WWW Homepage Access Counter and Clock!

How to call the program? (all platforms)
If your web server is running on On Unix, you can refer to the program from web page like this:

If the web server is running on Unix:

    <img src="/cgi-bin/Count.cgi?df=sample.dat" align="absmiddle">
The string after the ? mark is called the QUERY_STRING. Make sure there are no newlines in the <img src= line and no space in the QUERY_STRING. In df=sample.dat, df means datafile and sample.dat is the counter datafile. The counter stores the hits in this file. This datafile is supplied. If you configured the counter to allow automatic datafile creation (look at count.cfg file), you can specify a datafile with df like df=count.dat. The file count.dat will be created for you if the permission to the data directory is correct.

If you configured not to allow automatic datafile creation (good thing), you have to create this file in the data directory. Change directory (cd) to the data directory and type:

    echo "1" > count.dat

The counter program has lots of options, you can make it work and look the way you desire. In the query string, you can use the options described in the table below. The options can be separated by a | or a &. You can use either one or combination of both but I prefer to use & as some browser may not like |. Here is an example:

<img src="/cgi-bin/Count.cgi?ft=4&frgb=gold&df=sample.dat" align=absmiddle>

The options can be in any order and not case sensitive.

Anyway, look at this Example Page you will get the picture.

Counter options (all platforms)
[Originally written in HTML table by Kevin]

Keywords
align - align counter image on a base image.
cache - It's deprecated. use expires instead.
chcolor - change one color of the counter image.
cdt - countdown target date.
cdf - countdown from date.
comma - show comma after 3rd digits from right.
dd - digit directory.
degrees or angle - rotation angle of the image.
df - counter data file.
dformat - date format.
display - counter, clock, date, countdown or image.
expires - used to change the image caching behavior of the browsers.
frgb - Frame color.
ft - Frame thickness
fy - Full year (all digits).
image - Display a GIF image.
incr - Increment the counter or not.
istrip - Use strip.gif or not.
lit - Show literal string.
md - Maximum number of digits to display.
negate - Show the negative image of counter.
offset - Offset from the counter image from the edge of the base image while compositing.
pad - Left pad with zeros or not.
reload - Count page reload or not.
rotate - Rotate the counter image.
sdhms - Show the day, hr, min, sec in countdown or not.
sfd - Show "from" date while showing countdown.
sh - Show the counter or keep it hidden.
srgb, prgb - Change source color to pen color.
st - Start count number.
timezone - Show time of that time zone.
tformat - Time format, 12 or 24 hr.
tr - Transparency On or Off.
trgb - Transparency color.
xy - Composite the counter at x,y location of a base image.
Parameter Name Description Default
expires=X This parameter can be used to change the image caching behavior of certain web browsers. The integer value of expires specifies the cache expiration duration time in seconds. If you do not want the browser to cache the image, specify 0. If you want the browser to cache image for 5 minues, specify the value as 300. The valid integer range of the expires parameter is between 0 and 604800 (7 days).

Note, these parameters will work with browsers that support the HTTP Expires header as specified in HTTP specification. By default, most web browsers cache the image received from the counter. That means, if someone visits your page and comes back after a while, the counter or clock does not get refreshed.

