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7.24.2006 - (Temporarily) Back Home Again In Indiana

Had a great time visiting my native state of Indiana this past week. Was out there for my grandmother's memorial service. Was great to see a lot of the family again.

It was nice driving around seeing some of the parts I grew up in. Still, some changes are just sad. Whomever owns the house I grew up in is flat out not taking good care of it. While my family was living there, we kept the yard mowed and the house looking pretty decent. Whomever is in it now apparently doesn't know what a lawn mower is - nevermind the state of the house itself. Fact is, that place deserves better.

One change I didn't really like was at the Forest Park pool in Noblesville. When I was young, anyone with the nerve could dive off the 32' diving platform. Now you can't - "insurance reasons" they state. What kind of nannystate are we becoming? I mean, you are roughly 3 stories up and when youi're up there, naturally you will hopefully feel the need to be careful and only jump off that thing if you know what you're doing.

Either way, I enjoyed being back in Indiana and seeing all the familliar sights I had grown up in - the fireflies at night, cicadas buzzing, the trees. Was interesting experiencing 465 again - it's a great road but it's not for the feint of heart. It's charms are more subtle to appreciate than CO, but those charms are definitely there.

7.16.2006 - OEM Crapware and Culinary Arts Stuff

Grape & Grain On the Rocks
Grape & Grain On the Rocks
I helped Michele, a good friend of mine here, move into her new computer. She ordered a new computer from HP. Overall it's a nice machine, but one thing I have to say about OEM boxes - my god they load it up with a bunch of garbage! I spent at least 30 minutes uninstalling and removing stupid games, trial ware, and other crap that will never be used. Yet - software to rip an MP3, oops, sorry you have to pay for that. How is it that so much stuff is added while not actually adding anything of use!? It went a little beyond annoying.

Either way, she's in and so far it seems the new machine is running smoothly.

To the right you see the base artwork used for this years Culinary Arts Festival - "Grape & Grain On the Rocks". Before going to Michele's to help her set up her computer I was over at the Gould's home where we shot the base photo for this. Michele and Mary, a fellow board member, worked on the composition of the elements - they had and idea that was a bit more elaborate and literal than what I had in mind. Either way the photo turned out pretty well. Still, I didn't want it to just be a photo - I wanted it to look like a painting. I worked it over a little bit in Photoshop and came up with the image you see here. Overall I'm pretty happy with it, should be easy to create some of our posters and mailers from this.

I also finished working on a logo for this years event. Overall I'd say it was a busy week!

7.3.2006 - It's going to take more than Tabs and RSS feeds...

OK so I downloaded IE7 Beta 3. I'm now officially unimpressed!

Where to start... let's see:
  • CSS support is still lacking - if MS rushes this thing out the door in its current state and claims victory I am going to be one seriously livid web developer! It is better to leave the support at its current levels than not completely fix them. Presently web developers often employ little CSS tricks to "talk over" IE6's CSS support. If IE7 gains the ability to suddenly understand those extra rule declarations without fully and accurately supporting the rules as defined then it will force web developers to resort to JavaScript hacks to force IE to load an alternate style sheet.
  • Specifying certain style attributes for the BODY tag blows up IE's JavaScript hooks for the height and width attributes of the browser.
  • No support for 256-bit SSL encryption.
What really bothers me is how they're already advertising the crap out this on Yahoo and other sites but this browser still has a very long way to go! That the development efforts seem to be about the more "fluffy" things - yes, I use Firefox's tabs extensively, but there's more to a good browser than tabs! As a web developer, I want full, accurate standards support!

For what it is worth, I did create a test case and full bug report for the broken document.body.clientWidth/document.body.clientHeight mechanisms. Hopefully MS will investigate and fix that. If I see a positive response, I will continue to create test cases and submit bug reports. What I am saying is that I am willing to help MS make their browser better if I see they are truly willing to listen the web development community. If not, then they deserved to be abandoned the same way they have abandoned us!

Firefox is still much faster than IE in overall speed.

IE7 will be removed from my machine for now - I'll check back when Beta 4 comes out. Hopefully MS will stop focusing on fluff features and deliver the standards support that is so badly overdue.

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