Scott Hardie | March 18, 2003
I finally got around to adding something that's been missing since the first TC disappeared almost a year ago: An "Author Profile" box, complete with "recents." You can see my sample at right. Every topic will display the person who started the topic at the top, and the person who last updated the topic at the bottom. (It will only show the profile one time if it's the same person.)

You can customize the info that shows up in your profile on your control panel. First there's a "Quote," which you can add to your profile like many people add to their signatures. I've never much cared for the GIANT signatures that some people use in web-based bulletin boards, but I think this will work because it's off to the side and it won't disrupt the flow of updates. The other thing you can change is your "Recents," which are the last book you read, the last movie you saw, et cetera. It's a popular phenomenon on weblogs, and I had it for myself on the first TC, but until now I've been struggling to think of a feasible way to implement it for everybody on TC. (My solution is simple, only show the first and last person in a topic, and only show one random item instead of all of them.) Refresh this page a few times to see my recents and you'll get the idea. You can edit your own from your control panel; just make sure you input both a URL where people can look up more info, and the address of a picture that can load here.

Feel free to reply here if you're confused; I'm probably too sleepy to be doing a good job at this explanation right now. :-)

Jackie Mason | March 21, 2003
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Scott Hardie | March 21, 2003
Heh, I guess I was in a hurry to explain it before. I was sleepy.

Quote: Go to the "Tragic Comedy" section of your control panel. Click on "Edit Your Quote." Then type what you want into the box. Use punctuation (and even HTML code) however you want. To insert a line break, use the
command.

Recents: Go to the "Tragic Comedy" section of your control panel. Click on "Edit Your Recents." You'll see a list of eight different items you can display. The system will choose only from the ones that you have entered, so don't feel like you have to enter all of them. Click on any of the eight, and you'll see two blank spaces, URL and Pic. Find a web page that explains the item you recently enjoyed (like the Amazon.com listing for a movie you just saw), and copy and paste the URL of that web page into the "URL" space. Then find an icon-sized picture of the item, about the same size as the face icons here on TC. (Amazon.com is good for this, but there are plenty of others out there.) Right-click on the picture, and select "Properties." Among the information listed is the Address of the picture, which is its specific location on the web. Highlight the entire address, then copy and paste it into the "Pic" space on the form. When you submit, the item should become active here on TC.

For anybody who is uncertain how to copy and paste: First highlight text by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the cursor over the span of text you want to copy. When you've highlighted all of it, right-click on the highlighted info and click "Copy." Then go to the place where you want to paste it, right click again, and choose "Paste." It sounds like a hassle to do this every time you want to change a recent, but once you get used to it, it takes mere seconds.

The items do expire after a few months. Specifically, the system records the date when you input an item. The topic pages on TC (you're reading one right now) count back three months from the current month, and if your item is older than that, it gets ignored. This is to get around the people who input their recents once and never change them.

Jackie Mason | March 21, 2003
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Scott Hardie | March 22, 2003
For the book: Make sure you copy the entire address of the pic; you had only copied part of it. When the address is really long, part of it isn't shown because there's only room for two lines in the "Properties" display. Just drag the cursor downwards until you see it all. Look for the .jpg or .gif at the end.

For the CD: Amazon is my favorite online seller and I'll probably always link to them, but they can be bitches when it comes to the icons. They're always putting that "Look Inside" dope on top of their books, and that orange "X% off" bubble in the lower-right corner of just about everything. But that's just the icon they're displaying; they still have the original icon stored on their site, and all you need to know is how its filename is formatted. Their normal music icons are formatted like this:

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000023VR6.01._PE_SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg

When there's a special discount, they add a number after the PE. For instance, the Dr. Dre CD you linked is 26% off, so they show this file instead:

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000023VR6.01._PE26_SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg

Same thing, just two added numbers. Just delete those numbers after you paste the address and you wind up with the normal pic.

Scott Hardie | June 11, 2003
I'm updating this topic so that it will be read by whoever answered the current poll saying s/he doesn't know how to change recents.

Also, with those Amazon icons, remove the "PE_" completely, not just the numbers. In the example above, this link...

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000023VR6.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg

...would be correct. That gets rid of the white border around the pic.

Erik Bates | June 11, 2003
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Scott Hardie | June 17, 2003
Due to moderately popular demand (a 50-50 split vote for and against it), I have added a "Title" field to your Recents. Typing in the title is optional. I have entered titles for my own Recents as an example; move your mouse cursor over the item to see the title. You can change yours in your Control Panel.

The only problem is, IE can't display ALT text with quotation marks in it, either single or double. So if you type any quotation marks into your title field, they'll be deleted automatically. If you intend to enter both a title and author for each Recent, separate them by a comma or colon.


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