Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Dr Nerdy Reincarnates as a Non Nerd

Over a year or so I’ve been preoccupied with other online projects and have not focused on this blog.  In the meantime, I have developed two of the worlds best acoustic guitar blogs, Acoustic Guitarist and Acoustic Guitar Player.

Curently I am building my own Social Network at Bling @ Ning to bring together people in my local region , to allow them to have a global web presence and to share their skills with local businesses.

DrNerdy is not dead, he has just headed off in other directions at the moment

Eco Friendly Hot Water Systems Tweed Rivers Australia

For information about Solar Hot Water Systems that are Eco Friendly and help reduce Green House Gases in the Northern Rivers Tweed and Byron Shire, check out James Mc Laughlan at solarhotwater.wordpress.com

Photo Editing contest at other Blog

I submitted an image for the photo editing contest mentioned in my last post 

photo-projectz.blogspot.com/2008/02/edit-this-photo-contest.html

 THE ORIGINAL

Photo competition

 THE EDIT

photo edit competion

PROCESS USED TO EDIT THE IMAGE

Opened Fireworks and saved as new png file

Man

Selected area around man

Used Magic wand + delete to remove unwanted areas

Used Hue saturation tool

Used Color Invert tool

Resized selection

Copied and pasted man twice

Relocated men and flattened to one image
 

Background

Selected tree area

Converted to Grayscale

Used Color Invert tool

Copied and pasted image

Use Flip Horizontal tool

Lined up images so they were symmetrical

Selected both images

Copied and pasted images twice to form background

Flattened background images


Bridge

Selected section of bridge

Removed unwanted pixels with rubber tool and magic wand + delete

Copied and pasted selection to form one long bridge section

Flattened selections to make one element

Use Hue Saturation tool
Changed opacity of image to approx 45%

Copied and pasted bridge

Used different Hue and Saturation levels for each color bridge

Changed opacity of each bridge approx 40 to 60%

Used transform tool to change angles of bridge selections

Exported as jpg

Embed in Web page

Created html file

Inserted image to html file

Uploaded to web server

Tested, tested and tested

http://www.the-acoustic-guitar.com/images/photo3.htm 

Click the link above to see the result

Photo Editing Competition V2

As mentioned in my previous post, there is a photo editing competition at another blog

photo-projectz.blogspot.com/2008/02/edit-this-photo-contest.html

 I’ve decided to approach it from another angle, to see my contribution go to

http://www.the-acoustic-guitar.com/images/photo2.html

Photo contest at another Blog

A blogger over at http://photo-projectz.blogspot.com/2008/02/edit-this-photo-contest.html has decided to run a contest.The idea is to edit the supplied image.  You might like to check out or even enter the competition.

I have decide to use Adobe (formely Macromedia) Flash. It took about an hour and I worked more organically than anything else. read as: I didn’t plan like designers do.

My entry (if you want to call it that) is a little playful and probably extending the boundaries a little.  If I  get a bit more timre I’ll do a very serious one, but this one is a nice starting point with a little humour.

No competitions aren’t necessarily about winning, it’s always about participating and giveing yourself a short term project to focus on

http://www.the-acoustic-guitar.com/images/photo.html

I have listed an overview of the process, these are not the whole instructions, just a rough guide to the approach.

Brief overview of Editing Process

Open Flash Editor
Create a new file
Import image
Extended timeline
Used trace bitmap tool
Selected various areas
Copied to new layers
Created motion tween
Used colour editing tool
Changed alpha state at various points
Imported other images drawn in Flash
Added text content
Created buttons
Added stop actions and script to buttons
Created html page
Imported swf file
Saved file
Uploaded swf and html file
Tested, tested and retested

This was fun

WordPress Hostgator Upgrade

DrNerdy  Sunday morning Techy moment 

I was just digging around in Hostgator and looking to see what inbuilt autoresponders were there and I noticed that in the Fantastico scripts there is an upgrade available there now for WordPress.   As you may be aware, the WordPress upgrade has been available for a while, but it wasn’t added to Hostgator immediately. 

