Category Archives: CommLab


Two birds, one stone:

Sorry about the wobbles.

This is my video journal of the Servo lab for PhysComp, filmed for CommLab on a Sanyo Xacti 6MP digital movie camera.

I tried to edit this within the Xacti, but I ended up joining the clips together in the wrong order. It was way too much work to separate them again—it’s just a lousy way to edit—so then I dumped the mess into iMovie HD (an older version, recommended by Bre Pettis in his very fine Getting Started in Video series), recut and rearranged it, and added title frames from Photoshop (too bad they look like crap after compression) and CC-licensed music by the excellent Kristin Hersh. This was my first time using iMovie; I found it reasonably intuitive.

So, basically, it’s just the worst video for a Kristin Hersh song ever. Rock on.

Plugged in

outdoor electrical socket that looks like a surprised face

I finally got around to installing some WordPress plug-ins. Here’s what I’m running at the moment:

Akismet 2.1.8
Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need a API key to use it. You can review the spam it catches under “Comments.” To show off your Akismet stats just put in your template. See also: WP Stats plugin. By Matt Mullenweg.
Category Selector Back to the Sidebar (MOD) 0.7
Puts the category selector section back to the sidebar of the Post page. Now you can write at a WordPress v2.5 blog without hating v2.5. By Baris Unver.
FeedBurner FeedSmith 2.3.1
Originally authored by Steve Smith, this plugin detects all ways to access your original WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber. By FeedBurner.
Fluency Admin 1.2.1
WordPress 2.5+ only. A rethink of the WordPress admin interface giving it a slightly more modern application-esque feel, inspired by Steve Smith’s Tiger Admin. Firefox, Safari and IE8 only. By Dean Robinson.
No Self Pings 0.2
Keeps WordPress from sending pings to your own site. By Michael D. Adams.
Wiki Dashboard 0.1
Mini-Wiki on the wordpress dashboard, for multiple autors [sic] collaboration. By Dzamir.
WordPress Admin Bar 3.0.2
Creates an admin bar inspired by the one at Credits for the look of this plugin go to them. By Viper007Bond. Stats 1.3.2
Tracks views, post/page views, referrers, and clicks. Requires a API key. By Andy Skelton.
WP Ajax Edit Comments
Allows users and admin to edit their comments inline. Admin and editors can edit all comments. By Ronald Huereca.

I’ve also edited the stylesheet so that the body text is sized in points rather than pixels, and I tweaked some colors and margins and such.

Photo: Oh. by Adam Smith; some rights reserved.

CommLab homework, week 2

This week’s assignment:

• Install WordPress on your ITP account or create a blog in ITP’s multiuser environment. Document this process in your blog.
• Transfer first week’s assignment to your blog
• Find three blogs you like and create links to them in your sidebar
• Document your process as an entry in your blog.

As I mentioned last week, I’d already tried ITP’s built-in multiuser blog and found it frustrating. So it was with great joy that I set up a standalone version in my Web space.

I’ve installed WordPress once before, for my mom’s website. Setting up that just the way I wanted it took me several days, interleaved with real work tasks. So this install was quick and painless, though I’m still sorting out some permissions things and trying to decide which plugins I want. And it took hours to find a template that did roughly what I want; I’ll tweak it from here.

Photo: Oblivious by Vicki’s Pics / Vicki Ashton; some rights reserved.

CommLab homework, week 1

Waterfall under the bridge

This week’s homework:

  • Create two simple web pages using styles, and FTP them into your ITP account.
  • Visit the Waterfalls (, or check out David Byrne’s “Playing the Building.” Post response on your site.
  • Read Walter Ong, Orality and Literacy, Chapters 1–4 (The Orality of Language, The modern Discovery of Primary Oral Cultures, Some Psychodynamics of Orality, Writing Restructures Consciousness), and post response to Ong on your site. Be prepared to discuss in class.
  • Email [Spencer] the URL by Saturday.

Well, my Internet connection was really dodgy this weekend, so the last item was out of the question, but the rest is here:

Learning HTML