XRAY – bookmarklets can be so much fun

A blog entry by my friend Gareth prompted me to blog about this useful bookmarklet.

So you have the web developer toolbar, have solved all issues in Firefox, only to find IE doesn’t do the same.

What if you could click a bookmarked site, load a piece of javascript, then you simply click on any element on a page to display the element, id, class, hierarchy, positioning, border, margin and padding values in a pretty interface? Well sonny, with X-Ray (from http://westciv.com) you can!

X-Ray bookmarklet with h1 selected

The best bit is that it even works in IE, so you can troubleshoot any box model or double margin problems easily! It’s an excellent idea, and if I hadn’t already voted for jQuery, I would have voted for it in the innovation category of the .net magazine awards. Maybe you could vote in my stead!

Bubble 2.0??

Bubble 2.0?

My friend and colleague sent me a link to this PC Mag article

Oh dear! What I hope this does not mean is that I will keep working hard at developing my favascript, Flash, PHP ekcetera skills only to find that the job market is saturated with people fallen from grace in respective bust companies or that the purchasers and users of such online things are put off completely.

Personally I think that there will always be failures in any kind of business environment and t’internet is no different, however the current trend of jumping on the latest band wagon is dangerous and will add to “Bubble 2.0”. Creating the next social networking site, or the next video streaming site and investing everything into it is always going to be a big mistake – I just think that there would be less of an impact if the burst does happen if some people sat back and went “Actually they did it well enough and I won’t be able to compete.”

Of course there are the services that should be removed and destroyed – things like mySpace that is a total waste of time, space and effort. Bad code breeding bad designs, thousands of bands you’ve never heard of spamming you, hundreds of friends (I don’t think I have 1,00 friends anyway – nevermind that use myspace!), bored people bombarding you with pointless things (can be applied to facebook as well!) and owned by an evil (alledgedly) corporate giant.

Rant over.

Transformers and other random stuff

New Optimus Prime toy by Hasbro

So this weekend I had a nice weekend picnic-ing, then watched Transformers at the cinema. Sunday was the usual Sunday League training then couple of pints. Excellent weather both days, but I did have a couple of Transformers opinions I need to get off ny chest.

Firstly Bumble Bee wasn’t a Beetle. And to wind us up he’s parked nest to a battered Beetle in the car showroom who he dents with his door! OK, so the new Camero is fine and Bumble Bee wasn’t always a Beetle (just the best one was!). But changing at will between old Camero and new wasn’t right! OK I wan’t the biggest fan originally or of the comic but surely if the Transformers could change to anything they scan or touch then they could have all been F16s! Same with that anoying little radio/mobile phone thing!!

Secondly why was Optimus Prime a big rig instead of a nice flat fronted truck as I remember him!! I wish they’d left it as was, however I must say the new Hasbro Optimus Prime toy looks pretty impressive.

But apart from that the film was awesome and I enjoyed it a lot. The moments I really enjoyed were most of the Autobot lines, Optimus Prime getting his sword out and the whole fight sequences. I’ll look forward to the second film!!

Work wise I’ve had an interesting week, something came up, made work interesting, I made what I hope will be the right decision and that I can help make some interesting changes. That’s about all I’ll say for the minute! This wek will mostly be spent working out ways to use jQuery to “add value” to upcoming jobs. And learning AJAX more so I don’t get stuck with combining 2 different ajaxy implementations on one page!

And finally – Luke Young, Jonathan Woodgate, Tuncay Sanli and Alan Smith (hopefully) aint a bad list of signings for Boro this summer. Let’s get back in Europe boys!!

New Phone


So I finally decided to upgrade my old SPV for a newer model. After some hold ups in the Orange shop on Oxford Street, I decided on a HTC SPV E650. With a nice slide out QWERTY keyboard, the latest Windows mobile (I think), Mobile office, Windows Media Player and random other programs it should do everything I need.

It seems really good so far – although I think it’ll be susceptible to breakage when I keep opening and closing the keyboard in my pocket (fidgeting I think it’s called).

Add it to the free (except for the repair cost) laptop I got from work, I’ll feel on the cutting edge of technology (yetstill be a few years behind).

Next thing to do is try and get a bigger micro SanDisk memory card for my phone, try the programs on my new phone, and find a power supply for my “new” laptop. Answers on a postcard if you know where to find a power supply for a HP Compaq Nx9010!

New PC!

OK, so after a few credit card issues, my lovely parents finally managed to get me my new PC to replace my broken, but well used DELL Dimension. After the disappointment of the inability to change anything hardware wise on the DELL, I decided I’d go for a nice HP Compaq dc5700 with Windows XP Pro (I’ll let everyone else test Vista first!).

All was going well, however my memory won’t go from DELL to HP (no big deal, I’ll get compatible soon!) but the main issue is I didn’t get a recovery CD. This means I’m left with one huge partition and a smaller HP set up recovery partition. WHY I hear you shout! Apparently due to licensing issues from Microsoft – but why shouldn’t I be able to reformat and arrange my operating system as I wish!? Do I need Microsoft’s permission to install a Linux partition? let alone bring some order to my huge hard drive that HP kindly provided with the product!

Don’t get me wrong, the product as a whole seems great, I’m quite happy with it, however I’d prefer to be able to organise the software as I like, rather than have everything on one huge partition and not even the option of adding a linux partition.

And finally, before anyone suggests it, the HP protected recovery partition even stops me using a third party product such as Partition Magic to rearrange my hard disk. Damn them!