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Strip 549, Volume 4, Page 195


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< Piro >

here's a screenshot of what *I* see...

"whee, isn't this fun?"

Monday - April 19, 2004

[Piro] - 10:04:00 - [link here]

Ok, I'm getting there. I think. Sort of.

Once again, thank you very much for all the feedback. It's almost more than I can absorb all at once. Often, I can't address everyone's problems, nor can I make the site look perfect in everyone's browsers, but I'm trying to at least get close.

For your reference, here's a screenshot of what I'm looking at. The fonts are smaller in Safari, and bigger on most PC web browsers. It wont look the same in all browsers - pretty hard to do that, but this method seems to get close. (by the way, a big thanks to TwystNeko for his advice and help with all of this. I think he's ready to strangle me by now :P)

Font sizes are closer to making sense now. I still might tweak them one way or another, but it should be MUCH better than it was earlier today. It's a mix of one em call and percentages, so it should all scale easily if you like fonts lots bigger (even in IE!).

Old Konq seems to be rendering things just fine now. Hah! about time. :P

The biggest problems seem to be in Opera. It just doesn't seem to like the CSS in the comic navigation area very much, and as a result I'm probably going to divide that area into a table just to make sure that it works for everyone. There will always be small cosmetic errors, but opera pooches the drop down over the checkboxes... that's a usability issue. :) Oddly enough, I installed Opera 7.23, and it seems to render everything for me just fine. We'll do some more testing to check later.

Yes, I know about the lack of content in many of the "alt" tags and lack of "title" tags for mouseovers. I'll be adding those in properly as for the final site.

Two small things. that line of text under the "relax, we understand joo"... that's a GIF file, people. It's cut off on purpose. It's part of the design. You can stop emailing me about it.

Oh, and hello, this is a TEMPLATE. It's a NON WORKING TEMPLATE. the prev and next buttons don't do anything, nor do the checkboxes or the drop down menus. ^^;; Thank you.

I know about the small problem with the shadow around the comic (at the corners, you can tell it's a bit uneven). I've been working on solutions for that - it's a graphical thing, there a few ways to fix it, none of which will bork the front page (I hope).

Also, many of these are not final graphics. Some of them need to be re-done, but they are pretty easy to replace later (like that nasty little 'go' button). Also, the top banner, where Largo and Piro are, that will cycle so there are different images there. it's a simple image size and location, so I can more easily change/add them over time, to add some variety to the page.

Oh, for the old Netscape 4.7 and the fact that it can't deal with CSS very well... I'll have a pretty standard work around that takes out the CSS formatting. It'll look plain, but you'll see the comic and relevant rants and stuff.

Speaking of non-CSS browsers, some people have suggested adding some more things to the body tag to deal with link colors so that the text always is readable. I'll add some of that as well to the final version.

yes, there will be a finished and working Characters page and Community page when the site is done.

Some other browsers really mess things up (one person sent me a screenshot that was massively messed up... good god, what the hell browser were you USING???) :P

(if I can think of anything else, I'll add it after I post. I THINK that's everything)

I know some of this seems like im obsessing over little things -- this single page has taken up a lot of my time, but hey - MT really is mostly a one page site. This is the console that people use to read the comic. im adding sub pages to support this page (like the news area, etc) but for the most part, this is what people will use to read the site, and will for a while... so I wanna get it mostly right. :)

Oh, and about today's comic... I've been wanting to do this one for a while. There's something ridiculous about a lot of what is going on in the world, and these are only a few of them. A little while ago, Gator (who has since changed their name to "Claria") threatened to sue anyone who called their Gator software "Spyware." I'm sorry, that's just wrong. What's next, Microsoft will sue anyone who calls Windows "Crap"? What is going on in this country? (psst, sorry. Gator --is-- spyware... shh, you didn't hear that here...)

What prompted me actually doing this comic today was the culmination of a long struggle to remove another piece of spyware/malware from the Win XP machine. Since sarah and I moved over to Macs, we haven't dealt with or worried much about the virus/spyware/adware stuff we used to worry about on the windows machines. Now, to be fair, Mac users are a far smaller percentage of users on the net, so it makes sense that Microsoft systems get targeted more. The trouble is, I haven't been monitoring the Windows machine the way I normally would have, since we used it so little. It's amazing what can sneak in when you aren't looking.

For a long time, Sarah used to use the XP box for a lot of her research. Being in the school of information, she did a LOT of online research, and it took her to a lot of websites far outside of the range most people normally visit. Of course, in doing this, she managed to pick up a nasty browser hijacker called CoolWWWsearch. It replaced the front page, and whenever you did google searches went to its own search engine instead... ya, nice stuff. People who write this stuff and force it on people need to have a six foot glowing hot iron rod forced slowly down their throats. I could not get this goddamn thing to go away. When it came up, I switched her over to using Firebird (Firefox), and tried to clean it, and ended up giving up. Every so often I'd try again, but I was always too busy to really work at it. I thought what was really needed was a complete system rebuild. There hasn't been time for that yet.

