Archive for November, 2001



I don’t know how I missed this one before, especially since it’s linked to from a number of sites I frequent, but I just discovered BrainJar. I only wish that I’d seen it earlier this weekend instead of about 45 minutes ago.

Then again, perhaps it’s best that I didn’t spend the whole weekend in front of a computer.


DOM-only CSS

More or less for kicks, I’ve added a bit of code here to raise the browser bar a little. The link to the style sheet is added using DOM methods as the page loads, so unless the browser supports the DOM methods in question, the page code defines no styles. So far as I know, this means Mozilla/Netscape 6. It may be that it works on IE5.5+ on Windows; I won’t know until I make it into work on Monday.

No, there’s no compelling reason to do this. My first thought was that it’d be a handy way to weed out browsers that can’t handle CSS layouts, reasoning that any browser that can handle the DOM will have at least reasonable support for CSS positioning. This would leave me free to ignore older and annoying browsers like Netscape 4, whose fledgling CSS support might render the page illegible. But then it just became something that I thought would be fun to play with.

I spent several hours trying to make this work in IE5 Mac, but couldn’t figure it out. Either I’m missing something entirely, or it can’t be done. IE adds the style sheets to the collection of LINKs but doesn’t display them. Frustrating. Then again, as long as I’m doing something as arbitrary as this, why should I care? If the DOM support isn’t there, it isn’t there.

Still. Grrr…



I finally got around to upgrading to OS X 10.1 yesterday, and wow what an improvement! Menus are faster (i.e. actually responsive!), as are screen updates. I no longer feel quite like I’m pushing at the limits of my machine, which was the impression that 10.0.x left me with.

Beyond performance, there were only a couple things keeping me from adopting OS X full-time:

  • Email. Apple’s email client isn’t bad, but it’s not really what I want. I couldn’t configure it enough to my liking. Using PGP with it was a real pain, too. On OS 9, I’m using Entourage (what Outlook Express became with MS Office 2001), and I have to say that it’s excellent…but I was having trouble sending and receiving mail unless I booted into OS 9. No good. With the download of Mozilla for OS X, which I can use as an email client, I’m set. I’ve been toying with the idea of switching to Mozilla for mail anyway. Something I might reconsider when Office X is released.
  • Office suite, especially a word processor. AppleWorks sucks. I really can’t stand it. Since I rarely have to use a word processor, I’m willing to use Office 2001 in Classic mode. Kiara, on the other hand, uses Word and Excel every day. Now, if there were an OS X port of OpenOffice available for us to use, I’d be all over it and I’m sure Kiara would, too. But it’s not ready yet. I might give OpenOSX Office a shot — it includes such open source faves as AbiWord and Gnumeric (hmmm, I’m not sure that I’d call AbiWord a fave) — but I think I’ll pass. In the meantime, we’ll just have to be patient, or maybe break down and shell out the few hundred bucks for an upgrade to Office v.X.
  • PGP. I could compile GPG, or maybe even PGP, if need be, but it would be pretty hard to give up the GUI. What with NAI looking to sell off PGP, I don’t foresee an OS X port anytime soon. So I suffer.

Hrm, I guess the only thing holding me back was email. And performance. Now that those are squared away, more or less, I’m going with OS X full-time.


Star Wars Trailer

The new Star Wars full-length trailer, “Forbidden Love,” is out. If you were one of those who caught a midnight showing of Harry Potter, though, you probably know that.



If I’m quiet for the next few days, as I have been the last few, it’s because I’m playing around with some browser-sniffing and such here. More or less. I need some way to screen out non-DOM-compliant browsers when linking to style sheets. Trying to avoid server-side techniques, just cuz. I know how to do it but am having some weird issues with IE5/Mac. I’m missing something obvious, I’m sure.

That, and I seem to have come down with Kiara’s cold. :-( So it’s kinda hard to think.


Under construction

I’ve converted this site over to Movable Type, so there could be some weirdness. I’m bound to frell things up occasionally.

Oh yeah, I admit it, that word has entered my daily vocabulary.


Canadian World Domination

In a dual-pronged effort to keep up on world events and to keep up on my French, a couple months ago I started reading Cyberpresse, a Canadian news web site. It’s been fun getting used to the little quirks in Canadian French, refamiliarizing myself with useful vocabulary and constructions. (I am all too familiar with the vocabulary for discussing French literary theory or esoteric linguistic concepts, but am sadly lacking in the ability to deal with everyday things.) Then a couple weeks ago, I tuned into Radio Canada so I could listen to French, too.

I can’t understand a word.

Well, okay I can get some of it, especially the more “traditional” newscasts, but much was lost on me, especially the interviews. I thought, my god, am I that out of practice that I can’t follow an everyday conversation in French? So I tried out Radio France.

I understood every word.

So I guess it’s the accent. I certainly ran into this somewhat when we were in Quebec and Montreal last year, but still… oh well. Just have to keep listening.

Because to tell the truth, this is all in preparation for Canadian World Domination.


It’s out: an Episode II

It’s out: an Episode II trailer. Let the hyperventilating begin.


Webalizer Looking For a Home

The Webalizer, an excellent (and free) web server log analyzer, is looking for a new home. If you happen to have somewhere in the Central Florida area where this guy could co-locate a server, please help. I’d hate to see this go away.


A hot topic amongst MnSCU

A hot topic amongst MnSCU webmasters of late has been search engines. God knows the engine used on Office of the Chancellor sites leaves a lot to be desired (I’m looking seriously at switching to ht://dig). WebReview has an article this week on choosing a search engine, with a quick round-up of some of the popular ones.

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