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Mark Allen

An online résumé, blog, biography and digital sandbox


A few words about my websites (part 1)

Posted 2009-10-09 in Web

I’ve been programming a very long-time but only recently started dabbling in web development… as a hobbyist, as it were. I figured building some web skills while between contracts isn’t a bad idea… it keeps the mind busy and perhaps will lead to something more. I’ve done some web programming in the past, but entirely intranet applications… including a fully-featured software installer in JavaScript. That knowledge is really stale, however, so in the last year I’ve done a few internet (i.e. “public”) websites…

Sparklegram was my first site and AuthorCollector my second.


Sparklegram was an attempt to bring a “spyware proof” way of entering and sending messages. It works by recognizing the way spyware captures information… screenshots and keyboard entry… and provides a method which thwarts such spying. SparkleGram employs a mechanism known as “persistance of vision.” The message is broken into small “fragments” which are displayed rapidly… the eye/brain integrate these fragments into a complete message. Only a small percentage of the message is visible at each instant of time, so a screenshot fails to reveal anything useful.

Sparklegram was a really fun project, but apparently doesn’t solve a “problem” or fill a need that people have… there hasn’t been much adoption and the site gets less than one hit per day. Sigh. Well at least I learned a lot and explored some cool technologies. The site is coded in pure XHTML and CSS… I didn’t use a CMS system. The guts of Sparklegram is a Flash AS3 application which I wrote using FlashDevelop (freeware), as I just couldn’t see forking out big bucks for Adobe Flash creation toolks”)

Website Credits | Symphony | Fluid 960 Grid System