The latest revisions to this web site appear below:
2 Dec 2013
A daily external link to the news story of the day is now provided at the top of the Home page as follows:
Monday - 2 Dec 2013 For today's news story click on this external link:CP - Holiday Train Rolling Into Town
27 Oct 2013
OK, here we go again, another damn change! You readers out there don't appreciate the amount of time required to prepare this web site for publication each week. This was the reason for discontinuing the news pages for smartphones some time ago. It simply took too long to prepare two sets of pages, one for large screens, and the other for mobile phones. But... I think I've found a way to have my cake and eat it too. So now the mobile pages will return. But... (Compromise, compromise, such is life.) because of this change the Home page layout has changed. Not as pretty now but more functional, and boring, compromise, compromise.
22 Oct 2013
A News Flash section was added to the Home Page today. This section will appear at the top of the Home Page when appropriate as breaking news happens. Click on the banner or the news headline to read the article.
18 Oct 2013
The Windows 8.1 upgrade was released today so I upgraded my operating system by downloading and installing it in about an hour and a half. The return of the old Start button is a joke. It doesn't bring back the programs menu as before. It should now be called the Tile button as all it does is bring up the tiles screen. The install set-up menu forces you to log onto a Microsoft account before continuing. Your original password being replaced by the logon password you provide. It took some time to figure out how to restore the original password which is now called a "local" password. Previously installed anti-virus software, Avast, doesn't function in Windows 8.1 so a dialog box indicated where to go for an upgrade. However, if you select a Microsoft account during the Win 8.1 install versus a local password this seems to interfere with Avast. After several un-installs and re-installs of Avast 2014 the program still failed. A Windows update downloaded 3 additional files not included with the 8.1 upgrade which included a patch for Avast. Avast now appears to be functional even though the browser's Manage Add-ons menu says it is incompatible. Go figure! HTML 5 files in Microsoft's Internet Explorer seem to appear the same as before but several browser add-ons are now marked "incompatible" and don't function. There is no way to remove incompatible add-ons by using the browser's Manage Add-ons menu. Also, the browser tends to lock up more frequently since the 8.1 update so it must frequently be killed with the Task Manager then restarted. Next problem...
2 Sep 2013
Although not particularly apparent the web site underwent a fairly major revision making most of the web pages more uniform with a standardized blue gradient background. Logos and images with links now appear on the left side of most pages, with a couple of exceptions. The layout of the THIS WEEK and NEXT WEEK news pages is somewhat simplified. Next? Wait for it...
17 Jun 2013
Shrunk the page headers slightly and changed from white to blue for no particular reason.
14 Feb 2013
I've had a request to increase the size of the small photos on the home page, (the "This Week" page). I've done that, but it's a trade-off, just like everything in life, compromise, compromise. By increasing the photo size that also increases the page load time. The solution was to decrease the number of small photos to keep the load time short. So instead of small photos there are just text headlines in some cases. Next...
4 Feb 2013
Sorry folks... but Canadian news will now be presented weekly instead of daily. OKthePK mobile news for smartphones is no longer available. I've had to cut down my work load... and try to get a life.
3 Jan 2013
Here are some visitor statistics for the year 2012 collected by the OKthePK server that you may find interesting, or not...
Total number of web site hits during year = 1,942,481 Average hits per month = 161,873 Average hits per day = 5,322
Busiest month of the year = October Busiest day of the week = Wednesday
Browsers reading this web site: Microsoft Internet Explorer = 48% FireFox = 18% Apple Safari = 18% Google Chrome = 12% Opera = 2%
1 Jan 2013
The first upload of this year includes all the recently constructed HTML 5 pages. I had missed the search results page earlier but that too is now HTML 5. The web site appears substantially the same in four browsers, Microsoft Internet Explorer, FireFox, Google Chrome, and Opera. If you're using Apple's Safari browser please advise me of any anomalies, perhaps I can correct them.
25 Dec 2012
Way back when, I don't recall how many years ago, HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up Language) became popular. It was simple, easy to learn, and compact, saving bandwidth with each small file holding a web page. One of the early complaints was the difficulty in displaying where text and images appeared on a web page. This short coming was soon solved when the table tag came along providing many ways to position text and images.
Then some genius decided that the mark-up (WHAT text and images are displayed on a page) needed to be separated from the presentation (WHERE and how the text and images are displayed on a page). The resulting solution was CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
So now simple HTML was complicated by the addition of CSS, a new language to be learned. However, even after the introduction of CSS each new version of HTML, up to 4.01, generally still had the ability to place text and images where you wanted without the use of CSS. A web page designer could avoid using CSS entirely if they chose.
Then along came HTML 5 and all that changed. In HTML5 the presentation is totally separated from mark-up so a web page designer is now forced to use CSS.
It took nearly 2 weeks but this web site is now entirely constructed with HTML 5.
I miss the good old days of simple HTML.
17 Dec 2012
Below is my Reliability History chart from the Action Center which indicates some of the problems I've experienced since upgrading to Windows 8. The red dots with an X indicate critical failures of Windows 8. In some instances when there is a critical failure the "blue screen of death" appears and all current work in progress is lost as the computer shuts down. There will be no warning to save your work! The yellow triangles indicate a warning but the system seems to remain stable when that occurs. The blue dots indicate the operating system has taken some action, such as updating Windows Defender, and have no apparent effect on computer use. The chart covers the period from 14 Oct 2012 to 9 Dec 2012. The large increase in critical failures began with the installation of Windows 8 on 27 Oct 2012. Since then there has been an improvement but critical failures still occur.
