Andrew's Stuff

Fixed for IE7


Having downloaded & installed the latest beta of Internet Explorer 7 (and deciding that it really isn't worth me using it instead of Firefox) I noticed that while most of the CSS bugs that IE6 had rendering this site had been fixed, one persisted to IE7. As such I've added yet another conditional comment to the source to make IE7 load a separate CSS file. It only makes one minor fix (i.e. hack): the thick border on the top of the navigation tabs at the top of this page don't render properly unless I set them to be positioned relatively. I don't even have to move the element anywhere, just tell it to be relatively positioned. I really do give up with IE rendering bugs. Not to say that Firefox is perfect or anything, but it's a hell of a lot better...

New Site Design


As you must have noticed - unless you're reading this from the RSS feed - I have just finished implementing a new site design. It didn't take as long as I had expected, actually. I started it when I got home yesterday about 5pm, worked on it til about 1am, then spend another three hours or so this morning fixing up all the blog entries to be valid.

I have loosely based the theme on the new MS Office style, or more specifically the "Outlook 2003 Blue" theme for Firefox, and am rather proud of the results. I also took the opportunity to update the whole site to be valid XHTML 1.1 which I have always said to be for masochists only. I do still maintain that it's a pig for certain things (the lack of the "target" attribute of <a> tags, for one, making opening links in new windows somewhat difficult and requiring the use of a JavaScript hack: onclick="; return false;" onkeypress="; return false;"), but I now realise that it is actually possible to do things in it. This is also my first successful attempt at designing a website without using tables at all. You can scour this site's code all you like and you will find not a single table. CSS all the way! It's also using valid CSS without even any warnings!

Windows Live Sessions, UK, #1


Warning: Long post! (Then again, which of my posts aren't?)

As I write this I am on a train coming back from London. It is ten past eleven at night and it is so dark that it is often difficult to tell if the train is even moving. The reason that I am coming back from London, of course, is that I have just been to a Windows Live Session at Microsoft's London building (their central London building, that is, they have another one in Reading, I believe). I was one of about thirty people from the UK (mainly) who were invited to this thing and ever since I received my invite I have spent a considerable amount of time (well, at least a few minutes) attempting to explain to people what'd be going on. Now that I've actually been I have a much better idea of what happened there, obviously. All we were told beforehand was that it was to demo and experience the new Windows Live products. Windows Live, for those of you that don't know, is effectively the new name of all MSN products. Where something may have been MSN *X* before it's now Windows Live *X*. The main way that this affects me is that MSN Messenger is now Windows Live Messenger, as to be frank I don't really use any other MSN/Windows Live products. I am now, however, tempted to at least have a look at Windows Live Local (Microsoft's answer to Google Maps/Google Local) thanks to a few comments made about it at tonight's event.

Xbox 360 "Review"


Someone asked on the forum for someone with an Xbox 360 to post their opinions of it. I obliged. Since it's a fairly substantial post I'm duplicating it here. Enjoy.

It's very easy to use, in my opinion. Most things in the GUI (the Dashboard, specifically) are very easy to find and the options are pretty self-explanatory. You can even manually specify a MAC address, which was required for me to get it to access the Internet in my room at all.

Pretty Bad Day


Well today sucked right up until about 7pm. It started sucking at around 2am with me being unable to sleep and feeling very ill - an experience which was only made worse by having my flat mates making a hell of a racket in the kitchen. Eventually I got to sleep, though, and woke up around 9am and promptly had a woman from Accommodation Services banging on my door with the usual "can I see you in the kitchen please?" crap. Turns out my lovely flatmates had left the kitchen in its usual state and the cleaners were less than impressed. Since I was the only one awake at 9am - the others all being awake 'til about 5am so not waking up again until midday I was charged with the task of cleaning the kitchen before she returned in an hour. She really didn't care that none of it was my stuff - I did repeatedly point that fact out to her - all she could say was that if I didn't clean it then she'd get a cleaner in and bill us all. Since I refuse to clear up stuff that isn't mine I just made doubly sure that all of my stuff was out of the kitchen and left it for whomever woke up later on. Apparently part of the problem was my two Tesco Home Shopping trays that were under a work surface in the kitchen totally out of everyone's way. They are such a "problem", apparently, that they're going to stop Tesco delivering to halls so I'm just supposed to not eat or something. Whatever. I've since written a 480-word notice to my flatmates that I will pin in the kitchen later which basically says "tidy your shit or you can pay my end of the cleaning bill".

The rest of the day was taken up feeling sorry for myself with this hellish cold I appear to have gained. I can't breath, talk or think properly which has kinda stunted my ability to do stuff - not too helpful when I have three pieces of coursework to do in the next month.