Winamp Plus OctiMax Is Music To My Ears

I’m not sure how many people will remember this, but back in the early 2000s, there was a plugin for Winamp called OctiMax. I’m not sure what exactly it did, but it made music sound so much better in my headphones. It’s the perfect complement to Winamp which I still use as my primary music player.

https://jeffc.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/winampandoctivmax.png

Winamp Plus OctiMax

Don’t make fun of my playlist! As you can see, the plugin has presets for different types of music and a slider for Bass and Drive. Drive increases the volume while Bass increases the low notes. I usually keep the Bass at the lowest setting because anything more than that is too much.

Unfortunately, the plugin is no longer available on the web. I have two different versions saved to my external hard drive and who knows, they may be the last copies in existence.

Two Versions Of Octimax

Two Versions Of Octimax

I’m using Winamp 5.666 and the plugin works just fine. I don’t know how I ‘d be able to listen to music through Winamp without it. I’m just curious if anyone else still uses Winamp and OctiMax or did at one time? Milkdrop is cool, but it doesn’t make music sound better!

WordPress Group Projects

WordPress Group Projects

Thanks to Utahcon who sort of started the train, I’ve decided to create a forum for WordPress based group projects. As you can see from the image above, we have already started working on developing a way for the Codex to be printer friendly or at least provide a PRINT link on Codex articles. We have also begun to work on creating a Recent Posts hack that displays posts that are not on the front page. For example, my recent posts plugin shows the last 5 posts I’ve published on this blog. However, this is a moot point as those 5 blog posts can be seen by scrolling down the front page. The plugin hack we are working on would display posts that were on the second page of WordPress, not the first. So far, we are making progress, but we are still short of having a working solution.

I thought this would be an awesome idea. Instead of one person putting together a plugin or coming up with a solution, we can have multiple people participate until the project is completed. I consider a project completed as being one that has a working, tested solution.

I do have a few guidelines setup in the forum which describe how I want the group projects section to be managed:

The Group Projects Section of the forums will house all of the various group projects that are created by you and myself. If you are going to start a group project, please use a very descriptive thread title so that we can understand at a glance what the group project is.

Each forum thread within this section of the forums will be a single group project. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to participate in the project until that project has been completed.

Do not post anything in this forum that will not be a group project, if you do, the thread will either be moved or deleted.

Please register an account on the forums and participate in the various projects and also, let me know what you think of the idea.

Move Over Gratavar Its Ravatars Turn

Ever wanted to add some flare to the commenting section of your WordPress blog? Grok-Code has coded up a nifty little plugin called Ravatars. Ravatars displays a random avatar for each visitor that is generated at random. The icons are based on email so if a user uses the same email address for each comment, the same Ravatar image will display. You can choose to customize the plugin to display Ravatars that are related to your theme or visitors can opt to configure their own avatar via Gravatar.

Ravatar comes with a default set of images, or you can remove those and upload your own. It works by creating a hash of the email address, and then using the hash to choose an image and the place where the image should be cropped. Uploading your own images gives you the power to customize avatars for your site. A backpacking site might use use nature scenes. Or you might pick images that match your blog’s color scheme.

ravatarexample

In order to customize the plugin, you should upload photos to the plugins/ravatars/parts directory. As of this writing, the only two image formats supported are .jpg and .png. Grok-Code recommends keeping the amount of avatar images within the directory to around 40 although if your blog contains a lot of unique comments, you will most likely need to increase the amount of images if you want each commenter to have  their own image.

You can download the Ravatar plugin from their release page by clicking here. The release page also contains installation instructions as well. If you happen to download and install this plugin, let us know what you think of it. I think it will be a nice way of spicing up the commenting section so it doesn’t appear so bland.

Simply Basic Releases WP Plugin

Simply Basic Logo

Blogging buddy John Kolbert has released his very first WordPress plugin called Admin Favicon. Not long ago, John published an article on his blog that explained how to give your WordPress admin area it’s own favicon so that you could easily discern the WP Admin tab in your browser from all of the other tabs. As it turns out, each time you upgrade WordPress, the hack disappears. That problem is solved with this plugin.

When you install the plugin, a new entry is created within the OPTIONS page of your administrative backend. Click on Admin Favicon and you should see a box where you can type in a custom URL where your favicon will be stored.

Favicon Setup

After setting the URL to your icon, click OK. It might require you to restart your browser before the icon is detected but usually, all you’ll need to do is browse a few pages in your Admin area until the icon is detected.

