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The Ghost of Christmas Future

Happy Christmas Eve!

Thanks to all who have helped with previous ones, which I posted on:

Special thanks to taiji_jian for his suggestion and to tvn for his comment.

Here's my fortnightly update:

Now for the new questions:

Locked out of Orkut

I have not been using my Orkut account, but I tried to log in about 7-8 months ago (and got back in then). About 3-4 months ago, I tried to get back in, and I think my password had stopped working. I've tried

Now, I just tried, and if I type a password I know is wrong, the main login screen says "Username and password do not match". If I type the one I remember, it lets me through to a second screen that requires me to link my Google account to my Orkut account. However, it won't take my Orkut password.

I clicked "I forgot my password" and put in the e-mail address I use in Orkut (hsuwh[AT]hotmail.com), but it just went back to the login screen without even confirming that it sent me anything. I've put google.com in my safe list, and nothing has come through in 3-4 days.

Any idea what this is about?

Carousel is a lie, there is no Renewal: iPAQ batteries

My iPAQ H3635 battery has developed a memory something fierce. It can still hold a charge of about an hour or two, but that's way down from the nearly 8 hours it could go without a charge in 2001. Even in 2002 I was able to play MP3s for something like 6 hours with a phono-to-car-stereo adapter. By 2003 and 2004 it had dropped to about 5 hours. Now it only lasts for one hour with my SanDisk 802.11b CompactFlash card. I suspect that part of it is the high power consumption of the antenna, because it still goes for about 2 hours without the card.

Is there any way that I can manually recondition it, though, or am I stuck sending it in for a factory replacement battery that will probably cost more than the iPAQ is now worth?

I see your true colors, shining though: Erasing the background of an icon

How does one erase the background of a PNG, GIF, or JPG icon? Specifically, I want to erase the white parts of this:

so that it's transparent to the background. Can someone point me to instructions and/or a tutorial?



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 26th, 2005 05:57 am (UTC)
JPEG: forget it. Best you can do is match the white against a target background color, there's no data format support.

PNG, GIF: yes, this can be done. GIF(89a) is "easier" (I've done this in hex editors, even), and has more tools Windows-side. Any reasonably full-featured image editor should be able to do PNG alpha transparency. Any reasonably full-featured non-GNU image editor should be able to do GIF index transparency.

Should you be hex editing your way to glory:
21 f9 04 01 00 00 00 00
Bit 0 of the red byte controls whether there is transparency at all. Other bits also mean something there. The bolded byte is the index of the transparent color, stored as RGB triples starting at offset 0dH.

Inject before the LZW-like encoding signaled by 2cH, if it isn't there already.
Dec. 26th, 2005 06:02 am (UTC)
Re: Transparency
Hex editing instructions are for GIF. [Technically GIF89a, which is a proper superset of GIF87a.]
Dec. 26th, 2005 07:02 am (UTC)
Re: Transparency
Thanks! I think I will do it in Photoshop and save it out as GIF.

I haven't followed the evolution of GIF. I should know the difference between 87a and 89a, as I used to do research on compression, but all I remember is that they are LZ (LZW for at least 89a, IIRC) on PPM.

Dec. 26th, 2005 05:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Transparency
Bill, you goober, you have linux. You can use the GIMP!
Dec. 26th, 2005 06:08 pm (UTC)
Linux? We ain't got no stinkin' Linux!
If I've told ya once, I've told you a thousand times:
Linux doesn't work for me!

Small temple, large Buddha, etc. I still can't get X Windows working.


Breezy Badger later today. If only there were more COMPAQ owners who had the courage to even try to lay down Ubuntu. Or some Linux. Serves me right, I know.

Nine weeks to ubercomputer.

(this is the debut of my "irate" icon :-P)
Dec. 26th, 2005 07:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Transparency
Or not (no change in image encoding).

The entire difference is the extension blocks, and is mostly documented in the link. Note that most of the GIF89a standard has never been implemented.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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