Things that shouldn’t be

  • Popup Blocker UI is a yellow bar on top notifying the user. They can simply click on it to get a contextual menu with options. That’s good. XPI blocker is the same yellow bar, but you have to click on a button to get option. Should be 1 interface.
  • When you save an image to a disk, there’s no need for the download manager. It’s bothersome more than helpful. People use the download manager to track download times. An exception should be large (>500k) images perhaps. But not all images
  • Extensions, and Themes shouldn’t be listed separately in the tools menu. Should be 1 option. The dialog that opens should have 2 tabs. One for extensions, one for themes.
  • While were at it, we should have one for plugins to, since people are confused about the difference between plugins and extensions. That’s a 3rd tab. Same format. about:plugins content, but formatted for consistency. No it’s not unnecessary duplication. look at about: and the about dialog.
  • Smooth Scrolling should be enabled by default. This just ticks end-users off. They don’t see it.
  • Download Manager gets slow as heck when it’s full of downloads (100+). This delay is annoying, especially with small files that should be done in the bat of an eye. Should notify user first time they exceed the threshold, and allow them to ignore (forever), or purge.
  • Preferences (especially in privacy) should contain a little ‘?’ icon that opens up the help and takes them to relevant document ion, so they can make an informed choice should they want more info. Ideally, it should popup a specialized shortened detailed explanation of the option, and it’s consequences
  • Viewsource should show line numbers. Goes good with “Go to Line” menu option.
  • Auto-Update should have option to automatically install (at a minimum) security patches. As MIcrosoft learned, people aren’t inclined to do it themselves. Stuff like this can easily be automatic. We are asking for trouble if we don’t. People will still credit Mozilla as insecure, even if it is their fault for ignoring requests to upgrade. This should be a default, and warn if you disable it.
  • When not using auto-update you should get a dialog clearly stating if it’s a security fix. Perhaps a different color.
  • Wikipedia should be an included search option. Were looking to get end users. End users like searching stuff like that. We want them to have stuff they like. We aren’t Microsoft after all.
  • A script as follows is in the page
    <script language="Javascript" type="text/javascript">
    var $x = ‘@’;
    var $a = ‘accettura.com’;
    var $r = ‘robert’;
    document.write(‘<a href="mailto:’ + $r + $x + $a +’" title="Email Robert Accettura">‘+ $r + $x + $a + ‘< \/a>‘);
    </a></script>

    When you view source of the page, you see:

    <script language="Javascript" type="text/javascript">
    var $x = ‘@’;
    var $a = ‘accettura.com’;
    var $r = ‘robert’;
    document.write(‘<a href="mailto:’ + $r + $x + $a +’" title="Email Robert Accettura">‘+ $r + $x + $a + ‘< \/a>‘);
    </a></script><strong><a href="mailto:robert@accettura.com" title="Email Robert Accettura">robert@accettura.com</a></strong>

    That’s not right. The output isn’t in my source. The script is. Only the script. Grr.

There bugs for some, no bugs for others. Feel free to link to relevant bugs, feel free to create bugs (cc me if you do), feel free to link to this post to advocate some things mentioned. Bla bla bla. Gripe, disagree, debate, as long as it’s peaceful, and done with an open mind…. you know the deal.

Freeipods Pt 10: “Backorder”

Well, I decided to do some freeipods research:

eCost: Couldn’t give me a number. But when I asked about the 20GB Apple iPod was told there was ‘a lot’. No backorder. As of 12:30 PM EST.

PCMall: 223 in stock (enough for at least week). As of 12:39 PM EST.

eCost has been a known supplier for freeipods.com. PCMall has been said to be a new supplier. Though no confirmation on that.

The company apparantly has more than a week of shipments. Nobody sounded like there was any sort of problem shipping ipods out the door. No limits seem to be in place. In fact, the PCMall rep even joked with me “buy them all, and we’ll make you a deal”.

The folks at both companies are as always rather helpful. I’ve had a good experience with MacMall in the past. Though this makes me wonder why Gratis is lagging.

This is part of a multi-part story: First Post | Next

Adobe DNG

Adobe today released the specs for a new image format: DNG.

I’m interested. The ideas behind it seem to make sense. JPEG sucks. That’s about all there is to it. It’s what we have, it’s what we use. But it stinks.

I’m curious if Adobe’s going to be able to get DNG actually out there. It’s going to be an uphill battle for sure. JPEG is such a defacto standard, it’s going to be tough. But I’m welcoming the change.

Freeipods Pt 9: Unspamming

I’ve reported before that you will receive spam if you signup for freeipods (so use a free email account your willing to get spammed). I also reported Gratis is working to stop it (or so they claim). Well, it appears they are making some effort:

http://www.freeipods.com/donotsend.aspx

Enter your email address there, and apparently in 10 days time, you will not receive any more spam. I’ve tried it and will report how it goes. I currently get 2 a day from them. Lets see if it goes to 0. It appears the address hasn’t been shared with more than 1 or 2 parties. So lets see if it goes away. There seems to actually be a fair chance.

