One thing I tried earlier (before changing the $im variable you pointed out, I mean) was to put a folder called "fonts" in the same directory as the php file and include a specific font file to point to. That didn't change anything at the time but maybe now that I changed (fixed?) the variable in the imagecolorallocate function it will. I looked up the __FILE__ constant and it kind of implies that ought to be done-but naturally the book itself says nothing heh
Oh well, I'll try on my next day off and try not to worry about it too much for now.