Archive for the 'Tips and Tricks' Category

Business Card Layout Template

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Recently I was asked to help out a friend and set up a page of business cards for her to run off at the printers. To my surprise, I couldn’t find a template for this online. I’m sure they exist, but my search came up empty. So, I put together my own template. In an effort to make these sorts of searches easier for some of you in the future I thought I’d put it out there to share.

I have both the full page template and the single card template (with front and back).


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Adium Problem – Error: Socket is not connected

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

I ran into an annoying little problem last week – Adium was no longer able to connect with my AIM account. The error it kept giving me was “Adium problem – Error: Socket is not connected.” Frustrating!


After hunting around the web a bit and finding several headache-inducing solutions (involving deleting, uninstalling, reinstalling, etc), I found a forum comment that I thought worth a try.

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How to Make PSD Files Always Open in Photoshop, Not Preview

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

For my first installment of “I discover, you discover” this one is hot off the presses of about an hour ago.

OK, so it’s a small annoyance but one that irks me nonetheless. Whenever I go to open a .psd file I always have to right-click and then choose “Open With” and then choose Photoshop. I’d simply prefer to have .psd files always open in Photoshop. I poked around a bit and figured out how to do it.

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Easily Track Time Across Multiple Projects

Friday, September 7th, 2007

If you freelance then you’ve many times guesstimated the time you’ve spent on projects. You’ve often had a nagging suspicion that you’ve either overcharged a client or cheated yourself. Recently I’ve discovered a little web app that has put an end to those issues for me.

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My Life May Have Just Been Changed

Monday, March 12th, 2007

I just attended the most impactful presentation I have seen here at SxSW. It was called The 4-Hour Workweek: Secrets of Doing More with Less in a Digital World and it’s description read, “Is your team mired in the goo and muck of old-school thinking? Are your designers and developers divided on their approach and about to throw in the towel? Are you dying to move from a stale world to a more agile, innovative approach? This panel features formerly stuck experts as well as those who have helped clients get out of the muck. Success in today’s web environment means merging design and development thinking to move to a 2.0 world and beyond.”

I almost didn’t go to this today because it was the first panel of the morning, I was tired, and I couldn’t really tell from the description whether it would be interesting or now. Well, the description was misleading. The lone presenter, Tim Ferriss, was a charismatic, dynamic, power-horse of amazing advice. Honestly, right now, my mind is a bit blown. I am filled with manic energy while I frantically try to process how my entire view of running a business and living a life may very well have just been dramatically altered.

Here are my notes from this radical presentation:

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My Take On Browser Testing Order

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Recently I came across this article on Browser testing order in which the author suggests that you build and test your web sites in the following order:

  1. Firefox/Flock/Camino on OSX
    (he says, “Firefox is my development browser during the first phases of CSS development. No other browsers in my dock gets opened.”
  2. Firefox/Flock on Windows XP
  3. Safari on OSX
  4. Internet Explorer seven
  5. Opera on OSX and on Windows XP
  6. Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP

I feel the need to, respecitively, differ on his take.

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Three-Level Drop-Downs/Flyouts – IE7 Style

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

Some things really frustrate me … I mean REALLY frustrate me! One of those things is the CSS drop-down or fly-out menu. I know – it’s supposed to be simple and easy, ala HTML Dog’s Sons of Suckerfish. Yet, somehow, it’s never actually easy – layouts need to be changed, new bugs having to do with those layouts are uncovered, javascripts and htdocs that worked perfectly on other sites mysteriously don’t work now. Almost every time, I think to myself, “This is going to be easy! I’ve done something very similar to this recently!” And almost every time I am wrong. There’s always a new wrench in the works.

Well, this time the wrench was IE7. I had a functioning drop-down/fly-out menu which made use of the Hover Whatever method, but for some reason, SOME REASON which I couldn’t for the life of me discover, IE7 just would not display that third-level nav list. The second level would appear just fine, but that third level was invisible … would never show itself upon hover. I tried absolutely everything I could think of – I rewrote the code again and again, trying angle after angle. But no matter how I wrote it, I just couldn’t get it to work for all the tea in China. Finally, FINALLY (can you sense my frustration?) I found a solution. A weird solution which didn’t make any sense to me at all, but a solution nonetheless.

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Still Having Difficulties With Floats In IE? Try Using Borders or Padding Instead of Margin

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

We’ve all been frustrated by float bugs in IE – all versions of IE. There’s the Double Margin bug, the Drop Float bug, the Three Pixel bug, and the myriad other mysterious float problems.

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Embed Tag Got Your Validation Down?

Monday, October 30th, 2006

If you’ve ever embedded a flash object in a web page and then tried to validate it then you’ve probably discovered that it doesn’t validate. Why? Because, for some bizarre reason the W3C doesn’t recognize the <embed> tag, the one most often used to run flash movies on the web, as valid HTML. Grrr …

Until recently I thought that that was just my tough luck – that there was nothing to be done about it other than put up with it. I also thought that most folks nerdy enough to validate my sites would also be nerdy enough to know that that it’s not my fault if a page doesn’t validate simply because of the <embed> tag. Apparently, however, I was wrong on both counts.

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Becoming A Tableless Guru

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

This morning I received an email from someone who reads my blog. He asked, “Can you send me some links to help me become a tableless design guru? My group uses nested tables everywhere and I want to be the catalyst for change but … I am not up to par yet.” I have had some form of this question posed to me numerous times and, I’ll admit, I’ve been rather derelict in responding. So if you are one of my readers who have in the past asked me for links, books, or other recommendations on how to master CSS then please forgive my non-response. I applaud you for wanting to move forward and for your thirst for knowledge. I really do apologize if my lack of response presented you in any way with a little speed bump on your road to Web Standards.

The reason that I haven’t responded in the past is that, quite frankly, I felt overwhelmed … because I really didn’t know where to start. Sure, there are some pretty good books out there, and sure, there is quite a long lists of blogs that I try to visit regularly – and I will tell you what these are in a moment – but the truth is, at least for me, I had to pretty much eat, sleep, and breath CSS for a while before I even began to feel like I sorta kinda knew what I was doing.

So, how exactly do you eat, breath, and sleep CSS? Well, I can only tell you what I did …

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