Firebug goes 1.0 and out of beta!

Congratulations to Joe Hewitt, developer of Firebug, the best of breed “console / inspector / debugger / monitor for HTTP / JavaScript / DOM / CSS / AJAX“.

The extension for Firefox just went 1.0 final (heh, a Web 2.0 tool coming out of beta), and that’s a big deal. Joe has been working on Firebug for just over a year, and it has become a tool more indispensible than even Chris Pederick’s Web Developer extension!

What? You don’t have either of these?! You call yourself a web developer? Let me guess, you still think IE is the only browser worth developing for, and heck, you probably believe that developing to Web Standards is just elitist acadamia… get with the program. Why leave the interpretation of your code to tag-souped chance?

… Eh-erm. Sorry about that monkey I had to get off my back. I heard a rumor yesterday and my anger has found its vent.

But seriously, all those IE die-hards that are still out there today should be amazed at what tools our industry-standard (as opposed to the de-facto-standard) web browser we call Firefox makes available, let alone makes possible.

Since Mozilla 0.7, I’ve found it’s more time-efficient to develop in a Gecko-based browser, then bug-fix for everything else — because it’s much harder and stressy to start in IE and bugfix to Gecko. I’ve found this true for all the technologies: CSS, JavaScript, XSL, AJAX, and now SVG

Viva la revolución! Viva la web standards!

HTML Tags for the memories

While Glutbook was waiting for it’s death knell to be pronounced upon it, I was using my windows desktop machine to re-launch my cousin Michelle’s popular website, Bunny Abandonware. We had worked on the site together before returning from vacation, redesigning the look and building it on a new back end (specifically, Word Press). Migration of the content was always going to be the hard part, but we put a Saturday and most of a Sunday aside to blitz the design, get the content in and migrated, and most of the hard work was done. A little more migration done by Michelle that week and it was ready for me to launch it.

So we did. And let me tell you, I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s nothing revolutionary or taxing, but it was heaps of fun to redesign and make the templates as we went, with Michelle right there working with me.

This comment from The Abandonware Blog about Bunny Abandonware 4.0 really made me feel good:

Finally some nice scene news! Bunny from Bunny Abandonware has been mentioning is for quiet some time now but finally managed to get the new version of her website online and I must say (again) that it kicks ass! The unique colors used by only one abandonware site, the wonderfull [sic] navigation, the nice kinda web 2.0 style with all the gradients and big buttons ‘n stuff… damned pretty.

LOL, I did some Web 2.0 :rolleyes: 😉 But I’m taking it all as a compliment. I believe that what Michelle does with her abandonware hobby is crucial for the survival, not just of the games, but of the memories. Abandonware, while legally dubious, is less a case of stealing and more the case of paying tribute. I keep telling Michelle she’s not just another retro gamer; she’s an archivist — the curator of her own museum. A museum where the exhibits remind her visitors of the way video games used to be, and where not only games, but ourselves as people have come since then, for better or for worse.

I think the best Christmas present I gave myself was when for Christmas I gave my brother a huge pack of water balloons . I had moved out of home to Wellington and I had come to realise that I missed him. We had fun in that back yard that one day, running around with the sole purpose of cooling off and having a blast. But I did it with the motive of having that memory to look back on — a careless, happier day in my history. It worked, and it’s one of the most cherished memories I have. It didn’t cost a lot.

Memories are worth gold, but the most valuable memories are the ones that cost the least.

My life in the Glutter Black

I got my first Mac when I was in Sydney for Web Essentials 2005 (now called Web Directions); a nice 12″ iBook G4. I called it squishy and I made him mine and he became my squishy. Actually, it’s name was Glutbook (Along with my phone GlutPhone, a usb thumbdrive GlutKey, a bluetooth apple mouse GlutMouse, another thumbdrive Revenge of GlutKey, and a bluetooth Mighty Mouse MightyGlut).

On saturday, Glutbook wouldn’t power up. It made loud fan noises, but no apple chime 🙁 After trying to use the Apple website to self diagnose and repair, I bundled it up in my bag, and took it down to MagnumMac, hoping that the service department would be open.

Nope. Not available till Monday, and I wouldn’t get a verdict till then. Paying for ‘same day’ service and checking Glutbook into what could either be a hospital or a morgue, I left feeling worried about having to shell out to replace it. Talking to my friends, they said it sounded like a fried logic board; that’s basically the motherboard of the laptop — the bit that everything plugs into, except on a laptop, things don’t really plug in so much as are soldered permanently onto it. If it fails, you replace the lot.

Monday rolls around, and I get the call — Glutbook died. Probably from overheating due to a faulty fan. NZD$1500+ to repair it. Crap. Oh well, at least the hard drive, the RAM, and the two batteries I had for it are still good (stay tuned).

I ask to be transferred to sales, and I discuss a replacement over the phone, discuss finance, and end up calling the financiers to get pre-approved, which surprisingly happens over the phone — none of this two-hour waiting crap. I tell my boss the sob story and ask if I can go sort it out and get a replacement.

I really wanted the Black 13″ MacBook 2.0GHZ, but after discussing it with my friends, I was essentially paying $400 for 40gb in a matte black shell, so I asked for the one below it, which comes in white. Oh well, I thought, the HDD is user serviceable on the MacBook, unlike the iBook — if it’s not a big deal, I can put a bigger hard drive in it later. But they were out of stock! Screw it, and as my friend Matthew said on the phone, once you go black, you’ll never go back.

