Archive for February, 2006

Tuesday, February 28th 2006

Koenigsegg CCX Details Officially Released

The details of the Koenigsegg CCX have now been officially released. While the car is not an improvement in power and speed, it has many other improvements.

Monday, February 27th 2006

Firefox on Steroids

Some guy has successfully installed 100 Firefox extensions. A nice test of Firefox’s extension mechanism. Turned out it was pretty stable…

Thursday, February 23rd 2006

Was It Just a Dream? The CCX Gets 806 BHP

(Overdue) Update: All those who have seen Top Gear season 8, episode 1, will know that the 900 BHP figure wasn’t entirely off after all. Jeremy Clarkson mentioned that “If you tune this engine to run on environmentally friendly bio fuel, you’ll be getting 900 BHP!” So I wonder what the top speed is using bio ethanol? Why doesn’t someone just drive this thing flat out over those salt flats in the US?

Edit: Wallpaper with the CCX, for many screen sizes, available here.

Sadly enough, it seems the Koenigsegg CCX specs published by VG.no were just dreamed up. Now it seems the Koenigsegg CCX is just a redesigned and rebadged CCR. Here are the pages of an official brochure:

The specs page lists exactly the same figures as those of the CCR. 806 BHP, 395+ km/h, 920 nm, 0-100 3.2 secs, etc. The drawings on the same page are of the CCX, so there is no doubt that these are the real figures.

I need therapy. All day I’ve been on a high, and now this… Well, so much for believing what you read in the papers.

Anyway, there is some interesting reading in that brochure. Among other things, the CCX has 50 mm more headroom, and is 88 mm longer to comply with US rear crash regulations. The engine has also had a serious makeover to work with 91 octane US fuel.

Thursday, February 23rd 2006

Exterior Comparison, Koenigsegg CCR & CCX

The Koenigsegg CCR and CCX differ in quite a lot of aspects. Here is a little analysis of what has changed, with illustrating photos.

Lets start with the back:

Rear shot of Koenigsegg CCR and CCX

The lights have become slightly remodeled, with slightly less in-your-face bezels on the indicators. The exhaust has also had a slight redesign. The number plate space has been reduced, and the whole big, grey air outlets have been made even phatter. The best improvement though, if you ask me, is that they have hidden all the stuff that was visible in the venturi tunnels on the CCR, including that little red light. (What was that, BTW?) The area over the engine with the Koenigsegg name badge looks completetly different. Not sure if the badge is still there, but there is a piece of glass there that wasn’t before.

Let’s take a look from slightly above:

Shot of Koenigsegg CCR and CCX from above

They have put position lights along the side of the car, presumably to please the US market. There are new air outlets at the back, which presumably help to increase downforce. The air intakes in front of the rear wheels are the same as on the CCR. Of course, the wheels are new – meaner than ever. It looks like they have recoloured the painted parts on top of the dashboard, this gives it a more solid look I think.

It looks like they have removed the windscreen wiper completely. I suppose, when you’re doing 240 mph (in rain) it gets blown off pretty quickly…

Basically the whole front has been redone, even if the shape of it is much the same. The bonnet on the CCX doesn’t come down as far as it does on the CCR. There is a new air intake on the bonnet, and they have added fog lights. Some of these differences are perhaps more clear in the next photo:

Front/side shot of Koenigsegg CCR and CCX

The bubble in the headlight glass/plastic have been made smaller – a good thing if you ask me. They have also removed the fourth little light in the headlight clusters, which makes it look cleaner. (Perhaps that was the side position light which has now been stuck on the side.) A new design feature has been added just behind the front wheels, with the Koenigsegg name on it. Also, I get the impression the windscreen is more rounded on the CCX, and perhaps the roofline too. You would need real side shots to be able to tell though.

All-in-all, it feels like the Koenigsegg has grown up. If the CC8S was the unruly 15-year-old with constant fits, and the CCR was the lightning fast 20-year old, the CCX is the solid, secure and even faster 24-year-old.

