SlideItMoo – A Nice Javascript Image Slider

The other day, I was in need of a simple script that would allow me to set up an image slider on one of my home pages. I basically needed to set up a carousel of promotional items and allow the users to scroll through thumbnails of the various items that are available.

After some searching and testing of various scripts, I came across SlideItMoo, an image slider that uses the Mootools javascript framework and makes it very simple to set up a slider. This is my first foray into using a javascript framework (other than those that are built into other packages like WordPress).

If you’re looking for an image or banner slider/carousel script, I highly recommend checking out SlideItMoo.

WordPress MU Gets an Update

A few weeks ago, the folks at WordPress MU released the latest and greatest version. WordPress MU is now available with WordPress 2.7, which, as I have discussed in the past, was a big change from 2.6, with a lot of nice new features.

I am very impressed at how easy it was to update and how flawlessly the upgrade went. At this time, I only have two or three blogs created in my WordPress MU installation, but it’s nice to know how easy it is to upgrade all of them at once.

For those of you that don’t know what WordPress MU is, here is a short summary. Basically, if you plan to install WordPress on your server more than once, you should use WordPress MU. The software allows you to set up and administrate multiple WordPress blogs from within a single interface. You can create as many blogs and as many users as you want. You can associate different users with different blogs and give each one different permissions on each blog.

img/stack Helps You Manipulate Images on the Fly

Tobin Schwaiger-Hastanan has announced that a new version of <img/>stack is now live. The service is described as, “<img/>stack works by taking a URL to an image and instructions on what to do with that image to create a new image on the fly.”

Tobin noted in an email exchange, “I wanted to simply request the image based on how I needed it for the page and just expect it to be there.  Cropped, resized, centered… I didn’t want to have to go back and forth between photoshop and batch processing scripts.”

There’s a tutorial on how the service works which is pretty easy to understand. Basically you can resize an image, crop an image, create thumbnails and fit an image to a specific size. The application lives on their server, you just call the parameters and the image to change and it will render the image as requested on the screen.

Looks like it could be a good fit for web applications that handle a lot of images for products or even avatars.

Boxee Goes Windows

A new version of Boxee was released yesterday. The new version is currently available on Mac, AppleTV and Windows. While this is just an update for the Mac and AppleTV users, this is the first version released on Windows.

Those of us using Linux have been told we’ll have to wait a few more days to get our update, but I’m okay with that.

I am very curious to see how Boxee performs on Windows, but I am not one of the lucky few (214, to be exact) that got an invitation to test it on Windows, yet. Hopefully I’ll get one in the next wave of invites.

Animoto – Punch Up Your Slideshows

I came across a very cool site the other day called Animoto. Animoto is a very neat application that allows you to create animated slideshows with your photographs. You can upload as many photographs as you want. You can then choose background music from the library on the Animoto server, or you can upload your own music to use in the background of your slideshow.

Somehow, the Animoto application automatically picks up on the beat and rhythm of your background music, and animates the photographs to go along with it.

It does a pretty decent job, and makes the slideshow rather interesting. You can create as many 30-second slideshows as you want without having to pay anything. If you want to create longer slideshows, then you have to sign up for a premium account.

Pop on over to Animoto and give it a try. It’s incredibly easy to use.

Boxee Releases New Alpha Version

Boxee, the XBMC-based media player I wrote about a few weeks ago, has released a new alpha version. The official list of changes (to the Linux version, at least) is as follows:

  • complete UI overhaul
  • play content available from: Hulu, CBS, Comedy Central, MySpaceTV, NextNewNetworks, On Networks
  • connect to videos from Hulu and CBS straight from friends activity and recommendations
  • manage your personal RSS feeds from and access them through boxee (on My Feeds under Internet Video or Internet Music)
  • navigation in media is vertical (up/down) instead of horizontal (left/right)
  • mouse is supported and enabled by default for new installations (for upgrades it can be enabled via Settings > Appearance)
  • application settings (YouTube, Flickr, are now accessible from the Settings menu
  • improved SMB support, which also fixes accessing your media via the Apple TV
  • when using a keyboard, the ESCAPE button always takes you to the previous screen
  • improved lyrics support
  • improved subtitles look and feel, support for subtitle switching and fixed media going Speedy Gonzales for a few seconds when subtitle are applied
  • when working in off-line mode, you can now properly access your local content
  • numerous bug fixes
  • many fixes from our friends at
  • moved boxee install directory to /opt/boxee under Ubuntu (POSIX compliance FTW )
I am a bit excited about the addition of Hulu. Unfortunately, however, I found that on my slow “high-speed” Internet connection, Hulu videos are virtually unwatchable. This, sadly, has nothing to do with boxee, as I tested the video outside of boxee. I guess I’ll just have to keep dreaming and waiting for the day that Verizon decides to upgrade the phone lines that run to my house or Comcast decides to run the extra 50 feet of cable it would take to extend cable service from the end of my driveway (seriously, that’s where cable service in my area ends) to my house.