None
reload=B Count page reload if the site admin configured the counter to support it.
(Added on: Dec-05-1998)
If the site admin configured the counter to count reload, users can choose to count reload (default) or ignore reload. The site admin allows count reloading by yes, 1 or true in the [options] section of the configuration file with the keyword count_reload. Note, if the admin decided to ignore reload count (count_reload=No), user preference is ignored. The valid values for the Boolean parameter reload are Y, N, T, F, 1 or 0. reload=T
Count reload if site admin configured to so.
cdt=year;month;day;hr;min;sec (Added on: Dec-13-1998) Show the countdown time to this target date. The parameter cdt specifies the countdown target date. The valid values for this parameter is 6 integers separated by semicolon. The first integer specifies the year, for example: 2000. The month starts at 1 (January). The first day is 1. Note: in Unix systems, the year can not be less than 1970 as Unix epoch starts starts at 00:00:00 on January 1, 1970, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The range of hr is 0 to 23. The range of min is 0 to 59 and the range of sec is 0 to 59. To count down to Year 2000, the parameter will be: cdt=2000;1;1;0;0;0. If you do not specify any Timezone with the parameter timezone, the countdown will be calculated from the web server time. For example if you like to show the countdown from GMT, specify timezone as: timezone=GMT+0000. None
cdf=year;month;day;hr;min;sec (Added on: Jul-17-1999) Show the countdown time from this date. The parameter cdf specifies the countdown from date. The default is to calculate from the current local time or local time of a specific timezone if the parameter timezone is specified. The valid values for this parameter is 6 integers separated by semicolon. The first integer specifies the year, for example: 1999. The month starts at 1 (January). The first day is 1. Note: in Unix systems, the year can not be less than 1970 as Unix epoch starts starts at 00:00:00 on January 1, 1970, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The range of hr is 0 to 23. The range of min is 0 to 59 and the range of sec is 0 to 59. The local web server time.
sdhms=B Show the day, hr, min, sec in countdown or not. This parameter affects how the countdown is displayed. The valid values for the Boolean parameter sdhms are Y, N, T, F, 1 or 0. By defualt, the value for this parameter is True, that means the countdown is shows as Day, Hour, Min and Sec. If you just want to show the countdown days, specify F as the value. sdhms=T
sfd=B Show from date (sfd) below the countdown. The parameter sfd shows the from date below the countdown. The from date is the time when the program is executed. The time in date is always in 24 hr format. If you use the parameter timezone, the timezone offset will be shown at the end of time. It may be necessary to see this date to make sure that the Counter program actually ran and the browser is not loading the image from cache. Use cache=F&expires=0 to make sure that browser does not cache the image. The valid values for the Boolean parameter sfd are Y, N, T, F, 1 or 0. sfd=F
display=X Specifies what to display. The valid values for X is: counter, clock, date, countdown, image or version. If the value is countdown and if the countdown time is not specified with parameter cdt, the countdown to year 2000 is assumed. See also: cdt. Note: If you specify display=image and if you specify a datafile with df parameter and if incr is true, then counter will be incremented in the datafile. This will help some people who do not like to show the counter, instead they can show an image. You can use incr=F from another page to monitor the counter. display=counter
timezone=X Display time/date of the specified timezone. The parameter timezone= is only significant with display=clock, display=date or display=countdown Use this parameter if you want to display time or date of another timezone or calculate countdown in reference to a timezone to a target date. The timezone must be specified with a negative or positive four digit offset from GMT, for example: timezone=GMT-0500 or timezone=GMT+0000 or timezone=GMT+0530. The routine to display time of various timezones are written in a generic way. Therefore, the unix machines will not be aware of daylight saving time because of the way the routine is written. For example, if daylight saving time is on, to display time of NY, the timezone will be timezone=GMT-0500 instead of timezone=GMT-0400.

If the clock displays your local time wrong, specify your timezone with that parameter in order to display the correct time.

None.
tformat=X

Time format in 12 or 24 hour. This parameter can be used to display time in 12 or 24 hour format. The valid values for the parameter X is 12 or 24. tformat=12
dformat=X Specifies date format. This parameter is only significant with display=date. The valid value for the string parameter X is any combination of MMDDYY (Month-Day-Year). For example, dformat=ddmmyy, dformat=YYMMDD. To show the full year in the display instead of two digit year specify YYYY instead of YY, for example dformat=MMDDYYYY. To show full year you can also use the parameter fy. dformat=MMDDYY
fy=B Show the full year (fy) in the date instead of only two digit year. This boolean parameter indicates whether to show all the year digits instead of default two digits in the date. By the way the program will display all the year digits by default from Year 2000. The valid values for the boolean parameter fy are Y,N,T,F,1 or 0. See also: dformat. fy=F
istrip=B Use of image strip On/Off The boolean value of istrip specifies whether to use image strip or not. If you specify istrip=F, the program will look for the individual digit image files in the digits/style directory. The valid values for the Boolean parameter istrip are Y, N, T, F, 1 or 0. istrip=T
ft=X Frame Thickness You can wrap the counter in an ornamental frame of X pixels thick. Use 0 for no frame. Values over 5 make a nice 3-D effect. ft=4
frgb=R;G;B
or
frgb=RRGGBB (in hex)
Frame Color Specifies the color of the frame in RGB (red/green/blue) format. Each color component, R, G, and B is specified as a value between 0 and 255. If you use ft= without a frgb= param, the default color is used.

