karenak Crown

Here's the Categorian Beginner's First Aid Kit - Do it yourself - Semi-transparent image

How to create a semi-transparent image for your background

In Part Two /a of the Tutorials we learned how to use a semi-transparent image for our background. Here I want to show you how to create such a semi-transparent image.

This is done with a photo editing software. However, since there are thousands of such programs, I can realistically only show the principle involved and you'll have to see what your software of choice offers in that respect.

I do all my photo editing with Pixlr.com, a free online software that offers all the tools I need. To follow this tutorial just click the link and then select Create a new image

Start with naming the image. Then enter the width and height you want. (Ignore the presets).

I usually make mine very small (10x10px) so they load quickly and don't take up much space in my photo sharing account. However, 50x50px as in this example is ok too.

Most important: Click the Transparent checkbox !

1 Next we must select the color we want to use with the bucket tool. Double-click the black rectangle at the bottom of the toolbox, choose the color and confirm with OK.

2 Select the bucket tool.

3 Finally set the opacity. I usually create several images with varying opacity (80 / 70 / 60 / 50 etc) to see what looks best.

Then click File to save the image. Here it is essential, that you choose the right file type: PNG.

After clicking OK you get the usual file saving window.

When that is done, upload the image (or images) to your photo sharing account.

This picture shows you semi-transparent images in varying opacity: 80 / 70 / 60 / 50.

Now see Steps 2 and/or 3 in Part Two /a of the Tutorial to learn how to use it in your blog.

That is all :-)

>>>> Back to Index

Hi everybody,

just wanted to let you know that I am back. Been having some health trouble since before Christmas including surgery (slipped disc).
Am back home now and have 2 weeks time to answer all your messages before going to a rehab clinic for yet another 3 or 4 weeks. Lovely *grrr

Guess it's kinda late for "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year" but I wanted to thank you for all your good wishes :-)


He's right. Of course.

This is a difficult topic, but one none of us should avoid.

If we die a few hours from now, what will happen to our data ? Online and offline. Who will notify online friends ? Who has the passwords to access the multitude of accounts ? E-mail, Categorian, facebook ..... Or even only our local pc ?

Passwords that are getting more and more secure as people become more security conscious cannot be easily hacked by the family.

Cory Doctorow talks about a tool that goes through the data on the hard drive....maybe some time in the future.

I'm talking about trying to figure out how to organize data so that private, personal stuff remains hidden and other stuff can be easily accessed by family but is secure from anyone else. An address book with people to be notified, a list of accounts that need to be taken care of.

It really hit me right between the eyes when I read this today. Must think about it more thoroughly and maybe we can discuss this. Just send me a message.

Cory Doctorow: The Internet of the Dead

My friend’s name was Erik ‘‘Possum Man’’ Stewart, and I’d known him for decades, since we were high-school roommates. We were both geeks, but Possum was a true hacker, a talented and creative programmer who pursued numerous projects, including a lifelong effort to create spatial games like Pong and Tetris that ran in four or more dimensions. Like me, he was in his early forties, and he was in fine health, apart from an unsuspected weak blood vessel in his brain that ruptured without warning while he slept. When his housemates found him, his computer was still switched on and logged in, and his e-mail open, along with various windows with to-do lists and other random notes from one part of his busy mind to another.


Right now, going through all the data on Possum’s drive is a massive undertaking, and a potentially vast invasion of privacy. In an ideal world, I’d feed the drive-images to a search tool that would index them, de-duplicate any redundant copies, and then make some educated guesses about the stuff that’s suitable and important for family consumption – copies of e-mails to family members, bill payment information, photos, etc.


But personal data isn’t confined to personal computers. Today, your digital persona is as likely to be spread across online services like Flickr, Google Mail, and Facebook as they are to live on your hard-drive. Some of these services have tools for exporting that information, and there are a few digital memorial companies that will host the data online after it is rescued. ...more

Source: Locus Online

Here's the Categorian Beginner's First Aid Kit - Part Eight /b

Text Formatting - Columns

CSS offers a columns property which is quite handy and allows us to ditch the tables which are so unwieldy.