This is another example of how open the WordPress code is. A simple problem solved with a simple solution. And thanks to John releasing this plugin, other people who have noticed this similar problem, now have a solution in which to use. Thanks John.

For support or inquiries regarding the plugin, check out Admin Favicon.

Proposed WP Plugin Standards

WordPress.orgLogoWow. Someone has come through and put together a list of proposed standards that plugin authors should abide by. This person goes by the name of Weathervane and considering this fella has downloaded 530 plus plugins, I tend to think he knows what he’s talking about. A little warning, the list of proposed standards is a bit long but it’s definitely a worthy read.

Weathervane makes a ton of proposals that I agree with. But there is one thing he didn’t mention that I think would solve many of the problems that are mentioned. That being, the use of the Official WordPress Plugin Database. Weathervane takes the approach of plugins being available on the authors main website. I take the stance that any and all plugins should be submitted and stored in the WP Plugin Database. This provides a central location for all types of plugins, provides the hosting necessary for plugin authors if need be, provides the ability to have a discussion/support area for each individual plugin, and something I feel that is really important. Automatic notification that a plugin has been updated.

Of course, my view on the proposed standards for WordPress Plugins requires that we start off at the top of the food chain. This would be the WP Plugin Database. Once a series of guidelines were established at the top, the rest of the job becomes easy. Think of the advantages of having a central repository for WP Plugins. As end users, we wouldn’t need to Google Search or bookmark tons of seperate web pages that housed plugins. We would automatically be notified of updates within the plugin page in our WordPress back end. Depending on the coding guidelines that allow plugins to be entered into the repository, as end users, we would have that much more confidence that the plugin actually works and won’t do any hanky panky.

It’s awesome that I think weathervane put in the time and effort into his proposal and I believe a lot of his guidelines would be great to use for WP plugin database. Now that we have someone who has put together a base of their own proposals, it’s time we put our thinking caps on and contributed to the list.

Revver Updates WP Plugin

Revver WordPress Logo

Revver has updated their WordPress plugin today. The plugin mostly consists of more customization and greater support to users.

The plugin has always required that your host allow cURL access. Unfortunately for some users, certain hosting providers such as GoDaddy required additional configuration settings that would have required updating the plugin code. To remedy this, we added a field in the “Revver Configuration” tab where you can add a proxy server that does support cURL (sounds a little mumbo jumbo-y, but all you need to do is copy and paste a URL and you’re good).

Instructions for installing for the first time or upgrading an existing install can be found on the quickstart guide page.

SideBlog – Home Grown Twitter For WordPress

As you know, I’m a fan of the WinExtra.com blog, authored by Steven Hodson and on his blog, I’ve noticed an area of his sidebar called Misc. Thoughts. For whatever reason, I always find myself going down the sidebar, reading these mini posts which looks familiar to the type of content you would find on Twitter. Instead of actually being on Twitter, Steven can posts these short snippets or thoughts and keep them local to his own blog. I asked Steve some time ago which plugin he was using to generate this part of his blog and he told me it was something called SideBlog.

Steves SideBlog

SideBlog which is now up to version 4.4 was written by Katesgasis and is compatible with WordPress 2.3. SideBlog is one way of implementing “Asides” or “a series of short posts 1-2 sentences in length”. Sideblog4.4 is widget enabled which means it will be easy to place on your site if you use a widget enabled theme. Also worthy of noting is that, multiple categories can be published in the sidebar.

After you install and activate the plugin, you’ll need to create a new category which will be the category for this plugin. In my case, I created a new category called Random Thoughts. Once you create your new category, go into your OPTIONS area and click on SideBlog. A list of all the available categories will be presented. Check mark the box for the category you want to be displayed in the sideblog. In my case, I selected my newly created Random Thoughts category. Also on this same line, you can choose how many entries will show up in this sideblog as well as whether or not the content should be excluded from RSS Feeds. I chose 5 entries and disabled the content from being included with my feeds.

SideBlogConfiguration

After you assign a category to the plugin, you’ll be able to see it in the Widgets area within the Presentation options. Drag the widget to a sidebar of your choice and apply the changes. Now, anytime you want a post to show up in this sideblog, make you select the appropriate category when you’re writing a 1-2 sentence post.

This plugin is great if you need to post some thoughts off the top of your head but don’t want to dedicated an entire blog post towards it. This is also a good substitute for Twitter if you’re not into that sort of thing. I will say though, the benefit of Twitter is that when you post your thoughts, you’re publishing them to a very wide audience. Using Sideblog, your limiting your thoughts from being seen by only those who are visiting your blog. But if you’re fine with that, SideBlog makes an excellent thought dumper.