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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Power Point

This from The Bakersfield Californian on last night's city council meeting


PowerPoint problems

Halfway through City Attorney Ginny Gennaro's presentation of her budget plan to the council, the whole PowerPoint presentation had to be restarted.

Sound effects -- specifically one from a well-known legal television show -- triggered in quick succession as pages were scrolled through.

It made council members wince.

"We're going to rue the day you put that in there," Vice Mayor Mike Maggard said, kidding Gennaro.



I truly hate most Power Point presentations. Both too long and overdone by wonks you like to hear themselves. Many times too complex with too many multimedia inserts. I've had more than one person contact me over problems with PP. It's is especially tough if you have to use other hardware since pre-testing can be impossible.

My advice is if possible use you own portable to play it and if you have to burn to CD for play on other hardware be sure you understand then 'Pack & Go' function of PP, then test on some other hardware even if it's not the one you'll be using to present on.


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Outlaw Spyware

Well spyware has almost become the geek full employment act. I still hate it.
Now if California and some other states would follow suit.

Washington State outlaws spyware by ZDNet's Wayne Cunningham -- During our Antispyware Workshop, I was intrigued by the notion that existing laws can be used to prosecute adware and spyware makers.



Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Images - And an Old Dog Learns a Trick

Google helps me find my problem with images.
When I post an image I often make the image fit by just using width="50%" and height="50%" inside the html img tag. Turns out to be wrong. When you use a percent insted of pixels as the values the browser makes the image a percent of your current window or frame.
I had always thought it worked just like it does for fonts and would just make it a percent of the original size. Never assume.

Normal size:
Me & Girls DL

and half size using half dimensions in then html tag

Me & Girls DL

Well clearly using pixels is the right way. Only problem there is you have to check the properties of the source image and do the math. Well at least I'm pretty good at math.

A trick that is suppose to work is using only a percent in one dimension - this is suppose to keep the aspect ratio (which it seems to), but they are not 50% in size, they are still 50% if the column width.

and one more using just a percent width only

Me & Girls DL

and one more using just a percent height only

Me & Girls DL


RSS Reader - Thunderbird

While I have had a RSS (real simple syndication) feed on this blog all along I've never bothered to use a RSS reader. When a friend of mine (thanks KM) mentioned a slight problem with graphics on my feed we started talking about Mozilla's Thunderbird. I had down loaded it and looked at it but never really used it. I use Mozilla suite for browsing and e-mail.

Well I might not change my email to Thunderbird but I'm using it to read news and lots of other blogs now. I only wish more of my regular reads were publishing RSS. If you are interested in making an RSS feed from your site there are several free ones. This one uses Feedburner.

The graphics problem seems to be when I scale the image back by a percentage. In fact I'm going to place two versions of the same pic here and see if I can duplicate it.

Normal size:
Me & Girls DL

and half size using 50% in html tag

Me & Girls DL


UPDATE: Well I posted this and then went and checked it all. Here are my results.....

1. Mozilla browser - perfect rendition
2. Firefox - almost right, the scaled image is a little out of aspect - slightly too tall.
3. MS Internet Explorer - first image right, second image didn't even render.
4. Thunderbird - first image right, second shows about half height but width is about 125% making it was out of proportion.

Hmmm..... must goggle and see just what is up here.
See the next post for the answer.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

FireFox Fixed

We started the week with a couple of Firefox vulnerabilities and the IE apologists just couldn't have been happier. Pointing fingers and saying look FF can be exploited too.
Well guess what - fixed!
Once again the Mozilla foundation proves the superiority of open source software. MS could never have done a fix that fast.
No reports of any exploits have been received



Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Jerry Pournelle posts an email from one of his regulars,
Rules of Computerdom

I know, it's pretty geeky. A couple of my favorites

12. It said "Insert disk 3..." but only 2 fit in the drive.

37. A computer scientist is someone who, when told to "Go to H---," sees the "go to," rather than the destination, as harmful.

40. "The three most dangerous things in the world are a programmer with a soldering iron, a hardware type with a software patch and a user with an idea."