The postman was busy this week, dropping off parcels accompanied by typewritten letters from Agents of the Insurgency around the world. From the great state of Maine, Typewriter Hunter Michael Höhne sent me the first of two large stacks of Petersen’s Photographic magazines that he’s kept around since the 1970’s. Full of useful tips and DIY projects from the Golden Age of 35mm photography, I’m sure up for some interesting reading and trying out stuff, some of which will probably be documented here. Now if I can just get the wife to clean all her hair dye stuff out of my darkroom…
From the great north of the Netherlands comes a package sent on a whim by Typewriter Hunter and Scanner of Rare Typewriter Documents TypesHalfSpaces. Marlize sent me the Tiniest Selectric In The World, which she chanced upon in a thrift store where she lives, and thought “That should be in *this person’s* collection!” Along with the Selectric (which doubles as a clock, assuming I can locate the tiny battery that powers it) she also enclosed a packet of crest-finish typing paper in a size that is probably common in Europe, but is a bit skinnier and longer than the American “letter” size. It has a nice hard finish that should be good for typecasting. (:
Speaking of Typewriter Hunters, I should note that you guys are on a pace to easily hit 3000 Typewriter Galleries by next January 1. Only 91 left to go, and we’re only 2/3rds of the way through November. A month and a third to get 91 more? Easy Peasy. Piotr Trumpiel might pull that off himself, with an uploading pace that allowed him to easily breeze past me to take 3rd place in the Top 10 Hunters List. Lots of new machines to look at, come get your fix today!
So, I did a little more digging and figured out how to build a Blogger Gadget. I then set up a throwaway Blogger account to test it, and wella – it works. Now there is yet another method listed in your user page at TWDB, and this one works with blogger, albeit with limited customization, because Blogger wants to create it’s own IFRAME, and won’t allow you to style it.
Oh hey, look at that over in the right side of the blog! It’s a Widget for displaying my currently owned typewriters, as entered into the Typewriter Database.
“How do I get this nifty Widget for my blog?” I hear you say. Well, it’s easy as pie. Just log into your “Typewriter Hunter”-level account at the Typewriter Database, and go to your Account Page.
Right there at the bottom is a new section with a code box containing HTML code that you can cut-n-paste directly into your Blog or CMS. Copy this code and paste it into a plain text widget area on your blog’s admin. For WordPress, I did this:
The default styling of the Widget is similar to the Database itself. Black text, red links on a white background. Works with many layouts, but you can change the SIZE of the widget, as well as the background color and border by editing the “style=” attribute of the OBJECT tag. Here’s an example:
Here’s the widget displaying my “Sightings” on my main splash page, with more verbose descriptions, a different background, border and size – using some of the customization options of the widget. Consider the code for this example:
Note two new flags: “mydesc” and “typedesc”. Set ‘em to 1 and they display your Profile Description and a shortened Typewriter Description for each machine shown. Leave ‘em off or set them to “0” and these descriptions are omitted.
Note also that I’ve changed the “collection_search” flag from “My+Collection” to “Sightings”. Those are, so far, the only two options for this flag.
By altering the “Style=” attribute I could widen the border and change it from black to a brown color. I’ve also changed the background color and set the widget width to better fit the layout of the page.
Here’s another example, same page:
Note in the code I’ve changed the “css” flag from “1” to “2”. This changes the colors of the text and links to colors more appropriate for dark backgrounds. I’ve also changed the “style=” attribute of the OBJECT tag to a black background and gave the whole thing a 60% opacity for a ghostly look that can look interesting. Hopefully, this gets you started on styling the widget to fit the style of your site.
The results are always ordered oldest manufacture date to newest, descending. I may come up with other orders later, but for now, this seems logical.