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May 2008 Archives

May 30, 2008

Dungeons & Dragons: 4th edition review

Over at Enworld, I posted a quick review of the 4th edition D&D Player's Handbook.  I wanted to put that here, as my "stake in the ground" about my feeling regarding 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons.  Here's my review.

The Player's Handbook is much better organized than the 3.5 edition book.  Everything makes sense.  Gameplay is better (as in, I can see how you could hustle it along with fewer pauses to consult the rules).  Having said that, wizards, warlocks, and even clerics are booooooorrrring. Fewer spells, and at least for clerics, their role as healer is much less interesting considering that everyone has healing surges (and yes, I did read that a cleric can trigger healing surges even after the other players hit their cap – I'm not suggesting that clerics are useless, merely that they no longer feel as special or interesting as before).


May 28, 2008

How to do photos for a MemoryFrame (model MF-8000)

This blog entry really isn't for most of the world.  But I have some family members that have started uploading digital photos to a MemoryFrame, and so I'd like to outline some tips.

1. The MemoryFrame skews yellow and bright

The MemoryFrame doesn't have color fidelity on par with a typical computer monitor.  I've had two copies of the MF-8000, and both tend to add a touch of yellow.  Check it out:

shot 1 of MemoryFrame image versus laptop display of same image


May 17, 2008

Movable Type Plugin: MTAgain

What is MTAgain?  Why do we need it?

MTAgain provides looping to Movable Type.  For example, say you want to list not only the previous blog entry, but the one before that and the one before that.  MTAgain lets you do that.  Essentially, what it can do is put a tag like MTEntryPrevious inside itself, and it can do that thousands of times if you're crazy enough to try it.

The MTAgain plugin for Movable Type is not my own creation.  Someone named Lummox JR wrote it years ago, and then disappeared.  In fact, I couldn't find his original plugin anywhere – even the Web Archive didn't have copies of his long-gone Web site!

What I did find was an article that mentioned the plugin and, when readers complained that the plugin didn't exist anymore, offered the code.  However, they never offered an instruction manual.  With the author's site gone and the manual missing, I had to do some sleuthing.  In particular, I couldn't really guess what the "any" feature did.  But I found an old forum post, learned the code, revised and expanded it, and now I offer it to you with a useful new feature.


May 10, 2008

Movable Type plugin: Gravatars

Gravatar, identiconGravatar, monsteridGravatar, wavatar

I recently saw a few blogs that had photos by the author of each comment.  I thought, "Wow, those blogs must be very popular if people are willing to upload photos!"  But then I saw the same dude with the same photo on a couple different blogs, and the blogs were smaller than mine.  So I started looking into it, and I learned about gravatar.com.  That Web site allows you to associate a photo or icon with your email address, so that no matter where you post, your photo goes with you.

Of course, you wouldn't sign up if you want privacy.  But lots of people are signing up, and I want to show the icons they're using.  So I found an old Movable Type plugin from 2003 that does the job.  But it does it badly – it has a feature that no longer works (the border option), and it doesn't use any of the newer plugin features.  So I've revised it to use the newer Gravatar URL format as well as use the MT plugin interface.  However, I haven't revised it to work with MT 4.  No.  Instead, I've revised it for MT 3.

Why revise for MT 3?  Well, there are a lot of us still using it.  I won't be onto MT 4 for another 6 months or so.  But I want Gravatars now.  So here we go.


May 8, 2008

You're a great man, Joseph Richardson

Joseph Richardson's photo

I hope that when my time comes, I can be half the man you were.

May 4, 2008

New Greasemonkey script: Slashdot nuzak CSS

I created a script that is hosted over at userscripts.org.  It's called Slashdot nuzak CSS.  It modifies the appearance of slashdot.org so that it doesn't look as clunky.  It thins out the big fat box drawn around each comment, it makes the "reply" buttons look a little more stylish, and so on.  It's not a big overhaul, but it's a nice little cleanup project.

Thanks to Slashdot member nuzak for coming up with most of the CSS that is used.


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