Archive for September, 2005

Thursday, September 29th 2005

The Power Of BitTorrent

I guess I wasn’t the only one downloading OpenOffice 2 Release Candidate 1. 🙂

Thursday, September 29th 2005

OpenOffice's Spell Checking Sucks

I was trying to use the spell-checker of OpenOffice 2 beta 2, with a few additional language dictionaries. Here are the problems:

  1. There is no intuitive or simple way of changing the language of the document you’re reading or editing. Since the program has no automatic language identifying system, this is pretty annoying. (To change the document language: [Tools > Options… > Language Settings > Languages] Change the default language, tick the “only this document” box, and click OK. That’s eight clicks!)
  2. If you try to change the language in the spell-check dialogue it changes back to the default for every single word you check… This is a totally vein-blowing experience.
  3. There is no way to set a different language for a certain part of a document.

All in all, a pretty lousy experience. Or did I just miss something?

Edit: Hopefully, but unlikely, this will be fixed before 2.0 final.

Wednesday, September 28th 2005

PimpZilla – The Coolest Firefox Theme Ever?

PimpZilla must be the coolest Firefox theme ever made. (Screenshot) It has it all: fake pink fur, leopard skin and a bling bling factor of about 12 (out of 10). Unfortunately though, it isn’t yet compatible with the soon-to-be Firefox 1.5. Can’t wait.

Wednesday, September 28th 2005

Spyshots Of Upcoming Volvo C30

Hans G. Lehmann has done it again. This time it’s the Volvo C30 he has caught on film. The spyshots are pretty clear, even if the car is camouflaged from the door pillars and back.

The following is a computer rendering (?) of what the C30 probably will look like, by Motor Forecast:

New Volvo C30 impression

Not bad, if the real car turns out to be anything like this. (Judging from the tease Volvo released previously it probably will. Can’t find a link – sorry.)

It’s great to see Volvo expanding their model range, in both directions. (Even if it was a while since the XC90 was launched.) I just hope they can keep up with updating all these models at the required pace. The C30 is definately something I could consider as a first car, if I got a nice job. 😉 The C30 should also help them reach their target of 600,000 cars sold annually.

Monday, September 26th 2005

Some Tracks I Put Together Way Back

Some years back, when i was about 15 I think, I was playing around with FastTracker, an old song-making program. It was my friend Mattias Eklöf who first got me interrested in music-making on the computer. I remember we made a techno version jingle bells. Or maybe it was a remix of a whole bunch of xmas songs.

I thought I’d dig them out and share them. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the xmas mix, but I found a bunch of tracks I made on my own. They’re pretty funny anyway. The second track is an unfinished remix of an old classical piece. Can anyone work out which one? (It’s maybe obvious – hard for me to tell.)

Track 1
Track 2
Track 3
Track 4
Track 5

The files are encoded as quality 4 ogg vorbis, which equals about 128 kbps.

Thursday, September 22nd 2005

New Design

After having played about with a three-column CSS layout, I decided to use the design for my blog.

So, here’s the result! There may be some minor polishing work left to do, but I think I’m mostly done.

I used Firefox for testing while I was building the design. Then I checked the result in Opera (no problems) and lastly in Internet Explorer. I made one small adjustment to the CSS for IE, in order to make links the right colour. (It seems IE doesn’t understand the inherit value for links.) Something I decided not to do for IE was swap the max-width property (which IE doesn’t understand) of the posts for the width property. Doing so would break the scalability of the design. I’d rather make it clear to users of Internet Explorer that they’re using an outdated browser…

So, If you’re reading this in Internet Explorer, and wondering what this design really should look like – try Firefox instead. You’d be doing yourself, me, and every single web designer in the whole world a huge favour.

I also added a favicon for anyone who may have bookmarked the site.

Update: Just for the heck of it I made a semi-transparent white PNG image for the background of links when hovered. That way I don’t need to find different suitable hover colours for the different background colours. Also, if I want to change the colour-scheme later on it will be much easier.

Wednesday, September 21st 2005

Way To Go Netscape!

Hah. I was just updating my installation of Netscape 8, and during the download and installation process I was shown a nice little flash (?) tutorial. Here’s the funny bit:

Screenshot of Netscape 8 Flash Tutorial

Well, I’m not accusing them of lying. But I think they’ve missed this one tiny point: The user doesn’t want to have millions of security choices.

Netscape 8 definately is a mess when it comes preferences and suchlike. I was utterly astounded, just now, when I was poking around the toolbars a bit.