Anyone that is hosting their blog/s at Hostgator and hasn’t upgraded for a while can easily upgrade:

  • Log into cpanel
  • Click on the Fantastico De Luxe icon
  • If you need to upgrade, you’ll notice in the center of the screen there is a RED ALERT about what needs upgrading
  • Click on the upgrade to 2.3.1 next to your blog address

Please note: 
There is also a script to copy and paste just in case the upgrade went skewiff

drNerdy has been out of action for a while getting ready to record a number of musical projects

Blog addicts

Yesterday I posted an article about blog addiction.

These are some of the responses I got from a discussion that I posted at Blogcatalog:

QUESTION: How do you know if you have a BLOG ADDICTION?

  • When you put people on hold on the phone so you can jot down quotes for your blog.
  • Not tonight honey, I have a blog.
  • If you post things on your blog like…”I had to go out for an hour but I’m back now”
  • When the question “Are you a blogging addict?” makes you blush, like I am right now. 
  • In your dreams, do you create a new post for your blog?
  • When you shout your blogs name out during sex?
  • When you keep eating pizza and drinking coke, continue sitting in front PC blogging!!!
  • When you spend almost half a minute squinting at the screen before your eyes can see clearly enough for you to see what you’ve just typed, and you still keep going for another few hours!! (I think I need glasses??)
  • When the the print is completely worn off of your F5 key from the zillion times you have refreshed to see if you have a new comment
  • When your outgoing message on your phone has your blog url and any urgent messages should be left as a comment on your blog.
  • (If you didn’t have to blog on the run you’d ditch the cell phone all together)
    me im now addicted to blog…it has many useful articles 

Is scripting and computer programming an art form?

Lately I’ve found myself spending more time in front of the screen than I actually like.

As a musician and lover of some of the visual arts, I find it a little frustrating when the virtual life takes over the artistic. 

 So I thought I’d run the issue past drNerdy, and he came up with this question

Is scripting and computer programming an art form?

the_dr_nerdy.gif

Blog Addiction to Blogging

Blogs, have you got an addiction or what? 

With every wonderful new invention enivetably comes a number of issues to be dealt with.  

I started blogging a few years ago because I could see the potential of Blogs for IT students that wanted a web presence that would be a bit of a no-brainer to set up,  providing they had good instructions.  I stepped out of the blogosphere for a while. Meanwhile I have been living my life doing other virtual things which keeps me on the computer about 60 hours a week.

Stepping back into the Blog universe a few weeks back has been quite a shock; the technology has changed, numerous widgets and tools to drive traffic have appeared, lots of people using blogs as affiliate doorways…it really is a new world that is changing while we’re staring at it.

And like all areas of Info Tech, when you’re concentrating on one area, a whole new technology emerges. Or, a pre-existing one morphs into a monster.   

Now there is a whole new digital generation living their lives online, sharing their worlds with strangers, sending messages/comments to people that they pass in the digital street.  I guess it had to happen.

  • Forums were too black and white and not pretty or customizable enough. 
  • Rebuilding a web page each day was too nerdy and impracticle. 
  • Email a bit too too spammy.

So enter the blog, the land where you can add pictures and build /shape your virtual personailty, tell people your woes and break throughs, and tell others what you think about the way they view the world.

But after having a little bit of a dig around the blog lands I’m seeing the foundations of a potential issue. Over the past few years I’ve been exploring computer addictions a little. Our education systems and the business world is pushing everyone into the world of computer technology in a manner that really divides the community. This means:  you know or you don’t, like it or lump it it’s coming anyway.  And there are many people that have a lot of trouble just locating the on button…and mind you…many that can’t find the off button.

 A few of our common digital addictions that really need addressing are

  • young teenage guys at LAN parties
  • teenage girls that spend hours chatting
  • downloading endless amounts of MP3’s that there is not enough time to listen to
  • people in jobs that spend all day checking their emails

So what I’m starting to see know is the foundation of a new addiction the BLOG ADDICTION

So how do we know if we have an issue?  (Please note this is a bit tongue in cheek)

  • If you create comments on your own blogs
  • If you get upset when no-one comments
  • When you ask people to comment
  • If you get depressed when your blog stats are down
  • If you check your blog before breakfast
  • If your blog friends out number your physical friends
  • If changing your avatar is a stressful experience
  • If you post things on your blog like…”I had to go out for an hour but I’m back now”

Ok let’s watch this phenomena closely, its upside or downside.

