Boyce's Blog

any asshole can open up a museum

August 29, 2011
by Robert
1 Comment

Lion tip: Pause App Store downloads

In Mac OS X Lion, programs from the Mac App Store are downloaded in the order that they were purchased. Normally this is not an issue, but when you’re downloading 3 GB of Xcode, waiting several hours to install new apps is kind of a problem.

XCode downloading, Kindle app waiting

Fortunately, unlike iOS, Lion allows App Store downloads to be paused! Just click the Xcode icon in Launchpad to pause the download, and any other apps waiting on it will start downloading. Don’t forget to click the Xcode icon afterward to get it downloading again.

August 17, 2008
by Robert
8 Comments

Style Updates (Finally)

Apologies for being about three months late with these updates.  Styling fixes for Stormy Horizon and Upstream Tokyo are finally out.  Problems with background coloring on trimmed advanced archive pages and comments are now fixed.  I’ve upgraded to WordPress 2.6.1 and K2 RC7 and everything seems to be working as expected.

July 21, 2008
by Robert
0 comments

new.facebook

The Facebook redesign is everything I could have dreamed of and more.  There are a few things that are broken with Javascript off, but I certainly don’t do any browsing from Lynx or screen readers.  It’s also designed for a 1024px width, which is great news.  Things targeted at 800px screens are such a waste of good screen real estate, and flexible width design would be next to impossible on Facebook.  The combination of Mini-Feed and Wall is probably the most striking change.  It’s probably the thing that will cause the most confusion, but also probably the most useful.   I suppose that “Wall” is a better brand than “Mini-Feed”, but the new Wall is really the old Mini-Feed with the ability for you and your friends to add content of your choosing.  Application profile boxes have been relegated to separate tabs that require a click to display.  While this may be another unpopular choice for people who want to show off their “Werewolves” ranking, it works around the cruft that was building up quickly on everyone’s profiles.  The bad news is that this change in layout has broken several apps that I use, but hopefully developers will update quickly.  The new focus on the Wall may also cause developers to put more thought and effort into placing items in a user’s Mini-Feed.  Overall, the redesign has restored the simple elegance of Facebook’s profiles while improving the presentation of information and retaining the power of the application platform.

April 23, 2008
by Robert
2 Comments

stormy horizon updates

I’ve got a few style fixes for Stormy Horizon coming down the pipeline, but I’ve got a lot of school stuff to deal with for the next few weeks, so they may not be out until after May 8.  A proper gallery for the themes is also in the works.

March 8, 2008
by Robert
0 comments

Feature Comparison of Meebo and Gmail+Chat

So, with the addition of AIM service to Gmail, I figured that I would stop using Meebo. However, Meebo still has a place in my bookmarks toolbar. I’ve written up a list of pros and cons to using Gmail + Chat in place of Meebo:

Cons

  • Window management: To me, this is the reason that I generally continue to use Meebo. In Gmail, conversations can be minimized to the bottom edge of the browser window or popped out into separate windows. Meebo matches these features. Gmail, however, lacks the ability to resize, relocate, or even reorder conversations in any given tab. It automatically increases the height of the window as your chat goes on (capped at around 300 pixels), but this doesn’t compare to the ability to resize at will. This issue carries forward to the buddy list, which is probably more crucial. You can choose from four different height options, and there’s some option to only show your “most popular” contacts, but since I haven’t spent huge amounts of time on it, the people it picks to display are usually not very helpful.
  • Lack of multi-protocol support: Gmail lacks support for MSN and Yahoo! IM services. This is no big deal to me since all of my friends that use IM have either an AIM or Jabber account, but for some people I’m sure the addition of AIM support was about as useful as the addition of MSN support would be to me.

Pros

  • Logging: This is the main reason why I had considered switching to Gmail from Meebo for web-based IM. Gmail saves your chat logs alongside your email messages. While Meebo does offer searchable logs, searching can only be done on a per-contact basis.
  • Email integration: IM and email are inherently complementary services. Gmail allows you to transition between messaging and emailing your contacts with ease. Also, it provides presence information with your emails, along the lines of Apple’s Mail/iChat integration. These features wouldn’t be something that I would expect or even want from Meebo, but they certainly can be useful to have in a mail client

Conclusion

Overall, the addition of AIM to Gmail+Chat has made it a viable alternative to Meebo. While Meebo’s interface remains far better, Google’s search features and integration with the Gmail client make it highly convenient. I use Gmail+Chat if I’m just checking if someone is online, since I use Gmail as my only email client and often have a Gmail tab open anyway. But for any sort of prolonged chat, Meebo is still the best.

February 16, 2008
by Robert
0 comments

welcome to the new rcboyce.com

Yes, while things may look more or less the same right now, big changes are indeed in progress. I’ve just finished rewriting the code behind the consolidated front page to use object-oriented PHP5. I’ve also re-added the RSS code that was somehow lost, so the RSS feed is once again in working order. The projects area is ready for an overhaul as well, and I plan on putting up an HTML version of my resume

BONUS: If anyone has an iPhone or iPod touch, try adding a home screen bookmark for this site.

February 13, 2008
by Robert
1 Comment

upstream tokyo

Yes indeed, it’s that time of year again.  Today marks the launch of my new K2 style, Upstream Tokyo.  It’s back to a lighter palette, which will probably be a bit more seasonable in a month or two.  There’s also a defined shadow around the content area, which is a new addition to any of my styles.  This theme is compatible with K2 Release Client 3.  Likely there will be a few small updates to the other styles over the next few weeks, along with perhaps some larger news.

Download Upstream Kyoto

December 5, 2007
by Robert
0 comments

new front page

Yes, the new front page for rcboyce.com is live.  Content-wise, it should be almost identical to the old one, but hopefully you’ll still notice a difference. :)  I may need to rewrite some of my date-rendering code at some point, though…

December 4, 2007
by Robert
1 Comment

early dec. update

Um, let’s go ahead and forget that that abortion of a fall theme ever happened. Back on Stormy Horizon, which should have a new release with some additional CSS fixes after finals next week. I’ll probably put together a nice winter-y theme sometime over semester break as well.

In other news, expect an attractive new front page for rcboyce.com featuring slightly more design work than a background gradient image.

November 1, 2007
by Robert
0 comments

k2 rc

K2 is hitting Release Candidate now, and there seems to be a need for some slight changes to my styles. As you can see on the blog, I’m working on a new fall-themed one at the moment, with fixes for the other three coming soon.