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Thoughts and observations about language

Accent Drift

Most people around here pronounce days of the week normally. Mon-Day, Fry-Day, etc. Far less often, though, a certain accent variant equates it to a differenr pronunciation, dee. Tues-dee, Sun-dee, and so on and so forth. I'm not quite sure where that accent variant comes from, as I don't hear it very offen to tell, but it is there. And I have it myself.

As I've mentioned before, for strong accent differences I will absorb them into my own speech. For only short term situations, like calls in my work, it is only temporary, though something I have to fight off. Longer exposure has more lasting effects, such as some of the effects of my Japanese studies. As for my shift in pronunciation of days, that can be equated to my 7th grade math teacher, Mr. Burke. He spoke with an accent that used those all the time, and having him for several years (Algebra in 7th grade, as well as another class for our MathCounts team) caused me to absorb that.

I don't pronounce the word 'day' itself like that, just the days of the week.



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Date: 25 Feb 2009 - 19:53
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Layout Space

Way back in the day, I bought my first LCD. At the time, I didn't want to spend the money for a 24" monitor, so had bought a 20" widescreen, with a resolution of 1680x1050. It's worked well, and I've had it for two years now. However, more recently, my decision has left me with some constraints, as developing on the XBOX has needed me to have a 1080i/p option for testing and developing on, which I've been doing on a 62" DLP TV in my apartment, however that is often not easy enough an access to do this. So I took my tax return from this year to upgrade, adding a new 24" LCD into my setup.

An incredible amount of space is hard to find use for at first. When I moved from my 15" CRT to the 20" LCD, I was going from a resolution of 1024x768 to 1680x1050, roughly double the screen area. It took a little time to get adjusted to using all that space, but then I did and got to the point where I needed more. 1920x1200 isn't that much higher than 1680x1050, however in addition to that, I still have the other to use as a second monitor. I was doing dual monitor way back when, with two CRTs, but had to stop when a video card had gone out. Right now I'm having a little diffuculty remembering that I have placed things on the 2nd monitor, and losing them, but with time that will pass, and probably with more time I will be looking for even more space.



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Date: 25 Feb 2009 - 03:19
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Referral Remix

Some time back, I was just reminded, Notebook Forums ran a contest. The contest was meant to bring in new members, and revolved around the forum's referral system. What you needed to do to get an entry was for someone to register, mark you down as the referral, and then they had to post some meaningful posts. For the most part the contest went over well. However, a less than honorable member created a very strange situation. He created an unwitting invasion.

His medium was MySpace. He had put the referral registration link on his page. However, he didn't notate it as the referral registration as it was. Instead he had set it up as a scam. He had disguised the link as some sort of hit tracker that you had to register to get, which resulted in tons of people registering and posting, trying to find. All at once, the forums were filled with a bunch of people looking for this tracker, pages and pages of threads. In the end, after hours of invasion, a mass banning had to be done to stop it all, and a large amount of work to remove the surge of threads. The exact number escapes me, because as I recall his account had to be deleted entirely to stop it, but there was over 200 people that had registered. A flood, an invasion, and a completely unexpected situation through an attack of social engineering, resulting in hundreds of innocent casualties that didn't even want to be there in the first place.



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Date: 20 Feb 2009 - 21:05
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Transparent Alignment

Continuing on with my last post about transparency, I am currently working on revamping the AnacondaSoftware website, with a new design that will unify the main site, the DevBlog, and the Forum, with integrating the main site as well into PivotX. At the moment in a test server I'm working on the template, which will be similar to the AnacondaSoftware site currently: a blade of information centered down the middle of the page.

At the moment I have begun my layout buttons, and I have also stuck on there a small black square at 50% opacity, to see the translucency for myself. I'm booted into Windows Seven right now, to test it under IE8 Beta, and something different happened: the blade is not centered on the page.

Instead it is off to the left, with everything aligned based on that. Setting IE8 to Compatibiltiy Mode moves it all back into the center where it's supposed to be. I'm implementing this in pure CSS, no javascript, and it loads fine in IE7 and Firefox, so I'm not sure what is going on. IE8 should be improving upon the standards compliency, so am I then using something non-standard to center it?

