Version 3.1

Over the last couple of months I have added a few new features to the site, removed a few things and generally had a little play around.

Why? Because that is what I do! No seriously let me explain the various changes:

Removed

I have removed the Archives and Categories from the sidebar for two reasons:

1. They are the least used parts of the site yet they take up a lot of prime real estate,

2. The enhanced Vaults page really does away with the need for them

Amended

Main change is to the Contacts section where I have added images linked to the various ways in which you can contact or interact with me:

  • iChat and Mail are obvious choices for a Mac user like myself
  • Jabber and MSN are necessary for my non Mac mates and older contacts who are very much MSN orientated
  • Skype goes without saying
  • Pownce and Twitter are more a marketing tool for the site than anything else
  • 9rules is the only community that I regularly participate in, and one day hope to get my site accepted to
  • LinkedIn and Facebook are very much at the ‘suck it and see’ stage. I really don’t have much use for them, but keep getting invites to join, so I am going to leave them there for a while and see what happens.

Please add me as a friend or contact if you haven’t already – am more than happy to see what direction these take me in!!

Oh, I made a very slight change to the Chris (formally Welcome) section.

Additions

This is where it gets exciting (well I think so):

  • Plugins: As Tom and I develop more plugins and code though our growing (and highly enjoyable) partnership I wanted a section on the site where you could easily download them. They are free but Donations are welcome and appreciated so it was ‘inevitable’ that I would need to add a Donate button
  • Certain posts now have a DIGG button at the bottom. I have had an on/off relationship with this before, but now that I am blogging about more than ‘just’ reviews I wanted to give it another try
  • I have added the e.Subscribe option as another way in which people can keep up to date with new posts and changes to pages on the blog
  • The Features section is my way of generating some funds while retaining the integrity of the reviews. I will not write a review for money! I will write a feature for money – the difference? A feature will NOT have a personal opinion, a rating or a recommendation. If someone wants me to post something on my site to promote their product, service or event then so long as I am comfortable that it ‘fits’ with the overall sites style and integrity then I will do so. I will ALWAYS make it clear as to when a post is a Feature, and therefor paid for
  • The Promotions sidebar will feature offers that I am able to bring you through my sponsors and contacts.
  • I have added the Subscribe page to make it easier to subscribe in your favourite RSS reader, although the WWW page remains with all my RSS feeds from around the web
  • I have added a link to the Movies and Books that I watch and read, to share my rating, thoughts etc.
  • I have added a For Sale page for the items that I have for sale

NB. These last three items are accessible through the new Personal section in the sidebar. This section also includes any current activities that I am involved in that I think may be of interest, items I am saving up to buy etc

I will be updating the Books, Movies and For Sale pages over the next couple of weeks to bring them fully up to date but wanted to give you a ‘heads up’ now. The For Sale is very much dominated by the ongoing process of ripping all our DVD’s to hard drive, and I haven’t even started on the Region 1 ones yet, and I need to go back through various records for the Books and Movies. The Books plugin is proving somewhat unreliable at the moment as it depends on a link to amazon.com to pick up the book titles and so far pretty much every one that I try says it doesn’t recognize the link!!! I will keep trying though.

When i introduced the new theme I said that I wanted the site to better reflect the balance of my life, and the addition of the above reflects that. As such as I start to write more about photography and other interests you can expect minor alterations in the future. The Mac, its applications and its community still play a huge part in my life, but they are not my whole life so nor will they be the only things that I blog about.

I hope the additions are clear and add some benefit. I am keen to maintain the overall theme that Tom and I worked so hard on, while at the same time ensuring that the site truly reflects my life.

14 thoughts on “Version 3.1

  1. Wayne LeFevre

    Well Done. I actually didn’t realize that you had put some of this stuff on the site, so I am looking forward to having a look around again. I guess when your old reader, you don’t realize when there is something new!

