Orange “Live Box” ADSL modem / wireless router

At the weekend I installed the Orange Live box for my in-laws. They were already on Orange broadband, and their old netgear wireless router had died so the FIL decided to take a deal from Orange & upgrade to the Orange live box.

As soon as I popped the installation CD into the PC I hit a problem, it didn’t matter what option I hit the cd opened the help box. After much swearing and head scratching I discovered that the software on the Orange installCD is not compatible with the Adobe Flash 9 player. This is frankly ridiculous, I can’t believe that Orange have sent out a disk without testing it against the latest version of the player. I think that’s unacceptable.

Anyway, once I’d un-installed flash 9 installation is a doddle, the wired connection is (if I remember correctly) automatic. For the wireless installation, you first install a client on the computer you want to connect wirelessly, then put the Live Box into “pairing mode” by pressing a button on the router and then search for the wireless network and enter the WEP key printed on the bottom of the Live Box. All pretty straight forward.

The Live Box has a USB port for connecting to a PC, I used one of the two Ethernet ports. It also has a phone socket which allows you to connect a telephone and use the Live box to make VOIP calls,this is something the in-laws may want to do later.

Overall, I was quite impressed with the Live box; I like the way that all the admin & set up stuff is handled automatically, for most home users that’s be great. I’m not sure if it’s possible to do more advanced stuff like reserve IP addresses or set your own SSID, I’ll have a look into that next time I’m at the inlaws. I think it could also use a couple more Ethernet ports, we used the two available up straight away by connecting to the desktop PC and a netgear printserver.

Adobe announce Creative Suite 3

I’ve been waiting for ages for CS3 to come out, and Today Adobe have finally released some details about it on their website. Although there’s not a lot of substance to it yet, there’s an awful lot of marketing speak on there and no trial versions yet.

I’ve been using Fireworks CS3 beta and it’s pretty good, certainly an improvement over earlier versions. I’m keen to see what improvements there are to dreamweaver, specifically to do with how it deals with C#. Dreamweaver 8 can write asp.net pages, but it doesn’t put the code into code behind pages – it does it all in line which is not great, this is something I’d definitely like to see sorted in DW CS3. There are a few things that do look interesting in dreamweaver CS3. The CSS support sounds like it has been improved dramatically and there’s the new “Spry” Ajax framework. Unfortunately, I think I read that Spry uses invalid inaccessible code. I’ll withhold judgement on whether it’s worth upgrading (I’m currently using CS2) until I’ve been able to play with trials of Dreamweaver and Photoshop.

Fisher Price Digital Camera

It was Isla’s and my Birthday yesterday. My sister Anna bought Isla a Fisher Price “Kid Tough” Digital Camera which she gave her on Saturday when we all met up in London after going on the London Eye.

Isla was thrilled to bits with her camera, and actually she’s taken some pretty good photos (considering she’s just 3). I’ve put some of the photos she took up on flickr. The camera isn’t great in low light, so some of the photos are pretty under exposed but I think her composition is really good.

I think that this camera is a great introduction to photography for a small person and I’d recommend it to any parent who’s toddler is showing an interest in cameras.

Hopefully it’ll stop Isla running off with my phone to take pictures with it!

Tweet! Tweet!

This morning I added a box at the top of the blog entitled “what’s fordie up to now?” this takes a feed from Twitter. Twitter is one of the many social network type websites, the idea of this one is that you can let your friends (and complete strangers) know what you’re doing right now.

I don’t know how long it’ll be before I get bored silly of this, I’ve only been using it for a few days – but so far it’s fairly entertaining.

Ffffffliping floats!

I’ve been having various problems over the past few days with CSS floats. more specifically, either background images on containing elements not appearing or floated elements acting as if they’ve run out of room in the parent element and dropping down on to “the next line”.

The cause of this is the fact that I haven’t cleared the float before closing the containing element. I have found two ways of curing the problem.

  1. Clear the float.
  2. set a min-height on the parent (containing) element. Remembering of course to add a height in your IE specific stylesheet.

This is pretty basic stuff, but it’s been a while since I’ve hit a problem like this in CSS so it makes sense for me to blog it to help me remember next time; and who knows it might help someone else too.

Web Standards Project announces “Street Team”

Details are sketchy (or non-existent) at the moment but WaSP have recently announced a new initiative called “Street Team”. The idea is that together we create a number of tasks – challenges if you will – to help the promotion of web standards in your local community. Things that will help get the word out to the businesses, educational institutions, web shops and individuals who live and operate directly near you. As a central group it’s hard for us to reach those people, but as a distributed team, it’s easy.

I’ve signed up to the mailing list, it’ll be interesting to see exactly what tasks they have in mind.

Sky+ just got more useful – Remote Record

We’ve had a Sky+ box for getting on for a year now and so far I’ve been impressed with it. For those that don’t know, a Sky+ box is a digital satellite receiver with a built in PVR; it has two tuners so you can watch one channel and record another, or record two channels at the same time.

Last week I noticed that the remote record via sky.com feature is now available, this has been “coming soon” for the last few months. This is an excellent feature it allows you to log in to the sky website and browse through the tv listings and (provided you are registered) send a remote record command to your Sky+ box from the Sky website. This means that wherever you are you can tell your Sky+ box to record the latest episode of your favourite show. Sweet!