How to create a blog tutorial available

I’ve created a simple tutorial to print out, to help people set a  WordPress blog.

 Some people prefer step by step instructions

You’ll find them at create a blog

Little USB audio box for podcasting

I’ve been looking around for a simple solution to an audio issue I’ve had for some time.  In the past I’ve had a computer set up just for audio.  Over the years I’ve found myself working on numerous other computers when doing web related tasks.

So here’s the issues.

  • Most computers have average quality soundcards
  • I have good quality audio equipment ( Mikes, mixers, preamps, recorders)
  • Average soundcards have low quality AD converters (Analogue to Digital converters)
  • Low quality converters degrade the audio when it passes through them (quality in < Garbage out)
  • The sound that you end up with to use in a multi media production is just not a good enough (If you care about what you do)

So here’s what I did.

I went to my local musical instrument shop and purchased a little box.
The little box has a couple of a LINE inputs. 
In a nutshell, line inputs are the sockets that you’d plug audio cables into. 
The little box has a USB output. 
A cable runs from the little box and plugs into the USB sockets on the computer.

The next step:

I plug a decent quality microphone into my sound mixer
My mixer plugs into the little box
The little box plugs into the computer USB socket
I start up a simple audio recording software application
I use the audio recording software (Audacity) to record speech or any other noise
I end up with audio that is acceptable for the jobs on hand

I’m happy because I don’t need to upgrade the soundcard on every computer I work on.

The box I use is made by Behringer, it’s called a UCA202 U-control. 
http://www.behringer.com/UCA202/index.cfm?lang=ENG

behringer_uca202.jpg

Yes, there are other similar devices on the market.  But this one got me out of trouble when I needed it.

Problems that arose during testing: 

It didn’t like the front USB ports on my computer, but once this was sorted it did the job that I wanted it to do.

It also disabled all the other audio in my computer.  To restore audio functions back to normal, I just unplugged the USB cable.  A clunky solution but the workaround is suitable and only atouch annoying.

There are now a number of products on the market for podcasting, but there are many people like myself that don’t need thge kit because we have audio and music gear lying around.

A podcasting kit will give you:  A mike, a mike stand, a little mixer/audio interface, a cable to plug into the computer, a bit of software to record the incoming audio, RSS software, headphones. 

M-Audio  http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/PodcastFactory-main.html

podcast-m-audio.jpg

If you want to know more about Podcasting. Read “the secrets of podcasting

http://safari.peachpit.com/0321438434

Secrets of podcasting

I need to point out that I don’t profit in any way from making these recommendations 

Sunday morning not throwing plates and liking Blues

Sunday morning is often the time when we are most likely to tell the world to go away.  “When I woke up this mornimg..” sounds like a blues song.  I don’t think I’m ever going to do what I did this morning ever again.  I got out of bed and thought I’d just configure a couple of email forms for some sites that I’m building.   Two hours later my head was hurting, things that I’ve used in the past that have always worked…didn’t, same web host, same form, minor edits…’she no go’. 

When frustration reaches a certain level there is a  tendency to throw plates, (and I don’t mean in a joyous fashion like you would at a Greek party).  It wasn’t until I walked downstairs away from nerdville and put some music on ‘Eric Bibb -Diamond Days’ the awesome acoustic blues singer, that my mood changed.  Once there was an external influence I could then look at the problem from another perspective.  So I tried plan B and guess what, it didn’t work either but at least I was happier and I had eliminated something that could have been a waste of time and would throw fuel on the frustration fire.  So I then forwarded an email to someone else to have a look at, regardless of the fact that it was something that I could fix mysef at some point in the future. 

I guess the bottom line hear is to know when to turn the computer off, step back a little and something that brings joy.

