It's more than a house. It's an adventure.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

I want, I want, I want

iRiver iHP-120. I ripped 95% of my CD collection to Ogg Vorbis and was not looking forward to re-ripping everything. I think this is the first portable player (at least this large) that supports the format. Time to cancel that iPod order.

Something new every month

On August 31, I declared that I would quit soda entirely as of 9/1. And so far, so good. It's working out quite well, actually. So I've decided that I am going to start doing something new - a lifestyle change, if you will - every month. The first couple will revolve around getting myself on track to lose some weight and get in better shape, and when I run out of ideas there, we'll see what I can cook up. I will start each of these on the first day of the month.

  • September: Quit soda (in all forms).
  • October: Take a minimum 45 minute walk every day (probably at night). I just bought myself a cheap CD/MP3 player to keep me company on these walks.
  • November: Pick up my dumbells again.
  • December: Walk 5 miles to a bar. Drink only beer (no rum & coke). Get loaded. 12/1 is my birthday. Hey, it doesn't break September and October's goals, does it?

Hitting just a little...

too close to home.

Jumping the gun?

Or just very well-prepared?

Friday, September 26, 2003

What I want in an editor

A few things in Visual Interdev have really been bugging me the last few days because I've been using it so heavily. Yes, it's a 1998-era IDE, but it's all I really have to work with (my application is traditional ASP). I'm doing all client-side work right now, but a lot of this carries over to server script as well

  • Server-side include statements and script elements that point to an external file are not read when working in a page. So I get no IntelliSense on my JavaScript functions which I keep in a separate library. I would like to not have to keep 2 windows open jsut to reference my code.
  • Task List doesn't work well - barely at all. I know VS.NET fixes this quite well.
  • DOM knowledge is stuck at what MS supported around 1998. IE 6 handles a lot of stuff that InterDev doesn't know anything about. But when you upgrade server components, it can pick those up just fine.
  • On top of that, as you start going through the motions of creating elements, eventually the objects & methods get nested deep enough that InterDev gives up.
  • The CSS editor isn't even worth mentioning. It hosed my CSS file and I haven't let it go near since. And won't let you edit the source.
  • The ability to plug in other text editors. Supposedly one can plug the Win32 version of vim into Visual C++. Not so with InterDev. Vim has some features I use a lot (better syntax highlighting, easier commands on the keyboard, bracket matching) but I'm stuck with InterDev's editor.

So by now you're asking yourself "why doesn't he use something else?" Well, there are some features of InterDev I do need a lot. Namely project file management and source control. The Task List, if it worked properly, would also be a must-have - but I just use it as a fancy pad of post-it notes right now. But I also don't know what else is out there. Vim doesn't have all the features I need, it's just a killer text editor. It'd be great as part of a suite, but not as a solution on its own.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

More DHTML pain

Today's struggle? attachEvent(). In the process of creating my form elements dynamically, I need to attach some events to them for validation, etc. I had this working in the "standalone" elements, the ones that were already existing, but as one-liners (code embedded right in the onblur attribute, rather than calling a function). But you can't do that in attachEvent() (and its sibling, addEventListener()), you can only use functions.

I feel like I've been out of the game so long because of how I'm struggling with some of these seemingly basic things. The good news is, I wrote a ton of JavaScript today to create all my dynamic select boxes, then ripped it all out 45 minutes before leaving for the day, refactored it, and cut the LOC my about 75% - and left myself with a lot more reusable code in the process.

I gotta say today was a good day

Who thinks this stuff up?

This is almost enough to get me to consider buying an Intel processor again. Or it was, until I saw the pricetag. Swap it to an AMD Althon64 and maybe I'll find the money

Amazon book return - not really worth it

Back in August I purchased The Non-Designer's Web Book hoping it would help me out with my current project. As it turned out, the book was useless to me, so I returned it to Amazon. I would have been better off selling the book myself.

Purchase price: $24.49
Restocking fee:$12.25
Promotions: $0.40
My cost to ship back via USPS Priority mail: about $6
My net refund: about $5.75.

What a waste of my time, effort and money.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Where estimates come from

The new TLA of the day - where good software estimates come from. It's DRE (and no I don't mean that guy who was in NWA).

