Mike Cherim’s Blogging Past

These are older articles. Please bear in mind the further back you go, the more dated the material may be — in some cases.

Making Fireworks with Fireworks

Posted November 16th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

If you found this post because you’re a pyromaniac, sorry. This is a simple image-making tutorial using the Abode Fireworks image editing software. I will specifically be making fireworks with Fireworks, as the post title implies. You could, however, use the program of your choice. I’m won’t be using tools you can’t get with most mid-level image editors. This tutorial assumes you know the basic tools that will be mentioned. If you don’t, ask in a comment. Okay, let’s get started.

Note to Dial-up Users: This post contains just over 175 kilobytes of images.

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Some Web Domain Security Tips

Posted November 14th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

I was informed by Mike Jolley that my name appears in print in issue 169(?) of .Net Magazine — which apparently goes by the name of “Practical Web Design” in the United States but I wasn’t able to confirm this, even with Google’s help. When Mike told me this and kindly furnished me with a scanned copy I recalled being interviewed some time back. Others interviewed for this article were Dave Barter for Legatio.com and Marcus Graichen for MogMachine.com. .Net spelled my name wrong and didn’t publish my domain properly (no hyphen), but the info was hopefully sound all the same.

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Doing Business Unto Others…

Posted November 12th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

Imagine how you, as the customer, would feel about what you’re contemplating.

Inspired by a print magazine article I could relate to closely, I wrote another similar article on my company’s Bug Blog called “What Business Experience Do You Give?” In a nutshell it offers a couple of customer-business relationship experiences — with me being the customer — that went bad, why they went bad, and a little advice to prevent it happening with your business. After all, creating ill-will isn’t that good for a business’s long-term future. Moreover, it just isn’t right.

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Semantic Use of Bold and Italic Elements

Posted November 6th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

The “bold” and “italic” HyperText Markup Language (HTML) elements, expressed as <b> and <i>, respectively, aren’t illegal. In fact they’re legal to use and have distinct semantic purposes. Whether to use them or not should be dictated by said purposes, and nothing else. Right from the start I must say the “bold” and “italic” element names are deceiving because they shouldn’t be used to make “bold” and “italic” text solely for the purpose of making “bold” and “italic” text. That would be a presentational thing and that’s what your Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) is for. Right?

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Exploring a Web Site’s Visual Accessibility

Posted November 1st, 2007 by Mike Cherim

If your site isn’t visually accessible, you’re really missing the mark as a quality web developer…

It’s possible to get so caught up in following the rules of web accessibility that one can forget the simplicity of plain old visual accessibility and those it affects. Before I continue further, here’s a warning: this topic reaches deeply into the Camp One “accessibility for all” aspect of web accessibility. Okay, that said, I will make mention that the vast majority of your site’s visitors are of the sighted, mouse-using, up-to-date-browser, JavaScript-enabled, Flash-equipped variety. As a disclaimer I will say this is a hypothesis on my part, but I’ll betcha five bucks it’s true. And, coincidently, it is this very user-group that will benefit most from visual accessibility. That makes it important.

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It Happened in 1972

Posted October 31st, 2007 by Mike Cherim

JackP came up with the idea of some people publishing a Halloween story. This is mine. I hope you enjoy it. I actually did some light research for this one.

Fear can live and breathe if you give it life in your mind. The longer you think about it and the more you believe in it, the larger it grows and the more real it becomes. That’s what happened in the little town of Grant Heights, to a little boy named Bobby. It was October 31st, 1972. Halloween.

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Small Comment Boxes Need to Grow Up

Posted October 27th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

Call it a pet peeve if you like, but the small comment textareas I see on some blogs are far too small for proper writing and editing. I feel a size of 350 by 150 pixels is about the absolute smallest I care to write in unless I have only a few remarks. Anything smaller is really too difficult to use if I am composing a more in-depth response. A too-small comments box restricts me to four options: to forgo commenting altogether; to struggle through it; to hold back on my comment; or to compose it in a separate program then copy and paste it into the itty-bitty textarea provided by the blogger. I actually prefer none of these.

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How Many Buttons Do You Use?

Posted October 23rd, 2007 by Mike Cherim

I have several remote controls throughout my house. Televisions, cable boxes, a DVD player, satellite radio, air conditioner, and more. It’s crazy. They’re all over the place (maybe I need a holster with a universal remote). Most have a multitude of buttons. This thought occurred to me the other day: All those buttons, yet I only use four, or seven, or ten — a fraction of what’s available — I have to wonder, is this an indication of poor design, or is it just me while the rest of the world uses these devices to their maximum potential.

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Using the Break Element Properly

Posted October 14th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

As it concerns the break element, there are four basic thoughts people will have: First there are those who say it should never be used on a web page because it is a “presentational element” that has no semantic value; Others say using it carefully is okay, and that it does have some semantic value; Then there are those who say it is used to make paragraph-looking blocks of text on a web page and aren’t really familiar this whole smantik thing; And the last group will be quite familiar with it — “Everyone knows The Break Element is that movie with Bruce Willis… right?”

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