marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Y'all know how I always want all the Windows latest and greatest, right? So like a fool I installed Windows 10 Build 10074 on my laptop about a month ago. I have to say I loved me some 10074. The Start Screen was priceless and everything seemed really good. So when the new build came out (10122) of course I jumped on that, too, thinking "10074 good, 10122 better!". But it is not. The 10074 Start screen I once adored is gone. Instead of a long strip of a menu along the left and a perfectly centered set of Metro-style tiles I now have an off-center set of strangely even larger-looking Metro-style tiles, and no long strip of a Start menu at all.

So how does this confooblery come about? Well, I can't explain why MS messed with something perfect, making it decidedly less so, but I can explain that there is now a hamburger icon in place of the long, lean, left menu. Click it and poof! the left menu drops down out of nowhere. But won't can't, it's got a hot date. So as soon as you leave the Start screen for a desktop or applet or whatever, you have to click the hamburger icon again to re-access the (very busy) missing menu. This is what I call "hell", and I feel similarly about MS devs right now as I did when I wrote this and this about the devs over at Mozilla.

That was just the beginning of my problems with Windows 10, though. Unfortunately, I also put it on my phone, which was running the 8.1 Denim update before I shifted it over. Denim ran like a monkey with its tail wrapped around its neck...much slower than 8.1 Cyan, with no redeeming features to make the so-called upgrade worth the resulting slowdown (and that was without getting to try the "Hey, Cortana" feature I've been pining away for). So as I'd become a Windows Insider on my phone, anyway, just to get Denim, I figured what the hell...rather than roll back to Cyan, I'll try out the latest Win 10 phone build.

Before I start bitching about it, let me deliver a stern lecture to Win 10 phone devs - you had better unbarf-up all the things wrong with it because I really love this OS. I can't help that it self-destructs within a few hours, forcing me back to using Win 8.1. But you guys can make it stop self-destructing by its hopefully mid-summer release so I can try it out again. Because the way it looks, feels, operates and what it offers is all absolute genius compared to 8.1-anything but it's so damn buggy right now you basically can't use it at all.

Onto everything wrong with it...

  • A lot of settings are hidden (go to Settings, search, type the letter "A", hit the back button, scroll down for an alphabetical's the only way to find everything)
  • The Start screen has once again been tampered with, making the tiles slightly bigger and much more ugly in some subtle way I can't quite explain
  • Your first inkling the Win 10 phone OS will completely self-destruct is the bluish-black "Loading..." screen when you try to open any app. If you see this baby just once then get a Recovery Tool and start rolling back. I could've saved myself hours of confusion and mind-numbing grief if I'd only known. But no, of course I had to learn the hard way.
  • Your other inkling of imminent OS self-destruction? App crash. As in...all of them. It started, as most things in the world of Windows do, with IE crashing. Oh, a mere IE routine. An IE crash cannot make me blink. 29 consecutive IE crashes might make my lids pop a little, but hey, I was raised in the old school of "Did you try restarting it?™" a registered Microsoft trademark. Us trained restarters know everything will go wrong with Windows but restarting will fix damn near all of it. (If not, then it's a virus.)
  • But after six restarts all the apps crash and shit ain't funny anymore. Like my phone app is crashing now. Can't make calls. Settings are crashing. Can't change settings. After an hour or two I got freakin' scared, y'all...I need a fucking phone that actually dials numbers.
  • So *sigh* like a fool I tried the "reset" button buried deep I don't even know where anymore within Settings (yes, after restarting my phone endless times just to get Settings to no longer crash). When the phone finished resetting an hour or so later it no longer had a phone app. Or a Messaging app. Or a Settings app. Or any of the stock AT&T apps. Or any of the Lumia apps. There was only one tile left on the Start screen (IE, wouldn't you know it?) and maybe six apps in the App folder, none of them related to making a phone call or sending a text message or using email in any way, shape or form. And Cortana, who never worked before I reset the phone, had also left for greener pastures.
  • Now I was terrified, so I got online, got the Lumia Recovery tool, and I seem to have 8.1 back in working order. But if Win 10 for phones would just work (and not be the fastest and most vividly spectacular example of "vaporware" I've ever witnessed) I would cling to it forever.