Can’t wait till Top Gear drive this thing. They never drove the CCR, so the last Koenigsegg they drove was the CC8S, which beat their in-a-straight-line speed record. I bet the CCR and now, the CCX, are much better at going round tracks than the CC8S was back then. Would be interesting to see how it fares in the hands of the Stig on the Top Gear test track. Would it beat the Pagani Zonda F?

Thursday, February 23rd 2006

Koenigsegg CCX Desktop Wallpaper

So, here is a set of desktop wallpaper with the new Koenigsegg CCX. Six photos are included in the packs:

New Koenigsegg CCX Wallpaper

The highest resolution packs only contain the two photos at the top, because of the limited size of the originals.

A few comments on the exterior of the CCX. I think the suttle evolution of the front is great, with the new bonnet and fog light holes. At the back they have cleaned up the looks of the venturi tunnel openings, which makes it look much more sophisticated. If you want to compare it to the CCR I’ve got several photos here. Of course, the CCX wheels are seriously mean. A great improvement on the CCR.

If you didn’t already know, this thing has 900 BHP

An official brochure has leaked, stating that the CCX does in fact only have 806 BHP.

Regular Resolutions (4:3 and 5:4)

Widescreen Resolutions (16:10)

Edit: To save some space on my server I’ve deleted some of the less common resolutions.

Wednesday, February 22nd 2006

The Koenigsegg CCX Gets 900 BHP

Update 4: All those who have seen Top Gear season 8, episode 1, will know that the 900 BHP figure wasn’t entirely off after all. Jeremy Clarkson mentioned that If you tune this engine to run on environmentally friendly bio fuel, you’ll be getting 900 BHP! So I wonder what the top speed is using bio ethanol? Why doesn’t someone just drive this thing flat out over those salt flats in the US?

Update 3: Sadly, the figures posted by VG have turned out to be wrong. The CCX will only get 806 BHP.

Update 2: I’ve now made a post with desktop wallpaper of the CCX, and a post which compares the exterior of the CCR and the CCX.

The Koenigsegg CCX

Anonymous just tipped me off with a link to a norwegian news article about Idar Vollvik who will be the first owner of a Koenigsegg CCX. The article goes on about how he already has owned a CCR (which he gave to charity), and that he has gotten to know Christian von Koenigsegg and the factory, etc. Anyway…

At the end of the article they list some specs for the new car:

  • Engine: Aluminium V8
  • Power: 900 BHP
  • Weight: 1180 kg
  • 0-100 km/h: 3.1 secs
  • Top speed: > 400 km/h

It seems like they must have a fairly reliable source behind those figures. Either this is straight from the horse’s (von Koenigsegg’s) mouth, or it is Mr Vollvik who is just telling VG (the newspaper) what he had been told by Mr K. So… it sounds like the CCX might be aimed at winning back the title from the Veyron, after all… Let’s just hope they find a track long and straight enough for a new record!

Update: The article has a photo where the CCX can be seen from the front. The new fog lights are clearly visible. In fact, compare it to this photo and you can see that the whole front, including the bonnet, is new.

Tuesday, February 21st 2006

Photos of Koenigsegg CCX Leaked

Photos of the to-be-revealed-at-the-Geneva-show Koenigsegg CCX have leaked out, over at Autoblog. The roumor that it will be faster than the current CCR has picked up some speed, but personally I think it is all based on wishful thinking. As I wrote a while back…

  1. It has been stated that this will be a US version of the CCR, with the same specs.
  2. How could they possibly get more than those 806 bhp out of a V8? Or have they stuck a V10 or V12 in the CCX? Highly unlikely.

Monday, February 20th 2006

See-Through CSS Colours in Firefox 3

The bug for rgba and hsla css colours has just been fixed on the Firefox trunk. That means it will be released with Firefox 3, in about a years time.

Can’t wait till we can start playing around with semi-transparent colours… Also, the hsl colour model is very nice – making it possible to think in hue, saturation and lightness when choosing colours. Very nice 🙂

It’s just a shame that Firefox 3 is so far away.