See folks, I do keep everyone updated on this.

This is part of a multi-part story: First Post | Next

My age in computer Years

Thought it would be fun to spend a few minutes looking at what technology I’ve ‘experienced’ over my years. Considering I’m a college student, I’ve had a chance to play with some old toys:

First Computers

IBM PC 5150Well, my first computer to the surprise of most was a the IBM 5150. Yes, shocking isn’t it? It was my father’s old computer he had from work, and served the family well until about 1995. Can you imagine being in 3rd or 4th grade pecking away on a spring-loaded keyboard? Oh the fun. And it wasn’t Microsoft Word, or Word Perfect, it was Professional Write. DOS Version? You had a choice. 2.0 or 3.11. It shipped with dual 5 1/4 inch single sided double density floppy disk drives. And there was still significant flipping disks when using programs. Lotus 1-2-3.

If you go to the Smithsonian, they have one of these bad boys sitting around. When I was there it was resting on a stack of books. Had them all. That IBM Basic book is sitting around somewhere as well (those hardcover books with 3 ring binding that come with a cardboard container).Oh yea, and with the monochrome display, you can delete characters and still see them burnt into the display for several seconds. Also had a wonderful Epson dot matrix printer that always got jammed.

I also started programming on this system using BASIC. It was bliss.

It also had a ridiculous excuse it called ‘games’. Written in BASIC they were so bad, they made Lotus 1-2-3 seem much more fun.

School had some Apple II, Apple IIe, Apple IIgs system. And an occasional Apple SE.

Performa 6220

Performa 6220Machine #2 was a Performa 6220. This 75MHz machine was a real ‘blast’. With it’s extremely slow graphics, and unusable PDS slot, it wasn’t going anywhere quick. It still got tons of use. On this machine I spent hours learning AppleScript, and the Mac OS 7-9 versions like the back of my hand.

Also the first computer to go online. AOL 2.7 was an interesting way to browse the internet. And I still have that 3.5″ disk hanging around somewhere. With it’s 14.4bps modem, it was blazing. This was back when AOL took 40 minutes to get a connection (I assume it’s improved since then). Not to mention constant disconnections. As a result of this, I wrote Keep Me Online. It also had video input allowing me to watch TV on the computer. Not sure what value it really had. But it was cool.

I wasn’t just starting to look at web development at this point. My primary interest was learning about operating systems, and client-side development. ResEdit was my best friend.

PowerMac G3

Power Mac G3 B&WDamn, I still love this thing, and it’s still my primary Mac. Ordered a few days after they started shipping. 400MHz, and just a beauty. This thing just keeps going. I’ve added an extra HD, more RAM, and a Zip 250, but other than that, it’s pretty original. Runs Mac OS 9.2.2, and 10.2 Jaguar. I learned shell scripting, PHP, and some C++ on this machine. It may be outdated by today’s standards, but it’s still going.

A few days after getting this system, Comcast HSI (then Comcast@Home), was setup. A blazing 400MHz system with a Cable modem. Imagine what that felt like after so long using a 75MHz system on 14.4bps dialup. This was 1999, so it was from worst-case scenario to best-case.

During this point I started learning about client side development, continuing with several small Mac Utilities, but eventually fell in love with web development. My ultimate pet-peeve was how different every end-user system was. The idea of a client-server application was much more appealing to me. Still is today. Web Development always has in my mind been the premier platform to develop. You know what you’re dealing with. The downside of course being some browsers suck 😉

Today

Today, I’m mainly a web developer, and student. My laptop is an IBM Thinkpad A31, and it’s almost always with an SSH connection to a UNIX server. I guess that’s because I’m a Mac OS X fan, not a Windows Nut. My Mac(s) still get a considerable amount of use. Acquired a Power Mac G3 Beige system, now known as Bender, a fileserver/dev server. PowerMac G3 is also still going strong.

Over the years I’ve went from programming in BASIC on a processor less than 10MHz, to designing web applications that run on multiple processor Web Servers and tinkering with Mozilla.

So don’t think just because a guy’s still in school he hasn’t played with old technology. I had my hands on some of the old gear as well. 😉

Microsoft Changes their Mind: Continues patches for non-XP IE

Contradicting a few days ago, according to The Channel Insider, Microsoft will be releasing some IE patches for non-XP systems.

…But company officials privately told a select group of developers earlier this year of plans to port some of the IE-specific fixes to the version of IE 6 for Windows 2000 (Service Pack 5 update).

It also told some partners that it was “considering strongly” the idea of making the IE-specific SP2 fixes available for Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows Millennium Edition.

[Source: The Channel Insider | Emphasis mine]