Thursday, May 31, 2007

CSS hacks for Internet Explorer

Microsoft, by not keeping Internet Explorer up to date as web development has moved into the era of open web standards, has caused web professionals all over the world a lot of grief.

True. Being a web developer myself although I'm still a beginner, it is a frustrating experience to learn how your beautiful design look ugly when Internet Explorer is the browser. Internet Explorer is far from web standard and caused major headache for anyone who are involved in designing and developing a website. One of the last step after fully developed a website is to check whether Internet Explorer ruins it again and again X(.

There are two main internet browsers in the world. First is Internet Explorer [IE] followed by Mozilla Firefox. If Firefox was not developed in the last few years, IE6 will always become dominant and Microsoft will never introduce new version of IE. Due to the popularity of Firefox, IE7 is introduced. Although IE7 is slightly better than its previous version, it is far from web standard.

There are many CSS hacks required to fix the problem in IE. Here are few links I found over the net.

Essential CSS hacks
Box Model hack

and the ultimate site for CSS bugs in all browsers... /*Position Is Everything*/

Related post: validity

First preference

The group list for next semester has been published. I got my first preference :). Alhamdulillah.

Now, I may need to revise certain things a week before the semester starts. After all, one year without lectures and exams have diluted my pre-clinical knowledge. I need to recharge my hippocampus again before embracing my clinical years. Speaking of which, did you know that my first unit/subject is Neurology, Opth and ENT B-). Start with the hardest first and hopefully this will uplift my spirit for the coming semester.

How do you label a post?

The headache of choosing labels for each post is what has been bothering me lately. How do you put label/labels for each post. Since this is a personal blog, I rant wrote almost everything under the sun. From personal stuff to computer technology.

For example, if I wrote about lectures and tutorials, I can label this as medical school or sem X, X refers to which semester I was in eg 1,2, 3...] or just put personal. Same goes if I wrote about Google products. I can label it as Google or to be specific, to label the specific Google product I am talking about.

I wish Blogger would introduce sub-category option for labelling a post. At least, that will put me in the right direction and reduce the number of labels need to be made. Imagine that you labeled all your post and in the future, you will see long sidebar full with labels. Perhaps, I need to be specific on what I am blogging for.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Google Reader shared items hack

Google Reader allows you to show your shared items by placing the code in the blog or adding it as a blogger widget. Although there are several options available on how you can customize the shared items, basically it is not that great. You are only given the option of changing the colour of the scheme and edit the number of links shown in the blog.

I found the tips to customize the Google Reader shared items written by Andrew Grant. It was published October last year. So, I guess I'm pretty late to notice
this :). The hack is based on feedburner.

The gist of the methods are as follows:
  1. Put your Google Reader shared item feed as a new feed in the FeedBurner account.
  2. Then, click publicize tab and later click BuzzBoost.
  3. Choose any options that suits you and activate it. You can add it as a blogger widget or put the code at your blog.
  4. I prefer to put the code at the blog since I have two sidebars and several blog widgets. If I added the feed as a blog widget, it will choose the first blog widget found on the sidebar. I put Google Shared items below shoutbox.
  5. After this, check the page source generated by this feed and you can customise it by CSS. Further explanation is given here.
I will show you how do I customize my Google Reader shared items for reference. This requires basic CSS knowledge. My writing beyond this point is intended for anyone who will like to know more about hacking/customizing Google Reader shared items.

First, we need to know the generated page source. Here is a brief look at the top of shared item.

I created a new div tag with id feedburner to put the whole shared item in one place. By doing this, it will be easier to edit CSS for this shared items. Here is what I put in div.feedburner in the stylesheet.
#feedburner {
margin-top: 10px;

The generated page source begins with a div tag
div class="feedburnerFeedBlock"
and you can edit this div in the stylesheet :). I have adjusted the padding.
div.feedburnerFeedBlock {padding: 10px 2px 0 10px;}
Next is a p class labelled as feedTitle. This basically refers to your Feed title if you enable it in the first place. I want the title to be in black including when the mouse is hovering above the link. Here is what I've done.
div.feedburnerFeedBlock p.feedTitle {
padding: 0;
margin: 5px 0 0 0;
font-size: 13px;
font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;
text-align: left;

div.feedburnerFeedBlock p.feedTitle a {
text-decoration: none;
color: #000000;
font-weight: bold;

A shorther way of putting this is to use only B-).
Next comes the ul tag. This begin the list of your shared items. Here is what I've done.
div.feedburnerFeedBlock ul {
list-style-position: outside;
padding: 0;
margin: 0;
font-family: Arial, sans-serif;
font-size: 11px;
text-align: justify;

div.feedburnerFeedBlock ul a {
text-decoration: none;
color: #000000;

Next, I adjust the padding in the li tag by removing the list marker.
div.feedburnerFeedBlock li {background-image: none;}
After this, comes the span class labelled as headline. The name says it all. It refers to the headline of each item you shared on your Google Reader.
div.feedburnerFeedBlock li span.headline {
font-family: Arial, sans-serif;
font-size: 12px;
margin: 0;
padding: 0 0 2px 0;
line-height: 98%;

div.feedburnerFeedBlock li span.headline a {
text-decoration: none;
color: #2100AF;

What I've done is first to make the font smaller and adjust the line-spacing. I also adjusted the padding of the headline. Thus, the headline move slightly to the left compared to the feed title eg Shared items. The font colour is also changed. A shorter way instead of writing the whole div li span tag is to use only span.headline only.
Next, I edited p class for Item author and the date of the shared item.
p.feedItemAuthor {
margin: 0;
padding: 2px 0 1px 0;
} {
margin: 0;
padding: 0;

The actual content of the shared item is put in a div tag. Now, that div does not have any id or class associated with it. The way to edit this is to use descendant selectors in CSS. That's mean you have to locate the div tag contained in this code.
div.feedburnerFeedBlock ul li div {
color: #000000;
line-height: 110%;
padding: 0 0 0 10px;
font-family: Verdana;
font-size: 11px;

First, I put the name of the div which is feedburnerFeedBlock, then ul tag; followed by li and finally the actual div that we will like to customize. Pretty long isn't it ;).
Last but not least is to edit the footer. The one that shows the image from FeedBurner.
#creditfooter {
text-align: right;
color: #000000;
font-weight: normal:
font-size: 10px;

#creditfooter a:hover {
background-color: transparent;

That's the end of this long post :D. Just before you ask me anything about CSS, please note that I only know a few bit about CSS. I learned CSS whenever I have free time. Thanks.

Monday, May 28, 2007

feedburner and smilies

This blog layout has been improved with two new features.

I managed to direct all the blog's feed into one single feedburner feed. Now whenever you click the RSS feed on the browser address bar (the one in orange icon), you will be automatically subscribe to my Feedburner Feed. Thanks for Feedburner forum for showing the way to achieve this.

Now, come the hack for blog feed B-). The usual blogger feed is based on the updated post. This means that if I edited an old post, this post will come at the top of my feed. The usual case for this to happen is when I labelled my old post. This is quite annoying and I wish the feed is based on when the post is published not when the post is updated. Thanks to phydeaux3, now the problem is solved :). Now, hopefully, you will only see the post according to the published date.

Blogger does not support any emoticon/smilies icon in their service. Blogspot users have to find ways to put the smilies in their post. There are many ways that I found on the internet. Currently I am using Deepa's method which will show you Yahoo! emoticons :).

Saturday, May 26, 2007


The new layout is only 30% complete. There are few things that I would like to improve. Anyway, I uploaded this layout so that it will be easier for me to check if there any bugs that need to be corrected.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

designing a layout

I have the basic idea on how the new blog should look like. The difficult part comes on writing the code. It is equivalent of writing a long mathematical solutions and any mistakes made in the middle of the solutions lead to wrong answer. There are few bugs to be ironed out and last but not least, I have to ensure compatibility with different internet browsers. Throughout this process, I managed to learn the new xml-code for Blogger.

Anyway, this is just an update for this blog :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I have finished writing up the thesis for publication and now, I will proceed with my next project. That is to upgrade this old template to the new layout. I am looking to create a new blog layout that is simple and not too heavy (eg containing too many graphics). Time will tell whether I will be able to achieve this goal.

In the meantime, I surf the net just to view any great website design out there. Here is what I found. This site listed down all great websites.

30 Great Websites (part 1)

If you navigate further of the website in the link above, you will see a lot of great links. Apparently this web also list beautiful website according to the colours, eg pink, blue, black, green....Excellent :)

p/s: I like the new autosave feature of blogger. No more losing any post entry in the middle of writing B)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

close to the end

Alhamdulillah, my thesis is complete now. Spend a lot of time today waiting for the supervisor's signature via fax. She is at overseas since April. So, all the communications is via email.I will submit the thesis tomorrow but my job is not over yet. Few things need to be done but the biggest obstacle is already over. Relieved.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

3 days to go

That is how close the deadline is. The thesis is near to its completion. Few minor points and tweaking have been added. I will be extremely relieved when all of this is over. Although the job is not exactly finish after the deadline since I need to prepare the thesis for publication...

anyway, to those who have exams in another few weeks, good luck and fortunately for us, we don't have exam this time :).

Monday, May 14, 2007

Define:Google :)

One of the search command you can use in Google is define:yourterm here. It will give you pretty accurate definition of any terms that you are looking for.

Now, instead of using define:google, this blog collected several interesting definitions of google :D.

  • Google is the most used search engine in my school, according to interviews.
  • Google is a web interface to the world.
  • Google represents a Faustian bargain between society and technology.
  • Google is a big platform for distributed computing.
  • Who needs the Internet? We've got Google cache!
  • Google was a search engine. Google is more than the sum of its usable parts. It is an entity that many use to access personalized information and find both new and old ideas alike. It is now an essential part of the Internet.
  • Google is the other half of my brain.
  • Google is the command line, the start of an OS.
  • Google is a gateway to millions of ideas.
  • Google is the crossroad where life is transfered from desktops to the Internet.

via Google Operating System

Saturday, May 12, 2007

less than a week.

The submission date of the thesis is due this Friday 18th. Expect me to finish it earlier since I need to bind and made 3 copies of the thesis. This one whole year of doing research is almost over :).

The past few months have been quite hectic as I try to finish my data collection and writing the thesis at the same time. And now I have approached the last week of AMS (Advanced Medical Science). After this week, my winter holiday will start to kick in :).

In the same time last year, my life has been quite different. It was the end of Semester 5 and I was preparing to sit for the semester exam. The semester revolves around immune system and all of those nasty germs. Streptococcus, Staph aureus, vancomycin, T-cells, retinoblastoma and other sarcomas......these terms were in my mind at that time. The exam started early; right in the first week of official university exam and ended early too. Those were the days where I have to read medical books and memorize certain concepts and drugs [Starting from next semester, this will be the norm again ;)]

Back to the present time, what I am doing now is completely different. No exams and lectures for one whole year. Just do the research and if you have free time, follow the ward rounds and attend the specialist clinic.

I am not sure which kind of life suits me better. Sitting for semester exams or doing one year of research. The former demand me to study and memorize a lot of stuff and the latter require me to do a lot of literature review and involve writing a looong thesis. Both are stressful life and full of challenges.

Perhaps in this situation, I should follow my fellow comrades. Be a medical student and not a researcher. After all, isn't that what I've been doing in the past few years...

Okay, back to my work again ;).

Thursday, May 10, 2007

New interface of Google Analytics

Google Analytics has been upgraded. The new interface seems to be better than previously. However, it wil take several weeks for the old user of Google Analytics to experience the new look. At least this solves my main comment towards Analytics. Previously, the interface is too complicated for new users and not intuitive enough to entice people of using the service.

This is an excellent post describing the new Google Analytics.

Do These Five Things First In V2


There are several things that I need to add to my thesis. I have received the reply from my supervisor last week and she said that there are only few things to be improved and overall it is a good writing. Please note that the draft that I sent to her was not the first draft though. It was draft no 3. Currently I am writing draft no 4 which should be the complete version of my thesis. After the completion of 4th draft / complete thesis, I need to write another draft for publication which basically is my draft no 1 and 2 and summary of draft 4.

I need to update my citation / referencese / bibliography since there are inconsistency in the citations. I think this is caused by alteration of Endnote filters in my laptop and I quote medical journals from two sources.

Following my oral presentations, I gained several interesting points from the audience and I will be incorporating their suggestions into my thesis. That is the advantage of presenting your thesis in front of two audiences and to present it before deadline :).

Back to my work for now....


Narrated Shaddad bin Aus:

The Prophet said "The most superior way of asking for forgiveness from Allah is:

'Allahumma anta Rabbi la ilaha illa anta, Anta Khalaqtani wa ana abduka, wa ana 'ala ahdika wa wa'dika mastata'tu, A'udhu bika min Sharri ma sana'tu, abu'u Laka bini'matika 'alaiya, wa Abu Laka bidhanbi faghfirli innahu la yaghfiru adhdhunuba illa anta."

The Prophet added. "If somebody recites it during the day with firm faith in it, and dies on the same day before the evening, he will be from the people of Paradise; and if somebody recites it at night with firm faith in it, and dies before the morning, he will be from the people of Paradise."

The translation of supplication in the hadith is as follows;

"0 Allah! You are my Cherisher. There is no deity except You. You have created me and I am Your servant and as far as possible, I abide by my solemn promise and covenant (which I made to You). I seek Your protection against the consequences of my wrongdoings. I fully acknowledge the grace You have bestowed upon me and I confess my faults. So pardon me my sins as none besides You can pardon sins."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Far away

I have received an email from my long lost friend today. He is getting married in a few weeks. This is another event that I will be missing since I'm far away from the place (hence the title).

If you lived far away from your loved ones eg family, you are certain to miss several important events. That is an inevitable consequence when you choose to study overseas. You can say there is the internet instant messenger and phone call to bridge the distance but the feelings will not be as similar as compared to the person who is able to be there. Your family may describe that the food that they ate when they attended a certain event is delicious but you will never know the exact proportion of deliciousness of those food. The same goes for your younger siblings. The last time you saw them, they are still small childish kid and when you met them 2-3 years later, they are bigger and have experience a lot of things without you.

Am I homesick? NO. This thing spontaneously came to my mind when I read the email.

Living far away from home does not mean you lose a lot. You will gain the joy of finding new friendship and new perspective towards your religion and your own beloved country. In fact, you may learn a lot of new things such that it may change your mind and way of thinking. Some people who went overseas for a couple of years changed a lot, either positively or negatively and surprisingly, some who doesn't change at all.

I hope that by living far away from home for several years will change me to become a better person. There are things that I would like to improve and things that I need to achieve. And when I have completed my study here for good, at least hopefully, I am able to say to my family that I have become a better person than the one they sent to the airport few years ago.

p/s: There is an interesting quote posted by Fahmi here.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Don't kill fetus but we can kill people...

Straight quote from here

Knee slapper from the NYT:

President Bush told Congressional leaders Thursday that he would veto any legislation that weakened federal policies or laws on abortion.

In a two-page letter sent to the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Mr. Bush said his veto threat would apply to any measures that “allow taxpayer dollars to be used for the destruction of human life.”

(That’d be my emphasis.) I guess President Bush doesn’t count the $585 billion for the Department of Defense, much of which goes toward guns, bombs, and missiles–pretty sure those have destroyed thousands of human lives in the past few years.

An irony....

Friday, May 04, 2007

Feed readers

I have been using Google Reader for the past few weeks. Google Reader is a feed reader and it is still in the Google Labs. Thats mean there are a lot of new features yet to be introduced ;).

There are many versions of feed reader on the net. Bloglines and Newsgator are few of those examples. This is my first time of using feed-readers since my blog-reading behaviour has increased exponentially in the past few years. It is now easier to track all the updates on my favourite blog/website. As long as those websites have RSS or Atom feed (in Firefox, you see the orange icon on the address bar), I can add the feed into Google Reader. And one additional benefit is that I can give the comment on those blog/webs as soon as there is a new entry.

Google Reader also provides a blogger widget if I would like to share any interesting reading that I found on my feed. That functionality however requires me to upgrade this template first. Check Tawel's blog to see how the shared item in Google Reader is used. The shared item is located under 'Shared', below 'Podcast'

Do you have any favourite feed readers?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Oral presentation. Done.

Alhamdulillah. My oral presentation is over. I have presented my thesis today in two different audience. The first presentation was in front of fellow AMS students and paediatricians. The questions was moderately easy. I managed to impress them with the size of my study :).

The second presentation was in front of paediatric endocrinologist and the whole staff in my department. I used the same content from the first presentation. The questions this time were harder than the first presentation since they know quite well in my area of research. Alhamdulillah, I managed to answer all of the questions.

Now, only one more thing left before AMS officially over. That is the submission of the thesis due May 18. Less than 3 weeks to go :).

p/s: On another note, the timetable for my next 2 years already out. Need to sort that out too.

updated: Interesting reading here.

Kenapa Mahu Menjadi Doktor?

Ramai yang hantar anak buat perubatan supaya boleh rawat ibu bapa sendiri nanti. Tetapi realitinya, kamu bukan manusia pertama boleh muncul memberikan rawatan jika berlaku apa-apa kepada ibu bapa. Malah ketika di bilik pembedahan dan wad kecemasan, ahli keluarga bukanlah calon terbaik untuk merawat ahli keluarga sendiri. Namanya, profesionalisma”, saya menyambung provokasi.

“Kamu nak tolong suami, isteri dan anak-anak? Rasa saya, suami doktor, isteri doktor dan anak-anak doktorlah yang paling banyak kena berdikari”

Read more