Merry Christmas!

So today is christmas. I watched Muppets Christmas Carol as my personal tradition on Christmas Day, and now i am a few hours from a nice christmas dinner with my parents. Cannot wait to sink my teeth into the perfectly cooked duck! 🙂

Merry Christmas everybody!

Rounded Corners Part 2 – No images

For this ‘tutorial’ i decided to simply link to a nifty page with instruction on creating a box with rounded corners without using images.

But how then ? Simply by using CSS and javascript. I remember i used this method on my simple website back in the dawn of time and it worked wonders. Since then the method from this site has been redone not once, but twice!

So head on over to Nifty Corners Cube by Alessandro Fulciniti and find a new method to produce those lovely rounded corners.

Facebook and Twitter integration

I recently discovered Twitter for myself. By discovered i mean started using, as i didnt see much usefullness in the service earlier plus didnt know anybody using it. However seeing that twitter seems to have survived the initial ‘shock and awe’ phase of all new webapps i started testing it out.

You can follow my tweets on ‘swoopdk‘ should you be so inclined 🙂

Integration is the key

With the myriad of social websites as well as MSN and other services have at least some of them integrated centrally is key. I know i would never go about updating a status message on several different networks, simply just a waste of time. Seeing as Facebook has become extremely popular here (Denmark) i wanted to be able to update Twitter from FB Status message, and vice versa.

The reason is simple, i want to give people the twitter option, but at the same time only want to update 1 place and have that update migrate automatically.  So much easier 🙂
So immidiately after getting twitter installed i started my integration search.

Twhirl

Before i even started i wanted a desktop application on my laptop for using twitter. The choice fell upon Twhirl. Simple easy interface, nicely designet and does the job perfectly. I have it running on all my computer now, and it updates with a small discreet beep when there is updates.

Now i never open the twitter homepage anymore unless i need to set something up, or change my profile. Could propably also be done via twhirl but it doesn’t happen that often.

Facebook Twitter application

There is a nice official Facebook application from twitter that updates your FB status with the most recent tweet. When i first signed up there was some trouble with twitter, and it would not allow me to login. However it seems to have resolved as its working now. However it says that facebook limits the number of updates pr. day, but not how many the limit is. So if it’s not working that is propably the issue. Here is the FB App for Twitter

FB2Twitter

I havent figured out if the Twitter application does the other way around, but doesnt seem to be the case. But in the days i could not login into the FB Twitter application i stumbled across another application, designed to update the other way around, thus from Facebook to Twitter. FB2Twitter

Instructions are simple with 2 steps.  And it works wonders! So now we have two way integration between Facebook and Twitter. This allows me to simply update my Twitter and in a short while the update will migrate to Facebook.

Integrate more!

As a closing bonus note i installed twitter updates on my website as well. I am running WordPress, and there is a lovely plugin available called Twitter Tools. Now my twitter updates can be displayed on the widget sidebar on my site, and when i am logged in as admin i can post tweets directly from the site. It updates every 15 mins which should be suffecient for most users 😀

Happy twitting people ! 😉

Review – The Day The Earth Stood Still

I had mixed feelings going in to see this movie, as i heard reviews were bad but on the other hand i am a sucker for some good sci-fi. The Trailers left me curious about the movie, so at least they did their job.

Synopsis

“The Day the Earth Stood Still” is 20th Century Fox’s contemporary reinvention of its 1951 classic. Keanu Reeves portrays Klaatu, an alien whose arrival on our planet triggers a global upheaval. As governments and scientists race to unravel the mystery behind the visitor’s appearance, a woman (Jennifer Connelly) and her young stepson get caught up in his mission – and come to understand the ramifications of his being a self-described “friend to the Earth.”

source: MovieWeb

The Movie

In general i thought the acting was good, and throughout the movie Keanu Reeves is very emotionally blank which would fit quite well for a logical intelligent alien. However the acting of Jaden Smith was lacking in my opinion. It was mostly some dialogue that didnt seem to fit his child character. He switched between being an uncoorporative child to seemingly adult behaviour at times, which confused the role alot.

The storyline is quite simple but none the less effective. Especially as the situation gets more and more dire, and a happy ending seems further away. Through out the movie the actions of the government in the movie annoyed me, and it seems a little bit too stereotypical that despite several chances to learn the error of their approach they continued on the same path right until the end.