As sarah used her laptop more and more, it was less of a concern. Till I started testing web pages. The fact that this goddamn thing was still there, mocking me, really pissed me off. Fsk the page design, the hell with the comic... CoolWWWSearch was goin down, or the XP box was goin thru the window.

with the help of some friends, Ad Aware, SpyBot, and some liberal use of Safe Mode, I was able to eradicate it. There was much rejoicing. Took 4 hrs of fiddling and some hair pulling. I wish I could send the people who run coolWWWsearch a bill for my time. I wouldn't even pad it.

Anyways, this struggle made me think of the Gator story (another one that wasn't so easy to remove on the few occasions I managed to get it), and wanting largo to get a bill from SCO, and, well, I decided that it was a fine day to do this comic. Hope it was at least somewhat amusing. Oh, if you look back, you might find examples of LDE on largo's screens. It's not easy to find :)

The last bit about RFID tags... RFID tags scare me. I have seen what they can do with them in libraries. You know those odd white plastic things in CD cases? Little white sticky things stuck in the books you buy at Borders? Those are RFID tags. Basically, they are activated when radio waves hit them and they return information (those things you walk thru when walking out of stores, the things that go 'beep!' if you try to walk out with something without paying for it.) Google for RFID tags and read up about them. Innocent, useful things, yes, but there are major privacy concerns.

read up on them, and I'll continue this line of thought in my next rant...

< Seraphim >

Nightmares and Fairy Tales!

"and the winner is..."

Monday - April 19, 2004

[Seraphim] - 11:55:00 - [link here]

President Poll Results

First and foremost, as I am STILL getting emails about this, I didn't forget Junpei in this poll. Junpei decided not to run in the mock election because being a politician goes against the Ninja code of honor which forbids things like lying, cheating, and stealing.

This was a large poll - there were over 15,000 responses. It took 4 hours just to parse the data and compile it.

And the winner is Largo, of course. Although if Junpei had run, I think he would have won.

93% would vote for a woman candidate. 7% would not.
59% vote in national elections
11% didn't vote
30% were too young to vote.
25% have been officially polled.
75% have never been polled.
26% think their votes matter.
74% are cynical voters.

I should have riled up the conspiracy theorist and asked who they thought actually won the 2000 Presidential election and if they thought it was rigged. I love the move Conspiracy Theory with Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts. It's a bad movie and I usually don't admit to enjoying it. Captain Picard as the evil doctor. I love it.

Piro was getting out of the car the other day to run up to the ATM and he says to me, "You should step out of the car." Being the loving and trusting wife that I am I did not hesitate to ask, "Why?" I'd gotten a really creepy feeling like in a movie when you see the monster sneaking up behind the actor and the victim is totally clueless. Piro was obviously telling me to leap out of the car to my death. So Piro being a sensitive husband whips out a Nike slogan and says, "Just do it!" As I'm getting out of the car I see an enormous spider above me. I hate spiders. I detest and loathe spiders. I hate spiders that are above me most of all. At one of my jobs I encountered a wolf spider and started screaming, "Spider! Spider!" Unfortunately, people mistook what I said for Fire! Fire! It was especially bad considering it was a rehab clinic with more than a few disabled clients. It was a bad scene. Now I have Piro. He kills all spiders that threaten me. That was part of his vows. To love, honor, cherish, and kill all spiders. So far this spring he is 3-0.

There was yet another bank robbery in Ann Arbor. How do we know? We drove by it again. Do we drive by every bank that gets robbed around here? What really astounds me is the fact that when I have researched and compared Ann Arbor to other cities - Ann Arbor always has the best overall crime statistics. Always. With the bank robberies in town and assaults on campus I just don't buy it. I wonder what happened to the Ann Arbor man stopped in Nevada with the bodies of 2 Ann Arborites in the trunk of his car. Haven't heard a thing about the case. There must be a giant mound under a giant rug where they keep sweeping things.

Gotta love the story on Countdown with Keith Olberman (I love Keith) about the librarian who taped the mouths of third graders shut. I've encountered a lot of negative views on librarians this week. I've also been reading many, many young adult novels and they never have anything good to say about librarians. They are all finger pointers, shushers, and detention givers. I attend classes with lots of school media specialists - I sat next to two just today - and they are not evil people. I think school media specialists and children's librarian are actually cooler than the general librarian population. They even know what graphic novels are.

Strange but true - Samwise Gamgee is the son of Gomez Adams and Helen Keller. His parents are Patty Duke and John Astin. I don't see it. I can't help thinking about the photo morphing machines in Vegas where you could both get a picture taken and see what your child would look like. I look at the two of them and I don't see him as the end result.

In case you need good reading for summer I recommend Fairy Tales and Nightmaresby Serena Valentino and Fsc. The graphic novel just came out and I picked one up to have signed at San Diego Comic Con. Tom Beland has new book coming out, True Story, Swear to God: 100 Stories. He is really funny and Piro especially liked Dancing Crab. Uh, and don't forget Megatokyo Volume 1. I even wrote a little something for it about the early days of MT. It's riveting!

And very cool and very sweet, Piro stood in line and had Neil Gaiman sign a copy of his book Coraline for me while he was at Penguicon. He even drew a rat. He writes and draws. Multi-talented people annoy me. And that includes Piro!


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