DIY desktop icons with IrfanView #blogjune

Three of my custom desktop icons and IrfanViewNo fuss, no bother,

IrfanView quickly converts my .jpg images to .ico ; giving me visually meaningful desktop icons.

Recently I became interested in customising my desktop icons. Specifically (so far): shortcuts to webpages which otherwise would, by default, show the browser’s icon. Regular readers may recall that Mr 17 helpfully photoshopped two creative commons images into one; and that it was only after much fuss I found an online converter to achieve an .ico file.

… and more (later)…

Apparently IrfanView is capable of tons more than this little thing I needed.  It will come in handy:

  • when I have time to learn more about optimising (beyond cropping and resizing images with Paint to 500px or less before uploading)
  • or for working with layers (see if I can stretch beyond the gimp tutorials with which I made a couple of textures for SecondLife).
also creates slideshows and more
Find out more and download at IrfanView

How simple?

For future reference, with IrfanView icons are a simple matter of:

File Save Picture As
File, Save Picture As, .ico

Thanks Irfan.

Will he earn a place on my toolbar?
Will he earn a place on my toolbar?

“Say what you will” — read it

Before the voices that usually stop me writing break through, I want to simply encourage everyone to read “Say what you will” by Cammie McGovern.

After opening it for a glance just over four hours ago, I have not been able to put it down.

So, the voices did interfere: “you should say something else… tell people why…”.  I shut them up for a little while (on that topic) by taking a photo of my jumper.  Its not unconnected but I will not spell out why.


Sons are useful for… making icons

Calendar in Chrome icon

Or: Mothers and sons learn together

Can I?…

My calendar is in Google calendar. A shortcut on my desktop lets me open it in Chrome with one click.  Of course, then I decided I wanted a special calendar icon for it.  I wanted a calendar in the middle of a chrome icon. Yes a calendar icon would have been simpler but I had a notion of it needing to look similar to the shortcut I have at work.

Would you?

This is where my digital-media-trained and his Photoshop skillz comes in.

That’s great but …

Unfortunately his beautiful combinations looked fine in photoshop, but the first opened at my end with a black background, another had a white background, and when we tried to save as .ico in bmp or png formats (because Photoshop CC did not seem to be able to save to .ico) some showed no image at all.

Trial and error

Some of the clues we tried:

  • Ryan at StackExchange suggested that we must first save the .png files to the computer, and then open them with Photoshop (during copy paste techniques Photoshop converts the transparency to black).
  • Although my issue does not involve WordPress as did Mike Lee’s 2012 issue with the black turning up when he resized images, I wondered from his problem statement whether I might eliminate resizing as a possible cause by using images that were already the desired size. That appeared to help, but we were working through ideas so quickly I am not sure if it was required, because for the one below Mr 17 did resize one of the source images.  I’d have preferred a blue calendar, but could not find one the right size licenced for reuse.
Calendar in Chrome icon
Image (pre-iconised) I use for shortcut to Calendar in Chrome

Source images are from Wikipedia: (Calendar) and (Chrome).

What value is a librarian’s portfolio?

During my studies, many articles and one of our subjects (INF305) urged LIS students to gather a portfolio.  Imagine impressing prospective employers with a display of one’s achievements–makes the goal seem desirable. Yet, I was neither the first nor the last to be dubious.

Yet do many librarian roles really produce tangible evidence of the most significant qualities sought?

Perhaps one of the things I might write about soon is why this topic has renewed relevance for me. For now (for Draft Box: Zero), just a few scraps of notes:

  • What I produce in my current work is catalogue records, evaluations, excel sheets formulae and macros, procedures.  None of these are visually pretty (though some of us appreciate them aesthetically).
  • Samples of such products mightcollectable, however one wonders:
    • Has anyone included catalogue records, Excel formulae/macros, or procedures in their portfolios?
    • Has anyone been influenced by portfolio material to employ a librarian?
  • I am also still wondering if such artefacts would offer a significant indicator of my work’s quality?

In March this year, as reported by Sarah Keil, of four responding employers of librarians (in the United States), only two indicated interest (and that conditional) in applicant portfolios. Meanwhile, on Reddit, hirers for government, public and unspecified libraries were uninterested; one in three hirers for academic libraries *was* interested, while the other two did not look for them but would not object to seeing something; and one person believed she was taken on in part to a technology position because of her portfolio. So I am curious what kinds (if any) of tangibles do Australian employers of librarians like to see?

And in a different direction, has anyone in any non-visual line of work structured an online portfolio with WordPress?