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Posts by Author: Mike Kohn

The Death of IE6?

Posted by    |   March 4th, 2010   |   No responses

Google dropped a bomb (albeit a relatively quite one) on Monday when they began their phase-out of support for Internet Explorer 6 and announced that YouTube will follow suit in a few weeks. For IE6 users this means that certain parts of these site won't work quite right, and you'll get a pesky pop-up from time-to-time reminding you to upgrade. For web developers, this (hopefully!) means that it's time to celebrate, because IE6 might finally be dead.

You see, IE6 is the grandfather of modern web browsers. Not the old, wise kind, though. More like the grumpy kind that yells at you to get off his lawn. It's an old fellow: it's been around for almost 8 years in a world where brand new technology becomes obsolete every day. This is the main cause for web powerhouses like Google to drop support for it: the latest-and-greatest web technologies simply don't work on old browsers, and trying to accommodate for this would only hold Google back.

One of the biggest challenges as web developers is trying to work around IE6's quirky and illogical behavior. Every website we create at Insight Designs is tested on no less than 8 different browsers including IE6, and IE6 is the one that single-handedly causes the most problems.  Because about 10% of all web surfing is done on IE6, though, it's impossible to ignore the old browser. But hopefully Google has the kind of clout to change this by strong-arming IE6 users into upgrading.

As if there weren't already a million reasons to make the switch (including speed, reliability, and security), maybe Google's announcement will finally convince the last handful of web surfers still clinging to this sinking browser to jump ship.

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Insight Designs launches

Posted by    |   February 19th, 2010   |   No responses

Earlier this month, we launched a cool new website for the Outdoor Industry Association, aka OIA.  This is the third time in seven years that we've redesigned OIA's site - and it just keeps getting better (or so we think). The new site includes nearly a dozen database-driven content management tools that allow OIA staff to add, edit and delete content from almost every part of the site as well as create email newsletters on-the-fly. The site is integrated with OIA's massive member database, allowing members to post news releases and calendar items, update their member profiles, register for events and more. To see previous versions of the OIA site, please check out the alphabetical listing of websites we've created.
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2009 Holiday Party: A Recap

Posted by    |   December 9th, 2009   |   No responses

Insight Designs hosted our 10th annual holiday party this last Friday.  We had a great turnout, so thanks to all of our clients, families and friends for coming!  And for those of you that weren't able to make it, we hope to see you there next year.  Until then, here's a taste of the things you missed:
  • There was a ton of great food and chocolate treats scattered throughout the office.  The drinks, however, could be found outside of the office - on the roof.  It was fun seeing our clients dangle out the window to grab a diet Pepsi (it really wasn't as treacherous as it sounds).  At least the drinks stayed frosty in Boulder's single-digit temperatures.
  • We had a raffle for numerous gifts including Eldora ski passes, gift certificates to The Med and Brasserie Ten Ten restaurants, and even some awesome Insight Designs t-shirts.
  • Java, the office dog, had a small camera mounted to his back that took a photo every minute and wirelessly uploaded it to Flickr.  Java got a ton of pets from people just looking for a little camera time.  Also, there were a suspicious amount of photos of trash cans.
  • As usual, Nico set up a portrait photography studio down the hall, and people had a blast with it.  Most photos contained at least one Santa hat or a set of reindeer antlers.  All of these photos, along with the ones taken by Java, can be seen here on Insight Designs' Flickr page.
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Take the Time to Protect Your Computer – NOW

