Tinkering with line height

I’m very fond of tinkering with the format and layout of my blog! My previous post is somewhat rambling and I wasn’t too happy with the line spacing – it just seemed too spaced out. The solution was straightforward. Simply wrap the text of the post in the following:

<div style="line-height: 130%;">
blah blah blah........
blah blah blah........
blah blah blah........

For comparison, see below for how the line spacing of the main paragraph would look if it was given the same treatment.

I’m very fond of tinkering with my blog. My previous post is somewhat rambling and I wasn’t too happy with the line spacing – it just seemed too spaced out. The solution was straightforward. Simply wrap the text of the post in the following:

For blogs which use a different font and font size, the 130% may need to be revised. Interestingly, when I look behind the scenes, the original text has a line height of 1.75em whilst the formatted text has a line height of 130%. Now “em” is a typographic unit of measurement that is harder to understand than Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, so I’m happy to stick with using a percentage to alter line height.

[As an aside, I had to tinker with the height of the robot image in order to make it a square image (don’t ask) so this post is about height in more than one way.]

I’m feeling better this morning

I’m feeling better this morning!

Firstly, my cold, which is in its fourth day, is on the turn.

Secondly, I’ve managed to fully charge my laptop! I’ve been struggling to charge it because of wonky connections and I’d become resigned to replacing the machine. But last night I found the old unreliable power cable and it works better than the new unreliable power cable. This means the pressure is off to find a replacement laptop. Yippee!

So why do I need to replace the laptop if it’s just the power cable that’s faulty? Well it’s because it appears to be more a case of the cable becoming unreliable because of all the wiggling required to make it work in a wonky power connector inside the laptop. I’ve youtubed (made up verb) how to fix a wonky power connector and it’s beyond my skills and I don’t suppose I could get it fixed externally for less than £150 (including another new cable). So I’m resigned to having to replace my trusty 2011, Samsung laptop, although this morning’s success with the old cable eases the pressure.

I’ve started to look at new laptops, and it’s so hard! In the old days you would pop into a store and choose from a limited range. Now, online, there’s hundreds, with multiple options and configurations. I thought I’d identified a suitable Dell laptop, but the curse of the Internet throws up lousy reviews regarding the quality of the screen. It’s a nightmare making decisions in the 21st century, particularly having been brought up in an era when there wasn’t much choice.

On the subject of past eras, I’ve just started reading Alan Johnson’s third memoir, The Long and Winding Road.

Having a cold allowed me to zip through All the Old Knives, by Olen Steinhauer. I’m not really into spy novels but this is a terrific read. Most of the story takes place around a meal, where two former lovers vie to discover / hide the truth. It’s a tense, well written, highly enjoyable read.

Still tinkering

I used to be a computer programmer and I haven’t lost the pleasure to be had from figuring out how to alter or fix anything related to software. Nowadays this is likely to be exploring web design using HTML and CSS rather than writing computer code.

Using CSS within WordPress it’s possible to alter the design of a blog (providing you’ve paid a little extra for the upgrade). It can sometimes be quite a challenge. Here is an example of before and after screenshots of some recent changes I made to how an image gallery is displayed. I wanted to remove the Comment area, the view full-size option, as well as to centre the description text and to emphasise the ‘close gallery’ icon at the top. For the really curious, a screenshot of the CSS code is also shown.

Before CSS edits
After CSS edits
The CSS code!

It looks like a UK web site, but….

buyerbewareWhilst looking to source a camera battery I came across a web site with a .co.uk web address and which in every respect looks like a UK web site.

But on the About page it states….

“We digsin xxxxxxx.co.uk to provide thoughtfully server for every battery buyers.”

I’m not sure what was intended, but it makes no sense to an Englishman! A simple check using whois.com shows the company is located in China!

Never 10. Never again!

2ba7b-computer__sadI came across a recently promoted utility called Never 10. It claims to easily and safely stop the regular reminders from Microsoft to upgrade to Windows 10. I checked out the reviews and all were positive. So I thought I’d give it a go.

The utility works by modifying the Windows Registry. Before doing this one is always recommended to back up the Registry first. I didn’t.

