Image from Nowhere

Took the final exam in my shell programming class last night – very weird to do a test like that with pencil and paper rather than into a shell, but the instructor wanted the test to be black screen, closed book. The offline approach was actually very effective, since you can’t experiment until you get it right – you have to know the material cold to be able to write scripts on paper that actually work when plugged in. Still need to write a final project script – will expand some customer provisioning I’ve done for birdhouse hosting, automate a few more housekeeping tasks.

To blow off steam, needed to do something non-shell, non-class related. Piles of misc images floating around that never get used, so decided to write an image rotator in PHP and plop some of them into the sidelines. Fun, but now that it’s there, I’m not sure I like it. We’ll see. Image is rotated once per hour, so save your reload-clicking finger. Also finally canned the calendar module – does anybody ever use those? If you think the image rotator is stupid, let me know.

Music: Jimmy Cliff :: Shanty Town

11 Replies to “Image from Nowhere”

  1. I really like the Image From Nowhere concept, Scot.

    It adds some magic realism to an outstanding, but otherwise mainly textual blog.

    Glad the calendar thang is gone too.

    I never even implemented mine to start with… Why would someone click any given date when there’s no clues as to what content sits behind that date ? Or perhaps “oh yeah, lemme see what Scot did on my birthday!” ?

  2. Thanks guy, glad you like it. I agree about blog calendars. In all these years, only person has ever told me they used it, and then only once, to see what I was writing about after 9/11.

  3. Agreed – I like the Image from Nowhere. One thing, though: it’s a nice image of a guy in a suit (at the moment) but who is it? In other words: a bit more info on the picture would be nice. Kinda like Joi Ito’s blog’s faceroll ( – but with other stuff, too.

  4. Hey Erwin – I’ve thought about adding some metadata. Right now it’s just a straight random pull from a directory, calculating height and width on the fly. To add captions etc. would require either having associated text files, doing it with a database, or storing and extracing EXIF data. Any of these are do-able, would just require a bit more time. But I don’t have additional info for almost any of them – they’re just things people have sent or that I’ve collected in random ways over the years. So it’s probably not worth extending the script.

  5. Rotate Images = Yes.

    Make it php so when I refresh they will rotate. People will do that. I do it to see your random quotes at the top.

    Bring Back Calendar = No.

    I’ve always thought that was a clever bit of coding in the blog world that was really useless. Recent posts is adequate.

  6. Scot,

    What scripting class did you take? Was it for credit?

    It would be great if I could take one down here

    in Austin (and make sense of it.)

    RipEnc rocked.

    I bought your book.

    I interviewed you for BeosMan’s Web site :)


  7. Hi William –

    I took a shell programming course offered by UC Extension in Berkeley, as part of my attempt to get my Unix certification. I knew a lot of what was in the class, but I’ve never had any formal science training, and am trying to make up for that now.

    Glad you liked RipEnc, thanks!

  8. I like it but I wouldn’t mind being able to pull up one I saw previously, like that “How young is too young for soda?”

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