, state college, all the way up to MIT. ”:^)


In other news I installed a little counter from Sitemeter that keeps track of traffic. It’s pretty cool. The two images above depict where the last 100 people that visited the site came from.

It also shows that a lot of folks are still using Internet Explorer. Being a part-time web developer this makes me cringe. IE has lots of layout bugs that web developers are always having to figure out ways to work around.

You’ll notice that this website looks a little better in a newer browser (Firefox, Safari, Opera). Basically I design the site using current web standards (as best I can) and then after that’s all done I go back and try to make it work in IE.

If you have a few minutes give Firefox a try. It’s a great browser: tabs, popup blocking, built in google bar, and other nice features. You don’t have to uninstall IE either, just a quick install and away you go.

Well, enough rambling for now. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for all of the great comments and suggestions so far. I am always open to your suggestions: be it in how the pages look, information is organized (or not), ideas for future topics, or if you want part of the EV process covered more in-depth. Also, if you see questionable ads (bad businesses and the like) let me know and I’ll see about filtering them out.

Take care.


Comments 3
  1. Rob    Nov 09, 2005 11:15 AM    #
    * Congrats on the baby!
    * I found your original conversion log a few years ago and read through that. When I became interested in this topic again recently, I found your new one, and I love it!
    * Don’t forget to mention that if an ad is truly not relevant, a scam, offensive, or even if the company provides bad customer service, you can prevent that ad from showing in AdSense.
    * I apologize for visiting with IE, but I browse from work, where the powers-that-be have declared that IE is our current standard. Hopefully they’ll change to Firefox sooner or later…
  2. Jerry Halstead    Nov 09, 2005 14:12 PM    #
    Thanks Rob!

    Good tip on adsense, I’ll add that to the article. I have filtered out a questionable business from my site thehowzone.

    BTW, nice job on the mini-marshmallow gun!
  3. Rob    Nov 10, 2005 10:48 AM    #
    Thanks, Jerry! I plan on putting up some testing results once I actually perform some testing…

    I browsed through thehowzone a few weeks ago. All I can say is “Mmmm, ginger beer!” and, “Keep up the good work!”