Friday, February 29, 2008

Testing Adobe Contribute CS3


This is a test.  I am using Adobe Contribute CS3 to enter this blog entry.

Let's see how it handles images:

...can't use images from My Computer.   :(

Friday, February 8, 2008

Messing around with Photoshop

I was messing around with Photoshop and I came up with this image of my son (click to see a larger image).

This is the original image (click to see a larger image):

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

New Header

I've been messing around with changing the header of my blog. Do you like it? It took a while to make one I liked (I made about 3 or 4), but I think I'll stick with this one for a bit.

I made the header in Photoshop and I'm hosting it at

I had to change the code in the template to use this image. The code is in the #HEADER-WRAPPER section of the template code. Just cut and paste your URL for the header you want to use in place of the URL that is already there.

I also had to add the HEIGHT parameter to make sure the header was always the same height. The WIDTH parameter is the same. I didn't change that.

I also removed the background images in the Sidebars. They didn't look right with this header. I actually just commented them out so I could put them back in easily if I wanted to.

I also made a neon one that I like too. I may switch back and forth. Not sure. :o)

Friday, February 1, 2008

3-Column Template

I changed my blog template to a 3-Column version. It took some doing, but I finally got it. I got the instructions on how to do it from this site:

Blogger Buster

The template they edit on this site is different than mine so I had to figure out the difference. Then I had to change the background images to fit the new width.

I think it turned out ok, though.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Hopefully, you are seeing my Favicon on the left of the address bar in your web browser. If you are not seeing it, then you may have to refresh the page or add this blog to your favorites list.

This is how I added it. I found these instructions on this blog: Blogger Tips and Tricks

I created an image in Photoshop that I wanted to use as my icon. I created it much bigger than I needed it. Once it was the way I liked it, I changed the image size to 16 x 16 pixels (this is the size of an icon).

I then saved the image for web as a PNG 24 file. To add the favicon to your site, you'll need to have your icon creation as two files. A .png file and a .ico file.

You can use Irfranview to convert your .png file to an icon (.ico) file and host them wherever you want. Or you can do what I did. I already have an account on imageshack so I hosted the .png file there (you can't host .ico files there). I then used to host the .ico file. At you upload the .png file and it converts it to the .ico file and gives you the code that you need to point to the .ico file. I believe you can host both the .png and .ico files at, which would be a lot easier than what I did, but I couldn't get to that website so I had to find a different place to host the .ico file.

You will need to add some html code to your template in order to add the icon.

These instructions are for only. I'm not sure how to do this from any other blog site.

From the Blogspot Dashboard click on LAYOUT of the blog you want to add the favicon to. Click on the TEMPLATE tab and choose EDIT HTML.

Find the <head> html tag (it should only be a few lines from the top) and put the following code right below it.

<link href='' rel='shortcut icon' type='image/x-icon'/>
<link href='' rel='icon' type='image/png'/>

You can copy and paste this code into your template, but be sure to replace the image locations (i.e.; & with your locations.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Consoles and Games

I thought I would jot down the game consoles and games I own.

Gameboy Color
Hoyle Casino
Gameboy Advance/SP (I have both)
Spyro - Season of Ice
Tak and the Power of Juju
Iridion - 3D
Prince of Persia - Sands of Time
Pitfall - The Mayan Adventure
Shining Soul II
Pinobee - Wings of Adventure
Harry Potter
Harry Potter - Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter - Prisoner of Azkaban
Nintendo DS
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Super Mario DS
Flushed Away
Nintendogs: Lab
Rayman DS
Spyro - Shadow Legacy
Superman Returns
Tomb Raider
Spiderman 2
Jeanne D'Arc
Wipeout Pure
Ridge Racer
Rengku - The Tower of Purgatory
Harry Potter - Order of the Phoenix
Napoleon Dynamite
Layer Cake
Dark Crystal
Playstation 2
Gran Tourismo 4
Kingdom Hearts
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Chaos Bleeds
Tomb Raider - Angel of Darkness
Prince of Persia - Sands of Time
Prince of Persia - Warrior Within
Prince of Persia - Two Thrones
Battlestar Gallactica
EA Sports - Madden 2002
Halo 2
EA Sports - Football 2005
Spiderman 2
Trivial Pursuit
Star Wars - Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars - Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Splinter Cell - Chaos Theory
Prince of Persia - Warrior Within
Prince of Persia - Two Thrones
Doom 3
Crimson Skies
XBox 360
Halo 3
Gears of War
Tomb Raider - Legend
Burger King - Pocket Bike Racer

XBox Live Gamertag: ParentHead

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Digital Scrapbooking

I have dabbled in some digital scrapbooking.

Here are a couple of digital scrapbook pages I created in Photoshop.

Click to see larger images

Fixing zombie eyes in pet photos

I just looked up a technique for Photoshop to fix the "zombie" look that you get sometimes when you take photographs of your pets.

