CAN I BE OF ASSISTANCE?
Shut it!

Thursday, August 23

Rant

To Expand Slightly

The great strength of CSS is that it separates layout from content.

The great weakness of CSS is that it does nothing of the fucking sort.

To get complex layouts to work, you have to either (a) create your content so that it is aware of the layout, using relative positioning and appropriately ordered divs, or (b) create your layout so that is aware of the content, using absolute positioning and either fixed content sizes or Javascript to calculate stuff.

In short, CSS brings the rich layout of print to the web...  Along with the dynamism and flexibility of print.

(I wouldn't be so cross except that I promised to demo the layout module to my business partner tomorrow, after postponing several times, and the layouts refuse to lay out. Grrr! frown )

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:42 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Rant

Dear W3C CSS Committee

Die in a fire.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:35 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Geek

Matchingks!

Remember this?

/images/littlebigboard.jpg

Well, now it has a twin.

/images/little_intelboard.jpg

This is the GA-G33M-S2H.  It uses Intel's G33 chipset for socket 775 CPUs (i.e. Core 2 Duo).  It has much the same featureset as the socket AM2 GA-MA69GM-S2H: Up to 8GB of memory, four SATA 3Gb/s drives (including one eSATA port), 2 IDE drives, gigabit ethernet, twelve USB 2.0 ports and three Firewire ports; 7.1+2 sound and optical and coax S/PDIF in and out (with optional bracket); VGA, DVI-D and HDMI video outputs (though you can only run one digital and one analog output simultaneously); PCIe x16 and x1 slots and two PCI slots.  And serial, parallel, floppy, keyboard and mouse, though you need to get optional brackets for the serial and parallel ports.

So now I'm looking at getting one each AMD and Intel; one for Windows and one for Linux, as I did back in 2003.  But spending far less money for far faster systems.

The only problem is the shortage of SATA ports on these boards.  I thought I'd found a cheap 2+2 port SATA/eSATA PCIe card, which would have solved that problem nicely.  Turns out its more of a 2-2 card; it's really just a 2-port card with external sockets wired in parallel with the internal ones.  Bleh.  I can get a proper 2+2 card; HighPoint make them.  But they cost twice as much as the motherboard itself, more even than this beastie:

/images/bigbigboard.jpg

Which has ten, count them, ten SATA ports (9 internal and one external).  And two full PCIe x16 slots, and two PCI-X slots, and two PCIe x1 slots, and a PCI slot, and dual gigabit ethernet, and 10 USB, 2 Firewire, etc etc.  It doesn't have built-in video, but this board plus a 512MB 8500GT is actually cheaper than the all-in-one board plus the HighPoint SATA card.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 03:40 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Anime

Go Nagai, You've Got A Lot To Answer For

Creator of the entire mecha genre and the magical girl transformation sequence.  Which leads us, in 2007, to this.



My brain, it is melted.

more...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:15 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Geek

WD--

That Western Digital drive I bought that was playing up when connected to my desktop PC?  I plugged it into my notebook.  Doesn't work properly there either.

It runs fine for (some period), and then just decides to quietly go offline. 

Ungood.

Update: I wonder if it's the power supply?  Remember Pixy's Law of Random Breakage: A flaky power supply can look like any other fault.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:42 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Geek

Wizardry

After some discussion last week, I held off on deploying the theme builder (that is, the style/layout/banner wizard) until I'd implemented the full initial set of features. That's finally nearly done:


More tomorrow.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:38 AM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Wednesday, August 22

Geek

The Only Thing I Have To Say At This Point In Time Is

[def colorpicker]
<script language="Javascript">
  var o_{1}_{2}color = new IColorPicker("o_{1}_{2}color");
  o_{1}_{2}color.onPickColor = new Function("document.getElementById('{1}_{2}color').style.backgroundColor=o_{1}_{2}color.color;document.getElementById('{3}').value=o_{1}_{2}color.color;");
  o_{1}_{2}color.RENDER();
</script>

<input type="hidden" id="{3}" name="{3}" />

<span id="{1}_{2}color"
 style="border:black 1px solid; background-color:[altstyle2.{3}];">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>

<input type="button" value="Choose"
 onclick="o_{1}_{2}color.show(this);
          event.cancelBubble=true;"
 id="{1}_{2}colorbutton" name="{1}_{2}colorbutton" />

[/def]

Nested template functions with embedded Javascript inside a table inside a form.  Eww.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:02 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Monday, August 20

Life

Working In My Sleep

Zzzzz... Eep! Type type type tyypp zzz... Eep! Typetypetype...

Tired. Upset tummy last night - still a bit twitchy, though fortunately nothing like before. Then trying to wrap up what turned out to be two days worth of work today, which worked about as well as you'd expect.

What I'm working on is the style/layout/image wizard thingy, a.k.a. theme builder. It's nearly ready, but there are so many options (literally, hundreds), screens, functions, and interactions that it's taking a leetle longer than I had anticipated. Plus CSS templates are a real joy to work with. Just like, well, CSS itself.

I'll be installing it on my blog tomorrow to check it against the live environment, and then release it shortly after that.

On the other hand, I worked out how to prevent my external disk from going to sleep: I put ╬╝Torrent's download directory there.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 07:06 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Geek

Sleeping On The Job

I'm out of disk space (as usual), so I stopped by my local HiFi store and bought a 500GB Destern Wigital MyBook ES.  'Cause it's actually cheaper to buy that than to buy a bare drive and a cheap external case from my usual online computer store.

It looks good.  It's fast.  It's effectively silent.  It has both USB and eSATA.  And it keeps falling asleep.

That in itself is not a problem.  Having an external drive spin down when not in use is probably a good idea for most people.

The problem is twofold: One, you can't tell it not to spin down.  Two, whenever this happens, Windows goes nuts.  I get a barrage of "Delayed Write Failed" errors, despite the fact that I've disabled write caching on that drive, and the only way I can get Windows to recognise the drive again is to turn it off and on again, which is less than ideal.

So I had to write a little script in Cygwin to access the drive every five seconds.  Originally it was every minute, but that didn't actually suffice to keep the little beasty awake.

I think that part of the problem is USB support on my elderly motherboard, which dates to 2003.  I've had problems with other USB drives, but never a hiccup with my Firewire external drive.

Time for a new computer.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:24 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Sunday, August 19

Geek

Hey!

You can order by a case statement.

Well, why didn't you say so?!

I'm working on the layout & style manager, which supports cascading styles.  So I need to pick up the default style settings, overlay that with the default settings for your blog, and overlay that with the settings for the current page.  There are a couple of tricks on top of that - you can enable or disable the customisation of the style for any block or area - but it at least makes the queries really easy.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 04:16 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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