30 November 2007

Mozilla fix Firefox update...

...with version v2.0.0.11 update. It seems there is a problem with the previous version of Firefox (v2.0.0.10) and this latest update has been released to address that.

As usual, you should update sooner rather than later.
Link: Get firefox

John Byrne ... a legend!

John Byrne. There's a name that I don't often think of nowadays, and it makes me sad.

As a kid, I grew up reading comic books, as many kids do I guess. Realising I had artistic skills I found myself eventually trying my hand at drawing the superheroes I read about every day. From that moment on I wanted to be a comic book artist! I wanted to do what my favourite comic book artists were doing...especially John Byrne, he stood out for me.

The crazy thing is I don't even know what it is about his style that I love so much. I can feel it, but I can't describe it...I can see it, but I can't describe it. That's the very nature of great art though isn't it?

Anyway, at some point I approached Marvel Comics, in the UK, in the hope that I could introduce myself as an up and coming comic book artist, and see what happens. I must have showed some promise as someone decided it would be a good idea for me to write my own short story and draw it. So I did. It featured Spider Man and the plot had something to do with some alien race, teleportation, etc. Hey, at the time I thought it was pretty cool, gimme a break. :)

Anyhow, I gave the story to Marvel and waited for the issue with my story in it to be published. I waited some more. And a little more. Eventually I learnt that that particular comic was cancelled, so my short would never see the light of day. I was gutted.

In between then and now, I got into computer game development in a big way, got married, had kids, and so on. At some point, without realising it, comic books stopped featuring in my daily life, and my life as a grown-up, responsible parent quickly overshadowed my passion for the art of comic books. I didn't mean to forget, it just happened. My collection of comics are stored away, out of sight, and therefore out of mind. I miss them.

And then I have the odd day, like today, when something triggers me back to the 1980s and John Byrne. Today that trigger was a web bookmark in my temp folder. The bookmark belongs to John Byrne's website, Byrne Robotics. Why the bookmark is in my temp folder I have no idea, but I'm glad I found it...it's my very own time-travel machine!

John, if you're reading this (very unlikely I know) I just want to say THANK YOU for being you and crafting all of those gorgeous comics, especially the X-Men Phoenix saga...pure clarity and perfection! From when I was just a kid, to this day, I am in awe of the work you did not just on X-Men, but on Alpha Flight, Fantastic Four, Superman...oh, way too many comics and characters to mention!

My best wishes to you JB, and thank you for the feel-good memories that will be with me forever.

27 November 2007

Mozilla Firefox Update Released

Mozilla have released an update to their popular web browser Firefox. Version addresses a few security issues so make sure you update now.

Link: Get firefox

22 November 2007

Not tonight darling...

...I'm washing my hair...tomorrow night I'm rearranging my sock drawer...and the night after that I might have a headache!

What's this all about? Well, in passing, I mentioned to my wife that I have a blog and asked if she wanted to see it...it turns out that was not a good thing, as you can see from her various responses above. I had a chuckle it has to be said, although I shouldn't have been surprised either. You see, my career, and lots of my spare time, involves technology...whether that's with my PC, or my son and I playing on the gorgeous Sony PlayStation 3. My wife is at the other end of the spectrum.

I must admit, there are times when I wish I didn't have to use computers or emails...who hasn't? I mean, you become so obsessed about checking the various email accounts you hold, getting rid of junk mail, moving legitimate email out of the junk folder!, and then there's the increasing number of social websites that you wish you didn't join. It's never ending.

My wife is the lucky one as she doesn't need to rely on using a computer as much as I do, and that is a blessing I think. Consider the benefits...no more staring at a screen all day, no need to check your email every 10 minutes, and you get to interact with other humans face to face... remember that?

Ok, I guess it's not that bad for us heavy computer users, but sometimes it's nice to think about how life could have been if things were different. I wonder if my local supermarket is looking for shelf stackers...

21 November 2007

Google sitemap

I recently decided to find out how to go about submitting an XML sitemap file to Google. It all kicked off when I received an email from DMXZone.com telling me about some of their new extensions. One of them is a free extension called Google Sitemap Generator.

I promptly downloaded the extension and set to work, and here's how things went:

1. Install the Google Sitemap Generator extension.
2. Fire up Dreamweaver and run the extension.
3. Enter your URL in full, e.g. http://www.yourwebsite.com
4. Enter your home page, e.g. index.html
5. Click Generate and your done.

I then discovered in a users comment on DMXZone that the header information in the XML file was out of date, showing this info:


I did some more digging on the net, and found out this is what the above data should have been:


So I replaced the data, moving onto the next step, which is to submit the sitemap file to Google. But first, I uploaded the file to the root of the website. At the same time, I created a robots.txt file specifying the sitemap file, like this:

Sitemap: http://www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml

It turns out there are several ways to submit the file, or at least make search engines aware of it. The method I used was to ping it to Google, like this:


Google notifies you via the browser that your submission has been successful, and that it will crawl it soon.

Now wait...

Updates to Apaxvn website

I've been making some changes on my website: Apaxvn. Granted, it's not a major overhaul by any stretch of the imagination but it's a start isn't it?

So what are the changes? Well, in an effort to retire to somewhere hot and chilled (yeh right), I added a widget from Amazon, and Google Adsense to present related, relevant ads to visitors.

The Amazon widget is pretty cool if a little unsightly - basically it's a horizontal Flash product scroller. For now I added a few cool products, like the lovely new hi-fi from Sony called the *Giga Juke, the very nice *Canon 40D DSLR camera, and the awesome *Call of Duty 4 for the Sony Playstation3 console.

Further reading:
* Sony Giga Juke
* Canon 40D DSLR
* Call of Duty 4