Archive | October, 2006

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Testing IE 7

Posted on 19 October 2006 by Flisha

Internet Explorer 7 is officially out of beta. I must say I like the new features – especially tabbed browsing.

The first browser I really liked was Maxthon, back in the days of IE versus Netscape, since only Maxthon offered tabbed browsing. But Firefox came and took my breath away with its useful functions (Ctrl++ made my life so much easier :)), multitude of extensions AND tabbed browsing. IE 6 never had a chance.

Now IE’s bouncing back and I likey. Here’s my opinion.

My Favorite Features…

  1. Tabbed Browsing

    Yes, I’ve mentioned it like, only four times now. (Tabbed browsing! Tabbed browsing! Oh god, sometimes I feel like a child.) I like that you can move the the tabs around in any order you like. I like that each tab has its own close icon (in Firefox sometimes I close the wrong tab because the x icon is at the far right, for all tabs). I like that there’s a new tab icon on the tab toolbar, if you’re not the type who remembers most keyboard shortcuts and hates incessant clicking for a simple and oft-used procedure (fortunately, I’m a keyboardie). There’s also a Quick Tabs icon that shows you all the tabs on one page like slides in MS Powerpoint. And a dropdown tab list. Why would you need those when you can see your tabs right in the toolbar? Unless you open a LOT of tabs. Which I normally don’t do since I close a tab when I don’t need it anymore. Besides, too many tabs weigh down your browser.

  2. Much More Readable Text

    I don’t know what they call this feature, but it resembles how text is rendered in Adobe Reader. It’s just much clearer. And I spend a lot of time in front of the PC. Around 5-6 hours at work, straight. Then when I get home, another 5-6 (or more!) hours just surfing or watching movies or editing my blog. And my eyesight really suffers, which is why again, I love the Ctrl++ from Firefox. (Incidentally, Ctrl++ also works in IE. but a slight disadvantage is that the page dances while you do it. Weird.) Whatevs, any program that attempts to help me read is A-OK in my book.

  3. Customizable Search

    LiveSearch is the default search engine. But you can add others like Google (like anybody uses any other) and Yahoo and Wikipedia. Obviously, Firefox has introduced a lot of indispensable features.

What I Don’t Like…

  1. Tiny important icons

    And they’re distributed all over the place too. I had to find where the refresh button was. And the stop button looks more like a close button – which is confusing. It’s nice that there’s more space for viewing the page but, like I said, my eyesight is kinda poor, so I really don’t like having to search around for a tiny icon every 20 seconds.

  2. Not enough options

    One thing I like in Firefox is that I could set it in such a way that whenever another program tries to open a website and I already have Firefox open, the link shows up in a new tab instead of a totally new window. Or I could say that every link I click must be opened in a new tab, even if the link is HTML-set to open in a new window. The reason we want tabs is that we don’t want extra windows of the same program, right? But IE doesn’t seem to have those options, so a lot of the times I still get my taskbar cluttered with IE windows. Sorry! I realized it was just under Tools -> Settings -> Tabs.

Overall…

Well, it’s only been an hour of browsing so I haven’t really made up my mind. I think IE’s really good at copying Firefox. But except for the nicely readable text, I don’t see anything that makes it better than Firefox.

So, Firefox’s still my default browser. But all that nicely readable text from IE is really trying to lure me away.

Hm. Who says they can’t coexist? :)

Uh-oh, I Spoke Too Soon!

Using the Blogger editor with IE 7 is making my head ache. Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+Y don’t work, ekkk! And what you see, you don’t get!

Back to work, IE. Pronto!

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Neneng’s Not-So-Friendly Wake-Up Call

Posted on 08 October 2006 by Flisha

Early Wednesday morning, I woke up to my sister Melisse screeching at the top of her lungs: “Fliiiishaaa! Dispierta ya! Ta entra agua el casa!” (“Wake up! The house is getting flooded!”)

It was 6am. A full four hours before I normally wake up. Groggy, I went “Hmmh? Mhmm… Okay.” Which sent her and my mom ballistic. Both started shouting at me to get up and get everything off the floor. Nemo, our poodle, also contributed to the mayhem by howling furiously. The entire backyard, including the dirty kitchen, was flooded. Poor Nemo had had to seek shelter by climbing up on a shelf (I never knew he was so talented!).

