WP1.5 is out. Fetch! (though upgrade with care, kiddies! Back up first!)
UPDATE: follow the upgrade instructions if you’re going from 1.2 to 1.5. I plan to play with this after the weekend, as tonight I must get ready for a journey to France.

Browser wars – new skirmish

IE7 in development – official. Not much information at the moment, and this announcement has clearly been spurred by the rapid success of Firefox. As a seasoned IE user (heck, I used IE back when everyone thought that Netscape 3 was the mutt’s nuts) who also has Firefox on my machine, I’d ask a few questions:

  • is this going to be a new build or a tarting up of IE6? I suspect the latter.
  • will it have better standards support and compliance? I suspect so, but whether it will have enough to match the other browsers in the market, given that they will also be improving their offering between now and the launch of IE7, is another matter.
  • how long will we have to wait? At least a year, I reckon.
  • will there be changes to the user interface? For all its faults (no need to list them here), IE has an interface that is easy to learn for any computer novice that has become familiar with any other component of the MS Office suite – and, let’s face it, that’s just about anyone who has ever used a PC. Whilst new features would be welcome, in many ways I hope that they don’t change it too much – the transition from IE5 to IE6 was pretty much seamless.

I guess we will just have to wait and see.
(via linkbunnies.org)

First blood

Monty 1 – Local Mouse Population 0. Following on from the delivery of a succession of individual feathers over recent days, I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised that Monty has finally succeeded in catching something, even though I have always felt that Treacle was going to be the better hunter.
I just wish he’d finish it off rather than beating the creature into submission by hurling it around the conservatory. I’m not sure that he actually knows how to kill them – maybe his mother never had the chance to show him.

Pass the HP sauce

Did you know that it is National Chip Week? Well you do now. So, to celebrate, H and I are off to the pub tonight for a curry.
Or have we missed the point?
UPDATE: apparently we’re staying in and having cod. More updates as events warrant.

Top tips for larger businesses

Check the accuracy of your statements. Also, check your prices when you claim to offer own brand goods at prices that are lower than branded items.
For example, yesterday I purchased a windscreen wiper blade for Hels’s car from a well-known retailer of car components. The in-store guide and the packaging both claimed that the blade I selected was the correct one for her car. The part was priced at £8.49.
When I attempted to fit the blade this morning, I found that the fitting on the blade was not compatible with that on the armature. Furthermore, the blade supplied was four inches too long. That is not a small margin of error.
This afternoon I went to a dealer of branded parts for Hels’s car. The very helpful proprietor of the firm was able to provide me with exactly the right component – a genuine original component in a box branded with the car manufacturer’s logo – and didn’t need recourse to parts manuals or computers. The charge was £6.93. Therein lies a lesson.
When I returned the incorrect part to the well-known retailer, the member of staff neither apologised for the inconvenience, nor could he believe that it was the incorrect part. After all, his computer told him that it was the right one, so therefore it must be true.

Top tips for small business people

Being downright rude to your customers will not encourage them to place repeat business with you. Additionally, acting in a condescending manner will also lower their opinion of you. Furthermore, when telling porkies to them, it pays to be sure that they are not in a position to know that you are exaggerating.
(Yes, I’m slightly pissed off with a service provider at the moment).


In a reversal of the usual stereotypical rôles, I’ve spent much of the afternoon cleaning the house and preparing a (hopefully) wonderful meal for my spouse, whilst she slaves away over a hot keyboard in her office. Safe in the knowledge that she has now left work, I can reveal that I’m preparing a steak in ale casserole, with roasted shallots, mashed sweet potatoes, carrots and peas, which will be accompanied by one of the "special" bottles of wine from the rack. I’ve also baked a spicy fruit loaf.
I’m not a big one for buying ostentatious gifts or excessive cards for Valentine’s Day, but I think it is good to be extra romantic and make an extra effort every now and then. This is our first V Day as marrieds, so we both think it is a good thing to do something special. Such a shame that it falls on a weekday – which is why we’re scooting off to France for the weekend (tying the trip in with a visit to a trade show – so PFE can subsidise the trip).
Whether you are coupled or not, by choice or by circumstance, I reckon February 14th is the perfect opportunity to crack open a decent bottle of red – and that’s just what I’m about to do.