Matt's Blog

Archive for December, 2007

Happy Holidays

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

I just wanted to wish everyone Happy Holidays! Have fun, be safe and have some more fun! 😀

Also, don’t forget about Boxing Day. Online Boxing Day sales start tomorrow (December 24), and most stores open early on Boxing Day (December 26). I’ll be doing some online shopping tomorrow, and some in-store shopping on Boxing Day.

Happy Holidays everybody!

Internet Explorer 8 Passes the Acid2 Browser Test

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Last week (on December 12, 2007), the latest build of Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) successfully passed the Acid2 Browser Test, says the official IEBlog. If you’re unfamiliar with the Acid2 Test, basically it’s a test for browsers, that uses some valid and invalid CSS (and some (X)HTML, of course) to make a smiley face. It’s meant to test browsers for their support for handling valid and invalid code. Here’s how the Acid2 test is supposed to be rendered:

Acid2 Browser Test - Perfect Rendering

Here’s how the latest build of IE8 renders it:

Acid2 Browser Test - Internet Explorer 8 Rendering

For reference, here’s how IE7 renders it (click for larger view):

Acid2 Browser Test - Internet Explorer 7

Here’s how FireFox 2.0.11 renders it (click for larger view):

Acid2 Browser Test - FireFox 2.0.11

…And here’s how FireFox 3 Beta 2 Renders it:

Acid2 Browser Test - FireFox 3 Beta 2

Hopefully this is just the beginning of great changes coming in IE8.

Update [December 18, 2007 at 10:43 PM]: Apparently, the Acid2 test is broken since about today (so, IE8 did actually pass the working Acid2, as that screenshot was taken on December 12, 2007). So here’s how FireFox 3 Beta 2 renders the working copy of Acid2. (thanks Asa Dotzler for letting me know about this!)

Acid2 Browser Test (working copy) - FireFox 3 Beta 2

Having Problems with your HP Pavilion dv6000, dv9000 or Presario v6000 series Notebook?

Friday, December 14th, 2007

HPHP announced today that there may be hardware issues with some (not all) with their HP Pavilion dv6000 and dv9000, and their Compaq v6000 series notebooks. The symptoms that may occur are these:

  • The notebook does not detect wireless networks and the wireless adapter is not detected in the Device Manager.
  • The notebook has no power and no active LEDs.
  • The notebook does not start.
  • The battery charge indicator light does not turn on when the battery is installed and the AC adapter is connected.
  • The notebook issues a single beep during boot indicating no power.
  • There is no video on the computer LCD panel or external monitor.
  • The external monitor functions but there is no image on the notebook LCD panel.

If your Notebook is affected by any of these issues, and qualifies, HP will fix it for free (including shipping charges to and from them). If your warranty is over, they’ll still fix it if it’s within 1 year of the end of your warranty, they’ll also give you a 90-day warranty on the repair. If you warranty is still in effect, it will remain unchanged.

Full details, instructions for checking your BIOS version and updating it (if needed) and an FAQ can be found here. Please note, that this problem does not affect all notebooks within the model and serial number range.

I think it’s pretty cool of HP to fix affected notebooks even if they’re out of warranty.

There’s also a critical BIOS update that you should do (regardless of if your notebook is affected by these problems or not). Also, before sending your notebook into HP, be sure to backup all your data, as they’ll probably reset your laptop to the factory state (ie. all your data and programs gone, Vista fresh, and bloated with bloat-ware).

This actually happened to my sister’s laptop (Compaq Presario v6317ca), on either Friday or Saturday last week, the Wireless Adaptor stopped working. Windows could not find any networks, and the Wireless Adaptor was not showing up in the Device Manager. So, I tried reinstalling the Device Driver, but that didn’t fix it. So, I tried updating the BIOS to the latest version, and that failed to work too. I even opened up the HP Wireless Assistant, and even that didn’t see the Adaptor. I had determined that the Wireless Adaptor was not working because of hardware problems. So, I shot an email to HP, and they told me to do what I had done already (except, they also wanted me to recover the laptop to factory state, I didn’t want to do that), and said that if the problem persisted after trying those steps, to phone HP Technical Support and explain the problem to them. I decided to try Live Chat first. I explained the problem, and what I did to troubleshoot and attempt to fix it. They were ready to setup the warranty service, but then they realize that the model in question was a Canadian model, and that I would have to phone HP Technical Support.

