Archives for May 2013

May 2013 (8)
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Another Windows 8 annoyance: managing WiFi profiles

I had some issues today with the Windows 8 WiFi connection on my Dell XPS 12. Short story (the long one is tedious): I was using the machine at my local Acura dealer while waiting for the service on my wife’s car to be completed. I closed the lid once I could pay and get the car, yet when I opened it again at home, all Windows 8 wanted to do was to reconnect to the Acura dealers WiFi. It wouldn’t show my home WiFi at all. Even funnier (in hindsight), running the Troubleshooter resulted in a request to activate a ‘manual’ WiFi profile for an older wireless network for somewhere else. […]


Dumb CSS: cursor pointer or hand?

So I had an occasion to peruse someone else’s CSS today, when I came across this peculiar construct: […]


CSS3 line height is important for drop caps

Recently I was playing around and added drop caps to the blog posts on I decided to go for a pure CSS3 version (so, you’ll have to view this site in a reasonably fresh browser to see the effect) rather than a hacky <span> version that mixes presentation “hints” in the content. (For a brief discussion on the two possible methods, see Chris Coyier’s blog post here.) I certainly didn’t want to change all my posts to include spans on the first letter of the first paragraph. […]


Weird XML bug on iPad when displaying this site

The call came though the batphone from Mehul Harry: he was seeing an issue displaying blog posts from this site on an iPad. It was a new one on me and I quickly checked on my iPad using Safari: no problem. […]


Adventures with JSONP and jQuery

This whole thing started out as a nice-to-have. I have a blog (you’re reading it). I have a URL shortener ( They are separate apps on separate domains. When I publish a post here, I diligently create the short URL for it manually in order to publish that short URL on social sites (the URL shortener has some minimalist stats associated with each short URL; so minimal, it’s only a count of the number of times it was used). Yeah, I know, silly, huh: why can’t each post generate its own short URL? […]


PCPlus 321: Tilt-shift photography

This was one of those articles where I had to start from scratch with my research: I knew pretty much nothing about the subject. Sure, I was familiar enough with those photos of real buildings that looked as if they were made as a model on the kitchen table, but I had no idea how they were produced. I’d assumed that it might be some kind of digital post-processing of a photo, but I didn’t have any idea that you could purchase special tilt-shift lenses for DSLRs. […]


Buying a sleeve for the Dell XPS 12

My new XPS 12Speck Trim Sleeve for MacBook Air is a pretty nice machine. Small (0.8” × 12.5” × 8.5”) and light (3.35 lbs), despite the intricacies of the flip screen and the touch capability. The top and bottom are covered in some kind of black matt surface that’s easy to grip and doesn’t seem to mark that easily. Yet, I’d prefer having something to protect it. Unfortunately it’s not such a bestseller like, say, the 13” MacBook Air that a whole accessories industry has grown around it. […]


Upgrading hardware: Dell XPS 15z and XPS 12

We’re getting close to the conference season at work: in June I’m going to both TechEd US in New Orleans and //build/ in San Francisco. Rather than cart around my very unloved Surface RT (haven’t used it in possibly two months), I’ve been dithering about buying an Intel Windows 8 machine, a touch device, say a convertible.I’ve had my eye on two possibilities, the Surface Pro and the Dell XPS 12. Since none of the touch machines available right now just aren’t powerful or expansive enough to be my main PC, I’ve been thinking of upgrading that too. […]