I hadn't realised that I never uploaded it here. I have updated it to use JQuery, which replaces some if statements and browser specific code with a single line (JQuery takes care of all the browser specific stuff).
To use the plugin, copy it into the plugins folder as usual. It needs
adding to the head section of the webpage, like all the other JQuery based plugins here. Add the line:
where you want the button to appear.
A list of most-liked stories can be generated and is available in
The plugin is available to download here.
This website uses the seemore plugin which makes it possible to only show the start of an entry, and expand to show the full item when a link is clicked. The original version reloaded the entire page but I have modified the plugin to use JQuery so it now expands the item in-situ without having to reload.
It works in a similar fashion to the updated gallery plugin and also needs
to be added to the head section of the webpage.
The updated plugin can be downloaded here.
One problem with still using the fairly ancient Blosxom blogging software for my website is that it receives practically no updates any more and most of the plugins aren't being updated either.
Although everything still works, it would sometimes be good to have a more modern, better supported system, I have been staying with Blosxom because it would be a pain to transfer everything to a new format. One of the main problems would be the photo galleries which use ImageGallery, where the images and captions are all stored in different files, in different folders. I would need to find a way of converting the data to a new format. If I stick with Blosxom (and ImageGallery) then I would have to put up with the whole page being reloaded when a new image is selected.
Since there doesn't seem to be anything better at the moment I decided to update the plugin to use JQuery which lets you easily change document elements and load files from the server.
My new version, ImageGalleryJQ is a drop in replacement for ImageGallery but loads the images and descriptions without reloading the entire page. To use, simply rename the file to imagegallery and copy to the plugins folder. The JQuery library needs to be loaded by including something like
to the head section of the webpage.
All of the gallery pages in a website will automatically use the new plugin.
Here is the ImageJ version of the classic Game of Life which I wrote in an evening, several years ago. I have made a small change since then so the 'Reset' button clears the window and the 'Random' button fills the window with random dots.
The ImageJ drawing tools can be used to fill in pixels. Clicking on 'Start' will begin the animation. Pixels which have remained unchanged slowly fade to grey while pixels which 'came alive' are in white.
Download the source code and load into ImageJ or Fiji. Select 'Compile and Run' to start.
The program was cobbled together fairly quickly and ideally would need a bit more work to make it more user-friendly. Any configuration is done by editing the source code and recompiling. The speed of the animation can be changed by altering the value of 'pause' (value in milliseconds). The size of the world is given by the 'width' and 'height' variables. If these are changed then the image window may need to be resized by changing the default magnification in the setMagnification() command.
A few weeks ago I was reading the book The Emperors New Mind by Rodger Penrose and I reached the part where he discusses the Mandelbrot Set. Years ago I used to enjoy exploring this on my computer. I decided to download a mandelbrot program for my mac but couldn't really find one which I liked. This prompted me to have a go at writing one myself. I decided to cheat a little and write it as an ImageJ plugin so I didn't have to handle the display and mouse myself.
I reused some bits of code from a version of Life which I wrote a few years ago and also some code which I developed during my PhD and managed to get a useable plugin up and running that evening. Over the next few days I added a few extra features and made it a bit more useable.
Click on the download link and save the 'jar' file into the ImageJ or Fiji plugins directory.
Select 'Mandelbrot' from the 'Plugins' menu. Configuration options are in the 'About Plugins' submenu of the 'Help' menu. After changing any options, the mandelbrot set window will need to be closed and the plugin re-run before any changes will come into effect.
How to Use
To zoom in or out, use the 'Point' tool of ImageJ to select the new centre and click on either the 'Zoom To' or 'Zoom Out' buttons at the bottom of the window. To pan the view without changing the zoom, select the new centre then click on the 'Re-Centre' button. The 'Reset' button returns the view back to the original zoom.
The number selection box to the right of 'Reset' controls how many calculations are performed before the algorithm decides whether a point belongs to the set or not. Increasing this number will show more detail at the fringes of the set at higher zoom levels.
The Normal/Sqrt/Log selection controls how the colour values are calculated. Initially all values are displayed in greyscale. To display in colour, select one of the ImageJ lookup tables for the required colour scheme.
Finally the Julia Set for a particular point can be displayed by selecting a point then clicking on the 'Julia Set' button.
I was discussing nursery rhymes and similar childrens songs with Emma and we were talking about how we learned slightly different versions of some songs. Neither of us could remember the full words to the song I'm a little teapot so I decided to look them up. Our tablet computer was nearby so I used that, clicking on the voice search and saying the name of the song.
I was a little surprised by some of the suggestions and had to search the old fashioned way, by typing the words instead. When I tried the search using my phone, it correctly recognized what I was saying.
I really have no idea what the computer thought I was saying.
Last year, Emma bought an Advent Vega tablet computer. It uses the same 'Android' operating system as many mobile phones but of course with a much larger screen.
The only real problem with the Vega is that out of the box, it doesn't support the Android Market, which makes it a bit difficult to install applications. We installed an updated version of the software which makes the tablet much more useful. Without the Android Market, you are more or less restricted to web browsing and the built-in applications.
After playing around with it for a few weeks, the tablet ended up in the bottom of a drawer for a few months, unused and ignored. We both had new HTC phones which came with Android, so we could do all the same things on our phones, which also had the advantage of being smaller and more portable.
I recently decided that it would be a good idea to get the tablet up and running again. The main idea was so it could be used to read recipes in the kitchen, to save having to either print out from websites or try to use a laptop in the kitchen. So far I haven't actually used the tablet in the kitchen but it is getting used fairly regularly now.
