General and miscellaneous information that doesn’t fit in the other categories.

3D rendering, design, media, and technology news.

It was brought to my attention yesterday that my LunarStudio website was being cut-off at the top of one user’s browser. Of course, I’m always concerned whenever someone experiences issues and experience the feedback – it can mean a less pleasing end-user’s experience as well as a loss in business. However, there can also be a number of reason’s why something goes wrong or looks incorrect on an end-user’s end and not necessarily and fault of my own.

In this particular case, it was the simple fact that the user was viewing my website at less than 1024×768 resolution on his monitor. LunarStudio isn’t designed currently for viewing anything less than 1280×960. Some might call this a mistake or a bad judgment, but I can ensure you that it is intentional.

There used to be a point in time around 2000-2002 when I designed all of my websites to fit the 800×600 website standard which was the most frequently used resolution. It was general and safe practice for any web designer to do so. I also made sure that most of my images tried to conform to a 256-color palette. This was because most people were just becoming accustomed to using computers for home use, they were running on much slower connections, used older browsers, older operating systems, older (and much more expensive) monitors, their computing power was limited, and they were running slow graphics processors (if any at all.) Quite frankly, designing for those standards was very limiting as well as a royal pain in the ass.

Now that it’s 10 years later, computing technology has come a long ways – people are running on faster connections as well as faster computers. They generally have much larger and less expensive LCDs. Most of us have the latest browsers and operating systems.

With the current version of LunarStudio, I redesigned it with forward-thinking in mind versus a legacy mentality. I don’t have the time to think of the worst-case or even average viewing scenario and frankly really can’t be driven to care unless I’m getting paid to do so. The way I figure it is that if a person is having problems viewing my website, then there’s a chance that they are somewhat computer illiterate, and this might make a working situation tenuous at best – they’re simply trying to jump from an era of driving a horse and buggy to driving the latest Ferrari. I hope that this isn’t taken as being rude or condescending – I’m just merely stating that a user needs to get with the times or risk becoming a thing of the past.

That being said, here are some statistics which may be of interest:

Screen Resolution and Colors:

As of 2011, 85% of all users view websites at a resolution greater than 1024×768 and the rate keeps climbing.

As of 2011,  97% of all users have a color-depth of over 16 million colors.


Internet Explorer: 22.9% total. IE9: 4.8%. IE8: 12.4%. IE7: 3.9%. IE6: 1.8%.

Firefox: 39.7% total. FF7: 1.5%. FF6: 22.2%. FF5: 3.1%. FF4: 2.2%. FF3: 9%.

Chrome: 30.5% total. C15: 0.7%. C14: 11.2%. C13: 16%. C12: 1.1%.

Safari: 4.0% total. S5: 3.8%. S4: 0.2%.

Opera: 2.2% total. O11: 1.7%. O10: 0.1%.

Other browsers: 0.7% total.

Operating Systems:

Windows 7: 42.2%.

Windows Vista: 5.6%.

Windows 2003: 0.8%.

Windows XP: 36.2%.

Linux: 5.1%.

Mac: 8.6%.

Mobile: 0.9%.


Display Display Statistics.

Browser Statistics.

Operating Systems.

My Website Captures:

I use a handy tool called browsercam (discontinued) when it comes to capturing how my website should look across browsers, resolutions, and operating systems.

Here are some links to how the LunarStudio website looks across various setups:

***Old site discontinued.***


This doesn’t include every variation. This just gives me a general idea as to how my website looks to that 15% of the population that I don’t really target.


I think the most frightening thing about the statistics listed above is that 36% of the population is still running on Windows XP followed by a 5.6% on Vista which just blows my mind. The majority use browsers generally dated one version back – seeing that browsers are routinely updated, I shouldn’t have to worry so much about people using older browsers to view my content. Beyond that, the clear majority run high enough resolutions and color-depths to support the current LunarStudio website.

Designing for the lowest common denominator when it comes to websites is a risk any designer or company takes. Frankly, I think if you’re planning on designing a website and you want it to be modern, it may not be worth maximizing revenue based solely on a target market that is outdated. If website design was my full-time job, I might consider that 15%, but for now, it’s not something I’m going to concern myself with.

3D rendering, design, media, and technology news.

One of my other websites, MightyFunk Design News was recently updated. I used the same basic template as I did for this site because I had liked it so much – clean and simple. Quite frankly, I just don’t have the time to custom design every one of my websites unless I’m getting paid to do so, so reusing this site template seemed like a perfect match.

