HTML5 and Semantic Markups

I just got a book from called HTML5 & CSS3 For The Real World.   Published by Sitepoint, this book is a wonderful read.  The still-evolving new HTML specification has a lot of semantic markups that help web authors add meaning to the various components of a web page.  These semantic markups not only give meaning to the structure of an HTML document but also aids in styling of the page.

HTML5 is not just about fancy features.  It’s also about building HTML documents that make sense when analyzed for structure and design.  One aspect of HTML documents that is important is the outline of the document contents.  To aid in authoring HTML5 documents, there are some tools that analyze the documents’ structure.  One of these tools is the HTML5 Outliner,  which takes advantage of the outline algorithm for HTML5.  Try using it in your HTML5 projects and experiments to see if you have a semantically correct HTML document.

It is also important to understand the meaning and use of the various HTML5 markup elements.  Their use determines the logical structure of a document, aside from the styling.  There are certain HTML markup elements that should only be used in certain contexts.  One case is the use of the <em> and <strong> tags.   While <em> is used for emphatic stress, <strong> should be used for a span of text that has strong importance.

The proper and canonical use of HTML5 markup elements should be of concern to today’s web authors.  Reading the HTML5 specs carefully, even if they are still evolving,  is a good thing.  It’s best to future proof your HTML projects now.   See the Website Design and Construction page of this site for links to helpful resources.



Mozilla’s Thunderbird Version 5.0

Today, I upgraded my Mozilla Thunderbird email client to version 5.0.  To my surprise, it turned out to be faster than the previous 4.x versions.

I was disappointed with the 4.x versions of Thunderbird.  It was slower and the scrolling of the left window was not very responsive.  This changed in the new version 5.0.

I strongly recommend that Thunderbird 4.x users upgrade to version 5.0.  This is the best version yet of a quite reliable email client.

Obsolete Books

Books, especially technical ones, easily get obsolete within a short period of time.  I have several technical books that have recently become obsolete, one of which got obsolete in only three years.  This has made me purchase the new editions of some of these books.

There are times when the new editions have significant changes.  Others don’t have much changes – mostly reorganization and deletion of sections.  I get annoyed when the latter occurs, not realizing it until I have purchased the books.

I usually end up selling or trading in some of these obsolete books on  The money I get isn’t much but it is better than nothing.  Obsolete books waste space in my shelves.  There are still a number of obsolete books that can no longer be sold and these books are harder to get rid of.

One thing I have stopped doing is to write my name on books I purchase.  That way, when I sell them, they still have better value than books that have markings in them.



Space Battleship Yamato Live Action Movie Released

About a week ago, the live action movie version of Space Battleship Yamato was released to theaters in Japan.  SBY was an anime shown back in the early 70’s that had great influence on the development of anime.  It was later released in the USA as “Star Blazers“, with the ship renamed as “The Argo”.

The Yamato was Japan’s Navy’s flagship during World War 2.  In the anime (and most probably in the movie too), they used the structure of the sunken ship as basis for the space battleship.

If you visit the SBY website, you can watch the new trailer for the movie.  The effects look good and it should since they spent a lot of money on this movie, with movie tie-ins everywhere in Japan.  I hope they release a nice replica of the Space Battleship Yamato.  I’ll check again on eBay if it’s available already.

The Holidays Are Coming

Everyone seems to be looking for good bargains after Thanksgiving.  There are some who are already lined up at the stores that have sale items on Friday.  I’m just wondering if Apple products are going to be on sale as well.  At least OWC might have some Apple items on sale.

From Apple comes a new line of MacBook Airs.  They’re light and nice to use.  As for practicality, I’m still not sure about them.  However, if you just need something like an iPad but one that’s more powerful, the MacBook Air is it.  Note that it doesn’t have a touch screen yet though.

Another on my wish list is the new Apple TV.  It’s now a tiny black box that allows you to rent movies from the iTunes store and stream music and videos from different sources that support AirPlay (e.g. iPods, Macs, stereos).  I hope to get it for the holidays.  🙂

SCO To Put Most UNIX Assets Up For Auction

SCO is going to put most of its UNIX assets up for auction, according to this article.  Will there be somebody who’ll step in and continue supporting the products and the customers?

If I had lots of money in my pocket, I would probably buy the assets and see what can be done with the products.  Their UNIX is somewhat a direct descendant of the original UNIX created at Bell Labs.  It would be interesting to dissect it and see how it ticks compared to other UNIX and UNIX-like operating systems.  Moreover, it would be of historical value.

Anyway, that’s just a thought.

Also, I wonder what’s going on with the Solaris/OpenSolaris issue.

Computer Technology and Life

Obviously, computers permeate our lives in many ways through the gadgets and machines that we use everyday.  The Internet has also linked these computers in such a way that a vast amount of information can now be found flowing almost anywhere in the world.

