Unicorn & Butterfly's useful collection of Howtos

How to setup your browser

MSIE

Unfortunately some versions of Internet Explorer have a nasty bug which causes the middle dot character to be falsely displayed as a large rectangle. This happens even if the character set is specified and number character references are used. Strangely enough you get the expected character if you copy&paste the strip into Notepad or look directly at the page source (just right-click one of the strips and select "View Source" in the popup menu).

The bug has been reported for IE 4.0/4.01 under Windows 98, but other versions might be affected as well. I suspect that Microsoft fixed the problem in one of their service packs (I have a machine with Windows NT and IE 4.0 (SP1) which works just fine), but I can't tell for sure unless somebody is willing to try this out - I'm not able to reproduce the error with one of the systems I have access to. The problem also doesn't seem to occur in IE 5.0. I recommend getting either the latest version of Internet Explorer or installing the service packs for IE 4.0/4.01. I'm looking forward to hear your success stories...

I also tried to include info on character encoding in all my HTML documents, but as I have no easy way to test that with different language systems it might still be necessary to change the font settings in order to get the stuff displayed right. Choose "View->Fonts->Western Alphabet".

I don't know of an option to disable frames or style sheets in MSIE so I guess you should see Unicorn & Butterfly as it's intended. However it is possible to tell your browser to ignore all font style and size information - you can find that in View->Internet Options...->General->Accessibility... - usually you don't want to activate any of these.

Netscape

I have tested my site with Netscape Communicator (V4.05) under Linux and it drives me mad sometimes - this particular version seems to be panicking about "margin: 0em;" as a STYLE-info, it's stretching boxes to fit the window width... I'm not sure whether the Windows verions of Netscape's browsers are exactly the same, however there are several options which could affect the look&feel of my site. In the "Edit"-menu select "Preferences..." then the category "Appearence". There is a sub-category "Fonts" where you should permit the usage of document specified fonts. In the sub-category "Colors" you shouldn't select "Always use my colors, overriding document".

In the category "Advanced" make sure you have style sheets enabled - all the stuff should still work without CSS but it won't look as intended.

There is an entry "Encoding" in the "View"-menu, where you could select "iso-8859-1" but usually this is detected automatically (in fact I can select whatever I want, my pages always look the same...)

I have been told that the navigation frame sometimes isn't entirely visible with Netscape. For unknown reason Netscape seems to add an extra line after table entries and I spent days to figure out how I could turn this off - without any luck. It's not the best solution I can think of, but you sould be able to scroll down to get to the links.

Opera

I hate to say that, but as it comes to viewing ASCII-art Opera is not the best choice. This browser has a somewhat questionable zooming-strategy: If you select 80% then you'll get roughly the same results as with the other browsers, but selecting 100% increases the space between lines - which is a real nuisance for ASCII-art. I could perfectly live with an 80% setting if my version (3.50) wouldn't shrink the images with a real braindead algorithm that causes nasty artefacts.

Note that Opera - as well as some other browsers - doesn't really care about fixed width fonts if it thinks there is none available at the desired size. I recommend not to use other zoom factors than 80,90 and 100% for my pages.

Like in MSIE it might be necessary to specify the character set. This is well hidden in the "Settings"(?)-menu under "Rendering"(?) (I only have a German version of Opera, so this is just my best guess what it could be in English) where you can select fonts for all different kinds of items (including normal and preformatted text and headings). Double click an item to open the fonts-window and make sure you have selected "Western" in the bottom right box. It is also important to have Cascading Style Sheets enabled. If you really don't like frames you can turn frame support off in the Multimedia-settings - you should see an alternate version of the main page then.

How to view ASCII-art

Getting closer - seeing less.

    Not every species comes equipped with an
automatic distance keeper for computer screens:
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             =~/|./      | -.___
           ."}~ '`      | ||    |
          ~&{ (  ,}===--- | ||    |
          (  /\  |       | || ___|~
             /  \ |       |_;-7  
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                  min. 75cm

How to make ASCII-art

I dunno myself - at least not yet...