Digital doubles and real dopplegangers

Have you ever heard that each of us has an identical double somewhere in the world? A bit of a scary thought..I guess we could play with the idea a bit. Imagine if  our double had a sense of design or dress taste very different to our own…and even further, imagine if we saw them in the street somewhere just for a brief moment and we thought they looked just terrible…imagine wearing a shirt like that, yuk what an aweful color… the mind boggles, how confronting.

What led me to that idea was, I was very curious whether my guitar blogs were displaying on Google or for those that wish to save energy, Blackle.  So I Blackled for”tony hogan guitar” and then I tried “tony hogan” without “guitar”, and started wondering if any of my long lost friends or music associates could find me.  So yes, I Googled, Blackled and Yahooed myself for a couple of days (sounds like some sort of party trick) to see the results.  And what I thought was interesting was that there is a Tony Hogan faith healer and also a Tony Hogan artist.    Why this is intriguing for me is because at some stage in the future I’ll be completing my cartoon book and I’ve always been very interested in faith healing because I have seen and  experienced so much evidince of it. 

 So why not Blackle, Google or Yahoo yourself and see what other YOU’s are out there.

Now as for dopplegangers, there are some absolutely ridiculous intepretations out there, anyone that has ever seen one will know exactly what I am talking about.

Another Digital Fathers Day

 I’m new to this wordpress blog and accidently deleted two posts the other day while  I was quickly trying to fix an issue.   Normally I backup everything and assumed there would be a simple way to recover something I deleted in a WordPress blog.  Well I couldn’t find one, so I waited a few days thinking it may have been cached by Google, and it wasn’t because I had deleted it soon after I created it and the Google bots didn’t drop in during that period of time. 

I waited and waited, then this afternoon I thought I’d check and see whether I could recover it and yes!!!, there it was cached somewhere else in the Digital Universe and it was found with WPfind search tool.  So I’ve had another digital fathers day.

Nothing is lost forever, it’s always out there somewhere in Cyberspace.

digital fathers day and byron katie

It’s fathers day in the country that I live in.  That day when your children look at you with bright eyes and do their best not to be their normal selves.  They’re queueing up to make me breakfast (a queue of two) and are organizing outings.  Like most dads I wish everyday was fathers day. There’s a weird similarity between technology and wanting the eternal fathers day.  The digital fathers day is when your go to your workplace and the network is running well, the phone cable carrier doesn’t have vans parked around the corner with men climbing down into holes in the ground ( and for some weird reason your Internet  isn’t working), and there  are no software conflicts that suspiciously emerged after a software upgrade (which was never mentioned to anyone until after it happened). Many times, things like what I’ve mentioned above are beyond our control.  It’s how we deal with things that really counts. As well as good software tools, we also need a number of emotional tools to get us through our days without too much pain. A number of my friends have been working with some emotional problem solving techniques and are getting fantastic results. I guess what we need is something that is simple, universal (meaning no religious or denominational strings attached), with proven results and either free or not very costly.  I have a bit of a dislike for a lot of the new age material that is costly, promises a lot, delivers little and preys on peoples vulnerabilties. If you want some good tools to work with, I highly recommend THE WORK of Byron Katie,  no she’s not from Byron Bay (click on the THE WORK link for further info).  Seeing the changes in people I know that have used her methods has made me realize that regardless of what turmoil presents itself in your life, it can be managed

And I must finish on silly note:  A few years ago I arrived at work and people were running around the building from room to room, looking for the documents they had printed.  Somebody, and that somebody could only have been a couple of people, had changed the printer setup so all documents would be sent to a printer that wasn’t on the same floor that people were working on.  And it wasn’t even April Fools day…. (disclaimer: I take no responsibility for planting this idea in the heads of any employees that have administrator rights at their place of employment)Check out the WORK. Here’s link to her acrobat reader file. I recommend that first yoiu go to the link above and then later come back to this link for more info. http://www.thework.com/pdf/BK_BOOK4_web.pdf Published by :drnerdy 2007-09-01 20:07:31.0