Monday, February 28, 2011

The Chagrin River Flooding Through Chagrin Falls

This is downtown Chagrin Falls and the footage of the flood on February 28, 2011 is stunning

The link to the video is here

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chets Computer Problem

Look folks, I don't know anybody named Chet, I just needed a name and Chet came up, probably because I was thinking of a vampire cat in a Christopher Moore book, actually this one! Anyway, "Chets" computer was acting up and I decided to help. The complaints:
  • We can't download Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 beta
  • We can't download Microsoft service pack 3 for Windows XP
  • We can't turn on Microsoft Security Essentials
Man, does that sound like Waaaah! or what? Or whatnot. So, hmmm. Okay, don't download and install a beta piece of software because its a "beta" piece of software! Beta means "not done"! Clue! For those not aware, it goes like this: Alpha, Beta and then RC (release candidate). Beta is a uncooked muffin! Duh! Anyhow, all those "we can't s" add up to, you guessed it, we got trouble. The reason we can't do anything is viruses shut down Internet Explorer and that's the pipeline to the Internet. We need to fix that and the way to fix it is with SneakerNet.

This is an old method, but it works. As I see it, Internet Explorer 9 beta is out, but Internet Explorer 8 is in because it's a stable release and not "beta". First though, is Microsoft service pack 3 for Windows XP, which precedes I.E.8 and is more of a "foundation" type of thing as it fixes holes in the operating system. That software can be found here ( or search for this "xp service pack 3 stand alone", using a different, healthy computer, I downloaded Service pack 3 and put it on a thumb drive and for good measure, downloaded I.E. 8 and put that on the derive as well. I then walked over to the other computer and put the thumb drive into the USB slot and accessed the programs I downloaded. In order, I did this:
  1. Installed Microsoft Service Pack 3 for XP from the thumb drive
  2. Installed Internet Explorer 8 from the same thumb drive
  3. After Internet Explorer 8 was installed, Microsoft Security Essentials began to work normally, so I updated and scanned with that and found over 200 assorted nasties.


I know it's 2011, but I think that SneakerNet is still relevant. For those that don't know what SneakerNet is, it's this: Ethernet without the cables, wireless Ethernet without the radio signal.  Let me explain. This technology is archaic, but still relevant, simply because it gets the job done. SneakerNet is the act of downloading something, meaning data, from one computer onto hand held media (thumb drives, flash based cards, cd's, dvd's, external hard drives and even, gasp, floppy disks) and walking to another computer and transferring that "something" to the second computer! Since many people, when walking, tend to wear "sneakers", geeks and nerds being, well, geeks and nerds, decided that "sneakers" was the network, the transferring agent, to get data from point "A" to point "B". Thus was born, SneakerNet!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Steven Wright at the Ohio theater, February 20, 2011

"If you shoot at mimes, should you use a silencer?" - Steven Wright

   The show started at 7:00 P.M. and lasted till about 9:00 P.M. We'd previously only seen him on YouTube  and I think he's best experienced live like many comedians. Currently ranked # 23 on the Comedy Central 100 Greatest Standups of all Time, he made his case for that ranking. The audience covered the age spectrum and laughed at most everything he said, although sometimes after a pause because he likes to make you think. Example: "What's another word for thesaurus?" Delivered with his trademark monotone and deadpan face, you can't help but laugh. 

His website

Friday, February 18, 2011

Kill the Irishman

Ah, the story of Danny Greene, a Irish-American Clevelander, shot where? Oh yes, in Detroit! Got it! The trailers are here and here . It will be in theaters March 11 and probably have a limited run I'm betting even with Christopher Walken in it. This movie is based on the book "To kill the Irishman" by Rick Porrello, another Clevelander. I lived in two areas that Danny Greene lived in and remember seeing him and hearing the explosion that wrecked his car during an attempt on his life. I hope the movie is reasonably good but I have my doubts. One time after his death, his son spent the night at my house sleeping off a drunk as I remember.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

5 Videos I think you should see

First off, from Cee Lo Green "F**k You"

Then there's DEV with "Bass Down Low"

"Bass Down Low" features the Cataracs and here's their version of the song

and DEV and the Cataracs work with The Far East Movement on "Like a G6"

next up is Garfunkel and Oates "I Don't Understand Job "

Monday, February 7, 2011

Adding a gallery of pictures to a website using Expression Web 2 or 4

This doesn't seem complicated I'm sure to most web designers but I'm self taught and I didn't understand what I wanted. First of all, there is a ton of free software that will accomplish this task for you to choose from. That is, if you want something Flash based or possibly Java based. They are easy to use once you understand the procedure needed. I speak from experience here and will try to provide a list of them if that's what you're looking for. After trying many different programs, I realized that I did not understand what I wanted. Maybe I should spend more time talking to myself. What I wanted was a gallery (actually, galleries) of thumb nailed pictures that would upon clicking the thumb nail, would lead to a full size picture. The purpose would be to offer some pictures free of charge (public domain) for use in whatever anybody had in mind. My motive is not entirely utilitarian as I run ads on the site but I, as many do, wanted to give something back to the Internet community. The existing gallery generating packages that I looked at did as advertised, they created some slick looking galleries that you could embed on blogs and websites but didn't solve my problem.

My solution was to use a table, which like I said, seems simple enough but I didn't see it. It seems that most gallery software wants to display your pictures but prevent the copying or free use of them. My goal was the opposite. I used the table solution in a site designed with a "dynamic web template". I created a table with 10 rows and 2 columns. You can then choose to insert pictures from files into each cell by using the menu driven solution or actually just drag and drop. After either action, the result is a large picture that doesnt fit, but a right click and "auto thumbnail" fixes this in a jiffy. This is the most elegant solution that I have found for creating pages that provide what I was looking for and hopefully may help others.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cropping and Resizing Photos to Fit into a Certain size space

Recently I had to change pictures in an existing website that was template driven. It seems easy enough when you first think about it but actually doing it can be a pain. As an example, the first pictures dimensions were 380 pixels wide by 506 pixels high. I found an appropriate replacement and opened that picture inside of Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3. The original dimensions were 4912 wide by 3264 high. this is a big difference. I chose the cropping option and set the size to 380 by 506 and it was so small I couldn't fit what I wanted in that area. The trick is to set the target pixel size then making sure the "Maintain aspect ratio" box is checked, drag the sides or corners of the cropping box until you have the detail you need. Now you have the picture you want but its way to large. The second step is to re-size the picture to the original dimensions you need. I clicked on "Image" then "resize" and under "pixel dimensions" adjusted the size down to 380 by 506. I know that some people might say its easier and less steps to do all this within the web authoring package you use but that's not always the case. I use Microsoft's Expression Web 2 and Expression Web 4 and if you resize a picture the results aren't nearly as nice. This is one of the many reasons it helps to have software designed to one thing and do it well.

The original is here, the picture to the right.
The cropped picture is here, the top picture on the right