Just to recap the purpose of MightyFunk, it’s a website that functions as a RSS feed with an interface which contains brief excerpts or snippets of design-related news. It’s not meant as a permanent replacement for the original author’s articles and websites, but merely a brief synopsis in case a topic or article looks interesting. I mainly designed it for my own information, inspiration, and curiosity, but thought others might find the sites I frequent useful.

The problem with my previous MightyFunk system and design is that it was eating up my server’s resources and was becoming increasingly slow over time. My host and I could never figure out what was causing these performance issues and I was getting hit with a nasty hosting bill because of it every month.  MightyFunk stood paused for a little over a year’s time, but now it’s up and running again and better than ever. Only time will tell if the site gets bloated again.

Currently, it stands at over 35,349 posts. That’s an awful lot of posts… If you have a moment, please check it out!

3D rendering, design, media, and technology news.

I spent a 1/2 hour on the phone with my tech support and web host at MediaTemple tonight. It’s not the first time that I’ve had to call them up with some advanced questions (I like to tinker), and they completely understood what I was saying. I ran into an issue today where I had this site pointing to one CDN, then I also pointed it to their new partner CloudFlare. I wrote them earlier questioning potential conflicts, and they responded by saying that it was probably not a good idea to have any redundancy, so I removed MaxCDN and my CNAME record which pointed to it.

That’s when things started to go funny. This site visually broke as well as some of my other blogs. I wasn’t sure if it was an issue of caching, DNS propagation, mirroring, plugins, or the theme itself. I thought maybe it had mostly to do with the plugins as I was using CDN Linker Light on this blog, and W3TotalCache on some of my others. It turns out that none of those were the case, but I eventually found out on my own that WP Minify was causing missing CSS and JavaScript errors.

While MediaTemple didn’t resolve my problem directly, they were there to give me some good pointers. You never feel rushed when talking to their support, and quite often they go above and beyond to help you out. For example, they shouldn’t have to be dealing with people’s WordPress installations such as mine since it’s technically out of their scope, but quite often they’re willing to give it a shot. Their service has been worth every penny so far, and I hope that they never change.

Thanks guys.

Lunarlog Statistics.

I noticed something unusual in my website statistics this morning. Traffic to this blog had jumped from around an average of 50 visitors a day to almost 600 visitors per day since September 20th. I’m still trying to figure out what exactly caused this spike.

Lunarlog Statistics.

Lunarlog Statistics.

The only other times I’ve seen larger spikes is when some of my work was featured on NPR, The Atlantic, Gizmodo, and The Wall Street Journal. The numbers had jumped close to 8,000 visitors per day then dropped back down.

A traffic increase is a positive thing for any concerned author on the Internet as long as it doesn’t crash your website hosting service provider. The whole point of running a site in the first place is for people to find what you are writing about or promoting. So, there’s no complaints on my end – I’m just trying to figure out what exactly happened because I’m really curious. I tried looking at my logs and couldn’t pinpoint where visitors were coming from and what they were looking at.

Relatively-speaking, this site isn’t meant to be popular and the traffic spike isn’t anything remarkable compared to some much larger and more popular websites. I don’t think (nor would I ever intend) that the topics I choose to discuss here would be interesting to most people. It’s meant to be informative for people searching out specific needs and design-related information, while attempting to cross-promote my artwork at I tend to focus more on smaller niches of writing and uniqueness of content, rather than some other blogs which try to tackle one major topic (ie. food-related blogs, motorcycles, etc.) A slight diversity in topics seems to cast a much wider net when it comes to search engines, although specificity also has its own time and place. I suppose what you choose to write really depends on what you want from a target audience. My main work is illustration-related, and it’s such a broad field that work can come from any number of directions.

I think several different things might have caused the traffic jump:

  1. The redesign of Lunarlog which could have led to faster load times, better code syntax, and a more pleasant experience to end-users.
  2. A link from a popular website to this one.
  3. A link from a popular website which contains a popular article to this one.
  4. A popular topic which I might have recently written about.
  5. New blog article posts which Google triggers (they like fresh content.)
  6. Incorporating rel=”author” syntax.
  7. Removal of some WordPress plugins.
  8. Addition of some WordPress plugins.

In general, traffic spikes usually come from one or two resources, but other sites might pick up on something interesting and start linking to you as well. Spikes and traffic acts like a pyramid when it comes to linking, but hopefully this remains a plateau. It might be a few more days before I can come up with some solid answers.

