Archive for May, 2005

Biblical Programming

May 11th, 2005 No comments

At work, we have an error log that holds all of the errors that our programs produce, and we can also put messages into it so that we can debug our programs.

Today, whilst looking through, someone has obviously taken a near-biblical slant on debugging:Hello anybody there?
In the begining
Let there be night!
And man looked apon the darkness
And the darkness was good!
pre syschar900
post syschar900
So end’s the first book
Each one of those lines has been hand typed, in that order, and so must mean something to somebody!

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Morse Code Triumphant!

May 7th, 2005 No comments

This one appears to be doing the rounds at the moment.

Apparently, a 93 year-old managed to beat a 13 year-old champion Speed-Texter (SMS) by sending the same message via Morse Code.

Genius. And apparently the young whipper-snapper used “txt” abbreviations, but he sent the whole thing and still beat her.

Chuggnutt sums it up correctly:Man, there’s retro, and there’s retro.

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Computer Use

May 7th, 2005 1 comment

What’s quite interesting about my job is telling people what you do.

People then immediately get quite defensive about using a computer in front of you, frightened that you are going belittle them because they can’t quite type as fast as you, or aren’t as competent.

As a case in point, I went to the opticians this morning, and obviously had to tell them that I use a computer screen a lot as it’s had to write software without looking at one. The optician, a 20-something lovely lady, then started explaining that she thought that I probably thought she wasn’t very good at using a computer (she was typing my history into a laptop) and that she preferred pen and paper.

Now, there was nothing wrong with the way that she was using the computer, she seemed quite competent, and the screen she was using looked quite complex and full of fields for her to fill in – and she actually did it very well making few mistakes.

So why is it that people feel that they need to excuse their computer use when in the company of a software developer?

Im sure that it’s probably down to people’s insecurities, but it really isn’t necessary. My job involves making software for people of all levels of competency to use, and if I’m arrogant enough to think that only computer literate people would be using a piece of software, then it is me that is at fault and not the user.

I guess people probably don’t think of it that way though….

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Announcing PHPTabs!

May 7th, 2005 2 comments

Tonight, I’ve spent the evening working a new little project of mine. It’s quite small and simple, but it could just change your life.

I’ve created a very small library to let you create a tab-control using HTML. It lets you create a simple tab set using <div&gt elements and Javascript, all neatly generated from PHP.

Here’s a quick picture:

I’ll post some more about it soon, and perhaps create a project page. For the time being, please feel free to download from here and use in whatever way you feel like.

There’s no formal documentation at the moment, and eventually I’ll get around to writing some good instructions and putting some kind of decent description of how to use it. I’m also planning to release it under some GPL or BSD licence, but I’ll get to that in good time.

There’s a good example file in the archive called “index.php”, but this should probably not be deployed with your website! The other 3 files (phptabs.js, and phptabs.css) are all needed and should be deployed. You should also customise phptabs.css.

Please feel free to poke around and use it however you wish. If you find any bugs, have comments, would like something changed, have improved it in some way, then drop me an email – it would be nice to see how useful other people find it!

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I don’t get it

May 7th, 2005 1 comment

OK, this is something that I just don’t get.

It was my understanding that XHTML 1.x STRICT was supposed to be just that – strict, and that all you were allowed to put in your XHTML file was the data and the tags that describe the rough positioning of that data, and that everything else should go into a style sheet.

So basically, rough presentation and data into XHTML; colours, fonts, background pictures, etc into CSS.

So why then does the <table> element still have the “border”, “cellpadding” and “cellspacing” attributes, even in the strict DTD type? Surely those are pieces of eye candy and should be rendered from the CSS file?

Don’t believe me? Then have a look at the XHTML 1.0 Strict DTD, and search for “cellpadding” – it’s certainly in there under the “table” element.

I even checked against the XHTML 1.1 Strict standard, and these attributes are not listed as having changed (I couldn’t see to find a reference to them in the DTD on that page, but there are listed in the modularised DTD for tables here).

Can someone explain this, or is this just some piece of random thinking that slipped the net?

P.S. Found this out from here.

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Interesting Take on Cabir Virus

May 6th, 2005 No comments

The Cabir virus seems to be steadily spreading across Europe on Series 60 Nokia handsets.

I never see why people catch this, because you get a warning about installing applications, but some how people keep falling for it.

Anyway, this post from F-Secure seems to offer an explanation:Well, we’ve spoken to many people who’ve actually been infected, and they typically explain it like this: They got this weird message on the phone, requesting a “Yes” or “No” answer. So they clicked “No”. But the message popped up immediatly again. And they clicked “No” – only to see the message pop up again. And since “No” didn’t seem to be working, they clicked “Yes”…

The message would have disappeared if they would have walked away from the area where they were (to get out of the range of the infected phone), but there’s no way for an end user to know that.

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I Want One

May 6th, 2005 No comments

How cool are these!

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First BBQ

May 6th, 2005 No comments

Forgot to blog about this yesterday, but never mind.

I went to my first BBQ of the season on Wednesday night, very enjoyable time, but it got dark a bit quick and was a bit cold.

Unfortunately, I seem to have lost the £30 that my mates paid me back (for the food), so if anyone finds 30 quid in the Brighton area, please return it to me…. Ta.

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Marlow Regatta

May 2nd, 2005 No comments

I’ve just come back from spending the day watching people row in the lovely town of Marlow.

Actually, to be more precise, my brother was in a race there this morning, which he sadly didn’t win, but never mind.

It’s actually a lovely town – enough shops, nice river walk, green areas, and everything that makes a town lovely. Plus it didn’t hurt that it was beautiful sunshine all day.

I did take a couple of pics, so I’ll try and get them posted at some point.

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