Archive for June, 2006

Geometry Wars High Score

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

It seems someone has broken the Geometry Wars high score. “BigDaddy21” was the person behind the amazing score of 108,578,860. It certainly puts my score of 285,375 to shame, even though I’m top amongst my friendslist (and at #56766 in the world at time of writing). So, what’s your Geometry Wars high score, and would you be prepared to spend 10+ hours (what is required in gameplay time) in order to beat that top score?

A look at IE7

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

Some of the more astute readers will have noticed that I’m not what you’d call the world’s biggest fan of IE6. It was a good browser in its time, but its time was almost half a decade ago, when its main competition was the absolutely dreadful Netscape 4 and the clunky prerelease-Mozilla-based Netscape 6. Since then we’ve had Mozilla 1.0 in June 2002, Firefox 1.0 in November 2004, and a number of new releases of other browsers/engines such as Konqueror, Safari (based on Konqueror’s engine), and Opera. In that time, IE6 has had – to my knowledge – no rendering engine improvements. At all.

As Microsoft slowly lost browser share to Firefox, thanks in part to its simplicity, and in part thanks to its fanbase promoting it (*looks at sidebar*), they finally decided that they should maybe dust off the old codebase and freshen it up, adding luxuries such as full support for the ten year old PNG image format (which became an ISO standard a couple of years ago) and decent CSS support.

IE7 Beta 2 is the first “layout complete” version of the IE7 beta, which essentially means that whatever a site looks like in this version, it’ll look like in the final release. If you have (a legit copy of) XP SP2 or later, you can grab it from MS. So, with fingers crossed, I tried it out.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised; it did actually seem to render pages in a half-decent way, including the forum page I was complaining about last month. It didn’t need PNG hacks. It didn’t need to have its broken CSS support worked around. It actually seemed to not suck! Truely a breakthrough in a world in which IE6 is the most popular browser.

IE7 does still have some niggling issues, though, but even the worst ones I’ve encountered aren’t anywhere near as major an issue as some of those present in IE6; take a look at this comparison of Firefox 1.5 vs. IE7 on the aforementioned forum page for a quick, “at a glance” illustration: (FF on left, IE7 on right, click on images for bigger)

Forum post in Firefox 1.5 Forum post in IE7 Beta 2

As you can hopefully see, there aren’t many differences between the two; borders are thicker, there are some padding issues, and there’s a pointless scrollbar on the ads. Let’s contrast this with IE6:

Forum post in IE6

Quite a clear difference, there.

Although IE7 still isn’t perfect, rendering engine wise, I hope it gets regularly maintained (unlike IE6), and, along with Firefox/Opera/Whatever else, eats away at all the remaining XP+IE6 users. Just as long as we don’t ge a repeat of the IE6 situation.

I’ve now spent too long on this blog entry, so I’ll leave it at that.

Xbox 360 Dashboard Update on the way

Monday, June 5th, 2006

It’s making big news on the internet, but for those not in the know I thought I’d inform you off the ‘Spring update’ that’s coming soon for the Xbox 360 dashboard over Xbox Live. That post over at Joystiq will explain what it’s all about, but we still don’t know when it’s going to arrive. It was expected last week, but as Major Nelson – Director of Programming at Xbox Live – said in his podcast last night, unforseen technical issues have pushed it back a bit. He also said he hopes to get some more details today, so we’ll have to wait and see.

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