28 Nov 2012
This annoying Windows 8 Internet Explorer browser version 10 error message:
Is caused by an Avast anti-virus program module named WebRep. Running the Windows 8 troubleshooting program against the Internet Explorer program will find the Avast WebRep module and disable it. Microsoft Internet Explorer browser then functions normally. My apologies Microsoft, thought you were to blame for the problem. I'm still monitoring the Windows 8 reliability history with the Action Center. Critical failures are still occurring but with slightly less frequency.
19 Nov 2012
Windows 8 Internet Explorer browser version 10 produces this annoying error message continuously.
The Windows 8 Action Center keeps track of system failures and produces a graph. Here's what my PC installation of Windows 8 looks like for the period 31 Oct 2012 to 18 Nov 2012. The red dots indicate critical failures.
13 Nov 2012
Changed the lead story photograph on the mobile page to full screen size and moved the headline text beneath it.
3 Nov 2012
ATTENTION Windows Users: DO NOT UPGRADE to Windows 8. The operating system is unstable on a PC and may crash or freeze up the computer at any time. The big blue screen of death has returned! Too bad... Windows 7 was very stable. Over time Microsoft will most likely fix these problems but waiting to upgrade would be a wise choice.
27 Oct 2012
Today Microsoft Windows 8 Pro Version 6.2.9200 Build 9200 was installed and updated running Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 Version 10.0.9200.16384. OKthePK pages were specifically designed for Microsoft Internet Explorer version 10 running on the Windows 8 operating system. They will display properly at 1920 x 1080 or 1176 x 664 resolution. Other browsers, operating systems, or resolutions may be problematical. If you have a problem please contact me. Happy Halloween... Boo !
24 Oct 2012
To reduce scrolling of the Home page news article photos and links are now side by side in pairs. Tightened up the header and menu spacing on each page as well.
20 Oct 2012
Most noticeable change is the "Ballast" background. Text is slightly larger as Cascading Style Sheets are now employed on all pages.
3 Oct 2012
Replaced the Download button link to a Wallpaper of the Month page.
17 Aug 2012
Modified the CSS code to set the base font on all pages.
25 Jul 2012
Rebuilt the Site Map page making it more interactive and perhaps more interesting. Added a second link from the home page to the site map marked "Explore this web site".
7 Jul 2012
For consistency sake added more "Up" buttons to several pages and removed all the images from the About page. Thought the Up button was too large and distracting so reduced its size.
25 Jun 2012
Changed the footer on all pages to provide an "Up" link to the top of the page and a Home page link.
15 Mar 2012
Added a more effective free web site search feature by Free Find on the right side of the Home page. The old search function by FusionBot.com has been removed from the CPR Set-off Siding Latest Updates page.
27 Feb 2012
Added "Up to top of page" links to Yesterday's news page. Changed link colours on all pages except Home page and Mobile pages to make them more readable. Added Canadian flag to header on all pages.
2 Jan 2012
Well... it's a new year, so time for a change. It's obvious the Christmas holiday web site couldn't remain throughout the new year so there are really only four revisions to the web site. Rather than having one large photo for the lead news article all the news articles show a photo on the homepage along with their respective title. Click on either to read the article. This forced various icons and logos to move to the right side of the page. The third revision changes all page background colours from blue to grey. The fourth revision involves the mobile page. The large opening news article photo has been replaced by a smaller photo to match all the others appearing there.
19 Dec 2011
Snow falling on the Christmas web site home page has accumulated on several of the hyperlinks. A Christmas tree appears to the left side of the screen while a gift marked "Do NOT open before December 25th !" will be found at the bottom of the page. Santa Claus has advised you really should wait until December 25th before clicking to open this present.
9 Dec 2011
The Mobile news page was modified today. Large headline text now precedes the first photograph. Pressing on either the photo or the headline text will open the news article. Each story below the first article now includes a small photo along with the story title. Pressing the photo or the title will open the appropriate news article.
12 Nov 2011
The "This Month" page was updated to match the latest changes. Added a link at the bottom of the "Home" page to this page then placed a link on the "Sitemap" page to this page. Added the QR code image to the bottom of the Home page with an appropriate link. Added a link from the Sitemap page to the QR code page.
10 Nov 2011
Web site design rule number two, consistency. Since the menu buttons were moved to the top of the Home page yesterday they now appear in that same location on all other pages too. Also, the button colours have been reversed. Buttons now turn grey when the mouse pointer hovers over them. After clicking on a particular button upon arrival at the appropriate page the button remains grey to indicate it is inactive.
BEFORE - OKthePK web site home page.
AFTER - OKthePK web site home page.
9 Nov 2011
If you have visited this web site regularly perhaps you noticed the size of the photograph on the home page increased in size over time. (In the last iteration it went from 588 pixels to 640 pixels wide.)
This forced other columns on the page to become cramped. To compensate, the total width of the page then crept up to 1082 pixels.
Now, anyone who designs web pages knows there are many issues to address with the size of a readers screen being one of the most important. This brings up the question, "What size is the reader's screen?".
Over the years computer monitors have continuously changed. The analog TV tube types have been eclipsed by digital LCD monitors. Along with this evolution screen sizes have increased too (For instance, mine is 1920 x 1080 pixels.) so that there are many sizes to choose from. As a web site designer one must choose the most common size so as to satisfy the most common monitors that are out there. Therefore the size chosen as the most common today, and this is just a guess, is 1024 x 786.
So... this web site had been re-designed to fit within a 1024 x 768 screen. (You are still required to scroll up and down.)
To permit the headline story photograph to remain at 640 pixels wide the only way to accomplish this was to reduce the number of columns on the home page from 3 to 2. This necessitated moving the menu buttons to the top of the screen with the "CPR Set-off Siding", "The Foamer Files", and the "Slim Archive" buttons near the bottom. All other pages remain unchanged at this time.
Those of you running laptop computers with 1024 x 768 screens will thank me, but those with larger screens, not so much.
Compromise, compromise, life is full of compromises.