However please note that so far Opera is the only browser that fully supports columns. Firefox, Chrome and Safari use a workaround and (unsurprisingly) the Internet Explorer cannot handle it at all. See example below.

Columns are defined as a class in the Style Sheet. It is really quite simple.

Add it to your Style Sheet

Click "Style" and add a new line at the end.

Since columns are for text, we simply use the P tag.

The code:

p.column { column-count: 2; column-gap: 25px; column-rule: 1px solid black; column-width: 150px; }

column-count defines the number of columns. Usually 2 or max. 3 columns look best. But that's up to you.

column-gap defines the space between the columns. The value is in px. Just test and see what looks good.

column-rule allows you to set a dividing line into the gap between the columns. It is optional. The definition is the same as with borders. So '1px solid black' will show a thin black vertical line.

column-width is optional too. The default value is 'auto' which means that your browser will calculate it for you. However, there might be cases when you wish to specify the width of your text.

Theoretically this would be all. However, as mentioned above, we'll have to think of Firefox, Chrome and Safari users. For Firefox we'll add a '-moz-' and for Chrome and Safari a '-webkit-'. So in fact we'll have to type the code 3 times in all. Like this:

p.column {
column-count: 2; column-gap: 25px; column-rule: 1px solid black; column-width: 150px;
-moz-column-count: 2; -moz-column-gap: 25px; -moz-column-rule: 1px solid black; -moz-column-width: 150px;
-webkit-column-count: 2; -webkit-column-gap: 25px; -webkit-column-rule: 1px solid black; -webkit-column-width: 150px;

Not difficult, just a bit irksome.

Click "Save"

How to use it

In your blog post type

<p class="column">

...type your text ...
and end it with



Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option congue nihil imperdiet doming id quod mazim placerat facer possim assum. Typi non habent claritatem insitam; est usus legentis in iis qui facit eorum claritatem. Investigationes demonstraverunt lectores legere me lius quod ii legunt saepius.

As you can see, you can easily format the text as you would any other text. So I inserted the image and used text-align:justify.


<p class="column" style="text-align:justify;"><img style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" src="...path to the image..." width=80px;/>
...here comes the text... </p>

That is all :-)

>>>> Part Nine

Ok, this is a very unusual blog entry for me.

You're seeing me actually promoting a software. A software that is not Open Source. Software that I actually bought. Windows software of all things.

No, I'm not feeling ill.

You might have noticed that I haven't posted much this year. Well, I was a little busy with other things but mostly I didn't post because there were too many things that I would have liked to write about but didn't want to publish. So for quite a while now I've been thinking about writing a diary. Actually not just a diary. I wanted a software that would allow me not only to write about my personal life but that would also allow me to collect the images, texts, poems, book reviews, recipes and whatever other stuff has accumulated on my comp over a decade.

Now, don't mistake me, all of that is very orderly sorted into folders and I know where everything is. But I wanted the best of it in one place, nicely presented.

So being a Linux user, I first tried to find some open source program that would do. Nothing there. You know, I AM a tech person but at home, very privately, I am also a visual person. I like colors and beautiful software. Unfortunately, Linux developers have not discovered people like me as a target group yet. So I looked for free Windows software that might run on Wine. Nothing. Next I thought of online journals. Need not publish anything after all, do I ? But the only places that seemed even remotely to offer what I wanted, restricted the number of entries. Ridiculous. And anyway I don't trust any of them anyhow.

So I let it rest for a while.

And then I made another attempt, this time not filtering for free software - and suddenly there it was.

First I couldn't believe all the stuff they were promising on their web page. But then I downloaded the trial version, thinking I might as well have a look at it. I have a truly ancient Windows XP comp that I am keeping for my audible downloads and I thought it might do for this.

Having been a software tester for 25 years now, it didn't take me long to find the strengths and weeknesses of this software. I'm not saying that it's perfect. But, I actually bought it !

Here are some screenshots of my entries so far.

The first one shows how one can easily have stickers of other notes on the page for reference and copying. All the usual text editing features are available. Background is optional of course. The second one shows one of my old scrapblog designs that I could easily either copy into it or recreate.

