Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How We're Surprising The Kids with a Disney World Trip

We booked a trip to Disney World for my fiance's 8 year old daughter and 10 year old son as their Christmas present. Which means we needed a good way to surprise them. I did some Googling and liked a couple ideas:
  • Wrapping up a mylar helium balloon with tickets attached so when the gift is opened the balloon floats out.
  • Putting a "gold ticket" inside a chocolate bar
  • Scavenger hunt
Since I'm not that good at "arts and crafts" I decided to go with what I knew and make a website. 
(best viewed using the Google Chrome web browser)

We plan to surprise the kids Christmas night, so if you know us keep it a secret for a few more days.  ;)

For any "non-programmers" reading this you can probably stop now. ;)

For the geeks, I used StaticMatic and TextMate to do the coding. The site is a single page of HTML5 and jQuery (and jQuery UI). You can get the source code here on GitHub.

The snow was Seb Lee-Delisle's work. It's a bit CPU intensive so if the application feels slow it's mostly due to the snow. The computer we'll be using to surprise the kids is fast enough to not be an issue.

I modified the jQuery TickerType plugin to type out the "You're going to Disney World" message at the end. 

If you've never used StaticMatic it's pretty cool. It allows you to use Haml and Sass to do your markup which is a fun quick way to code HTML. Great for a quick static website.

Since I use pieces of Paul Irish's HTML5 Boilerplate in just about every site I do now (I'm even updating old sites to use it as I work on them) I went looking for a StaticMatic plugin for it and thankfully found staticmatic-boilerplate by Aaron Cruz on GitHub.

Overall it was a fun break to use StaticMatic and TextMate (and OS X for that matter) versus the Visual Studio 10 environment I currently spend most of my time in.

But there are two things I'd love to see improved with StaticMatic and/or the Boilerplate plugin:
1) Make it easier to add jQuery UI to your site.
2) Make it easier to switch between uncompressed Javascript while developing and the production minified and combined javascript.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fixed: PowerPoint 2010 Crashes When Typing

I ran into an issue where I'd open Power Point and as soon as I'd type a key into a slide it would lock up and crash.

The issue seems to be with Boot Camp drivers 3.1 and up which affects Apple hardware running Windows via BootCamp.

The solution that worked from me was found in this thread on the Apple Discussion forum posted by nallex:
Open "Control Panel" from the Start Menu
Select "Clock, Language, and Region"
Select "Change keyboards or other input methods" 
Click "Change keyboards..." button
Click "Add..." button
Roll down "English (United States)" (if it's not already expanded)
Select "US"
Click "OK"
Click "OK"
Click "OK"

Hopefully Apple comes out with BootCamp drivers to fix this issue.