PETERZHANG

Hello there.

I'm a front-end developer passionate about cutting-edge technologies and impacting everyday lives. It's nice to meet you!

The new Peetahzee.com


I liked my old Peetahzee’s Blog quite a lot. It was my first major web design project, and it took quite a few iterations to get it looking right. It looked good, well, in 2008 standards at least. Just to give some context – border-radius wasn’t yet a thing back then.

I gave it a facelift in 2011 – call it v1.5 if you will – when I entered college and realized that portfolio websites matter to recruiters. Peetahzee.com was no longer just a personal blog anymore, but more so a professional representation of me as a developer. I put some CSS tricks on (oh how I loved inset box-shadow), got a new portfolio site going, and hoped that it would last for a few more years.

Much blue. So color. Very roundedcorners. Wow.

Much blue. So color. Very roundedcorners. Wow.

But of course, in this industry, hardly anything ever lasts for more than a couple of years. I soon got jealous of all my friends’ fancy personal sites and thought, hey, I can do better with my own site. I was very happy with myself when I redesigned my new resume – it’s clean, has a very “refreshing” look, and (I believe) helps people focus on the right things through graphics and typography. I wonder what it would look on a website.

Based on that, there are a couple of things I wanted to do differently:

  • Less blue. It’s still my favorite color, but it seems that when the entire page is blue, it is quite distracting
  • Dominant “featured image” – an image to sum up the contents of the post
  • Focus of the page is on the content. Sidebar is much less important
  • Some place for a one-liner about myself
  • Always-on nav bar
  • Responsive design
  • Some sort of scrolling magic

Ah, about the scrolling magic – I didn’t want to just be like everybody else who gets a full-screen-image-parallax-thingy-majingy on there and call it a day. I thought about what I want the visitor to see on the instant they first visit the page, and what they’d want to see after spending some time. One obvious example would be my face. It can really help the visitor identify that it’s my blog, but it can also get in the way of the contents of the blog afterwards.

The entire redesign took me about two weeks from mockup to final implementation, and I’m quite pleased with the results. As a bonus, under this new design, I feel like I can have more flexibility when designing individual pages in the future (for example, the portfolio page.) I have some plans for that and can’t wait to get started on that.

Any comments or suggestions? I would love some feedback!

Guess what laptop I will get, and WIN A PRIZE


UPDATE: The contest will be automatically cancelled if there are less than 15 entries by October 10 (when the contest closes).

That’s right. I am actually going to get a souvenir in San Francisco, and just give it to the person whom guessed the laptop right.

So I’ve won a ThinkQuest Website Competition back in June, and as a result, I get to go to California in October 10 (6 days away as of date of posting) and get a laptop worth of $1500. Just to make myself even more excited, I want to host a mini contest here.

This contest will run until October 10. I won’t know the answer to this question until around October 13th, but I will release the answer (and pics!) right away when I get it.

Here are some hints:

  • The laptop’s approximate value is US$1500 (you might want to calculate tax in it as well…)
  • HP and Dell are major sponsors of the event (that probably won’t mean I’ll definitely get HP or Dell)
  • They might not have bought the laptop on the day that they give it to me…
  • It’s probably not a customized model (which means fixed specs), so on websites like HP’s and Dell’s, I suggest you look for Quickship models

Comment on this post with your answer, probably with exact brand/model/specs by October 10. Here’s how I will determine who’s the closest (example values):

  • EXACT: Apple Macbook Pro 13’’ 2.53GHz
  • CLOSE: Apple Macbook Pro 13’’ 2.26GHz
  • 2nd CLOSE: Apple Macbook Pro 13’’
  • 3rd CLOSE: Apple Macbook Pro 15’’ (whatever specs)
  • 4th CLOSE: Apple Macbook Air
  • 5th CLOSE: Whatever laptop with with 2.53GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, 250GB Harddrive

Each person is only allowed to enter this contest once. If I catch anybody cheating, you will be disqualified.

The value of the prize will not be less than US$3. Only ONE person with the closest/exact answer wins. In the case of tie, I’ll use a random generator to determine the winner. I will most likely just  hand you the prize in person if you are in Hong Kong or Shanghai (you’ll probably have to wait until December for Shanghai people), or via paypal for other people in the world (Paypal not applicable for real life friends in Hong Kong or Shanghai)

Feel free to visit the website that I won!

Phew. The Blog is Back.


Sorry for downtime of the blog for the past week. I actually didn’t notice it until Thursday. So what happened?

I was on an extremely cheap host. I got a deal for US$50/yr on WebHostingPad for a hosting plan that has unlimited space and bandwidth earlier last year. Turns out, not only are their services super bad (once I wrote an essay on how I want a feature to be enabled, and it is not a super ridiculous request either. It’s like standard on all servers. But then, all they replied was “Sorry, there is a security problem involved.”), server quality not as good as they had promised, and most of all, they charge people without consent.

There were absolutely no hint of when the hosting will expire in the admin panel, and you know, why would you remember what time exactly you purchased a product last year? One day morning, when my mom reads her credit card statement, she shocking finds a US$88 bill from the company. We were both shocked. Not only did they charge without my consent, the price was also way off from what they promoted on the website (US$66).

I quickly sent them an email regarding what’s happening. They said it’s the company’s regular procedure to renew users’ accounts automatically to avoid data loss. I can only cancel within the first seven days of the payment with handling charges of US$25. BS. What happened to the 30-day-money-back-guarantee? You could have sent an email saying your account is going to expire one month earlier so that we can make backups – that’d have been much more useful. In addition, they say they’ll return the difference if I ask for it. So what, customers will need to pay more if they don’t ask?

I told my mom what happened, and my mom got SO angry. She called the bank up and asked them to cancel the transaction. At the same time, I started backing up the site in case they decided that I was too annoying. I finished the files backup, was almost going to backup the database… but then something distracted me away, and I didn’t complete the backup. I thought I had, but I realized I don’t have anything when they finally suspended my account Monday. I guess it must be the bank doing something.

While I was panicking, not knowing what to do, Jonathan, a friend of mine, found my site in Google Cache! (Basically Google stores pages’ data into its local servers so that they can access it quickly) Thanks to Google Cache, I was able to grab all the posts back. However, Google was so freggin fast when it comes to caching my blog (not others, such as TechCube), so that by the time I was going to restore all the comments, Google Cache deleted those old cached pages already.

So, the moral of the story: WHEN YOU CHOOSE A HOST, CHOOSE A RELIABLE ONE. NEVER CHOOSE WEBHOSTINGPAD or anything that SOUNDS like a good deal.

Happy Birthday to Myself!


Just in case anybody plans to forget it, TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY! And yup, it’s the sweet sixteen for me. Feel free to buy me a present!

Welcome!


Hi there, welcome to Peetahzee’s Blog!

My name is Peter, and as you can see, this blog just got started. Bookmark, and subscribe to our RSS Feeds! Check back regularly, and I hope to see you soon?

What’s on the blog, you ask? I don’t even know how to answer this question. It will probably have contents on just about everything I see around my life – be it embarrassing moments, funny things I saw on the streets, or heck, maybe even talk about my criticism towards the GFW of China.

Long story short, you’ll find some amazing stuff here, and I am sure you won’t be disappointed. See you again soon!