tephra: (WTF? Friendly Hostility)
Today was "update stuff that hasn't been updated for years" day. It started out well enough, I updated the installation of eFiction on Hafoc's website and things went swimmingly. There's a  major update on that forthcoming, slowly, and I'm sure all the problems I didn't have today will show up then.

Then I went to work on Omnifariously Knotty and pretty much crashed and burned.

My problem there is that I dearly love the layout theme, but it's not been updated in over two and a half years. I've used some tweaks that other people have created, or tried to. One works (the date tabs include year for posts over a year old), but the one I worked on again today worked only partially. It was supposed to wrap the main content under the second column to use some of the wasted space as you scroll down. Well it worked great on the "home" page but when I when I checked it on the Categories page and the About page... nope. The content ran under the second column. No matter how often I look at the assorted template files I can't see why it works on home.php and not on categories.php or any of the other files that I tweaked. It's one line added to them, not exactly a lot of room in that for errors.

There is also a much more annoying problem with that layout. I've installed the OpenID plugin on my instance of WordPress but the layout doesn't display the option to use it. I poked and fiddled with the comments.php file today to try to get that fixed. That also didn't go well. I need to learn how to use php with forms (or at all really) and figure out how to construct the if/else loop in there to drop through the options of having a login account (which no one has other than me), supplying an email address, or using OpenID. Sure, as the site stands now people can use a name and email to comment, but I'd really, really like to have OpenID as an option.

Maybe I should just go looking for a different layout theme. *sigh*
tephra: (kitty squid)
On the off chance that someone on my reading/friends list on any of my journals has the answer....

I am looking for an image/photo gallery script/program I can install on my website that basically acts like Flickr for one person. I want to be able to upload images at full size and have a thumbnail and a medium (about 500px) size (at least) generated by the script. I should be able to tag the images at the very least but being able to group them into sets/albums/galleries would be handy. A comment area would be a plus. I, though not necessarily others, should be able to get direct links to any of the generated image sizes as well as the original image. A web interface for uploads would be handy, but not required, and it would be awesome if I could just dumped images into a directory by FTP even if I do have a web interface available.

As I recall my host has PHP4 by default but does allow me to force the use of PHP5 (this is how I got WordPress working there) and I can make SQL databases (MySQL I think, I haven't checked on the specifics there recently).

So, any suggestions?

New layout

Aug. 18th, 2009 03:15 pm
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Exciting, I know, but this one suits the way I use my journal better. And it even has a nice purple scheme!

That said, I did rack up some tweaks of the not-entirely-cosmetic sort on it. Changing the colors of the navbar? Cosmetic. Making the custom friendsreading colors work? Not cosmetic. In fact the "User posting in Community" line was being stomped on by the usericon before I started tweaking anything so the bulk of my tweaks in that area were fixes of the hack and slap variety (my CSS use is pretty basic all considered).

So, a brief summary of changes:
- Hid the little icons under my name over in the sidebar (they didn't blend nice)
- Ditched the underlines on links and tweaked the link colors
- Tweaked the layout credit module to actually fit in the sidebar
- De-emphasized the "powered by" and "page generated at" modules by making the text smaller
- Moved the "user posting in community" bit on entries to the right by 6.8ems
- Moved the entry content down by 2.5ems so there's some space under the usericon
- Enlarged the usericon space on entries to fit around the custom color borders on the reading page
- Tweaked the positioning of the icon in the space so it was centered (for 100x100 icons at least)
- Added "reading color" to my own icon so my Recent page would look good with the previous fixes
- Recolored the navbar to match the scheme
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
A biking (bicycle, not motorcycle) jacket with LED turn signals, and it's a DIY project!
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)

Take the Sci fi sounds quiz I received 78 credits on
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How much of a Sci-Fi geek are you?
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tephra: (kitty squid)
I've been collecting free knitting patterns from websites for a while, and while most are in PDF format many are not. PDFs are certainly easier to collect since they are one file rather than several so I thought I'd convert them to PDF myself.

Unfortunately (or fortunately maybe) I started with the ones I collected from Berroco, since the majority of their patterns are in PDF already I figured I'd just convert the few older ones that aren't. After I removed the site navigation and the extraneous ads for the yarn and other patterns and otherwise cleaned up the page so it looked how I wanted it to as a PDF, I tried using Acrobat to convert it.

