Archive of: 2003

  • Beagle 2 Is On It's Way

    It’s been confirmed that Beagle 2 has successfully seperated from Mars Express and is on it’s way to Mars. Fantastic news!

    Now we just have to wait for Blur’s tune on xmas day to confirm it has landed safely.

    It’s a good day to be a space geek.

    [update 14:12]

    There’s now an image up on the ESA site taken from Mars Express of Beagle 2 slowly coasting away on the final leg of it’s journey.

  • Happy Birthday celebrated our 5th birthday yesterday.

    Elfur , Stef and Joel have written some articles to commemorate the event and to look forward to what the future may hold.

    Here’s to another 5 years.

    /me raises a glass.

  • Blowing Our Own Trumpet

    I’ve just found out that we’ve won "Site Of The Week" in New Media Age magazine for The Pier with a score of 74/100.


    As the article notes, we haven’t nailed the persona of the brand as much as we would like, but we already knew that and it’s currently being looked at for the next phase of development.

    Still, 74/100 for a first phase development isn’t to be sneezed at.

  • Drupal Upgrade

    Just upgraded to drupal 4.3.1. Nothing major has changed, just a few minor bug fixes. See the article for full details.

  • Dumb Dumb Dumb

    Take a close look at this page for BT Global Services (nee BT Ignite, nee BT BuyNet).

    Do you see those drop downs on the right hand side?

    They’re not drop downs. Some bright spark web developer has implemented a dHTML menu to recreate the functionality of a drop down select menu.

    I could have probably forgiven that (although don’t get me started on a rant about re-implementing perfectly fine UI elements) if it had degraded gracefully, but then to make things even worse, they’ve made it look like a drop down.


    Drop down menus activate upon a click (whether that be from a mouse or a keyboard), expanding to reveal the available options. Once they lose focus they collapse again.

    Not these bastardised dHTML versions.

    They expand merely by hovering over them, thereby breaking the users expectations of how a widget that looks like a drop down should behave and just generally getting in the way when you’re trying to read the content.


    Keep user surprise to a minumum, fulfil their expectations of interface behaviour. They’ll thank you for it.


  • Personalised Christmas gifts (t-shirts, mouse mats, mugs etc)

    Christmas is a time for giving. So I’ve decided to give some friends of mine a little shout out for their business. Might as well use my Google page rank for something!

    Dave and Howard run TShirt Studio, A company producing premium quality custom t-shirts, mugs, mouse mats and much much more. You can specify your own design, whether it be artwork or even a photograph, and get it printed on a t-shirt (front/back/breast or any combination thereof), polo-shirts, a mug, even a teddy bear if you so desire.

    So go on… treat that special someone in your life.

    (Dave, Howard, you owe me a pint.)

  • Shadows (not the Cliff Richard ones)

    If you’re using Safari on Panther then you may have noticed a subtle change to the sidebar headings. It’s subtle, but it’s there

    Martin sparked it off in #evolt and pointed to his rundown of the stuff that’s available. So I figured why the hell not!

    Of course now that Martin and me are talking about drop shadows and backgrounds, Mike thinks the 90’s revival is on it’s way.

  • Danger Will Robinson

    So how do you design a system of markers to keep people away from a nuclear waste dump for 10,000 years? I’ve no idea, but Sandia National Laboratories had a crack at it.

    Isn’t that a nice cheery thing to kick off the weekend.

  • ARG!

    Over the past week I’ve found myself getting sucked into an ARG based in the world of The Matrix (If I lost you right after that first sentence, then this will give you a good overview of what ARG is. Also see articles linked from the press page at ARGN).

    ARG is not a new thing for me, I was aware of the game Majestic when it launched, and I followed Beast (the ARG created to promote A.I.) for a little while, but apart from that they didn’t really interest me. However, the Metacortex game has got me hooked (this primer and history will get you up to speed with what’s happened so far).

    I don’t know whether it’s because I like the premise behind The Matrix universe so I was willing to give this a little more time than any of the others, or whether it was just the fact that when I started reading the Unfiction forums I fell down the rabbit hole.

    But anyway, I’m intrigued by the whole thing and it’s renewed my enthusiasm for what this technology is capable of.

    It has amazed me, watching all these people working together on a labyrinthine network of puzzles, solving clues using code breaking, steganography, social engineering, and psychology. I haven’t been this excited about the networking/community building potential of the internet since I first discovered Usenet.

    How did I miss this quiet evolution?

  • Drupal 4.3

    So while I was away they decided to release drupal 4.3. What swines!

    Anyway, we’re now on 4.3 and it’s running like a charm. I had a few minor issues with the database upgrade, but nothing nasty and probably more due to me dicking around with some stuff during the 4.2 cycle.

    Intergrated admin menus++ (hence the slight reordering of blocks).

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