This is the URL for the tutorial:

The only difference I did was that I used the Elliptical Marquee Tool to select the bright part of the eye instead of the Magic Wand Tool they mention in the tutorial.

Here are my results:

PSP Themes

The most recent PSP update allows users to now create entire themes for their PSPs. A theme is a customized background image as well as customized menu icons. (v3.80 - download directly to your PSP using your wireless connection or download this file to your PC and copy it to your PSP: v3.80 Firmware Download)

I've created 3 PSP themes so far (click to download the theme):

Winnie the Pooh
Call of Duty 4

Useless Info:

The themes are .ptf files. To use the themes, be sure you have the latest firmware version installed on your PSP. Copy the the .ptf file to the PSP memory stick to the PSP/THEME directory. From the Theme Settings menu on the PSP, choose the theme and then APPLY.

To create the themes, I use 3 programs.

Photoshop - Best photo editor on the planet. Some people use the free graphics program called GIMP which can be downloaded here:

PNGforPTF - Because I use Photoshop, I need to use this program to convert the .png files into something the PSP Custom Theme Tool likes. This utility can be downloaded here:

PSP Custom Theme Tool - The tool as well as the .pdf user guide can be downloaded here:

The Custom Theme Tool is very picky on the size and format of each image. Here are the requirements for each one:

Wallpaper: 480 x 272 24-bit *.bmp

Category Icons
Icon Body: 64 x 48 256 colors *.png

First Level Icons
Icon Body: 48 x 48 256 colors *.png
Icon Focus: 64 x 64 256 colors *.png
(The focus is the part around the icon that makes it glow when selected)

Second Level Icons
Icon Body: 32 x 32 256 colors *.png
Icon Focus: 48 x 48 256 colors *.png

Preview Icon: 16 x 16 256 colors *.png
Preview Image: 300 x 170 24-bit *.bmp

Here's the process I go through to create an icon with a focus. The First and Second level icons use a FOCUS (glow when selected). The Catagory icons do not.

First I pick something to use for my theme (i.e.; FireFly). I then get on Google and do a search for images that I feel would make good icons. I try to find larger images so when I shrink them down to icon size I still have a little detail.

This web site is a good place to find nice icons:

I don't like the icons to be square so if the image I like is part of a larger image, then I'll cut out the part I want - such as a person's face.

You'll need to create an Alpha Channel of the icon. The Alpha Channel is what makes the edges of the icon nice and crisp and not all jagged.

I then shrink the image to the proper size for the icon BODY. You may need to adjust the canvas size.

You need to save the file as a .png, but also save the Alpha Channel data. To do this, choose to save the image for web. Choose to save it as a PNG 24 bit file. This will be incompatible with the Custom Theme Tool, but we'll use the PNGtoPTF converter to solve that problem.

Once the image is saved, I then change my canvas size to that of the focus icon (it will be larger than the body icon). I then select the image and increase my selection by a couple of pixels. I fill the selection with white and run a Gaussian Blur filter set to 6. This blurs the image enough to make a halo around the image when viewed on the PSP. Save this focus icon the same way you did the body icon (for web, png, 24 bit). Be sure to give it a different name so that you don't overwrite the body icon.

Now use the PNGtoPTF converter to covert the .png files you created in Photoshop to something the Custom Theme Tool will accept. I choose to overwrite the existing .png file so that I don't have a bunch of .png files filling up my hard drive.

Load the converted .png files into the Custom Theme Tool and export them into the .ptf file. The PSP will use the default icons for those icons you have not created yet.

Copy the .ptf file to your PSP/THEME directory, choose the theme from the Theme Setting menu on the PSP, apply and enjoy.

PSP Wallpapers

I've been creating wallpapers for mine and other's Playstation Portables (PSPs) for quite some time. Wallpapers/backgrounds for the PSP are what you see behind the icons and text of the PSP menus. I've created around 650 wallpapers so far most of which can be seen in this forum: PSP Wallpaper Forum as user TAP50.

Feel free to send me a PM in the forum to create you a background. I create special requests in the forum all the time.

I use Photoshop to create the wallpapers. I plan on posting some tips/tricks I've learned in Photoshop.

I host my wallpapers on a site called ImageShack (

...and here's the useless info part:

The size of a wallpaper for a PSP is 480 x 272 pixels.

Some users prefer what is called a TEMPLATE be put on the background. This is the template I created:

If you check the forums, you'll see that others have utilized this template as well.

The template is overlayed on the background image. The purpose of the template is to give a darker background where the menu icons show up on the PSP.

The template can just be an overlay that you see through or it can take on the theme of the wallpaper.

Here are some examples of PSP wallpapers I've created:

(click on images to see them at actual size)

My first post

I created this blog to keep track of the procedures, techniques, whatever that I've learned over the years for different things such as Photoshop, PSP templates/wallpapers, radio scanners, etc. Just a bunch of geeky stuff.

I figured I better write this stuff down before I forget it. And it may be helpful for others who are trying to do the same things.