I joined the HP Pavilion tx1000 drop dead club last month. Apparently the tx1xxx models of the HP Pavilion laptops have an issue with the NVIDIA chip frying the CPU hamsters (melting the solder on the motherboard) – I’m not really sure about the technical details, but a broken laptop is bad news.
Whatever happened it first killed my wireless, then the machine wouldn’t turn on (black screen, no BIOS, no boot). However; I’m writing this post from the same defective laptop. That’s right folks! I did NOT have to find a penny older than 1982, I did NOT have to dismantle and cook the computer under a halogen lamp for 5 minutes. Instead I…
How to fix your tx1xxx laptop:
- Put your laptop on a firm grounding like the floor, counter, or sturdy table
- Placed your right elbow on the enter key and push down hard
- Pull on the opposite side of the laptop casting until you hear creaking (while pushing on the enter key with your right elbow)
I heard creaking and crunching as I physically bent the case (and the motherboard I’m sure). Now, aside from a crack in the case and a still defunct wireless card I’m temporarlily back in business – and in active search of a replacement laptop.
I’ll give any company or product a chance, but quality and user experience is the deciding factor. I doubt that I’d purchase another HP machine, but I now have an excuse to get a Mac!
Update: my HP tx1000 kicked the can about a month after writing this article. I chop shopped it on eBay for a cool $400, then used the cash to get a spanking new MacBook Pro!
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And the winner is Dan Carlson!
Jeffery Zeldman offers this entertaining definition for Divitis and Classitis:
Classitis is the measles of markup, obscuring meaning as it adds needless weight to every page. The affliction dates back to the early days of semi-CSS-capable browsers and the many designers’ initially childish comprehension of how CSS works.
Alas, many have not yet outgrown that childish misunderstanding of CSS … Classitis is as bad in its own way as the
<font> tag ever was; rarely does good markup require it … At other times classitis is exacerbated by a still more serious condition … divitis … Classitis and divitis are like the needless adjectives with wich bad writing is strewen. They are the weeds in the garden of meaning. – Jeffrey Zeldman, Designing with Web Standards
An example of markup wraught with divitis and classitis:
div elements and 11 classes for a single item. What a stench! :) View this markup in action.
The equivalent markup disease free:
Cleaner, more meaningful, and with all the functionality of the former code. One
div element and 3 classes for a single item. ShamWow! View this markup in action.
Both of these markup snippets are visually and functionally equivalent. In the first example the
classes, and cryptic
ids weigh down the page and pollute the meaning of the markup. In the later, a more semantic / structural approach is taken Both these snippets were pulled from my attempts at the Google Web Developer Exercise.
Clean meaningful markup is the API that users and web crawlers consume – it’s important and easy to keep things clean, it just takes a little experience. Thank goodness for patterns like MVC that let us control our API (the markup).
I always found the definition of “Semantic / Structural Markup” murky on the intertubes. I thought Jeffrey Zeldman described it well in his book Designing with Web Standards.
What Is Semantic / Structural Markup?
Markup is “semantic” when tags are chosen according to what they mean. For example, tagging a headline
h1 because it is the most important headline on the page is a semantic authoring practice. Tagging a headline
h1 “to make it look big” is not. … I use the phrase “structural markup” to mean pretty much the same thing as “semantic markup.” (“Structural markup” takes its name specifically from the idea that the web document has an outline-like structure.) – Jeffrey Zeldman, Designing with Web Standards
Zeldman goes on to make many great points on why semantic markup matters, here’s my paraphrase.
Why Does Semantic / Structural Markup Matter?
If you’re interested in learning more about semantic markup then view A List Apart’s source code, or read their many online resources: Topics: Code: HTML and XHTML.
A couple years ago I tried getting a Web Developer position at Google. After a few interviews they had me complete their Web Developer exercise. I did it, and my initial submission would have made any respectable web developer ill – you can read more here: Getting a Job at Google: A Web Developer Fizzbuzz. I redid the exercise over a year ago, but today even that code stink.
I did the exercise yet again (the third time) because my last attempt needed some improvements:
- it suffered from chronic classitis and divitis (too many classes, ids, and divs were making me itchy)
- it wasn’t really using semantic / structural markup (all the extra divs etc… cluttered my markup, and some of my class names like
container-borders are non-semantic altogether)
- it suffered from my software ethnocentrism (my variable and object naming like
GoogleExercise was mirroring statically typed languages and not the native language they were being written in)
Here’s my latest Google Exercise (addressing all the above concerns):
View this post outside your RSS reader to see it in action or view it here.
You can view the code for this attempt here: google.contact.widget.js, index.html, google-contact-widget.css.
You can view the old code here: GoogleExercise.js, index.html, GoogleExercise.css.
If you think I can improve on my code then let me know. Oh yeah, and if you’re a recruiter from Google then hire me! :)