I said I was going to do it, and I did it. You might (hopefully) notice a major difference in the way RF Cafe looks on this first day of 2015. Changes have been made slowly throughout the last few months to enable what is now a much more clutter-free environment. Most notable is the absence of the array of vendor logos in the upper right corner of all the pages, and there is now just a single column of banner ads in the right page border. This is so for every page on RF Cafe. More than 200 pixels have been shaved off the page width without robbing any real estate from the website content.
In this age of mobile Web platforms - small notebooks, tablets, and smartphones, it is imperative that websites be comfortably viewable in any format. Back in September I moved the banner ads that were in the left page border to the right side, which created the dual column of ads. That pushed the content all the way to the left side of the screen, which really helped the presentation. The content space is 750 pixels wide and as tall as it needs to be. Some pages can get pretty tall because I like to post all related content on a single page rather than requiring visitors to skip back and forth to and from multiple pages (a scheme used by many websites to force your exposure to additional ads and to increase the number of page views for statistical purposes).
Another major difference is one you will only notice if you visit RF Cafe from your smartphone or some device with a width of less than about 800 pixels. The initial page rendering will (should) scale to fit your screen better, rather than requiring you to do the two-finger magnifying gesture to be able to read anything. It's not perfect, but a whole lot less annoying than viewing that tiny font and images that used to be presented. That's a trick I just learned how to do, BTW.
As I have noted many times, RF Cafe was created to provide a valuable service to fellow engineers, students, technicians, and hobbyists. In the process I need to earn a living to keep things going. My income is based almost entirely on advertising sponsorship. Except for a couple companies whose advertising was paid for a little ways into 2015, there is no more privately funded advertising on RF Cafe. All revenue comes from 3rd-party ads like the ones you see now. In the process of notifying my former advertisers that I would no longer be hosting private ads, I requested that they look into Google, GlobalSpec (IHS), and Bing/Yahoo to do their advertising, and to specifically target RF Cafe for appearances. Some have done that and are already beginning to appear. Rather than paying me a fixed fee every month, they pay on a per-click basis and I earn a percentage of the amount they pay the hosting companies. So, the only way I make money at this point is if you support my advertisers by visiting their website to see what they have to offer. I have blocked most of the numbnut type ads from companies offering Russian wives, Viagra, credit cards, vacations, etc., in order to not waste your time or cause embarrassing displays on your computer. Please keep all this in mind when you visit RF Cafe.
If you and/or your company would like to be represented on RF Cafe, please take a quick look at my Advertising on RF Cafe information. Also, please let your communications department know that they are welcome to send me press releases for publication.
I am hoping to finally get some new software products out this year. Time always seems to be required in other areas, which kills the motivation to hunker down and commit to a new project, but it's time to just do it. Hopefully, 12 months from now there will be something to show for it. Of course all the other content you have come to expect and appreciate from RF Cafe will continue to be posted (it actually takes a LOT of time, believe it or not). If you have an article you have written or some item of interest to RF Cafe visitors, please shoot me an e-mail; it's nice to get a little help every now and then.
That's all for now. Thanks again for your patronage, and have a great 2015 !!!
Posted on January 1, 2015