Good Screen, Bad Screen

It's funny how things often happen in pairs.  So today I've got a couple of screens ... one from good software, and one from -- shall we say, needs improving -- software.  I'm running the latest version of IE, and I have to say IE (and Windows too, but that's another topic) is looking better and better.  One feature the IE team has integrated (and I really, really like) is the ability to preview all the tabs in a mini-window. I'll be the first to tip my hat to Firefox for popularizing this... [More]

We Don?t Need Encoding!

OK, I needed the title to be funny.  The truth is, I've just had 3 encoding issues thrown my way recently.  One was an internal bug and sadly, the other two are of my own doing.  One was in Wolfclock: I found a case when I didn't specify the encoding (and this may cause a problem internationally, as I came to find out from some users) and another was with my own site: I couldn't figure out what the problem was with my serialized data ... and, not surpisingly, it was the en... [More]

Chess Game Added

I added a new (relatively speaking, anyway) chess game to my OTB (over-the-board or face-to-face) section (found here).  I played this one a few months ago at Microsoft, however I forgot all about it until I was cleaning up some files.  The game was a G30, if I recall; I played white.  Before uploading I let Fritz 8 analyze the game to help figure out where I went wrong. Things were looking quite balanced up until move 20, where I played Rd1-d3.  Fritz's evaluation went from 0.16 (vi... [More]

Cool Article on Office Interruptions

There's a neat article on the New York Times website (Meet the Life Hackers by Clive Thompson) that discusses the effects of interruptions at the office and how it affects productivity.   When I've discussed this with friends in the past, it was always described as "context switching" as opposed to interruptions.  I personally differentiate them like so:  An interruption is an IM, an e-mail, a phone call, or someone dropping by the office.  A context switch is stopping what you're w... [More]

Philips Added to the "Do Not Buy From" List

I hate to do this, but Philips has elevated itself to my "do not buy from" list, an honor held only by two other companies: Micron and Sony. I reserve this title only when I feel a company has truly wronged me (or family member) in some fashion; for example, refusing to service something under warranty, etc. So how did Philips earn this prestigious honor? The yellow flag was raised months ago when I purchased a TV of iffy quality from them. No other problems, and the TV still works, but the quality was low ... [More]

DVR Bipolar Syndrome

One of my old bosses used to always say, "Everything is a sine wave."  It's easy to see energy expressed in sine waves, and matter is a form of "denser" energy.  But philosophical argument aside, I believe my DVR is a sine wave -- or more specifically, the way I watch TV, over time, can be expressed as a sine wave.This type of spiking is becoming a fairly negative experience for me, so I'm coining a new term: "DVR Bipolar Syndrome."  Remember how CD's changed the way people listened to music?... [More]

Server Stats and Shared Hosting

I'll admit it, I really like graphs.  I'm a visual person.  So it's not too surprising I'd feel the urge to come up with another stats page, this time showing some server performance metrics.  This page is even more useless for the casual browser than some of my other charts, but from an administration point of view it's quite telling.  What this chart is looking at is the average time it takes to generate pages on the site -- specifically, the home page, all pages on average, and RSS fe... [More]

Firefox Peaked?

Information Week recently posted an article suggesting that Firefox's market share has peaked, having slipped slightly in recent months and settling in the 7 to 8 percent range.  I'd have to agree with that assessment (just by looking at my own web site stats), though the number of Firefox users on my site is a bit higher than average.The article also posted about Opera going free in an attempt to gain market share -- and, I agree here, also: too little, too late for Opera.  They missed the w... [More]

Search Engine Stats

I added a couple of new charts to the Stats section ... in this case, both charts contain some search engine stats.  Once again, visual data tells a really cool story -- it's great to see about 14 months of data summarized in a visual way. In these charts, I decided to focus on Google, MSN, and Yahoo search engine bots and referrers.  There's quite a few other bots, but these three make up the vast majority, and the even when the other bots hit, I'm not seeing any interesting traffic generated f... [More]

New MyPopchecker Functionality

MyPopchecker.com has been updated with a couple of cool new features.  It's been great to work on this project from time to time (especially in seeing it get used by people!), and I've found that I've been using this service myself quite a bit.  So, here's what new in this release: Rich Text Editing!  Finally, composing e-mails can be done with a rich text editor.  It's a great addition that makes checking e-mails on the road as feature rich as editing them in Outlook.  It's a s... [More]

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