Hide/Display with a Little Javascript & Style

I recently found myself doing some web design work that called for one of those links that displays/hides some explanatory content.  Like this:
Community is the funniest show on TV.

I found a solution that is a bit more elegant than I’ve used in the past, and wanted to share. You should be able to use this on a wide variety of objects, but div, span, table, and img seem the most likely candidates.
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Web Usability: Don’t Make Me Think

A couple years ago, I read a great book on website usability that completely shifted my paradigm about web design.  Before, I care about whether it looked pretty; after I cared about whether it worked and saw how pretty usable design was, naturally.  The book was Steve Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Guide to Web Usability“. It’s short and straight to the point – I read it the first time on a flight from New Orleans to San Diego – and I highly recommend it for anyone involved in a website, from content management on up. And you’ll never visit a website the same way again.

There are a few key concept about web design that have stayed with me:

  • Don’t make me think.
  • Cut 75% of the text.
  • Conventions are your friend.
  • Don’t squander goodwill.

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No-Cook Recipe for Thai Peanut Salad Dressing

Yeah, I got nothing…. except a recipe for Thai peanut butter salad dressing. It’s sweet and spicy, and you can add a little more oil, lime or water to get the consistency you want.  Pretty yum stuff. Read the rest of this entry »

Surprise! Cox Automated Tech Support… Not Bad

So, my cable modem wasn’t connecting to the internet properly, and I tried all the normal things you would do to fix it. No luck. Sigh, time to call Cox tech support. They made me go through their automated support, which in my experience is just a recording that tells you to unplug your modem and plug it back in, trying to save the support guys the crap work. It kind of pissed me off, because I specifically pressed the button to go straight into the cue waiting for a real person.

Well, it turns out they’ve upgraded their automated system. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Monday: Red Beans and Rice

Laura asked me for my red beans and rice recipe… so here it is.  The short version of this recipe is: put it all in a pot and let it cook for a long time. Stir some. Read the rest of this entry »

Chris vs. the Tom Ka Kai

My favorite restaurant, Spice’s Thai Cafe, is in San Diego, which makes it very expensive for me to eat there very often, as I live in Baton Rouge. They have two soups that are amazing, the Tom Yum Kai (chicken and  lemongrass – spicy and exotic) and Tom Ka Kai (chicken in coconut milk – spicy, rich and sweet). Five years ago, I failed miserably in my first attempt to recreate the lemongrass soup. Read the rest of this entry »

Hiding Internet Newsgroups in Exchange

As an IT Guy, when I confront a problem whose simple, elegant solution is far too difficult to find, I like to post it in the hopes that the next guy with the same problem can find his solution with less hassle.

So, if you’re bothered by the “Internet Newsgroups” folder just sittin’ there, mysterious, incomprehensible, useless, but can’t figure out how to hide it, so it doesn’t clutter up the hierarchy, the solution is simple. Read the rest of this entry »

Mississippi River High Water Mark

Mississippi River on the levee by the LSU vet schoolThe Mississippi has been very high lately. I took this a couple weeks ago down on the levee by LSU. For perspective, in normal conditions NONE of the trees are in the water. Usually, the trees and undergrowth are thick enough that you can’t even see the riverbank from the top of the levee.

The river has already crested at just over 43 feet and is slowly receding; flood stage is 35 feet and I seem to remember hearing that normal is around 27 feet (but I can’t find anything online to backup the normal level). The levees are 48-51 feet high. Read the rest of this entry »

Gender and Music Preference Findings

So, a while back I solicited responses to a survey on whether or not boys or girls like boy or girl singers more or less. I got 38 responses from either the survey or messages.

I asked three questions: the respondent’s gender, if they trended more toward boy or girl singers, their sexual orientation and their age. I’m throwing out the sexual orientation variable because only three respondents weren’t straight… sample’s just too small. Hell, my entire sample is really too small to learn anything reliable. But I’m opening SPSS and running the numbers anyway. Read the rest of this entry »

Laziness and a Compliment, Sort of

A co-worker called me today and began: “Hi Chris, I called because I want to talk something through with you because you’re good at thinking.” Oy.

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