Archive for August, 2006

Video cards consume more power than new CPUs


A while ago I subscribed to and regularly read Jeff Attwood’s blog where he spends a lot of time talking about the horror of bad design and code. Once in a while Jeff talks about hardware and throws out some interesting ditties. In his recent hardware related post Jeff says: “With the release of Intel’s Core Duo and Core Duo 2 chips, it’s finally happened– mainstream video card GPUs are about to overtake CPUs as the largest consumers of power inside your PC“. The post is chalked full of statistics and pretty graphs showing you power consumption of mainstream video cards and CPUs.

It will be interesting to see how the video card market responds to their power consumption issues. What magic does AMD have up their sleeve with the purchase of ATI? They were quick to say they will have CPU and GPU integration and lower power consumption. Will Intel get back into the video card game? An insider’s theory says “Yes”. What will Intel do though? With their new CPUs and motherboards, will they too merge the GPU and CPU or will they make lower power consumption graphic cards using Core 2 Duo technologies?

Beta feedback declares the official IE7 name “Internet Explorer 7”


A while back Microsoft declared Internet Explorer 7 to be referenced two different ways depending on what OS it was on. If on Vista it would have a trailing +.

Well, the people spoke up during the beta evaluation (they hated it), Microsoft listened, and now it’s back to the simple “Internet Explorer 7”. Read more here.

If only Nintendo would listen to the people and rename the stupid Wii back to Revolution.

Testing Web forms with foreign language characters


How do you insert foreign language characters into a Web form textbox? For example, what if you have a localized site for Spanish and the text box that is supposed to accept characters áÁéÉíÍóÓúÚñÑüÜ«»`¿¡— but you don’t have a Spanish keyboard. I’ve found and used three different techniques to obtain these types of characters so that I could put them into a Web form for testing.

  1. Find the character or character set on the Web, copy them and paste them into the textbox. Good references for character sets are: Unicode, official Unicode charts, Unicode transformation charts, HTML entities, ISO Latin-1, ASCII set and HEX values, Spanish punctuation.
  2. Use Microsoft Office (Word is easiest) to create the characters. If you know the Unicode value, you can type that value into the document (e.g. 2014) highlight it and press ALT+X. The number will then be converted to the character. This also works in reverse (convert the character back to the Unicode number, great for creating a regular expression using Unicode numbers).
  3. For ASCII characters, use ALT + the ASCII number on the numeric pad (e.g. ALT+0191 creates the ¿ character). You can do this directly in the browser/textbox.

Which is more secure IE7 or FireFox2


Ed Bott over at ZDNet revisits the infamous question: Which is more secure IE or FireFox? But this time Ed compares the betas of Interent Explorer 7 and FireFox 2. Long story short, after boiling it all down Ed decides that:

“Come this fall, when both browsers are officially released, the playing field will essentially be level.”

Read Ed’s review here.

How to view javascript errors in Internet Explorer 7


I habitually peruse the search queries report for to see what keywords bring users to the site. Occasionaly the keywords aren’t things that I’ve specifically talked about but are good ideas for future posts. A recent search phrase was “viewing javascript errors in IE 7”. It’s something I take for granted since I’ve been doing it for so long with IE 5-6, but there are peeps out there who want to know. So here is how to view javascript errors in Internet Explorer 7:

First off, with default IE7 settings, you just have to pay attention to the bottom-left corner of the browser. Keep your eyes peeled for the yellow yield icon:

Once you see the icon, double click it and a script error window will display itself:

Click the “Show Details” button and the script error window will expand showing you the loathed script error.

However, you don’t always happen to see that little icon in the bottom-left corner but you can make sure you don’t miss these script errors (really important as a tester) by enabling the Internet Options setting in IE (Tools > Internet Options > Advanced) labeled “Display a notification about every script error”. This setting is not enabled by default.

There you have it. Simple, but obviously some don’t know how simple.

Six reasons why Robert Scoble is Mini-Microsoft


Robert Scoble I’m onto you. I know you are Mr. Mini-Microsoft. Now, now before you roll your eyes and move on thinking this is just another half-hearted accusation lets go over my evidence. You see, I’ve been doing some Scobleizer and Mini-Microsoft blog forensics and have found some small facts that create some decent theories which lead me to believe that you are the person responsible for Mini-Microsoft. It’s all good, I’m a fan and a reader of both but you challenged us Scoble… You wanted to be anonymous. Being anonymous begged us to find who was responsible. That person is you. I know you know! But now the world must know. This is what I know:

It’s easiest to explain by walking through a timeline. So I’ll start from the beginning:

Theory #1
Scoble was hired by Microsoft in 05/2003 and started blogging shortly after in 09/2003. Mini-Microsoft was started in 07/2004.