Sighing heavily (sleep is my lover next to what’s-his-name in Dapitan), I resigned myself to semi-wakefulness. The water was indeed seeping under our doorways. We got around 3 minutes to move things off the floor and on to the tables/chairs/upstairs. Needless to stay, a lot of stuff still got wet – like books, shoes, furniture, and unfortunately, the newly replaced washing machine (we’re still drying it out and so I have to wash by hand, ouch!). But there were no casualties – nothing sparked, no one get electrocuted.

We just had to clean the entire house, that’s all. Yeeep, I got stuck with hauling water off the floor from a tabo (small plastic water container) and into a balde (big plastic water container). With only an inch of water but it covering the whole floor – weeell, it took hours. Okay. One hour. After which I left Melisse to do the rest of the job while my mom mopped up the remaining dirt and water. And I went back to sleep. When I woke up (more than four hours later, as the school cancelled classes, yay) the floor was miraculously clean. Well, except for my room. Which I had to clean myself. *Sigh* Which I did. Later on in the evening, after much thought and many a dirty look from my mother.

My room is – well, less dirty now.

Here are pics I took of the Neneng’s wrath (Milenyo did less damage). The front lawn and the porch. Our dirty kitchen was still flooded so I couldn’t go out to take a picture of our backyard. (This is the first time our home got flooded so I was pretty excited to take pictures of our new lake. :P)

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Using Channels in Photoshop

Posted on 02 October 2006 by Flisha

Last Sunday, I gave Gimmi a despedida (Chavacano for “going-away party”), consisting of a lunch treat at McDonalds, an afternoon trip to La Vista del Mar (Zamboanga’s prettiest beach resort) and lots of hugging and kissing (and no crying!) afterwards.

While he’s having fun playing doctor in Dapitan for a month, I’m amusing myself by digitally manipulating the photos we took that day. (Poor, poor me. I don’t have the money to go visit him, not like last time. Someone give me money?)

I took this photo lying down with Gimmi looking down upon me. Now, that’s always a bad idea since in daylight the only light source comes from above, which means Gim’s face was bound to be darker than, um, it already is, but Gimmi knows that’s the way I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh. *cheeky grin* So, anyways, to remedy this effect, I used Photoshop to lighten up my sweetie.

First of all, in the Layers toolbar, I duplicated the background layer twice then deleted it. Now I had two layers of the same image. Then I selected the top layer. (I also clicked on the eye icon of the lower layer to hide it so it wouldn’t distract me later.)

In the Channel toolbar in Photoshop, I selected the Blue Channel. That showed the photo in grayscale, with the blue parts of the image showing up lighter than the reds and greens. (Selecting the channel doesn’t alter the image, though. It just shows you which parts of the picture are red, blue or green depending on which channel you select.)

Using the Magic Wand Tool, I was able to smoothly select the entire sky. Then I selected the RGB Channel to revert it to full color again. Then I deleted the sky. Not to worry, I still had the sky in my lower layer. Then I inverted the selection (Shift+Ctrl+I) so now I could digitally edit my Gimmi without affecting the other parts of the layer (since I needed the other parts clear of anything so the sky would show up as is from the lower layer).

There are a number of ways you can lighten up an image. But my favorite is using the Curves tool (Image Menu -> Adjustments -> Curves) since it often gives more natural looking results than other adjustment tools. I especially don’t like Autocolor or Autocontrast, they never do what they’re supposed to.

Having done that, Gimmi was now all lightened up and looking quite handsome. So I clicked again on the eye icon of the lower layer to show the sky. But there were some weird outlines around my Gimmi which I had to do away with. So I gave the top layer a bit of an outer glow (Right Click the Layer -> Blending Options), emphasizing its spread so it blended seamlessly onto the lower layer.

And there you have it. The image looks much better now. The original image is the left one, the modified image is the right one. Like I had to tell you. :-P

I dearly miss Gim. I’m trying my hardest not to cry. :-( So far I’ve only shed tears once, and that was during a phone call to Gim a few hours ago. So far, so good. Right..? :D

I hope November comes really, really fast. But thank goodness for Globe Unlimitxt. :-)

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