15 March 2007

The Amazing BrowserCam

Prometheus has heard of his blog being unrenderable under certain browsers. In non-geekspeak, it means his blog was not visible to some folk using certain browsers. Given that the computers of Prometheus feature nothing but the best and latest in technology, and that he had no problems posting and reading his blog (or anybody else's), he could not understand what was bothering these nice people.

Realization dawned when he used a public (yecch) computer with IE 6 to view his blog. He was aghast to see a blank white page. A few moments under the hood and he could see that IE 6 rendered the blog correctly, but shrouded it with an ominous white blanket. Assuring himself that IE 6 does not have clairvoyant powers, he embarked on a quest to check his blog under various browser and operating system combinations. This was a tad painful, since he either had to find multiple computers with varying configurations or junk his lovely machine with crappy emulators.

He trawled the Internet looking for emulation services. He came upon BrowserShots, which works in a mysterious way akin to what some people call God. In the interest of avoiding digression (oh look, birdy!), it suffices to say that Prometheus trawled further.

Before you could say "Lo and Behold!", Prometheus came upon the amazing, stupendous, fantastic BrowserCam. And when Prometheus, Lord of Geeks, says amazing, stupendous, fantastic; it means something beyond 'awesome' and 'cool'. He signed up for a 24-hour test account. They sent him a verification link by email. Once in, he saw the most perfect interface ever designed (yes, this coming from Prometheus the Great Picker of Nits, means something beyond 'awesome' and 'cool' too). He selected his blog as the target site, selected nearly 53 OS-Browser combinations and set the image format to JPG. Even cooler was the ability to set a delay before BrowserCam takes a screenshot of the target site, allowing the page to completely render. One can even set a scroll parameter, which scrolls the loaded page by the specified amount before taking a shot. Having set these options, Prometheus hit the button.

Pretty soon, he received an email telling him that his job was done. He logged back in to BrowserCam to see neatly tagged JPG screenshots of his blog, as viewed under those 53 OS-Browser combinations.

The image below shows the metaphysical difference in IE 5.5 and IE 6.0. While the former paints the entire screen in the color of the header of this blog, the latter paints the entire screen in the color of the body of this blog.

No trashing his machine with emulators and stuff, no hunting other machines for configurations, nothing. Prometheus is happy. He has seen many of those so-called Web 2.0 services. And most of them suck. Well, this one ain't Web 2.0 and it is simply amazing. Oh yes, there is more to BrowserCam. They have this Remote Access service where one can remotely use the variety of machines in BrowserCam's server farm.

Moral of the story:

  • This site is best viewed by the sighted, using any browser but IE 5.x and 6.0. Prometheus suspects that setting your screen resolution to 1024 x 768 may enable some of these browsers to display this blog correctly. But hey, get IE 7 or FireFox 2 or even Opera 9. It ain't like changing your religion ya know.

  • BrowserCam rocks. Proof of the proverbial pudding is that this isn't a PayPerPost or any such scheme that reminds Prometheus of the world's oldest profession.

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    enidd said...

    very useful, thanks.

    Lizza said...

    I've never had any trouble viewing your site, but that sure is one cool...erm, impressive tool you found there.

    Chuckling at the second moral of the story. Promise you'll never ever lose that wit of yours.

    Terra Shield said...

    Bad ie 6.0.... caused me some consternation...

    Radha said...

    deciphered this from all the techhie-speak: you couldn't fix your blog for IE users

    Prometheus said...

    Prometheus is glad to be of help, Enidd.

    Liz, yer a FireFoxy lady. So ya'd never have a problem. And Prometheus will do his best to keep his wits about.

    Even the Great Microsoft gets it wrong sometimes Terra. But IE aint all that bad.

    Umm.. Radha, Prometheus doesn't really have the latitude with Bill Gates to tell him to fix IE. And he won't let Prometheus do it himself.

    Radha said...

    haha! i was thinking about you writing to 'blogger help' to check why the template wasnt working on IE; but i guess talking to bill gates would be quicker.

    Mimi Lenox said...

    YAH! You're back and no longer a blank white page to the Queen. Mims is happy now.

    H said...

    I've finally been able to see your blog without resorting to unmentionable tactics.

    perhaps it's 'cause I'm seeing it on someone else's comp. which is as technical as I get.