You have reached the blog of Keith Elder. Thank you for visiting! Feel free to click the twitter icon to the right and follow me on twitter.

IE8 Download Notification in Windows 7

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Internet, MVP10, Windows | Posted on 15-09-2009


Ever started a download and then wondered how much time it had before it finished?  Me too.  I just noticed this feature in the new taskbar of Windows 7 on the Internet Explorer 8 icon. 

Zune 4.0 was just released so I kicked off a download.  A few minutes later I was wondering how far along it was. 

I happened to glance down at the task bar in Windows 7 and noticed this:


The Internet Explorer 8 icon was filling up, moving to the right as the download progressed. Here is typical download window.  Very cool and something I hadn’t noticed before nor seen anyone mention on the Internets.



Good to know and a nice use of the new task bar, I mean dock, I mean task bar in Windows 7.

Google Pushing Chrome to Internet Explorer Users

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Internet | Posted on 17-04-2009


Just a few minutes ago I went to Google to search for something.  I was using Internet Explorer at the moment because that’s all I had installed within the Virtual Machine I was working in.  When I went to the site, something new and awkward hit me as I started typing in my search.  Here’s what caught my attention.


I thought to myself, hmmm, this is kind of interesting.  Then I thought, hmmm, I wonder if Firefox users get the same thing.  Curious, I flipped over to Firefox on my machine and pulled up the page.  Here’s the result.


Wow!  Can you say target marketing?  Is this war?  Has Google opened a can of worms by doing this?  This is pretty brazen if you ask me.  Yep, Google has officially declared war on Internet Explorer it seems.  And you know what?  They’ll get away with it.  Thoughts?

Deep Fried Bytes April Fools, Yes We Got You!

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Funny Stuff, Internet, Podcast | Posted on 02-04-2009


The pressure mounts for me each year when April 1st rolls around.  Each year co-workers and friends start asking me days before April 1st what I’m going to do this year, like I would tell them!

To fresh your memory, last year I took a job at Apple.  And to top off that prank, at work there was a termination letter that was sent to all of Information Systems.  Not only were a lot of people at work gotten but last year’s April Fools is still left in minds of many developers world wide like this tweet from Rick:


So what to do this year?  Well, this year we decided to get Deep Fried Bytes involved with the fun.  We created a show with a “Mystery Guest”, and built up the hype around the guest.  To make things sound a little more real we threw in an announcement about the DevLink conference and awaited the arrival of our special guest, who, well never showed up.

We let the show’s theme music play and play and play and play for almost 20 minutes.  Then we came back in at the end with a big APRIL FOOLS and apologized heavily to our loyal listeners. 

I’m happy everyone took it in good fun.  Here is some of the feedback we got:

image image
image image
image image
image image


All in all it was good fun and it seems most everyone took it in good stride.  One of my team members that works with me (Val) had listened to the show and decided to turn the tides.  I called him yesterday about 4:30 PM to discuss the days accomplishments and after I was on the phone with him for a few minutes I heard his phone ring and he said “can you hold on…this is someone very important I need to talk to?”.  I said sure and then he started playing the show’s theme music into the phone.  It was pretty funny. 

I hope you had a good April Fools and we’ll see you next year.

If you want to listen to the show here’s the link:


My First IE8 Encounter

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Internet | Posted on 20-03-2009


IE8 was released yesterday during the Mix keynote yesterday.  I installed IE8 on my machine yesterday and rebooted late last night (yes I ignored the warning to reboot immediately all day).  When I came in this morning I had a fresh rebooted machine to start the day with.  I opened up IE8 and went to the first place I go usually, email.  Here’s what I saw:


For those that don’t know, this is the GMail interface.  For full disclosure, the GMail interface is not perfect.  I have had the user interface render weird things like this before.  As a matter of fact, a few weeks ago I had a messed up user interface for over a week before it corrected itself, and this was in Firefox, yet IE rendered correctly.  Given the history I pulled up Firefox to see if it  was rendering weird.  Here’s what it looked like.


