Monthly Archives: October 2008

Windows 7 UI

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Microsoft has “officially” released the Windows 7 UI. It’s like Vista, but twice as bad. It’s probably going to hog twice as much memory, and will require twice as much graphics power. Whereas Apple uses shines and reflections sparingly (mostly in icons and dock), Microsoft has made just about everything in Windows 7 shiny and glossy. Even the context menus have thick transparent borders. The start bar has been improved worsened. The way the programs are minimized looks remarkably like the Mac OS X dock. It’s big, transparent, and shiny. As an added bonus, you can get memory-consuming previews of the program(s) when you hover over the icon(s). Microsoft is obsessed with glossy, I swear. When you hover over the Start button, it sparkles… The poor rollovers are still around, meaning when you hover over a menu/selection item, it shows up as a pale, yucky blue. The sidebar is gone, meaning you can clutter up your entire desktop with pointless gadgets, that sit there all day eating up your memory. When you right-click on something in the system tray, the options are almost exactly the same as Mac OS X’s. Here are some “official” screenshots of this debauchery:

The Full Horror

The Full Horror

The Network Dialog

The Network Dialog

The Battery Dialog

The Battery Dialog

Plans and Stuff

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EDIT: Speaking of music, check out As Tyrants Fall. They’re an up-and-coming deathcore band, and they have the potential to get pretty big, so check them out…

I’m almost finished designing this blog, all that’s left is to make it IE-compatible, and to rework the header a little bit. I’ve got some big projects stacked up right now, so I might not be posting too regularly. I’m planning on redoing my portfolio site, to make it even better.

Why Internet Explorer 6 Sucks

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If you’re a Windows user, you’re probably all too familiar with the blue “e,” also known as Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer (or IE, as I’m going to call it) is a terrible piece of software. In this article I’ll be discussing mostly about IE 6, as it is the most commonly used (and problematic) of all of them. Why Internet Explorer sucks:

From a web developer’s/designer’s perspective:

1) It doesn’t render properly. IE 6 can mess up just about any layout, whether it’s complex or not. One of the reasons is the way IE renders CSS differently, and in some cases, doesn’t support some CSS at all. IE 6’s mistakes range from pixel gaps to complete layout destruction. Fixing this problem often requires alternate IE-only stylesheets.

2) It doesn’t support transparent PNG’s. Transparent PNG’s can save designers a lot of work and make complex, multilayer¬†backgrounds¬†easy. Of course, IE 6 doesn’t support transparent PNG’s either. There are ways of getting around this, such as using hacks to force IE 6 into submission, but they can be tricky to use if you want your XHTML/CSS to validate.

3) Javascript doesn’t always work in IE 6. Some scripts manage to crash IE 6 completely. Others cause it to lag unbearably. Smooth “ajax-ey” effects appear choppy in IE 6. There’s no real solution for this problem, though.

4) IE 6 causes problems when using Java or Flash embedded in a page. You must first click on the applet(s) to “activate” them. This can be rather tedious for users, especially with Flash navbars (which you should avoid anyway).

From an average user’s perspective:

1) IE renders pages much slower, meaning websites will load slower. Especially if they have a lot of scripts.

2) IE 6 crashes quite often, and until version 8, has no crash-recovery to restore the pages you were browsing before the crash.

3) IE 6’s download manager is unintuitive. For each download a new window must be opened, whereas other browsers put them into one, easy-to-find location.

4) IE 6 has bad style support, meaning webpages will not look as good as they would in other browsers.

5) By using IE 6, you are indirectly killing web designers/developers.

Please help to kill IE by downloading and installing an alternative browser, such as Firefox or Safari.

I’m Back!

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I’ve been busy… Like real busy. Plus, I’ve been devoting quite a bit of time to schoolwork. Here’s the breakdown:

This blog- mostly finished. I changed the font.

WordPress 2.7 is coming out soon. It’ll have a redesigned admin panel, so I’ll see how that turns out. It’s probably not going to be very simple anymore, with all the added junk they’ve put into the admin interface.

Speaking of music, it seems like all my favorite bands are releasing CDs now. Bleeding Through released Declaration, which is pretty damn amazing. They managed to make it rip-your-face-off heavy, but still make it interesting to listen to. There’s less singing than in the previous album, which isn’t a bad thing. At least they aren’t going to sell out and start singing all over the place. All That Remains also released Overcome, which is just as addicting as The Fall of Ideals. The tickets for the Misfits concert are all printed out and ready, so I’m all set to have a kickass Halloween.

Also, some of you might be wondering what it means to “sell out” (aka “Pull an Atreyu”). Selling out mostly applies to metal bands, when they lighten up or drastically change their sound to appeal to the general public and make more money. For example, if Despised Icon went and started playing Fallout Boy-esque music (although you can’t consider Fallout Boy music), that would be called selling out. Atreyu’s another good example, because they actually did sell out. In “Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses” and in “The Curse,” they were screaming bloody murder. In the following two albums (which are so terrible I can’t be arsed to remember their names), they started singing more and more. In their latest crap, they sound like a generic MTV-grade band. Blech.

A really good band to watch out for in the future is Born of Osiris. They released their EP “The New Reign,” and it’s pretty sick. They combine keyboards and melodic riffs quite well, without making it sound generic.

Speaking of music, I’m getting pretty good at guitar. I’ve pretty much learned the 6 strings, and can read music decently enough to get by. Maybe if I get good enough I’ll be able to switch over to electric guitar by next summer. I’ve got my eye on a really sweet-looking Schecter C1, which is reasonably priced as well.

New MacBooks and MacBook Pros

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Just a few minutes ago, Apple announced the release of the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros. The MacBook Air has been updated as well. The much-hyped $899 product isn’t a MacBook or a notebook, but the new Apple 24″ Cinema Display. It has usb ports, speakers, and iSight camera, and it’s LED lit. The MacBook has been updated with new components, as was the MacBook Air and Pro. The MacBook Air got the option of a 120gb traditional hard drive or a 128gb solid-state hard drive. The MacBook and MacBook Pro have the same cases, and got black borders (glass) added onto them, much like the current iMac. The new MacBook Pros also have two graphics cards, one integrated NVidia GeForce 9400M, and an external GeForce. It was confirmed that Apple is using the new “brick” method, which might turn out to be cheaper in the long run.

Happy Birthday to me!

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Well, I’m officially 16 today. Had I turned 16 a few years ago, I would have been delighted as I would have been able to get a driver’s license. However, the rats in NY’s government raised the driving age to 17. As a special treat, I’ll write a few articles today. I might even finish the blog completely (gasp!).

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