StevensNet.com

...Because someone's gotta tell the story...

Revision History

September, 2017
Well, the early version of 2.0 has been released (finally) and now it's time to improve on it a bit. A new tagging system has been put in place for blogs, keeping it relevant (hopefully) to topic and category. It's far from perfect, as I decided to run against several blogs, reading them one by one, and figuring out where the tags should go. It was more a blanket effort, adding tags by keyword. So if you see a blog tag entry that looks out of place, let me know.

August, 2017
Life can get a bit busy, and the development of the website took a backseat for a while. So, once redesigning the site, really wasn't liking the results. This is only fair since I was trying to learn C# after Microsoft has been trying to (not so) secretly kill VB.NET for years.

After working with the new site, I found only 2 issues: The compiler and the runtime. Honestly, I cheated and tried building a site from a template in Visual Studio, which led me to "I've done so much with this, so let's port over what I did."

So, v2 is here, and here are the new features:
  • A much cleaner look and feel (and yes, that black rain background is gone, deleted, and not coming back.
  • The blogs have a new search capability, and still in development. You will be able to search on more criteria to find what you want.
  • Just general cosmetic improvements across the site.
  • An enhanced menu bar, which integrates login/registration and logout capabiity
  • Not visible to the outside world, but the backend has been updated to make the site more manageable.

I hope you enjoy these changes, and more to come.
Late April, 2016 and StevensNet v.Next
(I believe this is v8 of the overall website over the years, v2 of the ASP.NET designed site).

This is the initial code release for the next version of the website. I redesigned this site with native Visual Studio 2015 code so there would be so much more modern support for it. The old code was great, but it's time to move on after 10 years.

Now, iet's talk features. The site was redesigned with all the basic features and pages:
  • The home page, complete with today's news, recent blogs, and today's history and all
  • The RSS feeds have been preserved
  • A more intuitive contact page
  • A new logon model
  • ...and more to come...
Stay tuned as things develop :)

April, 2016
More, geared at the look and feel of the site. Time to brush up on my CSS skills, for sure.
  • Resolved some issues with color mismatches when I changed the look of the site. Not that gray, yellow, and blue aren't a perfect fit. :)
  • Removed old and excess pages from the site. Yes, this means that the gas price database is now officially gone, and no longer to be remembered. This means likely, I will be bringing it back for legacy someday in the future.
  • Cleaned up the "Contact Us" page.
  • Finalized the RSS feeds.

On the coding/functional side:
  • Cleaned up several code blocks and still looking for ways to tighten load times. In your face, SharePoint. :)

Late March, 2016
Some tweaks to the website appearance, and fixes for some of the CSS code.
  • Fixed an issue where clicking on a menu item would make the text larger until the mouse button was released.
  • Added a feature to the blog page which displays the number of times a blog has been viewed.
  • Continuing on with looks and appearance, the RSS feeds have been fixed. I've removed the RSS feeds specific to Facebook as I really don't use it anymore, and have added categories to the RSS feeds, so if you only want to see tech or wrestling blogs, you can.

On the back end:
  • Cleaned up SQL triggers for the blogs and photo pages.
  • E-Mail notifications contain better detail, more hyperlinks into the site. This is more for me, when I am notified of website comments or things of that nature.
  • Cleaned up a lot of backend code, and looked for ways to optimize site loading times. One thing I did was to add disk mirroring, but also consolidating code here and looking for more optimized ways of delivering. Shame on me, found a few things that were hard coded, but in all fairness, some of this code is 9 years old. :)

Early March, 2016
So, a new look has arrived for the site. Some of the inclusions:
  • A new background and look
  • Less "blocky", text will flow more freely
  • More screen space being used. It's not 2007, higher rez monitors are the standard now.
  • Bigger, brighter fonts
  • A big yay from the crowd, no more underlining all these hyperlinks :)
.. and some minor changes, such as adding categories to the blog headers.

February, 2016
Guess you can't beat the original. I miss this web code, it works and has done what I've wanted it to do, for almost 10 years now. Some minor cleanup has been done, and next on the list will be a new and cleaner look for the site.

September, 2015
Seems about every 5 years I have the itch to try different web code, and yes, SharePoint again. Well, I am writing this in hindsight, so I can safely say that the expiriment didn't quite work out, and we're back.

2011-2015
The code was pretty stable, so beyond cosmetic adjustments, didn't do much during this time. Most of the work done on the site was done internally, and code was written that interfaces with Orchestrator to work with internal resources.

