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900 Pixels Wide Is A Typical Browser Window?
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schalliol
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Aug 17, 2008, 09:24 PM
 
I know that the admins are being flexible with enforcement of the rules, which is certainly what people like to see in the interest of a productive community. Today I was asked to modify my signature, and while I did that, I looked up the rules to see what it says.

The rules note: "think 900px browser window width," which makes me wonder, who uses a 900px wide browser window these days? With spaces, layered windows, multiple monitors and growing monitors, it seems unlikely there's a reason to use a window that small. I may be unique using a few monitors simultaneously, but when I'm on my laptop, I can't imagine having a window smaller than 1200 wide even on it. Shouldn't we update this?
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richwig83
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Aug 17, 2008, 09:59 PM
 
.....no... really no.. not everyone has external monitors!! Max website page should be around about the 7-800 px... not 1200!!!!
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schalliol  (op)
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Aug 17, 2008, 10:03 PM
 
I agree not everyone has additional monitors, but even most iBooks would work with a 1200 or 1100 pixel wide width. Why should a page be 700 or 800 pixels wide?
( Last edited by schalliol; Aug 18, 2008 at 11:07 AM. )
     
richwig83
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Aug 17, 2008, 10:09 PM
 
Not sure where your getting 1200px from! If you want compatibility, stick with 700-800px width... 900 would even be pushing it for non-wide screen monitors!
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Wiskedjak
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Aug 17, 2008, 10:10 PM
 
48% of Internet using computers still have a monitor resolution of 1024x768. The user information portion of the MacNN forum pages is 215 pixels wide plus 65 pixels of padding on either side of the pages. If anything, signatures should be limited to less than 800 pixels. You should feel lucky that you're getting 900.
     
schalliol  (op)
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Aug 17, 2008, 10:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by richwig83 View Post
Hmmmm..... a 15" MBP only has a width of 900px!! A 17" MBP a width of 1050px!!!!
You're got the height and width reversed . I have one of the first MBPs, and its width is 1440. Even a 400MHz PowerBook G4 from January 2001 (7.5 years!) has a 1152 wide display (1280 wide starting in 2002). My 17" CRT from 1997 did 1600 wide.

Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
48% of Internet using computers still have a monitor resolution of 1024x768. The user information portion of the MacNN forum pages is 215 pixels wide plus 65 pixels of padding on either side of the pages. If anything, signatures should be limited to less than 800 pixels. You should feel lucky that you're getting 900.
Yeah, it is pretty ridiculous that there's blue bars on the page that are completely unnecessary. Sure 48% of Internet users might have a res of 1024, but do you think that's typical for MacNN forum users? That would put them with very very old machines.
( Last edited by schalliol; Aug 18, 2008 at 11:07 AM. )
     
richwig83
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Aug 17, 2008, 10:40 PM
 
Yeah my bad i changed that.... its compatibility that is in question here! I personally dont want my browsers width maxxed out! 900px is a good upper limit.. any more than that any you gonna have issues with some resolutions!!!
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Wiskedjak
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Aug 17, 2008, 10:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
Sure 48% of Internet users might have a res of 1024, but do you think that's typical for MacNN forum users? That would put them with very very old machines.
That depends on how you define "very very old". I've no doubt that many MacNN users are still running G4 iBooks, which was discontinued only 2 years ago. Not everyone runs the latest and greatest, even in the Mac community. Heck, half the reason some people *buy* Macs is for the reputation for longevity.

As for the blue bars, I think they do a nice job of framing the page. We don't need to squeeze every possible pixel out of a page.
     
schalliol  (op)
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Aug 17, 2008, 11:10 PM
 
Good point if people have small resolutions. I put a couple of threads out to find out what people are using, as it's interesting to me if some can handle resolutions that small. Of course, the signature rule and a wrap wouldn't be an issue in my opinion if some posts would wrap for 5% or so of users. Then again, I'm just a user for years and not an admin, and I recognize that this is not my site.

As for not needing to squeeze every possible pixel out of a page, that suggests that the pixel rule on the signature shouldn't be a big issue. If MacNN is really concerned with maximizing view of a page, it seems prudent not to "waste" space. I think that Apple made windows nicely frame content in the windows, but that may just be me.
( Last edited by schalliol; Aug 18, 2008 at 11:08 AM. )
     
Chuckit
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Aug 18, 2008, 12:17 AM
 
