Rae | A view from ASTP


Links and such

First off, a few links that I thought were interesting:

High-speed Photography
  • This has some very interesting photographs of bullets going through playing cards, balloons, and lightbulbs, as well as a few other things. The coolest part is that he actually explains how he achieved taking each shot.

Nagasaki Journey: The Photographs of Yosuke Yamahata
  • A photographer's portfolio of photos taken in the aftermath of Nagasaki. Caution: graphic scenes of the destruction. When I was taking a class last semester that covered a lot of Atomic-bomb literature, we kept seeing the same handful of photographs over and over again. Very few from those days actually exist, or are avaliable for public viewing due to censorship and the nature of what happened. I find the photo essay interesting...

Chasing the Dream
  • An article about gaming, its effect on aggressive behavior, and an interesting note that a large percentage of gamers aren't actually kids; and that the adults who battle against gaming are more often than not over the age of 40... merely a decade older than the average gaming age (according to the article... I don't know if I can believe that one yet).

Freedom of Expression in the Copyright Era
  • A flash video I found... somewhere. I can't remember where. I think a back issue of Kaliber 10000, perhaps? (But don't worry, the video has the author's name and all.) Anyway, the link is pretty self-explanitory.

Private and Public
  • This photographer set up his camera in one spot in London and took pictures of passerbys. What resulted is an interesting collection of expressions, additudes, and personalities. (Alex sent me this, so some of you may have seen it already.)

I was going to post a link to my project, but I think it'd be better to wait until tomorrow and just show everyone.


TechnoBio 2

The JPG table of contents inspired me. I can't hold a candle to that book, but I though this would be a cool way to show how often I use technology on a typical day and how it has changed as I've gotten older.

Light Green: TV
Yellow: Telephone
Blue: Video Games
Green: Computer personal use
Orange: Computer job use
Red: Computer school work
Black: Alarm Clock (always a downer)

(Each end is Midnight, center is Noon)

Grade School:

Middle School:

High School:



Calendar script

A major problem I've run into is how to generate a calendar.

The current calendar system for the zine, is that the webmaster (not me!) updates it about once a week by hand, with his abominable code. In addition to the main calendar, there is a small "This Week's Shows" section on the front page (displaying... you guessed it, the current week's shows), which is also updated by hand.

Does anyone know of a script online that can pull in dates and events from a database or flat file and output them?

I tried searching for one, but came up empty handed.

Also, if anyone has any ideas for how to structure one of my own, it'd be helpful, because I'm at a loss.

EDIT: I don't want to output a "calendar" like you'd see in a blog to choose a post date. I need something that will list, in text, a date, and then the shows/events for that day.

Using Dreamweaver...

I was wondering if anyone could briefly explain using templtes in Dreamweaver to me?

On another note, I'm slightly shifting the scope of my second project (the Digital Yearbook). I've been scripting a database-driven zine from the ground up... and I think input would be helpful this week. It's not that I'm abandoning the Digital Yearbook, but really, all I could get done with it is scripting anyhow, and a few of the things I've written (and learned!) with the zine will be very helpful to the DY. I need a lot of support from the college to even begin on the DY (past the scripting/design), so I think after finishing the zine, it'll be relatively simple to change some things and have a decent structure for the DY that I can use to pitch the idea to the powers that be.

Here is a link to what I've done so far on the zine: (Some menu items work... mostly just some of the "about" and "archives")

I'll probably post some of my code (and the problems I'm having) later today.


Of Templates and Bugs

Well, I have a basic layout for FPG. You can see it at http://students.hamilton.edu/fpg/index.php.

A present, it seems to only display properly in Firefox. It does the obligatory IE box-structure breaking, and Safari weirds out on the nav for some reason. I'm working on getting that stuff fixed. I also need to locate the CD that has content for it.

Feedback is welcome.

Today was...

Overall a productive day, I think.