So yeah, I'm distressed right now. I swore I wasn't going to perform any of the above hijinks in a previous discussion but, as usual, the "Don't touch the wet paint" signs have got the best of me.

marahmarie: LOLOL Internet (lol aol lol internets lol lulz)

Like, seriously. This shit really happened, I swear. And because I love you guys so much I've got to share it. Because, like, Microsoft buying AOL? OK. Yeah, maybe. I can see that. Sort of. Yahoo? Yeah, def. Nobody buying AOL? Highly likely! Verizon buying AOL? It's almost like I don't know, Publix buying AOL...where are the synergies, exactly? I mean, I know you'll read 3,000 articles (if you can stand reading even one) saying Verizon is likely buying AOL for its ad revenue, not to mention its still-profitable subscriber base, but Verizon acquiring AOL just proves that, like, anybody could. Your local Stop 'N Shop could have bought them at this point! Is it just me, or is it simply a really weird pairing?

ETA: also, because it's annoying me, this is not "Verizon's Time Warner moment". AOL bought Time Warner, not the other way around! I am literally saying so for the thousandth time in comparatively very few years. AOL held a 55% stake throughout their partnership so TW never - and I repeat, never - got the upper hand (and considering how bad TW's management was that was probably as it should've been).

And - since real people have been asking me this question today - no, AOL and Time Warner are no longer partners so no, Verizon did not just acquire Time Warner in acquiring AOL. The first time I was asked about it I got so confused I briefly thought it might be true myself. If so the Verizon/AOL deal would indeed make a lot more sense. But no, that is not the case - their partnership was completely dissolved in Dec., 2009.

Also-also, my (exceedingly rare) thanks goes out to the Twitterverse today for so many hilarious AOL/Verizon tweets. *tips hat*

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
When are you gonna come down
When are you going to land
I should have stayed on the farm
I should have listened to my old man

You know you can't hold me forever
I didn't sign up with you
I'm not a present for your friends to open
This boy's too young to be singing the blues

So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can't plant me in your penthouse
I'm going back to my plough

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I've finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road

What do you think you'll do then
I bet that'll shoot down your plane
It'll take you a couple of vodka and tonics
To set you on your feet again

Maybe you'll get a replacement
There's plenty like me to be found
Mongrels who ain't got a penny
Sniffing for tidbits like you on the ground

Writer(s): Elton John, Bernie Taupin © Dick James Music Ltd.
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Key features:

  • Poor personal hygiene: overeats, rarely showers, almost never washes stinky, greasy hair; mostly wears dirty, stained, shapeless, oversized nightlcothes
  • Owns the place - even though it's rented. Was there first - even if she wasn't (say because you took the place together on the same day) or the lease is in her name (even though it's also in yours - it doesn't matter, only HER name matters), or some other story of why she has to control everyone and everything around her
  • Owns kitchen, pantry, living room and bathroom. If you leave one thing in the "wrong spot" in HER pantry (say, in front instead of behind her stuff, because this item is yours and you want to be able to find it without digging through everything she owns - also, HER pantry is actually just a shared built-in coat closet with shelves) you will instantly and automatically be given another: a cheap, flimsy Sauder cabinet much too small to hold your food with two doors screwed on all wrong. Enjoy! Similarly, the only sharable hall closet is HERS. Stay out.
  • Makes all "executive decisions" - nothing can sit on any floor or hang on any wall or rest on any table without her permission and approval. If you're wondering, most of your design and decorating decisions will suck before you make them. But don't forget, you're splitting bills and rent down the middle as though you were another cognizant human being, which you're not. And she will use a calculator to extract every last possible cent. She's being kind enough to let you look at HER place from the inside instead of from a tent out in the parking lot, so pay your half for ZERO use except cooking, toilet/shower privileges and a room to sleep in (sometimes - more on that later because it's not really your room - she owns it and can saunter in whenever she wants) and be very, very GRATEFUL.
  • Spends most of her free time watching HER TV on HER couch in HER living room. Never goes out to be with nature; doesn't exercise and takes no interest in life outside of frenzied drinking parties with loud, screechy friends. Gets offended if you dare suggest she clean HER house or change HER cat's litter boxes or keep HER bathroom clean or clean HER kitchen counters or HER stove.
  • Will declare you're not her friend if you don't watch TV (or don't watch "enough TV"; there's variations depending on her mood, which is always some flavor of preening, self-centered and obnoxious). You're auditioning for the "worthy roommate" role for the rest of your life and TV-watching is the only bonding activity that might help your chances. Having meals together, shopping and talking - though she will spend thousands of hours talking - are not "bonding". Watching TV is. TV is a holy, sacramental, and blessedly unending event; the living room is HER shrine which enfolds and protects the precious picture and sound vessel you shall bond over. Approaches TV with the same zeal as priests approach God. You won't have a choice which TV to watch or which TV shows to look at; she has a 24-hour itinerary lined up - most of them horror and violent films - so if you don't happen to like them, LEARN HOW.
  • Has to be pried off couch/away from TV with a crowbar unless a sudden opportunity to torture presents itself (more on that later). Then - for as fat, lazy, useless and "above it all" as she is - can suddenly JUMP off couch and RUN across entire length of house with a heavy cat shoved under one arm with kinetically insane energy.
  • Lives in your bedroom when not glued to loud, annoying TV that blasts through entire house day and night. Pushes her way in, doesn't knock, doesn't care she's not invited, dumps herself across your bed, asks tons of nosy questions about your sex and love life, then talks endlessly and one-sidedly until your head is ready to pop off from the frustration of being unable to shut her up, get her out or hear your own thoughts ever again. Voice is loud, mucus-y, screechy, whiny, high-pitched, singsong-patterned and terrible. If your voice doesn't fit this description you just might go insane.
  • Loses jobs randomly and fairly often for calling out with yet another case of "I'd rather watch TV" which she describes as a "head cold" or "the flu" and for being as nasty, sarcastic, mean and arrogant to customers as she will often be to you in your so-called home. Defends this behavior by explaining that the customers are idiots.
  • Insists on taking money from you (does not ask; simply tells you what you'll be covering while you, on the other hand, must ask very, very nicely for anything, including water to be poured on you in a fire) when she does have a job because she likes to overspend on good food, pricey alcohol, expensive restaurants - and if you don't like it, so what. Buy her gas, cat food, and groceries; pay her cable and electric bills right now - and yes, make it snappy.
  • Pays collective rent somewhere between a few days to a few weeks late each month (and must be the person to pay it because it's HER place) because again, so what? Late charges, three-day notices, threats of eviction...pssshhht, who cares?
  • Moves family in and out constantly. For this she gives up couch only long enough to sleep in her room before taking residence upon it again in the morning. Will sit right next to body of current family member all day and night makinge them watch what she's watching - even if they're not watching at all but actually reading or texting. Family members are all under 25; some will have stitched wrists and be completely emotionally unstable and violent (how about hitting their own mothers?) and all will be homeless and jobless. The couch is positioned so when she's not watching both her TV and every move you make from her perfectly centered perch upon it, they are. Makes it sound more homey, don'tcha think?
  • Gets off on small, defenseless creatures being tortured and killed so if you make the mistake of say, asking if she'll help get a lizard back outside (it's in your room) she'll say, "No, can't do that, but my cat can!" When you say, "No that's OK, I don't want it getting hurt" she'll seize the cat - which is violent, nasty and sitting on her shoulder - JUMP off the couch with it shoved under one arm and RUN into your room - or try to. But you see her coming - she's laughing at how much this upsets you and running very fast - so you lock her out. But she just forces her way in through bathroom, locks the door behind her, drops cat on floor and yells: "GO CAT! KILL THE LIZARD!!!" then laughs as cat proceeds. If you try to stop her or tell her she's a mean fucking bitch, you're DONE. How dare you talk to her like that? She's done nothing wrong! She's only having fun! Why can't you just be nice about it?
  • Yes, I found her on Craigslist. Where else would you find someone like this?

Sound like the ideal roommate? I will sell, trade or barter this bitch off on a first-come, first-serve basis. Text or PM if interested!

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

In my next to last post I gave, without exactly meaning to, a pretty full review of the Nokia 635 smartphone running Windows 8.1 (tl;dr: it's not perfect but it's pretty neat, especially compared to any run of the mill Android). What I neglected to mention was anything about Cortana. She's the entire reason some people buy a Windows phone and why they love using one. She's Microsoft's answer to Siri and Google NOW (which is Google's answer to precisely nothing, but that's another post.)

