Category Archives: Techy Tuesday

How to make a siggy

It comes up often enough, I thought it was high time I made something I could link people to, so I don’t have to repeat myself. 😉

If you use the message boards on The Knot, The Nest, or The Bump, this is how to make a signature, or siggy for short. Most of the directions will be useful for any message board that has HTML signatures, but I’ll be specifically talking about and taking screenshots of The Nest when it’s site-specific. And my other screenshots will be on a Mac computer using a Chrome browser, but it will work fine on any computer, so ignore any subtle differences. K? K.

  1. Find a picture. You need a digital picture (ending in .jpg or .jpeg or .gif or .png) somewhere on your computer. It can be scanned in or fresh off your digital camera, or it can be something you edited beyond recognition. It doesn’t matter. It just needs to end in one of those extensions and you need to know where it is on your computer.
    Screen shot 2011-03-02 at 12.42.28.png
    Personally, I like to mess with my pics. I’ll teach you that later in another lesson maybe. 😉 Anyway, here is my pic in Finder (Explorer, in Windows-ese).
  2. Get it online. There are several sites out there that will let you do this, but let’s use tinypic. Go there, and fill in the form like so:
    Screen shot 2011-03-02 at 12.45.07.png
    You want to make sure you set the “resize” option so you don’t get a crazy big siggy. Hit “Upload now!” and prove you’re a human.
  3. Copy the HTML. Click on that very first box under “HTML for Websites” and copy it.
    Screen shot 2011-03-02 at 12.49.04.png
  4. Paste it into your siggy. Go to your profile.
    Screen shot 2011-03-02 at 12.50.27.png
    Sometimes it makes you log in again for some reason.
    Screen shot 2011-03-02 at 12.50.56.png
    Click to edit your avatar & sig.
    Screen shot 2011-03-02 at 12.51.16.png
    Go down a bit to your forum signature and paste it in.
    Screen shot 2011-03-02 at 12.52.40.png
    Then hit save below that box and you’re done! Enjoy!
  5. Extra stuff! This is optional stuff you can add to your siggy now that you have a picture in there.

    • Want some text too? No problem! If you want it above your picture, start typing it before that code you just pasted in. If you want it below your picture, start typing it below that code. There’s a catch, though! You’ll want to put a line break between the picture and your text. The way to do that in HTML is by typing <br />. Observe:
      Screen shot 2011-03-02 at 14.59.50.png
    • How about a link? Tinypic puts a link around your picture for you, so you can kinda copy what they did to make your own. See that “<a href=” stuff? That’s the link. Here’s an example where I make the text above my pic link to my blog. You need <a href=” WEB ADDY!! “> before what you want the link to be, and </a> after.
      Screen shot 2011-03-02 at 15.04.28.png

Crying over spilled milk

Thomas wanted to replace our keyboard with a US keyboard when we were next in the States. We’re going to be in the States in a couple of months. Our keyboard is now very close to unusable, thanks to one too many spilled milks. (In Dagmar’s world, “27-inch iMac” and “‘Curious George’ viewing machine” are interchangeable.) I don’t really want to buy a keyboard for two months, and I don’t want to pay international shipping for something we can get in two months.

But then I also don’t want to have to screen share from my laptop every time I want to use the iMac.

Decisions, decisions.

P.S. If anyone knows about a waterproof keyboard cover for Apple keyboards that cannot be removed by toddlers, let me know.

P.P.S. I took a really nice picture of the keyboard for this post, but… if anyone knows of a card reader that can’t be stolen and hidden by toddlers, let me know. Found it.


Duly Noted

One of my awesome friends, in response to my complaint about not getting OS X Server to work on the iMac, reminded me of Dropbox as a means for syncing my junk between multiple computers. It’s not as elegant as having my whole home directory synced, but hey, it’s free, and it works pretty well. I do recommend it!

I recently discovered Evernote, which lets me sync all my random thoughts between multiple computers/phones, and I think this is pretty great too. I guess people have been raving about it for a while, and I’m super late to the game, but whatever. I used to open text files or Sticky Notes to jot down junk I wanted to remember later, but now I can put it in Evernote and access it anywhere. And organize it and tag it and make it pretty. And it has a Chrome extension. And the icon is an elephant. I like elephants.

