Wednesday, November 18, 2009

seeing things differently

When I drove from Ottawa into Hull, one of the first things that stood out for me, was that the traffic lights were different. Not only were they on a long straight arm over the intersection, they were ... horizontal.
That is just so wrong. Well, not wrong really, but so different than what my brain tells me to expect. It was startling.

Traffic lights should be on a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, or on a meridian.
Or on a short curved arm extending over one lane.
And most importantly, vertical.
And yellow.

But on a wire extending from one side of the road to the other with the signals twisting in the wind. Now that is wrong and deserves serious re-designing.
Now, I spend a long time (sometimes hours, even) on some of my blog posts. Especially the ones with photos. The photos have to be the correct size and positioned just so. And the accompanying text has to be specifically aligned. This can cause great consternation with the click and drag option. But I am particular about how I want everything to look.
The other day (week, actually, since this has been sitting in my 'drafts for oh, awhile...) I succumbed to one of the many pop-up invitations to try out Google Chrome. I had been with several friends and the conversation somehow turned to the glorification of the 'chrome'. It was so loved by at least two of my computer geek friends that I decided to give it a go. It was purported to load faster and I thought that in itself would be a wonderful thing.

It took a little getting used to finding where everything was. The font was a little different. I liked the instant spell check - though I had to constantly 'Canadianize' it by adding any 'our' word to the dictionary. The tabs were now on the top, instead of the bottom of the screen. And instead of eventually clumping together in a hidden vertical sequence when it got to be too many open tabs (I am easily distracted) they just kept being added in a long horizontal sequence. It wasn't what my brain told me to expect.

Neither was my finished post exactly as expected when I switched from IE to Chrome. All that careful layout was slightly off.

I once commented to another blogger who had posted a photo of her computer screen on one of her posts that I had no idea there was actually another column far off to the right hand side. In fact, I couldn't even see all of her photo without having to scroll down because it was too large to fit on my 17" screen. It wasn't until then that I realized there was also a scroll bar on the bottom. What she was obviously seeing on her screen was not what I was seeing on mine.
Which makes me wonder, is the image of our posts different if you are using a Mac vs a PC? Since Internet Explorer shows differently that Google Chrome, how many other variants are there?

...and why won't Blogger let me embiggen some of my photos??


  1. Well, it's kind of a work of mercy to make your pictures align on all different screen resolutions at the same location -
    and to be honest, it just won't work.

    My blogposts got (well, have, I just took a blogging break) a "liquid" lay out: they will move around as the screen resolution switches from a tiny 10 inch netbook to a full-sized 24 inch screen.

    Different browsers will induce (less dramatic, but visible) visual diffrences (IE6 is still being used by some companies and will do dreadful things to a regular lay out)

    The only solution?
    Keep all your content centered and leave large open spaces left & right. It's a surefire way to show off your content as you laid it out. Hope this helps ;-)

  2. I think you should switch to WordPress. But ya, photos show up differently on different PCs -- I don't know what they do on Macs. So, all that hard work you do could sometimes be meaningless when it gets to someone's weird work computer -- like mine often doesn't let me see photos at all. Some yes, some no. Or I'll get completely different colours than were in the original photo

  3. Yes the browser wars still continue but behind the scene sort of like guerrilla warfare.
    If you go to HTML school they will tell you to load all sorts of browsers into your computer and then when you think you have it right start viewing it in the various formats. Then tweak and twist till it's Ok in as many as yu care about.
    Since I never rival the great artists I just do it till it looks good on my computer and then fire it off for the rest of the world to see as best they can.

  4. How is the Google Chrome working with the IE? I really liked the Mozilla Firefox, but started having major compatibility problems with IE, so I removed it. Was told that usually happens.

    Actually, I'm really liking Blogger's new tools in Compose tab. It was a little strange at first, but it sure beats typing out all that HTML business.

  5. Peter: I noticed that about your blog, and some others, where the image might suddenly take over the screen and obscure, or be obscured by, the smaller side column.
    Until my last post with the maps (where I noticed some overlapping) it hasn't been a big problem, just annoying. Centring might be the way to go - though I finally realized that centred photos won't embiggen.

  6. XUP: I almost included that in my post - I knew you'd say that! I have a Wordpress account and find it confusing but I haven't played with it much and it is only for photos.
    But, yeah, I was fearing that my efforts would be meaningless. I have no experience of using other computers, so never thought there'd be such differences.

  7. Bandobras: I am such a neophyte. I've only had a computer since 2003 and just learned how to upload and download photos a year ago. I also never went to HTML school.
    There are too many options out there and my problem is I keep trying them, then get confused.
    But, since no one has ever mentioned any difficulties with viewing, I may just follow your example.

  8. Susan: I tried Mozilla, but was never able to get it. I cannot even begin to explain how things work, or how I do things on the computer. I think it is almost as Peter says, it is almost a work of mercy.

    All I know is I downloaded Google Chrome and can choose between it or IE. Sometimes I have both open, then I can double my tabs!

    And ... I hadn't noticed any changes with blogger - I always used 'compose' for writing and only went into 'edit html' for any cutting and pasting.

