Aug 08

My Swiss chalet treehouse – Inspiration and Sketches

I wanted to document my Swiss chalet treehouse for a few friends that have expressed interest in the project. I’ve thought for several years about building a treehouse, a shed, or both, in my backyard. The kids had heard this so many times they were treating it like another castle in Spain. And yet, this year was the year, and the treehouse (with shed-like storage) is standing proudly in the backyard.


I followed a lot of google.ch searches to find a number of chalets of all sizes to get ideas on proportions and details. Some of the noteworthy ones:

Rustic; Fantastic; Bucolic; Commercial; Nice Kit; My brother’s fiancée’s family chalet

Early Sketches

Based on these inspirations, I drew a few sketches. I had 10 ft of total height to work with, 12 of depth and 7 in width. I wanted the roof pitch and overhang to match the Swiss types, and some of the final touches to highlight Swissness (balcony, flowers)


In the next post: construction

May 07

"Whoadmitsyou.com" Social Virus

Link to Msn Messenger status detector. We will tell you who blocked your msn account

Google Cache:

This questionable service – finding out who has blocked and deleted you in MSN is either:

  1. a social VIRUS, preying on your deepest wish to find out who doesn’t like you
  2. a phishing scam,
  3. a hacking exploit into MSN
  4. a reverse My Space – to find out “who doesn’t like me”
  5. all of the above.

Don’t trust it!

Aug 06

Finally: a Blackberry that plays media files

As a recent 8700 owner, I could ot understand why my streaming speed capable device couldn’t play media files. I had a theory that RIM didn’t want the additional data load on their servers – looks like I was wrong. With Blackberry’s new device, this functionality is unveiled and – hopefully, will be available for 8700 users. Please?
BlackBerryToday: News: BlackBerry Stealth Revealed As 8100.

powered by performancing firefox

Oct 05

PDA Testing

PDA Browser Spoofing

One effective technique for basic PDA smoke testing is to use browser spoofing, in effect making a desktop browser lie about its identity to the server and thereby requesting a PDA version of a page.

Spoofing Advantages & Disadvantages

Spoofing is useful to look at pages and track basic functionality, but it is not subsitute for device or emulator testing, becaus spoofing will not necessarily render the page as intended for the target device. 

On the other hand, spoofing has its advantages:

  1. Allows a tester to make sure a PDA version of a page is present on a test server (since PDAs can’t usually access the internal network)
  2. Allows easy screenshot capture (when the problem is not a rendering issue)
  3. Much faster to go through a set of links
  4. Can test server scripts rapidly, ensuring that the right versions of pages get shown

How to spoof using Firefox

  1. Get Mozilla Firefox.
  2. Firefox can be enhanced by extensions (read more about it). In Firefox, go to this page to install the extension “user agent switcher” – http://www.chrispederick.com/work/firefox/useragentswitcher/
  3. (note: the same developer has also created a “Web Developer Extension”, which I highly recommend). Once you restart the browser, user agent switcher is available as a menu item under “tools”.
  4. You can now add specific user agent strings in the Options. The user agent string is the text that the browser passes to a Web server to identify itself

Oct 05

What color is this?

Many hours are lost by the analyst trying to figure out what color(s) is used in a Web site. To simplify this task, I recommend two different tools:

  1. Colorzilla, a Firefox extension which places a color picker in the status bar, and helps determine the color of any item in a Web page in Firefox.
  2. Cpick, an amazing freestanding utility that allows the same for anything on your screen.