odd-lot thoughts

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Blogger Hacks -- adding a photo to the sidebar

I am just so proud of myself. I did some "hacks" to get my blogs looking more like I want, rather than the Blogger default.

I wanted to have an image in the sidebar. But that's not in this template, and Blogger doesn't let you upload images (makes sense, they'd need lots of space for those). But Blogger does have an something called "Hello Bloggerbot." This nifty, free little bot allows you to upload pix, which are stored with Picasa somewhere. What it does is automate posting a picture to your blog.

So, I downloaded that and uploaded the picture I wanted as a post. Then I edited the post, copying the pertinent code, and went hunting through my blog template for the sidebar code. I dropped in the pix code and voila!

You can see the results on free associations. I'm still tweaking it. I need a different image, and I need to fiddle with the spacing a bit.

Still, Blogger makes it pretty darn easy. I love it that I can access the template. But I'd better copy and save that template, just in case! I've gotten into trouble that way before.

The more you hack, the more you must back (up). Ok, only almost rhymes.

I just saw this link to scanned images from The Project Apollo Archive. They have something called the Apollo Image Gallery. Wow! I guess this site is popular, because when I clicked the link I got sent to a mirror site with "Temporary Mirrror" and "Don't Bookmark This Site!" in huge font size.

So I'll put the URL here, instead.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Bypass site registration


BugMeNot is a site with logins that you can use when you want to read online newpaper articles without registering yourself. You enter the URL of the site, and get a listing of logins. I guess someone with a lot of time and a hot button about this went around and created a bunch of phony logins to share.

I usually register, with an email address I reserve for those things. That way, if I start to get spammed, I can nuke the address. The thing that bugs me about registration is that it adds steps to me reading the article. BugMeNot doesn't change that.

I've not decided yet where I stand on all the issues here.  Some could argue that there are ethical issues in bypassing the registration.  But for me, spyware, adware, tracking, and spamming is a bigger issue.  When you register, you get a cookie, which could be used for all sorts of sneaky purposes, and it's not always clearly addressed in the terms of use. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Designing with Flash

This is a quirky, original site. The graphics are beautiful, the implementation is clever.
However, I hate that I can't seem to turn off the damn music. Clicking the little musical note icon on the upper right only seems to turn off the dancing puppets. Them I like.

High bandwidth needed, of course.

Resources for flash

Flashkit seems to be a all-in-one place for everything flash.
I even found a $50 off coupon for Camtasia Studio 2.

I haven't begun to investigate the site, though. I'm always torn between the desire to find out more about how something works and the problem of deciding how much I really want to know. I could easily get lost in the details, and I know I'd have a good time. But is that where I really want to be spending my time & energy? There's so much else I want to explore and other things that I want to do and don't have time for.

Where do I draw the line?