Thursday, April 9, 2015

How to display an Easter egg cursor in Blogspot

Ever wondered how to add a nice Easter themed cursor (or any other type of cursor) to your Blogspot blog? Actually, is quite easy, especially, if you have some basic notions of HTML. I've been playing on my blog lately, testing cursors and graphics, and now I can write a short tutorial about how to add an Easter egg cursor to Blogspot.

Traditionally, in Romania, on Wednesday and Tuesday during the Holy Week of the Orthodox Easter, people use to dye and decorate Easter eggs. World evolves, traditions change and adapt, so, like everyone else, I "echoed" the "offline" tradition into the online medium. Sort to speak, I deciced to decorate my blog.

Easter egg cursor for Blogspot
Easter egg cursor
So, here I am, after long deliberations, I choose a nice pink Easter egg model as shown in the picture at left. If you want your cursor to look the same, here is what you should do.

First of all I have to recommend, a website containing lots of free cursors, ready to be used on your site or blog. Go to the Easter Cursors section on, and choose the desired cursor. Like I said, I go with the pink Easter egg cursor, which can be found at this link. See the image below.

pink Easter cursor for Blogspot
Choosing the desired Easter cursor

Then, we can see the cursor page and also we can see the chosen cursor "at work" - your cursor takes its shape, so that you can test it before you actually use it on your own blog.

Once landed on the page, click on the "Blogger/Blogspot" tab, like shown in the image bellow.

Blogger Blogspot tab in cursors4u
Click on the "Blogger/Blogspot" tab

And then, go to "New Blogger/Blogspot Interface" and copy the codes.

codes Easter cursor Blogspot
Copy the codes of the Easter cursor

Then, log into your Blogspot account, go to your blogs and choose the blog you want to show the new cursor. Bellow is a screenshot from my own account.

Then, go to the left side of the screen, look for "Template" and click on it.

  Then go to "Edit HTML" and click on it.

Note: Before you do this, you'd better backup your template, just in case.

Edit HTML Blogspot
Click on Edit HTML
Now slide down until the bottom, and look for the last line of codes, just where is written  </html>. Positionate the cursor just before the  <  symbol.

Insert code before </html> code
Put cursor before </html> 

And then paste the code that will allow the cursor to be shown. After that, click "Save".

Paste the code and save
Now you're done. Type in browser your blog address to see the results.  You should see on your Blogspot blog a nice Easter egg cursor like mine. Well, congratulations! You've just "dyed" your cursor!

Update on 18 April 2015

After getting some feedback from my friends, I have found out that some people can't see the cursor. I must admit that I am a bit surprised by this because it didn't happen in my case. Anyway, I've tried to figure out the possible issue and a way to fix it.

Although, in theory, if you follow the above mentioned steps, you should see your nice cursor "hovering" your blog, it seems that in some cases, this doesn't always happen. In that case, it would be a good idea to update your browser or browsers. And, in case that you are a blog owner and you can't see your new cursor, then you should verify the codes, maybe you've made a mistake.

Anyway, although I don't intend to keep this cursor forever, I wont to assure you that in my case, it does work. I've checked it using all the browsers that are installed on my OS.

Here is the configuration:
Zorin OS v.6 Core (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS)
Midori v.0.4.3
Firefox v.37.0.1
Google Chrome Version 42.0.2311.90 (64-bit)
Chromium Version 37.0.2062.120 Ubuntu 12.04 (281580) (64-bit)

How to undo all this 

- How to manage an "I want my cursor back!" kind of situation -

Once the Easter period gone, you'll wont to change your cursor back to default. Well, in order to do that, log into your Blogspot account, go to your blog template, click on "Edi HTML" button, and look for your cursor code (you should see something containing "cursors4u" blah blah in it. 

I've selected it (grey highlight) in the screenshot below. Click to enlarge.

selecting the cursor code to erase

 After selecting it, like in the image above, delete it, and then save the HTML. Now the cursor should be back to normal.

- Last update: 21 April 2015 -

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Thanks instead of a resolution

Annual resolution and thank you
This being my first blog post here, in the anno Domini 2015, at first, I wonted this to be some kind of resolution. And I am not talking about the TV or PC screen. No, this fancy name is given to those ambitious and long "To Do" lists that people use to write on special occasions.

But then, I've learned that over a half of the people who make resolutions fail to make them come true. The reasons are numerous and diverse and they are not the subject of this post.

