— 9:53 AM on January 17, 2011

Morning, all. If the latter part of last week seemed a little slow around here to you, well, you weren't just imagining things. After pushing very hard before and during CES, all three of our main editors, including me, went down with a stomach bug or flu last week. I was essentially in bed for 36 hours straight, and once I got up, I pretty much wanted to be back in bed for another couple of days. Geoff managed somehow to push through and write up his PCIe performance results with the latest chipsets, but he had to wait a while just to get someone to proofread it.

Fortunately, I believe we're mostly back upright and feeling better now. However, today is an official TR day off in honor of MLK Day, so we'll be publishing only in abbreviated fashion. We tend to follow the NASDAQ calendar for holidays, if you've ever somehow wondered, and then we optionally work more than that because there's something wrong with several of us.

Between Sandy Bridge, CES, and sickness, I never really have said much about the new comments system and the new site design. Heck, I didn't even get to introduce it myself, although it's fitting that Cyril did, since he was responsible for the design work. I do want to take a second to call out both Cyril and long-time TR reader Bruno "morphine" Ferreira for their work on the new site, though. They did an amazing job on the transition to the new setup, with a quick cutover and very few hiccups after the fact. Most impressively, I think participation in comments dicussions went up almost immediately after the transition, an incredible feat given that we were replacing a very capable system that was in place for something like seven years prior. There's still much to do—including the wide look template, fixing up the forums and a few other pages, and ironing out some quirks here and there—but overall, the project went off exceptionally well. Kudos to Bruno and Cyril for making it happen.

Since they're such a good team, we also get to dream a little about what to do next. In the relatively near term, we will likely work up some user-configurable filtering options based on the up/down vote counts on comments. I was thinking, by default, of having a count of -20 cause a comment to enter a semi-hidden state, which one could still expand and view optionally. Few comments so far have gotten that many negative votes, so any filtering would only be for extreme cases; we could adjust the defaults if voting participation were to rise. We're open to persuasion on how to handle these things, so feel free to offer your thoughts. Longer term, we have all sorts of creative possibilities available to us in terms of new site features, although I'd hate to speculate now on what might come first.

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