So, yesterday I phoned them up, and got through to somebody in about 5 minutes. I explained the problem to the guy who answered (who actually spoke English!!!) and what I did to troubleshoot it and attempt to fix it. He had me hard reset the notebook, which didn’t fix it. So, he had me plug an Ethernet cable into the notebook, to check if that worked (which I had done when the problem started, but forgot to mention it to the guy). Then, he had me power cycle my Internet Modem (apparently, I also forgot to mention that the problem wasn’t with my Wireless Network, as my notebook connects to it fine). Then, he put me on hold for 5 minutes, and came back on the phone and told me that it’ll need to be sent into HP for warranty service. He explained to me that HP will send me a box through FedEx, which contains instructions, and that I should pack the notebook into the box (duh), and either get FedEx to pick it up, or to drop it off to FedEx. He said the box should arrive on Saturday (tomorrow), and that it usually takes 7-10 business days for you to get your notebook back (article on HP’s site says 10-14…). But, since Christmas is coming up soon, it might take longer. And… well, that was it, the warranty service was arranged, and all I need to do is put it in the box, and hand it over to FedEx. Pretty simple.

I was quite surprised when I received an email regarding the exact same issue today, actually.

New Google Analytics Tracking Code

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Google AnalyticsIt appears that Google Analytics now has a new tracking code. I went to add a new site into Analytics today, and I noticed that the tracking code was different. I know it just happened today, because yesterday I also added a site. So far, there’s been no word from Google on this tracking code update.

When you go to where your tracking code is displayed, there are now two “tabs”, one called “New Tracking Code (ga.js)”, and the other called “Legacy Tracking Code (urchin.js)”. The new code now uses a different JavaScript file (on Google’s side) to track your site. Obviously, the old code will continue to work.

For reference, here’s what the old code looked like:

<script src="" type="text/javascript">
<script type="text/javascript">
_uacct = "UA-1138117-1";

…And here’s what the new code looks like:

<script type="text/javascript">
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");
document.write("\<script src='" + gaJsHost + "' type='text/javascript'>\<\/script>" );
<script type="text/javascript">
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-1138117-1");

What it appears to do differently is (other than using a different JS file, and different variables and functions) determine if the current page is using a SSL certificate (https://), and, if so, it will get the JS file from Google through a secure site, otherwise it’ll just get the file normally. The reason behind this is, most likely, so that when a user goes to the site, any alerts saying that some parts of the site are insecure, won’t be because of the Analytics tracking file.

Right above the tracking code, it says this:

Use this tracking code to gain access to a wide range of exciting new features as they become available.

…And above the legacy tracking code:

Refer to this tracking code if your site already has urchin.js installed. Please note that urchin.js will not receive feature updates and is not compatible with new features.

So, using the new code, or updating your currently tracked sites, will be beneficial. I wonder what new features are coming…

It appears to also be okay to update your current code with the new one:

Note: We recommend that you do not include both tracking code snippets together on any given page. Doing so might generate inaccurate report data. You can, however, migrate select pages of your site to the new tracking code while the legacy code remains on others.

To find the new code for one of your sites, head over to the list of your Analytics tracked sites, click edit beside it, and then click “Check Status” beside the checkmark and “Receiving Data”.

Well, I guess I’m going to start updating my Analytics tracked sites to use the new code (I just added two sites yesterday, too)…

Update [December 13, 2007 at 8:45 PM]: Google’s got a post on it over at the Analytics blog.

New Gmail Feature, Colourised Labels

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

GmailIt looks like Gmail has another new feature. I just logged into my Gmail account (after having to force-close my browser, after it stopped responding), and I noticed something different about the Labels panel in the sidebar. On the right side of the panel, were these little rounded-corner squares on each line of a Label.

Label Panel

Upon hovering over the little square, it changes to a green, downward-facing arrow.

Square Hover

When you click on the little square, a little box appears beside the square you click on, showing 24 little boxes that contains a different colour and a letter “a” with a similar colour. Under those little squares, is 2 links, “Remove color” and “Edit name”.

Colour Picker

So, what does all this mean? Well, you can know colourise your labels! Once you choose a colour, the little square beside the label name becomes that colour, and when viewing a email that’s labeled, the label name beside the subject will have the background colour of that label’s colour. Also, when in your Inbox, the label name in front of the subject will also be colourised.

Colourised Label

Colourised Label Beside Email Subject

Inbox Colourised Label

On the Labels page under Settings, the labels are not represented by their colour.

Gmail has called this new feature “colored labels”, and has added it to the what’s new page.

I think Colourised (or Coloured, w/e) Labels is an excellent idea. It’ll help you determine what Label an email is under quicker, because you can just memorise the association of labels and their colour, instead of actually reading the label name. Seems like a pretty sweet feature to me!