Anyway, I look back at the resolutions I have made last year. Do I need to mention that I graciously fall into the category of those over 50%? Well, yes, but instead of lamenting over this, I choose to see the full half of the glass.

I really don't feel that I can move on with this blog without talking a bit about some of the things that I have accomplished and learned during the last year. I also must mention the people who have been helping me to obtain all these. Yes, I wasn't alone on my way of self-development. None of us is alone.

I am aware of the fact that most of the modern self-help books are very vocal about how the individual can reach his targets just by using his own will. But this unrealistic and overly promoted image can create the false perception that we don't need each other, we don't owe each other anything, and thus, that we don't have to give anything back. Well, that is incorrect. We are social beings, we live in collectivity. That means that we give and receive help. And this help can be of different kinds: moral, material, spiritual, emotional... you name it. Each one of us has its own list of people who have contributed to his own self-improvement. And I have my own.

During the last year - 2014 - several people have helped me one way or the other and I feel the need to mention them here because they are very much connected to some of my accomplishments. Such lists tend to be unfair because there is always someone left unmentioned, so I'll have to apologise for that.

Paper cut fancy letter T
Last year, during the springtime, I had the honour to be invited to be part of two interesting educational projects. Both of them are making baby steps - they are small projects developed in the spare time - so they should not be judged too harshly.

First one of them is, where I've wrote a short feedback that cand be found on the "People Say" (Feedback) section.

I've been giving a hand to this project mostly by testing the website and providing feedback to the owner. By feedback I mean, everything from design and graphics to website usability.

Well, in fact, this is not the first time when I give my feedback and thoughts to an admin, but this time was different, because I know the admin, he is my old friend, and he came to me to ask for my feedback on his projects.

I must say that I was both flattered by his trust in my opinion and responsibilised. And it was one very fun and interesting experience. I was testing the site and giving my opinions via chat, while the admin was working "in real time" on the other part of the globe, on another continent. That was something overwhelming and intense. Something that made me feel the world as a large and, in the same time, a very small place! Like I was feeling the planet spinning. It's hard to explain this, but this is the miracle of technology.

Paper cut fancy letter H
The second project is called StuEase.
As part of my contribution on this website, - apart of giving feedback - I've prepared two tests in the Philosophy field, more exactly, European Philosophy. So, if you are passionate about this field and wont to try your knowledge level in it, I invite you to play the tests I've created! One thing though: finding them can be a bit tricky, so, follow my directions bellow.

In order to reach my Philosophy tests, you have to go to section "Test Yourself" on StuEase website and follow the path:

Post Graduation > Philosophy > European Philosophy

Note: To solve this test or any of the other listed tests, you will have to create an account on the website. 

Now is time to disclosure the identity of the person who's behind all these projects. His name is Pradeep, (Hi and namaste!), he is from India and he has studied Medicine and coding. So, if you got any software problem, he will dissect its codes. LOL I just had to say that! 

Paper cut fancy letter AAnother friend I wont to mention here is one who likes to sign under the nickname Camy. (Salutare, tovarășa!) I wont to thank her once again trough this post for the gift she gave me. I wont to assure her that the device - an Android smartphone - is well-appreciated and I will make good use of it in my future articles. It will be my tool and source of inspiration. ;-)

Camy is my friend from Romania and she is a quite sporty and outgoing kind of person. Exactly the one you would like to hangout with in a sunny summer weekend.

Paper cut fancy letter N
Last year I've decided to deepen my knowledge in English language. I feel the need to do that, because, despite the fact that I read articles written in this language on a daily basis, I still can't get read of a lifelong feeling of uncertainty when I have to write or speak in English. Maybe I'll never do. Gosh! What am I saying?! Even now there are rare occasions when, I feel unsure of my own mother tongue (which, by the way, is in some aspects, a lot harder than English).

Also, last year I became interested in Italian, a language that wasn't initially on my list. Turned out to be a good choice. Again, reasons are not the subject of this post.

Paper-cut fancy letter KAnyway, the important thing is, that I am not alone on this road. I have been helped by a good friend of mine who's highly skilled in teaching languages... and he likes to "collect" them ;-)

His name is Fellipe (Salve magister!), he is from Brasil, and he is a teacher of languages and he has been helping me to improve my English and also, offered to teach me Italian online (with all the difficulties that comes along with on-distance teaching and the time differences). I really have to thank him for that!

