Archive for February, 2010


Firefox tab position redux

FirefoxI heart Firefox. It’s quick, has a slew of add-ons that make my browsing a breeze and I’ve got it set-up just how I like it. But those crazy developer types think they know better and in the last 3.6 update, they decided that new tabs opened from a link should appear directly to the right of the parent tab instead of at the end of the list as in the past. Pretty logical but grumpy old me can’t get on with this change.

For a start, it’s not consistent. Opening a previous or next page in a new tab (by middle-clicking on the back or forward buttons) doesn’t follow the new to-the-right pattern but instead opens the new tab in the old place, right at the end of your current tab list. Also, if you open a child tab, click to view it and then close it, you’ll now be viewing the page to the right of the parent tab rather than the parent itself. It’s a small annoyance but one that doesn’t gel with my ‘how it should work’ world view. So rather than put up with these (admittedly tiny) niggles, I figured I’d just switch back to the old system.

After a little searching, I found the fix. Open a new tab and put this in the address bar…


…and tap <return>. Click past the “I promise not to go in like a bull in a china shop!” warning and you’ll be presented with a loonnngggg list of settings. This is basically all the stuff you can tweak in Firefox but the devs would rather you didn’t in case you bugger something up. Simply scroll down the list until you spot…


It’ll be set to ‘true’. Right click the entry and select toggle so it reads ‘false’. You can close that tab and now, when you open a new child tab, Firefox will respond as it used to. Of course, if you get sick of trawling to the end of your tabs for new pages then simply open the config again and toggle it back.

And… if you’re still using that ramshackle stack of bugs commonly known as Internet Explorer, then please (insert stream of insults veiled as a recommendation to switch to another browser, here).


Spirit for iPhone and iPod Touch

A few days ago a friend of mine, Marco Mazzoli, released his first iPhone/iPod Touch game called ‘Spirit‘.

It really is a great game, one which I thoroughly recommend and I’m not just saying that because Marco will find out where I live, and beat me to death with a sock full of batteries while I sleep if I don’t… is a friend but because it looks great, it’s very slick and the gameplay is incredibly more-ish.

Previously, you’d have to go along to the iTune Store page and stare vacantly at the screenshots presented there, trying to imagine what those lovely images would look like if only they moved… as if by magic! Well, not any more as Marco has put together a video of the gameplay and made it available on YouTube.

Now, in theory, I should be able to embed it on this post…


So, as you can see, an excellent game and definitely one you should rush off and purchase right now! Especially since it’s still available for the low, low price of  $0.99 / £0.59!


PNG me?

Wordpress 2.7I mentioned updating my theme in my last post and while lack of time is a pretty big hurdle for building a new front-end for, another problem is an iffy design choice I made when I first created the site.

Originally, I wanted the images I used in posts to blend smoothly with the background. GIFs give a simple level of transparency but it’s an on/off deal – hardly what I was looking for. PNGs are the other option but when the format first appeared they were barely supported and even when they became more widespread, a few dopey hold-outs still handled them badly. So I created images with the background colour blended into them. Looked good, nice small file… but an absolute pain in the chuff to re-do any time you moved to a theme with a different background colour.

Hopefully, these days, browsers have come a little further and the chance of encountering some backward, hill-billy software that can’t handle a simple PNG image correctly should be pretty slim. By converting images on the site over time to PNGs, I at least remove that stumbling block for when I do have some time for a proper shuffle.

The images will be bigger, unfortunately, but that’s okay, right? You’re all on beefy bandwidth connections, yeah? No? Oh well, sucks to be you.


Twitter buh-bye!

TwitterMmmmm. Okay, so on reflection I’m not particularly happy with just blatting my Twitter updates straight into my site’s feed. Don’t get me wrong – more content on here, no matter how puerile and flimsy is always going to be the goal but the problem was that my current theme isn’t particularly conducive to small scribbles of info as whole posts. The date and category boxes demand just a touch more meat on each bone and frankly, having the first 30 characters of the tweet as the title of the post looked downright naff (and damn hard to orchestrate into something meaningful when trying to already condense your thoughts into 140 characters). So for now it’s tata Twitter.

I did try out a number of different Twitter widgets which, I must say, on a different theme would be great but mine just tends to either break them or look remarkably wonky. If I had more than five minutes here and there free on such a problem, this might have pushed me over then edge and caused a whole new theme revision. But as it stands, I’ve simply not enough time so I’ve stripped out the plug-ins altogether.

One day I’ll revisit the whole situation but for now, if you want my Twitter-shaped bullets of bullshit, you’ll just have to get them from the source.