Year: 2004



Many many MANY thanks to Adrian and Jann for their sage advice and time.

I tried Jann’s advice first – as it was the simplest, namely adding <br style="clear: both;" /> right before the closing DIV tag. Whaddya know, it worked straight away. I’m not sure which I’m more relieved about, the fact it now works in IE AND Firefox (other browsers and versions still to be checked), or that it wasn’t anything I’d coded but a ‘gotcha’ with the Mozilla based browsers. Seemingly it’s “one of those things”, meaning it’s one of those things you learn once and never ever forget!

Now this does mean that my beloved Firefox browser is flawed slightly but it’s still a safer browser than IE – 12.5 million downloads can’t lie! (yes, I know that statistics ALWAYS lie but that’s not my point).

So, without further ado you can ALL have a gander at the 2005 version of this site. Comments welcomed and bear in mind it’s not completely finished yet.

UPDATE: Apologies to Shelagh, I posted this late last night (early this morning) and didn’t spot the code snippet wasn’t showing.


Further to this post (two self links in one day, tut tut), I received this via email:

“Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.” – Rich Cook

How true.


Can anyone spot what is wrong with this snippet of CSS?

Works fine in IE but not in Firefox – argh!! The background image (maincolumn.gif) won’t repeat vertical down the column in Firefox yet it works fine in IE.

.rigid-demo { margin: 0 auto; text-align: left; width: 790px; background: url(../images/maincolumn.gif) repeat-y; }

P.S. This is NOT a reason NOT to use Firefox! It’s my shoddy coding that’s to blame, and lack of l33t CSS skills, or however the kids are saying it these days.

UPDATE: OH ARSE. Still can’t get it to work. Sample page here, CSS here, background image here.

The CSS file validates OK.

Why oh why oh why… Works fine in IE, no background image in Firefox. Chuff chuff chuff.


To mark the occasion of this post breaking the previous “most received” comments record, I invite you all to offer your opinions. Add your comments there. It’s all about environmental impact of cars over the individual’s right to choose what they want to drive. IS there a middle ground?


So I’ve upgraded to WordPress 1.2.2. Pretty smooth. I bet you never even noticed. Right?

Anyway, part of my redesign thoughts include making better use of some of the WordPress features. I’m still not overly bothered about using their comment feature, especially as HaloScan will be getting some new features in the New Year. However the category feature intrigues me, mainly because it’s a completely new thing to remember when posting. No categories in Blogger so it was pretty much a case of typing up my usual nonsense and pressing Post.

Ideally what I need is to be prompted to choose a category or two, every time I post. Alas the WordPress Plugins Database doesn’t have anything like that. I wonder how hard it would be to code one? Hmm a little holiday project maybe.

Mind you I’ll be working on a Wiki for HaloScan, as well as a little site redesign so I’d better not promise too much. After all I’ve got three bottles of Southern Comfort to get through. And all that food… crap movies on TV. Oh yes I’ll be busy busy busy.

UPDATE: Ohh and need to get trackbacks working properly – I’m getting emails saying that people have pinged a post but no way to see WHO has!


Looking ahead (yes already) I’ll be tweaking the design here again. It’s all a bit cluttered so I’ll be removing some bits and bobs I think – or moving them somewhere else.

Anyway, I’ve got a few ideas, mainly centred around adding a few graphical touches (nothing much, I like the fact the site loads quite quickly), and generally making it look a bit cleaner. Yes I know it’s pretty minimal at the moment, but I think I need to define the different parts a bit better. Thinking cap on!

What say you though? Do you use the blogroll? The archives? The search box? If I delete one thing here that would really piss you off, what would it be?

Or, what is missing? (Archives WILL make a return in the redesign, promise!)

UPDATE: Here’s a sneak peek of what may, or may not, be in store for you next year.

Gig this

Suggested t-shirt from last night’s gig:


Cos that’s just annoying, ain’t it? When it’s ALWAYS you that people are pushing past.


Not sure exactly what is was but I caught the end of some ‘environmental’ segment on BBC News this morning. A family had undertaken several pledges to try and improve their energy use, they’d lagged pipes, insulated the loft, realised that turning off electrical appliances would save them money, even installed a few solar panels to help with the heating costs. Aside from the last item nothing particularly ground-breaking really.

I should pause at this point and tell you that the family in question were living, I deduced, somewhere in the South East of England, a London suburb most probably (from the house style and accent if you must know, not hugely reliable).

Their final pledge was to investigate an alternative source of fuel for their car. The lady of the house informed us that, whilst she had written to Range Rover, they unfortunately did not have plans to offer an LPG (gas*) conversion kit.

That’s for the Range Rover. In the suburbs.

P.S. If anyone saw the full piece please feel free to correct me.

Joe's Head

Joe's Head

Carling Academy, Kings of Leon, ears still ringing.

Great gig from a very good rock band. The band was as tight as the lead singers trousers (which I’m pretty sure were painted on) and they paced the set perfectly. Similarly to Faithless, I wasn’t as taken with their second album – in comparison with their first that is – so it was a pleasant surprise to find that I had a few pauses where I realised that the song I was enjoying so much was from that self same second album.

From start to finish they were spot on. Loud, racuous and the epitomy of a good rock gig. Their songs are much harder live and all in all I’m a lot more impressed than I thought I would be.


“I like driving in my car,
It’s not quite a Jaguar.”

So they sang. But I bet they could drive one if they’d had one. It’s similar to the fact that newspapers are made of paper, and we all know how paper is made. Not sure I could make it but I know the theory. Same as driving a car. Couldn’t build one, but know how it works.

Alas one of the key influences in the ‘simplification’ of sites like Blogger is that there are more and more people who have a blog but don’t have the faintest idea how it worked. Now I know that’s kind of the point, or at least it’s the reason Blogger is so successful but what is really beginning to bug me is that people won’t take the time to learn the basics before ripping out the gearbox, and trying to replace the driveshaft.