One more year down the road. In this post I’d like to summarize progress during last 12 months, to give you a brief idea of new (and old) things changed here since 2014. xDevs.com site first saw the light in 2008, as experimental project to provide something back for all those engineers who contributed countless projects online, from which we all learn. It was not always easy to maintain everything running, but we still here around.
Web-site updates and features
Always difficult to choose one of two concepts – adding more features at expense of simplicity or keeping absolute minimum to keep browsing and getting important information comfortable and easy.
Most of changes on site were done in back-end area, to allow easier article publications and better reading experience.
Site got these new features in 2015:
- Multiple languages support for articles (currently only English/Russian)
- Much better compatibility with mobile smartphone and tablet devices
- Display styles updated for cleaner looks with new tags, indexes, sections
- Online calculators and templates are added for quick engineering reference/calculations
- Disqus comment system added to allow discussion on various articles/guides
- Front page leads to news section by default, to provide quick glance what’s added since your last visit.
- Secure HTTPS protocol used now by default for everything
- Full HTTP/2 support to improve speed and provide smooth viewing experience
- FTP-server for documentation, photos, data exchange and upload
- New redundant 3TB storage space
- IRC chat server running at irc.xdevs.com (standard 6667 port)
- Many new articles, reviews and repairs were performed and uploaded
Also new documentation website launched (Main focus on test gear firmwares, manuals and internal photos).
%(imgref)Documentation website doc.xdevs.com
This satellite site using same concept, but focus to serve sole purpose of maintaining firmware/documentation database for mostly old test equipment and instruments, which is still very useful if serviced and repaired properly. Sad to see older capable equipment, which had thousands of man hours invested in it to go landfill and scrap just because it does not have blingy touchscreen LCD with horrid viewing angles and fancy LEDs and knobs.
New content on site
Full list of all new articles in 2015:
That’s total 41 articles added, with few more still in works. Some of articles were worthy read, such as tremendous HP 3458A repair worklog , interesting DMM noise measurement project. Also let’s not forget about welding own thermocouples and our ultra-stable voltage reference design both of which were even covered on Hack-A-Day here and here.
During 2015 our website visited 9135 users, with over 36K views. 49% of these visitors were english-speaking and 15% russian-speakers. It’s not much, but let’s face the truth, there is no staff involved in full-time project development, nor any target to get site most popular. I’d prefer to keep high SNR-level on content we publish, instead going all about broad-topic talks for wider audience.
Online helpers and calculators:
There are still lot of things to do and improve, so looking forward to next year progress and contributions, targeting to provide even better quality content.
Few main areas to focus next year are getting every single article and part of site translated into both supported languages, cover few of our new xDevs.com projects and devices, cowork with other hobbyists, and hopefully much more valuable how-to’s and content online! Contact me if I missed something, or have any questions.
Happy New 2016!
Modified: Dec. 30, 2015, 2:49 p.m.