Screen captures under the cut )

Is Acrobat just that bad at converting HTML or is there something I'm missing? There's no reason I can see for the inserted line breaks in the heading or for the double spacing in the body. Is it because the containers are tables? Maybe it doesn't like external stylesheets? I don't want to invest too much time into this project but I want the PDFs to look good, and in Berroco's case, like the PDFs they put out themselves.

ETA: Well the link spacing issue is just that, a line spacing issue in the CSS. While 1.5em works on a webpage it needs to be 1em in the PDF. Maybe that's the issue with the lack of padding in the tables as well. Still haven't figured out the problem in that heading cell with the inserted line breaks....

ETA2: In fine hacker tradition I have managed to strip the CSS down so it mostly works. I combined a few tags and removed some empty paragraphs. I ended up adding the padding to the paragraph tags in the instructions rather than to the section ID because Acrobat's CSS handling is borked. It's not as pretty as I'd like and there's a bit more slash and burn than I'd hoped for before I can convert the files, but it works. Thankfully Berroco uses one style sheet for their pattern pages (except for a few really old patterns, which I don't think I saved any of) so the actual CSS hacking is done. I just need to cut chunks out of the HTML and tweak it before I convert to PDF.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
I am now the owner of a Genius PenSketch 9x12" graphics tablet. (A delayed birthday gift from [livejournal.com profile] hafoc, thank you!) While it doesn't have the fancy extra tips of an Intuos3, or tilt sensitivity, the sensitivity it does have is driving me a bit bonkers, sort of like sketching with a somewhat leaky pen.

Though maybe that's linked to a problem I've been having with my mouse lately, it's been double clicking and hypersensitive. I have no idea what could be causing that since I haven't mucked about with my mouse settings. It doesn't happen with the mouse that came with the tablet, but that mouse isn't sized well for my large hands so I'd rather not switch to using that exclusively.

I'll figure it all out eventually.

[Spoke too soon, the mouse on tablet is also starting to get twitchy. Hmm.]
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
After all that hassle with the passport I didn't even get asked for an ID to get into Canada. I did to get back into the US though. I managed to hit both borders at times where I only had to wait for two or three cars ahead of me, talk about a nice change of pace.

Instead of the traditional thunderstorm around Albany this year I was treated to FOG, off and on pea soup fog from Albany all the way to my folks' place. :P

The internet here didn't need fixing for a change, but damn I have a lot of software to update....

[Yes, I did get my passport. It arrived while I was at Anthrocon. That would be... eight? maybe seven, weeks after I applied and paid the extra for expedited service (two to four weeks). I'll be writing a letter to try to get that fee back since I paid for a service I didn't receive. Somehow I doubt anything will come of it, the government wiggles out of things that a business would be held to, but it can't hurt to try and I could really use that cash back.]
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
NeedleLite light-up knitting needles

I'm not really seeing a compelling reason for them myself, perhaps I'm not yet knit addicted enough, but I bet that raver furry at FC that was spinning with a drop spindle would love a light up spindle (yep, they sell those too).
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Is the "recently closed tabs" list under the History menu.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
I run Firefox maximized and last night I found a weird bug. If I have it maximized and try to minimize it to the taskbar it immediately bounces back up. If I have it in a "normal" window and minimize it it works properly. I think this is a new problem (I don't minimize it often) and my best guess is that it started up after the last windows update (earliest), my adding the ImageShack toolbar to IE7, or I updated the LittleFox theme and Dictionary Search add-ons (latest).

Anyone else having this problem?
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
My QMS/Minolta Magicolor 2300w is saying it has a paper jam but there's no paper in any of the areas that I can check. As far as I can tell it never fed any paper in in the first place!

I shut it down and rebooted it and my PC and it still claims to have a paper jam. Ideas?

I have to get a page, just one frickin page, printed so I can send off a fax and Dunn's doesn't stay open all that late. :P

Update: Apparently the answer is to tell it "fuck you" and have it try to print with NO paper in the tray while you go attempt to print it out on someone else's printer. (Sorry [livejournal.com profile] hafoc but I needed to get this done!) Of course that PC decided that its printer was offline so that whole project was moot. But when I was trying to figure out how to turn that printer on mine made a lot of thumps so I went to see if the cats were investigating. They weren't but I shoved the paper into place before I went to back to the other machine. When I gave up on the alternate printer idea I came back to find mine had actually printed.

The printers hate me. >:(

*hurries to get things together and get off to Dunn's*

ARGH!

