Archives for the month of: March, 2009

Please review this site: (check out the html)
Now consider this:

“The site,, which took a year to develop, was funded by UM and the state Office of Public Instruction’s Indian Education Division. OPI and UM split the $60,000 cost to build the site.”

I sent this email to, who are listed as the contacts for the site. I would encourage you to drop them a note as well.  If those of us who know better never say anything about sites like this nothing will ever change.


I would like to make a couple of comments on the site The TGIF newsletter mailed out by the University of Montana said this: “The site,, which took a year to develop, was funded by UM and the state Office of Public Instruction’s Indian Education Division. OPI and UM split the $60,000 cost to build the site.”

And honestly I am outraged. This site is completely inaccessible for folks using screen readers. I would encourage you to take a look at this site: among other things it says this: “Section 508 requires that Federal agencies’ electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities.” That means that you are violating Federal Law.

I have a hard time fathoming the fact that you spent $60,000 on this site that is nearly impossible for even sighted people to navigate and was put together by someone who is obviously not well informed as to the requirements of a federally funded website.

So i decided that it was important for me to join the masses and install Internet Explorer 8. After it required me to restart windows and here is what i got:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt.
<windows root>system32ntoskrnl.exe.
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

Thanks Windows. luckily i restarted AGAIN and windows booted normally. Well as normally as it can…/

When is enough enough? Today the technology, specifically the web development community is watching as Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 8. With every new browser, and every new browser version comes an increase in development time and hair pulling. So my question is when do we stop supporting old browsers? is there a formula or rubric to determine the longevity of support? I put together a simple timeline of browser releases and the support time time frame between Firefox and Internet Explorer.


The reason I’ve left out some of the prominent browsers is because they seem to have less trouble either auto-updating or vast support differences between releases. Browsers that ‘come with’ operating systems, with the exception of IE, like Safari on Apple update regularly and thus don’t have as much as an issue of users using legacy browsers. So when you are looking at the chart below, notice that IE and Firefox are broken into their versions, while all safari versions are lumped together.

To give this a little greater depth consider that 4,248 or .86% of our users are using Dialup, and 7,958 or 1.62% of our users have a screen resolution of 800 x 600. When we redesigned the Universities homepage we concluded that we needed to base the design on a width of 1024. So if we aren’t going to support the 1.62% of 800×600 users, should we support the 1.58% of Firefox 2 users?

Browser Visits Percent
IE 7.0 286,067 58.22%
Firefox 3 91,744 18.66%
IE 6.0 36,759 7.48%
Firefox 2 7,769 1.58%
IE 8.0 2,722 0.55%
FF 1,198 0.24%
IE 5.5 23 0.00%
Safari 52,983 10.78%
Chrome 2,980 0.61%
Opera 880 0.18%
Camino 249 0.05%
Mozilla 237 0.05%
Netscape 131 0.03%
Other 7,648 1.56%
Total 491,390 100.00%

The University of Montana’s browser statistics for the last month are in the table above. We test our sites in Firefox 2 and 3, and IE 6, 7 and now 8.  at what percentage of users is it exceptable to say enough is enough? is it 5% in which case we should stop testing in Firefox 2, is it 10% which would eliminate IE 6.  With the release of Internet Explorer 8 i would predict that very vew of the IE6 users will switch, and that IE 7 users will gradually migrate to IE8, but with the the bad taste of Vista still lingering the adoption process will not be as fast as the web developers would like.

conky is really nice. I followed the instructions from Club Ubuntu and was able to getting running. here are the basics:

sudo apt-get install conky

i used the .conkyrc file they recomend and then made some changes to fit my taste. some of the things i did:

  • Removed the Logging section.
  • Modified the Wireless to be Networking and edited to show external, wired, vpn, and wireless ip addresses.
  • i included more in the memory usage list
  • i edited the header to include uptime, processor info and gave it a title.

there are lots of examples online of how other folks have modified it to show more, and i played around with some of them, like trying to show the weather like they’ve done here but i had some difficulties getting to work correctly.

vim .conkyrc OR gedit .conkyrc

paste in this code:


# Create own window instead of using desktop (required in nautilus)
own_window yes
own_window_type override
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager

# Use double buffering (reduces flicker, may not work for everyone)
double_buffer yes

# fiddle with window
use_spacer right
use_xft yes

# Update interval in seconds
update_interval 3.0

# Minimum size of text area
minimum_size 150 800

# Draw shades?
draw_shades no

# Text stuff
draw_outline no # amplifies text if yes
draw_borders no
font arial
uppercase no # set to yes if you want all text to be in uppercase