So in order to introduce, here’s my first post on this blog made on GlutBlack. She’s great — class act all the way! I love it’s solid keyboard, the integrated iSight camera, the magsafe power connector, and the immense improvement in speed over Glutbook. I can totally recommend the MacBook range to anyone who thinks it will suit their needs. I mean, I didn’t need an aluminium MacBook Pro, what with me mostly reading and editing text and working on the odd Fireworks PNG file.

Tag, I’m it.

Gee, thanks Tim. You know, with all the big names who’ve been part of this meme, I never reckoned that I’d get tagged. I suck at tag. In fact, that’s the first of five things you never knew about me:

  1. I sucked at tag. Primary school was pretty hellish for me — I was unfit, I had no friends, and I could never catch anyone. It’s a part of my life that I like to forget. Because I had no-one who liked me or understood me (my parents admit to not really understanding me and my interests when I was young) I turned to reading books and learning. If I had to pick someone who I think understood me when I was young, I’d probably have to say my grandmother on my mother’s side, Lois, who unfortunately passed away while I was at Intermediate, or just starting, I can’t remember. She would buy books for me all the time, and it was her who I credit for getting me into computers and specifically programming. An Osbourne book on Basic for various computers like the Commodore 64 and the TRS-80, and the really simple game listings within it. I would spend hours staring at that code, trying to figure out what the game would do. I wouldn’t get any kind of computer until after she passed away, and then it was a 286 and no-one told me where GW-Basic was.

    Gosh, there’s a bit there. Does that count as only one?

  2. I love computer games, but in reality, I’m not a hardcore gamer. I like the games that I can pick up, play for 15 minutes, and then put to one side. To this end, I rarely finish a game. A mild case of ADD? It’s certainly not AD&D 😉 I can count on one hand the games I’ve clocked without cheats:
    • Half-Life (PC)
    • Half-Life 2 (PC)
    • Half-Life 2: Episode 1 (PC) (but that barely counts)
    • Phoenix Wright (Nintendo DS) (but it’s mostly trial-and-error. Heh, trial, law game)
    • Doukutsu Monogatari (aka Cave Story) (PC)

    Yet recently I’ve bought so many DS and GBA games for my Nintendo DS Lite, and haven’t clocked any others

  3. I’m not allergic to anything, but I have had cancer. I have a giant scar on my back from where they removed a melanoma (skin cancer). Luckily it came back from the labs that it hadn’t spread, but I can’t give blood anymore. If they’d let me, I’d go every six months. So if you’re reading this, and you are able to give blood, you should go do it — it helps so many people out there, and only inconveniences you for a few hours; heck, most workplaces will let you go give blood on work time!
  4. When I want to chill out, the forest is my chill out space. I love to just go somewhere and listen, relax. Rivers are also very awesome. I was baby sitting a couple of my mum’s friend’s kids for the weekend one time in the middle of summer, and they had some really large inner tubes, so we took them out on the river out the back of their house, and had a ball and we all got so tired, we walked back, packed stuff away, and we all fell asleep in the lounge where we were sitting, totally unexpectedly. It was probably the quietest they ever were!
  5. I like chiptunes. Music made on old retro hardware that sounds like it could have come out of an old GameBoy or C64. I especially like the stuff that comes out of 8bitpeoples
  6. Bonus Fact: I don’t like peas. But that said, they are tolerable when mixed with other vegetables. But by themselves, blargh.

Bob Brown (Confessions of a Guru), Hamish MacEwan (self titled), Hillary (Kiwirose in Canada), Dan Milward (Mind of Mufasa) (fix your feeds, they’re broken), and Unbounded (self-titled), even though Unbounded is the kind of guy who would abhor this kinda meme; TAG – You’re it!

“The Aucklander” Magazine Practices Unethical Online Behaviour

Dear “The Aucklander”: Welcome to the internet. It’s a complicated place, but I have something to say about your presence I have encountered here thus far.

Your “Features Consultant”, Mr Deepak Desousa, recently left some advertising for your magazine’s services on a post about my Father’s Day exploits three years ago.

Here are some reasons why I think you, the magazine known as “The Aucklander” done the wrong thing here:

  1. I live in Wellington, not Auckland.. I happen to not like Auckland’s ‘culture’ a hang of a lot, for reasons I care not to discuss in this forum. Why would I give a rat’s ass about a local magazine in a city I am loathe to visit under most circumstances? Thanks for further cementing my belief that Auckland is made majorally out of people who only care only about themselves.
  2. Your comment is off topic and advertising you haven’t paid for. My blog has a comments facility to enable those who read it to contribute constructive feedback or add their own two cents to the point of view I put forward. It’s not for maverick marketeers to hijack to post their own advertising on, so you can sell advertising yourselves. This is known as Comment Spam, and is the bane of many bloggers’ existance. Thanks for perpeptuating the vicious cycle.
  3. If the business deal was for ME, then you should have contacted ME. Leaving a comment was the wrong way to contact me. I have a very visible contact page. If you wanted to pay me for some lucrative advertising deal, then you should have emailed me or even telephoned me personally.
  4. No you can’t sip my Google Juice. Just because my father’s day post happens to be the #7 result for fathers day site:nz on Google right now without me even trying, doesn’t mean you can rip the cup from my hands. Google ignores any URLs in my comments — they have rel="nofollow" on them. However, my Google Juice is so strong that this post talking about The Aucklander will probably feature quite highly when people Google for you.

I hope that clears things up.

If I lived in Auckland, I’d probably be available to come to your offices and talk to you personally about this. But I don’t. If you want to talk to me, please feel free to contact me personally, now you know the correct medium to do that within, during business hours.