Fri, 21 Jan 2005

First toadflax of Spring!?

— SjG @ 2:30 am

In the back yard, the first of the toadflax has begun to bloom. Awfully early for it — doesn’t it know that it’s only the middle of January? But I guess you wouldn’t know it from the weather. It’s been up in the eighties much of the week…

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Thu, 20 Jan 2005

Progress on War Widow

— SjG @ 9:28 pm

I did more work on War Widow this evening. She’s made with a marbled layer of assorted clay slips, supported on a base of white clay (Laguna B-Mix with Sand). The bones all started as extruded tubes, which were then manipulated and sculpted.

She’s really shaping up nicely, although her face is fairly androgynous. Especially with heads coming from my slump molds, I am still struggling with the subtleties of feminine faces. Older male faces happen easily; feminine or young faces are still somewhat ambiguous.

Here are some fairly crappy pictures taken with the Treo (click to see larger version):
war-widow1.jpg war-widow2.jpg war-widow3.jpg

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Tue, 18 Jan 2005

Slow POP connections

— SjG @ 12:29 pm

OK, this is an esoteric one, but I’m happy to report there is a simple solution.

We migrated Stacy over to using Thunderbird (from Outlook Express) on her Mac to cut down on the spam. In the process, we upgraded her to OS X.
Strangely, while POP connections to our local QMail server are nearly instantaneous on the Windows machines, there would be a 30-40 second delay for her. It wasn’t a Thunderbird problem — we could replicate the problem by telnetting to port 110 — and only from the Mac OS X machines.

Karl finally succeeded in diagnosing the problem. QMail uses tcpserver to wrap connections. tcpserver, in turn, checks back via ident. The Mac OS machines don’t have identd running by default. By running tcpserver with the “-R” option (disabling the ident lookup), everything works brilliantly as it should.

Sat, 15 Jan 2005

WordPress Publish by Email

— SjG @ 5:09 pm

So I was playing with the cool wp-mail mod by John Blade, and trying to moblog from my Treo 650 and Versamail. It works impressively.

But I’m never quite satisfied with any software — I wanted a few new features, and I wanted a fix for a weird VersaMail bug. So I added some features, and tweaked some code.

This version adds the following:

  • Allow uploaded articles to specify status (e.g., draft, publish, static, private).
  • Fixes a weird encoding issue introduced by VersaMail, which sends encoded images with a MIME type of “application/octet-stream”. Huh?
  • Creates thumbnails of the uploaded images, and includes them as links to the actual images

Status Code
To specify status for an article, you use John’s subject syntax to specify a category, then follow it up with the code for the status:

  • d – draft
  • p – publish
  • s – static
  • P – private

So, for example, to upload an article as a draft into category 6 with a title “My Article”, you would use the subject:

[6d]My Article

If you’d wanted that to be immediately published instead of posted as a draft, you could just omit the “d” in the category specifier, or explicitly add a “p”.

If you don’t know which category you want, you can still use this status hack; assign the posting to category 1, and change it later from your admin console.

This functionality depends on Thomas Boetell’s popular GD lib being installed. Many PHP installations come with it prebuilt; otherwise you’ll need to bug your ISP to add it (or rebuild your PHP if you run your own server).

By default, thumbnails are created with the maximum dimension of 100 pixels; that means the longest side of the thumbnail will be 100 pixels, regardless of the aspect ratio (if your original image is 640 x 480, the thumbnail will be 100 x 75, but if your original image was 480 x 640, your thumbnail will be 75 x 100). You can change this maximum dimension; simply edit line 49, and change
$thumb_max = 100;
to the value you prefer.

I’m sending my changes to John, so he can incorporate them into whatever he’s doing with wp-mail. In the meantime, you can download ’em here. Simply expand the archive, and replace your wp-mail.php with the file from the archive.

wp-mail.tgz Oooooh! A single file in a tar archive! For those of you who prefer zip format.

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Thu, 13 Jan 2005

David Trulli show

— SjG @ 11:45 pm

I went to an art opening of work by David Trulli tonight at the Earl McGrath Gallery in West Hollywood. It’s a great show.
There has been a lot written about David lately, and it’s not hard to figure out why. His work is compelling and a little disturbing. They are rich in film-noir narrative, a very strong sense of place, and often come from an unexpected viewpoint. There is a fascination with the infrastructure of alienation (or is that the alienation of infrastructure?) Most, if not all, of the works feature people surrounded by the city; people caught in the middle of their own stories, yet pulled from the leading roles and made into extras by the buildings, overpasses, streetlights, microwave antennas, radar dishes, automobiles, and chain link fences.
The show is on through the end of February. Definitely stop by if you’re in the area!

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