The left screenshot shows that lists and tables need not be on boring white background. Table handling is good. And the screenshot on the right shows some pictures of a favourite artist. However, I had to make the design in Libre Office and copy it into the diary. Pictures can of course be added and the text flows around them but one cannot place them freely on the page or rotate them.

There's also a calendar feature of course - it being officially a diary - but I turned that off because I don't need it.

I love it when software that is actually useful also lets me create beautiful stuff. Well, beautiful in my opinion anyway :-)

So, just in case anyone is looking for something like this, I can recommend it.

Вeautiful and powerful diary software

Who needs Advanced Diary? Not just romantic teenagers who want to write out all their thoughts in secret. The program is perfect for tracking dietary habits, or for keeping records of weight loss progress. Certainly, Advanced Diary could be a powerful personal development tool, if used as a log of interesting ideas, observations and thoughts as well. Because the program comes with a clean, uncluttered interface, using Advanced Diary is a pleasure.

Advanced Diary support rich text formatting, backgrounds, diary
templates, images, tables, hyperlinks to the Internet or local files, as well as any records in the database. You can export your data to RTF or HTML files, built-in Print option allows to EDITING reports before printing, and saving it as RTF or HTML files. Moreover Advanced Diary supports voice recording, file attachments and much more…

Advanced Diary is a fully portable program. You can install it on a tiny little portable USB jump or thumb drive and carry it so that you can write wherever you happen to be, for instance on your lunch break at work. This is an especially nice feature, because one can hide the wee small drive from prying eyes much more easily!

Source: Advanced Diary by CSoftLab

And how utterly pathetic is that ?

Queueing for a goddamn phone ? Hello ?

Flying in from Russia for a silly gadget ? Getting up in the middle of the night for ...THIS?


iPhone 5 launch day fever in Germany

After a long wait, the iPhone 5 hit Germany on Friday, where the country's 10 Apple shops were hit with a wave of mayhem as fans from across the world grappled to own the latest in smartphone technology.


Source: The Local

The music from the Cloud Atlas trailer. Awesome.

M83 - Outro

Oh my, I really hope the movie can live up to that trailer. Impressive.

The Cloud Atlas

Watch the trailer here

John Nelson - IDV Solutions
Shaking all over:
Map of every major earthquake since 1898 reveals stunning image of planet's danger zones

This map shows where every major quake has struck since 1898, and as you can see, the edge of the Pacific Ocean appears particularly dangerous. In total there are a staggering 203,186 of them, dotted all over the world.

61 years of tornado tracks: The map, by John Nelson of IDV Solutions, shows the path of the violent storms, with the brightness of the lines indicating the intensity

Source: Daily Mail

i will never be able to understand why women do not fight back or at the very least immediately leave the bastard.
Even if the police is of little help, there are very many safe houses for battered women and lots of self-help organisations.

How to look your best the morning after

I like the idea. Don't miss most of those sounds but it's nice to remember them and know that they do not hurt my ears anymore :-)

Museum of endangered sounds

"Imagine a world where we never again hear the symphonic startup of a Windows 95 machine. Imagine generations of children unacquainted with the chattering of angels lodged deep within the recesses of an old cathode ray tube TV. And when the entire world has adopted devices with sleek, silent touch interfaces, where will we turn for the sound of fingers striking QWERTY keypads? Tell me that. And tell me: Who will play my GameBoy when I'm gone?

These questions and more led me to the undertaking that is The Museum Of Endangered Sounds. "

Source: savethesound.info

Erm, actually I wonder why nobody has thought of this before ?
Excellent !

A new lease of life for an ancient technology

Using the free energy of the falling water, the old wheel uses new electric technology – a generator tucked away in a small room behind the wheel – to produce electricity.

Last year alone, the Gollmitzer generated 90,000 kilowatt hours of energy –equivalent to the consumption of 25 households. About 15,000 kilowatt hours of that power is used to operate the mill and vacation apartments that Kai Rogzinski has built nearby.