December, 2010
The Sharepoint test is complete, and honestly was a little more than disappointed. Sharepoint was quite a resource hog, and I missed my own work, and the site that honestly is almost 4 years in the making. Sharepoint is a great tool for collaboration and file sharing, but honestly it wasn't my work, and for the return on my investment, didn't seem to be worth the resources. Unnanounced to anyone, and a surprise, I am going to target a Christmas launch to StevensNet V5. I am writing this about 10 days in advance.

So, since 1996, there will be a V5 of StevensNet.com (really more a 4.5, but hope to make it worthy of a full version update). Besides a lot of testing and moving data over, there are several changes and features to report.

  • I have changed the look of the site via CSS and taken out that dull white and yellow look. Still a few bugs to work out, and your feedback is appreciated if you see any formatting trouble.
  • In the blog section, there is a new feature called "Related Blogs" at the end of a blog entry. This simply just takes a random sampling of blogs from the same blog category and gives you some link options.
  • The blog section is in the process of being rewritten. Most of the changes may be transparent, as they involve the editing or how data is stored, but also am working on more efficient ways to present data. There will be more changes on these items coming up in the future.
  • I am moving pages around, to promote a cleaner development structure. In other words, I'm spending some time on code optimization and writing things for myself, call me a bit selfish on this project. :) This of course, also takes a lot of testing.
  • The section to download my resume has been removed. First of all, technical recruiters for the most part are nothing more than blind squirrels looking for nuts, and the feature was being rarely touched. Another issue could also be bots finding this page and sending resumes around. Of course, personal information on the resume was missing.

Truth be known, once I got back into this code, I realized how much I missed this project. The code runs very well, it's clean, and even though it's not Sharepoint, can't compete with it, and has far less resources devoted to it, I'm proud of this project. It may have been a lot of long and sleepless nights trying to troubleshoot, but at the end of the day, was worth it. I can focus more on content rather than code (even though I plan on spending more time in code for my own personal use).

May, 2010
For the most part, I felt that I had something completed, and was bored of the project. I decided to go to Sharepoint, for a 6 month trial. We'll see how the project goes at this point. Most of my time, of course, is being spent in moving everything to Sharepoint.

September, 2009
Had some time to kill, so fixed a few bugs in the site:
  • For some reason, if you chose wrestling or AD/DS blogs for search, you would search a subset of all blogs.
  • Since moving the mail server to something offsite, I have been unable to send mail from the site. I am looking into workarounds.

January, 2009
Again, I teased myself with Sharepoint, but for some reason the thought of it went away again. Here's the latest on the site.
  • I picked up some new ideas on development, and have added some new features, mostly on the backend. One of them is tracking more of what is going on with who is visiting, how many times blogs are read, etc.
  • The format of the blog viewing has changed somewhat. Since I have been tracking data (and thanks to the likes of Google and Yahoo my numbers are skewed), I have added how many times blogs have been read. I have also cleaned up the format somewhat. This is known as the "Blog Log" :)
  • The database has been fully converted to SQL 2008 and is virtualized. I am noticing the Windows Server 2008 VM is a little sluggish, but will work to optimize that.
  • Will probably look into changing the color scheme, or at least giving options as to how, you, the loyal reader, would like the site to look.
  • Based on tracking data, will be adding some new features on where people are logging in from. Don't worry, I don't know where you live, but within about a few miles of where you logged in. Check the blogs for geolocator for how this works.
  • I know that I've put off the mobile site. I am working on this currently. Just been busy with a lot going on. :)

July, 2008
It's been a while since I've updated the site history, and can't remember all that's really happened since January. The section on March was added today... :)
  • I've started development on StevensNet mobile, a site that will be available for cell phones and PDA's. If you want to use a regular browser for it, you can, but why? :)
  • Added attachments to the blogs. If a blog has an attached file, you will see a button at the bottom right corner of the blog that says "Download File" and the file name.
  • Been working on a lot of behind the scenes coding as well. At this point, I pretty much am comfortable with how the website looks and runs, so I see no need to really do a lot of developemnt on the core structure. I might someday change the color scheme and looks.

March, 2008
  • Took the web server to Windows Server 2008, also redesigned the site in ASP.NET 3.5
  • Implemented the GeoLocator, which, originally for the gas price database, would be able to determine the location where you were logging in from, and then show prices relative to that area. I will be using this technology again in the future.
  • Normalized the gas price database and optimized the data into several tables due to its size. Was able to condense the data quite well (see the blogs for more info on this and the Geolocator).

