Programming for IE and old systems?

I think this is a gross and probably incorrect generalization. I haven't had a 1024x768 monitor on a (work-provided) windows box since 1998. I recently bought a Dell for my mother and the smallest monitor I could buy was 1280x1024.

This is not to say that your user base may not be all running at 1024x768, but I do not find it to be remotely true that Windows = 1024x768.

-faisal

I think it depends greatly on your user base.

If you're building a site for a primarily tech savvy base, you can
probably forgo some of the more hideous aspects of designing for IE as
you're likely to have a much higher ratio of compliant browsers than
just any random sampling.

800x600 seems to thankfully be mostly a thing of the past, but
1024x768 is still a block, even among tech savy users sadly. I was
working on a project with some professors (Computer Science
professors) and, sadly one of them was running a set up with 1024x768.

I generally try to make things work on a large range, such as 1024x768
and MAYBE 800x600, for sure make it run correctly on IE 6.0 or higher,
but on projects I work on things generally always run "better" on more
sophisticated systems.

Now if you're building something for total mass consumption by the
public at large, I'd advise making sure your application works as well
in worse set ups as it does in the better ones. And that's probably
the best approach to take in general but... damn if I don't hate
working with IE6, and I refuse to support less than IE6 on my own
projects.

Yup. I'm mostly Windows, and I've had 1920x1200 working in single-link DVI
for about seven years, back when you could hardly find graphics cards that
could support that.

That said, it really, really, really depends on your user base. For
example, there's an online game called "Slingo" that's particularly popular
with senior citizens (who aren't known for running on bleeding-edge
hardware). They recently rewrote one of their games, and apparently they
assumed that everyone would have larger screens nowadays. And the chat
window is at the bottom of the screen.

The result? A huge number of their users were convinced that "chat was
taken away", because they couldn't see the chat window.

I’ve been doing web design since 1995 and this has always been an issue. it used to be 640px and then 800px. Roughly 50% of your audience will use 1024, while another 25% will use higher, with the remaining using something else.

One thing to note is that 1024 wide is a good baseline right now because as screens get wider, people start to leave windows at normal state, not maximized. I started noticing this when the widescreens came out - IE doesn’t launch maximized, and I’ve seen people have windows open side-by-side.

To work in those confines on the Mac, I use parallels in full-screen mode, and I set the resolution to 1024x768, but I don’t let Parallels change the resolution. This gives me a smaller screen with black borders around it. It makes it easy to then switch to TextMate or whatever.