I just measured my Safari window. It's 850 pixels wide. Yes, my screen is wider than that, but this isn't Windows and I don't have every window sized to take up the entire screen. My downloads are to the right of my main Safari browser windows and NetNewsWire is visible above them.
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schalliol  (op)
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Aug 18, 2008, 12:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
...this isn't Windows and I don't have every window sized to take up the entire screen...
What does Windows have to do with anything? They used to only have full screen, but that's been a long time. I don't go full width either, but measuring my window right now I'm at 1150 pixels wide sitting on my couch on my MBP, that still leaves around 300 wide around to allow room for an IM I have up. Of course on multi-screen configs this is a minimal window. Too much multitasking is a problem, and there's nothing wrong with having a window with a sufficient level information in one view.
( Last edited by schalliol; Aug 18, 2008 at 11:06 AM. )
     
zro
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Aug 18, 2008, 01:09 AM
 
With a display width of 1280, my window is≊ 975px wide. The content area of this page is ≊ 850px.

900 sounds about right to me.
     
Chuckit
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Aug 18, 2008, 02:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
What does Windows have to do with anything? They used to only have full screen, but that's been a long time.
Yeah, but maximizing windows is the standard MO on Windows, partly because then the menus and toolbars are locked in a standard position. My habit is to make windows exactly the size they need to be to fit the information they contain.

Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
I don't go full width either, but measuring my window right now I'm at 1150 pixels wide sitting on my couch on my MBP, that still leaves around 300 wide around to allow room for an IM I have up.
On my PowerBook G4, that leaves about 100 pixels.

Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
Too much multitasking is a problem, and there's nothing wrong with having a window with a sufficient level information in one view.
But there is something wrong with having too much information in a window — or on a line, as is the case if I make my Safari window much longer. You can speed read at this window size, with your eyes flicking from one side of a line to the other and picking up the full meaning. If you make the window much larger, you (or at least I) have to move your eyes across the line and it's much less efficient.

Basically, I don't see why somebody would need more than 900 pixels to fit a simple forum. Sure, some people may like to have their windows larger and that's fine, but to require it just to read a forum seems like it would be a little presumptuous. That's my personal take on why I like things the way they are.
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OreoCookie
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Aug 18, 2008, 03:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
The rules note: "think 900px browser window width," which makes me wonder, who uses a 900px wide browser window these days?
I do.
I have more than enough screen estate (15" ProBook and a second 1600x1200 monitor at work), but I hate full-screen browser windows (makes a lot of text hard to read and I prefer to have lots of windows side-by-side). My browser windows are about 900 px wide. For me it makes most content more readily readable.

So it's not a lack of screen estate, but a choice/preference that I don't like full-screen windows.
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
Shouldn't we update this?
I don't see any reason to update the 900 px browser width requirement. It's the safe choice (as mentioned, many people still use 1024x768 screens) and making it wider has no real benefit other than to allow people to cram more stuff onto the screen.
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effgee
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Aug 18, 2008, 05:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
... Shouldn't we update this?
I agree, the signature rules should be updated - to get rid of any kind of text in the signature (beyond ... let's say, 30 characters or so; = the approx. width of the sig images) altogether.

I'm perfectly fine with the signature images we have, in fact I enjoy them, but (long) textual signatures (like yours for example) are not only pointless, they also distract from the actual page content.
     
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Aug 18, 2008, 09:05 AM
 
I agree with effgee.
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schalliol  (op)
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Aug 18, 2008, 09:20 AM
 
Strange. The signature images are pointless, but if the text provides context as to the equipment or software the person is using, no long-winded posting of that information is necessary. This yields a lot less posts we see every day in which people have to ask a poster to elaborate on the equipment they're using.
( Last edited by schalliol; Aug 18, 2008 at 11:07 AM. )
     
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Aug 18, 2008, 09:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
Strange. The signature images are pointless, but if the text provides context as to the equipment or software the person is using, no long-winded posting of that information is necessary. This yields a lot less posts we see every day in which people have to ask a poster to elaborate on the equipment they're using.
Strange. Mostly the text is someone displaying their "*equipment". I rarely see someone asking someone else what they own. And when I say "rarely", I mean never. Why would a long winded post be required? Your argument supports eliminating text in a sig simply because we'd only have the rare "equipment" displaying instead of the multiple "equipment" posts daily.

The image helps differentiate people and allows a reader to instantly identify a poster. Having to read text to be able to tell who is posted would be murder on the eyes.

Oh, and I like the 900px width stance.





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schalliol  (op)
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Aug 18, 2008, 10:28 AM
 
Interesting, I see people asking what Mac, computer, machine, etc. or what configuration is a person using all the time when the users professes to have difficulty with something. I'll often state something like, "I don't know what configuration you're running, but...

