:Archive Of September 2001:

Saturday, September 29, 2001 - 9:05 AM -

Small thing: @Home has filed for chapter 11. They're my old hosting service from six months ago. My referer logs show about 40 people a day come through via the redirects I left there. Since I can't find links to the old pages on the web, these must be bookmarks. So, if you get the pretty blue redirect on the way to any of my pages, update your bookmark. Those pages won't be around much longer.

Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 4:40 PM -

Thanks to Jinny Kim for pointing out to me, without laughing, that anyone with a browser has the js scripting language to use, I now have my colour tester for the 216 in 16bit. (Yes, I do have the IQ of a stuffed toy.)

Saturday, September 22, 2001 - 9:10 PM -

Well, I'm without talent, 4000 miles away, and a day too late, but here's the second Bruce Mau design quiz. (Thanks, Robert.)

- 4:58 PM -

I think too much about the design of things. I am looking at a cigarette box. Half of it's visual area is covered in government mandated safety warnings. Not the regular safety warnings that your drain cleaner or power saw has to caution you in its use, but unique warnings designed to get you to not use the product at all. The other half is designed by the manufacturer to encourage you to buy it. That's pretty remarkable opposition held in the final design.

And you know... since the government's direction to make cigarette packages unpleasant was first intellectually with text, now visually with images, the next step is to make them tactilely unpleasant.

There's a project. Build the prototypes of this inherently compromised packaging. Move away from the highly developed flip box form with breakaway cellowrap into the conflicting desire of a legislated social program to make you quit. Make it as easy to manufacture as possible, and stackable for shipping and display.

Ultimately I expect a brilliant origami sea urchin that delivers paper cuts.

Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 9:14 PM -

Here's some eyecandy to be thoughtful about. I have to wonder what went wrong in this project. There's so much good work that the sometimes clumsy navigation design choices really stand out. It even mislinks to the other language version in one spot. That doesn't make sense alongside the quality of the rest of the site. Did they run out of time, allow client input become client interference, have staff changes?

Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 7:03 PM -

Holy zot. Wondering what's available in construction toys? Here's a great little eShop that brings them all together. That Geomag is too tempting.

- 3:26 PM -

Well that shows how little I know about modern computers... What I want is a little script that lets me do search and replace from a group of items. I thought it'd be handy to whip up a page with 216 cels, each coloured from the browser safe palette and with a gif of the same colour so I can see what works in 16bit. So I'd put the list of hex codes in 'group A' and then have the script take a line with color="*" and output the line 216 times with each hex code in place.

Apparently my box has nothing that I can do that with. Nor does Tucows seem to have a shareware app that does the job. I don't want to learn VBasic, and I don't want to dig the CP/M box out of the closet and relearn Basic. Not for one script. Am I stuck?

Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 8:31 AM -

Both of the IE6 problems mentioned below seem to be caused by the background-color: #cc0 attribute for a.hover.

I've also tried the doctype, specifying a default bg color for a, phrasing as 'background' instead of 'background-color', and tested using underlines instead. Seems to be you just can't use a bg colour for hover in IE6. I have no idea why this triggers the bizarre behaviour, but it seems limited to this cause, and removing that attribute solves the trouble.

I'm going to play with the code some more, but that seems to be the end of it.

Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 4:47 PM -

I'm trying to sort out the new IE6 bugs with this blog.

There's two hover events happening. In the body when you mouseover, the line with the link appears to jump to the left. And in the nav bar on the right, a mouseover causes the entire page to be truncated to the bottom of the nav bar.

In the first issue, it seems to have to do with using percentages for my right and left padding. IE first interprets these to be 10% of the entire page (as do Opera and Netscape), and then cuts this to half that width when you mouseover. Using pixels gets a stable result.

My first thought was IE is changing from using 10% of the "closest block-level ancestor" to 10% of the div, but it's actually smaller than that amount.

With the second problem I'm not even getting that far. Anyone else dealing with this?

Friday, September 14, 2001 - 8:42 PM -

Jeremy over at Invisible City is warming up. He's found and linked to Chomsky's and Paul Ford's comments. Expect more solid linkage to big thinking.

I can't remember who, I only roughly remember when, (was it Mann?) but the comment was that had the intellectuals in Germany done their duty, then it would have been Hitler forced to leave the country, not them.

I cannot get this out of my mind.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 8:38 PM -

President Bush has addressed the nation with calm, has not tried to agitate for hasty war. If America can as a nation stand calm and strong, absorbing this attack, they will set the tone for a century where the entire world will move forward from our savage roots.

I know of no other nation that can do this. It looks like they are doing it.

- 12:10 PM -

All that can be said today is give blood if you are anywhere in North America. The ripple effect in the system will spread to all coasts.

Phone your donation agency to see if they are prepared for extra donors yet. If you are available, ask if you can help set up facilities. If you are a business, offer space.

Monday, September 10, 2001 - 11:43 PM -

Yum. CodeBitch serves up the goods on WAP 2.0. Yes, it's at MacEdition. No, it's not just for Mac people. This is the web, silly.

Tuesday, September 4, 2001 - 11:43 PM -

Words that need to be bronzed and stuck on the wall. Christopher states two rules for writing about web development: 1)Never, ever refer to the Dot-Bust as a reason for the audience to learn more, i.e. keep on reading the article. 2)Never, ever use the phrase it's not rocket science again.

Sunday, September 2, 2001 - 10:48 PM -

Say what? Try this, "disable smart tags" in Google. The first result is ie/preview/smarttags/default.asp at MS, and, no surprise, MS takes you instead to ie/default.htm to get your copy of ie6 with no mention of smart tags. But if you select google's cache, the same thing happens. What the heck? Is there something I don't understand about asp's, or did I just hit google at a moment when it's updating its cache samples? Can a site override google's cache, similar to breaking out of frames? Yet retain the google cache header?

I'm using Opera, btw, so it's not a trick within ie6.

Saturday, September 1, 2001 - 10:48 PM -

(Thank you Victor...) I saw the n_Gen a couple of days ago but was busy and forgot.

I had two first-blush reactions. Excitement, because this is one step closer to something I want to exist. A web bot version of William Gibson's boxmaker that creates sites by cutting and splicing from others. And I felt a little anxiety: the threat of replacement. Bet there's going to be some interesting threads about this. But no, it's still a tool, just wonderfully complex. The same way photoshop relates to a brush.

This spurs me to babble about the workmanship of risk and the workmanship of certainty, but look, just dial the library and reserve the slim volume by David Pye called The Nature And Art Of Workmanship. In a few hours it will give you thinking you'll carry for years. And now n_Gen ups the ante in those questions; where does AI fit in?

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