    So, curious. One, too bad the DVD’s for sale are all region 2 :-(. Two, are you ripping them then selling the DVD??? Wouldn’t you rather have the DVD as backup? Do you get Netflix overseas? Seems easier if you were going to do that… Not that you would or anything. 🙂

  2. Chris Marshall Post author

    I guess the tendancy is to just look at the latest post and assume that the rest has remained the same 🙂 the e.Subscribe goes some way to addressing that as it picks up changes to pages as well as new posts.

    Any DVD’s that I would hate to lose I will burn for convenience but keep. At the end of the day they are only movies though.

    I have 29 Region 1 DVD’s waiting to rip, will do them at the end to minimise the amount of times that I change the region on the Mac. Netflicks? Nope, nothing like that in Spain. To be honest there are more than enough movies on Satellite that I haven’t seen. I reckon I am recording and storing on hard drive at least 5 a week.

  3. Chris Marshall Post author

    Plus, obvious point, if you are going to rip the DVD to your Mac for personal use then the region doesn’t really matter.

  4. Tom Hancocks

    Wow, have we really done that much on this site! Heh, wonder what the list would look like if you included all the stuff done on it :P.

    That said, its nice to see the site finally at completion (apart from a couple minor of things which you know about). Its come a long way from what I looked at when I began working on this.

  5. Gary

    I bought DVDpedia from Bruji Software at the beginning of the year and have been pretty happy with it. (I also bought CDpedia, but have barely used it. My fault, not theirs.) I’ve got over 300 DVDs in it (entered via the bar code number) and it exports via various templates to the web, your iPod, etc. I wonder if you might be able to leverage any of its “reports” to drive your “Movies watched” page? They also do Bookpedia which might cover your “Books read” page in a similar manner…

    If you’re interested, you can download and use the applications in an unregistered mode which limits you to 10 movies. And no, I’m not on commission… 🙂

  6. Chris Marshall Post author

    Looks a little like Delicious Library which is pretty cool, but I usually forget to look at 🙂

    The movies watched plugin is linked to the Internet Movie Database site, which is where it picks up the title etc.

    But everything worth a look 🙂

  7. Chris Marshall Post author

    @Tom – it sure has and thanks for your continued help 🙂 I can see a few things from our next venture creeping into this site in due course though 🙂

  8. Gary

    I had looked at Delicious Library when it first hit the headlines and was most impressed. But, on reflection, there were a couple of things it couldn’t do that I wanted, so I left it alone. I looked at it again when I ended up buying DVDpedia and it hadn’t addressed my issues, so I left it.

    DVDpedia can get its data from many different sources – you tell it which ones to use. I use Amazon UK as the primary source, with IMDB as the secondary source. I forgot to mention in my previous comment – you can also roll your own templates for the ‘pedia family of applications.
    – – – –
    An observation – you note in the main text that the books plugin is giving you some problems just now… Both earlier and again just now, neither the Movies nor the Books pages had any “post” content. Header, sidebar, footer, etc were fine, but neither Movies nor Books were listed. Just in case you didn’t realise…

  9. Chris Marshall Post author

    Damnn!!! That is weird as they are showing for me, but that may be because I am signed in or something as they aren’t showing on Sands iMac or on my Mac in Safari or Camino, which aren’t signed in.

    The For Sale page is working on all of them so I guess I have messed up the dbase or something.

    Thanks for pointing that out – will need to add that to the list of things to do tomorrow now!

  10. Chris Marshall Post author

    Actually that should be fixed. I had set the page to Private so that they didn’t show in the Header, which seems to mean that they don’t show any content either.

    Now they are not Private, don’t appear in the header, do appear in the Footer and hopefully you should see the content now?

  11. Chris Marshall Post author

    Phew, and glad you like it!!!

    The Books is a real pain at the moment as I seem to have to enter them via a little widget they provide, then go into the SQL dbase to amend the date as the widget doesn’t have a date field. Even then the view by date option doesn’t work.

    Will have to get that fixed or remove the view option I guess.

  12. Mac Sokulski

    Overall the site is getting better and better and more and more interesting. I like the fact that there is more to it than just apple news. I like the variety.

  13. Chris Marshall Post author

    Thanks, appreciate that and glad you like the overall direction. I have some ideas for the future, just need to find the time from somewhere though!

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