Mar. 10th, 2007 09:27 pm
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
So I've been working on a mock up of [livejournal.com profile] hafoc's site on my domain, and I have the story archive and site news part of it going all awesome with a lightly modified version of eFiction. I even have a few skins all modded up and ready for use. I thought I was just at the point of skinning out the forums to match and that it would be all downhill from here.

Then I tried installing the software on his domain.

Let me point out, we have the same hosting service and hosting package level.

The software that installed so nice on my domain? Will not install on his. I've created and destroyed four SQL databases today trying to get eFiction installed on his domain and keep getting the same SQL error. Now either they've updated the SQL version in the last week (which they haven't, according to their FAQ and everything I can find on their site about the versions of MySQL and PHP on the site) or something is different about the eFiction installer.

You see, on my domain I installed 3.0 and then discovered right afterward that 3.2 was out so I upgraded. On Hafoc's domain I am trying to install 3.2 directly.

Wouldn't you know that I can't find a copy of the 3.0 zip anywhere? I know it had a security hole but normally you can find an old copy of a program somewhere online.

But then this is eFiction, the one piece of software you can search for with google and get three pages of results of sites using the software without actually finding the homepage and download site for it.

My head hurts.

Update: A very kind soul over in the eFiction support forums sent me the zip for version 3.0 which installed just fine and was upgraded to 3.2 immediately. So that part of Hafoc's site just needs content and a few tweaks (like the text of the Creative Commons license he's using).

Next up is yet another stab at forums now that Hafoc has revised, again, what he wants out of them. I'll have to do some skinning work to make the look and feel from the story archive carry over and I'm not looking forward to that. Skinning eFiction is relatively easy but phpBB is a bit more complex. At least I don't have to bridge the databases.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
I was telling [livejournal.com profile] hafoc I had the spammer issues on the forums pretty well taken care of... and not half an hour later I went to poke around at it more and found that a spammer had managed to register, even with visual code verification and requiring an activation through email.

<insert truly vile language here>

So I find myself trying to decide while modifications to the forum code are more likely to work to prevent this sort of thing since apparently just needing people to read a code out of an image and type it in AND click a link in an activation email isn't enough. The "best" choices (meaning the ones that have more "yay it works!" comments than "I can't get this to install" comments) are to do a different visual confirmation system (requiring a person to indicate if the supplied image is an animal or not and allowing me to supply my own images) and/or to add a bright red message telling people to leave the profile section of the registration empty and then reject any application that has anything in that section.

The former would undoubtedly look better but may conflict with the visual confirmation of the first post modification I've already done.

The latter is unlikely to conflict with anything but is a bit obnoxious. There is a variant that just hides the profile section of the registration form, which is visually more elegant, but apparently bots are "smart" enough to check if a field is hidden and then simply not fill it in.

Fucking spammers.

And several points about the basic forum code make me wonder if they even thought about security, it seems if you want to prevent harvesting of your member's email addresses you have to either trust they will tick the "hide address" box of install a MOD. Version 3 might solve some of my issues but it's still in beta (though it seems to be close to release.) Of course there will likely be a lag between the release of 3 and the release of compliant MODs.

Well, enough for tonight, sleep time. *Zzzzzz*
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
As readers of [livejournal.com profile] hafoc's journal know, I'm working on a website for him. Specifically I'm working on a forum at the moment.

This is what I've learned so far:

* Setting up a forum is actually pretty damned easy.

* Modifying a forum with some basic MOD code is also pretty damned easy.

* Trying to make two major MODs to the way posts are handled is rather like getting two drenched cats to play nice in a burlap sack strapped to your back while climbing a muddy cliff in a thunderstorm at midnight.

It may come down to making a choice between two of his desired features, full moderation for the "Ask X" forums and anonymous first posting for the writing critique forum. Both modifications edit the function_post.php file heavily and they get along about as well as those cats.

I've had to completely nuke the forum twice now because things are just too messed up to fix. For the third attempt I'm going to once again hold off the anonymous forum MOD until the very end, and then do the hacks by hand since at that point the script installer can't handle it.

Wish me luck.

WHOOHOO!!!

Dec. 24th, 2006 05:31 pm
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
It's ALIVE!

[livejournal.com profile] hafoc, when faced with a crying Tephie at nearly 2am, managed to hunt down a bootable windows CD so I could try to recover my data.

More specifically, he found Bart's Preinstalled Environment. The PE Builder utility constructs a bootable Windows CD from your Windows installation CD (or in our case, the cab files that came on Bill's PC for the system restore function.)

