back at it


Greetings and HNY. I’d like to report on what I’ve been up to lately. I have travelled to Eastern Washington to give a training and to visit some of our clubs in that area. The training went really well. We’re trying to work with a group of university students at Central Washington University to have them provide training for families who receive computers from the TAP clubs.

Comment from Matthew Garcia on January 6, 2009 - 7:30pm

I don't know if you already know about these, but if not, you should check out Opera's tutorials on HTML and CSS. They're just articles that take you through learning both languages. Good times, Great oldies:


They might come in handy to supplement the class. Holla!

Comment from Wilson Bull on January 6, 2009 - 7:36pm

Thanks, Matt. Looks like some great stuff there (I used HTML to make that bold..er...strong).

The Web Design Holy War


Everyone on the CTC VISTA listserv probably noticed some extra e-mail today. Thanks for taking me into your inboxes, and thank you to Matt and Dina for some solid advice!

One of my ongoing projects is creating a website for the UMass Lowell Engineering Service-Learning Program, affectionately known as SLICE (Service-Learning Integrated throughout the College of Engineering). I've been working on the site sporadically for about six months, having done most of the work in February and March. Now that the school year has started, it's time to bring the site online. That means debugging.

My visit to VISTA head quarters- 10/4/2006



This is our first meeting after VISTA leadership change. We welcome our new leaders Daniele and Ben. We look farword to an enjoyable time, and wish for our efforts be fruitful ahead as VISTAs under our new leadership. 

This is my first attempt at learning to attach tags to the information I enter into blogs with the help of Daniele's demonstration.



Comment from Patricia Conrad... on October 4, 2006 - 1:57pm

Good to see you today. We were lucky to have such good weather and a hearty lunch.

Comment from Kamala Kalluri on October 5, 2006 - 4:15pm

Thanks Patricia. I felt very happy to se you as well. Enjoy this fall weather while it lasts

CSS is amazing


One of the things I am working on is creating websites for nonprofits. In the past, I used CSS a little for changing background colors, fonts, etc because I saw it somewhere but I had no idea what it was capable of. (For anyone who hasn't heard of it, CSS can be used to create designs for HTML pages. It allows one design file to be used for multiple pages in a website so that changing the font all across a site, for example, does not require changing each page in the site.)

The CSS Zen Garden project provides a webpage for designers to create CSS designs for, which are then posted online. Each of the designs use the same HTML code (so they have the same content) - the only difference is the CSS (including images) design. Of the hundreds of designs posted online, here are a few examples that I liked and think show a good variety of designs: Museum, Pretty in Pink, Obsequience, contemporary nouveau, and Garden Party. Isn't this cool?

Comment from lauren bratslavsky on October 5, 2006 - 3:50pm

Here are some more resources for CSS learning ( css and basic html can be the way to go for simple nonprofits).

Good site to learn the basics, easy to follow: http://www.cssbasics.com/

Also, Open Source Web Design - oswd.org is a great website to get free templates that are purely css based and then you can modify them anyway you want. I used this to learn css also, but in a backwards sort of way. And zen garden.

When you're looking at pages, like on zen garden and you're like - uhhh, how the hell did they do that.... - Firefox has an extension called Aardvark that when you turn it on, you can see the different divs and ids and classes and so on. http://karmatics.com/aardvark/

And for menus - if you're too lazy or time constrained for a fancy menu but want one:



Comment from John Miller on October 6, 2006 - 8:00pm

I know that Drupal uses stylesheets quite liberally (for example, our blogging pages use a file called drupal.css for the main part of the page and another small bit of CSS for the editor portion). It'd be fun to dig into it a bit more, and I know that Ben, Danielle, and Aliya could probably use some CSS help on the site.

Glad to hear that you're doing a page using just HTML+CSS. A site I'm working on does the same thing, and I was feeling self-conscious about it.... 8-)


Comment from cheryl jerozal on October 11, 2006 - 11:40am

thanks for all the great info Lauren!

Comment from cheryl jerozal on October 11, 2006 - 11:44am

simple site ...creators?... unite. silly simple site sophisticates unite? simple site supporters solidify? ...

Comment from Aliya Abbasi on October 12, 2006 - 3:44pm

Morgan (a VISTA with our project last year) recommended this

"It cuts A LOT of the work out of generating menus, buttons, navigation and fancy 'bells and whistles' for creating webpages


 morgan sully"