Aleksandar • Vacić

iOS bits and pieces

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

Back to Beg

After missing the morning flight to Vienna (I saw the Vie-Dub flight time as Beg-Vie time), and travel agency finding new route to/from over Frankfurt airport, I arrived to Dundalk, mid-point from Dublin to Belfast. Dundalk is nice little town, home to golf course where Irish Open was held, few days ago.

I stayed in FairWays hotel, which I highly recommend - great rooms, excellent service, good bar and two restaurants and fantastic garden. All of that is in stark contrast to the sign at the hotel' rooftop, which is horrible and acts as real turn-off for anyone simply passing by.

Over 1000 of spam messages in under 5 days

Three-day visit to Ireland was very nice, especially with weather being very nice. Temps were around 20 degrees, while in the Belgrade it was searing hot with over 35. Business was conducted quickly and satisfactory, for both sides, and I had few hours of free time to look around Dublin. Not much time, so I mostly went through city centre. Next time, hopefully better.

Now I’m back, and I got the lovely info in Magic Mail Monitor of having 1332 emails (for 4.5 days). After cleaning up, I was left with only 294 (majority of them being from css-d). Thanks to my good friend Dejan Vesic’s fine page about setting up proper filters for MMM, only about 10-12 of spams got through, which was easily killed.