#30 Laid

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#30 + (8) - [X]

….We’ve got a new QOTM. And guess what, it’s the (in)famous #30! Click on the link for the full details.

Also, the new Four Island is doing great! I won’t reveal much, but I’d like to give you a tiny hint: CSS Speech Bubbles | willmayo.com

Hatkirby on May 31, 2008 at 10:30 pm

Very Negative

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Goodness, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people vote No on a poll before. I guess you all just felt very strongly against it. Thank’s for your opinion! This poll was actually important because, as I’m rewriting Four Island, I wanted to know what I should do for a home page and I was going to take these results into effect. Here are the results:

Yes – 1 vote(s)!
No – 5 vote(s)!
Huh? – 3 vote(s)!
Indifferent – 1 vote(s)!

I’d also like to point out an interesting pattern I’ve noticed recently. I’ve been sick for the last two days so I haven’t been on The Fourm or on Yaplet. Now, remembering that, read these notes:

  • I am (normally) always on Four Island.
  • It is rare for two people to log on within 5 minutes of each other.
  • When someone logs in, and there is no one already logged in, they will wait 5 minutes for someone else to log in. If they don’t, they log out.

Now, process that with me being sick. Ahhhh, bad effects, right? Also, I’m sorry, I was going to talk to you peoples about how the new Four Island was doing, but I’m still not feeling very well. Maybe later.

Hatkirby on May 30, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Oh my T_CASE!

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A little explanation. Does anyone out there program in PHP? If you do (woohoo!), you may have experienced a:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_CASE in /path/to/file on line 7

Or perhaps, maybe a:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_ECHO, expecting ',' or ';' in /path/to/file on line 12

Or maybe even a:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_CONSTANT_ENCAPSED_STRING, expecting ']' in /path/to/file on line 12

No need to panic. Well, I guess I did the first time I saw one of them. But it turns out that, while it is hard to find information about them on the internet, the solution for them is quite simple.

They just mean that you’re using bad syntax. For instance, the T_CASE may mean that you have a switch statement somewhere and forgot a ; after the break. The T_ECHO could mean that you forgot a ; after an echo statement. And the what-on-earth T_CONSTANT_ENCAPSED_STRING just means that you left out a [‘s matching ].

That feel better? I knew it would.

Sorry, I’m just really random sometimes, but it WAS difficult to find information about these errors on the internet.

Hatkirby on May 27, 2008 at 10:30 pm

Custom Sidebar

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You may know this already, but I just want to post a quick tip on how to create a custom sidebar in Firefox. The novelty of it is that you use any old webpage and it stays there regardless of the tab you are on.

As an example, I will be showing you how to add the Four Island Yaplet channel to your sidebar, but if you have your own webpage assembled, you can skip this paragraph. First, open Yaplet. The URL is http://go.yaplet.com/?url=http://www.fourisland.com. In the top right hand corner, there is an image of two windows, one on the other. Click that to open Yaplet in a pop-up window.

Now, bookmark the page. This can be done by Ctrl-D, or, if you are using 3b5, the star in the top-right hand corner. Go to bookmark properties and edit the bookmark you just made. There will be a checkbox saying "Open this in the sidebar". Click that.

Yay, you’re done! Now, whenever you open that bookmark, it will open as a sidebar. This is very useful, especially with Yaplet, because it means you don’t have to be on Four Island to use it’s Yaplet channel as it spreads through all tabs.

Hatkirby on May 25, 2008 at 10:30 pm

Some Considericy

Hatkirby 2 Comments

The word in the title may not be a real English word, but I don’t care. What I do care about is the unfair treatment of people with phobias. I’m not just saying this because I myself have a phobia that has been exploited, I have met and befriended people with phobias themselves. Note, I’m also not pointing this at any individual, this is a notice for the world.

I have seen two different methods of dealing with someone with a phobia.

  1. Generally ignore it, but warn the person in question if something that violates the phobia is nearby so that they can avoid it.
  2. Try to discourage the phobia by informing that person of the way in which the thing they have a fear of surrounds them and is everywhere in their life.

Number two is a little difficult to explain, so here are some examples.

Example 1 is me. You should know that I’m mycophobic, which is a fear of fungus. People know this. And all I’ve heard is things such as "Fungus is everywhere", "Hatkirby, you eat bread everyday and yeast is a fungus".

Example 2 is a friend of mine who happens to be a pyromaniac. Because of this, she’s highly hydrophobic. But all she’s heard is "There’s water in the air", "There’s water in orange juice", "There’s water EVERYWHERE" and "You are 70% water."

In my experience, this does nothing to help the person with a fear. All it does is frighten them and if in the case of telling them that something they like contains something they fear, it just puts them off of that things. (Air in the case of the pyromaniac which isn’t such a smart thing, though no water isn’t such a smart thing either)

I’m not pointing fingers, no way. I’m just posting a note of advice. Phobias hurt people and people with phobias don’t need people attempting to help them by scaring them.

EDIT: Gryphic has posted a reply to this on her blog called Phobica.

EDIT: Gryphic has written another post in relation to this post, but not really on the subject of Phobias. It’s called Pyromania =/= Hydrophobia (and other firey stuff).

