All posts tagged ‘wiki’

File Under: Multimedia

Use Camera RAW in Photoshop

This year, camera raw is the new black.

Everyone and their grandmother are shooting digital images. A lot of professional film photographers are leading the pack by taking the leap to the camera raw format. Even some mid-range, consumer-level digital cameras offer a raw format setting these days.

So what’s all the hype about? In terms of dimensions, digital photos shot in the camera raw format aren’t any larger than the highest JPEG setting on a camera, but the files themselves are over twice the size. What’s taking up all that space? The easiest way to explain it is to examine the differences between JPEG and raw.

When you take a picture that is saved in JPEG format, your camera is automatically making adjustments to your image and compressing the data down on the fly. Ever wonder what all those fancy settings on your camera really do? When you spin the little dial on your camera to access portrait, action shot, night scene or macro settings, you are unwittingly changing your ISO setting, picking a white point and applying certain exposure settings. Your camera then squishes all this information down into a compressed JPEG file. The original image that was captured by your camera’s sensors has been manipulated and adjusted; the original data ends up being lost forever in a jumble of settings and compression algorithms. The sad thing about this is that you have probably lost information within your image, especially in the highlight and shadow areas, and you’ll never get it back.

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File Under: JavaScript, Programming

Make a Javascript Slideshow

JavaScript slide shows are great for a lot of reasons. You can use them to spice up photo albums, add a little pizzazz to your home page, or even show a story, stop-motion-animation style. And one of the beauties of JavaScript is its reusability:Once you create your script, building a new slide show is just a matter of copying the code and pointing it at a new image folder.

To get an idea of the magic I’m talking about here, take a look at the slide show I made of the pics from my friend Azure’s going away party. While Azure’s parting was sweet, sweet sorrow, my loss is your gain:The script I used to create this slide show is easy to learn and modify. Just you wait and see!

Yes, in the lessons that follow, I’ll show you how to build your very own slide show, then how to tweak it to your liking. (A hearty thanks goes out to Robert Bui – several parts of the JavaScript code I’m about to share are “inspired” by his script, which can be found at

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File Under: Databases

PHP and MySQL Tutorial – Lesson 2

In this lesson, we’re going to dive right in and create some simple yet useful pages using PHP and MySQL. Let’s start by displaying the database we created yesterday in Lesson 1, but with a little more panache.

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File Under: Blog Publishing

How Many Users Are on Your Site Right Now

Hello, readers. You seem to be sending me a lot of e-mail lately. Fortunately, my spam sorter takes care of most of it, but a substantial stream of questions and comments keeps pouring in, inscrutable character sets and all. I wish they were all as eloquent as this one:

Paul Loved your articel! I have a few question. 1 How to setup? thanks.. derek meatburp

…but lately there have been more than a couple asking how to implement what’s apparently a very desirable feature — a little display of how many users are currently accessing a site. Of course there are dozens of pre-packaged scripts to do this, but, just because I love you all, let’s take a walk through a couple of ways to build this sort of feature from scratch. We’ll use PHP, the popular and friendly scripting language, for our examples.

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File Under: UI/UX

Create Custom 404 Pages

The web server cannot find the file or script you asked for. Please check the URL to ensure that the path is correct.

Please contact the server’s administrator if this problem persists.

Ha! I bet you thought this page wasn’t here. Ha ha! Hooo! Yeah.

That 404 message above is familiar enough to most people to stimulate a Pavlovian click of the Back button. Which means it’s doing its job. 404 Not Found is the most famous of the HTTP status codes. These status codes are three-digit responses that an HTTP server returns when given a request. These codes fall into three series:2xx, which means success, 3xx, which means partial success (redirection), and 4xx/5xx, for errors on the part of the client and the server respectively. Some highlights include 200 OK, which is the most common, but rarely seen in the flesh — it just means everything worked; 401 Unauthorized, when HTTP authorization has blocked a request; 500 Internal Error, when the server somehow couldn’t provide the requested page. 404 is the one that pops up when the client asks for a page that isn’t there.

So what does your average web surfer do when she hits a 404 page? At best, she trims the URL layer by layer until she finds what she’s looking for, or returns to the home page and searches. At worst, she goes elsewhere and never returns to your site.

Either way, 404s represent a major bleed-off of traffic and source of user frustration, which, as hospitable web providers, we want to do our best to avoid. So what can be done?

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