Google getting smarter

I did a quick search today on ‘medal count‘ to try and find out where the US stands on medals for the Olympic games. I expected to find the official Olympics site or some other coverage of the games in the search results, only to have to drill down from there. Imagine my surprise when Google gave me the answer right in the search results. Very cool.

gMapEZ and IE6 ‘Operation Aborted’

I spent an hour today trying to assist a fellow developer with debugging why Internet Explorer 6 suddenly started throwing the dreadfully hard to fix ‘Operation Aborted’ errors on page load. After stripping the page down one piece at a time, he was able to determine that having the following code in the head…

<base target=”_top”>

…while using gMapEz on the page was causing the error to be thrown. I immediately tried it on the Salem Clinic Locations page, and sure enough I saw the same behavior. Whether this is due to a change in the Google Maps API javascript, or an IE6 update, or the position of the moon is still unknown.

I hate developing for IE sometimes.

Update #1

I did some more googling on the issue. It doesn’t appear to be directly related to the gMapEz framework, but the Google Maps API. One blogger called the IE6 handling of the <base> tag ‘dodgy at best’ and directly noted that you should remove it to get Google Maps working in your page reliably.

Shaun Inman, the developer of a PHP stats package I really like, has noted the same behavior in general and has some other workarounds on his blog.

Synergy: The software KVM

As I’m developing software, I need a lot of screen real estate and access to more then one OS for browser testing. To that end I have an XP desktop and a Vista laptop. Up until today, I’ve had a keyboard/mouse combo for the desktop and used the built in kb/mouse on the laptop. I have to stretch to reach my laptop, so it isn’t terribly convenient.

I figured that somebody must have solved this problem with a software KVM. A quick Google search turned up Synergy, a free software KVM that allows you to use one KB/Mouse across multiple PCs at one time. It didn’t say anything about mixing XP and Vista, but I thought I’d give it a shot. Here is how I set it up.

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WordPress as a CMS

I’ve been working on a public website over these last few months and one of the issues I faced was what mechanism to use so that our users could edit the content of some of the pages. I’ve been using WordPress successfully for awhile now on this site, and it somehow popped into my head that I could also use WordPress as a CMS, not just a blogging system. I blogged a couple days about how to get an unordered list of posts from WP. Now for how to use WP as a link manager and content editor. Continue reading