News & Articles

iPhone aspen simulator with BBC iPlayer preview

2008 March 7 by Adam

aspen iphone simulator

Apple released it’s SDK yesterday, including a full development implementation of the iPhone platform, with mobile safari using exactly the same rendering engine (not a webkit wrapper of a local safari install).

We tested it on the iPlayer development site, but as Aspen uses a different user agent to the iPhone (Mozilla/5.0 (Aspen Simulator; U; Aspen 1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.7 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1 Mobile/5A147p Safari/5525.7) we had to alter a few browser checks server-side to accommodate the simulator;

Checkout the movie preview of the iPhone and BBC iPlayer in action;

NB: There is currently a problem with quicktime implementation (no visuals, only sound).

UPDATE: The Aspen Simulator is bundled in the iPhone SDK;

Acid 3 test cross-browser results

2008 January 30 by Adam

Below is a list of historical results from the Acid 3 test.
Acid test
User agent checking

Firefox 2

50/100 - Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-GB; rv: Gecko/20071127 Firefox/
Acid test - Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-GB; rv: Gecko/20071127 Firefox/
52/100 - Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X; en-US; rv: Gecko/20071127 Firefox/

Acid test - Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X; en-US; rv: Gecko/20071127 Firefox/

Differences between Mac & PC platform;

Test 26: e2 - parent element doesn’t exist after looping
Test 27: e2 - parent element doesn’t exist after waiting

Safari 3

40/100 - Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/523.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Safari/523.15
40/100 - Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/523.10.6 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0.4

Safari 3 Mobile (iPhone/iPod Touch)

40/100 - Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1A538a Safari/419

Opera 9.25

47/100 - Opera/9.25 (Windows NT 5.1; U; en)
47/100 - Opera/9.25 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X; U; en)

IE 6

13/100 - Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.648; .NET CLR 3.5.21022)

Mounting network volume on leopard desktop

2007 December 18 by Adam

Mounted volume on leopard desktopAlthough still perplexing why apple chose to deactivate this feature in Leopard by default, it’s very easy to re-enable.

Goto the finder preferences. In the ‘General’ tab there’s a ‘Connected servers ‘ selection box. Tick it and the previous OS X functionality will be back. Happy mounting…

iPlayer on the Mac - Streaming launched

2007 December 12 by Adam

BBC iPlayer quitely introduced streaming content today, allowing mac users to catch-up on the last 30 days of TV programmes. The service is expected to be heavily marketed during the Christmas period [1]. With around 400 hours of TV shows from the last 7 days, it aims to revolutionise the way UK users watch Television.

The best bit; it’s free and easily accessible to those who live in the UK. Some previews below;

Streaming content

A TV show being streamed directly from the site;

iPlayer streaming

Fullscreen streaming

In fullscreen mode. Requires Adobe flash 9

iPlayer fullscreen

Downloading TV shows to the ‘Download Manager’

Stores programmes for upto 30 days

iPlayer download manager

A TV show playing in the console

Higher quality than streaming

iPlayer download manager console

BBC iPlayer

“Some containers in the AI document have been flattened” - Illustrator to PSD problem

2007 July 29 by Adam

A problem we often run into when converting AI to PSD is the file becomes flattened and no longer has editable layers in photoshop. It occurs when the PSD conversion engine hits a layer with an attribute setting called ‘Overprint fill’. It’s a rarely useful setting that in many cases can be turned off.

To verify it’s ok to disable, open the AI document and go to ‘View > Overprint Preview’, if anything changes visually you will need to speak to the designers (if you aren’t one) about suitable changing of the file. If it doesn’t, you may safely turn off Overprint fill. To do so Press Cmd+A (Ctrl+A for windows) to select every layer in the document. Go to the menu and select ‘Window > Attributes’. A small window will open up with the ‘Overprint fill’ setting.

Illustrator attribute settings - overprint fill

Click the overprint fill checkbox a few times until it is blank. A notification prompt may appear, click ok if it does.

With the Overprint fill setting disabled, you will be able to export to a PSD with fully editable layers.

Get free stuff when ordering your Mac

by Adam

Tucano Stile WorkOut Leather for MacBook Pro 15 - 17

When ordering my MacBook Pro last month, I unintentionally stumbled upon way of a getting a free leather case.

At the start of the month I went to the Apple store on Regent Street, London, to buy a MacBook Pro. After about 20 minutes of deliberation, the store clerk informed me that the model I wanted wasn’t in stock. So I dropped straight onto the Mac store to order it online.

