Blogging abound

A blogging milestone happened in the art department today as I helped Jen, Katie, Christina, and even Mattyo setup a wordpress blog through Dreamhost as you can see from the right side links bar. If this community of TCNJ blogging stays active it will be a great resource for both current and future art graduates from TCNJ.

Blogging will only get bigger and hopefully this will be the first step toward a very vibrant and living community at TCNJ that I hope to cultivate and build.

FCKeditor – review and help

I’ve wanted to clean up the College Union Board website for a long time now and only now got around to it by making it apart of my senior portfolio. I not only gave it a redesign with a much stronger hierarchy but also added a lot of back end functionality that is needed to keep the site running with out any one overly knowledgeable about html.

After wrestling with FCKeditor between the hours of 12 and 5am I finally got it working. FCKeditor is a WYSIWYG editor that can be implemented in a number of ways. It comes in flavors such as javascript, asp, php, coldfusion, and perl. The documentation was a bit sparse and only included an install walk through for javascript. This was luckily what I needed as what I wanted to do was replace a TEXTAREA with a WYSIWYG editor and javascript seemed to be the only one that did this, though it was the only one documented.

Though it took me a long time to pin point the main problem I was having was with the path to the .js file that was supposed to be running the show. The linked javascript file ended up being src=”FCKeditor/fckeditor.js” while the base path ended up being oFCKeditor.BasePath = ‘./FCKeditor/’;

I don’t know if this is a little quirky or the way it is supposed to act. The documentation was very short for JavaScript with no troubleshooting and the sourceforge forum had no problem that seemed similar to mine.

Another issue I had was that the options that were listed were simply held in an array in the config file and if you did not what an option you had to delete it from the array instead of turning the option true or false which would be better for getting options back if you wanted.

Now that it’s all working I can’t be happier and I know how much easier it will make it for my wonderful event planning organization to update the website.

My Google

For those who don’t know Google has finally merged their Keyhole satellite company with their map service and you can get a really nice view of north America from above. A very quick community sprung up around this feature and have been having a lot of fun with it. People are using google maps and Flickr to create memory maps of their home town or locations that have a lot of history with them.

Another fun site related to Google Maps is Google Sightseeing which has been collecting some of the more interesting photos of the world in to one blog.

In the future I see a My Google with the ability to add tags to the whole world. I could tag places I’ve been and maybe even plan out entire trips marking down where I want to stop with a note system similar to Flickrs’. Along with a system to date the notes you might be able to follow me as I travel around and take notes on the world by scrubbing through a time line, or a rang of times. Of course this would all be shareable with the ability to tag and organize notes and groups of notes.

Though I would not be any good at it I look forward to who ever takes their My Google map notes and uses the rss it publishes as their travel blog. I think that would be an interesting read.

Never buy a Western Digital

my dead hard driveOr at least never buy a Western Digital FireWire/USB 2.0 Combo hard drive. Poking around I’m not ever sure they sell them any more but I don’t even know if I trust Western Digital any more. Reviews by anyone who has had it for any amount of time have not been glowing since its average lifespan is 6months or so. It certainly was the life span of mine.

6 months in it started to make a small sparking noise and you could tell the drive was not spinning up when plugged in. Not to mention the crazy lights that flashed on the front. The drive had no on/off switch, which at the time I did not give much thought, but looking back it might be a sign of flimsy manufacturing. I sent it back only to have it die on me again about 6 months later after the same sparking and flashing.

I tried to save the Hard Drive in the case but after connecting it to my computers power source it started to smoke. I wanted to take a picture but didn’t want to fry my computer.

The Western Digital customer service staff seems very convinced that the slightly over the 1 year service warranty is a good life for a FireWire drive. I seem to feel that 2 six-month hard drives would not have been as much of a problem if I were renting them instead of owning them.

So I’ll just fear technology for a while and hope my shiny new 256 USB Flash drive does not give me any problems.

Where’s Dunstan?

Memes really don’t seem to spread through the web design communities very much. Where’s Dunstan might be an exception to the rule only because it originated in the community and was encouraged. Not to be left out like I was for sxsw here’s my contribution, which is following the trend of a bit more abstract, as lead by Derek.