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Upgrading Technology

Posted by on Sep 21, 2008

For a couple of months, I’ve been looking at this blog page of mine with a little bit of consternation. Though I loved the theme, I had a problem with it. On Firefox it looked fine, but on Internet Explorer it looked terrible. Instead of looking like a 3-column theme, it looked like a 2-column theme with a major problem, as the column on the right side was dropping all the way to the bottom.

I looked at everything for a long time. I went through my posts looking for bad HTML code, and couldn’t find anything. I copied the code from the template into the program I use for creating websites and the like, and couldn’t find anything wrong. I put out questions to other people asking what they were seeing and if they had any ideas what the issue might be, and strangely enough, everyone else was seeing it properly, or so they were telling me. I was flabbergasted and, well, thought maybe I was losing my mind. I thought maybe there was something else wrong with my computer or my monitor initially also, except I was seeing the same thing on my laptop; strange.

So, once again last night I’m going through the entire site again, which takes a lot of time, trying to figure things out, knowing I was going to figure things out. I asked a few more people to look at the site, and was lucky to have one guy who I could talk to immediately; it was around 2AM after all, and he was in Australia, and he told me it was fine. Then suddenly, a thought hit my mind. I asked him which version of IE he was using; he told me IE7. The light bulb went off in my head; I was still on IE6.

There was a time in my life when I had to always have the latest and greatest of everything. When I was a kid, I always had the first of everything in my area. My family had the first color TV. I had the first cassette recorder. I had the first of what we used to call “banana” bikes. I actually had something that preceded 8-track tapes, and was the first to have it (if you don’t know what an 8-track tape is, go ask your parents). Among my friends, I had the first duo-floppy drive computer, the first 17″ monitor, the first external hard drive, the first (and only) Palm with an actual hard drive; okay, that last one was a major mistake, but still, I was ahead of the game.

But something happened as I’ve gotten older. I like some of the programs and such that I use, and therefore I’m reluctant to change just because someone says it’s time to change. I stuck with MS 2000 until late 2004 because it was time to change, and I liked the change when I finally went in that direction. But I had to give up a lot of programs that didn’t work with XP, and I had to give up all my 3.5″ floppies because I didn’t have an A-drive anymore.

One thing I refused to do was switch to IE7. Strange for me, because I’d always updated before. I did actually test IE7 when it first came out, and I couldn’t find out how to get to the menus, and I didn’t have any toolbars. Maybe there was a way to get to them, but I didn’t have the time then and there, so I rolled back to IE6 and went on my merry way. But last night, or this morning, I finally broke down and loaded IE7, just to test the theory. And, of course, the theory worked. This site looks fine, and it now explains why everyone else saw it better and more correctly than I did; sigh,…

Of course, now this is bringing back to me the initial problem I had with Firefox 3, how I said I wasn’t going to upgrade, and how someone from Firefox actually commented on this blog (which was shocking and nice at the same time) giving some information, part of which was that Firefox 2 won’t be supported after a certain point. One thing that I’m going to have to reconcile in my mind is that if I’m going to continue doing work on the web, I’m going to have to be willing to upgrade to certain things from time to time, even if I’m going to lose some of the functionality I’ve gotten used to and loved in the past.

After all, it’s happened before. When I got my first Windows 95 PC, I learned quickly that all the games and programs I had before suddenly weren’t compatible with it, which included the program I used for writing everything (anyone else remember IBM’s Writing Assistant?). Yet, once I got into it, I realized that first Word Perfect, then MS Word, were a major improvement over what I’d had before, as well as Excel being a major improvement over what I’d been using as a spreadsheet program before (can’t remember the name, but it it was pre-Lotus 1-2-3).

So, in my own way, I’m also being dragged into the 21st Century. And that’s not such a bad thing, I guess. Back in December I got my first phone that had texting capability and stated I didn’t want it, and now I can’t imagine living without it. And the world keeps moving on.

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And after all that, it wasn’t that bad upgrading was it Mitch? It looks like you may have to get back into the old habit of being the first with everything.

September 21st, 2008 | 9:11 AM

True Sire, and the thing is that I usually find out about a lot of stuff ahead of time, but just don’t try it out or move past it. It’s going to be hard giving up some old habits, but it’s got to be done. And thanks for helping me out with this one.

September 21st, 2008 | 9:24 AM

No worries Mitch, that’s what mates are for.

September 21st, 2008 | 5:18 PM
DeBorah Beatty:

Hi, Mitch! Gotta ask what program it is that you use to build your websites with. I’m trying to open some html newsletters I sent so I can create a newsletter archive. (Changed from Constant Contact and now have lost my archives). Loverly. Anyway – I also had issues when I first upgraded to Firefox 3, but they ironed themselves out, too.

i’ll be reading your blog along with my other must read blogs!

September 22nd, 2008 | 1:41 PM

Thanks for writing, DeBorah. I use Top Style as my program of choice. I love that it lets me write my own HTML, but it will complete the tags as I write along so one won’t forget that part. I have version 3.12, but now they’re up to 3.5. I gave Dreamweaver a try, but I found it much more complicated, even the WYSIWYG version, which I hate.

September 22nd, 2008 | 2:15 PM