After I’d chosen the specification, I inputted my information; name, address, and all other important details needed for ordering. Finally I reached the credit card payment area. I entered my card details in but the site wouldn’t accept my order - my card had been refused. It asked me if I’d like to save my order for a later time. As I was on a public computer, I clicked no and left the store.

A lot of debit cards have a ‘fraud protection’ feature whereby it automatically stops payments that seem a little odd. As our account was relatively new, we’d hardly spent anything on the cards and the bank blocked the transfer.

I arrived home and carried on with some other work. Suddenly I received a phone call from Apple. They were enquiring to what had caused me to cancel the order and offered a free leather case, worth £60, as an incentive to buy now.

That’s when it struck me; Apple obviously have an order retentions department to follow up on any uncompleted orders. This means that for anyone ordering an expensive computer, I’d bet that if you go the majority of the way to ordering a product and cancel at the card ordering, you should receive a phone call within a couple of hours, offering some free stuff with your purchase.

Anyone with similar experiences? Post below!

Safari… The fastest windows based browser? - benchmark

2007 June 11 by Adam

Safari has been released for windows today. Surprising in itself, but what comes as more of a shock, is its speed.

Safari has existed for over 4 years. It has enjoyed a small, increasing, market share nearing 5% of all browsers, and up until now, has been available only for the Mac.

So when Steve Jobs announced Safari was fast, faster than any windows-based browser, you can’t help but wonder if he’s being a little biased. Surely a browser that hasn’t seen the light of windows, would not be any match for ones that have been developed on the platform for years? We thought it was time to test - specifically the JavaScript.

For the test we’re using Quirksmode’s JavaScript benchmark. It creates a 50×50 table in html whose cells are filled with a single character. The PC specification used for this test is an Athlon 2500XP+ with 2 Gigabytes of RAM. To ensure a level of accuracy, results are repeated numerous times to discount anomalies. The final samples reflect the most consistent of these; (lower is better)

Browser W3C DOM 1 W3C DOM 2 Table methods innerHTML 1 innerHTML 2 Total time
Internet Explorer 7 2,136ms 1,922ms 8,271ms 161ms 78ms 12,568ms
Firefox 344ms 271ms 281ms 83ms 99ms 1,078ms
Opera 9.21 167ms 130ms 187ms 26ms 26ms 536ms
Safari 3 beta (B 522.11.3) 88ms 78ms 83ms 37ms 37ms 323ms

Internet Explorer 7 JavaScript benchmarkFirefox JavaScript benchmarkOpera 9.21 JavaScript benchmarkSafari 3.0 Beta 3 JavaScript benchmark

With a total time of 322ms, over 12 seconds faster than internet explorer, Safari is clearly the winner. Would similar results be found in HTML? Or even AJAX/XMLhttpRequests? We don’t know and we’re sure they’ll be plenty of bugs to iron out yet.

However, Apple have provided another powerful browser for windows, aggressively etching themselves further in to the core of the operating system. Microsoft have got themselves some major competition.

You can check out Safari here;

Money in the internet

2007 May 16 by Adam

The last six months have seen some consolidation of existing online companies in exchange for rather large figures. The most notable of these was Google’s acquisition of YouTube for $1.65 billion, a deal in which Google won over rivals Yahoo. YouTube claims more than 100 million videos are viewed daily on its site, making it the No.2 video site on the internet after MySpace. The industry viewed the move with a variety of opinions much of which circled around the price. Rob Enderle, principal analyst with Enderle Group said of the deal “Google paid an incredibly high price for a property that has yet to generate any appreciable profit”.

Read the rest of this entry »

News-in-brief: Ben Sherman site launches

2007 March 20 by Adam


Last week marked the launch of Ben Sherman’s four global sites.

Working with Cimex Media, I developed the highly browser compatible HTML & CSS throughout the site.

It marks a coming of age for many international brands, who are beginning to take accessibility, modern technologies and social networking as a serious part of their business models.

I Won This Car launched

2007 February 24 by Adam

I Won This Car on RadiantCMS

I Won This Car, a new online competition giving visitors the chance to Win a car by sending a text message (£1.50), was launched earlier this month.

Our job was to brand, design, implement and host the site - Providing total support for a company who are new to the web.

Being independent, they need total control over their content. To achieve this the site is built on-top of the powerful yet simple RadiantCMS. So whenever something needs changing, they won’t be calling up at 5am in the morning (Sleep doesn’t exist in their vocabulary!).

To help with brand exposure we’ve also produced a printed advertisement. It will appear in the Evo Car magazine next month.

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