Life in General, Professional Development

Poor Planning Leads to Poor Execution

planning03When it comes to home improvement, I’m fairly comfortable tackling most projects even if it is something I haven’t attempted before. I recently decided that it was time to install crown moulding in my daughter’s room. I hit the web and started doing a little reading. After reading a half dozen articles, I was fairly certain I could knock this project out pretty easily. I purchased the additional tools I needed for the project and started cutting. When it came time to install the moulding, I noticed a distinct problem. None of it fit correctly. Frustrated, I put everything away and put the project on hold until I had more time to figure out what had gone wrong.

At work the following week, I mentioned the pending project to a few co-workers and was met with some advice on how to properly install the moulding. At this point I discovered that I had been attempting to install the moulding using an inferior method.

Given the difficulty I was having using the old method I immediately found a way to switch to the new method and make it work and I finished out the project with incredible results.

Being the always analytical person that I am, I walked away from that project with a few things learned and a nagging question that I’ll address in a future post.

How do you know if you planned poorly?

CSS, Javascript

Horizontal Subnav with CSS and jQuery

Navigation and sub navigation is something that almost all sites have and very few actually implement in a user friendly way. I’ve struggled with the best way to do this in the past and even hacked the jQuery UI Tabs implementation to achieve what I needed.

Last week I was browsing some of the feeds I regularly read and I came across the perfect solution for sub navigation that uses CSS and jQuery. If you are looking to implement this type of navigation into your site, I highly recommend giving this solution a try.

Horizontal Subnav with CSS – Sohtanaka

PHP, Programming

A working recursive directory remove function for PHP

I’ve got a client that really wanted to have functionality built into his site that would duplicate a directory and all the files. No big deal except that all the files end up owned by nobody and with the permissions set to 644, which means I can’t delete them via FTP when something goes wrong or they duplicate too many times. I’ve looked in the past for a PHP script that would remove these extra directories without finding anything that would actually help. I circled back on the problem this week and found a great script that actually does a recursive directory delete and was able to remove these annoying folders. Continue Reading »

Design, Internet

The $300 Million Button

I made a post the other day talking about user interface and I wanted to share the post that really inspired me and changed my whole viewpoint on interface design. It is called The $300 Million Button.

Internet, Javascript, Programming

Preserving form data on the fly – Part 1

I recently had the opportunity to interview a celebrity about an upcoming video game that he is involved with. There was a little bit of a challenge to conducting this particular interview because it had to be conducted through Twitter. Twitter isn’t a great avenue for interviews since I didn’t want everyone to see the interview questions and answers before the article was published on my site.

I got to brainstorming and decided I would build a simple form that had the interview questions followed by simple textareas to hold the respective answers. I had to be careful though. I knew if there were any technical glitches there was a chance that this person may just move along and the interview would be over. Continue Reading »

Design, Internet

What is more important, design or UI?

There are really quite a few steps that go into a well designed site beginning with the functional design of the site, the visual style and appearance of the site, and then the underlying code that pulls it all together. I’m very good at the last piece of the puzzle, but I have never taken the time to refine my design skills. As much as it hurts to admit, I’ve never bothered with thinking about UI design up until recently. Continue Reading »

Internet, Tech

Firefox 3.5 Character Encoding Issues

firefox-logo-onlyI usually upgrade to the newest version of Firefox, currently 3.5.2, as soon as it becomes available. In the last week or so I noticed that certain web forms with text boxes begun to display very odd characters regardless of what I was typing. I could copy this text and paste it into notepad and it looked just fine. Paste it back into the text box and still the odd characters. I knew it was related to character encoding on the page, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to fix it. Continue Reading »


5 Tips to Write Better CSS

I’m not normally a fan of crosslinking to other sites, but I ran across a really good article for people new to CSS that may need a little direction on how to organize their CSS. These are things that would have been hugely helpful to me as an early user of CSS. You can check the article out here.


Working with the OpenView Database Part 1

To be a rockstar administrator of an OpenView installation, you’ll need to be comfortable working with the raw data in the OpenView database. This article is going to cover the basics of the OVO database and which tables you should be familiar with. Continue Reading »


New Content: HP OpenView

Starting today, I am going to be expanding the content of this site to include information about working with and administering an HP OpenView environment. By day, I manage an enterprise level monitoring infrastructure running HP OpenView/Operations Manager and there seems to be a discerning lack of information on the internet with relation to some of the finer points of OVO. I plan on filling in some of that gap so look for those posts if that is your cup of tea.

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