Just about six months after I had the Apple store fix my iBook, the same problem has happened again. For the seventh time in under three years. Now I know I use my iBook a lot, but that's no excuse. There must be something fundamentally wrong with my particular iBook G3/900, and even though AppleCare has covered the cost of fixing it (has always involved a new logic board), it is still a major time suck to back everything up, prep it for repairs, go to the Apple store, wait my turn, explain (yet again) to the friendly helpers at the Genius Bar, fill out the paperwork, wait a week, come back to pick it up, wait again while they fetch the iBook from the back, and restore the data. This is absolutely the worst hardware experience I have had with any laptop, Mac or Windows.
This will literally be the sixth new logic board they will have had to install (thus making it the seventh logic board for the iBook, counting the one it came with). A laptop shouldn't keep burning out its logic board (always the same glitchy video problem) every six months (or less). Is there a complaint department at Apple where I can escalate this? Is there anyone at Apple I can appeal to to simply give me a new computer instead of a repair that will last me just another six months if that?
In addition, as the iBook is my primary email machine, and it has been acting up for about a week now, expect low responsiveness to personal email for a while. I've got lots of good notes from recent conferences (W3C, ETech, SXSW, Mix06) that I'll try to blog in the coming week as I recover from yet another hardware setback.
I'm here at the Thistle Cafe, site for tomorrow's BarCampAustin. Eric Case asked me to demonstrate my HyperCard blogging tool, so here I am typing into HyperCard in front of Eric , Matt, and Jen. I'm excited about tomorrow evening's talk: Creating Building Blocks For Independents. Eric is asking me to publish already so here goes...
I had originally intended to finish my blog and site reorganization, markup makeover, and redesign by the end of this past winter vacation. No such luck. And then one annoying distraction after another (stolen motorcycle, getting way too ill) continuously got in the way. I decided enough was enough and focussed my energies in the few solid solitary hours between the end of the W3C meetings and the start of ETech to at least finish up the reorganization of the content and markup makeup so that I could publish the very few blog entries I had written in my local client this year.
For the moment I've barely gotten a variant of my past year's styling (so it won't look that different) working with the new markup. I've cleaned it up a lot. hAtom support is at least part way there. I finally have a dedicated blog home page (update your bookmarks!) which shows my most recent posts, no matter from what month, in addition to my blog archive pages. The home page is now nearly automatically generated when I add blog posts and events to the blog archive pages. I've also decided by default to serve updates for my entire site with a top level site-wide Updates Atom feed (update your subscriptions).
Expect contents to shift in the coming days. Time to grab a bite and check out the afternoon ETech sessions.
A few months ago when I wrote about opening the Pandora's Box (Model) of CSS hacks, I dug through my email archives and looked up when I had come up with various hacks, and found that some were nearly five years old.
Five years ago on February 10th 2001, I first emailed Todd Fahrner and Jeffrey Zeldman my suggestion to use
@import with quotes to filter out version 4 and below browsers, with the example given here: browserupgrade.html, an example for the Web Standards Project's Browser Upgrade Campaign (BUC). It was also used in the A List Apart (ALA) aritcle: To Hell with Bad Browsers.
At about the same time, I suggested to Fahrner and Zeldman that authors could send "proper" box model widths and heights to browsers that supported them by placing those rules in a style rule that used the CSS2 child selector, after a style rule that set the "incorrect" box model dimensions for browsers like IE5.0 and IE5.5 for Windows which got the CSS box model wrong. This technique was first referenced as a "CSS box model hack" (and linked to the present location of the hack) in the February 16th ALA article From Table Hacks to CSS Layout: A Web Designer's Journey by Mr. Zeldman no less.
The next day, February 17, Anil Dash pointed out what the then A List Apart home page would look like in a CSS1 browser that got the box model right but didn't support the CSS2 child selector, which was perfectly reasonable: Screen shot of the A List Apart home page in a browser that supported the CSS box model but not the child selector (Courtesy the Internet Archive, originally published by Anil on dashes.com). In addition IE4.5/Mac, a browser I had worked on, was another such browser. Oops.
So instead, I figured out how to use a parsing bug in IE5.0/Windows to send it a different width. I emailed this revision of the Box Model Hack to Zeldman and Fahrner, published at same URL. Everything looked much better.
Then two weeks later (exactly five years ago today), Todd Fahrner discovers that IE5.5/Windows has fixed the IE5.0/Win parsing bug that I had depended on in that revision of the Box Model Hack and thus I go back to the drawing board. With Todd's help we find another parsing bug which affects both IE5.0 and IE5.5 for Windows. I rewrite the hack to use the new parsing bug, verify that it works in IE5/Mac, IE5/Windows, IE5.5/Windows, Opera 5, Netscape 6, and with the expectation that it will work in IE6/Windows since IE6 is fixing both the parsing bug and the box model. At 11pm PST I sent the update to Fahrner and Zeldman and it was verified.
Thus the Box Model Hack in its current form was born, and has remained unchanged (except for better documentation, some translations) for 5 years. People appear to be still using it every day (if new links to it every few days are any evidence), including Todd Fahrner himself (albeit for compatible keyword font sizes) at his (relatively new) Cleverchimp blog.