  9. Centered photos will enlarge, it's just that blogger randomly ignores some of them Also, do you know about the sizing feature for any page? You just hold the control button down and use your mouse scrolly thing to make a page larger or smaller. It's a great feature.

  10. Oh gosh! You lost me somewhere in the second sentence! I can do what I have to, and even sort out most problem, but new layouts can confuse me and make things much more difficult. As I discovered when my old computer died, and I had Mr G's all singing all dancing one, while he used his laptop. But I have a more advanced version of Windows XP and a much bigger screen.

    Still can't work out how some bloggers have patterns right across my screen, while others, including mine, just appear in a vertical column in the center.

    And no way can I manage to change the US version of the keyboard to the UK - which drives me crazy over the " and @ being reversed!!!

  11. everything looks in order on your blog from these parts. I think it's great that you keep trying different things. You're doing great!

  12. Geewits: I've also discovered that sometimes you need to double click on a picture to enlarge it. and yes, I use the magnifying glass thingy at the bottom of my screen for some of the smaller print. too lazy to get my glasses...

  13. Gilly: I had no idea your keyboard was different. there is no earthly reason for that.

  14. Lily: thanks.
    now if only I could get Blogger to be consistent with the email alerts for comments...

  15. How interesting about Chrome. This is the first O've heard of it.

    I use a Mac and I don't believe I have any problems with your posts. But maybe I'm not seeing what you intended.

  16. I sitting here with a Mac and have no problem seeing your side it is OK.

    I know that Mac usually make the photos come out darker.

    I use a webb-hotel for my photos and have all photos maximum 450 pixel withed. And I will get them embedded from

    /Maria Berg

  17. I do my posts in interent explorer and firefox screws them all up, mis-alinging the paragraphs. I hate that.

    To my way of thinking, traffic lights should be veritcal, but hanginf from wires hung over the intersection so you know which light goes with which lane.

  18. Stine: well, if you didn't get any overlay of the maps in the post two below, then it is good.

  19. Maria: thanks, good to know. I have my photos in several different places, each allowing slightly different applications.

  20. SAW: finally someone who picked up on my traffic lights!
    I guess it comes down to whatever you are used to. We have a long arm that stretches over two lanes, but mostly use both sides of the street - if you are in a left turn only lane, your light is on an arm from the left curb.

    I find if I post in IE, Chrome will misalign the words around the photos.

  21. I love that word "embiggen". You have just coined a new word. I wish I cold embiggen some of my photos too. I click on some blogs, and the photos are huge, and I just can't get mine to do that. If you find how, please let me know!

  22. Its all an evil plot, I blame the man on the grassy knoll.

  23. Traffic lights and browsers are just two of the things that people around the world see differently. I prefer the overhead lights, as trucks and buses often hide the ones on poles beside the street. Your blog appears fine on my old version of IE. The people who make the browsers all follow a general standard and add their own features that are useful in some cases. Marianne (the lady in my life) uses Firefox mostly, but switches to IE when Firefox doesn't display something correctly. There are a bunch of settings in the browsers and the monitor that can affect how a page appears on the screen. Just go with what you see when you create the post, unless someone reports a problem. Then you might try a different technique to achieve you desired format.

  24. I never could figure out why Blogger would embiggen some pics but not others...still don't have an answer for that!

    I compose my posts on Windows Live Writer now but still the pics don't always embiggen...I think it is easier to compose the posts there though...

    Now I'm trying to find out why my profile pic doesn't always show up on comments...

  25. Jo: this embiggening process seems to have become so arbitrary of late. I use Live Writer to get my pictures huge, but yours, I see, will still embiggen by clicking on them.

  26. Lew: I think I should use Peter's suggestion and just write above and below each picture, instead of trying to get all fancy.

    One advantage (or disadvantage, depending on how one drives!) to some overhead wire lights is you must stop behind the line, or the lights will be directly above you so you can't see when it changes!

  27. Oliag: I use Live Writer for my photos, but have never composed a post using it.

    And I see that I am also having trouble with the thumbnail pics in the comments - they show up for the first few, then suddenly refuse for the rest.

  28. Sagittarian: it's always good to have a man to blame...

  29. I`m used to traffic lights being vertical but they are always on a steady pole. That arrangement hanging from wires looks just flimsy. The horizontal lights are only for motor racinhg. That´s the way I see it from the finnish point of view.

  30. I'll be honest - I'm too IT thick to really comment here, but if you wait until the kids get home......

    The lights however, looked really wrong. I'd crick my neck if I could drive.

  31. chrome3d: and we don't want any racing on our city streets, do we...

  32. Lena: yeah, I need a few more young 'uns around for IT help!

  33. Horizontal traffic lights wouldn't work for me - I can FEEL my brain seizing up as I look at these. It's like texting on my phone - my brain and thumb (I can't use thumbS like my kids do) don't work together if I just think of the letters - I have to count 1, 2, 3, or 1, 2, to get to the letter I want. There - my secret's out.

    I have trouble with embiggening too. Trying to work out at the moment how to get my photos to fill the whole screen when clicked on. Apparently I need to save them as a larger size to start with? A kind blogger is going to email me instructions.

  34. Linda: I think Blogger keeps changing things - and I don't like that!
    I must admit, I have a lot of trouble texting, so just don't bother.


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