Archive | September, 2008

25 September 2008 ~ 0 Comments

How Offensive Could It Be?

I received an email blast from Bioware, makers of Mass Effect, one of my favourite games of 2007 (the other being Bioshock, not actually made by Bioware – strangely enough).  The email pertains to some new footage of Dragon Age being available, a game under development.

First, an age check:

Why, after being asked for my age did I end up here?

By offering 2008 as a choice in the dropdown, I end up doing something I do on a regular basis – enter today’s date.  It was purely automatic; I did it without thinking.

I occasionally make this mistake during “age gates” when the dates run up to the present.  Are there really that many 1-2 year old cruising Bioware, looking for hot footage of this game?  At least kick out the current year to nudge me out of autopilot.

Starting up Safari did the trick ;-)

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20 September 2008 ~ 0 Comments


With my recent upgrade from the D200 to the D300, I realized that my 512MB and 2GB CompactFlash cards just aren’t going to cut it anymore.  RAW files are twice as big as when I picked these up for my D70, and these cards are just taking up space.

I always consult Rob Galbraith’s CF/SD Performance Database when picking up new cards.  The SanDisk Ducati 8GB was what I choose (I’m still on the fence about whether or not the tie-in is cheesy or sexy) for two reasons: 1) Top performer at that capacity and 2) Rebates!

Here’s the second page of the rebate form:

When designing a rebate form that is to be filled out and printed, I have two suggestions:

  1. Make the PDF a fillable form, meaning you can fill it out electronically and then print it.
  2. This form is 62% covered in solid black and red meaning I have to pour ink into my printer like oil into my first car.

SanDisk is no stranger to providing rebates, so I’m guessing they either struck a deal with HP to use up all of our ink, they dislike the environment, hope we don’t fill out the forms or some combination of the above :-)

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15 September 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Aren’t Wizards Supposed to Help?

From Mozilla Thunderbird account setup:

Hmm… ;-)

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11 September 2008 ~ 0 Comments

It’s Not As Helpful As You’d Think

Web sites frequently make use of JavaScript’s onLoad event handler in conjunction with focus() to reposition the cursor once the page has finished loading.  Here’s a page full of search results on javascript focus.

Pages do this so that you can begin typing immediately without having to first TAB or click-focus on an obvious starting point: the “Wireless number” field in the AT&T login screen for example:

Take a quick look back at the screencap.  You’ll notice the characters “yz” in the “Wireless number” field.  That’s not my wireless number.  It’s the last two letters of my password.  I certainly didn’t start by typing my password given my familiarity with the login/password paradigm, so how did it happen?

When I’m halfway through my password, the onLoad event is fired and this helpful JavaScript kicks in, relocating my cursor and blanking out the fields. Even though most sites aren’t as aggressive in removing your previous values, they refocus nonetheless. In those cases, I would be left with “yz55555555555″ which is still a problem.

Here’s a quick suggestion: In the onLoad event handler, if focus has moved on to another field or if another field has fired key related events, don’t refocus.

Get to work AT&T! :-)

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10 September 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Round Table, 1997 is Calling

…and they want their welcome screen back!

A 4.0 browser?  A lot of Solaris 7 users must eat at Round Table!

HTML only?  Maybe some of those Solaris users prefer Lynx? :-)

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09 September 2008 ~ 0 Comments

There’s Good News, and There’s Bad News

The good news is that my computer was recently updated!  Everyone likes updates, right?

The bad news is that my development environment which consists of at least two DOS prompts running processes, my IDE, email client, browser with many tabs, draft emails I’ve left open as reminders to finish them and a handful of Windows Explorer windows… is gone!  Poof!

That Untitled-1 Word document or PowerPoint presentation you were working on?  Gone!

That Adobe Illustrator project you started right before you left, and had some creative inspiration on?  Gone!

This is infuriatingly computer-first behaviour.  Behaviour that says that we as people, our needs (a persistent workspace, an understanding that things will be where I left them) are less important than the needs of the computer (to be running the latest Windows code).

The chance that my computer, on a corporate network, is going to be affected WHILE IDLE (i.e. it cannot wait for me to return and click, “Yes, Reboot!”) is so staggeringly low that I’m surprised this is the default, recommended configuration of XP.  One way to know I’m “at work” is the fact that my machine is part of a Windows domain.  “Nobody” (quotes signifying not enough people to consider the average case) is hooked up to a domain from their home PC.

Pardon me, while I write an email to myself at work as a reminder to disable auto-update X-|

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