Safari for Window, for like, realsies.

Posted by Mikey McCorry | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 12-06-2007

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That’s right. Apple has shocked-and-awed me by announcing that as of the current version (3 Beta), Safari is now available for download as a native Windows application. Well, when I say native, it still looks like it’s just a screenshot of an OSX app, gun-metal grey chrome and all. I wish it looked a little more like a windows app, especially with the way the Preferences window behaves, but for the first release, I’m quite pleased. Performance is good, and I find the HTML rendering to be very accurate. I don’t quite think I’m ready to switch from Firefox just yet, but it’s great to be able to test for Safari without firing up the Mac.

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Forms… Gotta love em…

Posted by Mikey McCorry | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-05-2007

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Eric Meyer has written an informed piece about how styling forms with CSS is the bane of our existence. Okay, well maybe that’s a bit extreme, but we’ve still got a long way to go until we can fully control the appearance of our web forms (without the use of javascript, that is).

While on the subject of forms, Pixel Acres’ FormBuilder PHP class can definitely make things easier. Usually when time is not on my side, its all too tempting to just chuck a form into a table and be done with it, but now I can get it all done just as quickly, and fully CSS no less. :)

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Office 2.0 Experiment – Windows Style

Posted by Mikey McCorry | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 02-11-2006

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Okay, I get it. Macs are awesome. After reading Ryan Carson’s Our Office 2.0 Experiment over on Vitamin, and the long list of comments from other Mac users, I decided to play the John Hodgman role and spin it Windows style (although a lot of my suggestions are open source and also available on OSX).

Note: Prices are in USD.

Type Software Price
Text editor OpenOffice.org / Notepad++ Free
Code editor Blumental’s WeBuilder $49.85
Graphics package Fireworks $100
Storage Internal file server
Backup Scheduled file copy
FTP Blumental’s WeBuilder / FileZilla See above / Free
Chat/IM Trillian / Meebo Free
Email Mozilla Thunderbird Free
Calendar Google Calendar Free
Address book Mozilla Thunderbird Free
Spreadsheets/Misc OpenOffice.org Free

Notepad++ is my preferred choice when it comes to all-round text editing. Along with plain txt files, it supports full code formatting, code completion and hex editing all in one open source application.

Blumental’s WeBuilder is a great little code editor, and is a decent Dreamweaver replacement for a fraction of the price. I still kinda use an old copy of Dreamweaver just because over the past 6 years or so it’s become somewhat of an extension to my very soul, but over time I can see myself using WeBuilder more and more.

I agree that Fireworks is probably the cheapest and most adequate graphics program, although, like Keith at Blue Flavor, I still use Photoshop because that’s what I have and am most used to. I have an old Fireworks licence, but every time I try to familiarise myself with it’s strange, foreign ways, I hit a minor stumbling block and go back to Photoshop. I’m also keeping my eye on Pixel and Paint.Net. They’re both a little immature for production use at this stage, but with time, I can see them both being fierce competitors to the almighty Adobe.

For storage and backup, I just use a plain internal hard disk drive, backed-up to another separate hard disk via a little script that runs as a Windows scheduled task in the middle of the night. Once a month (or more accurately, whenever I remember to), I burn off a DVD of the backup and take it to a different address. I can’t see the value in paying $99 for online storage space, when a local drive does the job much faster.

I use WeBuilder/Dreamweaver’s inbuilt FTP when working with code, and FileZilla for everything else, although personally, I prefer SmartFTP (and for $36.95, it’s worth every cent).

I use Trillian Basic for IM, although I don’t use IM so much any more. When I’m away from my main PC, I use Meebo.

Mozilla Thunderbird works great for my email. To control spam, I use Google Apps for Your Domain and just use Thunderbird to collect my mail from there.

I’m not a big calendar user, but Google Calendar comes with Apps for Your Domain, so that’s what I use and it serves me well. It will be better when Mozilla’s new calendar integrated with Thunderbird gets finished.

I also use Thunderbird for my address book, although sharing contacts isn’t a big issue for me at this time. I’m not sure what’s out there for Windows in the shared address book space. Comment if you know of something suitable.

Finally, I mostly use OpenOffice.org for my word processing / spreadsheets / presentations / etc. It’s awesome and the price is right.

I hope this helps other Windows users (or even OSX users) who may not be aware of some of these applications, and I’d love to hear your feedback on what you use and/or recommend.

Bulletproof HTML: 37 Steps to Perfect Markup

Posted by Mikey McCorry | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-10-2006

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Bulletproof HTML: 37 Steps to Perfect Markup – Many people think that simply knowing your HTML tags is enough to call yourself a web designer, however I don’t think you can truly call yourself a web developer unless you at least fully understand these fundamental principles.

Firefox 2.0 Released

Posted by Mikey McCorry | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 24-10-2006

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Although right now you couldn’t tell by doing an update check, Firefox 2.0 is ready and waiting for download, Secret Squirrel style.

At the moment, I’m playing the “OMG! My extensions don’t work any more” game, but its not too bad. All my vital ones are working (Super DragAndGo, ColorZilla, FireBug, Greasemonkey, MeasureIt and Web Developer are all good to go. Tab Mix Plus has a dev build that works quite nicely); it’s just the non-essentials that will have to play catch-up (I’m looking at you, Aardvark and CSSViewer).

Overall, I’m very pleased with the new Firefox so far. Many people have said that this release was not worth a point-five upgrade, but honestly, what does the version number matter. I wouldn’t care if it was called Firefox 1.63333333. It’s still heads and shoulders over IE7, purely on the extension functionality alone.

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