As an added bonus, it’s in the App Store. I do like the App Store.

One of my notebooks in Evernote is for recipes, because I seem to either bookmark them or leave the tab open in the hopes if using the recipe later. And I often do use the recipe later, but then I can’t find it to make it a second time when Thomas tells me how much he liked it and that I should make it again. Oops. Here’s hoping my (and Thomas’) quality of life is improved a teeny bit by my discovery of this thing.

Keeping up with the @joneses

It seems like everyone has a blog, a Twitter stream, a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook profile, a YouTube account, a flickr account… you get the idea. Our online presences can be quite large. So how do you keep up?

No, really. I’m asking. How do you keep up?

I use Socialite, because I had a code for it. I like it a lot, but I have no idea what else is out there. I like that it puts Google Reader and Twitter in one place, and preserves my lists, saves my hashtag searches, lets me do things like star favorites, follow new people, etc. all from within Socialite. I wish it did my email too. I think it’s all basically communication, right? Email is like a DM on Twitter, but potentially longer and with attachments. But it’s still just talking. It can also do Facebook status updates, but I find that I always have a Facebook tab open anyway for other stuff so that’s less exciting to me.

For blogging, I use ecto. I mostly like it. Actually, the only thing I don’t like is that there’s no way to set a different default size for images. I want it to resize images a certain way when I drag them in, and I can’t figure out how to make it do that. It puts the size it wants right in the HTML too, so I can’t just put it in CSS. Boo. But otherwise, I think it’s really nice. I don’t mind blogging in a separate program from the other stuff, even though it is still essentially communication, because it requires categorization and design that things like tweets and email don’t.

I’m curious what other people do, how they like it, what they don’t like about it, and so on. Do you have a unified app for all your communications, or do you prefer lots of separate apps? Or do you just do it all in a web browser, at various sites like gmail and Do tell!

Time Zones

Most of you probably know by now I’m a Mac person. I love my Macs, and my iPhone, and iPods, my Apple-logoed shirts and everything. But there is one thing that has been keeping me from being totally heels over head in love with iCal, the calendar application that comes on Macs.

Screen shot 2011-02-01 at 12.56.37.png

Time zone. In the singular. Oh, sure, 99.999% of what you do is going to take place is one time zone. I get that. And I know some smartass out there is snickering because it’s not like the math involved in time zone conversion is complicated. I disagree* but that’s not even the point. The point is, I’m on a computer. It’s made to compute. No matter how fast I can do the time zone math in my head, a computer can do it faster and with fewer mistakes. The only thing keeping this computer from doing the math I want is the user interface, and user interfaces can be changed. I should be able to have two times zones for my events, because I want to put my flights in my iCal, even when, nay, especially when my flight involves more than one time zone.

*Time zones can actually be complicated, because daylight-saving time doesn’t take place in all areas, and in the areas where it does, it doesn’t happen at the same time. There are even time zones that are 15 or 30 minutes off other time zones, so they aren’t all whole number hours apart from each other. The fact that it’s usually straightforward perhaps makes it even harder, because if, say, you and your best friend are 8 hours apart for 50 weeks out of the year, those remaining two weeks are kind of a cluster.

So anyway, imagine how delighted I was to see this in my Google Calendar when I went to input some flights.

Screen shot 2011-02-01 at 12.57.12.png

Oooooooh! “separate start / end time zones”!!! Google is going after my heart right there! Unfortunately, that feature doesn’t seem to work in Chrome. Which is weird, considering Google makes Chrome. At least, I tried a bunch of times and it never worked. But I got it to work in Firefox.

Screen shot 2011-02-01 at 12.57.41.png


So now I can enter my flights exactly as they appear on the itinerary provided by the airline, which always has times in the local time of wherever the plane is. When you look at your itinerary, it looks like the above flight is 11 minutes long, but then when you remember you’re crossing time zones, it all makes sense. This is especially useful for flights that appear to take you back in time a couple minutes. I’ve had that.

If that isn’t cool enough, I also have it set up to show my parents’ time zone as well as mine on my calendar, so I don’t have to do math to figure out what time it is “over there.”

Screen shot 2011-02-01 at 13.15.52.png

Thank you, Google, for getting it right when Apple failed me. You make my life as a traveller and expat just a little bit easier. 🙂