Sunday, 22 July 2007

Coming soon to a 'buffet near you!

Yep, the all new super IB Geek Girl competition's on it's way, and it's so wonderful that it hasn't even got an official name yet!

Full details and the rules of the game will be posted on the blog forum tomorrow (Monday, 23rd July 2007). All I can say at this point is if you have a thinking cap, dig it out, dust it off, and put it on. The contest will be open to all, and there will be bonus scoring opportunities galore.

Of course all competition entrants get a free IB Geek Girl cookie. IBGG cookies are freshly baked by our Bakers (they're a bit like IB chefs but they make things with code rather than pixels) and they're yummy, and are especially nice with a nice big tankard of rum. Arrrr!

Feel free to ponder upon just what this IBGG spectacular's gonna be. ;-)

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

IBGG style comes to an IconBuffet near you

Don't you hate it when you get innundated with spam deliveries from those people clearly unable to read words of one syllable?!! Grrrr! Despite my profile clearly saying whether I have tokens or not, I regularly get unwanted deliveries from people despite my tokenless status, and they mount up, and mount up...

I've got to the point where not only do I refuse to decline the deliveries on principle, but in the case of repeat offenders have seriously considered posting a note in their Box along the lines of "Are you unable to read? NO TOKENS! Warning: I hold stamps hostage!" I doubt that would stop them though.

I admit it. I hold stamps hostage. If people can't be bothered to read my profile, I can't be bothered to reject their deliveries, and feel no guilt at tying up their stamps. Some people just don't learn though, and send me not one, or two, or even three, but bucketfuls of icon sets, and they mount up, and mount up, and they're a huge PITA to scroll through multiple times every day. There must be a better way. There is. It's called CSS.

What started as a mission to rid myself of the huge list of deliveries turned into an all-out mission to change the look of IB completely.

And thus, two IBGG Stylish userstyles were born. Wanna see the before and after shots? Okay then...The plain but lovely IconBuffet's somewhere to your left and up a bit. Note particularly the reams and reams of spam deliveries - yep, I'm serious about hostage taking!

Style 1, called simply "Spam be gone" simply does what it says on the tin, gets rid of those spam deliveries so you don't have to see them every day until they expire if keeping stamps hostage is your thing. Use it on it's own or with another style, and never again have to scroll through those spam deliveries, unless you want to!

Style 2 is the "IBGG IconBuffet Makeover". It's a geeky makeover rather than a girlie makeover. Ever wished that IB was just a little more geeky? Well now it can be! With the IBGG IB Makeover, you get binary and a sort of retro CRT effect profile all rolled into one. Used with the "Spam Be Gone" style you can rid yourself of spam too, or use it on it's own if you happen to like spam.
Just for good measure, here's a close-up of the top left of the screen...

Like what you see? You can visit the Stylish website to read more and install the styles. You'll find my styles here.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Instructions are for wimps

I was going to call this entry "Instructions not required", but "Instructions are for wimps" sounded better somehow. <grin>

One of the great things about being a geek, at least in my experience, is that much like with code and scripts and stuff that you hack to pieces then put back together to see if they still work, only with your new "improvements" in place, is that when it comes to electronic gadgetry and stuff, on the whole, instructions aren't required. For me, having a new geeky toy to play with is like hacking around a piece of code - you switch it on, press the buttons, and find out what does what, and which are the ones it's not a good idea to press, all without actually referring to the instructions.

Take my new toy, the totally gorgeous Sony Ericsson K810i mobile phone (I likes my geeky toys!) - the nearest I got to instructions was playing around with the online simulation before the real thing arrived (did I mention it's totally gorgeous and features my favourite neon blue?). I haven't actually opened the user manual - just snapped the SIM out of it's plastic card, slotted it into the phone, stuck in the battery and switched on, and away I went. In general they all tend to work in pretty much the same way, with minor differences in their menu structures, but they're all fairly similar on the whole.

Having geeky tendancies does have it's downside as well though. Last week my parents got a new TV. For getting on for an hour my father had perused the instruction manual and attempted to tune the damned thing (he'd managed to get the same TV channel on all the programme buttons). I arrived on the scene and was promptly told that I was now in charge tuning it. It's only on occasions such as these that my geekiness is seen by the family as something of a positive nature. Most of the time they're not interested in what I get up to online (unless they want advice about how/where to find something online), or something breaks down. After grumbling about his inability to read the instructions, I proceeded to tune the damned thing (without of course referring to said instructions). As I started to work my way though the tuning menu options father was heard to cry, "Um, no, that's not how you...!" Five seconds later when I'd successfully got the next TV channel on the next button he shut up. "Ah, that's the bit I was trying to get into, but it wouldn't let me!" he exclaimed. Five minutes later I'd got all the channels tuned and I handed him the remote control back.

