Monday, June 25, 2007

Building Websites - Screen Resolution

Why does my site look like X when I view it on one computer, and like Y when I view it on another computer?

The answer is likely to be screen resolution.

Many times when I get the opportunity to sit down with a client and discuss their website, screen resolution is discussed more often than not. Screen resolution is so frequently discussed in meetings that it's time for me to do a write up, so that I can use it as a reference later. I figured that if I'm going to write it up, that I might as well put it on the blog so that perhaps someone else could benefit from it as well.

What is Screen Resolution?

Screen resolution is usually a user controlled setting that controls how may pixels can be represented on a screen at any given time. The most common misconception I see with screen resolution is that it has something to do with the physical size of the monitor. Let me be clear, monitor size has nothing to do with the screen resolution.

Why is Screen Resolution an issue?

Screen Resolution affects how much area a website will fill on a given screen. If you are using a low resolution (e.g. 800 x 600), you will only see about 800 pixels horizontally on your screen. Many websites are built to fit horizontally into an 800 x 600 resolution screen. If you are using a resolution higher than 800 x 600, and the site is built to horizontally fit into an 800 x 600 resolution screen, there will be extra space on either or both sides of the website. In some cases, a site has been constructed to fill the screen regardless of the screen resolution. This is the ultimate goal with any site design, however, not every design can be made to function this way.

For example,, is made to fill the screen regardless of resolution, in contrast,, is built to fit in the browser window of an 800 x 600 pixel resolution display.

There are many ways to deal with the screen resolution issue. Many technology related sites has elected to build their sites to fill up the screen real estate on a much larger display. This is a problem if you are using a display with lower resolution. If your display is using a lower resolution than the one the site was intended for, you will see horizontal scroll bar appear on the screen, so that you will be able to see the whole site.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

SeeDragon/Photosynth demo

This is incredible. Amazing. The conglomeration of social interaction and exploration accessible to anyone. This is web 3.0, the semantic web in the making. Thanks to Tim Fehlmen ( for posting this one his blog for me to find!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

How Online Criminals Make Themselves Tough to Find, Near Impossible to Nab - - Business Technology Leadership

How Online Criminals Make Themselves Tough to Find, Near Impossible to Nab - - Business Technology Leadership

This is a really great article about online crime. Today, identity theft is a major problem, and law enforcement lacks the resources, tools, manpower and time to deal wit identity theft properly. This is just more indication that identity theft or data that is really a matter of time... not if, but when.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Optimus Maximus keyboard

Optimus Maximus keyboard

Wildly Expensive. Amazingly Functional. The future of keyboard evolution. The Optimius Maximus keyboard has a very appropriate name. It's a work of art, but, just like great art, you pay a high price. This keyboard weighs in a about $1500. What's so different about it that makes it work $1500? Every key on this keyboard is a small OLED screen. You can change the keys display. Say you want to type in chinese. No problem. A new keyboard layout? sure.

Many people have seen and used keyboards on touch screens. You may have even seen the infrared keyboard projector for a palm or handheld device. But this is different. For me, it's all about tactile feedback. I want a button that depresses so that I can tell I have actually activated the key. Software keys just don't offer the kind of touch feedback I need.

Perhaps not now, but someday in the future, I can definitely see more and more new and innovative interface products. Because, the reality is, not everything can be done with voice commands, somethings are just meant for the keyboard.

Friday, April 13, 2007

What Ultra Mobile PCs look like to Intel

It's always an interesting thing to see what's in store for tomorrow consumer electronics. I am especially excited about this video intel has put out about the future of mobile computing. Take a look for yourself.

The truth is, that computing is everywhere, GPS, DVD, digital audio, cell phones, watches. Just about everything has some form of computer chip to assist it's functionality in some way. Intel has these multifunction devices laid out for our future, and so far it looks pretty cool. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

YouTube - NY Drift - Google Earth 3D

I was enjoying a Google Earth video earlier today and it got me thinking. What kinds of new things will become of this kind of software? With the new availability of 3d building and rendering software in a short period of time we will have built a virtual world quite literally. You'll be asking yourself.... "Is it real, or is it Memorex?" But seriously, we're well on our way to world tourism at your desk. As the video demonstrates, the possibilities just for architecture are huge. You can build you house and see it in 3d inside and out before the foundation is laid. Just last week I found a website that will let you track a commercial flight in Google Earth, in near real time.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Another Flying Car

Well, they're at it again. This time it comes from Texas.

Friends fashioning flying car | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News

Honestly, somebody is going to figure it out. It may take another 20 years, but someone is going to get it right, and when they do, the sky will seem not big anymore.