Ten typographic mistakes everyone makes

Right on the heels of my post about Unnecessary Quotation Marks comes this gem from Receding Hairline:

Grammar nazis are so last century. Welcome, friends, to the brave new world of the typography nazi. Below are ten mistakes that everyone makes, an explanation of why each is wrong, and details on how to fix them. At least, you’ll see how to fix them on the Mac; under Windows, you’ll need to dig through tables of Alt characters. Have fun. (If you decide it’s time to be more accurate with your type on the Mac, get PopChar.)

Such typographic faux pas are not as potentially dangerous as grammatical fuckups – there’s little chance that using a period instead of an interpunct will obscure or confuse your meaning – but they are nevertheless wrong, at least for the time being. The large-type heading for each section contains an example of a typographic mistake; if you can see what’s wrong in each one before reading the explanation below, give yourself a pat on the back. Then examine your life priorities.

One last disclaimer before we get started: by ‘mistakes everyone makes’, I include my lazy-assed self and exclude you if you’re a professional typographer. Or just someone who care about the little things in this amoral pit of a world…

(via Receding Hairline)

Channel9 (MSDN): Windows XP on Flash-Based Ultra Low Cost PCs

Great post from Channel9 with video about Windows on ULPCs, like the Asus Eee:

How does Windows perform on ultra low cost PCs with less than 2GB of storage? Mark Light and Bohdan Raciborski from the Unlimited Potential Group discuss the challenges and opportunities with flash-based storage and getting Windows XP and Office 2003 up and running—surprisingly quickly—on this new class of devices, including the Asus Eee PC. Today Microsoft also released design guidelines to help hardware manufacturers enable a quality Windows experience for this emerging class of low cost computing machines that will help to democratize personal computing by providing a powerful and full version Windows-powered device for low income markets.

(via Windows XP on Flash-Based Ultra Low Cost PCs)

Multi-Targeting VS2005 and VS2008 Web Application Projects, a Gotcha!

Great post on how to share a solution between VS2008 and VS2005, from stevenharman.net/blog:

One of the things I’m most excited about with Visual Studio 2008 is it’s ability to target various versions of the .net framework, a feature known as multi-targeting.

I recently rebuilt a (hand-me-down) laptop for use at developer group meetings, conferences, and coding from the couch. When building out the machine I decided to only install VS2008 and make use of multi-targeting to work on my various .net 2.0 projects… like Subtext. Today I finally got around to loading Subtext up in VS2008 and I was expecting some heartache.

But I did a little research first and luckily came across Rick’s great post explaining how VS2008 and VS2005 can be made to play nice together, allowing you to work with your projects in either IDE. The gist is, the project files (i.e.- your .csproj files) will work in either environment, but you’ll need to maintain separate solution files. Not a huge deal as most of the churn is usually in the individual project files, and not the solution.

(via Multi-Targeting VS2005 and VS2008 Web Application Projects, a Gotcha!)

The Mosaic Communications Universe

mcom Welcome

From jwz.livejournal.com:

  • Until now, home.mcom.com and all URLs under it just redirected to netscape.com, then redirected a dozen more times before taking you to some AOL portal page. The old URLs that were baked into the toolbar buttons of the original web browsers didn’t work any more. But now, if you fire up a copy of Mosaic Netscape 0.9, and click on the various toolbar buttons, they will work again! For example, in the old browsers, when you clicked on the “What’s New” toolbar button, it went here.
  • home.mcom.com is now a snapshot of that web site from 21-Oct-1994.

Regarding Base-64: Trying to solve an ASP.NET issue…

Update: Thanks to WordPress.com automagically linking related posts to each other, I think I may have found a potential solution to this issue here: Invalid character in a Base-64 string (ASP.NET)

The problem seems to be with the ViewState. The ViewState is encrypted, and when an attempt is made to decrypt it on postback, the error is triggered.  The solution is actually quite simple: in the web.config file, set the ViewState not to be encrypted, like this:

<system.web>
<pages viewStateEncryptionMode=”Never”>
</pages>
</system.web>

You should really check out the rest of that article; it looks like it’s got a great explanation for what is actually occurring.