I didn't get anything visible done, except straightening out my background graphics for the FPG site, but I did spend all day, evening, and night doing some scripts in PHP/MySQL. Nothing I did will actually apply to the FPG, but I have a good grasp on the foundation of a database-driven site that I can probably build up to use with the digital yearbook.

So, today has been very good, in my opinion. I hope I can get some work done on FPG tomorrow, though.



One of the main things I needed to learn before getting a start on any scripting for the digital yearbook was some sort of intro to MySQL. Aaron's tutorial today helped me get a grasp on what it was, and the userface, and I'm sure my book, when it comes in, will help as well.

I'm slowly making progress on a layout for the FPG website. I have a color scheme, and a background, which I should be able to share tommorrow.

I've been struggling with ideas about a layourt for the digital yearbook, because I'm not sure if I want it to tie in with the school website design (which I'm not a fan of), or for it to be its own seperate entity. I'm going to make some decisions on that later this week, but I'm more concerned about getting a handle on the scripting side.

Tomorrow I need to do some research on CSS that my brain doesn't seem to be willing to remember... and hopefully I can get a template done for the FPG.

My brain really is fried today, for some reason.

Bad News for Both of my Projects

I just recieved an email from the HC ITS department:
Beginning July 1, 2005, ITS no longer provides server-side tools (programming or databases) for new student or organization Web sites. This is one of the services we were forced to cut due to a lack of resources to support it.

This essentially kills the basic structure of my sites. I can still go on, especially with the FPG site, but in the end it means more work for me as the webmaster. I'll have to find funding for the Digital Yearbook, which, may or may not be a problem depending on how stingy the Student Activites Board/Publications Board decides to be.

I'm still going to get workable scripts going, and get a non-database driven FPG site going.


Creativity Block needs to break!

I really wish I had a little more art in middle/high school, it'd really have made my life for the last couple years a bit more easy.

I've been trying to come up with a layout for both the FPG and Digital Yearbook. I tried this weekend, and at present, the few shreds I've patched together look horrible, and are never going to see the light of day. I had a decent design going for the FPG at one point, but I think it needs work. And by work, I mean needs to be sent to the byte bucket in the sky and for me to completely start over.

While I'm on here whining about lack of creativity, I'll hand out a useful link or two.

  • An open source forum code that is based strictly on PHP/MySQL and CSS (I think it's even standards compliant) Don't ask me how to implement it, though. I'm still working on that part.

  • WordPress is one of the more common blogging softwares avaliable. It comes with many templates, and you can create your own, add plugins, etc. You have a lot of control over what you do with it, so it's essentially possible to run any type of site using it as your foundation. You have to provide a domain that runs MySQL and PHP, but it really steps up the functionality of a blog.

That's all for now, folks. I'm going to try to get some more work done.


Response to a couple comments

Organization for the digital yearbook will be based on each event being a parent to its specific media elements. The event itself will have a profile page of sorts with liks to its media, and probably a randomized image from the event, possibly with pieces of student narration.

As far as the student narration is concerned, I'm actually not entirely sure how to set it up yet. I called it a wiki in my last post, but I don't know at this point if a wiki or a blog would be better suited. The requirements for the narrative would be that it needs to promote single-submissions with editing capabilities so that the same person doesn't submit five different things, and I don't want it to allow comments (I'll explain that another time). I'd like to be able to pull out a snippet of the narrative to randomize on the main page as a sort of "Blah blah blah... the event inspired me to... | View Complete Narrative" thing. With a wiki, I believe I'd be able to set up an index page with a sort of metanarrative (just basic details) with links to the student naratives.

I'll take a look at Cunningham's book on Wikis tomorrow.

And, because Bryan asked:

This is a Google Earth shot of the small town I lived in from 3rd-5th grade. Peculiar, MO (I kid you not!) located about 20 minutes south of Kansas City. I believe Bryan asked me to post it because I can pinpoint the time of the picture. If you look to the right of the school, you should be able to make out a yellow earthmover. The picture was taken in the spring/summer/fall of 1997; they started construction on a new wing the spring that I moved on to 6th grade.