Edit: Fixed an error. (Had written brightness instead of lightness.)

Wednesday, February 15th 2006

Large Swedish News Site Uses Firefox RSS Icon

Svenska Dagbladet, or SvD for short, are using Firefox’s RSS icon on their website:

Svenska Dagbladet RSS icon

Actually, come to think of it, this is the IE7 version of the icon. Typical. At least to me, they don’t look 100% identical. The Firefox version stands out more – the IE7 one looks flatter.

Friday, February 10th 2006

Koenigsegg CCX – Faster Than the CCR?

The Koenigsegg CCX, half covered by cloth.

I’ve read two (identical) articles stating that the upcoming Koenigsegg CCX might be even faster than the present CCR. But then there is this article, which makes it sound like it will only be a renamed CCR. Does anyone know the truth? It would be great if Koenigsegg could get something out there to compete with the Veyron for the world record.

But then again, since they call this the US version it seems most likely it will only be a rebadged CCR… But why are they covering it like that in the press photos? (Which aren’t available att koenigsegg.com.) How on earth would they get more than 806 bhp out of that V8?

Edit: Changed the picture for the one now available at Koenigsegg’s website.

Update: Norwegian VG has now stated that the CCX will get 900 BHP!

Wednesday, February 8th 2006

Songbird – Pretty Fly For A Blackbird

Songbird has just been released by… er… I believe I don’t know who made it. Well, I know many of the developers behind Sunbird are ex-Winamp people. The website has just been slashdotted so it might take a day before you can get there. Anyway, the Slashdot post has a few mirrors for the time being.

Well, it seems pretty good for a 0.1 release. The slick, black interface is nice:

Sunbird 0.1 screenshot

Also, I can choose my language (Swedish) from the help menu. I was impressed by the fact that they had included Ogg playback capabilities already. Of course, there were a few obvious bugs:

  • When I tried to add extra columns in the song list I got some kind of error message.
  • All my Ogg tracks are listed as being 0:00 long, even after Songbird had scanned them. (Although it knew how long a track was while playing.)
  • The window doesn’t seem to remember its position after closing and opening, or toggling the mini player mode.

I would love it if I could access AllOfMP3 through Songbird. But I feel very handicapped without Firefox’s tabs. Maybe they will be added in the future? I know Songbird isn’t meant to be a full fledged web browser. But when I was looking around the various music shops in the sidebar I realized that I would need tabs in Songbird too, to feel at all efficient.

Wednesday, February 8th 2006

New Colour Schemes

I’ve made a different set of alternative colour themes now. The old ones were rather hard on the eyes. Hopefully these new ones are better. If you don’t get any colour at all when you’re reading this, clicking one of the links at the top should fix it.

Tuesday, February 7th 2006

Opera 9, Technical Preview 2

This is not a full review of Opera 9 (TP2). Just a little pointer to a few things I like about it, things I think Firefox should have too. 🙂 Alright, alright, Opera fans, it’s all about copying features.

  • Autoscrolling is much slower in Opera than in Firefox. That’s great, since it means that you can actually set it to scroll the text slowly enough for you to be able to read it. (This may not be new to Opera 9.)
  • BitTorrent support. A great and logical addition to the web browser. Non-geeky people shouldn’t need to worry about separate BitTorrent software, they should just be able to click a bittorrent link and have it download the file there and then. Just like we don’t (usually) use separate software to handle our normal ftp/http downloads. Azureus and other BitTorrent clients will be around for those of us who like to fiddle around with settings and/or are serious file sharers. For instance, I’ve got four episodes of the CommandN tech show being uploaded in Azureus right now. I like to have full control over what happens with my torrents, and having something constantly on the task bar (like I would have were I using Opera instead) is not an option. I guess what I’m trying to say is that having built-in, simple BitTorrent support is in line with the philosophy of Firefox.
  • New keyboard shortcuts. I’m not sure, but I think Ctrl+L for the location bar is new for Opera 9. I know Ctrl+T for new tab (not page, as in Opera 8) and Ctrl+N for new page are new for Opera 9. It must have hurt Opera to make that change, but I think it was the best thing to do in the long run, seeing that both Firefox and IE7 are using those combinations.
  • The Tab Preview feature is definately nice. But I think it would be even nicer (cleaner) without the information displayed to the right of the (anti-aliased) thumbnail:

Opera 9 Tab Preview feature

The title is visible at the top of the tab, and the other informations doesn’t feel essential enough to outweigh the clutter it creates. I doubt that this is something that should be in the default Firefox install though.

The improved content blocking à la adblock initially seems to work fine. Does anyone know how it remembers what to block? If a different ad is displayed in the position where I blocked an ad a few days ago, will that also be blocked? If not, this is useless. If it is, this is useful. Adblock still has a slight edge on Opera though, with the ability to import a ready-made filter. Also, Opera doesn’t seem to be able to block Google Ads, should you wish to do so.

As for the widgets, I’m not entirely convinced of their usefullness. At least the widgets available now seem to be of limited value. Maybe the possibilities go far beyond the present ones. I get a feeling this whole widget thing is a bit overrated – a fad or a craze if you like.

All in all, Opera 9 looks very promising. I almost thought Wow! and This is something I could use permanently!. But I just can’t get used to the behaviour of Ctrl+Tab. I want it to be instant, as in Firefox. Not a big issue, but I just can’t quite get used to it.

Edit: Fixed a typo in the title.

Tuesday, February 7th 2006

Adobe Acrobat Reader Rant

After having stuck with Acrobat Reader 5.0 (the golden version in my eyes) I decided to try to update to version 7. Version 7 is supposedly faster than version 6, which was a real nightmare. You know: you’re out surfing, click a link, and then boom! You’ve just suffered the PDF death. Your computer grinds to a near standstill while Acrobat starts to load. The time it takes you’d think it were a 3D CAD application or something.

Anyway. My first thing to rant about when it comes to version 7 is the download website. It’s really slow. I mean, really slow. You start wondering if you’ve lost your Internet connection. Then, when you finally get the file you want, it turns out to be one of those silly little things that in turn downloads the real installer data, 25 odd megabytes of it, in this case. That means that you can’t simply burn it to a CD for when you’re fixing up your friends’ and family’s computers. Also, that setup is pretty annoying when something goes wrong with the installation and you have to reinstall…

That happens to be what happened to me. Admittedly, I had used Acrobat Reader SpeedUp on my previous installation, but I believe the Acrobat installer should be able to handle a few disabled plugins. So, I had to download the whole thing again, making me loose more work time. The whole thing made me so annoyed I had to blog about it, making me waste even more time on this non-essential issue. 🙂

Seriously though, stub installers (I believe that’s what they’re called?) offer no benefit to the user. Quite the opposite in fact. Especially when you have to click your way through the ususal OS/OS version/Language menus to get the thing. (It’d be a slightly different matter if there were only one stub installer, served to you immediately, which then handled those options.)

No, stub installers only exist because (I presume) they make it easier for the company distributing the software. Well, the software companies should start thinking a little more about their users.

The vast number of light-weight PDF readers that are popping up all over the place are doing so for a reason. People want small, quick and simple software! Sadly, I haven’t yet found one (for Windows) that works 100%. Foxit, for instance, had a slight display issue:

Foxit Display Bug

Those red blobs are supposed to be round, and Adobe Reader (as they apparently call it these days) displays them correctly, so there’s presumably nothing wrong with the PDF.

If anyone knows of a good, solid (& free!) light-weight PDF viewer (with Firefox support), please let me know!

Monday, February 6th 2006

Ben Goodger Writes on Firefox History

Ben Goodger has written an interesting article about what happened before Firefox, and what led a few developers to basically scrap the whole UI of Mozilla and start again.

