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Warning: technical post. Some may not find it of interest.
Yes, this is a picture of someone taking a picture of a cartoon. Don’t ask how many takes this took.
One of my aims in life (I haven’t set my sights that high) is to be able to post cartoons on this blog from anywhere. I am fortunate in having the technology that should enable such a feat to take place, but am continually blighted by technical problems and ineptitude. So any advice would be welcomed.
I have a mobile telephone and a tablet which can both ‘scan’ cartoons – ie take pictures and then turn them into reasonable black and white line drawings. The problem is getting the image onto this WordPress website. I use Flickr to store images, or I FTP them straight to the site, but have found the following problems:
- On an Android phone I can post to Flickr, but it isn’t as easy to edit the cartoon on the phone.
- On an iPad I can edit them scan very easily, but I can’t find any app that posts to Flickr and actually works. [Update: This might be a temporary problem - will try again soon.]
- No mobile apps seem to post to WordPress effectively.
- Ideally I want to have the image at 678 pixels, the width of my blog theme, but something like 640 is fine.
Can anyone think of a way that I can do this – perhaps a better method / app than I have been using.
Posted by Dave at 10:45 pm on February 5, 2013 and filed under Blogging, Technical.
I’ve been continuing to work hard on this website. Since last week:
- I’ve changed the site to fixed width. If this means nothing to you then don’t worry, it isn’t that important.
- The tiny cartoon thumbnails have gone and been replaced by larger cartoons, meaning for the first time the cartoons don’t have to be viewed one by one.
- The lines on the cartoons have been made bolder and hopefully more readable. Possibly to do with my Aunty Aliasing (technical joke). However, this does now mean that the image sizes are larger.
- All manner of minor changes to all manner of pages, wording, menus, new images, this and that.
I think these changes are all a good thing, but please do tell me if not. If anyone had the time to click a few pages and tell me what they think it would be greatly appreciated. In particular it would be useful to know whether the larger file sizes are a problem, for instance for those browsing with 3g, 2g 1g or any portion of a g. Also any display issues to do with going to fixed width for those with small screens, mobile screens or no screens.
[Minor point. I'm in London and am approximately 45% busier than normal, so please forgive me if it takes a while for any comments to be moderated.]
Posted by Dave at 7:34 am on June 28, 2012 and filed under CartoonChurch progress, Cartoons, Technical.
I have had a month or two of blissful non-connectivity owing to breaking my ‘mobile’ telephone. As of 12 September 2011 I once again have a telephone I can use to browse online things whilst out and about. Is this a good thing? Probably not.
I wouldn’t be able to do what I do were it not for the internet, and for this I am extremely grateful. Yet on a daily basis the internet is my worst enemy: I allow it to distract, to take away creative and looking-out-of-the-window-at-things time, and to stop me interacting with those around me. Generally (and there are of course exceptions) the less time I spend online the happier I am.
This marks me out as an idiot. Remind me when I next break my mobile telephone not to buy another one.
I’ll moderate any comments when I’m on the train.
Posted by Dave at 5:49 pm on September 13, 2011 and filed under Cartoons, Technical.
Click here for a readable version: Parish life before the invention of the computer
I think computers have, in general, make our lives less happy, but I don’t have time to discuss this as I have to go and do things on the computer.
Don’t get me wrong, lots of very good things would not have not been possible without the advance of technology (my cartooning career included) but we’ve lost a lot and I think a lot of the time we forget or don’t even realise that this is the case. Or perhaps that’s just me.
Posted by Dave at 10:49 am on February 4, 2011 and filed under Cartoons, New CartoonChurch cartoons, Technical.
Please note: This post may be temporary if it messes up the page for a lot of people.
A little interactive exercise. It would help me to know which of these arrows you can see in its entirety without it impinging on the sidebars of the blog. If you can see all of all of the arrows, write ‘width 4′. If you can see width 2, but not width 3, write ‘width 2′. It would also be interesting to know if it messes up the page. If it does it would be useful to know which browser you are using. In the event of many reports of messed-up pages this post will be short-lived.
All clear? Go!
P. S. Thank you. This is to help me work on the design of my site.
P. P. S. This is not a competition and there are no winners and no prizes. In the event of a tie the Judges’ decision is final.
Interesting supplementary fact: I have found that if you say the word ‘width’ repeatedly it (a) becomes nonsensical, and (b) you sound like an idiot.
Posted by Dave at 10:18 pm on September 22, 2010 and filed under Design, Technical.
In order to prepare ourselves for the expected onslaught of Christian Blog Award judges there are a few things that need to be sorted out. The first is the forward and back buttons on this website, which are currently in a state of disarray.
Take as an example this page and scroll down to the very bottom. The links say:
« Previous Page — « Previous Entries Next Entries » — Next Page »
This would be all very well, except that previous page leads you to the next entries, previous entries takes you to the next page, next entries takes you to the previous page, and next page takes you to the previous entries. It is a well known fact that 50% of all visitors are getting lost 50% of the times they click a link, and 50% of those have no idea whether they are the lost 50% or the other 50%. There are people who arrived on this site back in March who are still going backwards and forwards with little hope of respite.