The theme of the movie is thought provoking and shines through in the scenes with John Cleese which i really enjoyed. Perfect actor for his specific part, and most enjoyable scene that also makes you think. if even just the slightest.

All in all i enjoyed the movie, but it had its lacking parts. So i decided to give it about 3 out of 6 stars, 6 out of 10 chips and a cola :p

Review from around the web

Rotten Tomatoes – 20%

IMDB – 5.8/10

Rounded Corners – Solution 1

Rounded corners on websites and in webdesign are fairly popular. I think that the move from traditional square and technical design to a more organic design is part of the popular trend now a days. A device (or website) that breaks the expected pattern forces us to make new associations with the device. iPods are a great example i think were curved surfaces and smooth design is important but somehow appeals more to most people.

Regardless of the reason of rounded corners and curves, they are popular but can be a pain to make. Though it has gotten increasingly easier to create and the next CSS3 even provides support for easily creating rounded corners 🙂

Here is method number 1 for making rounded corners, and in the following posts i will be providing several other ways of making this effect.

Making corners in Photoshop

First off we need to make the four corners in a graphics editor such as Photoshop. Which editor you use is of no consequence, but the end result should be 4 images, one for each corner.

First create a new image about 50 x 50 pixels. Size depends on the curve you want. 1
Then make a circle selection on the whole image and fill with your foreground color. 2
Using the ‘guides’ in photoshop slice the image into 4 seperate corners. 3
Finally save each corner to its own file. ltoprtop
lbottomrbottom

Note that you can create the corners in several ways and this is just a simple way to do it. How you get your corner graphics does not affect the rest of the tutorial.

Now that we have our corner graphics we can create a simple html table that includes the graphics and places them were we need it 🙂

HTML Template with rounded corner graphics

What we need here is a simple 3 x 3 table, with corner graphics in each corner cell, and leaving the middle cell for content. We can also insert a title for the rounded corner box in the first row, second cell (between the corners).

Here is sample html that does exactly this:

<html>
    <head>
        <title>Rounded Corners Solution 1</title>
    </head>
    <body bgcolor="#47444f">
        <table width="200" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" bgcolor="#6a6af2">
            <tr>
                <td width="25"><img src="ltop.jpg" width="25" height="25"></td>
                <td><!-- Insert optional headline here --></td>
                <td width="25"><img src="rtop.jpg" width="25" height="25"></td>
            </tr>
            <tr>
                <td></td>
                <td>
                Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio.
                Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis.
                Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.
                </td>
                <td></td>
            </tr>
            <tr>
                <td width="25"><img src="lbottom.jpg" width="25" height="25"></td>
                <td></td>
                <td width="25"><img src="rbottom.jpg" width="25" height="25"></td>
            </tr>
        </table>
    </body>
</html>

Rendered result looks like this:

final

Example files to download:

[download#11#image]

Cold remedies

Yesterday evening i felt the onset of a small cold. Sneezing, bit runny nose and generally a bit more tired than usual. As pr usual i made some hot tea to drink, and made sure to stay warm. But though the night it got worse in the manner i could not fall a sleep. Luckily the worst was handled during the night of torture, but i decided to make a quick collection article about common cold remedies that could prove usefull.

Exercise

This one is my own. I had a set goal of running my daily route this morning to get an early start. Even though i was still fighting my cold and mostly felt like staying under the covers i pushed myself into some running clothes, put on an extra shirt and hooked up the iPod (and my Nike+). Out the door!

After the run i felt great, and didnt notice my cold that much except the runny nose. Really helped me to feel energized. So some exercise is at least not bad. Also exercising regularly helps prevent getting sick according to all i have read.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important, and helps combat the cold. Get an extra dose if you start getting cold symptons. Make sure to not only take pills, but actually get the vitamins naturally. Orange Juice should give you a good healthy dose.

Hot Shower/Bath

Taking a hot shower, or bath, will help relieve the symptoms. The steam helps clear up the airways and thin out mucus. Also while you are getting refreshed try getting your airway as clear as possible by blowing your nose thouroughly. A common way to relieve symptons is also to hold your head over a warm bowl of water with a tower over your head to simulate a small steam cabin.

