Please Excuse Our Dust


As you may have noticed, there have been a few changes here. We’ve switched to the WordPress blog platform and while we’ve tried to make the change as seamless as possible, you’ll probably notice a lot of upcoming changes as we clean up and add new features. For example, the huge list of categories you might see on the right side of the home page will soon be replaced by a more modern tag cloud. We’ll also be adding some more color to the rather minimal theme we’re starting from.

All of the Gadgeteer’s decade-long history is here, including reviews going back to 1997, all comments, and even most of the posts from the old VBBS forums have been saved. Please stick with us as we head into our second decade!

Also, please note that it is no longer required (or even possible) to log in to post comments.Β  The first time you post here your comment will be held for approval; after that, your comments will appear immediately as long as the filter doesn’t think they’re spam.

Posted in: News
{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Tyler Puckett December 14, 2008, 8:18 pm

    Excellent! Glad to see the site moving on along. I’m excited to see the new site in it’s completed form.

  • Shan Gee December 14, 2008, 8:40 pm

    The new website looks good. Congrats on switching to WordPress, you’ll love it!

  • rob December 14, 2008, 8:56 pm

    Well, it’s not completed, especially in terms of design, but it’s good enough to make the switch πŸ™‚ Both of us have been using WordPress for personal blogs for a while, so it’s not completely new, and I’ll soon be engaged writing some custom plugins to bring back some of the old Gadgeteer functionality like all the extra info on reviews. Yes, all that’s saved from the old site too, it’s just not visible in our theme right now.

    And speaking of themes, I should probably plug the one we’re using: Thesis, which is a commercial theme framework designed for extreme versatility and customization… it starts off fairly minimal like you see it now, but has lots of hooks and a good structure for CSS customization, so we’ll probably have a new design at some point too.

  • Meredyth December 14, 2008, 9:09 pm

    Change is good πŸ™‚

  • Julie December 14, 2008, 9:48 pm

    I want to give a huge thank you to Rob for pulling off this switch! He’s a genius and I humbly bow before him…

    I can’t wait till the new layout / graphical design gets implemented. Mike Stamm (the same person that brought us the previous layout), has been hard at work on a new one. I think you’ll all like it. πŸ˜€

    If you run into any huge probs, please be sure to let us know…

  • Jake December 15, 2008, 6:47 am

    i agree and sometimes it’s really hard to find stuff

  • otto28 December 15, 2008, 7:14 am

    i like the new look, clean and easy on the eyes!

    • Julie December 15, 2008, 7:22 am

      It will remain easy on the eyes, but it’s not going to remain this … ummmm … boring πŸ™‚

  • Geoff December 15, 2008, 10:19 am

    Black on white boring? Nawwww…

    I am impressed that you have seemingly migrated most (all?) of the old content into WordPress. Did Rob write a custom tool for that? Geeky minds want to know.

    • Julie December 15, 2008, 11:17 am

      Yes, thanks to Rob, it’s all here except for the billions of outgoing links that I let get completely out of hand. I didn’t think people were really using those lists anyway, so they are history.

  • barbarabaker December 15, 2008, 11:11 am

    I think it’s pretty nice looking too. Although I know you won’t let it stay this way (simple)…it is a nice look.

    I personally like it, but then again, I’m always up for change.
    πŸ™‚ Barb

  • Rob December 15, 2008, 2:57 pm

    Yes, I wrote some Ruby which ran in the context of the previous site (which was running a custom Rails-based CMS) and transferred the stuff in its databases into an empty WordPress DB, including pulling old forum posts out of VBBS (for those posts that had a forum link, anyway) and saving all of our special Gadgeteer metadata (pricing, manufacturer, pros/cons, etc.) as WordPress custom fields so that stuff isn’t lost (it will show up here again soon). The only things that were left behind were the links Julie mentioned, and user accounts.

    This is actually not the first time I’ve done this — a couple of years ago when I started the Rails app, I had to migrate all the old stuff from the previous incarnation of The Gadgeteer, which was hand-built PHP with a database that had grown somewhat organically, and review text stored in static files. This time, it was easier πŸ™‚

  • Helen December 17, 2008, 1:55 pm

    I usually check Gadgeteer everyday, but I missed a couple. And lo and behold, a surprise!

    I love, love, love the new site. I use WordPress on two sites, and I’m very happy with it.

    Congratulations on the new look!

  • Mark December 17, 2008, 3:25 pm

    Actually…I don’t like it, but that’s probably the shock speaking. Also the encroaching fuddy-duddy stage where changes frighten me.

  • Julie December 17, 2008, 3:32 pm

    What exactly don’t you like? The lack of a graphical design, Wordpress? Or everything? πŸ™‚

  • Mark December 18, 2008, 4:30 am

    Captain FuddyDuddy over here loved the design of the old site. Adored it, welcomed it lovingly first thing every morning like an old friend. I’d get my daily dose of Gadgeteer, then go over to the much less enticing site design of Engadget and Gizmodo. This blog style of tech site does not appeal to me at all. My friend Ross and I are considering putting together a site called “24 Hour Reviews”, specializing in gadget reviews from a pure usability standpoint, after 24 hours of using it. Kind of how I do my bag and gadget reviews for you. If we do, it will not be done in a blog-style manner. Please, do whatever you need to with this site, but allow me to mourn the passing of an old, old, OLD friend. πŸ™‚

  • Julie December 18, 2008, 5:56 am

    I think you’re judging this book by its cover. πŸ™‚ Nothing has changed with this site except that right now the left side bar moved to the right side and we’re missing the logo banner, color and the review summary boxes. It’s still the exact same reviews written in the same style. The stuff that is missing is going to come back ASAP πŸ™‚

  • Mark December 18, 2008, 4:12 pm

    I know, I’m just being an old grump. I was taken by surprise. πŸ™‚ Dang, I have been a fan of the site since it began…ain’t gonna stop now!

  • Julie December 18, 2008, 4:29 pm

    I’m going to change your mind about the update. Just give me a little time πŸ™‚

  • Mark December 18, 2008, 7:14 pm

    You’ve got all the time you want. πŸ™‚ Heck, my own website is a bit stale.

  • Jim Travis December 22, 2008, 12:53 am


    Redesigned site looks nice, and is easy to read – a nice combination. Congratulations, and looking forward to the enhancements you mentioned.

    Happy Holidays

  • Tony C December 26, 2008, 8:02 am

    I like the new design too — makes it easier to read and very clean without being too stark. Are the commenter accounts gone?

    • Julie December 26, 2008, 8:32 am

      Yes, user accounts are gone. Anyone can post just by entering their email address and a name – like you just did. But, if you posted before the switch to word press, your comments are all still there.

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