Archive for September 2006

Artist talk by Nicholas Middleton

paintingSeptember 27th, 2006
post #24 

This was the first of the artist talks at the Walker for the John Moores 24, and happened to fall on my first day of my 2nd student incarnation, so I had some free time to pop along after class.

Nicholas Middleton’s enty can be seen here: Scene from a contemporary novel. Oil on Canvas, 2006.
Very much enjoyed his description of both his entry and it’s cryptic title, which proves just as important. Once again I found myself repeating the phrase ‘the mediation of the image’ that I’d heard at the exhibition tour a week earlier.

Inevitably the questions that followed centered on his remarkably photo-realistic technique, which I was only too glad to make note of. To his credit, he squares up his works in the traditional way, despite working from photos & making many of the compositional decisions in pixels.

His ability impressed me greatly, and I think I’ve learned some tips from his brushwork which could simultaneously improve my own attempts and save me some time all at once. Depth of field in this painting seems to lend itself to brevity of brushwork, but without any loss of impact.

First day of Uni

generalSeptember 27th, 2006
post #23 
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I’ve spent too long on the wrong side of the office - I’ve seen so many smiling students and shiny classrooms courtesy of marketing that I was a bit shocked to end up in a ropy corner room on the eighth floor. The lifts had tens of people round them, so the stairs were the only option.

Coffee Shop reflection

It looks like I have many weeks of HTML refresher classes ahead of me, until some coursework in PHP comes up. Though I doubt that will challenge me greatly either. (edit: how wrong was I?)
Still, our collective ability with the code meant it finished early, enabling a short stint in a coffee shop on Dale Street before heading to the Gallery for Nicholas Middleton’s talk.

Simple returns

js work stuffSeptember 22nd, 2006
post #22 

Simple Back Button generator (opens in a new window)

It’s not rocket science, in fact it’s probably not even breadmaker science, but it’s useful. Detects if there’s a history to return to before adding a back button to a menu of your choosing.

Our CMS generated breadcrumb trail reflects the site structure, not an individual user’s path into the site - this was one possible solution to the loss of adequate return navigation when you go from one site area (say a school) to another (a service team perhaps).

Today’s highlights

generalSeptember 18th, 2006
post #21 
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Could not sleep beyond 5am, so am now sat fiddling with a searching app I’ve had simmering for a while, with a cat purring on my knee. This is the way to get on in life (or so the cat tells me).

Of course I’ll feel rubbish by mid-afternoon. This AM I’m at the dentist for the first time in… a long time, then I’m going to pop straight into the City and get an hour so at the John Moores 24th exhibition which we were at the opening of on Saturday last.

Rant:outlook 2003

work stuffSeptember 15th, 2006
post #20 

Fora definition

Will someone please tell Outlook 2003 about this.

Drag n’ Drop CAPTCHA puzzle

js phpSeptember 8th, 2006
post #19 

Drag n Drop CAPTCHA mechanism screenie

Simply re-arrange the images to make a visible key before clicking submit.

Fiddling with Scriptaculous earlier today I had an idea for a CAPTCHA mechanism. Cycling through the $_POST array in PHP gives you the form data, in order of submission.Scriptaculous’ sortable feature allows you to change order of items in a List, so adding an image with corresponding hidden input field gives you a basic puzzle to satisfy the CAPTCHA requirement.

Simple Drag n’ Drop CAPTCHA (written 8th September, 2006, code available on request).

Still comes with all the same accessibility problems most mechanisms have (with the added JS requirement), but saves the need for image generation.This version *can* use any naming convention for the images and input field names, they’re generated and checked by an array so don’t need to be numerically ordered - which could be a giveaway.

Fun with RSS

observationSeptember 7th, 2006
post #18 

Combine the BBC news feed with the Uni’s Classifieds:For Sale feed in RSS Reader’s little pop-up - makes for an amusing mix:

Fun with RSS Reader

Firefox 2

generalSeptember 5th, 2006
post #17 
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beta released, apparently.

Much hacking

generalSeptember 4th, 2006
post #16 
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First day back in work after a week or so off, still a little sleep deprived following a spell of babysitting, but recovering. I now have a matter of days to get together a prototype voting application for the Board of Governors elections, before the ballot organiser takes her leave for the month.

The morning presented a fair few small problems to keep me from this task - everything from bad links embedded in our VLE to a colleague concerned with her first name (rather than her display name) appearing on discussion boards.

By half-four I had the makings of the eligible voter upload feature done - bung a CSV file (obtained from finance - so that’s three departments so far involved) to the server and choose the column containing usernames to have the database populated. At this rate it should be done this time tomorrow and I can begin to abstract it into something usable in future ballots (the original plan, before the short deadline came about).

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get my crash course. in .NET downstairs - I’m aware of how behind we are with this particular technology despite our knowledge of other environments.