3D rendering, design, media, and technology news.

Something worth considering is the availability of the Internet to US homes, and whether or not the government should take part in providing accessibility to every resident in the United States. While we can look towards countries such as Japan and South Korea as role models in this area of technology (everyone has access to the Internet there), the US has some major obstacles to overcome in order to have this implemented. Some of these obstacles are people-based, geographical, technological, educational, financial, government-sanctioned monopolies, and political.

From a recent article concerning the FCC’s standpoint at

The FCC maintains that access to high-speed internet is not merely a convenience, but essential to provide a fair chance at a job and an education, as well as to run a successful business. In a report released last year, the FCC maintained, “approximately 26 million Americans, mostly in rural communities located in every region of the country, are denied access to the jobs and economic opportunity made possible by broadband.” In mid-August, the USDA announced the provision of $103 million in federal funds in 16 states to help develop broadband networks in rural communities. This is the latest in a series of efforts by the government to provide installation and discounts for families, schools and small businesses. –Ten States that Can’t Get Online./

This basically summarizes my views as to the usefulness of the Internet, and how not having it impacts the general welfare of our society. I don’t think many people would disagree that it’s an important resource tool – much like the US public library system but better – more convenient and less costly to maintain. It’s an essential part of business and education at this point, and one we cannot choose to ignore. The main question we face is whether or not the Internet should become a “right” – that is for everyone in this country to have some level of “free” access to it. I would also go one step further and say that it’s not just the people in rural communities that suffer from a lack of access, it’s also a portion of the population within major cities as well.

Here are some of the obstacles our country faces in rolling out a nationwide Internet system run by the government:

People-based Obstacles

Ultimately, laying Internet cable requires manpower. There’s simply no getting around this fact. However, in this economy, I don’t there’s any shortage of people looking for work. I would have to say that the problem has more to do with bureaucracy – politicians and government officials often take their time when it comes to issues. The main problem here is that there’s a certain amount of trepidation and laziness involved in trying to get things accomplished, and dealing with stubborn people like that only tends to compound this issue.

Geographical Obstacles

Most of the areas that lack easy access to the Internet are largely inaccessible due to geographical boundaries. You might have a home or a town in the middle of farm country or surrounded by mountains. Laying cable through these areas is going to be costly. Sending wireless signals via towers presents its own technical hurdles. It also brings up the question as to whether or not the expenditures are worth serving just a few people in some remote area.

The other issue involved is one of geographical comparison. It’s not fair for us to compare other countries which have nation-wide access when they are the size of one or two US States. It’s definitely going to be easier for them to implement and maintain a nationwide program since their areas of coverage are often smaller.

At the very least, it could be argued that people within major metropolitan areas should have basic coverage.

Technological Obstacles

We have the technology to accomplish connecting remote communities, but the quality may not be the greatest. When it comes to wireless, it’s just like a cellphone signal – you’re going to have areas that are inaccessible or the quality is weak. If the technologies related to signals or satellite information were to improve, this could improve accessibility and also lower costs. However, in order to make this spoke of the wheel turn, companies and the government need to continually invest in research and development.

As for cable, I’ve heard plenty of stories where a cable company doesn’t want to stretch a line down a mile of driveway for free. They often tell the homeowner that they need to pay for the costs, or get the community to chip-in. There’s still other options such as the old dial up modems, satellite, and DSL. All of these technologies have to be an option for a nation-wide system to work.

Educational Obstacles

If someone doesn’t use the Internet, then there’s a good chance they don’t understand what they are missing out on. Even if someone does use it, there’s a good chance that they don’t fully understand the capabilities and possibilities. I would say that latter encompasses the majority of all politicians within the US. I hate to play the age-card, but the older a person is (and most politicians are middle-aged or older), often the less in touch they are with newer technological trends – it’s a combination of accessibility, priorities, health, and education that factors into it. Politicians are often too busy trying to get elected or passing laws, that they hardly hop on the Internet other than to check Facebook statuses, emails, and to buy the occasional pair of new shoes. To me, that’s not understanding the Internet, but using one very narrow portion to get a few things done – this is about as accomplished as walking into a store or turning on a television and nothing beyond that.

There’s also a human cost – do we allow people easier access to educational and financial resources? Higher education often translates into lower crime rates. In a global economy, a higher level of education helps build the communities around us so that we are stronger and more prepared in case of emergencies. I think the financial and business impact is self-explanatory, so I won’t go into further detail here.