Also we had several long and interesting chats over the subject of Latin language, Latinity and Neo-Latin languages. These discussions have awaken in me some old and almost dormant questions, interests and hobbies related to the linguistical field of study. And again I have to thank him for triggering that. To put it in a few words, I am really glad that I have a skilled friend that I can count on every time I am confused in this language matter.

Paper-cut fancy letter S
And last, but not at all least, I have to mention Mr. Nicolas, (Je vous remercie!) the one I owe all things I've succeed in the past two years. He is my mysterious and quiet reader of my texts and has helped and encouraged me in many ways to carry on with my writing.

I should link to one of his online profiles, but there is none that I know of. He likes to stay in the shadows (which I kinda like it, I think it's pretty cool in an old fashioned way, considering the openness required by the unwritten standards of the online presence.)

Anyway, I keep in my mind this image of him doing his researches in the most remote places of the planet...

That would be, in a sort of chronological order, my short list of some of the people I owe my gratitude to.

My future plans? Well, mostly, to continue what I've started and to embrace whatever new opportunity may appear...

Paper-cut fancy Thanks message

Sunday, October 19, 2014

How to install gbrainy game on Zorin OS

Gbrainy is teaser game, that means, it aims to improve user's memory, attention, and, generally, to increase mental skills.

For non-Linux users and curious linuxists, there is a way to play gbrainy online (requires signing up using an account on one of the major social networking sites).

But this blog post aims to show step by step, with images, how to install gbrainy on Zorin OS using the Software Center app. This is how I have installed the game on my system.

Follow the path:

Start - All Programs - Accessories - Software Center

This will open the Ubuntu Software Center, as we can see in the image bellow. Once open, click on Games.

Open the Sotware Center and click Games

In order to find gbrainy directly and faster, we can just type its name in the search bar. But when I started all this, I wasn't exactly sure what game I want to install, I was just searching for something interesting.

So, I preferred to click on All...

Click on all games

...Scroll down a lot (there are over 900 games listed). Find gbrainy, click on the Info, in order to see details related to the game.

Once the game found, click on More Info to see more
The description looks interesting, so... click Install

Read the description of the game and click Install
In Zorin OS, installing any app, even a tiny game as this one, requires the administrative privileges. That's Linux way to do things! Asking for password even for the smallest things, is a security measure. I would say, that's a small price to pay for using an operation system that's more secure than Windows.

But I tend to digress. Write the password in the field and click Authenticate.

In order to install the game write the password

The game installs...

gBrainy during the installation process
Once installed, it can be seen the path that can be followed in order to open the game.

Start - All Applications - Games - gbrainy

And this is the game! gbrainy is in fact, a collection of tests: logic puzzles, mental calculations, memory trainers and verbal analogies. All to improve mental capabilities.

gbrainy game
That's it! Enjoy the game!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Test post - posting with Bloggeroid

This post is just a test to see if the Android app called Bloggeroid really works. In order to do that, this post is written and published using only a mobile phone...
posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Temporarily fixing resolution problems in Zorin OS

What is one day - just after playing a game - you have the unpleasant surprise to see the screen resolution changed, showing big ugly icons and distorted wallpaper? And what if, no matter how hard you try, you can't find the cause, and, most important, the solution for this?

Well, this has happened to me. But, luckily after long searches, I got an idea about the possible cause for this problem and I have also found a way to fix it. Well, at least. temporarily. I couldn't find yet a definitive answer, but I'm still working on it. But first, let's see...

...the problem

In very few words, the problem is caused by a misfortune cocktail of games, drivers and a bug present in Wine / PlayOnLinux app. Its manifests randomly and, from what I've observed on forums, it doesn't seem to matter what game you play, whether it is the last version of a complicated RPG, or just a humble kids arcade.

As I've said, the image on the screen remains distorted after playing (or trying to play) the game. No matter what you do, how many times you try to change the settings, using the "normal" ways, it simply doesn't seem to work. Well, I've been going though this frustrating situation, but, luckily, I've found...

...the solution

Note: this is a way to recover the screen resolution in Zorin OS 6 LTS, but it is a temporarily fix! You'll have to run this command every day when you start your PC. If you shut down, restart, or flip your laptop and let it into stand by state, then you'll have to run this command again.

