Mobile rendering fixed, backpacks and podiums

2019-03-29 @Blog

I finally addressed the poor mobile device rendering of this blog. You can now consider it readable without awkward zooming and strangely inconsistent fonts.

One usually takes mobile rendering for granted nowadays. But until this blog, I had not deployed a publicly accessible personal web page of any kind since around 2002, in the days of individualized and custom-designed web content, before WordPress, landing pages, or pre-packaged thematics. It featured an orange background and virtually no content other than an excerpt of a Pink Floyd song that played upon entering. I hosted the page on my own computer, accessible via a direct, port-forwarded IP. Secure, scalable, I know… No one spoke of mobile rendering back then, and I have largely and consciously remained ignorant of the matter over the years.

I render this blog via the Pelican static-site generator in Linux. Having selected the most minimalist theme, and stripped it further yet, the core template lacked the following necessary meta tag that causes the page to properly scale on a mobile device:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">

Further yet, the following css media section causes the contained style to apply in the event of a smaller than the indicated device screen width.

@media (max-width: 650px) {
    body {
      font-size: 100%;

If you find this fatally uninteresting, I fully agree, but it may aid some one individual out there, who, like myself, insists on deploying minimalist hacked-together web content.

On an unrelated note, roaming the São Paulo subways and streets, I see just about the entire male population with a backpack or a briefcase. What is everyone carrying? Students with textbooks and notebooks I may understand. The legal professionals too perhaps. Yet I see this over the entire population roaming the streets.

Over the years of office work even, I would occasionally carry a small paper notebook, which in recent times gradually became replaced by one folded sheet of paper in the pocket, serving as a short-term cache of written notes. Can the rest not remain at home or office? Pardon my ignorance. Maybe common sense escapes me, or maybe I grew too distant from earthly practical affairs.

Lastly, an observation for public presenters. I don’t know about you, but I find podiums boring. If you aim to present at a physical space in front of a physical audience, leverage the space around you to the extent possible. It makes for a more engaging presentation. Otherwise, the podium tends to severely ground your mobility and body language. A podium also looks too bureaucratic, and further suggests an element of defensiveness, of hiding behind a façade. And even in lack of total control in organizing your presentation, leverage the space to any extent you can. Don’t remain glued to the podium. Dance around it. Dance over it. Be a rock star. Or if you’re of the more stoic variety, simply move around. Don’t make your presentation resemble a political discourse.

Questions, comments? Connect.