Friday, June 29, 2007

3,000 downloads

The 2,000 milestone was 24 April 2007, today there are 3,016 downloads.   A brief summary below

  • Barebones series templates = 1,028
  • ezLogin plugin = 1,167
  • Sunrise/sunset templates = 433
  • ezCount plugin = 252
  • Habari plugin/theme = 136


The Barebones templates are most popular and as I said before I was surprised to see people actually like my sunrise/sunset templates. I have yet to see one in action!! Please do let me know if you have used one of my templates.

Friday, June 22, 2007

WP 2.2.1 is out

Before I could upgrade all my sites to 2.2 latest upgrade to 2.2.1 is out.    I found at my site here everything is perfect there is no character display problem.   However at my main blog there are some funny character, e.g. apostrophe has turned into funny characters!    I didn't do anything at the config.php file to fix that since I have no ftp access from here.    I just edited the post again and it turned OK now, just wondered why?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Upgrade to WP2.2

I have just upgraded sites that I maintain including this one to 2.2, that one for sister Karen has no problem.    The one for my Professor was having problem displaying Chinese.    The solution is here.

My main blog doesn't use Chinese except for one category name so I don't bother doing anything with it.    I'll wait and see for a while.

The best Web apps - what do you use?

I use a few which are voted as best among their category according to Webware best 1000 for 2007.

Browsing: Firefox, netvibes

Communication: Gmail, meebo, openID (just for Zooomr)

Media: flickr

Publishing: WordPress, Feedburner

An interesting note is that Google has at least one entry for all 10 categories except Entertainment.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Not where to go but who to go with

This is really difficult.

We had family dinner with my dear sister last Saturday who was in town getting ready for her Tibet adventure commencing tomorrow.    They are a group of 5 and no doubts there are 5 grown up minds to align when it comes to arranging fine details of the trip as to where to go, how to get there and how much to spend....etc.

"Not where to go but who to go with..." is wisdom in life that appears to be simple and easily understood but difficult to put into practice.   We say this all the time, e.g. ...it's the company that counts not the food..., whenever a group couldn't decide on where to eat.     However when it comes to making big life decisions it's so easy that one is distracted from this important principle, e.g. when choosing your other half, a business partner or when recruiting/retaining key workmates.

Without enough lines of wisdom in my forehead I wonder if I could actually understand this at a younger age.    At work I remind myself all the time "...work with someone who you can work but not the best money can buy....".

Friday, June 15, 2007

New Mobile

Got a new Nokia 6300 at a good price as it's now new.    I just don't think paying premium for new mobile phone is worth it.    I have used my last Nokia 6xxx for almost 5 years, I think, as it was too long ago I can't remember when I got it.

I played with PC Suite and tidied up my contacts from my old unit.    I just found too many numbers/entries that I don't know about.   I decided that if I don't remember who they are they aren't important to me.

There are so many gadgets these days our brain isn't as good as before or is it my age I really don't know.    I can remember 200 phone numbers like an address book when I was a fresh guy in the industry.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Safari for Windows, Vista in particular

The Press Release is here, download it here.

You may be a bit disappointed but before you uninstall it read comments in Ajaxian.    I'm running this in Vista so I could only say below

  • It doesn't ask you to reboot, reboot anyway.   It crashed and closed itself 2 times in my case.
  • If you haven't used Mac before the browser window isn't like a normal window you could only resize by dragging the right hand bottom corner.
  • It works fine in Netvibes, Flickr, Gmail and Meebo.    It's faster than Firefox or IE7.
  • Yahoo Hong Kong doesn't see it as compliant browser it doesn't render correctly.
  • Don't maximize in your 2nd monitor as it disappears like magic.    Close it and start again.
  • It doesn't render this site here correctly, all text of the latest post turned into a link.
  • I like the font smoothing especially it pleases my eyes when reading Chinese characters.
  • The text in tabs is a bit dark, I expect to see alternative skins/themes available.
  • Text on status bar at the bottom of the window is a bit small for my eyes.
  • Last not least, memory usage doesn't go down when window is minimized.   It's consuming 125Mb with 5 tabs.

It surely is a beta, as in the case of iTunes it'll get better in time.

VISTA likes my e-blue keyboard now

I have not given up my Slide-Arch E-Blue Keyboard it is $27.    As it was OK in XP therefore I ran VISTA Upgrade advisor with that keyboard installed to see what VISTA will say.    As I expected the keyboard is recognized as a KeyMaestro keyboard and it's alright to be upgraded with it installed.