I ran the utility from my non-administrator login on my Windows 7 laptop, supplying the administrator password when prompted, and the utility appeared to run without problems. However when I tried to login the following morning (having shutdown the PC the previous evening), I got the message

“The User Profile Service service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded”

It was just my login that was affected so I was able to login as the administrator and to follow Microsoft documentation for recovering the situation. Sadly this simply made all the other logins disappear (other than the administrator login)! Fortunately I was able to reverse this step, so I was back to the situation of just having my login inaccessible.

At this point I gave up and decided to abandon my inaccessible login and to create a new login for me to use. I have a small issue with accessing my files associated with the previous login, but I can work around this.

So there you go. My experience of the problems I encountered running Never 10, and which no one else on the web seems to have had.

For the record, Never 10 did switch off the regular prompts to upgrade to Windows 10!

Messing with a blog layout

5de62-miketechieA new year and a new theme.

I almost decided to abandon blogging, but hopefully the new layout will inspire me!

For the record, the new theme is the Bold Life theme and I’ve come across this link to some interesting CSS customisations for the theme.

Microsoft Bob

I came across a great site of screen shots of versions of Windows and other graphical user interfaces. Ah, Windows 2, I remember it well. And then there’s Microsoft Bob, which was “designed to replace the desktop of Windows 3.1 and 95 with an interface designed mainly for novice users”. At first I thought this was a joke, but no, it existed, though it turned out to be a flop. Not surprising, I say!

Find more screenshots of Bob and other systems at http://toastytech.com/guis/bob.html



My days in IT are over

codeI’m old enough to have been involved in the early days of ‘computing’. Of course it’s now called IT (or is it?).

I was bookshelf-browsing and I came across some of my old computing books and it just seemed to be the right time to clear out a few of them.

So out goes Access 97 Programming For Dummies. My days of Access database programming are well and truly over. Back in the late 90s this was a well-used guide.

Out goes Web Design For Dummies. The only web design I do now is selecting a pre-designed blog template and adding some customisations using CSS (I have a manual!).

Out goes Short Order HTML 4 and JavaScript for the World Wide Web. Ditto previous paragraph. Two lovely books but I’m a blogger now and HTML and JavaScript, neither of which I really got going with, are no longer of use.

One thing always leads to another….

Google and the browser took me from one computer language to the next, from Mercury Autocode to Algol 60, then on to the very strange language APL (here there was a diversion after I came across an APL programmer I played badminton against many decades ago), then on to FORTRAN, then on to Prime’s operating system Primos (which, unbelievably, was written in FORTRAN!). Such memories – I could go on and on!

Prime User’s Guide

APL – a peculiar language

BlogPad Pro for the iPad

I’ve installed BlogPad Pro (£2.99 in the UK) on my iPad. It’s an app for maintaining a WordPress blog, and this is a first attempt at a post. It’s going to contain a bit of over-the-top formatting!

Type  Number
Fruit  5
Vegetables  4
Total  9

I’ve inserted this thumbnail image – the text is behaving, which is  good! Sometimes editing the image settings doesn’t work, but having another go seems to work ok.

First impressions!

  1. Of course ALL editing on the iPad is a pain compared to a proper keyboard! I don’t like that I can’t stretch the screen when editing markup or html in order to increase the size of the text. The text is just too small.
  2. You can insert images but not galleries, which is a problem for me.
  3. I’ve had some fast responses to emails to the developers. A suggested reinstall fixed a problem. Another email pointed out how to access the WordPress dashboard to deal with the galleries issue.
  4. I managed to overwrite a second post on this subject with (null), which is a little concerning. I’ll keep an eye on it.
  5. Overall it’s a very nice app and I’m hoping to use it to do more blogging from the iPad.

Implementing a new Blogger template. Phew!

I installed a new Blogger template I found on the Web, having backed up the existing one first. However I didn’t like the new template so I restored the old one. Except it wouldn’t restore because of code errors. Help! Fortunately I managed to work out what the offending code was and to get back to more or less how it was.

Next time I try this, I’ll save the existing template, then restore it immediately to check the code is sound. I suspect the problem was caused by the many customisations I had made to the code in my template. Be warned!

Processing camera images

So I’ve made the move to capturing camera pictures as RAW files rather than JPEG image files and to use a trial version of Photoshop Elements to process the RAW files and images. The Chatham Docks images are the first results. I’ve found Elements is relatively straightforward, having basic and advanced modes. These first images have come out pretty good and I’m particularly pleased with the indoor images, which were taken in poor light and without flash.

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