Aleksandar • Vacić

iOS bits and pieces

Do not use this product!

Norton Personal Firewall / Internet Security is worst kind of software, which treats you as in “you’re a stupid looser and we will take your hand and guide you through that spam-infested hacking mayhem called Internet”.

Symantec deserves the worst possible kicking in the ass imaginable. No, there is no link to them, because they should be banned from the Internet, not linked to.

I have written before about the problems this thing can create for any web designer, but what I’m reading now is really pissing me off. Lets see…

Any graphic of standard banner or display ad size is removed from the source code of the page by NPFW/IS2004. So far we’ve identified that whenever the following sizes…


120x90 468x60

234x60 120x60


…appear within the image tags the image is removed.

Beautiful. If you happen to have any image of this size, even having nothing to do with ads, it will be removed from the page source code.

Hey Symantec: will you be answering my customers' questions like “your site is not displaying properly on…?”, “I don’t see the illustrations; why?” and many other similar? I’m quite positive that you don’t care about those - they are not in your backyard. Toss the ball to content creators, while you keep boasting how you “increase online productivity”.

Further reading at the same page reveals that NPF/IS is removing links from Google’s AdWords but not from Overture’s service of the same kind. They forgot about it, maybe? Yeah, right. Sold-out suckers that deserve the eternal contempt.

Hey Symantec: I’m not a mindless creature. I know what an ad is. Give me an option to easily add it to my filters (as normal people do). Do not, and I mean NOT, decide this for me.

Windows font smoothing

I have been using “smooth edges of screen fonts” option in Windows from the day it appeared. It made web browsing experience much more enjoyable, especially when page uses italic fonts.

On recent Win versions, there was a choice between two technologies for font smoothing: Standard and ClearType. I always used Standard, because I read that ClearType is created for TFT screens, and that it was not suitable for CRTs.

I have tried ClearType on my CRT monitor and the menu options looked blurry, just as that page says. Thus, I gave up on it.

Now, that is not true. I was so wrong. case study

Dejan Vesic is a good friend and colleague of mine. He has a small but valuable web site (all in serbian), which was built back in the old days.

Recently Ana, one of the designers from our company, created new graphical look for the site, which was, at first, implemented by Dejan as table-based layout. Heh…that’s an understatement :) - there were so many tables in such a simple page that it was dying to be built based on CSS. Dejan was all up for it and, as first step, corrected the HTML to be valid HTML 4.01 Strict.

Few days ago he asked me to convert the markup to simpler layout, based on CSS, which I gladly accepted. Such conversions are trendy, and I just love doing them. Final gains were numerous:

  • page template (design sans actual content) went from 9.8kB to 3.8kB (almost 3x)

  • both top and left navigation are now fully accessible (they were drawn from Javascript)

  • badly-repeating background images (on tables and tds) that were breaking the graphic design now falls in nicely

  • several smaller bg-images were combined to just few, thus saving HTTP requests

Compare the templates:

Searching for perfect mail client...

…or why I will never use Thunderbird as my mail client.

Good mail clients are hard to find

I’m not an organizational freak. I follow few mailing lists. I like to keep my replies along with the original messages (meaning: in the same folder). I have others using my computer to work with their mail (under different mail accounts). I’m lazy but I know I need to backup my stuff. I really like Mac and would like to have one, somewhere in the future.

From time to time, I try-out different mail clients, hoping to find the solution. No luck so far. So, what would be an ideal mail client for me? It needs to:

  • automatically recognize user logged on to the OS, and default itself to it - all users simply click on app icon and work with their email

  • make backup and restore very easy

  • have an “keep replies in the same folder” option1

  • have thread mode

  • be able to reconnect mailing lists threads, on drag&drop

  • allow direct editing of subject and body of the message2

  • initially display message in plain text - HTML view should be there only if I request such3

  • support multiple mailboxes

  • be cross-platform

  • have good address book, which will offer drop-list of possible matches as I type in, and be automatically populated from each reply/forward I d``` objective-c

  • default to quoting entire message when replying and put my signature below

  • have two-pane interface when replying - upper for the original message, bottom for my reply

  • have quote-me button, which will transfer the selected text from upper pane as quoted to bottom pane

  • have both incoming and outgoing mail filters

  • support international characters (personally I need eastern-European)

  • three-pane interface for reading messages, which can be arranged in various ways