KeyMaestro

So I tried again.    The trick is that if you have this keyboard plugged in VISTA just won't accept it by default or give you any driver update even if you searched for it.   You have to manually install the scroll wheel of the keyboard as a HID compliant mouse that it'll be all OK.   I didn't have to use any KeyMaestro drivers but the hot keys are all working so I don't care.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mouse problem with VISTA

The keyboard issue is out, the other one is mouse.

I have a ComeMon optical mouse.    For some strange reasons it works only at 1 particular USB port.    VISTA won't recognize it at any other USB ports.    At that special USB port 3 drivers, namely mouhid.sys moufiltr.sys and mouclass.sys, are used.    I managed to install the mouse at other USB ports manually but only 2 drivers (except moufiltr.sys) are needed.    The strange thing is that I have to do this manual installation at each and every USB port of my PC.

I'm not sure if this issue is related to this Help and Support article which suggests me to boot in safe mode to resolve this issue.

By the way my mouse isn't of low power type, it needs 100mA, which doesn't quite like my Microsoft Internet Keyboard which has a 2 port USB hub.

PS: Another possible cause of this problem was due to the Slide-Arch E-Blue keyboard which has a scroll wheel.    If this is installed in XP I got a driver automatically given by Windows update from a third party.    In VISTA this has caused a problem as the scroll wheel in the keyboard is considered a HID compliant mouse that isn't recognized by VISTA.    I couldn't find a VISTA driver yet for this keyboard.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

jQuery driven sidebar

The collapsible sidebar requires html tags dl, dt and dd. In full dl stands for Definition Listing, dt is Definition Term and dd is Definition Description. These tags must be nested in the right order for this jQuery driven collapsible menu sidebar to work.

If you have a traditional sidebar listing using ul and li tags it's just a matter of adding dl, dt and dd tags to them to make it work. Alternatively you could style these tags to suit. I was using a class id as "leftbar" to style sidebar listings, now I could style as example below instead.


dt {
background: #E5E5FF;
font-size: 15px;
}
dt a {
color: #0000ff;
font:13px "Trebuchet MS";
display:block;
padding: 5px;
margin: 2px;
text-decoration:none;
}
dt a:hover {
color:#fff;
background-color:#7F80FF;
}
dl {
font:12px "Trebuchet MS";
float:left;
width:200px;
padding-left:0px;
}
dd ul li {
margin:0 0 0 15px;
}
dd ul li a, dd ul li a:visited {
color:blue;
text-decoration:none;
}
dd ul li a:hover {
color:#00BEFF;
}


Habari won't load jQuery script file until user has logged in. In my case jQuery used up 411 msec out of a total of 1.24 seconds to load this site. This looks a fair % due to this light weight theme so if you have a lot to show on the sidebar I guess this is still worth the time, I think.

Another trick you could play would be restricting certain menu group or links by taking out a 'dt' tag. See below example.

[?php if (...check user login...) { _e('[dt]'); } else { _e("Login to expand "); } ?][a href="#"]Spare[/a][/dt]


Without the opening 'dt' tag this group is not expandable until admin or someone is logged in. You know of course content is only hidden but viewable under "view source" unless you made them conditional in the script above.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Dead Keys

 Dead Keys are not dead, they are just annoying.

I bought a Slide-Arch E-Blue keyboard, I like it small.    Few keys behaved oddly.  I thought that could be a driver issue as I found a driver for it when installed it at home on XP.

It wasn't about driver.    I tested it again and again with other keyboards they all behaved the same.    So I turned to the hardware and thought that it might be something else.

I didn't get to know the key to the issue until I found MS Keyboard Layout Creator which is a neat program for you to redefine your own keyboard layout.    Then I learn about what Dead Key is about.

I never have to worry about typing diacritics because we use simple English during the day.   Too bad I selected English - US keyboard US - International as input language hence this problem.

 

input language

links for 2007-06-07

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

iTunes is working fine with Vista now

My first installation of VISTA wasn't too smooth as I said here.     Today I have tried installing iTunes again on VISTA, this version 7.2.0.35 works fine.    I'm delighted as I have so much in my iPod.

ezLogin 1,000 download

As of today there were 1,011 downloads for various versions of [tag]ezLogin[/tag] plugin.

This proves the popularity of this feature which should have been built into the core of WordPress.    Habari, a new blogware, has this feature out of the box, although I also made a minor hack to it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Windows Experience Index

I have been busy setting up and making it usable at work a new PC running under [tag]VISTA[/tag].    My friend put this together for me for about $700.    I'm quite happy with performance so far, below is the score

 

score