It seems to be that I'm in the minority (of at least people who visit the feedback forum) that are using 900 pixel wide windows, which is shocking to me. That was really the point of my question, which I assumed was significantly smaller than what people used, and thus the feedback. Now that I'm back at my main desktop, I measured the FireFox window I'm using here to be 1288 pixels wide. You guys really use windows that small? I do think that probably anyone should eliminate their signature if they're posting lots of times in one "page" like I am here, though usually that's not the case.

BTW, great to see another Indiana user here!
     
Dakar the Fourth
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Aug 18, 2008, 10:31 AM
 
I patiently await 1024 x 768 signatures.
     
effgee
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Aug 18, 2008, 10:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
Interesting, I see people asking what Mac, computer, machine, etc. or what configuration is a person using all the time when the users professes to have difficulty with something. I'll often state something like, "I don't know what configuration you're running, but ...
Sorry to be so blunt, but that makes even less sense.

Hypothetically, this would work if all users were forced to enter such information (and keep it up to date), and if it were placed in proper context with the page's overall information hierarchy - in the left column where the rest of the meta-/user-info is located.

And even then, it should be no more than a single line of text. Anything beyond that belongs either on a separate (profile) page or inside an initially invisible container (i.e., inside one of those pop-up menus we use around here).

Traditionally, the signature images afford the respective user a modicum of creative freedom ... 10,000 pixels to express one's personality inside a tightly restricted micro-ecosystem. They're not only fun, they also serve as a secondary visual cue while reading: "Two fists with stupid tattoos? I hate reading the sh*t this dude writes, time to skip a post and read on." More intuitive and easier to use than the "ignore user" feature.
     
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by effgee View Post
"Two fists with stupid tattoos? I hate reading the sh*t this dude writes, time to skip a post and read on." More intuitive and easier to use than the "ignore user" feature.
Exactly.



     
schalliol  (op)
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by effgee View Post
Sorry to be so blunt, but that makes even less sense.
Well, we don't agree here. However, I do agree it would be great if every user made it clear what they're using so that everyone would have the appropriate context, and even though it's not available most of the time, it is handy when it is.
Originally Posted by effgee View Post
in the left column where the rest of the meta-/user-info is located.
I agree that this should be the place, can you make a field? It's mainly grey space in a decent sized post anyway. Although a signature should go on the left by the same token. Why not bring back the avatar field for the creative freedom you refer to, and if people don't like the text, just uncheck to view the signature in the user CP?
     
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth View Post
I patiently await 1024 x 768 signatures.
That's just you being difficult.

Maybe at 1000dpi.
     
effgee
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
Exactly.



     
Dakar the Fourth
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
That's just you being difficult.

Maybe at 1000dpi.
My patiently waiting is being difficult?

Perhaps you'd like to next complain about how much space my short posts are taking up.
     
Wiskedjak
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:15 AM
 
I'd agree with schalliol about the need for user "equipment" information, if MacNN were primarily a tech support board and the info was required of all users. But, it's not, on both counts.

MacNN's signature restrictions are a reaction against other forums where users have out-of-control sigs and 10+ lines of "equipment". These signatures serve no purpose other than to distract from the content. I'm quite happy with that reaction. Large signatures are simply not necessary.

I'd probably agree with effgee, but I saw the two fists with stupid tattoos and skipped his post
     
effgee
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
... I agree that this should be the place, can you make a field? ...
Nope, because a) I'm not a web developer, b) two people don't make a majority, and most importantly c) the way you'd like to see it implemented is a waste of space (same goes for the avatar images)

correct:


incorrect:


Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
... It's mainly grey space in a decent sized post anyway. ...
Negative space is good for your eyes.
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
... Although a signature should go on the left by the same token. ...
No, it shouldn't.
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
... Why not bring back the avatar field for the creative freedom you refer to, and if people don't like the text, just uncheck to view the signature in the user CP?
See 'waste of space' above.


Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
... I'd probably agree with effgee, but I saw the two fists with stupid tattoos and skipped his post.
See, schalliol? Users here are well-versed in skipping irrelevant content.
     
Dakar the Fourth
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:27 AM
 
If my sudden realization is indicative of other MacNNers, I always forget that not everyone views these pages with the same size text. My location only is one line on my monitor, but for GT, it's practically a full two.
     
effgee
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:32 AM
 
^ At the default font size, your location remains a 'one-liner' once a browser window exceeds a width of 1635 pixels. Yet another reason why I'd do away with that particular piece of meta-information as well.
     
Dakar the Fourth
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by effgee View Post
^Yet another reason why I'd do away with that particular piece of meta-information as well.
I hope you location changes to Hell.
     
effgee
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:41 AM
 
.
.
.
<--



Bastid.
     