Posted by    |   November 12th, 2009   |   No responses

I spend a lot time on the internet, and according to a recent study, you do too.  We all know that surfing the web presents security risks, but we do it anyway - and do it a lot.  There's no getting around it; the web is just so darn useful.  I've never actively done much when it comes to taking security measures, and somehow I got away with it for a long time.  But after a recent brush with a virus on my home PC, I decided to educate myself on how to better protect myself. Now, these steps won't turn your computer into the Chuck Norris of virus protection, but they certainly won't hurt to follow.  They're just a few simple tips I found helpful when safeguarding my own computer. 1.  Install Antivirus Software This seems like an obvious one, but believe it or not, I didn't have any when I got the virus.  You know that warning Norton gives you every 30 days saying your antivirus needs to be activated?  There's a reason they're so insistent.  Just because you don't  often see the program actively doing anything, it doesn't mean that it's not working hard in the background.  Many browsers these days constantly have conversations with your antivirus software.  Any time a download is queued up - with or without your knowledge - the browser double-checks with the antivirus that it doesn't contain any harmful files. Don't think you have to pay a yearly subscription fee to get good protection, either; there are plenty of free antiviruses out there.  Granted, some might excel over others at one aspect of protection but not another, so doubling-up is not a bad idea (they're free, after all).  Most of the programs should include a feature that schedules automatic weekly or monthly system checks that crawl through your entire hard drive ("set it, and forget it!" as Ron would say), so be sure to set that up. Check out this site for reviews of some of the better free antivirus programs. 2.  Use a Secure Browser By that, I really mean that you should use Firefox, and always the latest version.  It's already the most commonly used browser today, but if you still need a reason to make the switch, the security benefits it offers should do the trick. Firefox is one of those browsers I mentioned that talks to your antivirus.  Its built-in malware protection is the same technology developed and used by Google.  It keeps an eye on your plug-ins and disables them if they install or update insecurely.  The list goes on. 3.  Update Keep your computer and all of its software current with the latest patches and updates.  Viruses often slip in through vulnerable areas of your software or operating system, and developers try to stay one step ahead by finding these holes and patching them before they're exploited. 4.  Keep an Eye Our for Anything Fishy In the past, I've been pretty haphazard when it comes to clicking on links and downloading files, but that's certainly not a model to follow.  Our antivirus programs should have our back while we're surfing insecure sites, but the risk is never worth it.  The best antivirus is truly your own intuition. Stick to reputable sites, especially when entering sensitive info such as credit card and Social Security numbers. (Firefox can help you with this, too.  Just click on the favicon next to the address bar to get info on the site you're visiting.)  Stay away from downloading music and software illegally.  Hackers love planting bugs in torrents because people willingly and blindly download them onto their computers, and the sites distributing them can't be counted on to keep you safe. Also, beware of emails from people you don't know.  Email is one of the most common ways for viruses to be spread, so always use your antivirus to scan any attachments before downloading them.  Phishing scams also proliferate through email, so if your bank or anybody else asks you to enter sensitive info after clicking a link, make sure that link goes to wher
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Insight Designs’ Newest Employee

Posted by    |   October 28th, 2009   |   No responses

Hi there!  My name is Mike Kohn, and I'm the new guy. I just started working here a few days ago, and I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and give you my first impressions of Insight Designs. I graduated from the University of Colorado a few years back with a degree in Astronomy.  People would often ask me, "What are you going to do with a degree like that?" and I would always reply, "Make websites, of course!" I randomly landed at an HTML tutorial website several years ago, and I immediately caught the web bug (the good kind). I've spent a good deal of my time since that fateful day learning as much as I can about web development, and practicing what I've learned by making websites for myself, customizing blogs, and even trying my hand at a little graphic design (you know, to make the sites look good). I came to a point, though, where I wanted something more than just making websites for myself and friends.  I wanted to get a job in the web development field so I could be immersed in my passion daily.  I even made a website to prove it - Luckily, I found exactly what I was looking for! Beth and Nico hired me a short time ago as a Testing Specialist.  It will be my job to make sure all of our products pass a final inspection before being delivered to the client.  It's uncommon to find this type of position at small and mid-sized web firms, but from what I've gathered about the people at Insight Designs so far, they expect nothing but the best.  The fact that my job even exists goes to show their commitment to quality. I am super excited to start working with this very professional, very intelligent group of designers and programmers.  I can't wait to be elbows-deep in their awesome websites and programs, testing away. In fact, I should probably go now and get started on my real work. And in my freetime, I guess I should convert to It seems only fitting.
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