Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Captain's Dilemma

By Niabot (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA-3.0
So, long time reader, frequent commenter and a fellow I've actually met in real life (I don't like the term "meat space" in case you're wondering, or even if you're not) who blogs at HMS Defiant has mentioned an issue he has with this establishment. Now he's mentioned it before and, sad to say, I didn't really look into his issue. Well, I did but I took no action. Out of sloth no doubt.

Now gentlemen  (and ladies too I presume) of a certain age like a little larger font when reading stuff on a computer. I'm not saying that the good Captain is of that certain age, not pointing fingers or anything mind you, but being of that certain age myself, I find reading this much preferable to trying to read this. Even the younger crowd can find that itsy-bitsy font a tad bothersome. (Sorry, I'll try to limit the technical terms like itsy-bitsy which simply means kind of small, as opposed to terms like ginormous, which means really big.)

So I gather from various clues in the form of comments that the good Captain likes to make use of the "zoom" function available to many modern computing devices. Let me demonstrate what I mean.

This works on a Window PC, not sure how MacBooks and the like do it. (I'm sure you just have to think it and it happens on a MacBook, all of my Mac friends claim magical properties for those machines. You'd think they were made of unicorn farts and elven magic.)

Hold down one of the control keys on your keyboard (the ones labeled Ctrl, left or right will do the trick, if you have two, otherwise use the only one you have) now, using the mouse wheel on your (well obviously) mouse, scroll that wheel and watch as the display gets larger and then smaller. (Don't freak out, I did that larger/smaller thing for you.)

So one can zoom in (or out) and return to normal via the magic of the control key and the mouse wheel. (If you have neither of those than you have my sincere condolences. You're either using some weird 23rd century device or a "smart" phone. I don't really cater to those. I'm a Windows PC kind of guy and make no apologies for it. (Why do I feel dirty typing that? It's those Mac-people, they guilt trip me all the time.)

Now the Captain's point of grief is that when he does the mouse wheel zoomie-thingee (sorry, sometimes I do need to use technical terms) then the text goes off the sides of the screen and he must needs be use the "horizontal scroll bar" to slide on over and read a whole sentence. I feel the Captain's pain and don't like to horizontal scroll myself, that's something I never acquired a taste for.

Experimenting in the back room here at the Chant du Départ I think I have identified the source of the Captain's scrolling dilemma.

Now at his place he uses what I call a "narrow field" for his posts, I prefer the "wide field" as I am a fellow who likes a bit of elbow room and likes to see his sentences and paragraphs go sprawling across the screen as if they were from Chicago (the city of big shoulders, it's a poem by Carl Sandburg, for your education and enlightenment, chase this link, we'll wait here for you, if you're not back in ten minutes though, we'll move on. Link chasers, GO. The rest of you, take a load off, smoke 'em if you got them.)

[Hhmm, I wonder if anyone actually followed the link. I'll just wait here and...]

Ah good, you're back. Now where were we? (These digressions can be amusing n'est ce pas?)

Yes, the wide versus the narrow field.

Zooming in with a narrow field blog, you can get quite a magnification factor and still see the post from one margin to the other. As the field widens though, stuff starts to drip off the edges and Mr. Horizontal Scroll Bar needs to step up and shoulder the load. (No, he's not from Chicago. What an odd question.)

So that's the Captain's Dilemma. Does anyone out there in the blogoverse know of some cool widget I could add to the blog so that gentlemen 
 (and ladies too I presume) of a certain age can select it and read to their heart's delight without having to strain too much. (Please don't suggest that Microsoft "Magnifier" thing, I tried it and like many Microsoft tools it annoyed me to no end. Quite bothersome it was.)

Yes, ladies and gentlemen I need your assistance to help out my good man, the Captain.

Without narrowing the field of the blog. If I can possibly avoid that. Change is evil disconcerting and in my dotage I am way too comfortable with the status quo.

Seriously though, drop me a line, leave a comment. All will be read and ignored considered, I despise value opinions other than my own and I'm here for you.

No, really.

I am.

Oh, look, an airplane!

Hhmm, something's not quite right here...
(Общественное достояние*)

The photo came from Russian Wikipedia. Общественное достояние is Russian for Public Domain. Pronounced "Obshchestvennoye dostoyaniye." Hhmm, good luck with that...

Me? Feeling goofy? Yeah, a little. Why do you ask?

If you were thinking that I might, perchance, chime in on the election, not today. It's too soon.


  1. I have the same issue as the Captain. It is not a show stopper.

    1. Font too small?

      I may experiment over the weekend with the field width and the font size.

    2. Grumble, grumble...

      The people have spoken, apparently.

