Apologies for being absent lately, but I've been very busy with other things (the libertarians among you may be amused to know that one of those things has been a boatload of regulatory red tape at work). ANd I'll be gone next week too, because I'll be in Las Vegas on vacation.

But anyway, a number of people have asked me how I made my rotating sig image, and I normally tell them to look at the post I made in the "Sig Service" thread. The problem is that the "Sig Service" thread is enormous, and to paraphrase Mr. T, I pity the fool who tries to wade through it looking for one particular post.

So here, once again, is the technique for making a rotating sig.

Step One: Make sure you have a real webhost. You normally need a webhost in order to host pictures on the Internet anyway, but not all webhosts are real webhosts, ie- offer a full suite of webhosting services. Hosts like "photobucket" will host your picture but not allow you to publish full websites. What you want is a webhost that will let you publish real websites. To be more specific, they have to support the PHP scripting language. Ask your webhost if you are unsure whether they support PHP. Webhosts supporting PHP are ridiculously cheap nowadays; I've seen hosting packages for as little as $4 per month. There may even be some free ones, but I don't know any off the top of my head.

Step Two: Create a directory called "rotate.jpg" somewhere in your webhost's http documents directory (this is usually public_html for Apache, and httpdocs for IIS). Yes, you can create directories with dot extensions in their names.

Step Three: Create a file called "index.php" in the rotate.jpg directory. The file should be a text file with the following contents, which you can copy and paste into Notepad and then save:
Code:
<?php
// This script randomly selects and displays images from the current directory
// It is a stripped-down version of the Automatic Image Rotator script by Dan P. Benjamin.

// Set image filename extensions
	$extList = array();
	$extList['gif'] = 'image/gif';
	$extList['jpg'] = 'image/jpg';
	$extList['jpeg'] = 'image/jpeg';
	$extList['png'] = 'image/png';

// Get contents of current directory
	$fileList = array();
	$handle = opendir("./");
	while ( false !== ( $file = readdir($handle) ) ) {
		$file_info = pathinfo($file);
		if (
		    isset( $extList[ strtolower( $file_info['extension'] ) ] )
		) {
			$fileList[] = $file;
		}
	}
	closedir($handle);

	if (count($fileList) > 0) {
		$imageNumber = time() % count($fileList);
		$img = $fileList[$imageNumber];
	}

if ($img!=null) {
	$imageInfo = pathinfo($img);
	$contentType = 'Content-type: '.$extList[ $imageInfo['extension'] ];
	header ($contentType);
	readfile($img);
} else {
	if ( function_exists('imagecreate') ) {
		header ("Content-type: image/png");
		$im = @imagecreate (100, 100)
		    or die ("Cannot initialize new GD image stream");
		$background_color = imagecolorallocate ($im, 255, 255, 255);
		$text_color = imagecolorallocate ($im, 0,0,0);
		imagestring ($im, 2, 5, 5,  "IMAGE ERROR", $text_color);
		imagepng ($im);
		imagedestroy($im);
	}
}

?>
Step Four: Upload all of your sig images into the "rotate.jpg" directory.

Step Five: In your sig, create an image tag linking to http://www.yourdomain.com/rotate.jpg (assuming you made rotate.jpg in your web root directory, and obviously, replacing yourdomain.com with your actual webhost URL).

And there you have it: 5 steps to creating a rotating sig image. It will automatically identify and use any GIF, PNG, or JPG images in the rotate.jpg directory, and you can add new images whenever you want by simply uploading them.

By the way, my current sig image lineup looks like this:





































As you can see, the number of images you can use is pretty much unlimited, for all practical intents and purposes.