Today's IE weirdness

Trying to create some table cells with form elements today dynamically with JavaScript. Everything seemed to be OK, until I needed to set a colspan on one of my cells using setAttribute('colspan','8'). It worked in Mozilla, but IE refused to pick up on the attribute. As it turns out, IE is case-sensitive here and requires the S be capitalized. Mozilla doesn't care. I was very lucky to stumble into some big help on the matter.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Less than one month to go!

SSX3 is set for release in just 3 weeks! I absolutely loved both SSX and the sequel SSX Tricky, and this one is sure to please. Previews:
The Magic Box
Future Gamez

I've already preordered it.

Hire me, please!

This is probably the first time I've said this somewhat publicly, in part for fear that my current employer will find out. But by chroniclers what I'm doing in the process, I'm hoping to keep myself more on track and more motivated. And given the changes going on at my current place of employment, I think everyone is at least taking steps to prepare for the possibility that they may be laid off.

I am looking for a new job. Due to upcoming changes in my life, I need to move to the Rochester, NY area.

To date, I have sent 11 resumes out for jobs I think I have a good shot at. I've received almost no response. This is probably par for the course in this job market. I've also been working with a recruiter, and received contact info for another recruiter from my friend Mike which I'll be acting upon today.

So, a little about me. I have been working professionally as a web developer for over 4 years now. I have worked on all aspects of web app development - requirements gathering, visual design, databases, coding, testing, deployment and administration. I have worked alone and with large teams. Thus far the majority of my experience is on the Microsoft Windows platform - ASP/VBScript running on Windows NT and Windows 2000. In addition, I have installed, configured and developed in the Vignette StoryServer environment through version 6. I've used both DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server for databases.

While my professional experience is comprised primarily of the systems listed above, I can quickly adapt to almost any environment.

I develop my applications as closely to the W3C standards as possible (for our internal, IE-only applications I have had to make concessions to meet user requirements). I recently have been gaining quite a bit of experience in visual design, and my skills in that area have increased significantly in a short period of time. I am also learning XML and XSL as part of my current project, which will use XML for much of the data exchange between systems. For this application, I am developing a very rich, dynamic user interface which is far more involved than any other I've used today.

My resume is available via the navigation on all my pages. If you are looking for a flexible, adaptable web developer or know anyone who is, please don't hesitate to contact me!

Skip this book

I finally got around to reading Left For Dead by Beck Weathers. I was hoping for a good, solid story of his trip up Mt. Everest, his amazing rescue, and the aftermath. And that story was about a third of the book. But most of it was a biography of his entire life, his depression, and how badly he treated his family. I lost interest quickly when I realized that the Everest story was just a way to sell the book, a way to make money out of it. The rest really reads like any other person's life. The style of alternating between his voice and that of other people (primarily his wife) was very disconcerting as well. I'd often lose track of who was speaking and have to flip back to pick that up.

Is the book wrong? Or are we taking steps backwards?

So I'm at work a week or 2 ago trying to get some JavaScript working across several frames in a nested frameset (yes, I know, frames are evil, but it's a requirement of the app I'm developing) and having a terrible time accessing elements inside the document that's in a particular frame. I pulled out my trusty Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference and opened up to pages690 and 691. Turns out that after getting a reference to the frame, I needed to get the "contentt window" of it to address the elements contained therein.

Now here's where it gets weird. There are 2 entries for this item - "contentDocument" and "contentWindow". The former is supported by Netscape 6 and DOM Level 2 (the spec), while the latter is supported by IE 5.5 and Netscape 7. Conspicuously, the DOM is left out here.

What I haven't found yet (mostly for lack of time to tinker) is whether Netscape 7 supports contentDocument. I can't believe that the Mozilla team would take a step backwards. I can understand adding contentWindow to get more compatiblity with sites developed toward IE, but I hope they didn't drop contentDocument.

Keeping track

I got pointed to Bloglines a couple weeks ago just by chance. Great way to keep track of the regularly-updated sites you visit (blogs). I had been using group bookmarks in Mozilla but this works so much better. I can get at my list anywhere, anytime and don't have to fish around for the latest stuff because it's all right there.