Archives / 2004 / May
  • Picking Color Schemes

    One thing I've always had trouble with web development is coming up with color schemes. To be honest, every design I've been happy with mostly involved spending some time with the color picker tool in photoshop. I can recognize good color schemes, and even tell you why they are pleasing to the eye. Needless to say when Dave Shea wrote up some stuff on color schemes, I was all about it. Tons of great tips and articles in the comments too.


  • Sizing Text with ems

    Richard Rutter has a nice tutorial on sizing text with ems instead of using pixel based text sizes.

    If the world were an ideal place, we’d all use pixels. But it’s not, we have the broken browser to contend with. IE/Win will not allow readers to resize text that has been sized in pixels. Like it or not, your readers will want to resize text at some point. Perhaps they are short-sighted, doing a presentation, using a ridiculously high resolution laptop or simply have tired eyes. So unless you know (not think) your audience won’t be using IE/Win or will never wish to resize their text then pixels are not yet a viable solution.

    A good read, and I wish more people would do this (I'm looking at YOU safari). I think the thing that got me using Firefox full time was the fact that you can resize text, even if it was pixel based (well, just about every browser besides crap ass IE lets you do that). I mean, I sit there reading text of the screen for two to three hours. I'd just rather do that at 14px than 9px. Anyway, a good chunk of people can't make the the upgrade to Firefox, or simply don't know it even exists. So take pity on these poor souls, and at least let them resize your font if they need to.


  • Hardened PHP and, uh, adult oriented natured sites.

    I've used PHP for quite a while now, but dropped it like a bag of rocks once ASP.NET came out. I still like following the project though, so when I saw an article on something called Hardened PHP I jumped right into the comments to get a "pulse" on what's happening. Anyways, one of the top rated comments was about a guy running a high volume site that deals in boobie pics, written in PHP. Followed by quite a few comments from people doing similiar work in PHP.


  • The New and CSS

    Over on StopDesign, Doug has a TREEEEmendous write-up about the redesign of the new  He's also thrown in some screen shots of the beautiful new templates, all CSS based and all standards compliant.  Awesome stuff.  Dan Cederholm's TicTac design is extra smooth. 

    It warrants mentioning that if you are doing web development, and don't have Dan and Doug subscribed, do so now.  Far, far, far too many web developers treat CSS as merely a way to set the font and color for a page all at once.  They really don't get the zen of things.


  • Removing WinFS (at your own risk of course)

    I was a bit taken back by the memory consumed by the WinHEC build of Longhorn. It turns out WinFS is sucking up around 200mb of RAM. Well, as of right now I'm not planning on learning much about WinFS (nor do I have the resources in a VM to properly take advantage of it), so let's get rid of that sucker. To remove some components, I had to edit the C:\WINDOWS\INF\SYSOC.INF file (do so at your own risk, I'm just kinda winging it here in a VM, so I can easily start over). I had to remove the HIDE keyword from entries to be able to uncheck them in the Add/Remove Windows Components dialog. Once I did that I was able to go into add / remove items, and uncheck WinFS. 200mb of memory almost instantly reclaimed.


  • Longhorn 4074 on Virtual PC 2004. Good times.

    I just installed the WinHEC build of Longhorn in a Virtual PC, and everything is smoooooooooooooth. I actually left the computer, did some laundry, played some Splinter Cell, and came back to see if the thing had crashed remembering the ordeals of the PDC build with a VM. To my surprise, it was up and running. Granted, it was 640x480 w/ 16 colors, but a quick install of the Virtual Machine Addins took care of that. I really is running great on my machine. I should mention that I've been working on my machine tuning it for VMs so it probably runs better than a lot of people out there. Here's what I got:


  • Font Add-In for Reflector

    Feel free to ignore everything posted here. Reflector has a switch, /fontsize:14 that would do the samething. The moral of the story, as always, is that I'm an idiot. I'll leave this posted so people can point and laugh at me.

    As a trainer, reflector is obviously a TREEEEmendous tool to have at your disposal.  The problem?  8.25ft on a projector generally doesn't go over well.  I've used those zoom-in tools in the past, but with the release of the 4.0 release of reflector I decided to get off my butt and knock out an add-in to bump up the font.  So, I present to you, the most ghetto add-in for reflector ever, FontPackage.  There are somethings to keep in mind:

    1. The GotDotNet workspaces were running WAY to slow for me to figure out if there is better info out there on writing an add-in, so I just kinda winged it.
    2. I use Lucida Console, 14pt for everything.  If you want to customize the font for each window, knock yourself out. 

    So here it is, in all it's glory:

    Public Class FontPackage
        Implements Reflector.IPackage
        Private windowManager As Reflector.IWindowManager
        Public Sub Load(ByVal serviceProvider As System.IServiceProvider) Implements Reflector.IPackage.Load
            windowManager = serviceProvider.GetService(GetType(Reflector.IWindowManager))
            Dim myFont = New System.Drawing.Font("Lucida Console", 14, System.Drawing.FontStyle.Regular)
            windowManager.Content.Font = myFont
            For Each myWindow As Reflector.IWindow In windowManager.Windows
                myWindow.Content.Font = myFont
        End Sub
        Public Sub Unload() Implements Reflector.IPackage.Unload
        End Sub
    End Class

    Here's the compiled version of my wonderful app right here. A word of warning, I spent all of 15 minutes writing this, and 10 minutes of that was waiting for GotDotNet to respond to different page requests. Obviously, I've not done any error handling and the possibility of actually having a dialog to customize the font would be pretty cool. But it gets the job done for me, and I just felt like sharing.