I love geeky stuff: Skype, my new audio set up, and a CSS fix for IE

I bought a US Wisconsin telephone number through Skype today. Now when my friends and family call me they have the option to dial a familiar number structure as well as being charged for an in-state call rather than an international rate. Yay! My mom has used it twice today and it’s fab. Coinciding with the SkypeIn number installation, I’ve reworked the audio set up I’m using to communicate with. The new set up is very similar to an older set up I used in the states for conferencing. I’m back to using a M-Audio MobilePre USB device with a vocalist’s microphone (EV Cobalt 9) on a boom stand. Earbuds plugged into the face of the Mobile Pre provide my monitor functions. This set up can be used in several ways: SkypeIn calls, iChat video or audio chats, as well as perhaps dabbling in a little hot podcasting action. Hubba hubba! I had been recently relying on a low quality Playstation 2 gaming headset for my chat needs, but the quality was inferior and the unit is bulky and sloppy. Consider it retired.

Geeky topic number two… I figured out a solution to a pain in the ass Windows IE CSS issue. I know IE has a “three pixel bug” and I’ve read about the “Expanding Box Trick,” but I’m terribly impatient when it comes to researching solutions to a problem I may be having. I couldn’t find anyone talking about simple solutions for a slight gap when placing an image into a identically sized containing div. IE adds space to the bottom of the graphic via the containing div. (Standards compliant browsers are fine.) Well, briefly reading up on the “Expanding Box Trick” and “three pixel bug” got me thinking. If IE adds space to the image, it must think that the image is too large it’s container. In essence, IE is trying to fit an item into a box of identical size and it can’t fit it in there without the uncontrollable desire to scroll it. There is some logic to that… (It’s almost like unbuttoning your trousers if you’ve eaten too much- stretch the containing element…) Anyway, so I thought, well, instead of doing weird hacks, what if I just add overflow: hidden; to the CSS for that containing div? Hide what it wants to show with a scroll… It worked! Yay number two! Here’s an example of the containing div I was working with: (the image was 386px x 500px)

#image {
float: left;
top: 75px;
height: 386px;
overflow: hidden;
width: 500px;
padding: 0;
margin: 0;

This may be a known fix or solution, but I didn’t find it with a couple of quick Google searches and I just can’t waste the time digging through forums for the answer. I’m pleased to have figured it out and that’s why I’m posting it here. It’s much more simple than going through some browser targeting hacks and doesn’t seem to negatively affect anything. That’s simple and lovely. πŸ™‚

Off to do some creative writing… I’ve got my next keyword assignment!


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2 thoughts on “I love geeky stuff: Skype, my new audio set up, and a CSS fix for IE”

  1. an elegant solution – nice one πŸ™‚

    one day, when the mountains are washing up on the beach as sand, IE will support fixed positioning, and we’ll be able to actually get past the print paradigm (eww i used that word) without resorting to frames.


  2. Thanks Matt!

    After looking at some tricky browser specific hacks and hides, this just went off like a light bulb over my head. πŸ™‚ It seemed to work for what I needed… Maybe it will help someone else too.


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