# Stippled borders?
stippled_borders 3

# border margins
border_margin 9

# border width
border_width 10

# Default colors and also border colors, grey90 == #e5e5e5
default_color grey

own_window_colour brown
own_window_transparent yes

# Text alignment, other possible values are commented
#alignment top_left
alignment top_right
#alignment bottom_left
#alignment bottom_right

# Gap between borders of screen and text
gap_x 10
gap_y 10

# number of cpu samples to average
# set to 1 to disable averaging
cpu_avg_samples 2

text_buffer_size 1024

# stuff after ‘TEXT’ will be formatted on screen

$color${font arial:size=9}
${color orange}SYSTEM MONITOR $color
$nodename@$sysname $kernel on $machine${font arial:size=8}
${color}Uptime:$color $uptime ${color}
${execi 1000 cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep 'model name' | sed -e 's/model name.*: //'}

Battery ${battery_bar 6 BAT0}

${color orange}CPU $color
${freq}MHz${alignr}Load: ${loadavg}
${alignr}${loadgraph 20,250 e5e5e5 F1AA0E}
CPU Total:${color} ${cpu cpu0}% ${color}${alignr}Temp:${color} ${acpitemp}
${alignr}${cpugraph 0 20,250 e5e5e5 F1AA0E}
Core one: ${color}${cpu cpu1}% ${alignr} Core two: ${color}${cpu cpu2}%
${cpugraph 1 20,120 e5e5e5 F1AA0E}${alignr}${cpugraph 2 20,120 e5e5e5 F1AA0E}
NAME${alignr}PID         CPU%        MEM%
${top name 1}${alignr}${top pid 1}       ${top cpu 1}          ${top mem 1}
${top name 2}${alignr}${top pid 2}       ${top cpu 2}          ${top mem 2}
${top name 3}${alignr}${top pid 3}       ${top cpu 3}          ${top mem 3}
${top name 4}${alignr}${top pid 4}       ${top cpu 4}          ${top mem 4}
${top name 5}${alignr}${top pid 5}       ${top cpu 5}          ${top mem 5}
${top name 6}${alignr}${top pid 6}       ${top cpu 6}          ${top mem 6}
${top name 7}${alignr}${top pid 7}       ${top cpu 7}          ${top mem 7}
${top name 8}${alignr}${top pid 8}       ${top cpu 8}          ${top mem 8}
${top name 9}${alignr}${top pid 9}       ${top cpu 9}          ${top mem 9}

${color orange}MEMORY $color
Total: ${color}${memmax} ${alignr} Free: ${color}${memfree}
RAM: $memperc% ${alignr}Swap: $swapperc%
${memgraph 20,120 e5e5e5 F1AA0E} ${alignr} ${swapbar 20,120 }

${color orange}DISK USAGE $color
${fs_free /}/${fs_size /} ${alignr} ${fs_free_perc /}% Free
${fs_bar 6 /}$color

${color orange}NETWORK $color
External IP$alignr${execi 3600 wget -O - | tail}
Wired ${alignr}${addr eth0}
UM External${alignr}${addr tun0}
Wireles${alignr} ${addr wlan0}
${wireless_essid wlan0} ${wireless_link_bar 6 wlan0}
Down: $color${downspeed wlan0} k/s ${alignr}Up: ${upspeed wlan0} k/s
${downspeedgraph wlan0 20,120 e5e5e5 F1AA0E} ${alignr}${upspeedgraph wlan0
20,120 e5e5e5 F1AA0E}$color
Total: ${totaldown wlan0} ${alignr}Total: ${totalup wlan0}
Inbound: ${tcp_portmon 1 32767 count} Outbound: ${tcp_portmon 32768
61000 count}${alignr}Total: ${tcp_portmon 1 65535 count}

Yesterday i posted Critical Album based on these criteria and then Mr. Bowling posted his own. He talked a little bit about playing with the typography, so i decided to add one more rule to the mix, and change another. First i did a search on flickr for Creative Commons photos (instead of most interesting), and then picked one from that page, and the new rule is: use the “Font of the Moment” from 1001 Fonts for the title of the piece.  I think i would say that this is not an Album Cover but more a Hilarious piece of promotional material….


Thanks to immagina for the Creative commons photo on flickr