Luke Melia


November 18, 2001

11/18/2001, 3:12 am

End of a long day of nothing.

I left my apartment twice today. To the trash chute both times. My apartment is clean, my bills are paid, my tummy is full, my foot’s feeling better, my guitar has improved, and this site’s front page has a slideshow-style lead image.

Alec Berlin came by this afternoon and we followed through on our plan. He taught me guitar basics for an hour and then I taught him perl basics for an hour. I’m learning Tangled Up in Blue. He’s learning syntax, CGI, and that There’s More Than One Way To Do It. Barter is great. And bartering when both the giving and the receiving are fun and you’re sharing it with a friend is even better.

Thursday night, I ordered a couple of travel books on Thailand and Laos and a digital camera the other night in anticipation of my trip. I’m really looking forward to having the camera. It’s going to be great for the trip, but I also expect it will let me spice up this blog with visuals more regularly.

Talked to three out of four sisters today. All are doing well. All my siblings will be around for Thanksgiving, as will my cousin Anthony, who’s living in San Fran now. I think Thanksgiving might be my favorite holiday.

So… the slideshow. The image up top has always been a random image, but I got tired of refreshing the page to see what a new image I posted would look like. The way it works (warning: geek mode approaching… you might want to stop here) is some php code looks in a particular directory for images. It puts them all in an array and then shuffles the array (yes, “shuffle” is a function in php — it’s got a built-in for everything). Finally it writes the image paths out into a javascript array. Then, on page-load, javascript preloads some of the images and makes the first call to a image-swapping function that calls itself with set-timeout. On IE 5 for Windows, I decided to take advantage of a proprietary cross-fade filter to transition between images. I wrestled philosophically with this one, because it’s certainly not a W3C standard. In the end, I decided to do it because it’s so friggin’ slick. The server only includes the relevant javascript lines to IE5/Win browsers, so there’s no danger of incompatibility. I kept it slow as to not be annoying. I’m starting to feel like something should happen when you click it. But I’m not sure what yet. If you have an idea, let me know and I’ll build a comment feature so you can reply to my blog entry. [smiles] Goodnight.

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