Dakar the Fourth
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by effgee View Post
Bastid.
effgee? effyoo would be more accurate.

and while we're at it, capitalization! Do you have it?
seig heil
     
effgee
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:48 AM
 
nope. needed money, pawned the shift keys.
     
Dakar the Fourth
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:50 AM
 
I sympathize. This place's last check bounced didn't it?
     
effgee
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:54 AM
 
nah, but it's all been spent on hookers, booze and blow.
     
Dakar the Fourth
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:56 AM
 
Ah, yes, the Holy Trinity.
     
schalliol  (op)
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Aug 18, 2008, 11:57 AM
 
effgee, I thought about your point about the left-side going below the content on the right when I posted, but it does depend on how much text there is on the right. It's too bad that we don't control the forum software, because if we did, we could have the machine information only show when text on the right reached a certain length. However, the signature images only use a small width of the page, yet they use up the height across the entire page.

It seems that a signature image to the length in posts with much content, so putting them at the left might be helpful and fit with the notion that user metadata should be at the left. However, sometimes the content might be minimal and it could bump the length. Fitting with the metadata should break that tie.

correct:

incorrect:
     
Dakar the Fourth
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Aug 18, 2008, 12:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
incorrect:
Mmm... irony.
     
Dakar the Fourth
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Aug 18, 2008, 12:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
correct:
What you don't realize is on a short, one-line post, your design results in a crapton of extra white space.
     
schalliol  (op)
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Aug 18, 2008, 12:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth View Post
What you don't realize is on a short, one-line post, your design results in a crapton of extra white space.
Yeah, I do realize that there would be extra text in the case of shorter posts, and my text recognized that.
     
Dakar the Fourth
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Aug 18, 2008, 12:10 PM
 
My mistake. Either way, I pretty sure this was debated when this new design was rolled out.
     
effgee
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Aug 18, 2008, 12:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
... It's too bad that we don't control the forum software, because if we did, we could have the machine information only show when text on the right reached a certain length. ...
In theory that aspect can be controlled, as usual though, the reality (= the site rendering correctly in all browsers) diverts from that. Ideally (in short posts), the sig image would 'float' into the message above, thus shortening the overall height of the post. Alas, that's theory.

Originally Posted by Dakar the Fourth View Post
What you don't realize is on a short, one-line post, your design results in a crapton of extra white space.
Dakar wins a cookie! Plus, placing the image there would not only give the grey column a visual relevance it doesn't deserve, it would also make it much too wide on small displays.

And hey, why would it be called a 'signature' image if it weren't placed at the end of a post?

(Found a keyboard with shift keys)
     
schalliol  (op)
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Aug 18, 2008, 12:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by effgee View Post
And hey, why would it be called a 'signature' image if it weren't placed at the end of a post?
That's true, you couldn't call it a signature if it was at the left.

Seems we've pretty fully discussed this. I guess the question I was trying to ask is, do you guys really use 900 pixel wide windows? If so, why don't you make them wider? Is it because the blue bars keep getting wider as you expand the window?
     
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Aug 18, 2008, 12:33 PM
 
I don't make them wider because there's no good reason for them to be wider. Same reason I don't add six spoilers and faux airplane wings to my car. It's just useless baggage that gets the way.
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Aug 18, 2008, 12:34 PM
 
I'd be in favor of making the blue bars fixed (and narrow) width. But not enough to do the HTML work.

The updated member profile page is quite enough to work on - I've been avoiding it for a month; need to get back on it.
     
effgee
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Aug 18, 2008, 12:43 PM
 
^ Please, please, please - with cream on top - don't.

This horse (full page rendering of forum content) has been beaten to death so many times, it's not even funny any more. It's always a small, but extremely vocal minority that demands this. It would have a terrible impact on the overall legibility of the forum, and thus reducing usability considerably.

The flexible page layout is a fine compromise.
     
schalliol  (op)
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Location: Carmel, IN, USA
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Aug 18, 2008, 02:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by effgee View Post
It's always a small, but extremely vocal minority that demands this. It would have a terrible impact on the overall legibility of the forum, and thus reducing usability considerably.
I agree that fixing the width to force a border in small windows wouldn't be good, but a huge border in large windows isn't helpful either.
     
Dakar the Fourth
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In the hearts and minds of MacNNers
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Aug 18, 2008, 02:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
The updated member profile page is quite enough to work on - I've been avoiding it for a month; need to get back on it.
It's probably more trouble than it's worth (nobody'd check it) but if you could add a field for your primary machine in the profile, it seems appropriate.
     
0157988944
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Join Date: May 2007
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Aug 18, 2008, 03:57 PM
 
It's fine as-is, and I'd be in favor of limiting text sigs to a quick blurb... I know mines a "bit" large.
     
 
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