Thursday, 20 November 2008

Taking A Break ...

I've been taking a bit of a break. Many things have been happening in real-life that have colluded to keep me away from the old keyboard.

But I shall be back with a few more 'Tips-n-Tricks' soon.

If you are dropping in to check on whether there has been anything new, please accept my apologies.

Take care, and drop in again soon!

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Friday, 2 May 2008

I've been 'Shrinked' ...

Shrinky tagged me. Bummer! Since I've never been able to resist an ambidextrous, double-jointed, VERY flexible blonde (her words, not mine), it looks like I'll have to play along.



The Rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you (that's me!).

2. Post the rules on your blog.

3. Write six random things about you in your blog post.

4. Tag six people in your post.

5. Let each person know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.


1. I am not much of a swimmer, ability moderate-to-weak, and I try to avoid swimming in the sea if I can possibly help it. Not an earth-shattering disclosure until I explain that I've nearly drowned twice. Once in a lake, at the tender age of eleven, whilst misbehaving (showing off!) on a picnic with other kids my age. The other occassion was in the sea, off 'Twin Sisters' islands 10 minutes by boat out of Singapore harbour. The first time I was rescued by the bus driver, who just happened to wake up from a doze in the parked bus, only to realise some snotty kid was having a bit of trouble staying afloat. On the second occasion, a lovely bevy of Aussie Sheila's, each endowed with magnificent buoyancy aids, jumped in and hauled me to safety whilst all the men stood on the boat, clasping chilled cans of Tiger beer close to their 'bronzy-bronzy' chests, looking on with interest. Go figure!


Young Fletch and his sister
The young Fletch and his sister - 1947, I think.


2. My mother 'schooled' me, pre-kindergarten, to count from 1 to 100. I memorised my 'numbers' after many beatings, sobbing and snot dripping from my nose, but I was number-perfect by the time I shuffled my short pants to the school. Only to be relegated, by the nice-smelling teacher, to the B-stream on day one. Which earned another thrashing when I got home! Why? Because the teacher asked those who knew their 'numerals' to raise their hands. I didn't, because I'd never heard the word before in my life!


3. Same kindergarten, another embarrasing episode. Class was asked to talk about a parent. I told them the story of how my Dad lost his hair. Exactly the same way my Dad told it to me. His story rambled on a bit, but the gist of it was that during one of the night 'sleep-out' sessions during a particularly hot summer (everybody 'slept out' - it was an accepted practise) a cow wandered into the compound and chewed off his hair. After suffering the hoots of derision from the re-telling of that story I don't think I ever believed anything my father said to me after that!


4. I am averse to killing any living creature. Not even bugs, flies and spiders! Unless they make the mistake of ganging up on me - and then it's 'watch out'! The reason? Another youthful experience. My uncle Richard, who doted on me because they were a childless couple, lent me his BB air rifle to "go learn manly things." My friend and I came back, proud hunters, and showed off my bag of two sparrows to uncle Richard, and bragged about how I had killed them with single clean shots to the head. "Are you going to eat them?", he asked. He didn't need to amplify on his comment, because even at that young age, ten or eleven, the lesson sank home!


5. I was a keen sportsman at school. Held (probably still hold) the school record for high jump with a clearance of 6ft 1-3/4ins using the 'Scissors' technique. The 'Straddle' and the 'Fosbury Flop' hadn't been discovered at that time and lifting one's vertical body over a 6ft bar, leading leg over first swiftly followed by the trailing leg, was really quite an achievement.


6. A result of the disclosure in #5 is that I didn't achieve much at school academically. And even the few low-grade passes I did manage to squeeze out of the 'Cambridge Overseas Certificate' examination weren't recognised in the UK when I tried to submit them as proof of my educational qualifications. There is a corollary to this sad state of affairs; I've NEVER failed an examination as an adult. So there!



The Next Victims:

1. Jenera

2. Bob T Bear (esq)

3. CrazyCath

4. Cecilia

5. Jeni

6. Lee


Over to you ...

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Saturday, 22 March 2008

TIP - Tools Of The Trade

email me

I have touched on the subject of the tools you should try to use in a previous post, but I wanted to introduce another 'clever' little script and decided that it was worth resurrecting the advice so that I could '... kill two birds ...', in a manner of speaking!