Honestly I’m not sure what is going on, I’d be interested if anyone else is having the same issue with GMail not rendering correctly.  It could be a lab setting I have causing the problem or Google Gears. 

Not giving up too easily I decided to clear the history / cache / etc.


Then I restarted.

Same result.  I then pressed the ALT key to get to the tools menu and chose the option “Developer Tools”.


What happens when you do this is you get the developer tools for IE8.  This allows all sorts of things such as searching the DOM, profiling javascript and rendering, debugging and much more.  It is a very welcomed tool for developers I know.


If you can read the screen above, the browser mode is in IE8 compatibility view but the document mode is in IE7 standards.  The document mode has three options: 


I selected the IE8 standards option and my screen refreshed and the page was rendered like:image

However, that change doesn’t “stick” for restarts.  It appears Google has some changes to make to GMail.  By the way, every other site I’ve been to works as expected. 

Google Latitude – Useful or Too Early to Tell?

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Internet | Posted on 27-02-2009


In the future the phrase “Where are you?” may be a thing of the past.  Google’s new application called Latitude allows users to update their locations from mobile phones as well as their computers.  Yesterday I took my first road trip with Google Latitude enabled and had a friend track my location while I was out. 

Instead of me explaining the ins and outs of Latitude.  Watch this short video on how the service works.

There are several mobile phones supported currently although the iPhone is listed as “coming soon”.

  • Android-powered devices, such as the T-Mobile G1
  • iPhone and iPod touch devices (coming soon)
  • most color BlackBerry devices
  • most Windows Mobile 5.0+ devices
  • most Symbian S60 devices (Nokia smartphones)
  • many Java-enabled (J2ME) mobile phones, such as Sony Ericsson devices (coming soon)

A Quick Mobile Tour

To install Google Latitude on your phone go to http://www.google.com/latitude/intro.html and type in your cell phone number.  A text message will arrive almost immediately providing a link where the software can be downloaded.  I’m using it on my Blackjack II running Windows Mobile 6.1 currently.

Once installed, launch Google Maps on the phone.  Here are a few screen shots that should give you an idea what to expect on a Windows Smartphone.


Launch Latitude from the main menu.


I can see Brad and Chris are where they are supposed to be but Shawn is already in Washington for an up and coming conference we’ll both be at.


There are several privacy settings.  Auto detect is the default but you can also “fake” your location or just hide it.


It is not intuitive how you sign out of Latitude so note you sign out at the bottom of the privacy tab.


There are hot keys to jump from friend to friend on the map.


Once you exit the application, it asks if you would like to continue to share your location.  There doesn’t appear to be any settings yet on frequency.

Road Testing Latitude

As we were leaving Jackson, MS yesterday I emailed Brad and asked him to take screen shots of Google Latitude every 15 minutes as we were on the way back home.  Brad obliged but said the location seemed to update only about every 20 minutes.  Here’s what it looked like from Latitude as we drove from Jackson, MS back to Hattiesburg, MS (about a 2 hour drive).





Useful or Not?

At this point and time only early adopters are using the service it seems.  There hasn’t been enough “buzz” around it yet to get massive adoption, at least not within my network.  Out of the thousands of connections I have, I have only four Latitude invites (that’s pretty sad).  As more people sign up I may find it more useful.  As it stands right now I haven’t found a real-world use for it.  With that said though…

Tomorrow I’ll be traveling to Seattle for the MVP Summit.  It *may* be useful to know where all of my friends are located during a conference.  Which building is Woody in on campus?  Has Jason left yet?  Is Alan back at the hotel?  Where is McWherter?  Are they still home?  Stuck at the airport? Etc.  The only way to find out if it is “useful” is to get more traction within our social networks and use it.

If you want to connect to join the party you can send an invite to this email address.