Out With Tech, In With Life


The Old Site Header – Modified

It’s been almost 4 years since making any updates to this web site. My passion for web development has waned and I no longer find passion or interest in doing it. In fact, I find technology in general to be more restraining than liberating.

The past few years has seen more and more of my time being spent in the great outdoors either hiking or bicycling. This has inspired me to convert this blog from being tech oriented to something more Nature and Life focused.

More posts to follow. Be sure to join me on twitter @Torn_Elements.

Finally! Google Chrome ‘Fits’ My Desktop!

I love Google Chrome. It’s a great light weight browser I’ve been using since version 1. My only complaint has been the fact it sticks out like a sore thumb on my desktop. Even on Windows7 you still get that ‘blue’ theme look. (Yes, I realize you can skin Chrome, but lets face it – the themes for Chrome suck big time.)

Today the first updates for Ubuntu 10.04 came down the pipes. Amongst them was an update for Google Chrome. (I run version 5 from the Dev channel) Thinking nothing more of it, I applied the updates and rebooted my machine.

When I came back and started Google Chrome and almost fell off my chair! It actually ‘FIT’ my desktop theme!

chromeShot1  chromeShot2

As you can see, not only is the desktop colour scheme FULLY supported, but the system icons are also in use.

It looks very nice on my desktop now. Like it belongs there. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks Chrome!

Stop Joining FaceBook Groups Against Charging

facebookOnce again, FaceBook rumours are circulating about them wanting to charge their users $50/Month starting on July 8th, 2010.

How many times have we seen this over the last few years? Each time the rumour starts, many groups get started to protest this fictitious  charge. Like Lemmings, as soon as one misinformed person dives into the group, several hundred thousand follow.

See all those ads that appear on FaceBook? THIS is how they make their money – not from their users. Their whole business model is based on FREE ACCESS for it’s users. To do anything else would be effectively shooting themselves in the foot – and they know this!

A charge for FaceBook just isn’t going to happen. So stop joining these groups! You’re doing nothing but feeding the fire while at the same time making yourself look foolish.

Facebook – How Many Friends Hide Their Online Status?

As you may or may not know, FaceBook gives you the option of hiding your online status. It’s located as an option within the footer chat box. Simply open the chat box, hit options then click ‘go offline’. This effectively makes you invisible to your connected friends.

There is a way to easily find out how many people are hiding their status. For this to work you must physically log out of FaceBook (by hitting the logout link), then log back in. Once logged back in don’t click anything. Simply have a look at your friends list on the sidebar then compare that number to those in the Chat applet.

This example shows 2 more people in the chat applet than there is on the sidebar. This indicates that 2 people are hiding their online status. If you click the chat applet, those extra two friends in the count will disappear and the sidebar and chat applet will then match.

This will only show you how many friends are hidden, not who they are.

Also keep in mind the date of this posting. This small glitch my be fixed or could disappear the next time FaceBook rolls out there newest page layout.

This likely falls into the category of ‘useless information’ but thought I would post it anyway. I found it interesting.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Internet Explorer: 32bit Vs. 64bit. Another Layer Of Web Testing?

32bit vs 64bit As if it weren’t bad enough we have to make exceptions and workarounds for every version of Internet Explorer out there, but as it turns out there are some differences between the two flavours of Internet Explorer which now exist: The standard 32bit and the newer 64bit.

Over the last several days I’ve been pestered by this infamous error from IE:

Message: HTML Parsing Error: Unable to modify the parent container element before the child element is closed (KB927917)
Line: 0
Char: 0
Code: 0
URI: <removed – not relevant to topic>

In a nutshell, a flash slideshow module I’m using in Joomla was throwing this error, then refused to load anything further on the page. I should also note that this particular site is Error Free and works fine with ALL OTHER BROWSERS!

The first thing I searched for was the Knowledge Base reference. Gotta love Google. I found a solution and workaround rather quickly. I’ve always loved quick fixes.

Off I went to my next task thinking this issue was behind me. No so. Seems anyone using the 64bit versions of Internet Explorer are still experiencing the above error. The workaround(s) only seem to fix the 32bit versions. Iโ€™m still searching for a solution.

The specifics of the error are not the issue I’m pointing out here. Nor is the Web Site.

The point of this post is that we, as Web Developers, now have a new layer of Web Site testing to consider. Not everything at the 32bit level is going to work for users of 64bit browsers. This issue has shown me that. I’m also assuming this situation could go the other way as well. Things that work in 64bit may not work in 32bit.

I can guarantee you that for each new browser version we’ll be doubling our testing efforts.

I can also guarantee that after reading this post you’ll be running around to all your Web Sites for additional testing. (32bit and 64bit) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Let me know if you find any surprises. ๐Ÿ™‚