The Judges (let’s capitalise, why not?) are going to be noting this kind of thing down in their noting-things-down books. Something needs to be done.
Worst of all, my arch-blogging-nemesis, the Church Mousse, has been taunting me.
If you are an expert in WordPress end-of-page links please scroll down to my technical plea. Everyone else: here are some proposals for replacement end-of-page links when this sorry saga can be sorted out.
Any advice from WordPress experts welcomed. I tried editing a page that contained one set of these end-of-page links, but doing so broke the blog. The duplication happened when I upgraded once. I use my own theme which is very outdated, but I like it. Anyone who can tell me which page I should edit would be profusely thanked.
Posted by Dave at 10:17 pm on September 8, 2010 and filed under Blogging, Technical.
After yesterday’s highs come the lows of the big important project not going very well. To be honest the computer not functioning is not one of the reasons (though me not functioning is). In truth I’m just posting this cartoon because it was scanned and ready to go. It was originally to accompany an in-depth post on the pros and cons of Mac ownership, given that I bought mine a year ago. I shouldn’t be seen to be wasting time in such ways this week though, so I will desist.
Hope everyone is having a good week. See you here in the same place for more non-achievement tomorrow.
Posted by Dave at 7:27 pm on March 24, 2010 and filed under Cartoons, My problems, Technical.
*Warning: Dull post. Do not read if you came here to be interested or amused.*
I am aware that I ask for technical help (usually on Twitter) several times a day, but I am taking a liberty and doing so once more.
This time it is not for me and my blessed Mac, but for a family member’s PC computer which I am attempting to make work this weekend. If I can do so I will get superb numbers of brownie points and will generally be regarded as some kind of hero.
Here is a summary:
Problem: Can’t surf the internet / do e-mail.
- Computer is a quite old Evesham one running Windows XP
- Modem appears to connect to the internet, but no data is actually received.
- On the modem (Voyager 105) Power and DSL lights are on, Data light isn’t.
- ISP is Supanet if that is of any relevance. They say the connection should be working. They also cost 50p a minute to chat to.
- It worked until a few weeks ago, then stopped. Unfortunately I wasn’t here at the time, so I don’t know whether anything odd was done to it.
- AVG free is running, as is Windows Firewall. Disabling either or both makes no difference.
So, what I’m wondering is (a) any thoughts what the problem might be? (b) how would I go about making a diagnosis and, all being well, fixing it?
Normally I’d do copious Googling, but I’m connecting via a dongle on a netbook and too much internetting is a bit awkward.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give.
Posted by Dave at 11:52 pm on March 5, 2010 and filed under My problems, Technical.
Just under a month ago I posted my Dave Walker / CartoonChurch iPhone app here on the blog, and said that I hoped to have a discount code for making apps on AppMakr, the site I used. Well, I now have such a code. It will get you a 50% discount on the $199 appmaking price, bringing it down to $99.50 (approx £65). The code expires at the end of March, so you have a month to do your appcrafting. Many thanks to AppMakr and in particular to Liz Terry who kindly agreed to my pleading. The code is: CARTOONCHURCH
Please be aware that making an app this way is not something you can just do in 10 minutes – I’d urge you to do some in depth reading first, including my making an app with AppMakr post and the Appmakr support site. There are two posts in particular that would have been very useful to me had the information been known at the time, Changes to Apple policy and Top-10 things to know before you publish an App.
I should probably add that I’m not on commission here – just passing this on as there was a lot of interest in the process the last time I posted about it.
[The cartoon in app above has nothing to do with this post but is for illustration purposes only. It is taken from my 'free cartoons for your blog' site, We Blog Cartoons, which as it 'appens is on my app.]
Posted by Dave at 5:26 pm on February 26, 2010 and filed under Technical, iPhone app.
In my previous post I announced the new Dave Walker / CartoonChurch.com iPhone app (search for ‘CartoonChurch’ in iTunes).
I made my app using Appmakr and a few people have contacted me about doing the same. This is a summary of some of the positive and negative aspects of making an app this way in my experience. If you have no intention of making an iPhone app this post will be of no interest whatsoever.
1. The quality of the app is generally very good. My app has one bug (sometimes reverting to portrait dimensions when in landscape) but overall the quality is better than I was hoping for.
2. This is by far the cheapest way to get an iPhone app online that I have discovered.
3. The process is fairly easy to undertake, though I spent a few hours trying to find answers to questions in the support section. Editing the splash screen and header image were the most time consuming aspects for me.
4. Once you’ve paid that’s it – no ongoing costs unless you want to modify it, in which case you pay the whole fee again every time.