I didn't mention Cortana because a) I've never been terribly impressed with her and b) it annoys me when other people are. There are movies these days about losing a love conquest to an operating system and while I didn't exactly have that problem, back when Cortana belonged to someone else's phone it could feel like a love triangle - especially once her name got mentioned more times each day than my own did. While I'm very low-key about it (perhaps "simmering, backburner rage" would be a good way to put it) I'm a green-eyed little monster and I don't cut operating systems much slack simply because they're not human. Pffft...tell that to someone who thinks they are. Or who wishes they could be. This shit really does happen! So yeah...fuck you, Cortana.

Jealousy aside, I can see the utility of having Cortana because she can do things like replace me altogether mark down appointments, give you reminders, look up maps, find answers to burning questions, wake you up in the morning, describe your route to work, tell you what your girlfriend ought to make for dinner, and so on. But she's no Siri.

I've never owned an iPhone so I can't say exactly how well Siri works but I have a feeling Cortana can't hold a candle to her, and if you're going to replace me supplement the existence of another human being with a lifelike app, at least be as good at it as Siri. Without knowing what Siri's capable of or how short Cortana falls of her glory, or why it should even matter if she's as good as Siri or not, here's a short list of things I wish Cortana could do besides go get hit by a car so I can make her my slave learn to see her as a valuable addition to my life:

  • Speak first. At least once in a while, because for a homewrecker she is the shyest thing ever. When I open her app she should greet me first. It's like when you playfully poke someone in the back and they turn around and say: "Hey!". By opening her app I'm giving her exactly the same poke so I shouldn't have to say, "Hey Cortana!" on top of that and then wait a few more seconds for her to finally turn around and say "Hey!". I poked you, damn it - SPEAK.
  • Speak more. I mean, why does it always have to be, "Hey, MM" every single time? Sometimes I'll change it up by saying Hi, Hello, Hey, Hey there, or What's up, Cortana? But each time it's just the same old, "Hey, MM" in response. I feel like I'm talking to an automa--
  • Lose the app. If she was really smart she'd be ever-present. This would require the phone to always listen, of course, but as long as I could trust that the feed isn't stored anywhere this could be the coolest thing. You shouldn't need to click/poke/tap or summon your personal assistant with anything more than the sound of your own voice.
  • Converse by text. Not many people will recall - because not many people ever used it - but back in the day Google had search by text. You texted your search terms to Google's number and Google sent back a link to search results. Similarly, I want Cortana by text. She should always be there, the top thread when I open my texting app, and opening her should summon a nice, "Hey MM, what's up?". I want Cortana By Text for privacy reasons and to keep the the house quiet late at night. The acoustics here are terrible; voices carry, even through thick, solid slabs of wall, and I'm tired of not being able to silently summon her without going directly to her app.
  • Give her multiple and quite plastic personalities. Not so she can have a bunch of them at once but so I can choose the best ones to inflict on others, especially those who think she's so charming. Cortana the at first Budding then Raging Feminist, for instance, could be my best fucking friend, forever.
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

If I ran an "Adventures In Shopping" series (I don't, but it really is a shame that I don't) this would definitely make the cut. To save money on Amazon, smart shoppers are supposed to watch for price drops on I don't do it because there isn't enough I need to buy online to get me watching for falling prices on Amazon like I watch for bouncy, bright yellow, smiling ROLLBACK faces at Walmart, which are constantly hitting me in the head as I stroll down their aisles each week. But it's such a cheerful way to save money and make money by suing Walmart for pain and injury, all at once.

So I opened the tab for tonight as it was in a folder for partially unread bookmarks from last week's online browsing session. As a good shopper I figured I'd check the front page real quick just in case but nothing grabbed me until I realized boy, could I save myself a bundle right now if I just happened to be in the market for Gorilla Tape.

I could save $131,069.03 a roll, to be precise.

Cost of Gorilla Tape on Amazon before a small price change

So. When exactly did Gorilla tape start costing so much? And what exactly is I can't imagine spending as much on one roll as you might on your next house but hey, I guess it must come in pretty damn handy to command such a steep price.

(Which reminds me of my mom's motto: "I can fix anything - just give me a can of WD40 and some duct tape". Fortunately, neither accoutrement will run you anywhere near a hundred grand. Gorilla Tape, on the other hand...)

