Share a Gadget, Tip, Trick, Fix or Hack

a book cover generated onlineIngenious people keep on coming up with great ideas for making things easier. Not just online, everywhere. What have you come across lately?

Here’s my contributions to kick things off:

  1. Sometimes they are so ingenious that things that used to work no longer do, which is what I’ve noticed that with new browser upgrades, some web standards have changed. Fear not, you can still make your content formatting work as it used to!
    • For instance, I’ve noticed that <i>tags (italic text) don’t seem to work any more on sites when viewed in Firefox. If this is happening to you, use <em> tags (emphasise text) instead. Same goes for <b> tags (bolded text) – switch to using <strong> tags (strong text).
    • Image embedding needs to have a self closing string now, or else the image won’t display in all browsers. i.e.
      <img src="http://domain-name/imagename.jpg" alt="description of image" width="number of pixels" height="number of pixels" />
    • Ideally you should always include the width and height of a picture, because it speeds up page loading – the browser can reserve that space for the image element and load it in the background while it processes the rest of the HTML for that page. Alt-text I hope everybody here understands about already for accessibility reasons, but it’s also good SEO practice.
  2. Also awesome for geek bloggers – now has a shortcode for posting sourcecode on your blog over there.

Categories: fun & hobbies, technology


7 replies

  1. BTW, a couple of old plugins that I loved don’t work any more, but I really wish that they did. Anybody out there in the readership wanting to hack around with some PHP to get them compatible with newer WordPress versions?

  2. I had one of those “Dang, why didn’t I think of that?!” moments the other day when a friend told me about using clumping cat litter to clean up liquidy messes that you would rather not sop up in their liquid state for whatever reason (we were discussing dogs at the time).

  3. If you’re like me and you’re incapable of pouring oil into your car engine without spilling it on the motor head and creating a nasty mess, don’t buy a funnel, because then you risk getting grit in the oil if you don’t clean it properly, and it’s a lot of hassle to do that. Buy a packet of conical cardboard party hats and every time you put oil in the car just snip off the end for a disposable funnel.
    By the time you’ve accounted for cleaning the non-disposable funnel I reckon the environmental impact would be lower, too.

  4. A laundry-oriented one. When hanging out sheets on a standard Hills Hoist-style clothesline, hang them underneath the four diagonals. This saves you line space, and also means you’ve started the folding process when you bring them in (they’re already folded in half lengthways, and I tend to find the bringing in involves folding them in half widthways as well). I learned this one from my mother.

  5. Mr Kozy discovered this one: there’s an iPod touch (and iPhone) app that uses a bluetooth connection to make the iPod work as a remote for your Mac laptop when running presentations in Keynote. Why is this better than the remote that comes with your laptop? Because what you see on the screen of the iPod is the slide being projected, and the slide coming up. And because the connection doesn’t rely on uninterrupted line-of-sight between the operator and the laptop, you can be standing anywhere in the room. Very, very clever.

  6. Aaaand I just deleted the first spam from a commercial pro-hacks website. Nope, not what this post is about, buddy.

  7. Just realised that I didn’t make it clear exactly what a “self-closing string” is in my tip on image embedding above.
    Most markup tags have an opening string and a closing string <a href=”URL”> is an opening string, </a> is a closing string when hyperlinking text to a URL.
    Calling an image using HTML has never required a closing tag such as the hyperlink markup above, but to meet the latest web standards it does require the code to be self closing, so that it ends with a slash before the closing caret, i.e. />. If you embed an image and it doesn’t show up in your post, double check to see that you’ve included the closing slash before the caret.

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