carbon copy...

2005-03-31 – Thursday – 00:55:20
carbon copy

I spotted these Australian White Ibises today while taking the scenic route home from lunch. They immediately stood out because they looked fake, aligned and frozen gazes from their industrial perch. Anyone who has seen these birds knows that they're reasonably tall (about 70cm), so seeing them balanced like this is an odd sight.

I didn't have my camera with me at the time but conveniently they stayed there long enough for me to drive home, grab the war bag, return, change lenses and snap away.

Speaking of camera stuff, the order for a Lian Li internal Compact Flash card reader I've had with AusPCMarket for about three months was cancelled last week because their supplier is unable to find any stock. When I found out about this today I immediately Googled for other online stores that might have one left. Within a few minutes: bingo! It's already been sent and it should arrive within two days.

And now to something completely different.

With IE7 on the way it got me thinking some more about how it might change the browser landscape for users and developers.

The user impact is easy to determine: it will be a non-event; simply a new name for more security updates and for what has become an endless and tired stream of vulnerabilities and bugs. For developers though, will it help?

While the IE7 release has been shrouded by Microsoft's noxious gas of silence it is increasingly obvious that it won't address many of the CSS issues that are important to developers. Most people seem to believe that this will be a huge problem, but I'm starting to think that it's entirely inconsequential.

Whether IE7 has no new CSS features/fixes, or whether by some miracle IE7 correctly supports the CSS1/CSS2 standards in their entirety is irrelevant, as developers will be unable to solely use these new or corrected features unless all existing IE users were to switch to IE7.

This is similar to the IE6 release four years ago which corrected the flawed CSS "box model" present in IE4 and IE5. It wasn't possible to only use the corrected behaviour in IE6 because this would break support for the numerous users running IE4 and IE5, so hacks were required. To this day there is still a large percentage of users with IE4 and IE5, though thankfully more of the latter than of the former.

Similarly, if IE7 were to correctly support floated element behaviour, that users would still be running IE6 and earlier versions for years to come would prevent the sole use of the corrected behaviour; more hacks would again be needed to support the behaviour of the prior versions.

The problem of users retaining old versions will be exacerbated with the IE7 release because there will be no possibility of upgrading to IE7 for users running anything before XP SP2, effectively locking millions of users running Windows 2000 and previous operating systems to IE6, subsequently destroying the ability to migrate and develop new sites to solely use any corrected behaviours in IE7 without again resorting to hacks.

Thus, developers will be stuck in the same situation they're in right now with standards compliant browsers versus IE6 and its prior versions.

And now to something completely different, again.

While walking someone home earlier tonight I was bitten/stung on the neck by something. Given that it was night time I obviously couldn't see what it was, but I quickly brushed it off (as you do when something bites/stings you!) and kept walking. It left quite a large mark and now, hours later, I'm not feeling 100% - my balance is a little off. Hopefully it wasn't some ultra-poisonous insect or spider, but I figure that if it were then I'd have died by now...

cacti and hail...

2005-03-28 – Monday – 17:32:57
cacti

Today I potted the cacti I bought yesterday.

hail

And on Saturday we were surprised with a hail storm, the first time I've seen it hail since I moved here in 1998.

temporary day displacement...

2005-03-25 – Friday – 17:14:45

A few relatives and Matt and Katie came up for the day and brought their new dog, Dandy.



dandy

Soohoo cute!

keeping pace...

2005-03-24 – Thursday – 05:37:53

I've started adding a few small enhancements to the garbage script. Now it has better markup and a little area at the bottom that links to the journals of people I know, or other journals which I regularly read. Eventually I'll convert the whole site to the newer system.



Now that more than 50% of visitors to this site are running Firefox I thought it apt to show my support with a "take back the web" logo. Browsers that stick to the standards sure make my life easier! Speaking of which, don't you find it interesting that Microsoft has been maintaining for a long time that there'd be no new version of IE before Longhorn, but suddenly they've now backflipped and have announced that IE7 will ship for XP later this year? Someone's getting scared. I predict the new version of IE will finally receive tabbed browsing, a feature which Opera, Mozilla and Firefox have had for years. My fear is that a new version of IE will just mean more non-standard behaviour that will require new hacks. These days I see no reason to use IE6 (except for visiting IE legacy sites, bleh) when alternatives like Firefox and Safari exist.



