BrizBunny Rotating Header Image


Email Web Page Address (URI)

Occasionally Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), our default browser at work, just will not display a page because of some mysterious “Error on Page”. When you go to a service like Web2PDF [^] which converts web pages to PDF the page will still display. Which is a little bit annoying.

Web2PDF even let you email a web address to them and they email you the PDF. This means copying the address that Internet Explorer choked on into the Subject line, and entering the email address – simple! But it could be even easier, it is a pain in the backside if you need to do a few of these. 


This set me thinking; I have a Google Reader Subscribe button (bookmarklet) and a Delicious type bookmarklet, both of which “paste” a web address into a new page – so why can’t I have an Email version?

Well it turns out these buttons are just snippets of javascript code. And, they are easily altered to do just what I wanted. Fairly quickly I got to:


The last piece of the puzzle was wrapping the address in “< >” brackets (the %3C and %3E) so that complex addresses get treated properly.

Now with this as a new shortcut in by IE Favorites Bar all I have to do is hit the button, and press send in my email client – Too Easy!

Inches in WordPress

How do you get the inches sign (″) into a WordPress 3.4 post?


It should be easy, just click on the custom character button on the TinyMCE toolbar, and away we go. One small problem though – if you publish or save from the WYSIWYG editor the ″ gets replaced with a ?. Even inserting the html element “&Prime;” in the HTML editor and flicking back to the Visual editor and saving has the same effect.

Not happy, Jan!

The solution is to insert “&Prime;” into the HTML editor and save or publish directly from there – too easy! But not ideal!

Spreadsheet History

It’s always interesting to see a history piece about something that you work with every day – in this case spreadsheets.

I started off a littlewhile ago with Lotus 1-2-3 v3.0 on MS-DOS PCs with multiple floppy drives (5¼″). There was no WYSIWYG, formatting was not updated on the screen, you had to do print-outs through another program, or was that just charts? All of your information had to be squeezed into one sheet. So to make sure that each section didn’t share columns and rows that would throw out the formating you had to offset the data, calculation and output sections for presentation. Basically you shifted every section down and to the right of the preceding section. Thankfully we don’t have to do that these days, that’s giving me the heeby-jeebies just thinking about it!

Lotus 1-2-3

Then the section that the brief history missed –  a move to Quattro Pro on Windows 3.1. Quattro Pro was important on the PC, it was one of the first spreadsheets designed for Windows. It could have lots of windows of the same file open all over the place, that took a little getting used to; and it was something that I forgot about for a while, and now use again in Excel. You could have separate tabs or worksheets for different sections of your file rather than having the funny offsets, you got WYSIWYG as well, dynamic charts could be shown anywhere in the file. What a revolution, and it made everything so much easier.

Quattro Pro

And finally, the corporate years of total Excel domination. It’s where I spend most of my working life – working in Excel spreadsheets. I wish there was an alternative but it simply keeps on doing the job. I sometimes think that Quattro Pro was a bit easier to use, a bit nicer than Excel. In Quattro Pro the right-click menu on the mouse, sums across multiple sheets, and autosums worked better; I still occasionally expect this in Excel, but to no avail. Excel did offer that MS Office consistency and the right look and feel, and Visual Basic for Applications. But there wasn’t that much difference between the two was there?

MS Excel

I still have the Ribbon to look forward to, as I use Excel 2003 at work. I refuse to make the shift at home it would be too frustrating. I simply don’t use spreadsheets enough away from work to force myself to make the change.

We work with the tools we are given, and it’s not until you read something like “A Brief History of Spreadsheets” that you realise how far we have come. Change is like that, it just creeps up on you. 

More on Tablets

I posted recently about a wanting a tablet. A big part of this want is so that I can be connected to the ‘net anywhere. From sitting on the sofa at home to standing in the middle of a paddock. That means being either hooked into a WiFi signal at home or out-and-about by 3G – just what a tablet is designed for. Simple!

In the meantime I have trudged around the major electronic retailers, in no particular ordAndroid Not Available Googleer. And I found that they are all the same; JB Hifi, Harvey Norman, OfficeWorks, The Good Guys … . They all have one thing in common. Their 3G tablets, especially iPads and usually Galaxy Tab 10.1s all connect to the ‘net, either through their WiFi network or a Mobile network (3G). That is if the screen saver isn’t password locked!

But the WiFi models are different. Hitting the browser icon doesn’t bring up a nice white Google page, it gives you a blank screen with a little green android “Web Page Not Available” 🙁 . Is this so that everyone realises that these models don’t have “the internet” on them? Come on guys, people don’t just buy a tablet to play Angry Birds, or do they? Will the staff connect them to the network for ‘serious‘ buyers I wonder – and would they know how?

I hope that this isn’t a cynical attempt to sell more of the 3G models. After all they do cost $200 more than the base WiFi version. After all a wireless 3G Hotspot cost a darn sight less than $200.

The President Calls for Help

Apparently Barak Obama, the President of the USA, has asked the Tech World for help. The President has asked for the “best ideas about how to clamp down on rogue Web sites and other criminals who make money off the creative efforts of American artists and rights holders.” This comes after the dramatic backdown  by the supporters of the SOPA and PIPA [^] – proposed legislation to restrict the freedom and openness of the internet.

As Nat Torkington points out perhaps the problem isn’t one of fighting the challenges to intellectual property rights [^]. It’s a case of rights-holders – large film studios, record labels, and publishers – failing to adapt to a changing technological world. Every other industry has had to move with the times – why not publishers? It’s time to stop praying for a sign and start living in the here and now.

The Presidents Challenge

Your customers are demanding changing, they want electronic copies of your goods and for the most part they are willing to pay for them. As Jonathan Coulton says “Make good stuff, then make it easy for people to buy it [^]” should be your anti-piracy plan. Sure there will always be pirates, but they will be there no matter how hard you make if for them; some just enjoy the challenge!