Stay well hydrated

Drink lots of fluids. I personally prefer to drink warm fluids like tea when i have a cold. Mainly because the varm liquid helps relieve a soar throat. Also its simply cozy to cudde up on the sofa, with a blanket, a movie and a nice hot cup of tea! But in general stay extre well hydrated when fighting a cold.

Get some sleep!

Relax and get some sleep. Your body needs the energi to combat the cold infection. So one of the easiest ways to get over a cold fast is to cuddle up under a warm blanket/cover and sleep it out! This might contradict advice number one about excersise. But 10 minutes out running getting your system going isnt alot, but suffecient to both get your body going out of the groggy state associated with illness, but also provies you with a nice mental note that you acheived something despite of the illness.  Reward ourself with a day relaxing afterwards 🙂

All the above mentioned remedies and tips are from various articles i have found and read. A cold consists of a strain of the rhino virus. There are alot of different strains and your body will get imune to a certain strain after you have fought it off.  Normally this takes 2-7 days to do and medical attention should not be needed. Nasal sprays could help in some cases though.

Stay healthy!

Nike+ unboxing and first run

I bought a Nike+ running kit today. If you don’t know it, it basically consists of a sensor, and a reciever for the iPod. You can then go running with the sensor on your shoe, and the iPod will recieve data of your run, and sync it when you get home 🙂

At first i wanted to show some pictures of the box, but heck its only a sensor and a reciever, and the pics on the apple store site are much better. Check out the product here Nike+ iPod.

I quickly browsed through the manual to see if there was any steps that i didnt expect. As usual with apple everything was pretty much just “Plug, run, sync” 🙂 So i created a nikeplus.com account, found a good 1 km beginners route right outside my front door, and suited up!

The settings on the iPod were simple, and consisted mostly of choosing a ‘powersong’ that you can let loose if you feel a little tired and need a pick-me-up. My choice was ‘Don’t stop me now’ by Queen.
After that i choose to run 1 km on the iPod, and a friendly female voice asked med to start the workout by pressing middle button. Off we go!

My run went fairly well, and i was impressed at how well i did considering running has never been my strong suit. About halfway i used my powersong, and i litteraly sprinted hearing it 🙂 Works that you have a high tempo song to boost you!

Results are my first 1 km run was completed in about 6 minutes. Slow ? Dont really know, but i figure it can be a morning ritual, so about 7-8 am i will be jumping out of bed tomorrow (yes i realise its friday) and going for a run 😉

Also on the nike+ website i created a challenge saying i need to run 10 times before the end of December. If i don’t complete i will have to pay up to a friend, and be mocked :p And overall i was impressed with the nike+ website containing graphs and everything else useful for your running needs, including a personal trainer if you need one 🙂 really cool!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58CJih1iYC0[/youtube]

New theme up!

The title says it all. The new theme is officially up.

So whats new ?

  • A new download manager, to keep life simpler for me, downloads easier to push out.
  • New visual theme
  • Twitter integration
  • Gallery widget
  • NextGen Gallery (not new, but worth mentioning)
  • Self-hosted video tutorials
  • Imbedded flv videos now work
  • Tags primarily instead of overuse of categories

Hope you like the new design, as i really love it. I will continue to improve upon little things as i notice them, but so far i am liking this new theme alot!

Enjoy people

New theme by the weekend

I have been a little lapse in the updating of the site itself. Normally i either get obsessed with messing with layouts and plugins and forget to post content, but lately i have just been posting when i had something. Even then i was posting too little. I know … will do better.

WordPress got better… or i just missed the changes 😉 My current layout does not support widgets which by the way RULE! I simply love the drag and drop way of styling your sidebar.. amazing!  The new theme of course supports this, and i have what i feel is a good compromise between a simple sidebar and one packed with goodies.

Furthermore the new theme didn’t even require me to change any graphics. I will probably still be changing some of it, but mostly to stand out just a little. But overall i have for once been impressed wholeheartedly by this theme and fallen complete in theme-love with it :p

Will make the switch one of the coming days, and tell you about some of the “new” plugins i have discovered and littered across the site 🙂 Also some of my old favorites got updated and revived 😀

Also for funsies i will be using Tags some more.. i have often felt the need for them, but figured my categories covered it enough. But no more.. tags all around!