April 2003

Album Cover: The Open Door EP

"Pretend every slot machine is a robot amputee waving hello."
Death Cab For Cutie / Little Bribes

Star Wars in ASCII

April 29, 2003 9:30 AM

Now this is just plain cool...Star Wars in ASCII.

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Harry Potter and Star Wars Talk

April 28, 2003 1:16 PM

I watched the 2nd Harry Potter movie this weekend and, like with the first, I was very impressed. I couldn't help but notice some of the classic undertones of the movie, such as the inner-conflict of identity with Harry's character and some of the relationship twists between Harry and his fellow wizard-friends. These undertones, along with a strikingly familiar musical theme, reminded me of Star Wars over and over again. Voldemort, Vader...Vader, Voldemort...hmm? Or what about Ron Weasley/Han Solo, Harmione Granger/Princess Leia, or even Dobbie/C-3PO? Interesting to ponder, at the very least.

And speaking of Star Wars, I read today that Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2 are slated to return in the yet untitled Episode III, which is scheduled to enter theaters on May 25, 2005. Are lines forming yet? ;)

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More on Internet Explorer 7

April 24, 2003 2:11 PM

Some interesting finds when Googling for Internet Explorer 7:

Hmm...so it looks like one website managed to light a fire of IE7 rumors across the web. It all sounds like speculation to me...guess we'll just have to wait and see what's in store.

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TextArc

April 23, 2003 1:01 PM

The web has become a very monotonous place to me lately, but still, every now and then I find something new and interesting that's worth mentioning. This time around it's something called TextArc. Apparently it is a new approach to reading open source literature. I stumbled upon it after clicking some random links over at Archive.org, whose "WayBackMachine" is also one of the more extraordinary finds available on the web today. Don't believe me? Without it you couldn't take a look at what my home page looked like 5 years ago.

Computers | Post Comments | View Comments (0) | Permalink

Internet Explorer 7

April 22, 2003 4:21 PM

Call me crazy but for some reason I feel like we may be seeing a release of Internet Explorer 7 pretty soon. Call me even crazier, but I think it may be a pretty frickin' cool browser. Maybe there aren't a lot of people out there who think Microsoft would ever release a "cool" browser, but they'll at least admit that Microsoft's trademark move is finding good ideas, fusing them into their products and trying to make them better. Sometimes it doesn't always work, but that is their main motive. It's like the Japanese with automobiles. Take good ideas and make them better.

With Associated Press writers openly dissing IE for the Mac and with all the hype that's been associated with the "new" browsers (e.g. Mozilla, Safari and Opera) I am getting the feeling that Microsoft is readying a new release of IE. I could be way off, because you'd think the release would coincide with a major OS release. Since Windows Server 2003 is being released and there has been no talk of a new version of their browser, maybe we're a lot farther off than I am predicting. I just feel that IE has always been an early adopter of web standards, so it would make sense for them to catch up with CSS2 and maybe even some of the ideas laid out for CSS3, and at the same time implement features like pop-up blocking and tabbed browsing that are catching so many surfers' attention these days. Maybe you're not itching for a new Microsoft browser, but I honestly am. As long as they adopt the standards and can put out an even faster, stabler browser, I'm there. I'd love to go back to using just one browser again.

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Blocky Design Trends

April 20, 2003 1:09 AM

Why does the web have to be so square? Now that CSS is starting to take its toll on web designers everywhere (take that how you will), I've noticed a growing trend of "blockiness" in design. I mean, heck, look at this page. It's about as square as you can get. I think designers are starting to ask questions like "you mean I can develop a web page without tables and spacers and get cool-looking content all through simple CSS code?" and slowly throwing out the images and wild ideas that went hand-in-hand with the idea of using invisible spacers and tables to fine tune a design. I was a bit surprised to see that all the winners in the WThRemix contest had a similar, 3 column, very "square" look to them. None but Radu's grand-prize winning entry were even close to impressive to me. I don't know where the "squareness" came from – newspaper columns, the rectangular shape of the browser, the monitor maybe? – but I sure hope as more and more designers get their hands dirty with CSS that we start to see something different.

Web Design | Post Comments | View Comments (1) | Permalink

Phoenix Renamed to Firebird

April 15, 2003 1:18 PM

In a matter of minutes I've gone from happy to sad to "huh?" I'm happy to hear that Roy Williams decided to come back and coach his alma mater. For the first time in a few years I feel like I may get excited watching UNC basketball. Now it just sucks that I have to wait until fall for the season to start up again.

I'm sad because I read a rumor online today that reported our good friend Mohammed al-Sahaf hung himself on April 9th as the U.S. military was making its way into Baghdad. I was hoping we'd capture him and maybe employ him as our country's top economic advisor. God knows last summer I could have used someone on TV every few hours saying "don't worry...there are plenty of jobs out there. Don't believe the rumors! People are committing suicide because they can't hire workers fast enough. All you unemployed out there...which I don't think there are any...will have millions by the end of the week!" Let's just hope the rumors aren't true.

And finally, I went "huh?" when I read that Phoenix has been renamed to 'Firebird'. I guess the name isn't so bad, but you figure they'd try to go the 'Mozilla' route given that they are aiming that entire effort toward the browser formerly known as Phoenix. There are obviously a lot of people that are upset by the name change, including the folks behind the Firebird Database. Should be interesting to see how things pan out.