"You can do the Freeview box now," was his next comment. At this point I put my foot down with a firm hand. That's his toy and he can tune it.

Being a geek can sometimes have it's disadvantages.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Be a geek girl fanboy

For those who don't know, there's a IB clan called "Geek Girls" where all the sexy, smart coders, artists, etc. that are of the female persuasion hang out. Since they won't let boys join, I figure the only way I can stalk, er, I mean talk to these lovely ladies is to start my own clan dedicated solely to worshiping their awesomeness...

says louiemctool on the blog forum. Not only are we the coolest geek girls on the web, but we're so damned cool we got the boys queuing up to be our fans! What did we tell you? We can out-geek the boys and get boys drooling over us as well. Do the geek boys have a clan dedicated to being their fangirls - no! Tamashii of course is jealous of their stalking. ;-)

Friday, 6 July 2007

My IB Story

I have been an Icon Buffet member since before there was even a forum! Yeah, that's right, we had to sign friends up and hope they were given different deliveries to trade! Happily a Vanilla forum was installed PDQ and it was no longer necessary to travel in pixelated circles. Things were a bit primitive compared with the custom system we have today, but somehow we got by as long as we remembered to enter our e-mail address for the delivery. I always checked in about every month or so and was lucky enough to have all the icons when the new system was put in place.

I knew changes were planned, and I was not surprised to find a whole new site when I made my regular visit. I was happy because my one complaint, the lack of persistent session cookies, was fixed. Little did I know...

I made my first sappy blog post on Mar 08, 2007. At the time, there was a sidebar discouraging flames, trolls, or misguided, angry words. It seemed fair to me, I am getting free high quality icons here to use as I choose. What's not to love? I started checking back more often, perhaps even daily, then after that hourly, then constantly, to see what the icon collectors would say.

I soon found out that there can be sadness even in a happy icon-loving society. Bright stars were lost. Even worse, harsh words were directed towards well meaning folks who only wanted to share the icon love. It almost seemed that the competitive nature of earning points could kill the joy of sharing.

I wish I could recreate a day early in May when the revolution took place. It was early on a Sunday morning, and I had developed a hint of the colic and was unable to venture into town with the family. By then logging in and checking the forums was as natural as waking up for me. What greeted me on that day was a bold and reckless commitment to sharing that was as reckless and visionary as an uprising ever was.

As I mentioned, all of this took place during the weekend, when the chefs were out enjoying the early spring sunshine, and those of us who participated had no clue as to what would happen come Monday morning when the sun of a sober workweek rose on our doings. In a bold display of solidarity we all donned identical icons crafted by the talented cheiie so that no one would mistake that something large had happened.

I do want to tell you that I have never laughed so much for so long in my entire life. That entire day was filled with brilliance and humor both on purpose and entirely accidental. It was a good day to be alive.

History tends to flatten important events, and it is easy to summarize our accomplishments with phrases like "115 people are interested in The Pirates (225,460 points between them)". The spirit lives on, however, whenever a hapless new recruit shares with impunity. Enjoy your freedoms, and feel secure that otherwise normal and mostly geek girl pirates has got your back.


Tuesday, 3 July 2007

IB takes over the world

The web's a lot like a school playground where you play with kids in your own "gang" and laugh at the kids who aren't "in", who aren't cool. In online communities there's often a tight-knit bond of some sense of community - even though you've never physically met the people you chat with every day, you get to know each other and allegiances are formed. Often on the web there are comparisons made between other communities, how friendly they are, how good the site is, etc. etc.

The Pirates have a tagline - "Join the Pirates and snipe the world" and love nothing better than pillaging, plundering, and the odd bit of sniping, and I guess it's contagious. So, when the crazy folks at IconBuffet discovered a rival site, which also does icon trading, but which to be honest is a very bad rip-off off IB (we're talking Web 0.1 Beta here - appalling user interface, basic site to say the least, and not altogether high quality icons), the IB regulars just couldn't resist piling in en-masse, and creating a little havoc.

"Since there seems to be a sudden rash of newbies here this morning..." remarked one of their members...hehe! No shit Sherlock! Newbies!? We're not newbies, we're the IB raiding party! There's no tokens and stamps and things there - you just have to make one on one trades for sets with other people. Well of course when a bunch of pixelly-addicted crazies descend on the place all together and all start trading with each other because they all know each other from the Best icon source on the web, all hell breaks loose and there's trading left, right and centre. I'd imagine the regulars there were just sitting there open-mouthed wondering what the hell was happening, and no doubt the folks that run the place were sitting scratching their heads and wondering what had hit their servers with half of IB's membership suddenly descending on them.