If you specify a frgb= without a ft=, then the frame thickness defaults to 5. All the examples show ft=5. The color can be specified as hex string or a name. Do not use a # before the hex string as Netscape. For example, if you want to specify white in hex, use frgb=ffffff. You also can use a color name (e.g. frgb=blue) if the counter is configured to do so (look at the cfg file). Look at the color name mapping database for some hints about color name database.

frgb=100;139;216 or
frgb=648bd8
tr=B Transparency On/Off You can specify if your counter image will have a transparent color with the Boolean B. So tr=Y means there will be a transparent color. It does not matter if the GIF files used for the digits are "transparent"; you must specify explicitly which color to make transparent. If you specify a trgb=, then you do not need to specify tr=Y. If you specify tr=Y and do not specify trgb=, then the default color black will be transparent. The valid values for B are Y, N, T, F, 1, or 0. tr=F
No Transparency
trgb=R;G;B
or
trgb=RRGGBB (in hex)
Transparency Color Specifies the color to be made transparent in RGB (red/green/blue) format. Each color component, R, G, and B is specified as a value between 0 and 255. If you use tr= without a trgb= param, the default color is used. The color can be specified as hex string or a name. Do not use a # before the hex string as Netscape. For example, if you want to specify white in hex, use trgb=ffffff. You also can use a color name (e.g. trgb=blue) if the counter is configured to do so (look at the cfg file). Look at the color name mapping database for some hints about color name database. If you use trgb= then tr=Y is not needed. trgb=0;0;0 or
trgb=000000
md=X Max Digits Defines maximum number of digits to display. Any value between 5 and 80 inclusive are permitted. Padding with leading zeros is automatically done for you; longer counts are truncated to the given X. md=6
Without padding
pad=B Left padding with 0s Turn padding on/off in conjunction with md= setting. It also affects padding hour in clock. Valid values for the Boolean parameter B are Y, N, T, F, 1, or 0. pad=N
Without specification of a md=value

pad=Y
With specification of a md=value

dd=A Digit Directory Denotes directory of a specific styles of digits. Four styles of digits are supplied. They are kept at the directories A,B,C and D respectively. Visit the digit mania page for other styles of digits. dd=A
My green LED digits
image=gif_file Display this GIF file You can display any GIF image specified with this parameter. The location of this file is determined by the dd= parameter. Note that no path in the GIF file is allowed. All attributes of the counter apply to the image. This parameter is used for compositing counter image with the GIF image. The default alignment is top-center and the default offset is 2 pixels from the top of the GIF image. If you want to composite clock, date or contdown, specify so with the display paramter. None
comma=B Display comma after every 3rd digit from right. The boolean value of parameter comma specifies whether to display comma after every 3rd digit from right. If you use this parameter as true, the left padding with zeros will be turned off. comma=F
srgb=R;G;B
or
srgb=RRGGBB (in hex)

prgb=R;G;B
or
prgb=RRGGBB (in hex)
Change a color of the image to a target color on the fly. Any one color of the image can be changed to a different color on the fly. srgb stands for source color, that is the color to change. prgb stands for pen color, that is the target color. The values for srgb and prgb can be colon separated color components (e.g, srgb=255;0;0), a hex value (e.g. srgb=ff0000) or a color name (e.g. srgb=red). The color name can be used if you configured the counter to do so (look at the cfg file). srgb=00ff00
(0;255;0 green)

prgb=00ffff
(0;255;255 cyan)

With chcolor=T

chcolor=B Change a color of the image. This parameter is usually used to change the default green color to cyan. That is if you specify chcolor=T, and you want to change green to cyan, then you do not need to specify srgb and prgb parameters. 1x1 GIF is displayed. The valid values for the Boolean parameter B are Y, N, T, F, 1, or 0 chcolor=F
st=X Start Count This parameter is used to set the initial value of the counter to some number X. This is only valid if you decided to allow automatic datafile creation. It is a bad practice to allow automatic datafile creation, however it makes site maintaining easier. The automatic datafile creation option is specified in configuration file and can be changed at run time. Note that this parameter has no effect if the datafile already exists. If you want to change the counter value in a existing datafile, hand edit the file. The minimum value for st is 1. st=1
Count starts at 1
sh=B Show digits Used to turn display of digits on or off according to the Boolean B. When sh=T, counter will be displayed and incremented, this is the default behavior.

