YAT Gmail account offer

I have a Gmail invite burning a hole in my pocket. Anyone want it?

(Note: People I know as well as regular visitors will take preference. It’s my invite — I’ll be biased if I want.)

Life Miscellaneous

not cool

It is not cool at all to find mold AND an odd hair in a brand new package of cheese.

No need to eat supper tonight.

Geek Rant

rant mode on.

I hate PDFs. A lot. It seems as though everyone uses the PDF file type to allow themselves to create obnoxiously large documents. Would they make a normal web page or Word document that large? No. But apparently PDFs give free reign to make large files — which ARE NOT COOL. I have broadband, and I hate their files. Please think about the poor chap trying to access the information through dial-up.

Next, I hate the software. Can’t Adobe release just a viewer that doesn’t need to sit there and load APIs for thirty seconds or check for updates when all I want to do is look at the freakin’ document? And four out of five times it will crash my browser before I ever actually get to look at the document. (How about a light footprint?) The document download time is negligible at this point.

Tonight I happened upon a PDF that required Adobe Reader 6.0 to view it. I, of course, had 5.0 on my system. I’ll go grab a quick update. Yeah right. The program is 15 megs! Fifteen megs to view a stupid file. After I watched grass grow and paint peel for awhile, it had finally downloaded itself. Then it took about five minutes to “recompose” itself. (What the hell is “recomposing”?). Then, it took another five minutes to install itself. I had seen on the Adobe website that it was critical to upgrade to 6.0.2. So, another 5 minutes later I finally had Adobe Reader updated.

Did I tell you about the part where it closed (without asking) all of my open applications except Wordpad after it installed itself? That was nice. Another nice touch was automatically adding its icon to my desktop and itself to the quick list of programs in my Start menu. DELETED and DELETED. In the process, it managed to mess up my Firefox profile. Let me put my life on hold for another three minutes while I reboot.

I really hope this catches on.


a happy little tree

I’m quite sure that Bob Ross was on the upright bike in front of me at the gym today.


CSS-styled input buttons

There’s a little caveat in the specifications for HTML form elements that I was not aware of until I was trying to put together a bbCode helper functionality for a project at work. I wanted icons representing input buttons. Easy, I thought to myself, I’ll just make the buttons of type image. Wrong. The problem? Image button values are only symbolic. It seems that only the coordinates of the image button are passed along with the rest of the form information.

The problem becomes further exacerbated as this specification prevents values from being passed properly for JavaScript actions. And as my JavaScript Console filled up with "x element has no value" errors, I pondered the ludicrousness of this specification. I’m sure there’s a reason, but it’s still absurd.

I went back to the drawing board, convinced that I could make it work — somehow. Then, I thought, what if I styled the buttons with CSS background styling instead?

So, I did. And it turned out surprisingly well. I made a class for each button using the appropriate image as the background image. To get rid of the typical button look, I set the border to none, took out all margins and paddings, and set the height and width of the element to be the same size as the chosen icon.

View my demo

My work project has icons made by a graphic designer, so it’s much more polished, but one can still glean the general idea. Other options include changing the cursor style or adding a hover property (which, lord knows, won’t work in IE). For those more graphically talented (I am NOT a designer as you might have already figured out), perhaps JavaScript could be used to help simulate a button press by changing border colors, etc, when the element is clicked.

The code can all be viewed through the source of the demo. I know the method works in IE6 and Firefox on Win2k and WinXP. I believe it may not work in Camino. If anyone has ideas for improvements, I would love to hear them.


My view to the west

to the west - near nightfall

my westward view at dusk


taking inventory

My recent email blessings have prompted me to do some email account inventory.

1 Yahoo account
1 Netscape account (never used — signed up to get something else)
1 MSN account (again never used — given to me when I signed up for something else)
1 cable account (received, of course, with my cable internet hookup — never used)
1 work email account
1 Gmail account
1 ACM account (not used)
1 Beta Gamma Sigma account (not used)
up to 5 with my webhost (currently only 1 in use)
1 webmaster account for my parents’ site.

Grand total: 10!! (with possibility of up to 14)


if it can’t be the Rockets…

I love this.


good things come to those who wait

I am now the proud owner of nicole.swan (AT) gmail (DOT) com.

Update: 6.15.04 9:28am — I logged into my Yahoo account this morning to find that I now have 100 meg there. The irony…


I should have had the day off too

xxx: i wish i could take the day off to mourn Reagan
nicole: no kidding. shouldn’t we all be respecting his death by having the day off?
nicole: Wall Street’s closed and the USPS has the day off — why should we bother?
xxx: i imagine i’m as touched as the guy at the post office
nicole: i would imagine so.
nicole: i know i am.
nicole: i also believe that some day this week was designated as “Ronald Reagan Day” in Montana. We should have had the day off.
xxx: it would be the only respectful thing to do
nicole: i know that if i had the day off, and, for example, went shopping, that i would totally wander through the Gap while remembering and truly respecting the man that was Ronald Reagan.
xxx: and i would work in my garden, appreciating the fact the Reagan installed the first woman in the supreme court
nicole: of course you would.
xxx: and maybe i would do some shopping for Father’s Day, because I’m sure Dad was a Reagan fan
nicole: because you’re a patriot, dammit.
xxx: and a damn good one.