Now bearing in mind there's 60-odd icon sets on there....I went from 0 to 36 in a couple of hours (would have been more but I was busy blogging). Other IBers had got practically all of the sets. It was like feeding frenzy at the zoo! Trading madly with email notifications of new requests for trades and confirmation of accepted trades (talk about spam central!) it was like the stock exchange on steroids with the emails coming way after the trade had been made. By then I was onto other trades.

Update: (I've been trading while blogging). Now up to 58 sets! Yay! No idea what I'm gonna do with them, or if they'll be any use at all. Ho hum. Not a very interesting game really, but I suppose it passed a bit of time while waiting for my IB token refill.

Who, what or where are the IB Geek Girls?

What's the IB Geek Girls?

The IB Geek Girls are a bunch of pixelly addicted girl geeks who hang around the wonderful world of the ice-cream social known as IconBuffet. What's IconBuffet? It's only the best place on the web for top quality icons....and here's the great bit....that are FREE!!! Yep, free as in no cost. Zilch. None. Nothing.

Not only do the Geek Girls love their shiny icons, but they're also the geekiest girls this side of the web. It's not just boys that can be geeky. We can out-geek the best of 'em!

So how's it work?

Well, signing up gets you a free freshly baked delivery of icon goodness from the simply adorable chefs over at IB. This one's free as in no cost, no cost at all. For other sets you get issued with a month's allowance of tokens (a bit like getting pocket money to spend on ice-cream and sweets as a kid), and a supply of stamps that you use to send icons you've got to your friends. Armed with your tokens and stamps you can then set off a-trading with other members. Icon sets 'cost' 1, 3 or 5 tokens, and there are currently 103 sets to collect; all of them simply gorgeous. Sending a delivery costs you stamps, but it earns you points, and when you start getting lots and lots of points, cool things start to happen. Receiving delivery of an icon set gets you a new supply of stamps you you can send the lovely new icons you got to your friends as well. It's all about sharing the icon love.

Not only that though....As if icon goodness wasn't enough to tempt you, there's the friendliest blog forum (personally I think that's a play on words - you want icons? You blog for 'em!) this side of the intraweb as well where you get to hang out with folks from all over the world, make friends, and generally party.

So what's this about Geek Girls then?

Ah yes! The IconBuffet has a system of 'tags' that you can put in your profile that appears at the top of your very own page so other people can see the sort of stuff you're interested in, and you can look for people with similar interests to yours. Some bright spark hit upon the idea of using these tags for guilds/clans. First came the Pirates (join the Pirates and Snipe the world!TM) and the Ninjas (Shinobi), various national groups, and of course IB Anonymous, for those who've taken the first step in recovery and admitted that they are pixelly addicted....and then up sprung the IB Geek Girls.

Every day we go from strength to strength, gathering new members and increasing our geeky powers. We have our own private meeting place where fun and games will be held, as well as girlie, and girlie geeky chat, a recommended reading list, and our very own blog (you're reading it). So, some reasons why you really, really want to be an IB Geek Girl:

  1. You get to hang out with other geek girls
  2. You help to show the boy geeks that girl geeks can be just as geeky as they are and we look better in high heels than they do
  3. You can contribute to the IB Geek Girls' recommended reading list
  4. We have our own private meeting room where we can hang out and chat and share geeky info, away from the geeky boys
  5. You get exclusive access to cool Geek Girl toys that aren't available to non-Geek Girls yet (okay, there's only one of them at the moment, but it's a start)
  6. Shortly we'll be having meetings and games and competitions exclusive to the Geek Girls
  7. You can enter the Geek Girl competitions
  8. We have our very own blog
  9. Another very good reason that we'll come up with in just a moment
  10. And, of course Tamashii will be very jealous of you ;-)
So how do I get to be an IB Geek Girl?
Easy. Just follow the 4 steps below.
  1. Sign up and join IconBuffet for more free icons than you can shake a stick at.
  2. Check that you meet our eligibility criteria. Are you a girl? Are you a geek*? If you can answer yes to both those questions, then you're qualified.
  3. In your profile, put IB Geek Girls in your list of interests under Movies, Listening, On the Tube or Reading (don't leave any spaces before or after the comma separated list of interests)
  4. That's it! You're a Geek Girl!
*Trainee geek girls and geek girl wannabees are also welcome.

Come join us. Come join the geeky, girlie fun. You know you want to!