Greetings, Cranky Users! If you read Nurse Kelley's Cranky diary on Monday, you'll notice that I have apparently returned from the dead. (Some imagine that I'm a zombie now, but I still think eating brains is gross, so that's not it. I might be one of those stylish vampires, I suppose -- certainly my preferred hours are more in keeping with that theory.) I must say that my pathetic, underpowered little netbook is very much happier with my ad-free condition as a subscriber to Daily Kos, and yet I have not voided my DK warranty (such as it is) by using any kind of ad-blocking software. I am fortunate to be able to pony up the money, and I realize not everyone can do so. As Democrats, we'll be unsurprised to learn that a condition of privilege that is attained by buying it turns out to be much more comfortable than what happens back in tourist class. Where's that flight attendant with the free drinks?
Let's pick through a few interesting little things that might
distract you from the conditions in coach make your DK4 life a little easier or more interesting. Passengers in all rows may now board at the squiggle!
Our first tip has been floating around for a while. For it to be helpful, you sort of have to train your fingers to do it. When you write a comment and click Preview, the preview appears above where you're writing, and possibly off the top of your screen. If you press ENTER instead of scrolling, the top of your preview will pop to exactly the top of your window. Further, at least in Firefox 3.6, it remembers that behavior for this comment, so if you scroll down and change something and click Preview again, the preview will again come to the top of your window. Once you learn to do it, it's very helpful!
Second, you can press CTRL plus f to search the web page you're on (in most browsers -- tell us about exceptions!) Press CTRL+f and you'll get a bar at the top or bottom (depends on your browser) with a "Find" window where you can type whatever you'd like to search for. Click the Next or Previous button to search in either direction from where you are on the page. Now, how can this be helpful? I use it to tend diaries like this one. The [new] markers are kind of unreliable, as we've discussed here before, but you could search for [new] if you wanted to find comments new to you. I usually search for something that's on every comment, like "Reply to this" or "Recommend", so that I click through every comment in the thread quickly and can identify any I haven't seen. It will keep going and circle around to the top again if you keep clicking. And of course, you can also use it when you're sure someone in the thread has mentioned, say, chocolate cream pie, and you need to find that comment. The Find window has an X to close it when you're done with it.
A few people recently have tried to use the old shortcut method of embedding YouTube videos. In DK3, you used to be able to enclose the video's ID in double parentheses; that no longer works in DK4, but the old FAQ is apparently still in place, misleading us about whether it's possible. If you want to embed a YouTube, you must instead click on the Embed button below the video on the right, and copy and paste the embed code found there, as shown below. The requirement to select "Use old embed code" no longer applies. In fact, the embed code I've pasted below the picture, to embed the short but hilarious "baby goats" video, is the "new" embed code. Don't forget to select a small size, that will fit on everyone's screen -- the bottom arrow shows where you can click on different sizes. The fabulous diary by fiver I constantly cite has more about video embedding.
Now, I will tell you a cool thing about using the new embed code. No matter which embed code you use, old or new, when you right-click on the embedded video, it gives you some options. With the old embed code, one was "Watch on YouTube", for instance. With the new embed code, one option when you right-click is "Copy video URL", and another is, "Copy video URL at current time". Well, when on earth would you copy it, if not at the current time?? Ah. Suppose I want to link to the goat video instead of embedding it. I insert a link, and it looks like this:
It shows you the same video that's above. Now, suppose I think the beginning is boring, but I really want you to see it starting at the 29-second mark? I stop it at the spot I like (on YouTube or embedded here), right-click on the video, and pick the "Copy video URL at current time" option. When I paste that URL, it looks like this:
If you click that link, YouTube will start the video for you at the 29-second mark! (If you replay it when it ends, you get the whole video.) And for those who like to just type stuff, you can see you can build your own URL like this by adding #t=xxs to the video's url, swapping in the number of seconds you want to start at for the "xx". (Yes, you must calculate the number of seconds in a time like 5:07.) So much better than saying, "Ignore the first five minutes of this"! Note that this doesn't impact the embed code found at the time-limited URL -- it still gives the whole video. I bet there's a way to alter that too, but we're not worrying about that today.
And last for today: I keep putting off delving into embedding photos, because it looks very complicated (a lot more complicated than it is), and because it looks different depending on which photo hosting site you use. But I can pass along one easy tip without addressing your photo hosting and the tangled gibberish it forces you to paste. For this tip, we thank
If you'd like to caption a photo, there is a method you can use that produces a "true" caption that's attached properly to the picture. We'll learn that sometime. Meanwhile, you can do this:
I did two things here. First, I centered the picture itself by enclosing the code I pasted from Flickr in <center> - </center> tags. Then, I put the caption under it just by writing the text and using tags to make it a) centered, b) superscript (ie, raised), c) small, and d) italicized. It looks like this:
As always, we're interested in giving you a place to complain and ask questions, as much as in telling you stuff. Please use the comments as an open thread to be cranky, and to help your fellow cranky users with answers as well as with questions that may or may not yet have come to others' attention. We help each other along and do not let the crankiness beat us!
WHERE TO TURN: LINKS
☀ For more stuff sort of like this, the Cranky Users group.
☀ To report something not working to the dev team, the bug report form. A bug report will not be directly responded to, but will be kept on file by the development team until the issue is resolved or otherwise closed.
☀ To get immediate response for technical help or urgent site problems, the contact form (be sure to select the tech support radio button). A tech support request will get prompt response, but does not get added to the bug report database. If you use it to report a known bug, you'll be told it's a known bug, and that's it.
☀ For immediate catharsis, complain in a Cranky Users thread. These threads are regularly scanned by kos and developers, but it's not a guaranteed way to bring an issue to the attention of these folks. But sometimes you just need some sympathy from other cranky people! (And sometimes, other cranky people have advice that can help you.)
Our thanks to kos, the development team, and the Dkosopedia contributors for their vigorous efforts to deliver a site that works well and to help us know how to work it!