Also, this seems to be related to another message, “Invalid Viewstate.”

My original article is below the fold…

More

True-Color GIF Example

The mistaken belief that GIF has a limit of 256 colors probably comes from the way GIF was first used when it came out. In the late 1980’s, PC video cards generally supported no more than 256 colors. Image exchanges were becoming popular among BBS systems and the Internet and viewer programs were quickly produced. No one tried or needed to generate images with more than 256 colors since they could not be viewed on anything less than high priced graphics workstations. Programs that converted images to GIF worked up a number of methods to reduce the number of colors to 256 or fewer. Some actually did a very good job. GIF files were constructed with just a single image block, even though the GIF standard placed no limit on the number of blocks. Since there was no use for more than 256 colors, there was no use for more than one image block. This practice became effectively ingrained into the computer culture and eventually everyone “knew” that GIF supported no more than 256 colors. The fact is, the programs that generated GIF files supported no more than one image block, and thus didn’t have a means to deal with more than 256 colors. The top image shows that a GIF file really can have more than 256 colors.

(via http://phil.ipal.org/tc.html)

PNG transparency test

Examine the test images in the left column below. To determine how your browser handles PNG transparency, find the images on the right that look the most similar.

Not all possible results are shown; there are too many combinations of background colors and shapes of the opaque region. However, I intend to include every result that actually occurs in a mainstream browser. If I am missing any, please let me know.

It’s come to my attention that my images which show how alpha transparency should look are not quite perfect in regard to precisely how transparent they are at various points. Rather than try to modify this page to test gamma correction issues as well, I’ve created a separate test page for that.

This test page was constructed by Jason Summers. Comments may be emailed to jason1@pobox.com.
There are other test pages listed at the PNG web site.

(via PNG transparency test)

The Ultimate Office Etiquette Guide

If you’ve ever been sat at your desk, hard at work, trying to finish your report in time for that very important meeting with the Managing Director; you’ll know just how annoying it is to have the wacky office comedian come striding up to you in his Homer Simpson tie, wanting to play his new collection of stupid cell phone ringtones. Welcome to the dark and murky world of Office Etiquette.

I actually made a big etiquette faux pas at my new employer just this week. I was well-groomed, well-dressed and I was polite, pleasant and smiling as I greeted my new co-workers. But as I sat down after making myself a cup of tea, I couldn’t help but notice that everyone in the office was looking at me like I’d just murdered their cat. I’d committed a cardinal office sin: never, ever make a drink just for yourself.

So how do you know what the politics of your office are? Well, like the many different cultures and societies of other countries and continents, it varies from office to office. In England you could be hung, drawn and quartered for not making a round of tea for your colleagues. In Russia however, they’d be more upset if you forgot to slip a drop of vodka into their brew. For this very reason, we’ve created The Ultimate Office Etiquette Guide so that you never again make the mistake of taking a stapler without first asking for permission!

(via justaguything.com)

Garfield Minus Garfield

Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolor disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against lonliness and methamphetamine addiction in a quiet American suburb.

(via garfield minus garfield)

Rands In Repose: The Nerd Handbook

Nerds are fucking funny. Your nerd spent a lot of his younger life being an outcast because of his strange affinity with the computer. This created a basic bitterness in his psyche that is the foundation for his humor. Now, combine this basic distrust of everything with your nerd’s other natural talents and you’ll realize that he sees humor is another game.

Humor is an intellectual puzzle, “How can this particular set of esoteric trivia be constructed to maximize hilarity as quickly as possible?” Your nerd listens hard to recognize humor potential and when he hears it, he furiously scours his mind to find relevant content from his experience so he can get the funny out as quickly as possible.

This quick wit is only augmented by the fact that…

Your nerd has an amazing appetite for information. Many years ago, I dubbed this behavior NADD, and you should read the article to learn more and to understand what mental muscles your nerd has developed.

(via Rands In Repose: The Nerd Handbook)