    3. Blogger gives you a choice of font sizes; EIP is formatted using the "large" option for Georgia typeface. I also use a wide-field template. But you knew that...

    4. Hence the need to take the Chant du Départ into the shop over the weekend. I do like the Georgia typeface, a lot. I may be mimicking the appearance of EIP, course I've borrowed a lot from you over the life of the blog. What's a couple more?

    5. It's not the type. It's is something far more basic than that. I hate to say it, honestly, but it may have to do with your header picture. I could only get blogger to accept so much of that picture I use before the screen size started to evolve into microprint. I couldn't find any way to stop it except to accept white space to the right.

    6. Further investigation indicates that it may indeed be the header. It is fixed in size to spread across the entire screen. Which seems to lock the right sidebar and main post area together. Scroll one, both go, stuff goes off the edges.

      The experiments will continue. But Cap'n I do believe you have a solution. The header has to be it. I experimented with a few other blogs which use Blogger and have various size headers, noted the behavior you suspect.

      I'm going to need a day or so to resolve this. But I think you've nailed it. Thanks Sir!

  2. Replies
    1. Winning is one thing. What you do with the win, however, is what's important! Someone, about 6 years ago, said "I won!" and look what a mess we're in now.

  3. With my Mac's I keep the zoom in and out buttons in the toolbar.
    Just easier for me, ymmv.

    1. Ah, a Mac user! (I won't hold it against you Jon. In some ways I envy you guys.)

  4. The old and busted computer at my office only displays about 3/4 of the width of your page to start with. OTOH, the new hotness of my chromebook displays it perfectly, though it does let the text dribble off to starboard when I do the control-scroll thingy.

    I suspect that my office computer would do it right if the operator was less old and busted and hadn't taken quite so many blows to the squash over the years.

    1. The work laptop doesn't like the format much like your office computer.

      It's the dribbling off to starboard I think the Captain abhors. Can't say I blame him.

  5. There is an option to increase the font size only, without expanding the page. Now, if I can just remember where it is ... grumble, grumble...

  6. Ahh ... in Firefox, click on "View", "Zoom", then "Zoom Text Only".

    1. I may need to download Firefox for experimentation purposes.

      Good to know, thanks Rev!

  7. Can't do it in Chrome or XP, only in Firefox that I'm aware of...

    1. There is an app for Chrome which provides that cool Firefox capability. But I wanted an organic capability which I'm still chasing. Buck's place seems to zoom without problems. More experiments are necessary.

      Damn, those villagers with torches and pitchforks are outside again!

  8. I don't mind the ginormous or even "gihugic" (Jy-Huge-Ick) font, but now that I know the "mouse-wheel scrolly thingy trick," I'm a happier camper/bloggy reader guy. I was not a fan of dragging the page right and left, especially on my own posts- which made the pictures in the center look like they were far to the right.

    1. Wow, gihugic, I stand (well, actually I'm sitting) in awe of your made-up word capability. 'Tis impressed we are.

      I'm glad you like the "mouse-wheel scrolly thingy trick." A personal favorite of mine. Still, I'm keen to please the Captain, so my quest continues!

  9. I would like to pontificate here. It only seems fair.
    The words disappear off the radar of sight at just one place
    on the internets and that is here.
    Honest, no sh!t, this is the only place I go where
    Command + does not expand the view of the blog while keeping it all within
    the capture of the screen. It gives a uniform expansion such as seen on folks like Schwartzkopf
    I can hit command + again and again everywhere else and zoom into the words and meaning
    because the lines collapse to maintain the entire meaning of the written words
    while increasing in size and remaining in the frame.

    I have not used or abused a mouse or a wheel since I was a LCDR.
    I would accept a certain amount of ribald wit if it was just my Mac
    however it is the same on my Dell...also mouseless and thus easy to use.

    I honestly have no idea what causes this one site in the vast entirety of the
    known internet to give both my Windows 95 and my Mac OS X the microprint and
    the vanishing language off the dexter side of the screen.

    Hold on, there's a steam leak in the machine and I think I saw sparks!

    I'm just glad it wasn't only me.

    If this was a fire control system a 600 pound steam plant or a diesel engine or hydraulic system I'd offer advice
    but you probably have one of those electrical things working for you.

    On the other hand, you guys have figured out how to post pictures as you like using blogger whereas I am lightyears in the past. I can't get the damned thing to post pictures anywhere except where it wants.

    1. See my response to an earlier comment of yours. I think a solution is on the way.

      Probably don't even need to take the blog into dry dock. Just need to rethink (and probably shrink) that header thingee.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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