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Showing posts from August, 2007

Wii are the fastest selling console

It's official.  According to Chart Track, the Nintendo Wii is the fastest selling home console in history.

Selling 1 million units in 38 weeks, it surpassed PS2 which sold 1 million units after 50 weeks and XBox 360 which sold 1 million units in 60 weeks.

This means that the Nintendo Wii has a 68% stake in the home console market, and the Nintendo DS has an 86% stake in the handheld gaming market.

"The non-stop demand for Wii even in the traditionally slow sales periods for video games in the UK is clearly behind this record breaking achievement," states the report.

I believe that the main reasoning behind this is the innovation that Nintendo is putting into their products, like the motion sensor-based controller.  When I first read the reports in the grapevine of this, I couldn't believe, yet they pulled it off.  Sony tried to come up with their own version, but it's not as sophisticated.

The report continues to state: "The performance of both systems [Wii and t…

CSS 3 Column Liquid Layout

When it comes to trying to use pure CSS to layout documents, it may seem daunting at first but is actually more straightforward than using tables.

First off, define the columns in your HTML page:

<divid="leftColumn">Content comes in here...</div>

<h1>Document Header</h1>
<p>Content comes in here......</p>

<div id="rightColumn">Content comes in here.......</div>

Now that is the structure put in place.  The wizardy is done using the ids of each div:
#leftColumn {
position: absolute;
left: 0;
width: 20%;
margin-top: 1%;
#middleColumn {
position: absolute;
min-width: 360px;
width: 58%;
margin: 1% 1% 0 1%;
#rightColumn {
position: absolute;
left: 80%;
width: 20%;
margin-top: 1%;

The top value can be set to any value depending on whether you are using headers and what the size is.  Margins were used so that the left and right columns can do a b…

Professional Open Source

Many people think that Open Source software is only for the home user. How wrong can they be? Very. I remember many years ago of how many charities and companies started to migrate to the Linux platform, in order to use open source software. The fundamental reason for this was that the software is free and the second reason was that there was not much open source software on the Windows operating system.

Being free software, companies can reduce their overheads and not worry about the licensing restrictions that big companies impose. The big problem with commercial software is that there are so many features making them require higher spec machines. So you're stuck with your existing software or forced to upgrade your PC.

By reading my previous posts you can tell that I am an Open Source advocate. But I really believe (among others) that Open Source software has left the bedroom a long time ago and you can really run a business using Open Source. Just don't forget to make a cont…

Accessible and Usable Websites

I remember the days when I started with web design. While specifications and proposed standards were drafted, many designers and developers were lazy in making websites accessible in many browsers, including myself.

The Internet has come a long way since, especially now that governments are making services and information available. I was given my awakening when studying User Centred Design and HCI concepts, realising that a lot of people are missing out. That is when I began utilising my design and marketing skills to provide consultancy to companies that produce web services/applications for the Local Authorities in the UK.

My role with my current company is primarily consultancy to ensure that marketing and the online products are usable/accessible, but have been involved in development to ensure that the guidelines are implemented. I was astonished that they never considered making their software usable/accessible until I came along.

There must be more companies and local authorities…

CSS Rollover Buttons

My work place tasked me with trying to be as purist as possible with HTML and CSS for an interface their web application. Without any formal web development background, I have always been one of those who intermingle the code and have presentation within the HTML.

I think it came out pretty well. I separated design from content in addition to separating the dynamics. Mind you, I even separated out all the server talk and taught myself some XML/XSL in the process. After all that I learnt Ajax, without realising it.

One little nugget from all this is creating a pure CSS rollover button for the menu, without Javascript. There's alot of websites that help out in this, but they are not "pure" as they involve you including the image in the HTML and to perform some shifting with the image. Hell no to that.

My way leaves out the usual ul tag and dives straight into the anchor (a) tag as it should be: