_Martin_'s Articles » Page 3
November 24, 2003 by _Martin_
Your PCs cache is usually a good thing, but where DX objects using XML feeds are concerned it can be a pain.

The reason for this is that most users don't set their PC to check for a new page each time, but rather reload from the cache, especially if it's the same day.

Fortunately there is a solution!

The logical solution is that you ensure that the DX object checks for a new page every time. The best way to do this is to actually send the user to a different page every time.
November 12, 2003 by _Martin_
The curse of Web services has struck.

The service used by many of the DesktopX weather objects, and some meters appears to have died. The weather objects have now been updated and the meters will be soon.

As such, please update any weather objects you have to avoid problems.

DX2 Weather ( http://www.wincustomize.com/skins.asp?library=3&skinid=2725 )
DX2 Weather (Animated) ( http://www.wincustomize.com/skins.asp?library=3&skinid=2828 )
Mattahan Weather ( http://www.wincust...
September 20, 2003 by _Martin_
Where have all the rational people gone?

I find it really frightening that we actually find more stimulating debate and (usually) rational discussion about things of real importance on this site than we get from the media and politicians of this world.

The problem that most of us have these days is politicians, religious 'icons' and media tainting our view of things. The majority of us rely on information provided by these people to form opinions, but no longer have much respect for what t...
September 10, 2003 by _Martin_
Prior to my trip to the US I needed some reading material and in the airport I spied Michael Moore's 'Stupid White Men' and decided to give it again.

I must admit, that I have always had the impression that the President is a (barely) speaking chimp so I thought this would be a fun book. I need to say at this point that I also think our Prime Minister is a fool who speaks too much.

The book was one of the funniest things I have ever read. It was also one of the most frightening. I have pre...
September 10, 2003 by _Martin_
My recent trip to the US and subsequent return home has given me reason to reflect on the contrasts between the two.

In summary, I love the US. Sure it has it's faults, but where doesn't. It's not the rose-tinted vacation view that causes this, but interaction with real people. Caveat - I was in Florida so 'real people' is a loose term.

Lets start with the first obvious thing for any Brit abroad - the weather. Whilst there we had sun and rain. When it was nice it was about 90° and when it ...
September 10, 2003 by _Martin_
Welcome to this blog.

You may have a view of the British as a sophisticated reserved race - you are wrong. I would personally gas at least 50% of our population (including at least 75% of the kids on the streets these days) and I would see that as a first step in making this place a 'green and pleasant land' once more.

This blog will contain posts of many kind which just reflect the world the way I see it. It will not doubt provoke and occasionally offend. If I don't provoke thought then I...
August 13, 2003 by _Martin_
Scripting may seem daunting if you need to tweak something to your needs in DesktopX.

Yesterday, I received an email from Marcel Wijnberger in the Netherlands saying he wanted a Dutch newsfeed. Despite almost no scripting experienceHe decided to experiment and almost immediately it worked.

Why? XML.

The structure of XML means that script based on XML is very transferable. To quote:

"I just changed the url ... and to my total surprise: it works !!!!!!
I have now a tickertape with the...
July 27, 2003 by _Martin_
Games on DX? Why not!

The new features of DesktopX really allow huge potential in this area, and I don't just mean embedding a Flash game on your desktop.

Just uploaded is a take on the simple game where the computer displays a sequence then you have to repeat it. The sequences get longer. Just go on as long as you can!

You can find this game here: http://www.wincustomize.com/skins.asp?library=3&SkinID=2728
February 13, 2003 by _Martin_
The Force is evidently still strong with the Star Wars legacy - Jedi is the chosen "religion" for thousands of people in Britain, according to newly released census results.
The 2001 census reveals that 390,000 people across England and Wales are devoted followers of the Jedi "faith" made famous by the blockbuster films.

Could Yoda appear on R4's Thought for the Day?
Census officials bowed to pressure after a massive internet campaign to include Jedi on the list of chosen religio...
April 6, 2002 by _Martin_
I've noticed a continuing trend to make DesktopX themes for a variety of resolutions.

I understand the inclination to do this, it appears easier to just switch resolution, move some objects and resave.

However, it is in fact a poor long term strategy if you intend to improve and update your theme. Think about it - every time you tweak the theme you need to do it several times, at each resolution!

DesktopX provides functionality to allow to to scale objects relative to the screen si...
January 22, 2002 by _Martin_
It's unfortunate that occasionally we have to be the bearer of bad news.

BoXXi, one of our most talented skinners will be leaving the scene for a while.

I'm sure he would have prefered a quiet exit but that would be a waste. It's hard to believe that he'd not even used a PC until a couple of years ago. Since then his work has consistently shone (http://www.wincustomize.com/skins.asp?AuthorID=194), including winning the DBS competition.

I have only recently got to know BoXXi, but in...
September 10, 2001 by _Martin_
Have added a few more sections to this over the weekend, so the guide to building a theme from scratch is almost done.

Visit the Building Blocks section to learn more.

Any comments and/or suggestions please let me know
September 3, 2001 by _Martin_
A new section has been added to the DesktopX tutorial.

'Building Blocks' is a guide to building a theme from the beginning. Several sections are already completed, and the rest are coming

Visit it here: http://www.stardock.com/products/desktopx/tutorial/build/build.htm
September 2, 2001 by _Martin_
Due to problems with old location, Stardock are now kindly hosting my DesktopX tutorial site.

You can find it here http://www.stardock.com/products/desktopx/tutorial/

Thanks to Kris for sorting it out (several times)

September 1, 2001 by _Martin_
Apologies all but there seem to be redirection problems.

The tutorial site is therefore currently unavailable at the mis-online address but can temporarily be found here www.martinconroy.freeserve.co.uk