Black Friday & Macs

by cdwise 28. November 2008 23:19

I saw on the news today that Apple stores were having an unprecedented  "sales event" not a sale according to the report I saw but a special event. I'm not sure what the difference is when there is a short term price drop of around $100 on Macs and $10-30 on iPods, do you?

If you already have a Mac or are going to get one at this special event and would like Office Mac 2008 for it INDEZINE through Friday, Nov. 28 2008 you can get Office 2008 for half price. It isn't often that I post some special price on hardware or software here but this one caught my eye. I know quite a few people like me that have both Macs and PCs but often don't have the same software on each computer so I though I'd pass it along.

According to the article you can purchase Office Mac half off at, Best Buy and Apple stores.

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Notes from November Live Meeting

by cdwise 25. November 2008 07:57

In case you missed it we hosted a live meeting discussion on Expression Web a couple of weeks ago. The best part of the meeting was a whiteboard discussion of Expression Web resources and add-ins.

I had attempted to record the meeting but due to technical difficulties that didn't work out so well but I was able to capture the whiteboard notes as a PDF. I thought about retyping them here but decided to attach the pdf instead.


Topics for future Live Meeting suggestions include:

  • Bugs in Expression Web
  • Shortcuts, tips & tricks for working faster and creating better pages in Expression Web
  • Migrating from FrontPage to Expression Web
  • Guests from the Expression Web product team
  • How to choose a hosting company
  • Using FTP in Expression Web and third party tools for when Expression's FTP doesn't work (IIS 7, sFTP & FTPs)
  • When to use a CMS like DotNetNuke, Drupal or Joomla vs lightweight CMS like Content Seed or just a plain old static site.

We are hoping to have a monthly Live Meeting to discuss Expression Web and web design topics (including Dreamweaver and other editors). Let us know what topics you would like to see discussed.


Expression Web | LiveMeeting

Is it Verdana? No

by cdwise 12. November 2008 23:35

A question that comes up frequently on many of the web design groups I belong to is "What is the best font for the web?" Frequently followed by "Is it Verdana?"

My answer is NO!

I guess that makes it clear what my opinion is, doesn't it. This is why.

In my opinion it is not Verdana because while Verdana is easy to read (developed for use on the web) it is a proprietary font that is only available on Windows or Mac computers that have Microsoft Office (or other MS Mac program) installed. Years ago it was available on all Macs but then IE used to be the default browser on the Mac. The issue with using Verdana is that it has a larger x/y ratio than any of the other fonts commonly used in a font family group. So if you size your font display based on Verdana and the visitor does not have Verdana the font may well be too small. Try typing a sentence using Verdana, do a <br /> and type the same sentence in Arial directly underneath the sentence so you can compare the two fonts in length and size. You should see a noticeable difference. Here is mine, the top sentence is in Vedana while the bottom one is in Arial. I'll throw in a third in Tahoma since that is the font I typically use in a sans-serif font group, as well:

This is my Verdana and Arial comparison.
This is my Verdana and Arial comparision.
This is my Verdana and Arial comparision.

Think about how that will work for visitors who don't have Verdana available.

There really is no "one" best font for the web because it depends on the site, the size of the font, even whether or not you are using the font for heading or body text. What you should be doing is using a font family group with your preferred font first then a series of fonts that are in the same font family ending in the generic font family name. Commonly used ones are:

Tahoma, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif
Georgia, Times, "Times New Roman", serif

Like Verdana both Tahoma and Georgia were created for use on the web. While both were also commissioned by Microsoft their x/y ratios are very close to Helvetica and Arial so there won't a significant sizing difference for visitors.

You may also have noticed that after Tahoma and Georgia I listed Helvetica and Times instead of Arial and Times New Roman. That is because those are the fonts most commonly found on the Mac and considered by many Mac users to be more readable/attractive than the generic Arial or Times New Roman. So why give them the more generic version of a font that is Mac native when you are giving those with Microsoft programs installed their native versions?


Web Design | Accessibility

Google Election Homepage

by cdwise 5. November 2008 02:26

Friends in the UK were unable to see the Google homepage image today community today as an important electron day so I'm posting a quick screen snip for their enjoyment.




New Computer

by cdwise 4. November 2008 01:37

Which as I  love my Motion tablet I got a new convertible table last Friday. I am spent much longer setting it up than I had expected. if you are curious about why I am replacing my beloved Motion tablet with a Lenovo x200 the answer is simple: Adobe CS 4 master Collection. Motion to save weight uses 1.8" hard drives which is not available in a large enough capacity for me to use Creative Master Suite 4.

Normally I can set up a new computer in a couple of hours but this time has been different. There are several reasons for the longer set-up time. First, I usually reformat any new computer and start from scratch. This time because I am using a 64 but version of Vista  I started by upgrading from Vista Business 64 to Vista Ultimate 64. I would have ordered my Lenovo x200 tablet with Vista Ultimate 64 but Lenovo of offered Ultimate pre-installed in the 32 bit version.

One thing I discovered that many, if not most, of the pre-installed Lenovo specific 64 bit drivers were replaced by older generic 64 bit drivers during the "upgrade". I found this very annoying, especially considering that upgrading takes much longer than a clean install, sigh.

Fortunately there was relatively few pre-installed programs to uninstall. The only one I have uninstalled so for is the trial version of Office 2007 since  I have an enterprise license for Office 2007. The MacAfee trial was not pre-installed just available for install if desired, a much better option.

I now have the essential programs installed: Office 2007, Adobe CS4 Master Suite and Expression Web. Remaining to install are Camtasia, SnagIt and a bunch of smaller special purpose programs like WS-FTP Pro.

Now that my x200 is ready for use I will be able to start comparing the two. One thing I know already is that I will be using the Cross tables pens I first bought for use with my Toshiba m200 with this x200. The pen that came with my Motion tablet has such a pleasant feel that the Cross pens were regulated to my desk drawer. However, battery life is better on the x2oo and it runs cooler. Both I suspect are due to processor improvements since I purchased my Motion. I must admit that the decision to replace my Motion with this x200 was a hard one since I really do prefer the Motion in many ways, sigh.



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