What a lot of shit

18th Apr 2006

An Easter weekend made up of a visit to the east of Scotland to view the wonderful Rosslyn Chapel and the unceremonious unveiling of a new design for The Letter.

Da Vinci Horse Manure, 50p a bagWhat was so shit about the visit east you may wonder? Simply put, it was the manure. Or should I say, the 'Da Vinci Horse Manure' at 50p a bag. And, although it was blatant cashing-in, I wonder if they actually sold any? Have tourists eagerly grabbed a bag and taken it home with them in their suitcases? Later bragging to their neighbours, 'Yes, we've got some authentic Da Vinci manure in our garden'. It tainted my visit somewhat.

And, of course the other shitty aspect of the weekend was the launching of a new design for the alphabet fans. It never went smoothly. Having made a reasonable effort to make things usable, accessible and generally pleasant for visitors and even working out (and sticking to) a schedule for launching the new design, I was bitten on the backside by Internet Explorer.

Having recently experimented with the latest IE7 Beta version in order to see how my sites fared, I didn't have IE6 readily available. That wasn't a problem, Microsoft claimed it was a simple case of uninstalling IE7 and everything would revert back to normal... not so. In short, IE was buggered and as a result I didn't have a working version of IE6 to test things on. I then made a series of desperate attempts to get hold of a working version of IE6:

  • First quick fix option was to use the standalone version of IE6... but not only did this keep crashing and not only did the new design for The Letter look awful, so did a few of my other sites! (I'm guessing the standalone version - pre-SP2 - and the version I once had differed quite considerably in terms of how they rendered pages?)
  • Second option was my other PC, which has Fedora Core 3 on it, but not Windows. I looked into running Wine and (somehow) a version of IE6 but this idea was simply ill-conceived
  • Third option involved partitioning the 'Fedora' hard drive and installing a new version of Windows, but a combination of too little room and the wrong 'type' of file system (Fedora uses HDD and I needed NTFS) meant that my Windows disc wasn't even recognised
  • Fourth (and final) option was to use a tiny 4 gig hard drive from a really old PC and install Windows onto that. And would you believe it... it worked. Not smoothly I hasten to add, but I eventually got IE6 back. Phew!

You know, you don't realise how much you need something until you don't have it and who'd have thought I'd ever say that about IE6, eh?

Enjoy the new design!

real life