Dev Tip: Rounded Corner Generator

Got a question today from my friend George about the best way to make rounded corners.  I listed some choices, with pros/cons of each:

I ended up recommending static images as the best combination of performance and compatibility, at the expense of developer time.  Then it occurred to me: surely I’m not the only lazy one — someone must’ve already made a web-based wizard to quickly create sets of corner images for download and installation.  Could it be??

Google says Voila!  Jalenack’s Complete Rounded Corners Creator

I say Sweet!  I tell ya, kids these days got it easy!

Coding/Debugging Music?

This is totally bizarre, but for well over a year now, I’ve found myself with a certain song in my head when I’m really troubleshooting code.  I only get that song in my head when I’m working hard, and I always realize it after the fact.

Even more intriguing is Which song:   “Axel F” by Howard Faltermeyer

Yes, as in Eddie-Murphy-the-wisecracking-80s-cop movie.

No, I’m no big fan of his (Howard’s or Eddie’s), nor of that song (except as it defined part of the 80s, me being a music buff thereof).  So could there some quality to that song which is uniquely similar to the coding process as they both involve to the brain?  In other words, do they tickle the same gray stuff?

Dunno, but I’d love to know if this happens to anyone else.



Hm, looks familiar…

Cool trick here — Collylogic: Scroll Fade

Notable quote:

Using IE or some antiquated crap? You see a big nasty block where the PNG is. If I cared about you, I’d hide the fade class from you by giving you your own stylesheet.

What really grabbed my attention is that when I did this same special effect several years ago for just IE, I didn’t need a PNG (so no separate download slowing it down & further loading the server).  I just used IE‘s CSS Visual Filters, which I wish other browsers would support.

It could be fairly trivial to combine the two techniques for a cross-browser method.  Or heck, just fix IE‘s PNG rendering with another CSS Visual Filter.

Fun Experiment: Site Gallery

So I’ve had this chain of dev ideas.  Hopefully I’ll get back to showing off the ancestor here eventually, but this one’s fun & ready enough to share now. 

Basically, I like Windows XP Explorer’s “slideshow” view for images.  It’s a great interface.  By various (non-intentional) routes, I ended up making a web-based equivalent to that interface — except not for images, it’s for entire websites.

It’s probably better demonstrated than explained. Take a look here (in IE!):,,,,

Yes, it’s IE-only.  Fortunately this is not production code, just an experiment.  If the other browsers had an equivalent to CSS Visual Filters (in this case the zoom filter, used to create the live thumbnails), I’d’ve been there in a heartbeat (heartthrob?), but alas, no such luck…

The fun part is the querystring: just put your own site URLs at the end (separated by commas) and you’ve got your own gallery, fully bookmarkable. 

The magic is all done in browser javascript, so my server is quite unaware of what sites are being loaded (go ahead & view source).  If there’s interest, I’ll zip it up for easy download.

I’m sure there are limitations to the total number of sites it could handle.  The first is probably how much your machine’s RAM (since it loads each site in its own IFRAME).  The next would be IE’s querystring length (1024 characters?).  Regardless, my original intent was only to keep easy tabs on a few internal “dashboard” sites, and while it technically is some sort of aggregator, I certainly would not use it to read 1000 blogs!

Toy around with it.  I’d love to hear what you think.

Discovered: MS-DOS 7.10, hrm?!

Apparently someone ripped out the underlying DOS from Windows 98 and made it work as a standalone OS.  (Unfortunately, the main site is down, but there’s a good info & a download mirror here.)

Why, you ask? So you can keep using old hardware, but with better disk support, FAT32, drivers, etc.

Fun stuff.  I’ve already installed it.  I’m looking forward to silliness like running the Windows 3.1 shell on top of it!

Main info site (seems to be down): MS-DOS 7.10 Download

Main info site (google cache): MS-DOS 7.10 Download

Download Mirror: Forums – Old Operating System Links

So what’s this blog currently made of?

  • .Text 0.95, extremely customized
  • Windows 2003 Server, IIS 6, & MSSQL 2000
  • Dell Optiplex 733Mhz, 384MB RAM, ~10GB mirrored drives, and a crappy Belkin UPS
  • ~3mBps / 1mBps residential ADSL
  • much love, frustration, and self-nitpicking

Nothing so fancy as a kitchen appliance, but I’m impressed anyway.

Figured I’d better justify the “meta-throbs” post category.  Hey wait a sec, was that meta-meta??

2005-10-01 – IPBOOTB errors


My SBS 2003 box was getting this error several times a day:
“IPBOOTP was unable to receive an incoming message on the local interface with IP address x.x.x.x . The data is the error code.”


Most applicable suggestions I found said to either disable the DHCP Relay Agent service, or install a Win2000 hotfix.  No luck for me, though, since the service wasn’t installed, and I’m on SBS 2003.


Microsoft.Public Usenet – IPBOOTP ERROR PLEASE HELP.  Hurrah, disabling DHCP Relay on the LAN interface in RRAS manager.

Disarm IE: My Dev Wishlist for Other Browsers

Dean got me thinking about this
IE has many interesting development features which are well, a bit non-standard.  Well okay, they’re utterly made up with nary a W3C spec in sight.  Among them:

  • DHTML Behaviors
  • Databinding & Data Source Objects
  • CSS Visual Filters
  • CSS Expressions
  • Conditional Comments
  • The “defer” attribute

Here’s what caught my attention about these tools: sure they’re not standards-based, but they’re frickin’ great!

I’ve often said Microsoft overuses the word “innovate,” especially in regards to their own products.  However, compared to other browsers, these technologies genuinely seem innovative, and are the reason I (and many others) have written so many IE-only web apps.  Microsoft didn’t wait on someone else (e.g. the W3C), they just said “devs could use this”, and wrote it.

(My IE-only days are not a confession I’m proud of these days, but it’s true, and those developer-persuasion props are well-deserved.)

Other non-standard features have since been adopted by other browsers, creating de facto standards.  A notable example is Microsoft’s XMLHTTPRequest object which is now so popular thanks to the AJAX fad). 

Fan clubs aside, I love this phenomenon — a great tool is now widely available.  Since I can now count on it, I have more reason to write cross-browser apps. 

So hear this Apple, Konqueror, Mozilla and Opera: please forget your egos, and swipe more dev technology ideas from Microsoft.  Really.

Do it for the children?

Oh Joyous Day for IE7

From the IE Blog: we’ve also rebuilt the <select> element as a windowless control.

I noticed this first via Web Standards Project Buzz, where Lloydi rightly hopes they’ve fixed IE‘s myriad other SELECT problems.

As evidenced by my IE Bug Wiki participation, IE SELECT bugs demo, and IE bug solutions, this means a lot to me.

There’s a ton of other great news from the IE team there, including Page Zoom, tabs, integrated search, and Quick Tabs.  It sounds awesome — don’t miss it!