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

After a recent blaze of discussion with [personal profile] ideological_cuddle about his predilection for the iPhone (brief synopsis: "Convince me I want this damn thing" - of course, he couldn't) he mentioned the beauty of Windows phones. Since I've been wanting to flee the Android ecosystem by hook or crook forever and since I used to use my ex's Windows phone to surf the Web almost every night, and because I've had a thing for Windows phones since they uh, came out, I decided right then and there that my next phone would have Windows. And it does! It's amazing how these things can work out.

Because I have budget limitations this is the one I got - it's nothing fancy but it works. For those not inclined to click through or who simply like words with their pictures, it's a Nokia 635 running Windows 8.1 with just half a gig of RAM and a quad core 1.2GHz processor. It's identical to the slightly older 630 with the sole addition of 4G LTE. While there are small quibbles about performance differences between the phones, with the 635 coming out better or worse depending on whom you believe, I won't be discussing that.

This phone is an upgrade (for me) from an LG Fuel running KitKat - a phone that still works perfectly, but the camera broke a few weeks ago so that when you open up the app now to take a picture (or a video) the screen is solid black. All the pictures (and videos) come out solid black, too (but the video portion still captures sound). I'm not sure what that could mean...has the lens shattered? Is the camera software seizing on me? I tried a phone reset but that did not fix the problem. But I'd bought the Nokia by then, so it doesn't matter.

When people talk about how blazingly fast Windows phones are, with any amount or next to no amount of RAM - and trust me, they do - it's true: you have to ignore the piddly amount of RAM because the devs seemed to have optimized the OS to run with as little as possible. The only thing that's not been so fast is the lock screen: sometimes I can't get it to work. It can take up to a half dozen tries, swiping my fingers in all possible directions before the unlock keypad finally scrolls into view.

Also, the battery is awful and I'm not sure if I should go for a replacement or if they'll all be like that. And does this phone get hot when used out in the sun? After 10 minutes, yes, you can fry an egg on it. And the screen does have some glare. This can be helped by reducing screen brightness, but as your hostess is ever so slowly and rather subtly going blind (and it does seem to be a light and angle-based blindness, denying me the dignity of just going all-out blind like any normal person would do) that's not a great option for me. So yes, an anti-glare screen protector is on the way.

But the phone is beautiful and swift and does things you only wish Android phones could do without needing an app for that, which makes up for most of what's mentioned above. AT&T, a network I've never used before except perhaps unknowingly as a fallback CDMA carrier (I was with Net10 before this phone, and with TracFone - Net10's owner - before that) seems pretty good so far and call quality seems kind of flat but perfectly loud and clear as needed. The speakerphone works great (I make most calls hands-free except for any requisite dialpad-pounding involved, and Android's speakerphones have historically been unpredictable and tinny-sounding, featuring harsh reverb and a terrible echo along with mysterious, eardrum-piercing noises).

When I say this phone is beautiful...I hate to drool on it like I have on just about every Windows phone ever, but the style of this one really is quite "wow". It's one long sheet of solid Gorilla glass (I think this is the first phone I've ever had without a screen made entirely of plastic) with no buttons. The screen wraps around to the back, which is all plastic. I went for all-black; while there are wild colors involved in this style a) I didn't have access to them at the store I bought this phone at and b) I wouldn't have chosen them, anyway. Black is better.

I miss the buttons along the bottom as most Androids can wake up from pressing one and I'm all about getting things done fast and effortlessly - even something as seemingly trivial as a screen wake-up. You wake this phone from the power button on the middle right side, but I'm used to that button being on the top right on the Fuel, so I haven't gotten the hang of moving my finger down where it belongs. The button above that is the one I keep hitting. It's the volume control, but I'm so used to pressing there that I just. Keep. On. Hitting. It. Until finally I realize it's the wrong one. And yes, I always look around afterward, waiting for someone to observe my dyslexia-by-proxy and shake their head and mutter, "You idiot. Wrong. Button.".

But outside of wrong-buttoning, a lock screen that's not wanting to give up its ghost and a battery that scares me, the phone is a pleasure to look at it and a pleasure to use. The strangest thing about it has been that I'm used to Android's dialpad button placement and a link for contacts being at the top of the phone app, not along the bottom as an icon-only thing like it is in Windows. But searching contacts is actually easier than it is on Android: just open the contacts list, hit the pound symbol along the top, start typing and what you're after pops into view. I really like that.