A screenshot of EditPad Pro in use
A screenshot of EditPad Pro in use.
The thumbnail on the right is a screenshot of my favourite text editor. If you mouseover the image you will see the effect I am introducing you to in this post. Like 'Thickbox' and 'Lightbox', this is JavaSript, and it provides one way of displaying your graphics without costing you much in the way of overhead. The actual image is a large(ish) 912px by 710px display, and I have set the parameters for this display to show the image at its full scale, because I have textual matter in the image that I want my visitor to read. In practise, especially if you only want a photograph to be displayed at a larger size than the thumbnail, the larger image can be set to any reasonable size that can be accommodated within an average viewers browser window; probably 800px by 600px would be sufficient to showcase any image you post. The script also has a hidden function that allows the viewer to go to the full-sized raw image when clicked. This is good for Blogger, where clicking on an image usually takes the viewer to the raw image in another window.


EditPad Pro displaying 'syntax coloring' for an HTML document.
EditPad Pro displaying 'syntax coloring'
for an HTML document.
Similar screenshot, but this time with the HTML document tab selected. Here you can clearly see the colour coding or 'syntax coloring' of the HTML document (stop squinting at the back - mouseover the image!) which makes it a breeze to check all the different lines of code. It also helps if you activate the line numbering feature. Most of these features are available in the 'Lite' version which is FREE for personal use. You really should visit the EditPad Lite homepage (it will open in a new window!) to check out the many features.

I was an avid user of EditPad Lite for years, then one day I realised I used it so frequently that perhaps the Pro version was something I ought to be investigating. Not one to part with my money easily, I checked (and double-checked) the features page and realised that there were some Pro features that would make my life a whole lot easier. So, out came the credit card. And being an impulsive sort of guy, I also bought AceText at the same time. I will introduce you to the author, Jan Goyvaerts, in my next post. Suffice it to say that he writes small utilities that do exactly what they say they will do, and you get lifetime updates and support. What's not to like about that?

BTW, I composed this whole post in EditPad, copied it and pasted it into the 'Edit HTML' window, NOT the 'Compose' (or WYSIWYG) window of the post. I previewed it, tweaked anything that didn't appear to display as it should, and then hit 'PUBLISH POST'. Done!

So much for the 'clever' thingy I promised to introduce you to. Now you have an idea how it works. The 'mouseover' effect enlarges a thumbnail without the visitor having to leave the page. And, if they really want to see the raw image, all they have to do is click the enlarged image to be taken to it.

Cool, huh? But you'll have to wait for the next post to read the full 'skinny' on the 'how to' ...

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Thursday, 21 February 2008

I've been tagged ...

From: Lee
To: Terry Fletcher
Subject: I've tagged you

Hey Terry
I noticed we now seem to have our backlink link back. LOL!
I tagged you for an archive meme. Don't know that you are into that much but I had fun with it.



I don't usually succumb to invitations to involve myself in MeMe posts. Not because I am dismissive of them, but because I've never considered my blogging on Blogger to be sufficiently interesting enough to take up a bloggers valuable time. Unless the blogger in question was looking for some form of HELP, this site is mostly off the average blogger's radar!

Damned if you do (boring, boring, boring), and damned if you don't (boring, non-participant), I have nevertheless gleaned significant insights about fellow bloggers by reading their MeMe's to be intrigued! And since this was from Lee with whom I have been corresponding about blogger-related stuff for some time now, it felt right to go take a look at how she intended to 'stitch-me-up'!

Lee's original tag post laid out the 'rules' and I realised immediately that I would not be able to participate in this MeMe with anything off this site. Here are the basic rules:

"Go back through your archives and post links of your five favourite blog posts that you've written. But here's the catch ..."

  • Link 1 must be about FAMILY
  • Link 2 must be about a FRIEND or FRIENDS
  • Link 3 must be about YOURSELF
  • Link 4 must be about SOMETHING YOU LOVE
  • Link 5 can be about ANYONE or ANYTHING you choose

I e-mailed Lee to explain my predicament and tentatively mentioned that I run a 'hidden blog' called the FLOG on my main website, and if that was acceptable then I was up for the challenge. Her response was an unqualified YES. So here goes ...

Link 1: (Family)
Some reminisces of the way things used to be - way back when!

Link 2: (Friend)
About my friend Tom.

Link 3: (Self)
An insight into the complexity of a simple person!

Link 4: (A place I love)
About the Maldive Islands.

Link 5: (Person)
On the outside, looking in.


Now for the hesitant part. I have to nominate 5 bloggers to continue with this MeMe. But 2 of them must be new blogging friends.

Okay, the deed is done. If you visit my links, please leave a comment, naughty or nice, it doesn't matter. So long as I know you've visited ...!

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