Miscellaneous | Post Comments | View Comments (0) | Permalink

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf

April 14, 2003 1:54 PM

Did I or did I not, on April 2nd, say that Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf was the biggest celebrity of Operation Iraqi Freedom? Well, as it turns out I'm not the only one who thinks so. In an article titled "Iraqi minister becomes Net star," C|Net news mentions the cult-following that al-Sahaf has gathered based on his "jovial" comments and endless boasts on international television. There was apparently even a website setup on his behalf over at www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com, but it has disappeared recently. The article contains a few quotes that I missed out on, and the best follows: "God will roast their stomachs in hell at the hands of Iraqis!" Ahhhh...good ol' Mohammed.

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What on Earth?

April 11, 2003 3:14 PM

This one gets filed under the "What on earth?" category.

Blathery | Post Comments | View Comments (1) | Permalink

News You Can't Use

April 09, 2003 5:20 PM

There is an interesting discussion on-going over at MozillaZine's Phoenix Forum concerning Phoenix not supporting CSS-defined scrollbar colors. To see that this is a very pro-Gecko, anti-IE forum is easy upon first glance, but surprisingly there aren't a whole lot of great arguments for either side. Personally, I think that a browser is most useful when it attempts to suit as many people as it can in all possible situations. With the colored scrollbar issue, why not let Phoenix users choose whether or not they want to allow web designers to take control of the scrollbar or not? Then the browser can either honor the CSS code or not, depending on the preference. This way, designers can stick to habits they've learned while coding for IE and it's 90% browser market share, and users can have the ultimate say over how they want to view the web. I don't think anyone that is anti-anything should be forcing these types of decisions on the end user. Everyone has their own taste, afterall.

In other news you can't use, I'm itching to do some table-less CSS design, but unfortunately I don't have any reason to and I probably don't have the time either (but this has never stopped me before). Now that more and more sites are going the way of CSS and nixing the use of tables, I am dying to get experienced in the process so that it gets easier as time goes on. From what I've done so far I can see it is no simple task, thanks to the lack of standards support in today's browsers and some of the crazy ideas the W3C has come up with. However, there is no denying that it is the wave of the future in web design, and some of the things I've seen lately have been very, very pretty.

Web Design | Post Comments | View Comments (1) | Permalink

Pipe Dream?

April 08, 2003 2:50 PM

You know, it just doesn't get any better than this or this or this or this. She will be mine...oh yes, she will be mine!

Cars | Post Comments | View Comments (0) | Permalink

Box Model Enlightenment

April 04, 2003 6:38 PM

While discussing the CSS dotted border gap bug in Bugzilla tonight I came upon a very depressing find. Turns out the DIV width problem Mozilla users are seeing on my site are actually my fault, for sticking with the tried and true web design ideal that padding refers to padding within a cell (like in the TD days) rather than beyond the borders of a cell. So apparently IE6 and Opera are displaying my page incorrectly, even though they display it the way I want them to. Luckily there are some hacks I can look into to try and make the page look as I intend it to in Mozilla and IE6, but I'm not in the mood to take care of it right now. After reading a very insightful and surprising page called Box Model Tweaking, I came to the conclusion that I shouldn't blame myself for these problems, but rather the W3C. They came up with the backward/awkward/bizarre box model that is the root of all my problems. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though. Apparently in CSS3 we, as designers, will be able to specify which box model we prefer. For me it's border-box all the way. Oh the headaches these browsers and standards give me! In the immortal, wise words of Frank Costanza, "Serenity now!"

Web Design | Post Comments | View Comments (0) | Permalink

Booby Trap Pens and Pencils

April 02, 2003 10:19 AM

Today is a busy day and it's only 10am. Looks like the University of North Carolina has gotten rid of men's basketball coach Matt Doherty. Okay so he "resigned," same difference. He always had that mean, "good coach" look to him, but he definitely never brought about any results. I have been a Tarheel fan for as long as I can remember, but the past few years I must say I've paid little to no attention to them just because they've sucked so bad (with the exception of their games against Duke, which are a must see no matter what the situation). Come March I take a look at the tournament, see they're not there, and suddenly lose interest in college hoops as a whole...until the next year. Let's hope they can track down a winning coach and get UNC back up to par with what good ol' Dean Smith started.

And now on to the war. I have to say that in my mind, the biggest celebrity to come out of the war thus far has to be Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf. This guy cracks me up! First he was talking about the American military, calling them "gangsters" and how he was going to "slap" their faces and "kick their backsides." Okay, so that's a good way to get your country fired up, which I understand is what he is trying to do. However, now he's gotten to the point where he is flat-out denying that the U.S. is closing in on Baghdad and has gone off on this whole thing about "booby trap" pens and pencils! This guy is a riot. Why oh why does SNL have to be airing re-runs lately? I am dying to see some of the impressions they'd do of al-Sahaf and some of the other "celebrities" of this war.

Sports | Post Comments | View Comments (5) | Permalink

Textarea Scrolling in Mozilla

April 01, 2003 6:15 AM

Well, I submitted another bug to Bugzilla today. Mozilla 1.3 seems to have some very strange scrolling problems when it comes to textareas. I notice this particularly when writing emails and trying to select a large amount of text to delete (e.g. from the quoted original email) while using a web-based email service. I've setup a nice little demo of the problem that illustrates the problem quite nicely. In Mozilla, clicking and dragging down to the bottom of the textarea (in the actual box, not with the scrollbar) scrolls the entire textarea but then continues on down the page, scrolling the HTML window itself. This often gets the browser into a weird state that is a little awkward to get out of (it is hard to scroll after this happens). If you take a look at the same example in Internet Explorer, you'll notice it behaves as expected. Only the textarea is scrolled, but not the entire web page.

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