I didn’t know (until now) about the serious conflicts between Mozilla engineers and Netscape leadership over user interface. This was back before Mozilla Foundation was created.

The following bit was also interesting:

There was and remains much resentment towards Firefox and its development model. At its creation, there was much shouting about how the many were not always smarter than the few, the merits of small development teams with strong centralized direction, the need to adhere strictly to Mozilla’s module ownership policy. In practice, these statements resulted in effectively locking everyone but the Firefox team out of the Firefox source code. We railed against the inefficiencies of past UIs. We were unnecessarily harsh, and polarized opinions. We had been badly wounded by the Netscape experience and the disorganization that had followed. I don’t think a lot of people understood that. It wasn’t something we could easily communicate.

I remember there being a clear division between Suite devs and Firefox devs, when I was hanging at MozillaZine. I knew that the division was because of the tight control that the Firefox leads maintained, but I didn’t know the underlying reasons behind that tight control – other than wanting to optimize the user experience.

Since they had worked on a browser that looked like this…

Screenshot of Mozilla M17

…their concerns were understandable.

Monday, February 6th 2006

Blake Ross’s Web 1.0 Website

I just found a real gem. It’s the personal website of Blake Ross, aged… hmm – 18. (The website states that Netscape 7.1 has been released, which means that it must at least have been updated sometime since June 2003. Blake was born in June 1985.) That basically means that it has to be a joke. I hope it is. It must be. And a pretty sick one at that. If you read this, Blake, could you give some clarity on this insanity? 🙂

I must be the first person to have listened through the whole embedded midi track…

Saturday, February 4th 2006

New Volvo C70 Wallpaper

I’d like to apologize to those of my readers who are mostly interrested in browsers and suchlike. Seems I can’t stop making desktop wallpaper with cars… (Volvo S80 wallpaper here, and Koenigsegg wallpaper here.) Anyway, here are some of the new C70. As always &ndash maximum JPEG quality:

Desktop wallpaper of the new Volvo C70.

Regular Resolutions (4:3 and 5:4)

Widescreen Resolutions (16:10)

Edit: To save some space on my server I’ve deleted some of the less common resolutions.

Wednesday, February 1st 2006

Search Box Found

Important message to all readers!

I woke up this morning, finding that someone had left a search box behind. I’ve put it up at the top left for the time being. If you can’t find your search box, this may be it. Just send me a note. I’ll be more than happy to return it to it’s rightful owner.

Update: Actually, come to think of it – I think I’ve changed my mind. I’ll keep the search box for myself. I’ve always wanted one of those cool things that light up when you use it.

Wednesday, February 1st 2006

Koenigsegg CCR & CC8S Desktop Wallpaper

Update: If you’re looking for wallpaper of the Koenigsegg CCX, look no further.

After having made desktop wallpaper for the new S80 yesterday, I decided to make desktop wallpaper out of some of the official Koenigsegg photographs too.

The Koenigsegg CCR is (for obvious reasons) my favourite supercar… It’s the current Guiness record holder of highest top speed among production cars, hitting 388 km/h (241 mph). It has a hyper-charged V8 kicking out 806 bhp and 920 nm. And – it’s Swedish.

The following eight photos are included in the packages:

Koenigsegg desktop wallpaper

Regular Resolutions (4:3 and 5:4)

Widescreen Resolutions (16:10)

Edit: To save some space on my server I’ve deleted some of the less common resolutions.

Wednesday, February 1st 2006

New Volvo S80 Desktop Wallpapers

New S80 photographs.

I have put together packages of desktop wallpapers of the new, good-looking Volvo S80. Each package includes the six photos above: five exterior and one interior photograph. They have all been made from the highest resolution sources available (~5000×3700) saved at highest, razor-sharp JPEG quality for your enjoyment:

Regular Resolutions (4:3 and 5:4)

Widescreen Resolutions (16:10)

Oh, by the way: Volvo – if this is illegal in any way, just let me know and I’ll pull these packs immediately.

Edit: To save some space on my server I’ve deleted some of the less common resolutions.