Other things I like: my main MS email account is finally linked to a phone. I've never been able to check non-Google email on any phone without actually logging into the site - which I refuse to do from any phone browser for security reasons - so I went years without being able to use that feature in a meaningful way, as I only get junk and a little personal mail on GMail, which is quite intentional, again for security reasons. As an added bonus, my Google account is linked to this phone as well, so my Google and Windows email accounts are running as native apps.

When I first set up the phone I did something I never do and actually read (some of) the instructions, which was truly fortunate, as the ones I read told me there was an app for importing contacts from my Android phone. The one thing I'd dreaded about switching from Android to Windows was having to laboriously hand-type in every contact from one phone to the other. But the instructions took me to a link that explained there's an app for that called Transfer My Data; the app pulls data from your Android account right into your Windows phone.

I didn't believe it, of course, but I downloaded and ran the app, anyhow. It failed on the first run, imported all of my contacts on the second run, and imported less than half my texts and maybe a third of my pictures in each run after that. Repeated runs did nothing to change my luck. I wound up deleting incomplete threads from my texting app as retries were giving me what I already had in duplicate, then triplicate, and I gave up getting the rest of my pictures off of my Fuel. I can always import them from another source later (they're on Google Drive - and everything I imported to my Win phone and all that's accumulated since then is stored on OneDrive, so that should work out).

There's nothing I miss about using an Android except for Android apps that aren't being published on Windows. I'm a hopeless ColorNote, GO! homescreen and GO! texting addict - I was also a 1Weather addict, but the MSN Live Weather Tile is so good I'm not missing 1Weather too much. (1Weather crashed a lot, anyway. On every Android I ever had. They really need to look into that.)

This phone seems more grown up than my Androids did: it looks more grown up, the styling, fonts and display feel more grown up, and it displays my email (very grown up) and got me using IE like that's a normal thing to do, when being a Firefox addict since 2006 I thought it would be a difficult transition to make just for the sake of using a browser on my phone. But I guess from using IE so much on my ex's phone it simply doesn't bother me (which, after years of rebelling against IE, feels just terribly grown up). While I'd love to see Mozilla publish a browser for the Win phone platform, they need to fix Firefox on Android first. That's another post but the synopsis of it is this: outside of webpage display, which overall is okay, the browser sucks.

IE on a Windows phone displays webpages rather well. I have it set to load mobile websites first - and for sites that don't have a mobile option, display will be as nice or as shitty as the website's devs and designers make it. That's why responsive design is kind of a thing these days, and why people should be doing it. My own blog has a responsive stylesheet and it looks quite good on this phone (again, the ex's phone figures into this because I finished the design a year or so ago by checking it on that).

Other things that make this phone feel grown up: I linked a payment option to it (something I never, ever did on any Android) to buy my first-ever paid-for app - a sort-of replacement for ColorNote that displays a sticky note as a tile on your home screen. It's available for free but I bought it for the color and font options because I have this Pretty In Pink (and magenta) thing going on here and I love using handwriting fonts (an option ColorNote actually does not have).

The best parts of using this phone are how the lock screen shows how many missed phone calls, unread emails and texts I have and how it feels to use the native texting app. On Android I could never use the stock keyboard (too tiny and hard to see, so I'd make too many mistakes and couldn't find the subset keys fast enough or at all, depending on which ones I was after) and the only replacement for it that I could live with - the Big Buttons keyboard - has the same bug as the stock keyboard, wherein hitting the top right of any key risks selecting the key above it. Which I did constantly, right up until the very end.

The Windows keyboard has no such problems, and has auto-correction built-in for when I'm not paying enough attention. Auto-correct is right maybe 90% of the time (Android's native auto-correct never comes close) and when all else fails, it has a built-in Swype-y type of thing (just drag your finger around; the software will figure out what you mean with surprising accuracy) that actually works. I sent entire chains of texts with it one night because my eyes were tired, and while it was a bit slower than straight-up typing for all the corrections I had to make, it works better than Swype with less jitteriness and smoother, more swoopy glide-y stuff built right in. I had to say "swoopy, glide-y" at least once, because I always do when I'm talking about Windows phones...sorry.

