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HTMLfixIT Archive for the ‘Web Design’ Category

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 by Don

I have been trying to find a forum software I really like. I used phpbb for a few, but have not been all that happy. I tried Vanilla and like it overall, but it seems to have some issues, like for example with incompatible plug-ins and absent plug in’s it isn’t all that powerful. So I tried this comparison site It is pretty good. It compares and contrasts between a number of the popular programs so that you can pick. I found mybb this way and it looks quite good so far.


Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 by Don

I have not made a favicon for a bit, so I figured I’d whip one up today. I did a quick google search (still my favorite search engine after all these many years) and I found a nice little utility to whip a favicon up. It allows you to download it and the only bad thing about it is that it is all zipped up and you need to unzip it to use it. It worked perfectly for me.

some random favicons

What is a favicon? Well it is a little teenie image that appears to the left of your url in the address bar (three examples above) and then shows under your bookmarks or favorites in many cases.

So who has the best favicon you have ever seen? Drop a comment so we can check them out. They are very limited because really they are simply 32 pixels square and well … that doesn’t leave much room for detail now does it?


Thursday, October 4th, 2007 by Don

Robert Scoble Video - buffering message covers the advertisers’ logosI just visited Robert Scoble’s page where he is “attacked” by a robotic helicopter. I get buffering on the video and guess what? The buffering message covers what may be the most important part of the video, his advertisers’ logos. This gives some reason to question a lower left layout for video. Perhaps an upper right placement of logos would be better? What do you think?

As a designer on the web we are constantly faced with questions from traditional print designers. Why can’t we control every element? How come it looks different on this screen or that browser. Video is no exception, you need to think about the medium and consider placement to maximize your screen — taking into account things like the buffering messages. Sure some people are at such high speeds that they may not buffer. Others, not so much as is shown by the screenshot above.

1 Comment »

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 by Don

I happened on yesterday.

I really liked a couple of things I took the time to look at:
1. Fall Colors: I have always loved the richness of Autumn Colors. I have brought leaves into the house and stolen/copied their colors before. This site does it well and both the article and readers responses suggest some great color palettes.
2. The history of color: why are things that color? Why is a true blue American … blue? Why do you use an old yellow ribbon on your oak tree?

Here is a site I think I’ll visit again.

1 Comment »

Friday, August 17th, 2007 by Don

As you know we are a big fan of shared work on the net. Someone today pointed out a PHP mail form handler script that appears to be drafted with some thought to avoiding spam, serves as a nice replacement for Matt’s Old Perl Formmail Script and even helps you to configure itself.

I have not examined the coding, but they certainly address many of the issues I would be concerned about in their text and claim they are on top of those issues.

I am looking forward to giving it a try and digging into the code a bit.

As a web designer, if you install formmail scripts, you should log those installations and check at least quarterly to see if they have been updated. While this script claims no known vulnerabilities that have been exploited, of course there is someone out there as we speak trying to find one. Eventually if you don’t keep upgrading, changing, etc. they catch up to you so regular updates (this script was updated yesterday) are good.


Wednesday, July 11th, 2007 by Don

Robert Scoble asks what happened to it. Where did ICQ go? Well, we still use it for our support forum … sort of. We run our own chat channel, but to be honest don’t sit in it much. Why? It can sometimes be distracting I guess and frankly I just forget to turn it on. Want to discuss an issue in there? Simple, drop us a line with the contact form and ask us to jump in there. We usually will.

In our case we run our own perl script for the chat channel and you can simply use your browser to connect to us. We tend to use MIRC a low cost IRC Client and then we use voice software to read the content of the chat room. Back when we both had more available time we could spend hours answering questions. To be honest, we decided at some point that we could only help those who had a quicker question and some people we had to refer on to other sources (like google the question and pick the right answer). Still, being able to bounce it off of someone in chat can sometimes be the breakthrough you need. We can be there for you, just ask.


Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007 by Franki

Recently I had to create a website for a customer that contained quite a long video clip. After much searching around and some experimentation with wmv and divx I decided to use Flash. After all, if it’s good enough for YouTube…… Flash can achieve very good compression rates while maintaining “watchability” and was supported by a larger percentage of the population than any other format, which was exactly what I needed. The video I had to work with was 1.8 gigabytes, so the compression I needed was going to have to be pretty extreme.

Next step was to find a free (preferably) tool to do the encoding, which I figured would mean I’d lose the very latest codecs, (and right I was) but I was hopeful I’d still achieve the results I needed. (and I did.)

After much searching I came across Super which is a video processing/encoding tool that offers flash encoding as one of its benefits. This is a well designed, functional piece of software and I got what I needed from it without once needing to read any documentation. However the design of the Super pages at the eRightsoft site is deplorable beyond measure and I can’t believe it was designed by the same people that created the tool. I could not download the tool from their website no matter how hard I tried, the page just kept looping. I had no proxy, no software firewall , nothing was blocking my referrer and I tried 3 browsers (IE, Firefox and Safari), then I gave up and downloaded it from Afterdawn.

I was thinking about writing a tutorial detailing the steps I took making my videos, but it really was too easy and not really worthy of one. The only tip I could really give is to right click on a blank part of the main window to see all the config settings.
The site I worked on was finished on time (2 days) and I had a perfectly watchable 10MB flash video embedded in the page as well as offering Xvid, DivX and WMV higher quality versions available for download. Perfect!


This site is totally free to use, you have absolutely no moral or legal obligations to help us continue.
There are however, some costs involved in running the site.

<random humor>
Plus Franki needs fish food for his little friends.
</random humor>

So if this site helped you find your way, perhaps you could consider contributing to our costs. Whatever amount you feel this site was worth to you would be just wonderful.
Use PayPal if you do decide to share and help us with the costs and in appreciation for our time and attention, or alternatively buy a book from our Bookstore..

  Time  in  Don's  part  of the world is:   April 22, 2024, 10:15 pm
  Time in Franki's part of the world is:   April 23, 2024, 11:15 am
  Don't worry neither one sleeps very long!

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Browser Statistics
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IE 717.63%
IE 62.3%
IE 50.00%
IE other8.6%
Moz Firefox 3.x3.03%
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1600 x 12001.02%
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Windows 20033.91%
Windows XP20.86%
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Windows 98/ME0.05%
Windows 950.00%
Mac OSX8.03%
Mac Classic0.00%

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