Sunday, 30 September 2007

Feed Me Cookies

I went looking at a few random blogs tonight and fuck me dead. The amount of sites which were churning through data left right and centre to load up.... I'm baffled. It's worse than walking into a Telstra shop. This is NOT a sponsored post: for reasons of my own, I run PeerGuardian on my pc which tracks the IP traffic through my internet connection. Using this, I can monitor the companies and governmental bodies trying to obtain access into and data out of my pc. Not in the forceful, brutal hacking sense - no. Instead through the pleasantly disguised cookies which now adorn myriads of blogs (I'll not go into how it works with torrents).

Naturally, the widgets on my page are exempt from discussion...

One of those is for the Australian Blogs Community. I was looking at the Aus-Blog banner and decided to give it a revamp, the current one just don't fit the image of my blog. Using Google image search, I found a pic of the Aussie flag to use as a starting point, loaded it and saved it. I'm no graphic artist, there's no professional grade graphic design programs on my pc. So to add text, I copied the saved pic and pasted it into MS Word and, using a text-box, added the text. Then I found that Word no longer allows you to group objects when one happens to be a saved jpg from the web. Once again, Microsoft thinks they own everything. Fortunately this is not true, where there's a will, there's a way.

Using the basic tools on my pc - Word, Paint, Photo Editor, FastStone Capture and Nero Photosnap Image Editor (came with my digital cam) I created the following designs:

I played with gradation curves (colour/exposure) to get this effect.

Looks like a tv (CRT for those who remember) - Lens distort to maximum.

Fixed in Concrete - Embossed then played with inverting colours.

A bit of Green & Gold - same as before

Copper Rush - messing around with the aged effect

Writing in the sand - playing with glow

Underwater - hit solarize

Underwater 2 - whadayaknow, the next effect was water

Feel free to use them, I'm not Microsoft, I don't own everything.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"First Rebirth" Jones & Stephenson
"Rush Hour" Christopher Lawrence
"Daughter" Pearl Jam
"The Meltdown" Lunatic Asylum
"I Want To Fall" Freaky Chakra Vs Single Cell Orchestra
"Killing In The Name Of" Rage Against The Machine
"Red 2" Dave Clarke
"Give Your Body" Random XS
"The Stalker" Green Velvet


Colin Campbell said...

Very nice I may come back and have one. Good work. I find all the dicking around with graphics programmes is enough to make me not do this kind of thing.

Megan over at Imaginif said...

Where are you? You've been turned off for too long and I am missing reading your posts.

Do you remember if the pages you were having cookie loading time delays with had the Blogging Chicks thingy on them?

I visit a couple of sites that I particularly love but I am sick of waiting for the loading time.....and I can't even click out until they load. They each have the Blogging Chicks widget on them and I wonder if it is this that slows the load down????

flametree said...

Colin - cheers mate, feel free to grab away. I could never get into graphics too much, tho don't mind playing around with them from time to time.

Megan - shucks! Blogging motivation has been low this month, but I'll try to get a few posts in. Can't recall if the Blogging Chicks widget was on the pages I was looking at (they generally had too many to recall!). I just tested a Blogging Chicks blog and found the same thing happening, so it appears to be a definate offender.

Megan over at Imaginif said...

Thanks for that.

I wonder if women will be willing to take the blogger chicks widget off though?????? Or perhaps the organiser of the network could use low fat cookies that do not cause so much indigestion.

Is there anything we can do to ensure you stay turned on more often? I do miss your wit.

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