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5MV Update History

maintained by Zeke



August 4

Today, at long last, is the AU Week closing ceremony. You can get the lowdown here. I'd say more, but it's pretty much all covered there.

(Oh, by the way, a birthday shoutout to forumgoer NAHTMMM.)



August 5

I should probably clarify something about the new daily-update plan: this page isn't going to turn into a blog. As I was telling Sa'ar Chasm yesterday, this Sunday Morning Coffee strip sums up my view of blogs -- not all blogs, but certainly the majority. There's nothing wrong with keeping an online journal, and in fact I read several friends' every day. But that's not what Five-Minute Voyager is about.

Several readers have now reported problems viewing the new page, the main problem being that the front-page subsite logos are too big. The reason is that I've redone those images. The new versions are, among other things, much smaller, so the front page can display them at their natural size instead of having to shrink them. If you're seeing big logos, what's happening is that your browser still has the old image files in its cache and is displaying those at their natural size. Short answer: to fix the problem, clear your cache and reload.

Oh, the comment link below reminds me of something I'm trying to decide about. Given that I'll now be making newsposts every day, I'm not sure whether to create a comment thread each time or only when there's new material. If you have an opinion, please let me know in -- where else? -- the comment thread.



August 6

The consensus in yesterday's comment thread was that, as a general rule, I should only create threads for newsposts involving new material or some other significant site change. I was leaning that way myself, so that'll be my policy from now on.

For today's post, it's time for me to give a long-delayed congratulations to Nan of Five-Minute Stargate. 5MV's first exosite recently celebrated a birthday of its own: it turned two years old on July 8. Unfortunately, not only was that during my "silent period," but Nan herself had been too busy to keep track -- with the result that neither site marked the date when it arrived. For the record, then, a very happy second birthday to 5MSG. There are changes ahead for the exosite as it enters its third year, so make sure to keep watching.

(While there's no official comment thread today, you might want to drop by the 5MSG forum for the occasion. It's a subset of the usual 5MV boards; you don't have to register to post.)


August 7

For today's update, I've added two more of the subsite FAQs. This time they're for Five-Minute Andromeda and Five-Minute Farscape.



August 8

Just a small update today: I discovered that the 5MA main page had been replaced with an earlier version, so I fixed it. Stay tuned for some much more interesting stuff this weekend.


August 9

Kira here with some long-overdue DS9 fivers: Five-Minute "The Nagus" and Five-Minute "Tribunal" by Derek Dean, and guest writer Sa'ar Chasm's second venture into the world of sci-fi compression, Five-Minute "The Muse."



August 10

Hey, Zeke again. For those playing the home game, this is now the seventh consecutive day with a newspost, bringing a close to the first week of 5MV's new daily-update system. I'm not going to get too comfortable yet -- after all, this isn't the first time I've tried this, and last time it was a complete bust. But I'm off to a good start, and that much I'm happy about.

Coming in week two: more delayed fivers, further progress on the FAQs, updates happening earlier in the day, and a new look for one of the subsites. Stay tuned.


August 11

I've got a few items to mention today, none of them very important.

  • First off, today marks the triumphant return of Men in Hats. This comic, a favourite of Nan's and mine, has been on hiatus for about eight months due to RL issues (boy, can I relate). The author, Aaron Farber, is also responsible for Pentasmal, one of the best webcomics I've ever had the pleasure of reading. It's gone now, but Men in Hats remains. Check it out.
  • Speaking of Nan, I'm way overdue to plug her new webcomic, Working Title. If you haven't visited yet, you really should.
  • On a sadder note, Futurama is no more. The season finale, "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings," aired last night. Fittingly, it was hilarious. Sf comedy has lost a lot, and it's a safe bet that FOX hasn't gained a thing by throwing the show away in favour of whatever reality-TV crap they'll replace it with.
  • Many of you probably know of Peter David from his extensive work in the Star Trek novel line, notably the New Frontier series. What you may not know is that he has a blog; I think you'll get a kick out of this entry in particular.
  • Finally, I'd like to remind all readers about something we haven't mentioned here in a while: the update list. If you'd like to be notified by email when 5MV publishes new material, send me a message at zeke@sci-fivers.com.ar, preferably with "update list" in the title, and I'll add you right away. The mailings aren't just copy-and-pasted from the News page, and they come with amusing quotes and a cool ASCII logo I'm rather proud of.
That's all for today. Tomorrow, pie. Maybe.

August 12

Those of you with certain browsers will notice a new effect in place at 5MV today. A lot of sites nowadays have favicons -- very small logos that appear in your browser window to make it obvious at a quick glance what page you're on. This can save a little time when you're managing several windows, and besides, it looks neat. 5MV has had a favicon on the front page for quite a while now, but today I finally ran a search-and-replace to put it on every page of the site. I've also created a slightly different one for the forums (which until now used the same one as the front page).

