Game of Thrones has returned

We welcome you to the house Keyboard Playing.

JoinTheRealm_sigil_KeyboardPlaying

Sorry for this parenthesis, but since Game of Thrones is back (even though we will have to wait some time to have it here in France), I just wanted to try out http://www.jointherealm.com/ (a webpage HBO created so you can make your own Game of Thrones like coat of arms) and wished to share the result.

As for the series itself, the season premiere established a new piracy record, and the contract for season 4 has been signed. Quite impatient to see that…

Typing every day…

Good things about a keyboard is to use it regularly. Don’t you enjoy it?

More seriously, I used to have a diary. A leather-bound notebook. Thing is, the times when I wrote were quite random, and a year could pass without me writing anything. Why? Maybe because it was much of a constraint for something I would rarely or never look back to. Plus, no matter how I liked the use of a good ol’ fountain pen, it was quite a hassle and did not fit mobility.

So I searched to go mobile and checked what was available on the internet. This is how I met 750words. But what is it?

Basically, it is a website which encourages you to write at least 750 words every day (now you get the name). How can they? Well, streak points, badges, … Looks stupid, maybe, but I know my weak points, and I know from video games I like to collect such awards, so I just dived in.

Streak on 750words

What features can you expect besides these awards? Well, first, for geeks, Markdown is fully supported.

For others, each day, a graph is drawn, analyzing the content of your writing. Well, analysis by automated dictionaries and algorithms are more or less accurate, but I think you can’t help and watch what today’s graphs are like, or how you did since you began on 750words.

It has been two weeks since I began on 750words and I have not broken the streak yet. For now, I use it as a diary only, but I guess time will come when I have nothing more interesting to write. So how not to break the streak? Some know I would like to be able to write, and I am hoping for the exercise of writing everyday to make it easier. Only imagination is the weak point right now, but this could become a challenge for short stories, and may lead to even better after. Let us wait and see.

Just a final word: if you are looking for an online diary but do not like the constraint of having to write everyday, 750words’ author publicizes about neat-looking Penzu, which has the only brick I lack for total mobility with 750words: mobile apps.

KP Dock Icons released

I previously posted about a KP Dock Icons project. For those who have not seen the post from the newly created KeyboardPlaying Twitter user, I published the first batch of icons.

They are now 47 icons available on PNG Factory.

I am not quite done yet, but do not know when I will be able to go on. The roadmap and requests are still open on Trello.

I will initiate a project page as soon as I have some time left… Meanwhile, do not hesitate to comment here!

Keyboard Playing Dock Icons

Some months ago, I began using RocketDock. It seemed (and proved) a good way to keep all important applications at hand without having tons of shortcuts in the taskbar or having to display the desktop each time. Yet something bothered me: the icons.

The problem

On a desktop, I’ve always been disturbed to see icons so different from one another. On an application dock, icons are so close to one another that the differences can only be highlighted.

It already gives you an edge by allowing you to customize the icons. As a consequence, if, like me, you use Eclipse as a $\TeX$ editor, you can set your own icon to it (below, I used the icon for $\TeX$ mimetype from the Crystal Clear icon set).

And here you come with a dock which looks like that:

What about getting icons from the internet? Some icon sets are quite neat. Right, but I have not found yet one which covers all my needs.

The solution

So what did I do? I merely began my own icon set. I defined some ground rules about what the icons should look like, and went on. I am no designer, though, but am quite satisfied with what I got yet. Don’t you prefer it that way?

Philosophy

I wanted icons which somehow all belonged to the same family, so here I came. A rounded-corner square, filled. A logo cut in it. Shadow on a white background. And color. There you go!

The KP Dock Icons icon set is to focus on docks. But I mainly use docks at work, so the icons will include the tools I use most there: Eclipse, FileZilla, …

Still, my icon set could be of some use to other developers or IT professionals. Yet, by restricting only to my applications, I would be a bit too restrictive. So, adding some generic icons is a great idea.

And here the project was born.

Licensing

The icons are licensed under the CC BY 3.0, which means that I basically let you do anything with it but would appreciate a mention of my contribution somewhere the end-user could see (a comment in the HTML source code of a web page would do if you use it on a website).

But don’t worry, I won’t get mad if you forget me. If you like the icons, feel free to use them.

Hosting

Getting the icons

Edited: The icons are now available on PNG Factory.

A look on the roadmap, suggesting your own ideas

I opened a board on Trello (nice to-do application; you have to register to comment, but you can connect with your Google account). This board lists all icons which are to be made, and offers you the possibility to request for an icon I might have forgot.

If you do though, keep in mind that the set was primarily designed for my own use and, above all, a professional or developer’s use. I will extend later, but this might remain quite restrictive. Time will tell.

The board is accessible here.

Contributing

As I have said, I have not decided yet how these will be hosted. Yet, I’d like to find an open source platform so that other designers may contribute if they want to (I will write a how-to file for designing one’s own icons). If you have suggestions, do not hesitate to share via the comments.

Enhancing Tag Cloud Canvas

Tag Cloud Canvas shows a wonderful display of tags. It had one drawback, though: how do you distinguish important tags from irrelevant ones when they all look just the same?

Tag Canvas, no tag highlighting

Yet, TagCanvas (the library noknok used to create the plugin) offers a tag highlighting by size, colors or both.

So, I got my hands into it and modified the noknok’s code to include these possibilities. First, enabling it into the administration widget.

The admin widget for tag cloud canvas

And now, applying the configuration…

Size highlighting
Color highlighting
Combined highlighting

And we are good to go… Is that not what makes tags more interesting than categories?

For information, I submitted my changes to noknok. With some hope, they will be included into the plugin. Otherwise, I will provide my alternate version (if you are unable to do it yourself from my github…).

That’s it. Enjoy!

Welcome!

Hello there! How are you doing?

OK, so you found just another blog on the world wide web. What’s the use? Probably not much. What will you find here? Who am I anyway? These two questions I’ve already answered here and there.

To sum up, I’m just another computer geek who will share his discoveries here. Hope you’ll enjoy, but don’t build too high expectations. See you around!