How I single handedly activated the price randomizer

by The GateKeeper 
 — Guardian of the CoffeeCup Entrance —

This is a story I have been wanting to tell for a while. But how and where? I am not allowed to leave the office and my knobby arms and hands don’t allow me to write it down. I can type (slowly) and am a decent coder, so a blog or site would have been a good solution. However, everybody knows that these things have to be responsive these days, and I am simply not a good enough coder to pull that off. This weekend I solved that though, and it only took me a few hours...

Before I tell the story, please allow me to introduce myself. In general I am a happy camper and a man of wealth and taste. I've been around for a long, long time and stole many a man's coffee and cup. And I was 'round when J.C.R. Licklider of MIT, had his moment of doubt and pain. Still made sure that the DARPA got involved, got the concept in their hands and sealed the pact and his fate. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name.

I stuck around when Roberts went to DARPA to develop the computer network concept and helped him put together the plan for the packet switching network “ARPANET”. When I saw it was a time for a unified network I worked on a fundamental reformulation, where the differences between network protocols were hidden by using a common internetwork protocol. Regardless of what they say, I did not kill the czar and his ministers nor held a general's rank when the blitzkrieg raged and  bodies stank. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name, oh yeah

I watched with glee when CERN began installation and operation of TCP/IP to interconnect its major internal computer systems. I shouted out, "Who invented the Internet?" When after all you know It was Al Gore and me. Let me please introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste and generally a happy camper.

Me: The Gatekeeper and Happy Camper.

Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah. But what's puzzling you Is the nature of my game, oh yeah. So I watched with pleasure, when CoffeeCup helped making websites easy with the introduction of one of the first worthy HTML Editors. And I stuck around, until I got hired as The Gatekeeper. Now let’s get into my nature and why I turned the price randomizer on.

The long lonely weekends make me go wild.

On Friday’s everyone’s watching to see what I will do. Will I go out or stick around? Everyone’s looking at me, oh everyone's wondering if I will go out. Everybody wants a new romance, everybody’s going off the deep end, everybody needs a second chance, oh, so what about me!?

Since my awesome looks left me, what I have is coffee, coding and sometimes a beer. If they did not drink it all that is… So in the weekend I switch from white flavor barista at saucer acerbic variety to this fermented cereal beverage which traditionally is made from malted barley, hops, water and yeast.

Brews are good for you…no need to stick to coffee.

And sometimes that beverage combined with the loneliness makes me go beyond crazy… The first time that happened the nice CoffeeCup crew got a call from the police on their precious Saturday morning. Here’s an excerpt I took from their blog post:

"We got a call from the police Saturday morning. Apparently, someone broke into our office and flipped the switch! Now the prices are going haywire all over our website. Of course, we're all on our Thanksgiving break…"

Here is how I did it.

My amigo americano Jeff ("El Jefe”) has been showing me a trick or two during his long coding nights. We hang well together. That is how I learned about a fun project he had been working on…THE PRICE RANDOMIZER! Gradually I learned how it worked, where it was hidden, and how to access it. So finally, being bored to death with Scott, Suzie and everybody else away over that famous Thanksgiving weekend I decided to try if that thing really worked.

Security camera shot 2

Security camera shot 1

Did it work? Absolutely! The prices went bonkers and as soon as this became publicly known web software lovers went bonkers too. Why did I not get caught? Well, I introduced myself above didn’t I… Just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints. As heads is tails, just call me Gatekeeper, cause I'm in need of some restraint. So if you meet me, have some courtesy, have some sympathy, and some taste. Use all your well-learned politesse, or I'll lay your beloved Internet to waste — um yeah pleased to meet you hope you guessed my name...

Yea, having seen the creation of the Web it was easy to get in these cameras and remove the above pics. Nobody knew it was me who had activated the price randomizer. Luckily I did save the security camara images for our joint pleasure and amazement on a later day.

Why go public now?

The ways of a Gatekeeper are not always complicated. After having seen the happiness and cheers surrounding the latest CoffeeCup products for a few weeks, and seeing the crew do magic not only with Layout Maker, but also with something I overheard them calling Responsive Site Designer I decided to give this responsive site idea with my story on it a shot this weekend…  

My responsive design workflow: content-based

I will need to write this process down for all of you at some point but here’s the summery: I started collecting my thoughts and drafting my content with Layout Maker. I just let it flow, organized and prioritized and had the storyline down in a what I heard some people call a ‘mobile-first’ design. Following that I simply expanded the display width and played around with some layout options until I thought I had something neat. 

The next step was a bit more difficult. Responsive Site Designer has not been released and the team treating the project with the greatest secrecy. It was difficult to get my hands on a copy but finally I got my hands on what these guys here call “the latest build”. It’s pretty sweet I must say, I used a gradient on the logo, used one of my favorite images as header background and added some ’selfies’. Some shadow here and there as well, but overall I kept it clean. As they say where I come from:  “reliquum est web historiae”.

Thanks for reading and hope you caught on the lyrics...

About the author

Luc Gatekeeper is my name, helper of the web my fame. I decide what my message is before I get into design details. After all, it is mostly the content — the story — that justifies the existence of a site and what attracts people to it. Below are the links to my wireframe and zip file with the projects.