But they're so swoopy and glide-y! It's simply amazing. Overall I'm pretty impressed with this phone.

Oh, and yes, the camera (my entire reason for buying it) works quite well. I just wish it had flash and a front-facing camera, too.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

See ETA at end...

The code block at fault is shown below this paragraph (and it could purely be bad coding that led to all the overrides - there are floats, absolute positioning is used on a link and there are all kinds of margins and padding). I'm not sure if I'm coding anything correctly, but my weird coding is mostly because the linkbar under each entry is two linkbars that I've jammed together. All DW styles have the misfortune of having two linkbars where we could get by with just one - one is for .entry-interaction (like sharing the post or leaving a comment on it) and one is for .entry-management (like editing a post's text or tags). The absolute positioning on the most errant link in question is, if I recall correctly, because I want to use border-radius on the reply count and it doesn't clear or position correctly without some pretty wonky code - which led to the reply count laying on top of the reply link in every browser except Firefox using just my original code - before I added in the following hacks.

/* original code */
.entry-readlink{position:absolute;} .entry-readlink a{float:none;vertical-align:top!important;padding:8px 12px;background:#555;font-size:95%;color:#fff;border-radius:50%;margin: 0 0 0 1.8em;}
/* because ms ie8/9/10/11/webkit desktop/phone will not parse a normal fucking margin: - ie is flipping margin display with chrome/opera webkit and ie8/9 hacks will not work on dw */
.page-entry .entry-readlink a, .page-reply .entry-readlink a {margin:0 0 0 1.8em !important;} .entry-readlink a, .entry-readlink a {margin:0 0 0 5.3em !important;} @media screen and (-ms-high-contrast: active), (-ms-high-contrast: none) { .entry-readlink a {margin:0 0 0 1.8em!important;} }@media screen and (-ms-high-contrast: active), (-ms-high-contrast: none) { .page-entry .entry-readlink a,.page-reply .entry-readlink a {margin:0 0 0 5.3em!important;} }
/* revert fx back from universal hacks above */
@-moz-document url-prefix() { .entry-readlink a,.entry-readlink a {margin: 0 0 0 1.8em!important;} }

In order of arrangement:

The first hack is universal - for IE, Chrome, and Webkit on Opera - I don't even want to know how Presto renders reply count links now, but it never gave me trouble before I added absolute positioning, which I believe is what screwed everything up in all browsers but Firefox. This hack involves writing your property/value declarations normally but then adding a space before the ! in !important. Like the hacks that follow, it clears the reply count link.

The second and third hacks - @media screen and (-ms-high-contrast: active), (-ms-high-contrast: none) {} - in theory work only in IE 11 but in practice work in any version of IE that supports the IE Edge HTML declaration (which I was using long before DW adopted it last week) so that's 10, 11 and presumably (unless MS has changed shit around again) the upcoming 12 (and no, I haven't grabbed an IE 12 preview yet and don't even know if one's available). This is to reset the universal hack for IE Lt because the reply count link fails to clear on the .page-recent, .page-entry and .page-reply views in all Webkit browsers but only misses clearing on the .page-entry and .page-reply views in IE versions 8, 9, 10 and 11 (don't even ask me to discuss 7).

The final hack resets Firefox to my default CSS, since it always worked just fine in Firefox despite fucking up in every other browser.

Which sort of brings me to the reason I wrote this post: I have multiple hacks for every version of every browser in existence that I can safely use on Dreamwidth except for IE 8 and 9 (the space before ! hack works in these versions, but I had to reserve it for my Webkit issues, so I'm shit out of luck). The only other hacks those IE versions will recognize are forbidden by Dreamwidth: backslash hacks (your CSS will be completely stripped by DW's CSS cleaner) and conditional comments (you can safely add these to your s2 but DW's compiler will just blithely ignore them).

While I'd like to kill the absolute positioning that led to this mess I don't think I can without re-introducing whatever problem I was solving. And while I'm not exactly asking my reading list for CSS help (I'd just drag myself over to [community profile] style_system if I was really, uh, determined, but they tend to get all flinchy at even the merest mention of IE problems, which will keep them from actually helping me almost every time) if any of you can see where I could kill or edit any part of my original code to not need the hacks, I would truly appreciate it.