Now, I know this is no news to anyone who’s ever read a write-up of Netscape 8, but i just thought it was so funny I had to post it…

Wednesday, September 21st 2005

Opera Now Free: Opera Fans – Start Spreading

As I was hoping a while back, Opera (the desktop version) has now become real freeware, without ads. This is truly great news for the web.

Now, hopefully, the Firefox and Opera communities can work united (sort-of, at least) towards the main target: to bring down the marketshare of that old, stinking, vile pile of a browser known as Internet Explorer.

Now, some may think

Oh, what does it matter, now that IE7 is just around the corner? Microsoft are working towards standards compliance now.

And here’s why it matters: We still don’t know if Microsoft’s intentions with Internet Explorer 7 really are good. In fact, they most likely aren’t – simply because they have no reason to. They do seem to be caring at the moment, but they did so about five years ago as well… It’s merely an overgrown PR stunt. If we ever let Internet Explorer’s market share grow as high as it was a year or two ago (~95%), I think we will find out the hard way that Microsoft’s aim was, once again: domination and (most importantly) lock-in. 8-|

So, if we (i.e. us Firefox and Opera fans) make sure that our favourite browsers always have a healthy market share, of at least 10% each (and hopefully a lot more), I think we can keep this Internet thing moving. If we want to be able to use any CSS3 stuff before we die we had better give it our best try.

Monday, September 19th 2005

Playing Around With CSS – A Scalable Three-Column Layout

After having read the first few chapters of Lie and Bos’s book Cascading Style Sheets (3rd ed.) I was inspired to play around a bit with some of the nice things available in CSS.

Unfortunately many of these nice CSS features (such as the sibling or adjacent selectorme wants it very much!) don’t work at all in Internet Explorer 6.

Anyway, I put together a three-column layout based entirely on CSS, which a) is completely based on the users default font size and b) makes use of the full screen width. Actually, to my surprise, the basic layout seems to work quite OK even in rusty old IE6. Here’s what I’ve put together so far. Feel free to use all or parts of it if you should want to.

Can’t wait ’til the standards compliant browsers have a more substantial market share, so we can start using adjacent/sibling selectors seriously. They are truly wonderful for making good-looking typography.

Comments on this design, or other advanced CSS stuff, are more than welcome.

Oh. And one other thing I’m looking forward to play with is CSS3 colours, which will be allowed to be semi-transparent: colours with an opacity value. Sounds pretty neat, eh? Can only imagine it will be totally so.

Update 2005-09-26: As you may have noticed, I decided to use the three-column layout I was playing with here as the base for my new blog design…

Sunday, September 18th 2005

AJAX Can Be Funny

This comic strip is really funny. And I’m such a geek I can hardly believe it.

Monday, September 12th 2005

Volvo C70 Gets Mighty Stereos

Volvo have just released a press release with details of the stereos in the upcoming Volvo C70. The interesting stuff, of course, is the most powerful system and its specs.

The Volvo C70 Premium Sound System:

  • Digital amplifier, 5×130 W.
  • Dynaudio speakers
    • 2 centre speakers on the dashboard.
    • 3-way speakers in the front doors.
    • 2-way speakers in the back.
    • Optional 8-inch subwoofers behind the rear seats, with built-in 2×130 W digital amp.
  • Volume and tone adjusted automatically to give constant sound experience, independant of speed and whether the roof is up or down.
  • Maximum output, including subwoofers: 910 W.
  • 😀

Well. Soon we’ll have to begin measuring Volvo’s stereo’s output in horse-power too… (1 bhp = 745.7 W [US/UK] or 735.5 W [metric], which means 910 W equals roughly 1.2 bhp.)

Volvo are hoping to sell about 16,000 new C70s per year. I doubt they will have any problem reaching that target.

Sunday, September 4th 2005

Binary Patching Now Working in Firefox

Ye-haa! The Software Update in Firefox now features great, wonderful, slick binary patching. You can update from one version to another by just downloading a few hundred kB or so. Just check this screenshot sequence:

Screenshot of Firefox 'update available' window

Screenshot of Firefox downloading updates

Screenshot of Firefox Software Update, step 3

Updating Firefox, after restart

This, together with the setting to download and install updates automatically, makes it possible for me (and these other guys) to install Firefox for friends and other acquaintances without having to follow up with update installations.

Thursday, September 1st 2005

Firefox – Cool and Geeky?

I just realized. Few things are as cool and geeky, at the same time, as Firefox is. Can anyone think of any other examples of things that are cool and geeky?