I saw the revolution and evolution of computer technology from the time the Apple ][ was introduced.  Those were exciting days when 16kBytes of memory was a big thing.  There were competing makes and models of what were called personal or micro computers.  Remember the Ataris, the Radio Shack TRS-80s, the Commodores, and the Sinclairs.  There were others and even some of them predate the computers I just enumerated above.

On eBay, one can buy these computers, some of which are still in working condition.  I have a couple of Commodore 64s myself.  Try searching for the above computers and see how much they cost now.

In high school, I spent a lot of time, tinkering with the Apple ][ Plus.  I learned Applesoft BASIC and Machine Language programming.  Later on, I learned Pascal via Turbo Pascal which was later available on the IBM PC as well.

The IBM PC rose to become the dominant personal computer in the late 80’s.  Apple, however, introduced a great machine called the Macintosh (it was misspelled — it should have been McIntosh) which featured a graphical user interface (GUI) and a pointing device called a mouse.  Eventually, PCs (which usually meant non-Apple IBM-compatible computers) got their own GUI with the help of Microsoft.  It took at least a couple of versions before Microsoft Windows displaced the command line interface of DOS on the PCs.  Meanwhile, Apple Macintosh thrived, carving out a niche and building a loyal customer base.

The Internet was still at its infancy in the late 80’s.  Some domain names like SUN.COM were registered around 1986.  In the early 90’s, I got a taste of the Internet, albeit without the world wide web (WWW) yet.  FTP and Gopher were what we used to transfer files here and there.  It was entertaining and fascinating to know that computers were actually linked to each other and could pass information to one another.

Further down towards the mid 90’s, Linux rose to be a popular and useful open source project.  I was lucky to have tinkered with sometime in 1993-1994 when the kernel version was something like 0.99.  Once again, I was amazed at what one could do with a full blown Linux kernel-based operating system.  We used Slackware, one of the few surviving Linux distributions today, to set up Linux-based servers.

I found it cool compiling and running UNIX applications on Linux.  The X Window System provided the GUI with the additional functionality of remote Window sessions.  Samba proved to be a great thing for those that wanted to use a Linux server as a file and print server.  Of course, one could not help but gleefully hack and program on a Linux machine with all the free development tools available (Perl, C/C++, bash, tcsh, etc.).

……and many more things happened…….

Where are we today?  Mobile devices, embedded computers in machines, tablets, smartphones, multicore processors, etc.  It’s quite impressive to know they exist.  Even more so that these gadgets and embedded computers are (or can be) connected to each other via a network, wired or wireless.  They can even be accessible from the Internet.

We are all benefitting from these developments.  Should we also be scared of them?  We already face problems daily with computers getting affected by malicious software meant to steal our wealth and identities.  We also face the difficulty in making sure complex software don’t commit errors where lives are at stake.  With all the flow of information in the Internet, is our privacy not safe anymore?

Where do we go from here?  I guess we should proceed carefully but with a positive attitude.  As human beings, we are quite smart and we adapt.  We will learn from our mistakes and make things right.


New Blog Site

I migrated to today because I wanted more control over the site.  It wasn’t too difficult to migrate and setup WordPress on another server since I read the manual.  😉

WordPress is suitable for my purposes at this moment.  If I need to migrate to something else like Drupal, I’ll just have to do it.  WordPress already has enough features to keep me happy in the years to come.

I hope to write more often this time.  It’s not easy for me to think of a topic to write about simply because I keep myself busy with other things.  Perhaps I need to structure my time a bit more so I can spend more time on blogging.

By the way, take a peek at these websites:

LinuxUnbound is one of my sites where I post stuff about Linux.  Alumni.NET, on the other hand, is a global organization registry that has been around since 1994.  It started as a simple registry for a single high school.  It now features some social networking features.

Well, I’ll post more stuff later.

Gaming On The PlayStation 3

Lately, I’ve been playing games on my PlayStation 3 (PS3).  It has been one year since I last played a game on the console, using it mainly as a blu-ray player.

I’m not an expert gamer and I do it just to pass the time.  However, I like playing games that have very good graphics, the ones which give you a cinematic experience.  Metal Gear Solid 4 is pretty good.  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is also a winner.  Resistance: Fall of Man, being one of the first titles available on the PS3, is showing its age but the gameplay is still okay.  (I miss Gears of War, an Xbox and PC game which is definitely better than Resistance:FOM).

Note that I’m not playing the latest and greatest games.  I’m a bit hesitant to spend $50-$60 on a new game since I’m not yet an expert gamer.  I usually buy old and/or used games. is one good source of them.

The New 2010 Mac mini

Apple had a surprise announcement of the new Mac mini.  It’s now in an all-aluminum case.  The form factor is a bit shorter but wider than the previous Mac minis.  They also upgraded the graphics and processors, making them faster (though I would still get the 2.5 GHz model and upgrade it to 2.66 GHz).

I am thinking of this as an alternative to an expensive 27″ iMac.  I would forego with the processing power of the iMac but I would save a lot enough to buy an iPad 🙂 .

I’ll wait and see.