In theory, after blogging for nearly a year with fear of losing his job for saying too much Scoble decided to find a better way to say what he wanted without that fear. Thus, Mini-Microsoft was born.

Theory #2
WordPress vs. Blogger. WordPress for Scobleizer,  Blogger for Mini-Microsoft. They aren’t the same. Switching it up so that we see no similarities. Subtle Scoble, subtle. You almost had me there!

Theory #3
This is my favorite piece of evidence. It was right there in front of us but we were too lazy to put the pieces together! We all know that Robert’s Mom grew sick and passed away in 05/2006 (I’m sorry Robert, my thoughts and prayers are with your family). During this time of support for his Mom Robert left work to be with her and if you follow his posts you’ll know that he wrote some occasional heart-wrenching posts about his Mom and his feelings as he went through this tough time. Mini-Microsoft went dry during this time. Here are the ever-so-convincing post timelines:

May 7th
Scobleizer: Last Microsoft/tech related post
Mini-Microsoft: Microsoft related post

May 8th
Scobleizer: Does a personal post about Mom’s condition and how he’s heading to Montana the next day

May 9th-18th
Scobleizer: No Microsoft/tech related posts. Only posts about the current Mom situation.
Mini-Microsoft: Absolutely no posts. Nothing. Nada. Why would he? He’s preoccupied!

May 19th
Scobleizer: He posts Back in the land of bandwidth and cell phones
Mini-Microsoft: He posts Still here

Theory #4
The post times don’t overlap. For example take this sampling of post times (as received by NewsGator):

Scobleizer Mini-Microsoft
Thu 7/20/2006 8:50 PM  
Thu 7/20/2006 8:32 PM  
Thu 7/20/2006 8:11 PM  
Thu 7/20/2006 5:50 PM  
Thu 7/20/2006 3:25 PM  
Thu 7/20/2006 3:23 PM  
Thu 7/20/2006 3:20 PM  
Thu 7/20/2006 2:49 PM  
Thu 7/20/2006 11:13 AM  
Thu 7/20/2006 10:58 AM  
  Thu 7/20/2006 8:22 AM
  Thu 7/20/2006 8:16 PM
  Thu 7/20/2006 6:05 AM
  Thu 7/20/2006 2:52 AM
  Wed 7/19/2006 8:14 PM
  Wed 7/19/2006 11:30 AM
Wed 7/19/2006 3:57 AM  
Wed 7/19/2006 3:33 AM  
Wed 7/19/2006 3:15 AM  
Wed 7/19/2006 3:15 AM  
Wed 7/19/2006 3:01 AM  
Tue 7/18/2006 5:20 PM  
Tue 7/18/2006 4:37 PM  
Tue 7/18/2006 3:28 PM  
Tue 7/18/2006 3:19 PM  
  Tue 7/18/2006 3:18 PM
Tue 7/18/2006 12:57 PM  
  Tue 7/18/2006 11:21 AM
  Tue 7/18/2006 11:10 AM

Theory #5
Duplicate coverage of news between the 2 blogs didn’t happen often. For example when Bill Gates decided to leave Microsoft Mini-Microsoft mentioned it but Scobleizer didn’t. Odd, why wouldn’t the Scobleizer mention somebody he respected and worked for?

Theory #6
Since Scoble quite Microsoft on 07/01/2006 there has been no juicy inside info on Mini-Microsoft. The posts are thoughts on information we all were already privy to.

So there you have it… I think Scoble wanted to be exposed though. He got sloppy, but he’s too smart to be sloppy! He didn’t care anymore. 

Now that you have the monkey off your back Robert you can now breathe a sigh of relief. The calm will eventually come but not too soon. Yes, you will be overwhelmed with questions, yes your integrity may be challenged, but this is nothing new for you and you perform well under the pressure. I believe that what you did is right and was in Microsoft’s best interest. Thank you for making Microsoft better Mr. Robert Scoble a.k.a. Mini Microsoft.

Readers, is it a load of BS?! You be the judge. The data is the data. The theories are… well theories. Time will tell. Either Scoble confesses or we decide with further evidence (e.g. Mini-Microsoft gives us no more juicy inside info since Scoble is no longer on the inside).

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