MainelyDesign.com Blog

Usability Tagged Blog Posts

Free iPod to iTunes Music Transfer on Windows - iBackuper

Posted on 02/23/2013 at 11:47 am | Viewed 33,850 times | 0 comments

iBackuper is an iPod Access and Transfer Tool for Windows

My review of iBackuper: Excellent, Simple and easy to use.  You can't go wrong when there are only 3 buttons.

I can restore my iTunes Library onto a new Computer using my iPod. Sure thing.

My Windows music library computer finally crashed.  With its demise, all of my music files were safe.  Don't worry I said.  All my music is safely backed up to my iPod.  Common sense, right? Well, to actually import your iPod into iTunes and make your iPod be the actual starting point for the new music library (on the PC), you can't do it in iTunes!  You need software!  Well, most of us need software- if all of your music is in iCloud then you wouldn't be reading this article, anyway.  Right?

Best CSS Method for Using Image as Submit Button

Posted on 02/03/2010 at 12:17 pm | Viewed 16,989 times | 2 comments

I came across an interesting issue with web forms and CSS.  Surprisingly, the end result is much better than I expected.  I knew that using an image instead of a traditional form submit button (<input type="submit">; instead of <input type="image"> or <input type="button">) would be a little challenging.  I like a challenge, plus I wanted to use the submit button because it's the standard approach to forms and I remember reading somewhere that input's of type image or button do not submit when you press enter...a usability faux paus in my opionion.

Auto Columns with Columnizer - My New Favorite Jquery Plugin

Posted on 09/30/2009 at 10:37 am | Viewed 16,542 times | 2 comments

I was about to start coding a CakePHP helper that would analyze a bulleted list and split it into columns.  Starting to think about how I would approach this problem, my head began to hurt.  Then I found an awesome jQuery plugin- columnizer.

A Really Good Implementation of Captcha

Posted on 09/22/2009 at 02:45 pm | Viewed 7,829 times | 0 comments

Awesome Captcha Implementation

I just experienced a version of Captcha that I actually like.  Instead of having to type in jumbled letters and phrases or answering simple questions, Service2Client actually asks you to identify the color of the letter in a certain position.  Not only does it fool spambots (I would assume anyway) but it's pretty easy to understand.

Adding Anchors to Your CakePHP Generated Urls (#link)

Posted on 07/02/2009 at 09:02 am | Viewed 27,840 times | 2 comments

This may seem simple and trivial, but it took me a little while to figure out.  If it saves someone a little trial-and-error then great (I know I won't forget how to do it).

I needed to create a redirect in CakePHP that redirected to an inline, on-page anchor- <a name="destination">Scroll to Here</a>.  Typing the link directly into the address bar of the browser, it would need to look like this: http://www.mainelydesign.com/blog/view/1219/#destination.  The #destination is what I needed to figure out how to append to the redirected url.  Turns out it was easy...

Fixing the Default HP OfficeJet Scanner Settings (which suck)

Posted on 05/28/2009 at 11:11 pm | Viewed 9,375 times | 0 comments

The default settings for my OfficeJet L7500 All-In-One Scanner suck!  I thought the scanner was junk.  Every photo I scanned, espcially glossy finished photos, were coming out looking like they were from a 1960s era camera: over-exposed and super high contrast.  Not good!  I thought I had good Photoshop skills, but even they were no match for the over-exposed mess that HP was sending into Photoshop.

Making Apache Parse .html files as .php Files

Posted on 05/13/2009 at 12:09 pm | Viewed 8,165 times | 0 comments

When re-designing a site, or somehow being locked into a given web site structure that uses .html (or .htm) file extensions, it's a good idea to keep the file names the same (especially if the site has been around a while and has good search engine visibility).  Think you can't use PHP on .html or .htm web pages?  Think again.  With apache it's as easy as modifying the .htaccess file.

Getting Full Resolution Pictures out of MS Word (almost)

Posted on 04/29/2009 at 11:14 am | Viewed 10,651 times | 1 comment

People use what they know.  Most of the time I get photos embedded in an MS Word document for use on a web site.  My workaround to date has been to enlarge the picture (in Word) until it is as big as it gets (keeping quality) or the size I need.  I would then do a print screen and paste into Photoshop. 

I knew that there had to be a better way, but at least I was getting as much resolution as possible from the photo/picture.  Well I came across an interesting scenario today- I couldn't enlarge the photo.  I don't know if formatting was locked on it, but I didn't have time to fiddle with it.  Instead I searched for a way to export embedded photos at full resolution and found this thread.

Best Tiny Font for Web Graphics

Posted on 04/28/2009 at 05:03 pm | Viewed 10,397 times | 0 comments

I finally found the perfect font for making really small, yet readable text in web graphics.  I've played around with plenty of fonts and usually arrive at a reasonable result.  In the past I would use Eurostyle with enough spacing to make it legible.  Now, I have a new go-to font for small typeface.  Introducing Silkscreen.

Preformatted Text in TinyMCE <pre></pre>

Posted on 04/21/2009 at 10:26 am | Viewed 15,343 times | 1 comment

Now that I've got my blog up and running, I've been playing around with syntax highlighting of source code.  I really appreciate sites that serve up code samples in a nice format, so I've tried to comply with my own version of this best practice.

Getting Geshi working, for syntax highlighting was one battle (I'll try and post what I came up with later). My real trouble came with using <pre></pre> tags for my code samples within TinyMCE.  I absolutely love TinyMCE! I did a lot of research on the best JavaScript-based WYSIWYG editor oh about 5 years ago, and decided on TinyMCE and never looked back.  I use it in all of my applications that require formatted HTML input (especially Site Avenger).  Every now and then I will look at another editor (I know 5 years is ancient by web standards) but I've never found an editor I like more.  Each editor has its quirks and I think the quirks within TinyMCE are the most manageable (as I tell my clients- even MS Word has quirks, you're just used to them).

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