About Taiwan, FotoZon and lots of other stuff

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sunny Days and See you in August

Trees Blue Sky

Photo of the sunny weather we've been enjoying recently in Taiwan. It's been hot, so we are spending the time near the air conditioner. I'm just about to head out for a month on vacation. See you all later~!

Some sites I may want to keep track of while I am gone.

Craig Fergeson
David Reid
Travis Bickle
Michael Turton

I'm too lazy to sign up for one of those bookmarking sites, I guess I'll just have to make a links page one of these days

See You!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Saturday ...

Flower Sign Array
Today is Saturday. All the kids and teachers are in school today because they missed going to school on Monday due to the Dragon Boat Festival holiday on Tuesday. What kind of a vacation day is that when you have to make it up on Saturday anyway? Well, I've been pretty busy with my normal job programming in Cold Fusion, so not a lot to report on the Fotozon site. I did however make a calendar page for the archives of the Taiwan Picture of the Day page . I'm still working on the preview function, but it is pretty much all done.

I also recently created an RSS2.0 feed for the site. It was not too hard, and I even made sure it was validated using the Feed Validator service. Now, I will go ahead and post it to the Photo Bloggers .Org site. That's one of the main reasons I created the xml pages in the first place, because I could not add any of my pages to the index on that site unless there was an rss feed to go along with them. I'll go post it now and see how it goes.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Photo Trip to Taichung

Jong Gan Road - Another Mitsukoshi shot
We Recently made a trip to Taichung. My wife went inside the department store, while I went outside and took some pictures. This one is probably my best shot of the evening, but many are my favorites.

Here are a few other pictures that are noteworthy from the trip.

Traffic Cop

The traffic cop directs traffic amid a stream of cars.

Ghost Money Burner in Alley
A Ghost Money Burner in the Alley-Way.

All For Now...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Post #2

I just got hooked up with this new FTTB "Fiber To the Building" internet serrice from Chung Hua Telecom, the Taiwan national Telephone Company - and it is SWEET!!! See my bandwidth reading on the right side there!

Hey, I'm starting to like this blogger!. I can see why there are so many people using it all the time. It is very impressive with all the editing tools and such. For example, this post I am making now has a tremendous amount of editing tools. While I still like to get in and mess around with the html, I love the fancy editing screens and other options that make it easy.

Complaints I have so far are the automatic insertion of links on pictures to the original, and the blinky slow edit screen. Now I must go back and work on my own web site today I need to work on the user's home pages.. including most recently updated images, and other links and directories... I wish I had a team working for me like they have at Google.

Initial Post

Dried SquidsWelcome to the first post on the blog from FotoZon

This picture on the left is of the Dried Squids

The Following was originally posted onto my Biography page, however I've moved it here now that I've decided to just use "Blogger" to keep track of all the foto-happenings.

When It Rains It Pours

Bicycle Umbrella

June 15, 2007 - Work continues on the FotoZon web site. Recently I have been learning CSS so I can apply a little bit of style to the web site. Previously I had no idea how to make the nice backgrounds, borders and link effects that you see on so many nice looking web sites out there. You can spend hours making all the different design elements and inventing new classes and section styles. One article on css that I found useful as a reference. It's ironic though that a web site on css has very little design - but maybe that's why I like it and it's a very handy reference for looking up the names of the element. I've still got a long way to go, but as a programmer I can appreciate the deisgn and really like the fact that I can change a few lines in the style sheet and effect change across the whole web site. I also found out that Firefox is a really good browser and the Web Master Add-Ons are a really good way to test out changes to the css on fly. Although some of the design looks different in IE, it is a really helpful way to try out new changes.

Another recent change I made to the site was to add the size of 200 pixels to each image on the site. Eventually I'd like to add a custom size, so that a user could set up a custom size they want to use for their blog or whatever. It could also be used on a case by case basis. I've included some recent pictures in the left sidebar that I took in the rain here in Taiwan. Rainy season is definitely here, so it allows me a lot more time to work on the web site instead of walking around and playing basketball.


Carrying a Ladder by Scooter
June 10, 2007 -
Recently I converted all the file upload scripts including the new daily picture contribution form to use the Image Magick instead of the GD library. This doesn't mean too much to non-programmers, but it results in much better quality of resizing. There are also options to apply un-sharp mask, improve color saturation and crop and rotate images. Thanks to suggestions from two of my early FotoZon testers, I changed all the square 100 x 100 images on the site from being skewed re-sizes to be cropped instead. So for a portrait orientation, a little bit is chopped of the top and bottom. For the landscape orientation, a little bit is chopped off the right and left side. I resisted the change at first because it does not show the whole image, and I thought some of the pictures looked "cool" in their scrunched up version. However, after converting all the square pictures to be cropped instead, I believe it was a much needed change!


June 5, 2007 - We have been busy lately programming some new features including the recently uploaded images and our latest endeavor, the Taiwan Picture of the Day. Just yesterday, I completed the one step contribution form for those who are new to FotoZon and wish to contribute a picture for Picture of the Day in one step. There is also information for those who want to add the picture of the day to a web site. Now the challenge will be to go our and publicize the service and find some enough photographers who are willing to contribute.