January 22, 2008
Again, more new features...
  • Without signing in, you can select different headline feeds. I also made the gas price listing a little more convenient, since some people wanted to see the highest prices (go figure).
  • I have begun working on customizing the site for the members. You will be able to set preferences, and set options based on how you want the website to look in your member profile. Also, I will be adding some capabilities for a "daily e-mail", full of gas price information, headlines, not sure quite yet, stay tuned... :)

January 3, 2008
Some new features again have been added...
  • I have added categories to the blogs, and now blogs are searchable by category and keyword (still need to update my RSS feed app to reflect this)
  • Fixed an annoying formatting bug, when dates don't match (i.e. 12/31 and 1/1 don't have the same width) on the main page
  • Since we use SSL for our login page, Exchange Web Mail, and some other things, I noticed that some people were browsing using https. So on pages that do not require SSL, the connection is changed back to http automatically.

The Year 2008
First of all, welcome to the new year 2008!
Some new plans for the website I thought I would share...
  • Will be adding categories to the blogs, and then will be able to spread out the RSS feeds
  • I'm going to add some of the programs I have written and will be writing to the website for download. Maybe Shareware will make yet another comeback in my world in 2008... lol
  • Will be adding more places to the gas prices database per user requests
  • I do plan on start blogging more on technical issues, so even in the thick of a Presidential Election, I'm going to cool it on the politics and other evils of the world, and let the news people cover it (not that this website will ever make anyone famous).

December, 2007
I guess it's been a while since I've made any real significant updates to this page, but just in time for the new year... :)
So, here is a list of the changes that have been made recently.
  • Added a dropdown menu structure for the website, so when the mouse hovers over an option, a submenu will appear (if there are submenu items). However, still have one bug to work out. I haven't been able to figure out how to (within reason and without any real crazy custom code) disable the top level menu items, but it's not worth keeping the site from being uploaded imho.
  • With the new dropdown menu, I have removed the bottom menu bar (seemed like overkill to me)
  • Created RSS feeds that people could subscribe to. For more information, go to http://www.stevensnet.com/rss.aspx
  • Added RSS Descriptions to the blogs, so RSS Feeds will be updated in semi-realtime
  • I have implemented SSL for our website (mostly for our webmail on Exchange 2007), but also for the login page. Also, wrote some code to determine if a page needs to be encrypted from the client perspective and sets whether the connection is secure or not appropriately.
  • Been writing some secured applications for our family behind the scenes, not visible to the public (obviously).


June, 2007
After a pretty busy May where not much happened in the development of the website since I was too busy failing the ASP.NET exam (laughing and typing), I am back to work on it...
  • A new feature, Today in History as well as Today's Birthdays. If you click a link in the birthday or history listing, it will take you to the main data page, showing all events in today's history (or birthdays) that we have. For more information, consult my blog.
  • Articles are now known as "Blogs" - I am trying to change everything around.
  • I have also added another feature, which is the gas price tracker to the site.
  • Added a search feature to the blogs, and assigned the blogs to a datagrid.
  • Changed the Today In History and Today's Birthday Features to clickable links. Click the link, and it will display Google Results, so you can learn more about the person or event.

April, 2007
  • In the article previews, any special formatting that ended a preview would spill into the next listed article. Removed extra formatting such as bold and italics, etc.
  • The paging on the news articles has been fixed. If you clicked on page 2, page 3, it would continue just showing page 1.
  • Another bug bites the dust - the "logout" button would either throw an error or you would have to click it twice in some cases to logout. This is now fixed.
  • RSS headlines have been added to the home page. I orignally wrote one using ASP.NET, but it seemed slow polling other servers in realtime. I have written an application to cache the headlines, and then dynamically display them on the homepage.

March, 2007
  • I shortened the display of the preview for the blogs/articles for easier browsing.
  • Moved database from SQL Express 2005 to a full blown SQL Server 2005 database platform. This will allow for better performance and will give us the extra space we need in the database for file downloads and images.
  • Working on a file manager / download section for downloading files.
  • Modified the contact page, adding a forrm to e-mail comments
  • Worked with SQL Server stored procedures to modify how article data is presented
  • Modified the home page links for articles so they would take up less space on the page
  • Fixed a bug in the article module that would not allow for line breaks
  • Fixed another bug in the article module that would not save larger articles/blogs
  • Fixed a file system bug that events were not being linked correctly
  • Fixed a bug where the log out button needed to be clicked twice before logging out would actually happen

March, 2007: Inital Site Release v1
This site was based on the club site starter kit from Microsoft.
Added the following:
  • Member Database so people can sign up for the website
  • Article / Blogging Section
  • Picture Album Section
  • Revision History (this page)
  • A "Contact Us" Page, although it is not functional yet.


Stay tuned for more improvements...