Or, at least this is what happens in my case. Who knows, maybe you'll be luckier than me and it will work better in your case. Anyway, writing commands several times a day, is not exactly ideal, and it can drive people away from Linux, which is ot what I want, so I'll look deeper to find a better solution. Till then, this are the solutions I've found and the ways they work on my Zorin OS 6 distro.

Solution no. 1

This is my favorite because is the simplest and I find it handy.

First, open the Terminal. In order to do that, go to :

Start - All Applications - Accessories - Terminal

or press Ctrl + Alt + T

and write this command:

xrandr -s 0

and then press "Enter". Here is how it should look in the Terminal:

resolution fix
Short command line to fix resolution in Zorin OS

After running this  command the screen will turn black for several seconds, maybe it will show some sports of colours, then, the resolution will get back to normal.

Solution no. 2

Actually, is the first I've discovered, but I've abandoned it because the other one is shorter and both of them have - in my case - the same effects. But I write it here, just in case.

In Terminal, write this command line:

xrandr -s 0 && xrandr -s 0

Press "Enter".

Zorin OS command

And now the long version of the story. One day, recently, I had the bad inspiration to try to install a little game from It's about a game called 4 Elements. Just a silly game with faeries, water, fire and stones. The game wasn't something new for me. Actually, the strange thing is that I used to play this game a lot three years ago, on a Windows XP system and I had no problems. I keep an older version of the game (dating from 2012) saved somewhere on a device and, last year, I have installed that version on another XP system. Again, no problems with that game. Until now.

Most newbies will tend to believe that there is a problem with Linux, but I incline to believe that is the game to be blamed. Because, in the exact same day when I have installed 4 Elements, my mother installed Farm Frenzy 2 on her Windows XP computer, and she had the same resolution problems like me.

In her case, the problems were fixed easier, and the game, was, of course, uninstalled and banned for good, but in my case, things got a little complicated, as you can see.

I've forgot to mention that I've installed the game using Wine app, because it is an .exe, so it was made to be played on Windows.

In fact, no matter the title, all the games mentioned on forums, blogs or groups, related to this bug, share the same thing: they are Windows-oriented and they are played trough Wine / PlayOnLinux app. Besides of that, I can't understand why all these problems don't manifest when installing the old versions? Are the newest versions full of errors and that makes them causing these unpleasant surprises?

And, most of all, how can this be fixed for good without getting too geeky every time the PC is turned on? These are questions and challenges to solve...

Saturday, May 31, 2014

In memoriam...

I dedicate this post to the memory of my grandmother who has recently passed away after a long sufferance. Today marks the day of an important religious ritual dedicated to her memory and with this occasion, my pious lack of activity on this blog has come to an end...

I ask to all my (surprisingly numerous) readers to forgive my silence from the past few months, but now, as you can see, my reasons were very serious and the emotional pressure was very high upon me. God bless you all!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Firefox - How to add a word in the dictionary

So I write this blog in English, which is not my native language. Lucky me, the tools and apps have evolved a lot, during the last decade, so, when I wite an email or a blog post, I no longer have to keep my in-print dictionary opened near by my side in order to check (and double check) the spelling of the English words.

This used to be my method many years ago, when both the Internet and my relationship with it was still very young. Meanwhile  things have evolved. Now, when I write a typo, the spell checker warns me by showing a little squiggly red line underneath the misspelled word.

This feature can be found in Firefox browser and it is strongly connected to the Language dictionaries that are installed on your browser. For example, in my case, I have installed dictionaries for Romanian and English. Every time I mistake a word in the selected language, the spell checker corrects me. It's really easy and convenient. Just one right-click on the red line and I get several suggestions.

But the spell checker isn't perfect. Sometimes, it "underlines" a correct word. How can you add that word to the dictionary? Sounds complicated but it isn't. The last versions of Firefox allows users to customise the dictionary (and thus the spell checker).

I use as example a couple of old screenshots from my own browser. In the image bellow, I edit a question on AskUbuntu and, as you can see, the spell checker marks as typos several words including "paranoical".

But this word is not a typo, it it is correct. So, in order to add this word to the dictionary I right click on the underlined word and then click on "Add to Dictionary".

Add a word in the spell checker
To add a word to the dictionary right-click on it and then click on Add to Dictionary

And then, the line disappears - the word is now kept in the personal dictionary. This way, everyone can enrich and complete the dictionary making it more trustworthy and useful.

The added word is no longer underlined.