The rest is fed directly into the electricity grid. Thanks to the German Renewable Energy Act, network operators are obligated to take in and distribute clean energy that is generated. ...more

Source: Deutsche Welle

Well, after all, cops are just people like you and me.

How about this? POLICE CHANGE SIDES!

How about this!
From Occupy Frankfurt. May 19, 2012.
The German police took off their helmets and marched with the protesters- clearing the way for them.

The police coming over to serve and protect the people... Blockupy Frankfurt. Police are escorting. Reports of an estimated 20,000+ protesters. Nice to see their faces.... and their humanity coming through...

Source: DemocraticUnderground.com

Edosan sent me this - thank you :-)

Very touching moment - Irish fans singing when their team lost 0:4 to Spain.
Just for that the team ought to be allowed to continue and the country with the worst hooligan fans be kicked out of the competition.

Irish fans singing The Fields of Athenry, Spain v Ireland Euro 2012

Irish fans singing The Fields of Athenry, Spain v Ireland Euro 2012 from Artur Firlet on Vimeo.

My favourites when I'm in the mood for this kind of music :-)

best of hard rock / metal ballads mix

karenak's best of hard rock / metal ballads mix #1 from karenAK on 8tracks.

Today, all of a sudden, I realized that I haven't yet written even one single review about my favourite blogs here on Categorian. Not good. So here is the first of a new series - the green boxes with my blog reviews :-)


Whenever I visit this blog I automatically look for the "Like" button.
I love the images and the little truths strewn in between. Friendly and peaceful.

Only a very nice person can achieve a blog like this - and that he certainly is :-)

The Daily Mail has some pictures from the BBC documentary "The Frozen Planet".

Stunning posters from The Frozen Planet

It remains one of the most extraordinary natural history programmes ever made. Sir David Attenborough’s landmark Frozen Planet series stunned and amazed us all with astonishing footage of the frozen wildernesses of the Arctic and Antarctic.

Ambitious and epic in scale, Frozen Planet captures all the jaw-dropping beauty of these hostile and little-known regions as well as the awe-inspiring power of the elements. Yet these harsh environments are teeming with life - from polar bears, reindeer, seals and killer whales to Arctic wolves.


Source: Daily Mail

Wasted her life and her fantastic talent.

Whitney Houston

Just listened to this audio book.
Very interesting book with a lot of detail and trying to be objective.
However, the way I see it, he was an arrogant prick and she a spineless fool.

We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals

It was the most influential marriage of the 19th century and one of history's most enduring love stories. Traditional biographies tell us that Queen Victoria inherited the throne as a naive teenager, when the British Empire was at the height of its power, and seemed doomed to find failure as a monarch and misery as a woman until she married her German cousin Albert and accepted him as her lord and master.

Now renowned chronicler Gillian Gill turns this familiar story on its head, revealing a strong, feisty queen and a brilliant, fragile prince working together to build a family based on support, trust, and fidelity, qualities neither had seen much of as children.


Source: Audible.com

Going through my YouTube favorites to see if I can find them on other video sites, I found this on Vimeo. Absolutely love it and I do like the comment.

Unheilig - Geboren um zu leben

Unheilig "Geboren um zu Leben" from John Donson on Vimeo.

Director: Marc Helfers

DoP: Ergun Cankaya

Editor: John von Ascheraden

Production: heimatmedien

After receiving another friendly reminder that I'm not welcome there, I have decided to delete my YouTube user account and trash the bookmark.

With this page I was able to save my favorites to an Excel file. Inside a second. Just entered my YouTube user name and there it was - imported into a LibreCalc file.


Ok. So, bye bye YouTube. Go to hell.

Export your YouTube Favorites

Programming by Robert S. Robbins. This web application backs up the information on your favorite YouTube videos to an Excel spreadsheet. You can then save the Excel file to your hard drive or other media. The reason you may want to export your favorites from the YouTube database is because YouTube has been deleting the accounts of content creators who violate their terms of service. Some accounts have been deleted without warning or explanation. If your account is deleted you will lose all your favorites and have trouble finding those videos again. However, if you have backed up the video information then you can recreate your favorites on a new account.

Source: Williamsport Web Developer

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