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Tag: microsoft

Net: Checking Sites on Multiple Browsers

Until yesterday, if I was doing a design for a website I would either need access to multiple machines with multiple different web browsers on multiple different operating systems – or (and this is the route I took), just set up virtual machines (I used Microsoft VirtualPC which is free of charge) to get as many environments running as possible and then just cross my fingers.

But no longer is this needed! I’ve just come across which generates previews of your website in around 60 different browsers/browser versions/operating systems with you giving the chance to specify if Java/Javascript/Flash should be enabled or disabled, which screen resolution should be used, what colour depth etc. So if you’ve been developing in a 1280×1080 64million colour Windows Vista with Windows IE 7 environment, but wanted to check it looked ok on Safari on an Apple Mac in 800×600 or Epiphany 2.20 on Linux FreeBSD 6.3 in 8 bit colour, now you can!

It is free of charge by default, although you can pay just $10 a month for “priority previews” if you wanted.

Techy: Microsoft Fasttrack2 C#.Net

My Microsoft CertificateI’ve just completed a 5 day Microsoft course (and I bet many people that read this blog never ever expected me to say or speak those words!) entitled “MS2124ADOE: Fasttrack 2 C#.Net Part 1: Object Essentials and Re-orientation to C#”. Quite a mouthful!

Basically, the course is about Microsoft C Hash (or C Sharp as the USians like to call it) and a little bit of Microsoft’s .Net (which was basically Microsoft’s response to Java). I found it extremely simple to get my head around – maybe because I’ve done standard ANSI C programming nearly 10 years ago and I understand the concepts of Object Orientated Programming (OOP) as I spend the majority of my time in PHP code (ok, mainly PHP4 code which isn’t that OOP, but has a little bit).

The only bits I had slightly trouble understanding was Events and Delegates (as I’ve not needed to use anything like that before in PHP), but once I “mentally mapped” them to RISC OS’s callbacks, it was simple. It was quite strange that out of the six of us there (2 with PHP backgrounds, 1 with Java background, myself [mixed backgrounds] and 2 Microsoft Visual Basic programmers), it was the Visual Basic programmers which had the most trouble with the course.

Why did I go on the course? I got sent on it by my manager, and I’ve still got no idea why – we have a single application running on C#.Net which, admittedly, I currently “look after” – but it’s closed source (we don’t have any access to the source code and any changes I could make have been at the database layer) and we’re going to be replacing it with a PHP version before the end of the year… We were informed on the course that C# programmers do tend to earn the “big bucks” so whether my boss is trying to drop me a hint ;)…

It wasn’t a too bad course and it made a change to leave the house at a reasonable time (8am) instead of silly early (7am) – and, despite the fact the training centre was over double the distance away from my house than work is, I still got there faster! Now I’m just pondering whether to turn more to “the dark side” and get more Microsoft training and maybe even certified (either Microsoft certified or mentally certified – but those two do not have to be exclusive! 🙂 . The only downfall I can see is that it is likely that any future certificates are more likely to be signed by Steve “Monkey-boy I-f****king-hate-Google, where’s-the-chairs?” Ballmer than William “Damn good marketer” Gates III.

Out with the old PC, in with the New Vista Ultimate Machine

Sorry I’ve been absent from blogging for a while – my old Dell Dimension 4550 PC (which has lasted me just 2months shy of 5 years) practically failed. The power fan had been making funny noises for nearly 2 years on and off (rectified by just blindly plunging a screwdriver into the back of the power unit when it made a noise – not at all recommended) and the primary hard drive started failing. Yes, I know I could have just replaced the hard drive (at a cost of around 70 GBP for over 200Gb), but I couldn’t run certain large photo-editing applications on it as it had a measly 3/4Gb of RAM 🙁

So I splurged out with a combination of a new widescreen TFT Samsung SyncMaster 2032BW monitor from PC World – £180 (my old CRT was still in perfect working order after the nearly 5 years usage, but took up so much desk space), an extra 2GB kit (1GBx2), Ballistix 240-pin DIMM RAM from Crucial (£49.99) and the biggest purchase of all – a Dell Dimension XPS 420 with an Intel Viiv Q6600 Quad Core 2.40Ghz Processor, 2Gb RAM (giving a total of 4Gb), 16x DVD+/- RW drive (at long last – the old Dimension could never write DVDs for some reason), 512MB Nvidia Geforce 8800GT card, 2x 500Gb Hard drives and Microsoft Vista Ultimate. Total price (including VAT and delivery) – £760.75.

Was I disappointed and what did I think of Vista?

Net: Major Site Changes Across the Internet

Well, it seems Google has admitted that there is a problem with their search engine (after all the news coverage after the “Florida Update” where lots of sites went ‘missing’ – take a look at the New Google Website and let me know what you think.

As for the BBC, well, I’m pleased to announce that as from now – I’m providing all the news for them! Don’t believe me – check yourself!

(Ok, ok – it’s a bug in Internet Explorer, Mozilla and many other browsers – but if you are on Windows you can get a patch from WindowsUpdate – thanks to CNN).

In other news – do NOT trust any links on sites or in email – that Paypal or Ebay site may not be what it seems…