If sh=F no digits will show, but the counter will still increment; instead of digits a transparent 1x1 GIF is displayed. The valid values for the Boolean parameter B are Y, N, T, F, 1, or 0

sh=Y
df=data_file Datafile to store count Specifies the name of the file for storing the count in. The file must be allocated to you as was mentioned in the "Authorizations" section above. You can use df=random to display a random number.

One special use of the parameter is df=RANDOM. This returns a random number using the fractional portion of the host's time of day clock as a seed for the generator. Unlike all other WWWcounter parameters, the file name provided is case-sensitive, except for the value random. Or Random, or rANDOM, etc.

df=random
if no datafile is specified
incr=B Increment Count Makes it possible to display the current count without incrementing the count. This can be used to examine the count for reporting or other purposes without adding to the count. Valid values for the Boolean parameter B are Y, N, T, F, 1, or 0.

incr=T
Increment the counter
lit=X Display literal Makes it possible to display a given, predetermined string. The valid values for the string X are digits, a,p,: and - None
negate=B Negate the color Makes it possible to negate the color of the counter digits. Note that the Frame is exempted from negating. Valid values for the Boolean parameter B are Y, N, T, F, 1, or 0. negate=F
Do not negate
degrees=X
or
angle=X
Rotate X degrees Makes it possible to rotate the counter image X degrees. The possible values of X are 90, 180, 270 and 360. Note 360 is meaningless as the counter will come back to the original 0 degrees. Note: Microsoft MS Explorer interprets &degrees as the degree character (it's gotta be a bug in IE), so use angle to be safe. degrees=270
With rotate=Y and without degrees=X
rotate 270 degrees clockwise
rotate=B Rotate On/Off The Boolean value B turns on or off rotating. If you use degrees= setting, rotate is not needed. Valid values for the Boolean parameter B are Y, N, T, F, 1, or 0. rotate=F
Do not rotate
xy=x;y composite the counter image to a base image at the location x,y When a base image is specified with image parameter, the parameter xy can be used to composite the counter image on the base image at location x,y. x is positive towards right and y is positive downward. The co-ordinate of the upper left corner of the base image is 0,0). See also: align. xy=1;1
align=X composite the counter/clock/countdown image with a base image and align the counter image. This option can be used to composite the counter on a base image (specified with image with known width and height. This way, you will be able specify the width and height of the counter image in the <img src= tag while calling the counter. The implication is, if the counter is the first thing in a large table, the browser will not have to wait to calculate the width and height of the counter image before loading the rest. The valid value for the parameter align is topleft, topcenter, topright, midleft, midright, midcenter, bottomleft, bottomcenter and bottomright. The parameter offset can be used to specify the offset in pixels from the edge of the base image. Note: xy parameter has higher precedence than align. Therefore, if both xy and align is specified xy will take the precedence. See also: xy. align=bottomcenter
offset=N Offset of the counter image in pixels from the edge of the base image while compositing the counter with an image. The parameter offset is used with parameter align to specify the offset of the counter image in pixels from the edge of the base image while compositing the counter/clock image with an base image. If align=topleft, the the offset is counted from the top and left edge of the base image. If align=topcenter, the offset is counted from the top edge of the base image. If align=topright, the offset is counted from the top and right edge of the base image. If align=midleft, offset is counted from the left edge of the base image. If align=midcenter, offset is ignored. If align=midright, offset is counted from the right edge of the base image. If align=bottomleft, offset is counted from the left and bottom edge of the base image. If align=bottomcenter, offset is counted from bottom edge of the base image. If align=bottomright, offset is counted from the right and bottom edge of the base image. The valid value for the paramter N is a positive integer. See also: xy. offset=2

How to use other styles of digits

There are several sites including Digit Mania which maintains a array of collection of GIF digits which can be used with the counter. The counter program can use these digits in 2 ways.
  1. Use a single image strip for digits. This is the default behavior, that is the counter program looks for a image file called strip.gif in digits/style directory by default. Using an image strip is much more efficient than using individual digits, because
    • the size of an image strip is almost always less than the combined size of individual images.
    • Disk i/o is significantly reduced, because only one file needs to be opened instead of many.

  2. use a individual digit image for each digit, for example, zero.gif, one.gif...nine.gif. These digit images reside in the digits/style directory. If you like to use the counter for clock, 3 additional digit images are required, e.g., colon.gif, am.gif and pm.gif. If you want to use comma in your counter digits, another image is required, e.g., comma.gif. If you want to use the counter to display date, one more image is required, e.g., dash.gif. If you collect digits from external source, do not forget to rename the images to zero.gif, one.gif, two.gif, ... nine.gif, colon.gif, am.gif, pm.gif, comma.gif and dash.gif

The section How to create an image strip describes how to create an image strip from individual digit images. If you like to use the individual digits instead, you must use the option istrip=F when you call the counter from web page, because by default istrip=T.