I'll be writing a nice letter to Bart Lagerweij thanking him for making BartPE and putting it out there for those of us that aren't certified by Microsoft to have a copy of WindowsPE to do our own disaster recovery.

I booted up with BartPE and discovered that my C: drive was unreadable, the restore partition (D:) and my second drive (E:) were readable and intact but there was another local drive, labeled I:, that was unreachable. Obviously that was my C: drive.

I ran Check Disk and after marking 4 bad sectors and fixing the allocation table, viola! my PC booted up fine (though with a notable pause as it worked around the damaged area.)

So, next step, backing up all my data!
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
So we headed out to do some shopping for Christmas dinner supplies tonight. I grabbed me coat from the closet and decided to double check the ingredients for a pie I wanted to make. I grabbed the mouse and ZAP! The PC went dark and did a two tone warning buzzer. I unplugged it and we left to shop.

I plugged it back in when we got back and tried booting.

It doesn't boot. It gets as far as the XP start screen, flashes a blue screen too fast to read, and reboots.

If I can't boot from CD and recover some of my data I stand to lose all my websites in development, my NaNo novel, all the assorted graphics I've made, all my art, my email.... Basically everything but my music, manga, and anime, and that is assuming my second hard drive is okay.

I can recover my everything that was on my old machine, so I will "only" lose a year of stuff in the worst case, but... my NaNo novel.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
There's nothing there yet, but the domain has moved to the new host.

This means of course that my email is a bit scrambled for the moment since I now have to get my client set up for the new host. I have none of the nifty procmail filtering that I used to have so I'm getting a lot more spam than I used to get as well (especially since the only way I can be sure of getting all my mail at the moment is to accept any mail sent to my domain.) Once I figure out which addresses I actually need to keep from my old set up I will weed things down to a mailbox for the addresses I use and a mailbox for everything else to be dealt with as needed.

As for the websites... well the PSP site is going to be the last back up, if I put it back up at all. With all the stuff I have for download, and the traffic I get through there, I'm concerned about the bandwidth and storage space (even if Kazin says that his whole server used less than what this basic hosting package has.)

There are some sections of my site that used perl scripts I wrote, those will have to be reworked since the basic package doesn't allow users to use perl scripts. And since I have to rework parts of the site I'm taking the opportunity to go through everything.

So, in short, my website is going to be offline for a while. Once I get my email straightened out everything else at tephras.com is bumped down the priority list while I deal with [livejournal.com profile] hafoc's site1 and other things.

And now to hunt down some lunch.

1. I have what is, for me, a very basic set up that is awaiting content. I'm sure there will be many tweaks and revamps forthcoming.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
*whine* My left elbow hurts, my left ear is all sweaty, and my right hand is cramped up...

But my 606.5 units on my old TracFone have finally be transfered to my new TracFone. Yay!

It only took an hour and about a bazillion digits of codes. *dies*

People with my old cell number, I have a new one. If you need it ASAP drop me an email, otherwise we'll update when we see each other again. :)

*hmm* It's showing me as roaming now... it wasn't before I transfered the units.... *twitches at the idea of dealing with tech support again right now*

I just called Bill to test that the phone works, it does. *yay!*

Still roaming. :P

...

I checked the FAQ on TracFone's website and it was actually helpful! A few more codes entered (My poor hand! This phone is so fricking tiny!) and no more roaming!

And TracFone tells me to call a * number to optimize my roaming.... So I sit and let Alltel automagically update my phone. That's sort of nifty.

Yay! All fixed!

*cranks the music because the calls are done for a while*
tephra: (stunned)
As if I needed another hassle....

I just found out that my domain host will cease all services October 1st. This means I will have no host for tephras.com, no mail, no website.

I'm not in a good position to look for a hosting service, let alone afford one, so this was just the sort of news I did not need to get while sitting 1000 miles from home waiting for mom to have a cancerous mass removed from her breast.

So far I have had 1and1 recommended by my erstwhile host. I'm admittedly spoiled by him, I was free to install what I liked and was given a lot of permissions on his server, so the hosting services are all both foreign in design and rather restrictive in practice.

I most likely will not be maintaining my PSP related site, the bandwidth and storage is too great. I don't want to lose my domain since I'd like to avoid having to change email addresses (the very thought of hunting down every site and person to update that is shudder inducing) and it's paid until next July.

This is pretty much the last straw for today. I'm going off to have a cry, if I can do that without someone demanding my time and attention yet again.

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