Ian Hoar – Passion for Technology – Geeking Out - Technology, Web, Toys, Games, Design, Entertainment, Gadgets, & Geeking Out

The iPhone review: a year and a half later

So it’s been about a year and a half since I bought my iPhone 3G. The novelty has fully worn off, the back is full of scratches and there’s even a few dust specs under the glass, but does it still stand up to the hype? I think I can sum the iPhone up in three words.

Awesome and frustrating

The iPhone has changed how I do many things. It’s changed:

  • how, when and where I check email
  • what I read and where I read
  • how I play games
  • what I expect from other small displays
  • how I surf the web
  • how I judge the quality of other gadgets
  • how I view my stocks
  • how I listen to music
  • how I watch video
  • how I get my weather
  • how I access things like Facebook and Twitter
  • what I do when I’m lost or need to find a coffee shop
  • how I find what movies are playing today and at what theater

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Adobe CS5: countdown to release date

It seems like only yesterday Adobe CS4 was released and now we are already hearing the rumblings of Adobe Creative Suite 5.

There are already some sneak peak videos on the Adobe Creative Suite 5 launch site, but those of you who really want to be the first in line to hear about what’s new in CS5 will have to register on the the CS5 launch site. The “exclusive global launch of Adobe Creative Suite 5” is on Monday April 12, 2010.

Fingers are crossed for some awesome features, and a release date. That said I really hope Adobe has fixed some of the issues plaguing the Creative Suite. Some of the applications feel bloated and slow. Sometimes it’s not only about what’s new, we want rock solid apps that work as flawlessly as possible. It would also be nice if past features were never taken away.

Mac OS X tip: Why can’t I free up space on my USB drive?

Here’s a quick Mac OS X tip: If you fill up your USB drive on a Mac and then delete some files, the Mac OS will not show that space as free and leave you stumped. The reason for this is because the files are still there. This is good, because if you accidentally deleted them you can get them back from your trash bin. If you want to permanently free up this space up for other files, simply empty the files from your trash and voila!

Yahoo! mail paragraph spacing still broken

Yahoo broke it’s paragraph spacing in HTML newsletters a long time ago and still hasn’t fixed it. Usually it’s Hotmail or Outlook 2007 that get all the flack for their wacky email newsletter behavior, but dropping paragraph spacing all together really takes the cake, that’s just bizarre. There’s the age old debate on email newsletters and whether they should even exist, but like it or not they are here to stay and there’s obviously a demand for them. Email clients should at least show the basic tags properly. That said if you make email newsletters like I do, you probably want to know how to fix this.

Styling the paragraph tags

Luckily at least with my tests you don’t need inline styles, so you can use an embedded style sheet at the top of the newsletter. If you have worked with email newsletters for awhile you probably already know that most styles should be made inline, but inlining paragraph tags can be tedious depending how man you have. This fix should work either embedded or inline, so it’s up to you which method you choose.

p {

Option 2:

<p style="margin-bottom:1em;">Your paragraph</p>

This should fix your Yahoo mail paragraph woes, at least until they break change something else.

Could your Gmail account get hacked?

This may be old news to some of people, but it struck me today how much I rely on Gmail and if my account were to be hacked it would be a very painful event. Apparently there are tools that allow people to hack into Google accounts via sniffing cookies. I am really not one to be paranoid about security for the most part. Out of billions of connections per day to a site like Google, the chances of mine be jeopardized are low, but that said, if there is a simple way to make the process safer, why not?
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Document formats like odt and docx and what to do when they won’t open

For as long as I can remember doc format has always been around. The format didn’t really follow any open standards and was even used by WordPerfect in the 1980s. There were compatibility issues from one word processor to another, but for the most part they would open, even if there were formatting errors and everyone was happy.

Over the past couple of years two new open formats have appeared on the scene and they are causing confusion. OpenDocument also known as ODF or by it’s extension odt and Office Open XML or by it’s extension docx. Now in a perfect world you think one of these standards could have been decided on and transferred to the doc extension to make everyone’s life easier, but it’s not a perfect world.

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The mailto syntax; A comma may not work in Outlook Web Access

The mailto syntax is pretty simple, but sometimes you might run into problems with some mail clients (AKA Outlook Web Access). Most of them are very forgiving and you can drop a comma for example right into the body of the mailto and have no problems, but it’s better not to do that. It’s much safer if you use hexadecimal numeric values for your special characters. For example a comma is %2c and a space is %20.

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The Zombie Journal is finally ready

Blood SplatFor over a month now I have been slaving away on an idea I have had for quite some time. It’s probably the largest personal site I’ve ever built and it’s my first real foray in the world of Drupal. Let me tell you, Drupal isn’t an easy undertaking, but it’s very powerful. If you don’t know much about Drupal you might want to check out Dries Buytaert’s blog and see who’s using it… in short, a lot of big names.

But this is about The Zombie Journal

The Zombie Journal

This post isn’t about Drupal, this is about The Zombie Journal, my newest site. Consider it still rough around the edges. I have a lot of ideas which I have not yet implemented, but for now I am hoping to see The Zombie Journal grow into a social network for Zombie fans of all sorts. If you sign up for an account you can post your own zombies stories of your fictional encounters with these diabolical creatures we call “the undead”. You can also share zombie resources, rank and vote on content and participate in the forums. If you are even mildly interested in zombies I urge you to sign up today, and follow The Zombie Journal on twitter.

A new passion and a new blog

Over the summer I discovered a new passion and hobby; sailing. This filled many of my weekends and some of my evenings for the last two and a half months of summer. I think I can say I have truly been bitten by the sailing bug, and once that happens there’s turning back.

So what’s a new geeky sailor like me to do with all this new found experience and information? Well, share it all on a blog of course, so about two weeks ago I got to work on setting up my new blog. The domain name was the first thing I needed to secure and wow did I get a good one. I don’t know if you have ever tried securing a good domain, but searching for one quickly becomes frustrating. What’s worse is the fact that there’s lots of great domain names out there just being squatted. Put it this way, something as obscure as imhMedia was taken for the .com and I had to register the .net for my personal portfolio site. You can imagine how surprised I was when I looked up windandsail.com and found it was available. It’s a blog about what it’s like to be a new sailor and everything I learn along the way. So without further ado I welcome you to my new blog Wind and Sail.

Wind and Sail

Zombieland, quite possibly the best movie of the year

ZombielandSo be prepared for a pretty biased review of Zombieland. I am a huge fan of the Zombie genre as anyone who knows me will tell you. I also own the soon to be “Zombie awesomeness” domain name thezombiejournal.com. That said I still recognize the fact that a lot of Zombie movies are pretty crappy, in fact, a lot of them are just downright awful. I had a feeling from the start that Zombieland would be different. I mean first it’s got Zombies (always good for a zombie movie), and second it’s got Woody Harrelson, what could possibly go wrong? I still had a tiny fear that it might still suck though, and I wanted this movie to be good, I wanted it to be the next Shawn of the Dead or even better, and I’m happy to say that it completely blew my expectations away.

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