(It's traditional to use the image of Lena Soderberg to test image-processing algorithms. This harks back to some sort of misogynistic 1960s thing.)
X-Face headers are an ancient standard for putting a tiny 48×48 bitmap, typically a picture of your face, in the headers of email which you send. Unfortunately, it's quite complicated to make an X-Face image starting ab initio.
This web page will let you make an `X-Face' image to stick in your emails. This way, people you email will know what you look like, assuming that they can only see in black-and-white 48×48 pixel squares. Nevertheless, X-Faces have some small mnemonic value and a charmingly retro late-1980s feel*, so their use is to be encouraged....
(Never heard of X-Face? Don't have an email client which supports it? Well, gosh, I'm too lazy to write all about it, so let's ask Google.)
(You will need a graphical browser for this. Sorry.)
You need to supply a picture of yourself in JPEG (`.jpg' file) format. If there's one on the web already, you can just specify its URL. Alternatively, you can upload it from your computer. Nothing bigger than 40k, please!
Once you've supplied an image, you'll be asked to specify which section of it you want to turn into a face. Then, magic squirrels will use secret image-processing skills honed during centuries of hanging around in trees and hoarding nuts in an attempt to turn that part of the picture into something which will look something like you but is black-and-white and only 48×48 pixels in size.
They'll give you several options to choose from; you can pick the one you think is best, and then the squirrels will give you the X-Face string which represents it. You can then put this into an appropriate setting in your email program.
The (perl) source code for the CGI script is here: makexface. It's free software, so if you want to put it on your own site, go ahead. We welcome patches, contributions and comments.
Copyright (c) 2002 Mythic Beasts Ltd., Chris Lightfoot. All rights reserved.