If you can't see the favicons, try looking at the page in a different browser. The current versions of Opera, Mozilla, and Netscape show pages' favicons in two places: the address bar and the window tab (if you have tabs enabled). I don't think Internet Explorer supports them yet, so if you can't see the favicons and you're curious, they're here (the main site icon) and here (the forum icon).


August 13

Here's another item I've been meaning to tell you guys: 5MV has now been published offline for the first time. A while ago I was approached by Karen Bennett, who at that time was editor of the fanzine The Voyageur. Karen, it turned out, was a Five-Minute Enterprise fan, and she asked if she could publish my "Carbon Creek" fiver in the July/August issue. You can bet I was up for that; the result is now available at the 'zine's site. I highly recommend the whole issue, not just because I'm plugged but also because it's darn good reading. In particular, Buffy and Farscape fans will find tributes to those two much-missed series.

Pursuant to yesterday's update, some of the forumgoers have given me more information about how their browsers treat favicons. Some older versions won't handle them correctly. To see them in Internet Explorer, apparently what you have to do is bookmark the page first; when you look in the Favourites menu, you should see the favicon next to the site name. From then on, you'll also see the favicon in the address bar, but this doesn't work unless you bookmark first. (These tips are based on IE 6 and may not apply to other versions.) Finally, the direct links I provided to the icons may not work -- not all browsers will display .ico files in the main window.


August 14

Kira here. There were a pair of fivers ready to go up today, but due to the sweeping blackouts along the east coast -- including Ottawa -- it may or may not happen. (I'm hopefully out to a concert tonight, so unless Zeke's power is restored, you'll all have to wait a little longer.) Those of you stuck without air conditioning or transit in this sweltering heat have my sympathy... of course, I heard that Saskatoon was the hot spot in Canada yesterday and I don't have air conditioning anyways. And I'm walking home from work. Hm.


August 15

(Archive note: The blackouts continued through Friday, so there was no August 15 update.)


August 16

Kira here with the promised pair of guest fivers. New author Tate makes his debut with Five-Minute "Operation: Annihilate!" and KJP brings us his second fiver with Five-Minute "Half a Life."



August 17

Zeke here. I said in the forums that there would be a biggish update today, but the work is taking a little longer than I expected (I'm making major layout changes to a lot of pages). So that part -- the subsite relaunch I promised in last Sunday's update -- will have to wait till tomorrow.

However, while the layout part may not be ready, I see no reason to hold back the content part. Kira has a new This Just In today -- Lucas under fire from ASPCA, PETA -- and I think it's her funniest yet. Read, enjoy, and give her some feedback at the link below. (And be sure to come back tomorrow to see which subsite is getting a new look.)



August 18

Son of a--! Kira's right: monkeys would do this job better than me. I get one part of the redesign done and immediately find another I want to do, and it just goes on... none of which would be a problem if I left myself more time. How can I not have learned my lesson yet?

As you'll have figured out from that burst of justified self-deprecation, I'm not done. But I said I would tell you today which subsite is getting a new look, and I'd better stick to that part at least. The subsite I'm currently redesigning is This Just In. It was supposed to be ready Sunday to go with Ki's new article, but you know how that went.

I'm sorry to delay with this update again, but I have no choice now... I'm out of time. I'll make the update as early as I can tomorrow. This much I can promise: the changes are big enough to be worth the wait.


August 19

And now, FINALLY, This Just In's new look is done. This is one set of changes I'm not going to talk your ear off about, because they speak for themselves. Check out Ki's last article (reload if it doesn't look different) and you'll see what I mean.

These changes are now in place on all the 2001 pages as well; I ran out of time before I could finish the 2002 and 2003 articles, so I'll do those tomorrow, and I'll also publish the new This Just In FAQ. Meanwhile, you can browse TJI's reorganized subsite and, if you like, read the "remastered" 2001 articles. There are thirteen in total, and the sharp-eyed will notice a little something extra with each one that wasn't in the original pages.

This is my most decisive format change for any part of the site in years, so I'm especially interested in what you think. Like the new TJI? Hate it? Click the link below and tell me why.


(Acknowledgments: SaRa, formerly of VVS9, did me a tremendous favour on short notice, adjusting the TJI logo to give it the look I wanted for the article pages. As you can see, she did a great job. I owe ya one, SR. Nan of 5MSG beta-tested the new design; she won't read this for a while because she's on her way to California, but I'm grateful to her too.)