Oddly enough the AnacondaSoftware site as it is currently has it's centering working just fine, and as I recall that is written in pure CSS as well, so I will have to compare the style sheets between them to try and fix this.



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Date: 15 Feb 2009 - 06:42
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Facebook Integration

This isn't really going to be much, mainly what I want to do with this post is test how Facebook handles RSS feeds from other blogs, to see what it looks like. So I guess I have to wait a couple hours before it checks the RSS feed.



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Date: 14 Feb 2009 - 22:08
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Transparency

Years ago, when I was doing more web design, and was employed doing it as well, the internet was stagnated. IE6 was the norm, and so things were very non-standard, and hackish as everyone had to deal with a browser that was not standards-compliant. Firefox was just beginning to get market share, and IE7 was under development, and finally the growth of the internet continued as a new browser war began and pushed forward standards and features.

At the time, one particular thing I didn't like was the fact that I couldn't use transparency in PNGs. As such, I couln't easily make flexible layouts using PNGs with only partial areas, because IE6 would render the transparent areas as white. Which would mean you would have to use GIFs for anything you would need transparent areas, which then meant you had to deal with the 255 color pallette limit, which wasn't a really feasable idea either. All in all, it meant for a lot of pain in site development.

I haven't really done much since then as far as web development. I knew in IE7 they fixed transparency settings for PNGs, however, up until today, I didn't know that that fix also allowed use of an even greater feature: translucency, or partial transparency. In fact I only discovered it by accident, because I found it on an example page of a different method for having an image fill the whole browser window and automatically resizing.

Having that feature in all the major browsers opens up so much more possibilities.



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Date: 14 Feb 2009 - 02:58
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Polishing Work

So at this point I guess PivotX is actually basically stable, but its not a final release yet just because the developers haven't finished up the new site or documentation for it. So I'll be working on moving over to that soon, after I finish up some testing. For now, since the template format is finalized, I have finished the work on my templates, and have everything matching up now. Next work will be to port the templates to the page/chapter system so I can add those sort of static pages and have everything still uniform, I will look at that tomorrow maybe.



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Date: 12 Feb 2009 - 04:37
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Sanity Check

The word of the day is logorrhoea, a perfectly hilarious and fitting word to describe such an annoying behavior.



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Date: 07 Feb 2009 - 01:48
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Starting Capital

One of the things I don't really like the idea of is the high cost of development tools. I mean, that's fine and all when purchasing it as a business, but as an individual, purchasing it for myself for personal and contract work, the high cost is a lot harder to swallow as a low-income indvidual.

A various number of things fit in here: Photoshop, 3D Studio Max/Lightwave (my personal choice), Flash, Visual Studio, Office, and so on and so forth. Tools that simply aren't that feasable for individuals, but for most the individual doesn't need things so powerful so there are lighter alternatives. For most things, there are also good Open-source alternatives, too. For Photoshop, there's the Open Source software Gimp (for serious editing), as well as Paint.NET (for simpler things). For somet time I used Paint Shop Pro, but I didn't like the changes made to it after 8 and so I had to switch for my day to day tools. For 3D there's the open source Blender, which, while hard to figure out at first glance, is designed to get things done fast so once you get the hang of how to use the interface things can be done very well. For Visual Studio, there's a myriad of tools, the actual Platform SDK has the compilers included in it, and Microsoft nowadays offer the feature-limited Express Editions of the individual IDE's. For Office, there's of course the open-source OpenOffice.org, and Corel is still around with WordPerfect, which is also my personal preference.

However there isn't really anything for Flash. There have been a few various cheaper tools over the years, but rather feature limited. As far as anything is concerned, basically the only option is to use Flash. The problem when it comes to us with low budgets is the cost, as of right now a new copy of Adobe Flash CS4 is around $700, with the upgrade version costing $200. It's simply not something feasable on my budget, without taking out a business loan which I would want to avoid. The problem, however, is that the last choice, open source software, will be somewhat diffucult to work with. I have found several libraries, but they would all be generating things from code only, and not any sort of visual IDE to work with. Not a problem, in my case, being a programmer that works that way in the first place, but from what I read it seemed quite difficult to actually compile into SWF's. So I'm going to have to look into those further.



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Date: 04 Feb 2009 - 01:54
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