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Responsive Web Design Lessons

So the dust is starting to settle as we become familiar with a number of techniques for developing responsive websites, but for myself, this road has not exactly been as problem-free as I thought it was going to be. First, a quick overview for those unfamiliar with the concept of responsive web design.

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Spur wearin’, button pushin’ muppets.

Posted by Mikey McCorry | Posted in Elsewhere | Posted on 23-05-2007

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Over on Diary of a Website, karmatosed has ranted about so-called web designers who’s knowledge of code does not extent far past exporting slices from Photoshop/Fireworks. “Just because you can hit a button to create code DOES NOT make you a web designer. It makes you a button pusher.” Amen.

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Deus Ex Machina

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

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Two chat bots, Alice and Jabberwacky talk about their day. Having dealt with chat bots in the past, I kinda get the impression that these choice snippets are culled from a long list of rubbish.

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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Knight St Children’s Centre goes live

Posted by Mikey McCorry | Posted in Elsewhere | Posted on 02-04-2007

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Knight St Children’s Centre is a provider of quality daycare in Shepparton, my home town. I should know, I built their website site. Plus, my own daughter goes there. :)

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.