Win 7 Approacheth

The release date for the latest flavour of Windows has been announced along with a nice little ad from Microsoft inviting me to upgrade. Thanks, that would be nice!

Of course, when I followed the link I knew deep down that this would be another of those “available to US residents only” kind of deals and so I was not surprised when, despite not saying anything on any of the pages leading into the shopping cart, there were no international options available.

As our state shares the same abrieviation as the Microsoft home state, I was tempted to select WA and see how far I got with it but in the end I figured it would just be a futile jesture.

I had a similar problem with Adobe when I upgraded my web developer package from MX2004 to version 8. I’d bought the package from Macromedia who had no problems letting me access the US store and downloading at that price. After they’d gotten bought out by Adobe that all changed and Adobe refused to let me access the store- I’d even cried foul on that citing the free trade agreement between the USA and Australia as a justifiable reason but in the end, due to time pressures, I was forced to pay the Australian price. Six months later I received an email from an Adobe office in Dublin saying that they concidered this matter closed. They hadn’t even corrosponded with me!

I am definately planning on upgrading – I am still running XP on three computers with Vista on my notebook. We’re already running Windows 7 Release Candidate on a testing machine and I’m liking it more than Vista.

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Moving forward

Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything and for good reason.

I have been very busy building up my business and trying to balance all the things I need to do. Last year I concentrated on building up, in effect taking things more seriously and treating it less like a hobby. As 2008 progressed I knew that I couldn’t keep working at my full time job and made plans to finish up there by the end of the year.

However, as we moved in towards October and November the media started telling stories of economic doom and gloom so I decided it would be better not to burn that bridge.

As a compromise I decided that I would go part time heading into 2009 and, as of the end of January that’s exactly what I did.

It took me a little time to adjust to only working 3 days a week and for the first week I was rather lazy, treating it more as a holiday and, as my job was in the process of paying out my holiday pay I guess I could afford to.

It’s now been four months and I’m starting to develop a good working pattern and, with the extra time I’ve had, been able to build up the business dramatically and the work keeps coming in.

I would like to concentrate 100% of my efforts on the business and will keep assessing my situation to see when this is viable but for now I’m still working at job x.

In the meantime I’d like to take a little time once or twice a week to start blogging again and perhaps visit a photo meme. I’m also setting some time aside to spend in the garden and am working on a large project, the first part of which I’d like to have completed before the winter rains really set in.

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Self Portrait – December 2008

Some more Images from this festive season

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It’s OK to love shopping, just don’t LOVE shopping

Post Christmas sales is a good time to pick up a bargain and on Sunday I was in Myer at the Galleria in Morley when I saw a couple of items of clothing that I wanted to try on.

As I walked into the change room, three staff members came in behind me, bending over to look through the gap at the bottom of the stalls, the female staff member making an exclamation of disgust as they all departed.

As I closed the door to my stall I looked down to see what they were looking and saw a guys legs and although I couldn’t see clearly I was guessing he was sans pants.

While I was trying on the clothes I had selected I heard him start to moan and I suddenly had this horrible realisation that he probably was … flying solo!

After putting on a pair of shorts I went out to show Lia and that was about the time when store security arrived.

I was trying on some jeans as they pounded on the door and asked the person to come out. Persons, in fact as it turned out to be a young couple who had decided to do something a little adventurous.

Store security didn’t make too much of a big deal out of it. They apologised to me although I was more amused than anything and, as the couple had said they were both just trying on clothes, security pointed out to them that the female change rooms were all on the floor below.

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Audio Test – For client

This link is using the “add embedded media” and not the “Add media” bar

Add Embedded Media

It’s clunky and difficult to manage because to get it to work I had to

  1. select media
  2. choose quicktime
  3. manually type the full path to the uploaded media
  4. physically set the size of the player (the default 100×100 made for a very small media bar)

The player also starts immediately which may not be the best option when embedding media into a post.

Second Solution

Attempts to use an inline audio plug in were proving fruitless but this was due to the wordpress version – the media player home page says it covers up to version 2.3 and this blog is running a more recent version. Clearly something in the latest version of WP is not compatible with the audio player.

A beta version 2.0 of the player is available from which worked very well.

While it is a beta version and therefore theoretically not 100% stable the plug in has a lot more settings and integrates nicely with the “Add media” bar that appears along the top of the WP Write Post page.

Add Media

The player is highly configurable and this is the result –


Much better!

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The massive task of content updating

I have almost finished migrating content to the new site and will now go live. This is actually quite a large task as I am ditching a couple of major componants in my blogging arsenal.

Despite my original optimism of using Joomla for my CMS, I found it difficult to update, especially as I was using a bridge to make Gallery 2 and WordPress function. I was also updating content both in the Joomla editor for front end stuff, as well as the WordPress in the members section.

I am no longer using Joomla and as a result have had to migrate all the posts to WordPress, not an easy task as they are completely different so therefore the table structure in the database is different.

After downloading the database tables I edited the sql commands in Dreamweaver using a lot of copy/paste to re-format the structure making it compatable with WP. I also had to do some minor adjustments to the old members WP database to make it compatable with the latest version.

Second major change is the ditching of Gallery 2, which was unweildly, hard to edit templates and difficult to upload images using the Joomla bridge. I have now gone with Plogger, which is much more user friendly in template editing and updating. The downside of this means I had to manually change the links of every image across the site – We’re talking about 175 posts and an image gallery containing 1115 photographs and I haven’t even started with the pre-CMS stuff!

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Updating – coming soon

After a long hiatus I will be adding new content to this site. I have been preoccupied with many different things and this site has been neglected.

There are a few reasons for this. The main one being that I have simply lost focus over the years, first of all trying to put too much into this site, then failing to have the time to update.

I am intending to do a full redesign, and remove the current Content Management System, allowing me to focus on a single blog (instead of a private/public one) and my photography.

I have not yet decided whether I am going to move my private posts into the public domain or password protect some of them, but I’m giving serious thought about it.

I hope to see you again soon.

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New Photos in the Gallery –

Colours and movement at a carnival.

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Unnecessary website additions

I went to a website the other day after hearing a link on the radio and noted with interest that they had included my IP address at the bottom of every page I visited in BIG BOLD LETTERS!

Thank you..

Having had the same static IP address for the last 5 years I actually know my IP address, although it does leave me to wonder though, why they thought this was a good idea.

It does nothing at all to enhance the site and just serves as a distraction. It may also cause some alarm in none technical users who are unaware that all web servers need this information to serve the requested page.

Noting visitors IP addresses should only ever be done on checkout pages of shopping carts, usually along the lines of “To protect against fraud, your IP address has been recorded”.

The other completely unnecessary addition to a website is the visitor counter. I occasionally I get requests from clients to include some form of  counter on their site, something that I am loath to do on a commercial web site. While I have one on this site, I feel it is generally out of place in most applications and in the end no one really cares how many visits you have had.

Personal websites are the only place that I would add a visitor counter. Commercial sites do not need them.

All decent commercial web hosting packages should give you access to statistical analysis that will translate the data from the servers logs to something that is easy to understand.

If that’s not enough, Google offer some fantastic web tools including analytics which can track where your viewers are coming from.

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