Financial Obstacles

Costs are going to be high – there’s no getting around it. But the way to look at it is that it’s an initial outlay of costs and each subsequent repair or upgrade to the system should progressively inexpensive as time goes on. The system should also be a lot easier to maintain than our nation’s bridges and highway system.

People are always going to complain as to how something of this nature impacts their taxes. They’re often more focused on their short-term gain, versus something which could negatively impact themselves and their children several years later. It’s a very narrow-minded approach – similar to putting a bandage on a large open wound versus getting appropriate medical care.

In order to solve part of this issue, I think the Internet speeds need to be metered. If people want to, they can pay extra for higher speeds and larger downloads, but at the very least, everyone should have basic access to it. Whether or not that’s provided through government or corporations, that’s something they can work out together.

Government-Sanctioned Monopolies

When Cable Internet first came to my area, I talked with a few technicians who were working on my street. I asked a couple of them, “what took so long?” They explained to me that the cable lines are run by the companies, but the space is rented out by the town for a period of years. The various cable companies bid to have access to this space and in turn promise to maintain it. Even if two companies are providing Cable Internet service, only one company can get into an area due to this allocation of space and time, so it essentially forms a government sanctioned monopoly.

Due to this long drawn-out process, cable companies are afraid to make some technological advances in the area unless there’s some sort of guarantee that they will have it for a long period of time. Even then, the selected company might think their service is “adequate enough”, so they may not have any drive to improve upon their services even if a competitor has a better offering but is prevented from operating. This can lead to much higher prices and profiteering, and in the end, the user has no choice but to use them because there’s no alternative. It’s something that all of us experience, but most often don’t understand. We often think that these cable companies are being capitalistic, but in essence they are operating much like a monopoly.

It’s true that other companies have developed and offered alternative services such as DSL and satellite, but most of them have had to because they don’t have any choice when it comes to the way towns operate.

The system is very similar to the way land-line phone carriers operate – generally you could only get one telephone carrier in an area. Same with cable television, gas, and electric. When higher-speed Internet came about, it followed the same rules which in many ways is ineffective.

If these cable providers are to continue to operate, there needs to be a tiered approach. First there needs to be basic government access to all. The government will probably have to compensate them for some of their infrastructure maintenance and enhancements, or the government needs to create a new organization within Public Works that handles these issues. The basic connection doesn’t have to be fast, but it needs to be available. Secondly, the cable companies could provide a better offering that costs consumers. Either way, I believe there needs to be some basic level of access for everyone and there also needs to be competition in order to promote technological advancement.

Political Obstacles

I’ve mentioned politics in several areas above, mostly because all of the above are intertwined issues. Voters tend to drive decision-making processes through their elected officials, however voters are not necessarily always the sharpest tools in the shed. The average user understands the basics, and is often slow to adapt to newer technological trends. They don’t always understand the intricacies of an issue, nor the potential impact a decision might have. Most people are concerned with the immediate problem of putting food on the table, and not what’s going to happen five years from now. I’m not trying to put anyone down, but this is just the way society and human nature generally tends to work.

Just like all politics, politicians generally try to cater to what the people want. The politicians themselves might not even be well-informed. Instead of doing what would be considered unpopular and right, they’ll do something popular and short-sighted so that they don’t look bad.  As a result, or laws and society is slow to adapt and change, even if it’s a positive change for our own well-being and survival.

If a politician even dares mention this, there’s a good chance they will be attacked and labeled for it. I’m positive people will call it a form of socialism. The ironic thing is that I don’t think anyone within the US thinks that countries such as South Korea and Japan are socialists. It’s just a method of name calling – a scare tactic.

This whole argument goes back to education. The only way we can move forward is by discussing issues such as this, and weighing the potential positives and negatives.

In Summary

If you read this article, I think you could easily guess where I stand. I’m very much in favor of having a system in place in which everyone can have some level of basic access to the Internet. Internet access should become a basic right that ties in with education – much like water and electricity should be for the general well-being of our society. The only way to get this accomplished is to take out the component of greed in this equation and letting the government work on this system – much like how our nation’s system of “socialist” highways was rolled out over 50 years ago (which ironically, no one complains about.) I think I’ve described the problem with the current system and how capitalism isn’t effective in certain situations (see the Government Sanctioned Monopolies section above.)

Of course, I always enjoy hearing other people’s opinions on the matter. There’s always a possibility that I could be swayed into thinking differently.