BEEPS AND BLIPS FROM OUTERSPACE
IMPATIENT GUIDE: CHANGE YOUR LOGON BACKGROUND ON WIN 7
gearHere is an impatient guide for changing the background image on your login screen on Windows 7.Note: The image file you use should be a .jpg file and it should be less than 256 KB.
  1. Press WIN_KEY + R
  2. Type regedit, then hit ENTER
  3. Set or change the DWORD value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Authentication\LogonUI\Background\OEMBackground to 1
  4. Rename your picture file to backgroundDefault.jpg
  5. Copy your picture to %windir%\system32\oobe\info\backgrounds directory.  If info\backgrounds doesn't exist you may have to create those directories.  Tip: Press WIN_KEY + R, then enter the above path.  This should open explorer for you.
  6. Log off or reboot your machine to see your new authentication/logon background.
This information is curt and used for personal reference.  Use at your own risk.If this guide is confusing, use a search engine to find a more detailed explanation.  Cheers!
POSTED 2012-03-09 10:45:55 CATEGORY INFO SOFTWARE TAGS AUTHENTICATION CUSTOM IMPATIENT GUIDE REGISTRY WHY IS THIS NOT CUSTOMIZABLE IN THE FIRST PLACE WIN7 WINDOWS 7
UI DESIGN FAIL: WUNDERGROUND'S WUNDERMAP PAGE
The Wundermap from Wunderground.com is amazing, but the web page layout is atrocious.  Here's an quick critique of the map page:[caption id="attachment_1304" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Wundermap"]wundermap has a bad user experience design[/caption] There are redundant menus, redundant search bars, and a massive header advertisement at the top.  All these are aligned vertically pushing the main content, the map, below the bottom of the page (the "fold" in newspaper speak).  This shrinks the map to only 36 percent of the overall page!  Scandalous!It appears the web developer for Wundermap is taking design hints from Weather.com, is one of the web sites on my mental User Experience Design shit list.  Behold:[caption id="attachment_1303" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Weather.com"]weather.com has a bad user interface design[/caption] Visitors should not be required to scroll to view data, but it appears the designers at Weather.com didn't get that memo.Still, Wundermap is awesome enough that I can forgive a bit of blight just so I can monitor the weather stations in San Francisco.  Put a fork in Weather.com because that site is done.
POSTED 2012-02-17 11:53:03 CATEGORY SOFTWARE TAGS DESIGN MY EYES ARE BLEEDING RUN AWAY DEVELOPMENT SF UI WEATHER
TUTORIAL ON HOW TO MAKE CHICLET BUTTONS
chicletI ran across a good tutorial for making chiclet buttons by spelling the word incorrectly as chicklet.  I know the buttons are named after the gum of old, Chiclets, because of the shape... but my typing fingers have a mind of their own.Speaking of which, what happened to that gum?  Are they all imprisoned in gum ball machines in the midwest?  Man, that gum was savory... for a whole 3 minutes.The tutorial is for photoshop, but it isn't too hard to get the fundamental elements of the button and apply it to something like Inkscape.  How is it there is a dearth of vector graphics for icons on the web (svg)?  Icons need all sorts of sizes and SVG handles resizing like a dream.carry on to the tutorial.
POSTED 2012-02-08 11:33:42 CATEGORY ART SOFTWARE TAGS BUTTON CHICLET DESIGN ICON UI
RANDOM WORD GENERATOR AND MUTATOR TOOL
gearI've created a new tool to create new and random words.  Instead of getting a generic list of random words, this tool lets the user choose from sets of characters for each letter of the generated word.  Not only that, Asian letters like Hiragana and Hangugeo can be used.  How sweet is that?The tool also has a mutation field, where the user can supply a word that will be changed into a similar random word.This thing can be used to find a good domain name, company name, or even baby name!  Now that I think of it... you could also create some interesting new words for a fictional language (like Klingon!).I created it for myself, but feel free to use it: Random Word Generator ToolNote: You might also find the Name Filter Tool interesting too.
POSTED 2012-01-16 11:33:51 CATEGORY ENGINEERING INFO SOFTWARE TAGS RANDOM TOOL WORD
HELLO, MY NAME IS ________
hello my name is stickerI've been spending a lot of energy searching for a really good name.  Don't ask me why.Not only have I been looking through baby name lists and books, but I have been scouring the web for specific name search engines.  Sure there are tools that help you find a good name or even generate random words, but there is no search engine for searching for a name based on ending.This is important because I have a last name that is short and starts with a W making many first name endings sound bad because they do not flow smoothly into the last name.  For example, the name Kirk has a definite sound termination.  This is due to how the letter K is pronounced with our mouths.  When saying K, we restrict air in our throat and release a short puff of air.  See Sounds of English for more.A name that ends clearly, usually with the constriction of the throat, does not work well with my surname.  Other sounds that have the same pronunciation mechanics are words that end in t, k, d, b, p, and x. When I searched for a way to find names based on endings, I couldn't find any.  So, I decided to make a tool that does it for me.For the impatient, feel free to hop over to the Name Filter Tool now.For those that want to learn how it was created, read below:The first step was to collect names.  I didn't want to take names from other baby name websites, so I decided to get real peoples names from a popular social network called Google+.  You may have heard of it.It took very little time to create a python script using urllib2 to scrape Google+ profile pages for user names and profile IDs.  However, it did take a while to run the script and collect over 10,000 names of people all over the world.  Of course, it collected some page names, which don't sound very human like Frogpants.  But, those are in the minority of the names collected and I can later choose to remove them.The final step was creating the search ability.  Instead of using python, I opted for javascript since it was quick, dirty, and could be uploaded for others like me wanting a name ending tool.  I gotta spread the joy and bump the karma.The tool itself does more than searching by ending characters.  It accepts a search format specification, which can be composed of letters, symbols indicating a consonant or vowel, and a wildcard character for zero or more characters.Here are some examples, but the tool describes how it works too:
  • If you wanted to search for names that start with John, the search definition would be: John~
  • If you wanted to search with names that start with M and end in T, then you would search for: M~t
  • If you wanted to search for names that started with a consonant and were followed by a vowel, consonant, then vowel, then you would search for: !@!@~
  • If you wanted all names that were six letters long, you could search for: ++++++
In addition, the tool lets you build a list, then remove names from those results with the search definition.  So, you can have more control targeting the name you like.If you do find the Name Search Filter useful and pick a name with it, please contact me and let me know which name you chose.  It would make me more than happy knowing the tool was used for such an important decision.  Best!Note: I also made a random word generator (and a word mutation) tool, but I'll post something on that later.
POSTED 2012-01-13 17:36:11 CATEGORY ENGINEERING INFO SOFTWARE TAGS APP BABIES EVERYWHERE JAVASCRIPT NAME PYTHON
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