4scrape’s new gimmick is visual cocaine

January 2, 2009

FROM JASON’S DESKTOP – If you’re an adult, and you’re looking for desktop wallpaper in any other way than 4scrape, then you are doing it wrong.

That’s because whoever recently updated the site is a god-damned genius.

4scrape has an engine that will load random wallpapers scooped off image boards like 4chan and archived. It used to be that you could load a handful of these random images, look them over, and refresh the page to see another bunch.

The obvious benefit is that it allows you to skip over the retardation, racism, sexism, abuse, degeneracy, neo-Nazism, and spam that populates those types of boards. All you want to see are the images, and that’s exactly what 4scrape gives you.

But now, 4scrape has gone one step better: You don’t even have to refresh the page anymore. Instead, you can load it up and scroll down, and the scripting will keep loading a never-ending stream of uninterrupted wallpaper goodness. No back button. No waiting to refresh. No interruptions.

For desktop-o-philes like me, this is visual crack. I scrolled for 45 minutes last night and saved 23 amazing new background images, including classical paintings, landscapes, futurist concept renderings, and one showing the Hulk going apeshit on Wolverine.

If you’re a prude (and the reason that I stipulated in the first paragraph that you must be an adult), then brace yourself for pornography. You will get boobies and varies body cavities as you keep scrolling through the wallpapers.

But if you’re relatively enlightened (read: grown up and not shackled by a religiously-compelled inability to practice discernment), then you should have no problem. You be set loose in a veritable Wonka’s chocolate factory of colorful art.

This is what the Web should be. This is how smart all content providers should aspire to become.

Of course, if you’re not just browsing (I almost always am), you can always go to 4scrape’s main page and use the search field to hunt for something specific.


Desktop hacks give me the best that XP, OSX, and Ubuntu could offer

September 23, 2008

FROM JASON’S REPRESSED ARTIST PERSONA – I’ve been toying endlessly with my Windows XP desktop lately, getting rid of the WinDross that’s irritated me for years.

Now, I like a lot of things about Windows. And I like a lot of things about OSX. And I hate a lot of things about both. So I was looking for a happy medium.

What I found were a lot of third-party apps and registry hacks that let me have the best of each OS’ desktop.

First, I installed DeskSpace, a Win32 application that replicates the Ubuntu desktop.

Holding a hotkey and dragging the mouse lets you switch between six desktops, each with its own shortcuts, wallpapers, and applications. It’s not really necessary in the least, unless you want to have Photoshop running on one desktop and then click over to another for web browsing or iTunes.

It’s also helpful for quickly hiding your screen from your wife or boss (sometimes they’re the same) if you’re Christmas or anniversary shopping. Not looking at pr0n. Nope, not that. Never.

But more than anything else, it’s a way to use lots of wallpapers at the same time and switch effortlessly between them.

Our forum friend Sonic from the Geeknights forum shows you how it works:

Next, I co-opted OSX’s launchbar by installing RK Launcher. I have since switched over to RocketDock, which lacks a few features but excels at using docklets (widgets) that make life a lot easier. Those include clocks, weather reports, and menu stacking right on the launch bar.

You’ll notice that’s not the standard XP color and style scheme on the taskbar. I used UXPatcher to crack the Plus! protection for *.msstyles files. (TIP: Once you run the patcher, run it again to enable the patch.) Then I could get skins without having to use another memory hog like Windows Blinds.

Next, I went in search of great wallpaper, but I didn’t want to trawl 4chan until my brain ‘sploded. So I took a clue from another forumite, Dkong1026, who suggested 4scrape. It indexes image boards and delivers lots of wallpapers quickly. There’s no real way to search it — just keep hitting F5 until you see what you want — but bulk wins in this case.

Watch out for the pornography, if you care about such trivial things.

You god-damned prude.

At this point, I started incorporating widgets onto the desktop, both for asthetic and functional reasons. I’m using Yahoo! Widgets here, but Google has a similar service, and third-party programs often do the same thing.

These customizable ones I’m using show hard drive, RAM, and CPU usage, let me control the system volume, and give me an iTunes remote control/cover art viewer. They can be independently anchored on the desktop and come with a bunch of options.

There was still more to be done, though. I’ve always disliked the taskbar, and using its autohide function just wasn’t cutting it. The damned thing kept popping up on mouseover and getting in the way, so I hunted for a reg hack to remove it completely and found KaneBT to do it for me.

Now I have a nice, clean, functional desktop customized to my needs:

How nice is that? There’s absolutely nothing I like better than a perfectly organized system without a bunch of icon clutter. It’s all streamlined, which looks better and saves me time.


Customizing a cell phone is easy with the right tools

December 7, 2007

FROM JASON’S CELL PHONE — Those ringtones on your phone are just little WAV and MP3 files, and the wallpapers are just tiny JPGs. That means you could convert your phone to just about any theme — if only there were a way to get your custom clips and images to it.

Sure, you could pay $2.99 per ringtone to buy through the service provider. Or you could use a couple of simple online tools to upload any ringer and any wallpaper for free.

For some phones, getting free toys straight from the Internet is a snap. Some providers, though — like Verizon — make it quite counter-intuitive to get anything at all to or from a phone (especially the lower-end ones).

It took quite a bit of digging to find upload tools that weren’t scams, overly complicated software downloads, bloatware, or pay sites. These links below, however, work like a charm:

Upload free ringtones

Upload free wallpapers

Get wallpaper dimensions

Upload free ringtones Upload free wallpaper Get wallpaper dimensions

Space

It takes about 5-12 minutes for the messages to traverse the cell network and beep to your phone. Be patient and don’t spam yourself like I did the first time trying to get it to work.

federation.jpg

My phone has been converted to a Star Trek communicator using this ship’s intercom hailing sound along with a text message tone from Worf. This one from Data or this computer dialogue also work pretty well.

Couple it with this United Federation of Planets logo wallpaper I cropped, and you’re set to go.

It’s a little bit nerdy, sure, but you should have heard the reaction from my co-workers the first time I got a call at the office. I couldn’t resist flipping the phone open dramatically and doing my best Shatner.


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