ETA, early next morning: as usual, closing my laptop and being unable to re-open it for over 12 hours brought instant clarity. The code at fault was indeed .entry-readlink{position:absolute;} but the absolute positioning was more non-critical than I first recalled. All it did was allow me to set a negative margin on .entry-readlink a, and while setting that margin solves another problem I'm having (the reply count number sits either too low or high on every linkbar depending on which number it is - my layout is truly Bug Paradise) it's not important to keep it if that means keeping all the hacks I had to work around it.

I'm keeping this post up for now because it highlights two topics that sort of matter: 1) it shows absolute positioning can be kind of hard to play with in many browsers and 2) to remind me we could always use more good hacks (especially on Dreamwidth, given our CSS cleaner and s2 compiler limitations) to work around problems like that.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Because it's already growing kind of hellacious and/or hilarious, depending on the strength of your agreement - or lack thereof - with boolean logic, uh, its author.

Pro tip for [personal profile] fox: don't confuse programing with writing. People don't think or speak in algorithms. The logic they use is immediate and intuitive and won't tolerate strict parsing. Parsing can lead to race conditions. Which is exactly the problem being described, come to think of it.

But parsing race conditions can lead to sitewide buffer overflow, resulting in the Blue Screen of Unsubscribe. Also, brackets != parentheses. Guess what I'm about to do (the damn button is right over there ---> on all the DWs, not just on mine!)?


marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

So as some of you might know I have two jobs that take a long time to get to and from every day and haven't had a day off from either in like a month and have four cats and three people including myself to clean around and/or because of at home on a daily basis. I also take online surveys and maintain this blog because if I don't write I die. So I lack this thing called "time" many people talk about and therefore I eat terribly most of the time. This is especially sad because outside of writing (and sometimes, coding) my only other truly pleasurable activity is cooking. Everything. From scratch. Which obviously I no longer have much time to do. "From scratch" these days means: "Ooooh look, I made a salad. It's fresh!" which I eat with fried food or pasta and yeah, I'm so sick of salad I barely eat anything resembling a vegetable anymore, hot or cold.

It's not that I don't buy good, fresh food so don't have it around; I simply never cook or eat it. So I was eying a huge chuck roast up in the freezer the other day when I got this wild hair that even though I don't have time to cook I'd do so, anyway. Because who cares if I start prepping it close to midnight and throw it in the crock pot and it's done by tomorrow morning. I can eat some of it for an early dinner before work and the housemates can eat the other nine pounds of it that I'll never have time to look at again so it won't go to waste.

The only part I dreaded was the chopping. In my last life my ex did that for me because I hate chopping the way most people hate dental work and dying. I'm not good at it, I can't do it fast, the knives suck even if they're someone else's who swears they're just great (my taste in knives is so high-end I'd need another job to even indulge it) and I normally think chopping is a time-sucking waste of life. But after a few days the chuck meat was defrosted and I was all in for making this so there was no going back. I got home a little early tonight (for me - is "almost midnight" a little early?) and laid the meat on my glass cutting board (I knew it needed to be chopped into thirds to fit in the crockpot - go spatial reasoning), laid the veggies out on the counter - green peppers, yellow peppers, scallions, onion, celery and carrots that would all need to be chopped - and got so discouraged about having to grab a few knives and actually chop these things I made broth instead. Which I kind of needed to do first, anyway, so I could get it warm in the crockpot before adding any other ingredients.

Once I got the broth going (beef stock, orange juice, Worcestershire, soy sauce) I chopped the veggies and meat and braised it in olive oil to lock in the juices (never tried that before - hopefully the idea works), dumped it all in the crockpot, scrubbed the kitchen, did the dishes, cooked another meal (pasta, of course - this time it was fettuccine with braised portabello mushrooms and grape tomatoes in a white wine butter/cream sauce because working with beef made me crave something very savory - God was that good), cleaned and scrubbed the kitchen again, did another round of dishes and finally went to bed. I'd gone to the kitchen to begin chopping thinking I'd feel tired and just awful once it was over but I feel better now than I have all day - in fact, better than I've felt in a week. More centered, more focused...satisfied.

Perhaps it was all the cooking. Cooking from scratch really can do wonders for my mood. And maybe chopping wasn't such a bad way to pass the time, after all...