August 20

Well, in a brilliantly-timed piece of forgetfulness, I left the files I needed for today's update at school. I'll try to compensate by doing tomorrow's earlier than usual. Sorry, folks.


August 21

And here's part two of the TJI overhaul. I've put the remaining 20 articles in the new format (that's everything from 2002 and 2003). This time I definitely recommend looking through them, even if you've read them before -- you'll find quite a few interesting visual changes.

But wait, there's more! Tomorrow's update will conclude the overhaul with a new FAQ and some minor-but-still-interesting stuff. I'll also be demonstrating a number of alternatives to the current newsprint background, and you'll be able to vote on which one you think works best for TJI. See you tomorrow for that, and then on the weekend for some (gasp) actual new content.


August 22

Annnnnnd here's part three. The overhaul of This Just In is now complete, with a new FAQ and a couple more small improvements to the front page. With that, I can finally get back to the other sections -- a relief to me and probably to you, given that this took the whole week.

As promised, I've posted a poll on the new look of TJI and some alternatives to it. Please cast your vote -- the larger the turnout, the better I'll be able to gauge the readership's overall opinion. Don't hesitate to reply to the thread with any comments you may have. Speaking of which, today's comment thread applies to parts two and three of the overhaul (that's basically the new-look 2002 and 2003 articles plus the FAQ). Anything you guys have to say is welcome, even if it's critical -- I can't stress that last part enough. If you don't like the new TJI, say so! You don't even need to bother being tactful if you don't want to. With a change this big, I really want to hear as many different voices as possible.

Okay, I'm out for tonight. See you tomorrow for an update with at least one fiver in it.



August 23

As promised, here's a fiver -- one I've been keeping on ice for so long I had to thaw it out in the stove. Back in February, we published a Doctor Who fiver by SCMoll. This was actually just one of two he'd written, but I decided to wait a while with the second one. PointyHairedJedi asked me about Doctor Who fivers a couple of days ago, so I figure now is a good time to bring it out. SCMoll's Five-Minute "The Five Doctors" is now available in Sci-Fivers.

The 3Sygma server is in the midst of some technical difficulties, so if you find that 5MV is taking a long time to load, that's the reason. I don't know how long the situation will continue. It's a pain in the neck for me too, especially when I'm making updates, but unfortunately there's nothing I can do about it.

Finally, the poll is still in progress -- if you haven't voted yet, please do. The current layout is in the lead with a bit more than half the votes so far. I'll keep the poll running until Monday or so.



August 24

And so ends another week... not with a bang, nor with a whimper, but with a schrok. If you don't know what that sounds like, I can't help you. Anyway, Derek's got a new Deep Space Nine fiver for us: "The Collaborator." It doesn't have a long story behind it like yesterday's fiver, but that's just as well. No need to encourage my love of hearing myself talk.



August 26


(runs around in circles screaming)

....Okay. I think I'm okay now. It's just that I MISSED A DAY! ARRRRRRRRGH! ARRRRRRRRum, sorry. It's just kind of getting to me. I'd made it for 20 days and DID YOU HEAR THAT? TWENTY LOUSY DAYS AND I BLOW IT! I --

Right, sorry. Like I said, getting to me.

I won't let it happen again. Tomorrow, a real update where I don't just use the space to scream about missing the previous day. Tomorrow there will be a fiver, and it will be an Enterprise fiver. I never say that stuff in advance, and maybe I should start, because then I can be held accountable if I don't make it.

See you tomorrow. If you'll excuse me, I have some more screaming that's not going to do itself.


August 27

I'm sorry. I can't have it ready today, and I can't go into the reasons without going into a self-deprecating rant no one needs to hear. I'll try to get it done early enough tomorrow to make up for this.


August 28

At far-too-long last, Dead Stop. And that's what I'm about to come to. Goodnight.



August 29

Today we have Nic Corelli's sophomore fiver, a contribution to DS9's neglected third season. I'm sure you'll get a kick out of Five-Minute "Defiant" -- I know I did.

Something else I've been meaning to mention: Nan is back from her trip to the States, and so is Working Title with a new strip.



August 30

No new material today. (And as choices of one's day off go, the first day of a long weekend seems pretty sensible.) Drop by tomorrow, though. There'll be at least one item of amusement.

By the way, remind me not to publish a Sci-Fiver, a 5MD, and a 5ME consecutively again. It makes for lousy colour coordination on the front page.


August 31

And with that, August ended. And it's about time -- this page is long enough as it is. Come back tomorrow for a shorter page and some new stuff.

Oh yeah, I promised an item of amusement... go read some Random Axe of Kindness. The archives are a couple of hours very well spent. (And while you're looking over there, I can make my getaway.)

More update notes:

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Five-Minute Voyager and subsites are © Colin Hayman.