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Attaching files to posts


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You cannot actually attach an image file to a post. You must have the image up on the Internet somewhere with its own URL. When you insert this URL in a post, the image will be linked thus and it will be displayed in your post.

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Under the box you write your post into there's a box with choices such as "URL", "Email", etc.

If you click on "URL" two boxes pop up. The first invites you to enter the address you want to show; the second is the words you want to appear in your post as an underlined or colored link. You use that if there's an address you want someone to go to, and you want to give it a name. For instance, if I just type in the address, www.darntonviolins.com , that shows up as it just did now, however if I use the "URL" entry I can do it like this: my web site. Essentially they work the same--you can click on either form, but they display differently--the second form lets you put the link into the text more conversationally :-).

The "Image" tag works similarly--if you click on it a box pops up and you add the exact web address of the picture you want to show. For instance, I'll enter in that box the address of a picture on my website: smmolds.jpg

and it shows up as a picture here. In order to do that, you have to have a place on the web to dump pictures. Most ISPs (service providers) give you 5 or 10 megs of space to post your personal stuff. (By the way--I can use either of the first two methods above to show that photo separately, not within this post, either by just typing the address: http://darntonviolins.com/ethan/smmolds.jpg or by making it into a link using the "URL" tag.)

To put up pix, you need to find out how to use that free space--usually you use an ftp client (a program that looks like a file manager, but allows you to place files from your computer across the web to the space your ISP gives you, where everyone cans see them). I use FileZilla, which is a free program.

So, basically, you start by first making the photo, posting it on your space at your ISP, and then entering the address of that photo into the "Image" pop-up box at the point in your post where you want the image to appear.

The address usually incorporates the address of your ISP, like "www.earthlink.net" adding a form of your address--so your site might have an address like "www.earthlink.net/~madmax" and a photo's address would add the name of the photo at the end of that, making the full address to enter in the box "http://www.earthlink.net/~madmax/photo.jpg".

.jpg files are the standard to use, and please make them small enough in pixel size so they don't cover the screen and more. Digital camera photos and scans need to be resized to something much smaller than the camera puts out--like no more than 500x400 or so. The photo above is about 175 wide, by 250 high. When you see one of those posts that includes a photo and you're forced to pan sideways to read all the text in everyone's posts there, that's because the person who posted the photo didn't resize it small enough!

For you, in particular, Ron, if you to to gte.net, it takes you to the Verizon site, and you can click on the link "My Web Space" in the menu on the left, which I assume will get you started with some of this, once you sign in.

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Hi Michael,

Just wondering, with a photo like your tononi photo from before, that would appear to be a larger file size than your progress pix? Does this mean you used a different method, such as putting it on your own website, as opposed to something like filezilla(?) ?

Am I correct in believing that if you wanted to send photos, you are much more limited if included as an email post than if you have a link to some form of web posting?


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A digital camera puts out an image that will cover multiple screens. The way IE and Netscape work, in their normal mode, is to display every pixel in the image as a pixel on the screen. So say your screen is set to 800x600, and I put up a shot from my camera at it's original size, 2240x1680--that will cover three full screens in each direction, about nine monitors worth that you'll have to pan around to see.

So when I post pictures, I have to decide how much space I want them to take on viewers' screens. Most people these days use at least 800x600, and you have to acount for borders and menus, so the real display area is much less. I use 1280x768, and make a half-hearted hope that the people who look at my own web pages will, too. For Maestronet, I assume 800x600, though.

In the photo software there's always an option to resize or resample, in which you can specify the pixel dimensions you want to save the photo at, so you figure the size that will be comfortable for the viewer, or for the use you're going to put the photo to, and resample to that.

If you right-click on images on web pages, you'll get a menu including "properties". If you look at the properties, you can see the pixel size of the image, and see how different sizes look on different screens.

There's also the issue of compression, which makes the images much smaller, but also degrades sharpness and color in the process. My camera takes a image that's actually about 11 megs, but compresses it to 2.5 without much loss. When I resize the images the file size gets correspondingly smaller, and then I choose a compression ratio that maintains the quality level I want people to see. For the viola stuff, I'm keeping the dimensions large, and the compression isn't as much as some people might use. That means each image is about 100K, which takes about 20 seconds for dial-up people to download--pretty long, I admit. But I wanted to keep the photos so everything was clear, large and visible.

All of this leading to the Tononi pix. Those were for a dealer to see, and I assumed he'd want to see everything there was to see, so I left them large, knowing also that he's savvy enough to know how to use regular photo software to shrink them on his screen if he wanted to see the whole outline. That's the advantage of looking at photos via photo editing software rather than through IE or something similar--the ability to shrink and magnify on-screen. I resized them to a size where I thought he'd be able to see what he needed, without the file size getting too large.

For the web you don't need large images, but for printing you do, so I'd choose the pixel dimensions for the use. I'd never resize a picture I was going to print. Even if you're only making a small print, the printer can take all of my 2000+ pixels and jam them into a 5" wide print, giving more detail. That's a trick you can't do on a monitor--the rules for monitors and prints are totally different.

If you're sending an e-mail, you're theoretically only limited by the file size your ISP permits you to send, and the ability of the receiver to deal with the file when he gets it. It would be a waste of time for me to send my mother a full-size image from my camera because she wouldn't know how to look at it all at once on her screen, and wouldn't be printing it, so I size it small. If, however, I'm e-mailing a violin shot to a dealer who might even want to print it for his records, or for a cert, I'll send him the whole thing.

One more thing--both Netscape and IE, in their latest versions, have the ability to resize images that are too big to fit the screen. It's good to find that option and check it in preferences. Then if you want to see an image full-size, in either program there's a way to click on the image to snap it back up to full size. Just as an additional confusion, the file viewer built into Windows XP automatically dispays any image so it fits within the screen, and you have no idea if it's been resized or not.

I hope this isn't confusing. People usually have a hard time getting a handle on file and image size. Just remember that your computer normally *wants* to show photos one photo pixel to one screen pixel, but your printer doesn't have that constraint, and can print the same image any size you specify, so for web display, resizing is critical, depending on the context (fitting in a hole on a page) and the use (violin photos for dealers being the opposite situation), but not for any other use, including e-mail (unless your victim can't figure out how to deal with huge screen images).

Clear as mud, right?

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