I don't find it as convenient for web browsing as a full laptop because it is a bit slower and the lack of a full keyboard makes it less useful for using forums etc, but it is perfectly fine for reading ordinary web pages.
We have installed a few applications which get fairly regular use. The one I probably use the most is the Kindle app, which turns the tablet into something very similar to an actual Kindle. You can download books from the Amazon website or install them from elsewhere (such as Project Gutenberg). So far I have read a few freely available, out of copyright, books. I had never read any Charles Dickens books or any of the Sherlock Holmes novels so I decided to give them a go. I decided to start with A Christmas Carol (since it was Christmas at the time), then moved on to The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles. I am now reading the ebook version of God's Debris, by Scott Adams.
I find reading ebooks or PDFs on the tablet is much easier than on a laptop. The device is much lighter, and the screen is a better shape and size. I have several books queued up ready to read next, including Gulliver's Travels, which I actually downloaded when we first got the tablet but I didn't get around to reading it.
In the last few years, I haven't read as many books as I used to. In the run up to Christmas, I decided that I would spend a bit less time on-line and more time reading, and so far I have been fairly successful. I probably won't be able to keep the pace up and read a book a week but I should be able to catch up on some of the books which I have had for a while but not read yet.
I received an email this morning where the sender had requested I return a 'receipt' when I had read the email. I clicked the button to send it but it didn't work. Instead I saw the following error message:
I suspect the problem was caused because I was at home but sending an email from my work account, which by default tries to connect to a particular email server. This server is configured to only accept connections from on-site.
I was backing up my laptop to the remote server in work this morning when I noticed the abbreviated directory names...
When a backup drive is shared between people, the Time Machine/Time Capsule backup system uses what's known as a 'Sparse Bundle' to simulate individual drives for each person. Unfortunate choice of name when the directory window isn't wide enough to display the full filenames.
Oh the irony. This captcha appeared on my website earlier this evening.
I was using my computer at home this morning when the Internet stopped working. I noticed the wifi icon on the computer was flashing so I thought the router had briefly dropped the connection. Emma pointed out that the electric clock had gone off, so for some reason our power was out. I then noticed that all the neighbouring wifi networks had disappeared from the wifi menu, and I could also hear some nearby alarms going off, so it then became clear that the power had gone down for the nearby area and not just our house.
It's an automatic response to switch on the room lights when we get up, which I immediately did, then suddenly realised how stupid that was.
Our oven has mains-powered electric ignition so I had to light it by hand to bake the baguette for my sandwich. We don't have any long matches or special long lighters for lighting cookers, so I had to reach to the back of the oven with an ordinary cigarette lighter, while carefully turning the gas on. The gas makes a fairly loud 'whooshing' noise, which made lighting it a little scary but I managed without losing too many arm hairs (unlike Emma last week when she lit the grill, and the automatic lighter didn't seem to want to work at the time).
This morning I received an email claiming to come from Facebook. It claimed that they were implementing new security measures and I would have to update my account.
It all looked very authentic, right up until the bit at the bottom of the message where it said:
This message was intended for xxxxxxxxxxx @ trapperindustries.com.
I don't remember setting up a company called Trapper Industries, which appears to sell deactivated weapons and military hardware. I guess the email wasn't intended for me after all.
I have a Compaq desktop computer which I don't use very often. It used to be my main machine but I now mainly use it to back up data or the scanner which is attached to it.
It has been running infuriatingly slowly recently so I decided to reinstall Windows, using the 'System Recovery' option which replaces the contents of the hard drive with the 'factory fresh' copy of XP.
The computer now runs quite quickly again. Boot-up time has been reduced from over 4 minutes to 38 seconds. The computer had so much software installed, and a lot of rubbish would load on start-up. The desktop actually used to appear after 2½ minutes but it was a further 2 minutes before you could open any windows or run any programs.
Clicking on files and opening windows is amazingly quick now. There used to be several seconds of disk-thrashing and a long wait when the "Start" button was clicked. Now the menu appears pretty much instantly. I had started to wonder whether my old computer had always been this slow, and I only thought I remembered it being fast when new, but no. It is back to being quick and responsive again.
I have been an occasional user of Open Office for a few months. Most of the time is seems to be fairly usable but there are a few niggles.
Embedding videos into Impress is a bit clunky. I don't know whether it is a problem with my version but they play as soon as the slide appears, irrespective of any pauses or 'on-click' actions I set up.
Every time I run Open Office, I get the "R6034" error, informing me that the application has tried to load the C libraries incorrectly. Again I don't know whether this is just my machine or whether it is a common problem. A brief ATFG (Ask The F_ing Google) doesn't help.
Yesterday I tried to print some documents using the networked printer in the department. The first time I tried this, it was about half an hour before I went to retrieve the print-out. When I got to the printer there was no sign of it, but the document had gone from the printer queue so I thought it might have disappeared due so some sort of error.
Later in the day I tried to print something else. I can see the printer from my office door so I watched to see if the lights on top started to flash. Nothing happened so I deleted the document from the print queue and decided to use the other printer, which is down the end of a long corridor. This other printer worked ok. Nobody else had problems with the first printer so I suspected my computer and thought a re-boot might help.
This morning, after turning my computer off overnight, I tried to print something out using the first printer again. I sent the document to the printer and watched for the flashing lights. The printer leapt into action so I walked over to retrieve my print-out. I was surprised to find it had printed out the missing document from yesterday morning as well as the document I had just printed.
I don't know where this first document was hiding. It can't have been in the printer because other people had successfully used it after me. It wasn't visible in the printer queue of my computer. For some reason it only started to print when I decided to print something else, so it looks like it was hiding somewhere in my machine. Very puzzling.