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It documented that url() references in CSS served over HTTPS need to explicitly list the full URL in order to avoid the ‘nonsecure’ warning on IE7 & IE6, but I just ran into a variation on this that I found non-obvious:

I’m making use of http://fancybox.net/ to display contextually relevant tutorial videos. In jquery.fancybox-1.2.6.css, there was an embedded, blank image:

background-image: url("data:image/gif;base64,AAAA");

Because that URL is not explicitly “https://” it caused IE7 to throw the “this page contains both secure and nonsecure items” even though the data was embedded in the CSS file. Changing that url to the explicitly https url of an actual gif solved the problem.


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I use a simple spreadsheet to track hours billed: a start time column, a finish time column, a column that computes the time spent for each row, and a column in which to note how the time was used. At the top, there is a place for entering dollars per hour, a field that is the sum of the time spent column, and a total dollar amount.

This has the advantage of letting me not just punch in and out, but also to correct mistakes. For example, my work may be interrupted by a phone call that I answer without punching out. At the end of the call, I can look at the time I received the call and add the correct punch out time.

To make this a viable solution, one needs an easy way to punch in and out. I use the DateTime2 extension for OpenOffice, and bind it to Control-t. That means all I need to do is be in the right cell (arrow keys do the job nicely) and press ctrl-t.

Here is how to make it work in OpenOffice 3.0:

Installing the DateTime2 Extension

Download DateTime2 to your desktop. Open OpenOffice Calc and select Tools > Extension Manager. Click Add and select the downloaded file from your desktop.

Unless you are in Germany, you will need to customize the date/time format. Here we customize it for use on an English language based system. Select Tools > Macros > Organize Macros > OpenOffice.org Basic. Expand DateTime2 (under My Macros), select DateTime2_func, and click Edit. Near the top of the script, comment out the MYDATEFORMAT line with JJJJ (Jahr is German for year) by placing a single quote followed by a space at the beginning of the line. Uncomment the MYDATEFORMAT line with YYYY. Do the same with the MYTIMESTAMPFORMAT lines. Note that you should also add public before the each of the lines we just uncommented if they are missing, as it is in the version of the extension I just loaded. This gives us the following:

' public Const MYDATEFORMAT = "JJJJ-MM-TT"
' public Const MYDATEFORMAT = "TT-MM-JJJJ"
public Const MYTIMEFORMAT = "HH:MM"
' V2
' Format eines Zeitstempels

Save these changes and close the window.

Assigning a Keyboard Shortcut

Open Tools > Customize, and select the Keyboard tab. Scroll down to Ctrl-T, or just press Control-T on your keyboard. In the bottom-left box—Category—scroll down to OpenOffice.org Macros, expand it, expand Users, Expand DateTime2, and select DateTime2. From the middle box—Function—select Zeitstempel_Feld. Then click the Modify button at top-right, and click OK to close the dialog.

Go to any cell and press control-t. If you want to do calculations on the cell, give it a time format (date would probably work, too) by opening the Format > Cells dialog, selecting the Numbers tab, and selecting Time from the category. Display it in whatever format you like by choosing your preferred format from the Format options.

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