Welcome to Browser War II.

sneaky tracers...

2005-03-23 – Wednesday – 02:57:41

Some nice storms have swept through the past two nights. It's been a long time since we've had a lot of lightning here and although it didn't last long it was nice none-the-less. By the time I thought of taking some photos most of the lightning had moved out into the bay, but I managed to snap this shot:



-> gnd

looking at the world through new eyes...

2005-03-21 – Monday – 05:18:23

It just clicked: I can now see the polarisation of light with my naked eyes! It's quite strange as I'd noticed the effect before but didn't know what it was. Now I can easily see the "brushes" caused by the polarisation of the light interacting with the dichroic pigments of the retina. It's quite surprising, like finding another sense you never knew you had. For those who haven't experienced it, try to find a polarising filter (or any piece of polarised glass or plastic) and look through it at a polarised object like an LCD monitor, or the sky will do. Rotating the filter should cause the brushes, which appear as faint blue and yellow blooms in the centre of your vision, to rotate. Now that I know what they look like I can see them without even needing a filter.



I forgot to mention in my last entry that I'd sent my titanium ring to New Zealand, back to where it was made, for resizing. It had always been slightly too large so I decided to have it taken down one size. It returned the day before my birthday and it's now a perfect fit! Resizing titanium rings is usually considered impossible by most jewellers (titanium can't be cut and rejoined like gold and other soft metals can be, and the process of heating the ring to temperatures sufficient to do anything with it also cause the surface to oxidise and turn blue or purple). I have no idea how Artifact did it, but they described it as "shrinking". They also gave the ring a clean and it looks as perfect as the day I received it last year!

400? yea.

2005-03-20 – Sunday – 03:13:25

Things have continued to be very busy! My birthday was the Friday before last and the following day was Matt and Katie's wedding on Bribie Island. I received some interesting gifts for my birthday, which continue to bring me a lot of entertainment, and that afternoon we left for Brisbane convoy-style. The next day at Bribie Island turned out as close to perfection as is possible for something as difficult to organise as a wedding, with the ceremony by the beach and a very happy bride and groom! After a brilliant gold sunset the reception began and proved to be a lot of fun, with great people and great food!



400? yea.

I brought my camera with me but avoided being roped into becoming "designated relative wedding photographer" and instead was able to have more fun taking artsy shots.



The kiteboarding photography has continued along with the completion of the new board design. I checked out the first prints of it today and it looks fantastic! I've also had the job in recent weeks of creating a stand-alone version of the website that can be run from a Mac OS X laptop (OS X is essentially FreeBSD, so Apache, PHP and MySQL run on it no problem). That process is a story in itself; while the laptop was in my possession something went horribly wrong with it and killed a bunch of files which I then spent 24 hours and considerable hair-pulling trying to recover, only to have the recovered files accidentally wiped by the owner of the laptop a few days later, LOL.



seon

And last but not least my 4x Neutral Density filter for my camera arrived this week and I decided to test it out by taking some sunset shots. This was my favourite:



gold and grey

dubla in motion...

2005-03-02 – Wednesday – 03:59:47

My Lenspen finally arrived and seems to work as advertised (though I'm told you shouldn't use them on filters!) - I'm surprised just how well it cleans; there's no traces like with a lens cloth. Ironically the local camera store started stocking them last week, LOL.



This afternoon I went out to take some more photos:



dubla in motion

I'm currently waiting for a render to finish which will be integrated into a new board design. It's been rendering for 110 hours, or a little over four and a half days. It still has more than 26 hours remaining and it's already crashed once (about 2 days into the first try), so hopefully this time I'll have better luck. The new design is going to be very organic, with a "painted" style to it.



In other news, my first billboard design should go up today, which is kinda exciting!



My body must be producing adenosine overtime - it's been months since I've felt this tired. Time for sleep!

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