Tech Blog

Jay's Technical blog

A response to Scott...

24 August 2006
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

My former co-blogger, Scott recently jumped on the “FireFox Rules; IE is dead” bandwagon.  In the post he simple posts stats that don’t represent me.  So while I can’t really respond to the stats except to say this… If FireFox is superior then it will win right?  Ever here of BETAMAX, or MiniDisc?  Need I say more.

My experience is different.  I used FireFox for the longest time, and even switched quite a few people over during the whole Phoenix/FireBird timeframe of the product.  With the more reccent releases, I’ve found it to be buggy and a memory hog (I don’t need to reference Ray’s hugely popular post, do I?)  So in the last couple months I’ve started looking for a better browser.  What do I want?  I want tabs!  It has to do with the way that I search….

So obviously IE6 is out.  A couple months ago I installed the IE7 beta and absolutely loved it!  It was way more stable than FireFox, and I had my tabs and a bunch of other things, but since I’m a consultant who has to test projects, I needed to make sure that IE6 still works.

So recently I have found the coolest browser.  And no it’s not an MS product (but IE7 will be my browser when it is released).  I recently discovered K-Meleon (another Mozilla project that is compiled without the Cross-OS crap… It only works in a Win32 environment).  It appears to not have the memory issues that FireFox has… so when I search… I search with K-Meleon.

Final thoughts
In all of this, there is a more important issue.  Does the browser really matter?  I personally don’t think it does… well, unless you are supporting Macs and then the browser is extremely important (Safari sucks!  There I got that out of my system).  The browsers are for the most part equal.

This whole craze of people who are still trying to build full blown apps on web sites when what they really want is a desktop app (KDE, Windows Forms, Java Swing, Cocoa, etc.) just doesn’t make sense to me (and I’m a web guy).

[tags:browser wars,FireFox,K-Meleon,IE7]

User Experience and a new laptop...

21 August 2006
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

My Avaratec tablet has an interesting problem these days.  It seems that I’m having an overheating issues with it.  After it has been on (like a day) and it has been used fairly heavily, it decides that it can’t take it anymore and it shuts off.  Now, I don’t mean it shuts down telling you that it needs to shut down and starts turning services off…. I mean it shuts off… from lit up LCD… to black… No power… Off!  I guess you get the point.

I could almost deal with this if it was happening while I was coding, but this last week has been about planning, and doing estimates.  Which means that the tools of choice are not Visual Studio, but MS Office Apps.  I’ve trained myself to save often when coding, but not when I’m working in Excel, etc.  Thank God for AutoSave, but even that is not perfect.

So I went out and bought the cheapest laptop I could find with the raw horsepower (mind you I had to get this the day of… so no mail ordering for me).  I already had my eye on  an AMD Turion 64 x2 Gateway laptop (with minimal software), so I went for it.  The initial user experience was less than impressive….

I went through the initial Windows Setup stuff (mostly customizing the laptop for me).  And then it started…

I knew I needed to install a few patched (hey, I do this for a living so no biggy, right… a couple reboots and I’m up and running).  Before I could get to Windows Update, up popped a gateway utility for doing updates and it included the Gateway updates.  Very nice… I think… well, what it really does is allows you to install individual patches one at a time.  That might not seem so bad, but when you have 40 updates to do and each one wants to reboot.  I let this happen once (so 1 reboot).  After this reboot, I decided to head over to Windows update (I realized what had happened, and was a little disappointed with Gateway).  I went to Windows Update, installed a couple initial updates, rebooted, and then installed the rest of important updates (which was followed by a reboot).

I turned my attention to the McAfee Antivirus (trial) that they had installed (I’ll install something else eventually, but I’ll use the trial for now).  BTW, if you haven’t been keeping score that’s 3 reboots before I can even begin to use the machine.  McAfee has a whole suite of apps which are what is installed.  It had been barking at me and now I said let us update you.  The first update it detected was an update to the AntiVirus engine… I went to the site to update; their update control (activex) installs and then it instructs me that I must reboot now to continue installation (kind of strange), but OK… I reboot (#4), and sure enough the McAfee Update control completes it’s install.  Now I can get the new Antivirus engine.  What do you think happened?  I went to the site again and saw the update download and I was instructed yet again to reboot (#5).  After this came back up, it was time to get the latest AntiVirus definitions, how do you think this installed… yep another reboot (#6).  After which it updated the Spam engine (#7), and the Firewall (#8).  Once it updated the Firewall I told it to disable since most of the time I’ll be working behind a router firewall… I trust my local network, so I only enable a software firewall when I’m outside of the house.  It felt like a few more reboots than this (and there’s a lot of other crap in their suite, so it probably was more reboots).  So that’s 8 reboots before I can even begin to install anything (well, I could have, but then I wouldn’t be safe).

The next morning I booted up and McAfee reported that there had been an update to their firewall software and they wanted me to install it… <grrr />  I made sure it was disabled this time…

The point of all this is if a user has to go through this amount of reboots to set up your software, do you think he or she will keep your software after the trial?  Let me give you a hint, I used to really respect McAfee (I swore by their products, once)….

[tags:McAfee,new computer,reboots]

Atlas July CTP...

02 August 2006
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

In case you haven’t seen there is a new release of the Atlas Framework for July (just barely July, IMO)…   With each release I test my instructions for enabling an existing site which can be found here.

Hopefully they have fixed my Safari issue (of course, it might help if I told them about it).

BTW, I recently had to do some work on a 1.1 site which was using Ajax Pro which sadly has no update-like panel.  The site notoriously has postback all over the place, so I went in search for something to replace this evil behavior.  I’m sure you’ve all heard about it by now, but there is an open source project called Magic Ajax which has an AjaxPanel which operates very similar to the UpdatePanel.  If you are like me and can’t live without the UpdatePanel, but can’t use Atlas then check out this tool.  It is very nice!  Here’s the URL.  It hasn’t been updated for a bit, but it worked absolutely awesome for me.

[tags: Atlas, ASP.Net, Ajax]