Monthly Archives: March 2012

Sick of asking "What’s your browser version?"

Often in the course of a task I need to ask someone what browser they’re using, what OS they’re on, and sometimes even their IP address.  This usually entails explaining how to look in their browser’s help menu (and occasionally, what a browser is in the first place) and I’ve pretty much given up on asking people their OS version unless it’s critical to know, because it usually means an extra round of emails to help them find that.

On top of that, when I need somebody’s IP address or when they need to know it to remote into their office or whatever, I’ve been telling them to go to  Recently I looked at that site with adblock turned off and javascript on, and found out I’d been sending people to a site full of ads I didn’t know were there– annoying!

Luckily I found a better site to send people to: not only shows the IP address, but the user’s OS version, browser version, and also other useful info such as whether cookies, Javascript, and Flash are enabled.  It only has one ad (so far anyway.)  Even better, if the user fills in their name, email address, and your email address, they can automatically send the results to you.

This is already saving me time, so I’m passing it along in case you find it useful too.

Current project

My main project right now is redoing the Calendar of Events submission and admin system.  The old form was long and intimidating, while the admin side was clunky and annoying.  The underlying database is set up in a weird way, too, but I figured I would just have to work around that.  Turns out I probably would’ve been better off redoing the whole thing from scratch; as it is, I had to make several changes to the table structure, which means every place that displays events has to be changed to reflect that, which was exactly what I was trying to avoid by working with the existing database in the first place.  At least it’s ready to go now.  Well, I’ll still need to change some style elements and improve the client-side form validation, but that’s not hard compared to the rest.

Google+ at WOU!

Google finally decided we were a real, live university instead of (apparently) some sort of evil front organization bent on sneaking underage people into Google plus.  I’d pretty much given up on this so it caught me by surprise when I happened to check again today; looks like this has been turned on for a couple of weeks now.

So now when you’re in your WOU gmail, you should see a “Join Google+” item when you click your address in the Google menu bar, like this:

Click it to go to the Google Profile creation page.  Your name should already be filled in; just choose your gender and uncheck the “Tell other websites my personal information” checkbox, and you’re good to go!

OK, OK, that checkbox isn’t actually called that, but that’s what it amounts to as far as I can tell.

Stay tuned for more about Google+ at WOU!