Archive for the ‘Web Sites’ Category

Google Chrome vs IE

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Recently I have found that IE has been running slowly on my home XP PC and also on my work Windows 7 PC. The version of IE I am running on both is IE8, I’m not sure whether one of the updates has caused this problem, but it has now forced me to use Google’s Chrome, which after using it for a few weeks I think is a lot better. It seems a strange tactic for MS to slow down IE8 so much that it ever runs slowly on a quad core PC with 4GB of ram. Anyway I would recommend using Chrome over IE8 mainly because it runs so much faster and has some nice features with a simple easy to use interface.

Cinemagraphs – Clever animated GIFs

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Have recently come across a blog about some clever animated GIFs the creators call Cinemagraphs, these images are good quality photos with a portion that is animated. The article goes into how they are created, with each one taking from 3-4 hours to produce. I think they look great and when I get some time will try to produce one of my own.Here is the link

iWeb Font Problem Solved

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Recently I have been using Apples iWeb application to produce a small web site. At first I thought the application worked well and found it easy to use with its WYSIWYG interface. However when I published the site locally and viewed it in Safari it was all over the place, the fonts were the wrong size, type and even colour and the position of some of the paragraphs were incorrect. I tried moving the paragraphs around, only having 1 font type per paragraph, but when one area was fixed another broke. I finally found the solution to the problem, before publishing the site and viewing it in Safari, simply go to the ‘Safari’ menu item and select ‘Empty Cache’.

Dropbox Review – Online backup solution

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Dropbox is an online file storage, sync and sharing service, which I have now been using for 3 months. I use this service for backing up certain documents and sharing work related files between my work PC, laptop and home PC. I have found it very useful when writing documents at work and then finishing then documents at home without having to copy the file onto a memory stick. It is also useful for backing up important documents, but is not really a solution for backing up photos because the free capacity is 2GB, it is possible to purchase more capacity at a subscription cost. Overall this is a service I thought I would not use that much, but after 3 months I find myself using it all the time and would recommend it.

HTML5 page on RicRac site

Monday, December 6th, 2010

I have now published the first HTML 5 page on the RicRac web site. The page I amended to HTML 5 is the page on how to report software bugs and errors. This page now contains the following HTML 5 elements.

  • Header – Tag used to define an introduction to the document.
  • Nav – Tag for defining a navigation section of a document.
  • Article – Defines external content, this is content that could be independent from the rest of the document.  
  • Footer – Contains document information like the author, date it was written, copyright and contact information.

I hope that adding these tags will improve the search engine ranking of the page.

Web site problems with Safari on MacBook Pro

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

Ever since the latest update of Safari I have had numerous problems with multiple web sites. The RicRac stopwatch page has flash film of the stopwatch application on it which works fine on other browsers, but with the latest update causes Safari to close. The navigation buttons do not work correctly with Hotmail and I have just tried to download an application from which does not work. I am now losing confidence in Apple that their updates are indeed downdates.

Softpedia 100% Clean Award for RicRac

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Softpedia AwardSoftpedia has awarded a 100% clean award to RicRac for the following Applications.

  • BarMirror Wine Journal
  • Stopwatch
  • Passwords
  • Backup

This is good news and confirms that the software is free from Trojans, Adware and Viruses.

Pivotal Tracker Project Management

Friday, October 8th, 2010

I recently started using a great web site called Pivotal Tracker which is a free agile project management site that lets you setup projects to manage. I’ve only just started using it with only some knowledge of agile project management and I am finding it very useful. At the moment I have setup various projects including web site projects for RicRac and BarMirror. I believe this tool will also be useful for software development allowing other users to access the project from anywhere in the world.

jQuery Innerfade

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

I have recently been working with jQuery (search google for jQuery it is the top result), which is a Javascript library that allows you to easily produce cool effects on your web site. I spent sometime playing around with the effects and found a cool plugin that does innerfade. You can see this on the BarMirror home page, what is cool about this is that it fades between images of wine which looks good, but also if you click on the bottle it takes you to the relevant review for that wine. I am continuing to look at what is possible with jQuery and have been happy with the results so far.

Google Instant vs Google Traditional

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Google has launched a new type of search site called instant, which brings up search results as the user types. After logging onto my Google account I had a quick play with the new search. My first impression was why, I like Google search because it is simple and quick and easy to use, this at first did not seem to do much apart from displaying results without having to click on ‘Search’ or using the ‘Enter’ key. Google sell this feature as it will save you 2-5 seconds per search, I think you must be a very busy person to think ‘Great this will save me loads of time, which I can do something else with’. At the moment I still like the traditional search and there is an option to use this. I cannot see myself using this new instant search on my PC, however I can see how this development might be more useful on mobile devices.

BusinessLink web site very expensive for tax payers

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

The UK government has released an interesting document on the cost of it’s web sites for 2009 – 2010 (, it shows how much each of the sites costs and also the number of hits. One site was the BusinessLink site which cost £35m in non staff costs and £788k in staff costs, this does not include OGD’s (whatever they are) or agencies (which I imagine would increase the cost a lot more). This web site does however get over 1 million hits a month so it does seem to be doing a job, but it does seem very expensive. The government web site for UK trade and investment cost almost £4m and gets 28k hits and month and so far has had 400k hits, this means that it has cost the UK taxpayer £10 per hit. Hopefully now the Labour idiots are out the new government will look at these web sites and decide which ones are cost effective and which ones just need scrapping.

Budget Calculator 2010

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

We have just had the budget and I wanted to know where I could find a budget calculator that would tell me whether I was better off or worst off. When searching google for this I found the links were from old budgets and cannot find one for the last budget. This raises an issue with the search engines indexing pages that are no longer relevant, why would I want to enter my details into the budget 2007 calculator which appears high up in the list. I think the search engines need to be able to look at pages and reduce the page rank if they contain details that are no longer relevant. I will continue to search for a site or a free application that can do what I require.

Banner advertising does not work

Friday, May 28th, 2010

RicRac Banner

Recently I have tried banner advertising to try to attract more visitors to my site. I opened an account with a company called adlink via my host, this gave me 1000 impressions a month and I could view the stats. I was not expecting much and thought I would get about 10 hits a month. The last time any stats had been recorded was January, this means I have not had 1 hit on the site for 4 months from this banner, thats 4000 impressions and nothing. The most I got in a month was 4, but for some reason no one clicks on banner adverts anymore. Maybe people have just got use to them and have started ignoring them. Anyway I intend to cancel my contract, because banner adverts just do not work.

Google.tbpr is null

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Had an unusal problem today with my version of IE8 and Google search. It was working fine then I noticed that when I did a search it did not give me the option to go to the other pages, it would only display the first page of the results. When I tried the same searches in other browsers it worked fine. The status bar in IE reported and error and when I clicked on it the error message was ‘google.tbpr is null or not an object’. I tried deleting my temporary internet files and restarting my PC but this did not solve the problem. I could not find anything on the net about this issue.

The way I managed to fix the problem was in IE go to Compatibility View Settings and add Google, click close then I went back into the settings selected Google and then ‘Remove’. Strange but this then fixed the problem.