October 9, 2009 – 6:51 am
The day before yesterday i flew from Darwin to Sydney for the Web Directions South conference. It was about 30° when i left Darwin, at 7 o’clock that morning, but when i arrived in Sydney it was a chilly 17°, which was a bit of a shock to my system.
The conference was in the convention centre at Darling Harbour, near Sydney’s central business district. I’d been to a few conferences before, but never to an IT related one. I was going on my own and i didn’t expect there to be anyone i knew there. … Read more »
September 10, 2009 – 9:17 pm
I got myself a Samsung N140 netbook a couple of days ago, as i’m going back to Australia for a couple of months soon and i don’t want to have to drag my heavy old Thinkpad around with me. I’m likely to have to do some web development work while i’m there, so i wanted something i could work with comfortably. The N140 seemed to fit the bill – it’s got a non-gloss screen, for a start, and a full sized keyboard. It also comes with a 6-cell battery, which promises about 9 hours of off-mains use – and, from my experience so far, it gets pretty close to that, too. … Read more »
July 27, 2009 – 1:07 pm
That plugin obviously requires NextGen Gallery to be installed – or, at least, for its database tables to be available – but WordPress’s plugin activation system doesn’t have any built-in way of checking dependencies. … Read more »
May 9, 2009 – 9:30 pm
I just bought my first Symbian mobile – a Nokia 5800. I considered the geekier option of getting the android-powered G2, which was due to be released about the same time by Vodafone, but after a bit of consideration i eventually decided on the Nokia. There were a couple of reasons for that: firstly the G2 doesn’t function as a modem – which was something i wanted a phone to be able to do. Secondly, the G2 hasn’t got a headphone socket – and i want to be able to use wired headphones with it. … Read more »
March 26, 2009 – 3:01 pm
As i wrote in a previous post, i converted this blog from WordPress to Drupal a couple of months back – to get some experience of working with Drupal. But i never liked Drupal and i rapidly came to the conclusion that it’s really not a good platform for a standalone blog. WordPress beats it hands down on all criteria and i didn’t particularly enjoy having to maintain this blog on the Drupal platform. … Read more »
March 20, 2009 – 5:56 pm
In a blog post about his “Starkers” WordPress theme, designer Elliot Jay Stocks talks about how he used to approach designing for WordPress. He would start with the default theme and remove the bits he didn’t need. That was pretty much how i started off doing it myself – until it struck me i was going about things back to front. … Read more »
March 12, 2009 – 11:08 am
I think i had the basic idea about object oriented programming back in the early 80s – when i was an assembler programmer. Back then, i tried to make my code as modular and reusable as possible. But, in those days, at least, writing in assembly language didn’t give you much scope for optimising code in that way – the best i could do was use lots of subroutines. … Read more »
March 4, 2009 – 9:49 am
While i was watching Douglas Crockford’s talk on Ajax performance on the Yahoo developer network site yesterday, it occurred to me that the Ajax dropdown search suggestion list i wrote for a client’s site (mentioned in an earlier blog post) was rather inefficient in the way it handled the XMLHTTP requests. … Read more »
February 19, 2009 – 10:22 am
… Read more »
January 31, 2009 – 7:00 am
I recently built a site for a client who sells records and CDs and wanted his catalogue of over ten thousand items available for purchase from his site. I used mysql and php for the database handling side of things and, naturally, i suggested a search box to make it easier for customers to find what they were looking for. … Read more »
January 30, 2009 – 10:28 pm
I’ve recently moved my web sites to a new web hosting service. This has mostly been good, but i’ve had one major problem – and it’s my own fault, really.
I’ve been using subversion to keep some of my live sites in sync with my local development system – it makes life so much easier than manually copying files, and it’s essential if you want to keep control of a lot of files in lots of different web sites. … Read more »
January 3, 2009 – 11:14 pm
I’m in the middle of moving from one web hosting company to another and i thought i’d make a note of how i moved my wordpress installations (there are six of them, including this site). I’ve backed up moved, or copied, a few databases over the last few months, but i haven’t done it enough for the commands to stick in my head without having to refer to documentation. The information is in the WordPress codex, but it’s in two separate documents – one about backing up a database and one about restoring from a backup. … Read more »
December 20, 2008 – 2:24 pm
If you’re like me and have several VirtualBox Windows virtual machines, you’ll probably find they gradually take up more and more space as time goes on. This is at least partly because the filesystem gets fragmented and old deleted files still take up space in the VirtualBox VDI file. If you’ve created the VDI as a dynamically expanding image, it will only take up as much space in your filesystem as the files inside it take up – but when those files are deleted it won’t shrink again. … Read more »
November 28, 2008 – 10:06 am
A couple of months ago, i completed a web site for a client who sells autographed photos of bands and musicians. It’s basically a gallery of photos with the option to buy them. I designed the software for this site with search engine optimisation in mind, but the requirement to have the photos in alphabetical order complicated navigation considerably. It turned out that the solution i came up with meant that the URLs of the individual photo pages would change when items were added to or deleted from the catalogue. This meant that clicking on a Google search link to a particular band photo would most likely take you to a photo of a different band – and that’s not good for business! … Read more »
October 10, 2008 – 2:01 pm
Almost everything you need to know about WordPress is documented at http://codex.wordpress.org – but it’s not well organised and it can be practically impossible to find what you need, unless you stumble across it by chance – even if you know what you’re looking for!
Of course, if you’re just starting out trying to work out how to create your own web design using wordpress, you won’t know what what you need to read, so you’ve got no hope of finding anything useful! Here’s a bit of a rundown on the basics of how wordpress design works – to get you started. This article is based on a few emails i wrote to help someone out – so it may be a bit more rough and ready than it would have been if i’d originally written it in one piece as a blog post. … Read more »
October 9, 2008 – 9:06 pm
Checking Google webmaster tools data for one of the web sites i finished recently i found that all the URLs in Google’s site listing had
PHPSESSID=ae334597413160fd8e2a3979a84840ef tacked onto the end of the query string. I set up the site to use php sessions, to keep track of shopping basket items, and it seems that when the browser doesn’t accept cookies, php adds the session ID onto the end of the URL, in a query string.
This is a problem as you really don’t want everyone who comes via a google link to pick up the same session the googlebot got when it indexed the site. Also, it doesn’t look good in the google listing. … Read more »
October 7, 2008 – 7:19 am
I’ve just finished writing my first proper php and mysql based online shop site – complete with shopping basket and checkout. It was an interesting process and i learnt a lot from it. I’m very pleased with the result – as is my client – and it will be a nice addition to my portfolio.
One of the main things i learnt was that i need to be more organised for the planning stage. I need to sit down with a pen and some paper and map out a page flow and what exactly happens on each page. I did do a little of that for this job, but not in nearly as much depth as i should have done. But, of course, until you’ve done a job like this and started to play with what you’ve done so far, it can be hard to visualise exactly what you’re going to need. … Read more »
October 1, 2008 – 12:47 pm
This is an exceptionally good product. When i ordered it i wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, as i’d never heard of Samson before (despite a lot of broadcast radio technical experience). And i wasn’t sure how good a USB mic would be.
However, this mic certainly exceeds my expectations. The sound quality is very good and it worked immediately on my Linux system. It’s very well made and nice and heavy and solid feeling. It feels like a professional piece of equipment. I was very impressed. The included desk stand is a useless piece of junk though!
I had a bit of difficulty working out how to orient the mic to eliminate “P-pops”, as the usual technique of speaking over the top of it didn’t work. But i eventually worked out that holding it by the side of my mouth and speaking past it in that way works fine and i don’t have any problems with popping ‘p’s. … Read more »