Category: Web

MySource Matrix: 3 month review

This isn’t a full review of MySource Matrix, in the mode of a car review, opinions can change over time so this is an early review having worked on MySource Matrix for about 3 months.Coast have been granted the unenviable task of migrating the old Westminster University website (consisting of approx 13 mini sites) into a brand new structure consisting of 1 site.Early advantages of this asset based system were apparent because the migration was largely rushed and unprepared for. The ability to move and rename assets and add multiple URLs in the process allowed us to alter the structure of the site due to changes in the approach.The system is quite robust as well with the inclusion of workflows for content editors ensuring control throughout the site.

The migration faltered when we were inputting data from the old website that was hosted in immediacy, but that was largely due to the erroneous code from the old site. Matrix tried it’s best to strip out as much of this code as possible, but countless hours were used manually stripping out useless span tags, old HTML and styles that would prove to be quite harmful to a page. On one occasion, an empowered content editor was responsible for the ultimate faux pas of pasting in from Microsoft Word!

Snow Leopard prowls this friday

Snow leopard will drop on 28 August 2009! It is official!I will be in the queue on Friday ready to pay the tiny fee of £25 to upgrade. But should this figure concern us? Surely if it only costs £25, there can’t be much to differentiate it from leopard.I plan to get a new Mac soon anyway! So why upgrade? Well the main reason that I’m going to be upgrading (other than the price) is because I’m hoping it will give my aging MacBook a new lease of life. As my Mac struggles to run 9 programs at once and I feel the need for speed by purchasing a shiny new MacBook Pro. I’m hoping that this new operating system can restore my faith in the 3 year old mac that’s getting so hot nowadays it leaves scorch marks on my desk! (While I save up for the new one anyway)

MySource Matrix

Coast Studios are currently working on the migration of the brand new Westminster University website from their old CMS, Immediacy, to MySource Matrix.Coast was won over by this CMS system instantly due to it being open source but having spent a week training on it and having a play about, the functionality of it all is just overwhelming. Is it just open source projects in general that tend to include everything that you need. MySource Matrix is so extensive that after a week, we have only just touched the surface.There will be a lot more to write about this CMS in the coming weeks so watch this space.

Chrome, more than just a browser

We should have seen it coming, the rise of Google has resulted in Docs, Calendar, GMail, Picasa and Orkut amongst many others. Wave is on the way too. But then they announced Chrome OS. It just makes perfect sense for Google to take their portfolio of applications and turn it into an operating system, and perhaps only they can take on Microsoft.They even had the audacity to take a dig at Microsoft:

“We are completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don’t have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates.

“It should just work,” said Google. from BBC News

They intend to work WITH other companies instead of against them. For example, Google will be working alongside Adobe in efforts to integrate Flash and Air as much as possible. Microsoft decide that they need to develop their own ‘Flash imitation’ called Silverlight. We need De Facto standards, not rivalries.

Microsoft are the biggest name in the industry but Google are snapping at their heels because they collaborate with so many other companies. Apple will survive because of it’s cult following. The rest of Silicon Valley had better help Google because it’s in their best interests.

It may take a good decade but finally there is a realistic threat to the monopoly that is Microsoft.

iPhone, therefore ical

I am trying to vary my blog posts but 3 days into owning the holy grail of current technology, I felt compelled to post about the iPhone again. But, this isn’t an ordinary post! For those that find it, it can serve as a tutorial on how to receive push calendar combining iCal and gCal. There is an added twist as well!I’ve used girlfriend for the duration of this explanation, please alter accordingly1 – The SituationI lead a pretty hectic life if you include work, freelance work, mates, girlfriend, family, girlfriends mates (in no particular order). I do not own a diary, the iPhone was going to be the answer to my prayers. A diary at the touch of a button, great!My problem is that when my girlfriend tells me she’s arranged a date for the diary, it goes in one ear and out the other. Although, I swear that sometimes she never tells me and just assumes that I know (but that’s neither here nor there).The solution, my girlfriend can update my calendar from her iPhone or the Internet and it will wirelessly update on my Mac, on the Internet and my iPhone, no wires attached! You may say it’s easy, but you may also have a MobileMe account, or you may have paid for BusySync or NuevaSync etc… If you are like me and you’ve already shelved out enough money on the phone itself, I’d rather do things as cheaply as possible – or free. Believe me, this is going to stop a lot of arguements and my grey hair growth may slow down as a result.Solution:

  1. Sign up for Google Calendar (I’m sure you already have).
  2. In iCal, add your gCal account in preferences using CalDav – View tutorial (you can now read and write from iCal – gCal, test by refreshing)
  3. Set up CalDav in your iPhone – View Tutorial – (you can now read/write from your iPhone – iCal & gCal, test by refreshing)
  4. Share your google calendar with your girlfriend. Give her read/write privileges (under settings)
  5. Download the Google Apps App for iPhone on your girlfriend’s phone
  6. Log in to Google Calendar (gCal) scroll down and click settings, you may need to deselect>save>exit, reselect>save>exit the shared calendar in order to make it visible in the browser window
  7. Test it, your girfriend should be able to edit something in the shared Google Calendar (on iPhone/Internet). This should update in your iCal (Mac), gCal (internet), iCal (iPhone).
  8. Ta  da! No more arguments, well, no more arguments about arranging your life.
  9. A nice touch from the lovely people at Google is that if your girlfriend edits something that you’ve already input, you’ll be sent an update email! How nice!

Issues:I haven’t gone to the trouble to find out how to totally share iCals from iPhone > Internet > iPhone because I don’t need to. My girlfriend still uses an old fashioned filofax but she can keep me updated wirelessly.I haven’t found out how to share and update multiple calendars so I’m just going to use one.I’ve trawled the web looking for a free answer to this so when it happened, I thought it was too good to be true, I’ll update you if there are any bugs because I can’t believe that I’ve solved this problem. Alternatively, let me know if this is easy and Ive just been looking in the wrong place! I look forward to your feedback (as long as it’s constructive).

Death to Vodafone, long live iPhone

Today was the day, the day that I’ve been waiting for. I finally got my hands on an iPhone. I had been desperate to get one as soon as they came out but could never commit to an 18 or 24 month contract. Now, after returning from travelling, the need for information on the move has got too much. I need my email, I need 24/7 internet access albeit via 3G, I need Google Maps at the tip of my finger!To be honest, the iPhone would have made travelling the world that little bit easier but they don’t travel well and it would have cost a bomb to keep it running whilst on a budget. Now, after perusing the market, I nearly purchased a Google phone, but the Google support for iPhone is still outstanding thanks to Eric Schmidt.Having bugged the staff of Carphone Warehouse and O2 for the past week, being rejected over and over again, I finally managed to beat the rush. Even in sleepy old Ipswich, I was third in the queue and when I left some twenty minutes later, there were 9 people waiting to be seen. The shop only had 2 members of staff who were already kissing goodbye to their lunch breaks! Damn that Jonathan Ives!En route home, I nearly crashed into a taxi whilst dreaming about the afternoon’s festivities. When I used to get phones ‘back in the day’, I looked forward to setting it up and really getting to know the interface. Not so with the new iPhone, especially for Mac users. I plugged it in, it uploaded my contacts, calendars, emails, songs, videos and photos with a few clicks and I was up and running.Right, now what’s this app store all about.

The View From The Coast!

Brand New starts here. Fresh beginnings and a new life where the streets are paved in gold. Everything is planned down to a T, I am just missing the last piece of the jigsaw to put the new plan into action.Having heard the Bow Bells of London, it is time to return, without a cat, to London in a quest of fortune but not fame.The View From The Coast aims to document my exploits from 2009 onwards. If you’re interested in the past 6 months, view my travelling website: whereintheworldareandiandlynsey.co.uk.Yes, I returned from our backpacking adventure refreshed, looking for a new adventure in our nations capital and plan to move in September. The economic downturn has hindered my search for employment but it has also breathed new life into an old freelance web design service. ASterion Design will be reborn as Coast Studios. Coast will learn from ASterion’s naivety and mistakes but will continue the high level of customer service that made her famous.Hosting has been upgraded and creative skills will be honed in order to earn Coast Studios a reputation of excellence.