Posts filed under 'Web'

MacUpdate Promo – Great Mac Software, Dirt Cheap!

Check out the current MacUpdate Promo!

For 50 bucks, you get:

  • ForkLift – a nice-looking FTP client
  • RapidWeaver – web site publishing software
  • SwiftPublisher – for writing newsletters and creating gift cards (perfect for Xmas!)
  • Marine Aquarium – really cool fish tank screen saver
  • Xslimmer – reclaim disk space by removing the parts of applications not needed for your Mac’s architecture
  • MemoryMiner – a very interesting and novel way to organise family photos
  • Yep – scan and archive receipts and other papers
  • XMIND 2008 Pro – mind mapping/brainstorming tool
  • iStabilize – removes the shake from hand-held video

And if enough people buy the bundle, this one will be added to the mix:

  • PulpMotion – create animations from your photos, video and music with awesome-looking templates.

This is a great bundle of apps. They’re all useful and interesting, however buying them individually would set you back over $600. Combined, for one more day only, they’re just $50. That’s a good deal even if you only want a couple of them.

I’m buying, and I’m really, really hoping they get enough sales to unlock PulpMotion.

There’s only a little over a day to go, so act now if you’re interested!

Update: Enough people bought the promo package to unlock the final application, PulpMotion. Yay! So if you were on the fence before, head on over and buy it now before time runs out.

1 comment December 11th, 2007

Searching For Things Without Knowing They Exist

Sometimes it can be hard to find information about a product or category of products, especially when you don’t know what the “golden keywords” are for the topic at hand.

Here are a few tips to make Google cough up some useful information.

If you know of a product that’s kind of what you’re after, but not quite, try searching for terms like “better than blah”, “cheaper than blah”, “sort of like blah”, etc. That’ll turn up lots of alternative products for you to research.

If you know of a product and would like to learn more about its competitors, try some search terms like “blah vs” or “vs blah”. Also try “compared to blah”, “compared with blah”, etc. That should turn up lots of comparison articles, reviews, shootouts, etc.

Once you’ve found a product you think you might be interested in, double-check your decision by searching for terms like “problem with blah”, “blah sucks”, “blah problem”, etc. There’ll always be a few people who have problems with any product, but if there seems to be large numbers of genuine-sounding problems and the supplier isn’t providing support, tread carefully.

Please add your own tips in the comments below!

May 21st, 2007

PureText – Clipboard Cleaner For Windows

PureText by Steve Miller is awesome for pasting stuff into CityDesk (and other HTML editors, rich text editors, formatted emails, Word docs, spreadsheets, etc).

You just paste using Windows-V instead of Ctrl-V, and it’ll strip out all the formatting. It’s like doing Edit -> Paste Without Formatting or pasting into Notepad, copying, and pasting into your destination window, but without the hassle of either of those methods.

Try it out – you’ll love it.

1 comment April 23rd, 2006

Lightbox JS v2.0 Image Galleries

I’ve just installed a neat image display tool called Lightbox JS v2.0.

Lightbox is really easy to install – you just upload the scripts to your server and add a little bit of CSS to your site template’s header. Full instructions are included in the link above.

I really like the way Lightbox can group images into ‘sets’, so visitors can click through a gallery of images using Previous and Next arrows. You can see the set feature in action on this post. The script even pre-loads the next image in the set before you click on Next, giving much faster apparent speed for dialup visitors.

Displaying images on an overlay like this means I can now start posting larger images, since they no longer have to fit in with the navigation and other layout elements of my web site template. Displaying images on a dark background also gives them more ‘pop’, increasing the apparent contrast and colour saturation.

Let me know if you have any problems.

4 comments April 11th, 2006

Moving WordPress To A Different Directory

This web site was originally created and maintained using CityDesk from Fog Creek Software. CityDesk is a great tool for the job, but it only runs on Windows and I’ve moved to the Mac, so maintaining the site was becoming a pain.

I was looking for a server-based content management system, and WordPress was the most suitable one I could find for my needs. It’s not perfect, but it’s easy, convenient, and very good. And it’s free.

When I set WordPress up, I installed it into the /dacollins/ subdirectory (i.e. This was a convenient way to spend time tailoring things, setting up my templates and plugins, importing content, etc without impacting my main site. All the changes were confined to a single subdirectory, and it wasn’t publicised much so I didn’t have to worry about breaking links as I played around and reorganised things.

Finally, after 2 or 3 months of on-again-off-again tinkering, I got everything just how I wanted it and was ready to copy WordPress to my site’s root (i.e.

The WordPress web site has some good instructions detailing how to move your site, and it worked exactly as advertised for me. The only thing I added was a line in .htaccess to redirect requests for the /dacollins/ subdirectory to the root directory – so if someone clicked on their bookmark for, they’d be automatically redirected to instead of encountering a 404 error. Click on the links to see how it works.

Assuming you’ve got mod_rewrite turned on, the line to add to .htaccess is:

RewriteRule ^dacollins/(.*)$ $1 [L,redirect=permanent]

This basically just strips the ‘dacollins/’ out of the URL.

I’ve left all the original CityDesk files where they were. You can still see pages from the old web site here for example. This makes sure that any pages that were indexed by search engines or linked to by other sites are still online, but new visitors will only see the new site.

3 comments April 10th, 2006

Commonwealth Games Medal Tally

Just in case you’re curious, here’s a handy medal tally for the Commonwealth Games:

March 17th, 2006

Associate Programs

I’ve been reading a lot about associate programs lately, and decided I have to try and get me a piece of this action!

So, I’ve created a web site called Home Improvement HQ. I figure I’ve been through enough home renovation upheaveal to know a little about the subject, so we’ll see how it goes. There’s very little content there yet, but I’ve got some ideas to help with that.

December 16th, 2003

Netscape CSS Problem

Someone alerted me this week to a problem viewing this site under Netscape Navigator version 4.x. I think it was caused by Netscape’s poor implementation of CSS, and hopefully it’s fixed now.

If you notice any problems, please email me and let me know what’s wrong. Please include your browser name, version, and anything else you think might be relevant. Thanks!

July 19th, 2002


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