How to create an image strip
If you have individual digit images, you can create an image strip out of them. Image strip reduces disk i/o significantly, because the counter will need to read only one image instead of many and the size of the image in most cases will be less than the combined size of the individual images.

A program called mkstrip is supplied to create the image strip from individual digit images. Another program called extdgts is supplied to extract individual GIF images from the strip.gif (made with mkstrip). extdgts is there to help you out if you need to extract the digit images for some reason.

To compile the programs, go to the utils directory and at the shell prompt, type:

    make
Before using them, copy mkstrip and extdgts somewhere in your path, otherwise you'll get error "command not found."

Now, go to the directory where all the individual digit images are and type:


mkstrip zero.gif one.gif two.gif .... nine.gif colon.gif am.gif pm.gif > strip.gif

Note, the file names are not important but the order is very important. For example, the file names may be 0x.gif, 1x.gif etc.

Create a directory say F inside the digits directory and copy or move the file strip.gif to F. You can use this strip with dd=F.

The above strip can be used for counter and clock but not date. It also can NOT be used if you want to display comma. If you want to use date and comma, you must have the image for comma and dash. For example, the strip of digit style A is created with the command:

mkstrip zero.gif one.gif ... nine.gif colon.gif am.gif pm.gif comma.gif \
    dash.gif > strip.gif
Please note the order of the images used in arguments carefully. The program mkstrip puts the necessary information in the GIF comment extension about the strip. The counter program parses the comment extension to determine the width of the individual digits in the strip. Therefore, the strip can have digit segments of variable width.

For example, the comment of the image strip of digit style A is:

15:0:15:30:45:60:75:90:105:120:135:150:165:180:195:210:225
The leftmost integer 15 indicates there are 15 individual digits in the image and the next colon separated pairs are the location of left and right side of the segment of the individual images from the leftmost edge. If you look carefully you will see that the individual segment of the strip is 15 pixel wide. The height is determined by reading the image. If you use the program mkstrip, you do not need to know anything about the comment, it will be created correctly for you. It is mentioned here because it is possible you obtained a strip from somewhere and you want to add the comment to the image.

Copyright (all platforms)

Copyright 1995-2001 by Muhammad A Muquit. Permission to use, copy, modify and distribute this program is hereby granted without fee, provided that this copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation. If the source code of the program is modified or enhanced, the source code must be made public and it must be clearly mentioned in the documentation what was modified.

THIS PROGRAM IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY. THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE, INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS, IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR Muhammad A. Muquit BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTUOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.

Note: This program is developed in my own time. My employer has nothing to do with it.

Acknowledgments
Thanks to John Cristy for ImageMagick. I took many routines from ImageMagick for the GIF image combining library. I borrowed the font array and some code from gd library. Thanks to Tom Boutell. Thanks to Philip A. Nelson (phil@cs.wwu.edu) for writing GNU bc. I took a portion of the library to add two big numbers. Thanks to Jordan Russell for Inno Setup. I used it to create the self extracting Counter binary for NT. Special thanks to Kevin J. Walsh. Without Kevin, the counter won't be in the current stage. Kevin did the major code overhauling in Count version 2.0. Thanks to all of you who showed interest in the counter program. I had fun writing it.
I'd like to hear from you
If you are using this program, I'd like to hear from you. If you are having any problem with the program, please let me know as well. Feel free to send any suggestion. If you think that the program is cool, please consider sending me a picture postcard of the area where you live. Thanks to all of you who sent me the nice postcards. I really appreciate it.

snail-mail:

    Muhammad A Muquit
    c/o Lucent Technologies
    400 Lapp Road
    Malvern, PA 19355
    USA
    

email: muquit@muquit.com

Thanks.

Enjoy!

How you can help
I volunteer my time to develop and maintain this program. Here is a list of tasks you can do to contribute to this effort:

ChangeLog (Link)


Official Counter Home: http://www.muquit.com/muquit/software/Count/Count.html

Muhammad A Muquit
email: muquit@muquit.com
Page last updated: Fri Aug 24 23:57:30 2001