Archive for web

Review: Browsershots

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , on Friday, 29 May 2009 by Deems

BrowserShots-Logo

As a web developer I’m almost always tasked with ensuring that websites and web applications I build not only work but look good in the popular browsers for the target platform. Sometimes you may get a client with some obscure version of a browser (not necessarily Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome) and you don’t have that platform available to test it locally to try and replicate the issue and hopefully fix it.

browsershots-search

Along comes Browsershots – a website with a very simple front-end. Type in the address to the page you wish to view (obviously needs to be hosted online already and not a password protected site) and select as many or as few browsers (and platofmrs) to test, whether or not JavaScript and/or Flash is required or not (even which version must be avaialble) and even screen resolutions and colour depths. Click the button, and sit back.

browsershots-browsers

browsershots-options

Through what I’m assuming are multiple virtual machines on their servers which are instructed to browse to the site you requested and then a screenshot is taken of that browser and added to your screenshot queue.

It will notify you of the progress, whether or not the browser screenshot will be available or approxiamtely how long it will be before your screenshot is queued and taken.

browsershots-queuedetails

The site even allows you to download all the screenshots in a single ZIP file – how handy is that.

I’m definitely bookmarking this site for my next browser-compatibility issue resolution!

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Broken Picture Telephone game review

Posted in Funny, General with tags , , , , , , on Friday, 6 March 2009 by Deems

I’m sure most, if not all, of you are familar with the game of quick draw, called Pictionary. And if you know it or have played it before you know how much fun it can be and what hailarious results come out of someone drawing their interpretation of a word or phrase and their partner having to guess that word or phrase.

Okay, now keep that idea in mind, got it? Good.

Now, remember the game you might have played when you were younger or in school, called broken telephone (or Chinese whispers)? You know the one, find a group of people and have one person whisper a phrase to one person, then that person whispers it to the next and so on until you get to the last person who repeats the message to the first. Then laugh at how the message got changed somewhere along the way.

Get that idea? Now, imagine the hilarious results if you put the two together? You then get the Broken Picture Telephone game. 

You can either start your own game, or join in an existing game. Whenever someone takes a turn they only ever see the previous phrase and have to draw it’s representation or the previous picture and have to describe what they see as accurately as possible. Oh, and just like most games, there’s a 10-minute time limit to each go. 

Once the last person has played the game you were a part of you get emailed a notification that the game has been completed with a link to the game so that you can see how it progressed and what the result was. 

Then you get things that start out like this:

bpt-pic1

Progress to something like this:

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And finally, amazingly, end up with this:

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Just take a look at some of the previous games I have been involved in for more hilarious examples.

Thanks to onelargeprawn for spotting this one!

Did you know, you already have your own brand?

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , , , , , on Monday, 2 March 2009 by Deems

Yup, thanks to the likes of Google and it’s almost endless terabyte indeces of information, you have a brand. And with the ever growing social-networking applications and websites, it’s even easier to build (or destroy) your brand.  The Wayback Machine’s Web Archive helps in this respect too.

You may have noticed, I mentioned “or destroy” your brand in the paragraph above. It’s because of the above that everything you do and say on the Internet (even sometimes not directly on the Internet, called Deep Web) is archived. More importantly is that it is searchable by just about anyone with a computer and access to the Internet. 

Take for example, the recent banter on my Money Wasted post, where you can quickly see in the comments how someone is ruining their reputation by what they do, say and how they say things on the Internet.

Another good example is the case mentioned by Seth on his blog, of someone looking for a housekeeper on Craigslist and googled the three prospective applicants and found them to be a binge-drinker, someone who admits quiting at the drop of a hat and someone convicted of shoplifting. 

So next time, before you say or do something online, think about what it’ll do to your brand.

To-do List Apps

Posted in General, Technology with tags , , , , on Thursday, 7 August 2008 by Deems
Albert Einstein's To-do List

Albert Einstein's To-do List

If you like being organised like I do, you probably use to-do lists, personal and work-related ones. Well if you do and want to know some of what is out there, or want to see if there’s another one you like and might use instead then LifeHacker’s latest post on Five Best To-Do List Managers will help you. It showcases 5

Personally, I like to use Outlook’s tasks and calendar to manage my daily reminders.