1. The price if you’re on a budget. Making an app is an expensive thing to do compared with setting up a website, which can be done for next to nothing these days. I took the option of a very generous discount code which several well-known bloggers were offering at the time, but unfortunately these aren’t available any more. The basic cost is now $199, a lot if you are a small operation. I was sent a discount code to reduce that by $50, but I later noticed that it had already expired when I got the e-mail. I have asked Appmakr for another code. [Message to Appmakr if you're reading: Please give us another code! It would be great if you could give a generous discount for my readers, many of whom are charity workers without a lot of money. Thank you!]
2. There is absolutely no guarantee that your app will be accepted by Apple. I made two apps – one was accepted and the other wasn’t. I’ll write more about the app that didn’t make it another time. I can resubmit it, but it will cost me an extra $49 and I’m not quite sure how I can improve it. There’s no refund of your initial outlay if your app is turned down, meaning it could be an expensive experiment with nothing to show for it.
3. Once you submit your app you can’t make any changes. That is it. Any change means paying the whole fee again. As far as I understand it if you have your own developer account you can make changes whenever you want, so for someone with the technological ability that would seem to be the better way to go.
4. In theory you can use Facebook feeds in your app, but I couldn’t make them validate. In hindsight I don’t think a Facebook feed would have added much.
5. It doesn’t display Twitter feeds very well – you get the first few words (cut off) as the title, and then a few more words (still cut off) as the body of the message. Probably not what you want to use if you app is centred around Twitter posts.
Other things to be aware of
1. The whole process takes a number of weeks. I submitted my app on 18 January and it went live yesterday, 3 February.
2. One question that took me ages to answer: Appmakr advise against making the app name different from the icon name. I did make them different and it has worked (in one case at least). You put the full name in the form you get after you submit and pay.
3. For other examples of Appmakr apps search in iTunes for Scobleizer or Seth Godin.
4. Other services are available. I suspect the price may come down over time.
5. If your app isn’t based around news feeds this isn’t the service for you.
Posted by Dave at 7:10 pm on February 4, 2010 and filed under Technical.
I’m pleased to be able to announce the Dave Walker / CartoonChurch app, enabling you to look at my cartoons on the iPhone and iPod Touch. If that link doesn’t work type ‘CartoonChurch’ or ‘Dave Walker’ into the search box on iTunes and you’ll find it. The app is free, and there are no advertisements. It was originally going to be called ‘CartoonChurch’, but that word is too long to fit under an iPhone icon so it shows up on the screen as ‘DaveWalker’. it is compatible with iPhone and iPod touch (2nd generation) and requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later if that means anything to you.
So, what is on this app? Essentially it is the latest updates from five of my various projects, namely:
- The 10 latest posts from this blog
- The 10 latest CartoonChurch.com cartoons
- The 10 latest We Blog Cartoons cartoons
- The 10 latest Dullest blog in the world entries
- And, just to fill up the space, my latest Twitter posts (I’d say about 10). How interesting.
Good things about the app: I’m generally really pleased with the way the cartoons display. You can resize them, but if you tilt the screen 90 degrees into a landscape view you generally don’t have to. You can look at the sites in your browser, e-mail cartoons or post them to Twitter by clicking the icon in the top right hand corner. All marvellous innovations. When looking at an individual cartoon the up/down buttons make moving on to the next one really easy. Touch the screen to make the navigation bar at the top appear and disappear.
Not quite so good: There is an occasional bug when using the app in landscape mode and using the back button – it sometimes remains at the wrong width. If at any point you’re not getting the full width turning the app back into portrait mode and then back again into landscape always rectifies it. Clicking one of the other five categories sometimes does.
So, how did this app-making business come about? Well, I tend not to like to write about electronic purchases too often as it makes me sound rather materialistic (which I am, but no-one must know), but since Christmas we’ve been rather getting into the world of the iPod Touch. In the New Year a couple of well-known blogs (Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki) were offering special codes for discounted apps on AppMakr, so I thought I’d give it a go.
The process has not been without considerable complications – if anyone else is interested in making an app via this route please ask me and I will share some of the pitfalls in another post.
I also have a discount code (not as good as the one I used I’m afraid) to post, but I think I should write more before posting it so you know what you’re letting yourselves in for. [Update: Have noticed that the code I was sent yesterday expired at the end of January. have asked for another. Will write more about the process of making the app later this afternoon.]
In the meantime I hope those of you with the technology to do so enjoy the app. If you like it and felt like rating it favourably and/or writing a review that would of course help me. Apologies to those without iPhones or iPods – this is, I’m sure, a deeply irritating blog post.
Update: There is a FAQ page here: Dave Walker / CartoonChurch iPhone app
Below: Page in iTunes.
Posted by Dave at 1:57 pm on February 4, 2010 and filed under CartoonChurch progress, Cartooning, Technical.
Feel free to post this cartoon on your blog (a link is appreciated). You can get the code to do so here.
[Link by which one can become a Facebook fan]
Posted by Dave at 8:52 pm on January 27, 2010 and filed under Cartoons, Technical.