Hatkirby on May 24, 2008 at 10:30 pm

Poll of Equal Indifferency

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Once again, thank you for voting on the poll of the week. This week was OK, but we got the same number of Indifferent as Yes. Anyway, here are the results:

Yes – 3 vote(s)!
No – 0 vote(s)!
Huh? – 1 vote(s)!
Indifferent – 3 vote(s)!

In other news, you many have noticed that we have reverted the Layout 4. Sorry about that. Many people didn’t quite like the style and the truth was, it broke in many browsers and many screen resolutions. Apparently, it broke in every browser and screen resolution other than mine. Oops.

EDIT: You also may have noticed that my username’s changed. It has. Don’t worry. You’re not going insane.

Hatkirby on May 23, 2008 at 3:10 pm


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Recently, I came upon a web servive entitled reCAPTCHA. reCAPTCHA is a CAPTCHA system. For those who don’t know what CAPTCHA is (shame), CAPTCHA is a method of preventing bot spam on your website. A picture is generated with one or two distorted words on it. A user doing whatever it is you want to protect must type in the words (s)he sees to be allowed to submit his/her comment/whatever.

Many CAPTCHAs annoy people. It seems that all they do is obstruct and prolong the time taken to do something. But reCAPTCHA is different.

reCAPTCHA doesn’t just help stop comment span on your website. It helps digitize books. reCAPTCHA sees CAPTCHAs as a way of harnessing human power into doing something useful that cannot be done by a bot. This way, you are not only verifying that you are not a bot when you fill out a CAPTCHA, you are also contributing to a cause.

The people at reCAPTCHA have scanned many books and attempted to convert the scanned pictures into words with OCR software. OCR software cannot always get all of the words, so the words that the OCR doesn’t understand are send to be used in a reCAPTCHA. reCAPTCHA then generates a picture with one word that is known and another word that isn’t known. The reCAPTCHA assumes that if one of the words are correct, the other one should be as well.

reCAPTCHA can be used everywhere. They’ve exported their API to many platforms and written plugins for many web applications. For some of these and some better explained information, please visit the reCAPTCHA website at http://recaptcha.org.

I would also just like to mention that the website has a page with a demo reCAPTCHA that you can use to digitize books without verifying anything. It’s at http://recaptcha.net/learnmore.html and it’s really addicting.

Hatkirby on May 22, 2008 at 10:30 pm

Color 4eva!

Hatkirby 8 Comments

Gryphic’s had her say, but now it’s my turn. And I fully defend the word "color" and it’s proper spelling.

Pretty much my biggest argument is the pronunciation. Color is pronounced color, not coloure. Thus, it should be spelled color and not colour. Another thing. Contrary to what Gryphic has ranted about, the letter U is actually an ugly letter, at least it is in my view. Why should it be placed into a word that creates such beauty and design?

NOTE: This is simply a rant. Please do not take this post entirely seriously.

Oh, and by the way, I would just like to point out that the Golden Compass is not The Golden Compass. The book is called Northern Lights and the device is called an alethiometer. Normally I’m on the American’s side of things as I’m American, but there isn’t a single instance of a golden compass in that book. So there.

Hatkirby on May 20, 2008 at 10:30 pm

Good Websites You Should Know About

Hatkirby 1 Comment

Okay, don’t run away. I just want to share some of my favorite websites with you.

  • The Daily WTF – This website provides a daily resource of computer humor. Note the name WTF. I do not endorse profanity, you should know that by now. I would just like to inform you that WTF stands for Worse Than Failure.
  • CSS Tricks – OK, I admit it. I’m a CSS junkie. I love what you can do with CSS. So I just had to find a good website with daily CSS goodness, so here we are.
  • CrunchBang – I do not use CrunchBang Linux, nor do I think I ever will. However, this is the blog of an open source developer so it’s often full of the type of stuff I enjoy. Code.
  • XKCD – A good webcomic. I love this comic. I love the style of drawing, I love the computer humor, I love pretty much everything except for the inappropriate references and the profanity.
  • Web Resources Depot – A good resource for all of your web resource needs. I only just found this site recently and it’s already joined the ranks of the sites with their RSS feeds on my Bookmarks Toolbar.

Well, that’s all I can think of right now. These are all of my absolutely favorite sites (except for Four Island, of course). I have all of their RSS feeds in my Bookmarks Toolbar where I can access them when I want to. I hope you’ve gained something from this random post!

Hatkirby on May 19, 2008 at 10:30 pm

Domain Integration

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I’m happy to say that I think I’ve successfully integrated Fouripedia and The Fourm with Four Island. Fouripedia is now running on the old page-system I wrote a while ago and The Fourm has been compressed to stay the same size as the rest of the site, which looks much more aesthetically pleasing.

The most important accomplishment, however, is the moving of everything to the fourisland.com domain. The Wiki used to be located at wiki.fourisland.com and The Fourm used to be located at fourm.fourisland.com so I would never be able to fully integrate Four Island, because one of the security points of cookies is that they don’t work cross-domain. Soon I will move over the Quotes DB and then the domain-moving step of construction will be over.

I would like to ask, however, what you readers think of the Rightbar (The HatNav and the HatBar). Does it look good? If not, how should it look? Please tell me as I want Four Island to look as best as it can.

Hatkirby on May 18, 2008 at 10:30 pm