Techie tinkering

Today I received a large bill for next year’s web hosting and I was so annoyed I rang up my provider and cancelled it. TBH I had already half-decided to bin the hosting; the website didn’t get much traffic and I only really use the email service for geocaching so the invoice was a timely trigger for me to do something about it.

Of course, this has resulted in a bit of work, e.g.

  • Changing the DNS name servers from the hosting company to the one where my domain is registered
  • Setting up domain forwarding to this blog
  • Downloading everything useful from the redundant hosting, especially images linked from my geocaching profile and those of my cache pages which contain images.
  • Uploading the images to a free image hosting service
  • Editing my profile on GC so the image links don’t break
  • Editing the image links on each of my cache pages.

Now all I have to do is wait for the DNS changes to propagate around the interwebs, after which selecting should take you to this blog. Fingers crossed.

Oh, and I still have to set up some new email addresses to receive my geocaching emails. Nearly forgot that. ūüėČ

Website update

I’ve written a couple of geocaching/GPS guides from the Mac-user perspective. Most guides on the web seem to be for Windows users so I thought maybe something for MacIntosh users would prove useful for Apple geocachers. I may write some more. ūüėČ

This gave me the excuse to rejig the site navigation so I’ve spent a while re-writing it with CSS-based menus, I’ve even gone so far as to develop a drop-down menu for the user guide pages. It took me a while but I think it works well and looks quite pretty too.

Anyway, have a look if you are interested:

Tuning the website

When I first refreshed my Geocaching website, using the 960 Grid system, I found that it didn’t render properly in IE. To be honest it wasn’t a problem for me as an OS X Safari user and I did check it worked in Firefox, Opera, Chrome and even Epiphany (just in case there are any Debian users visiting my site).

Anyway, it had been bugging me a bit so I’ve cleaned up the code and reverted to HTML 4. That seems to have done the trick.

I found a couple of pretty helpful on-line tools, so here are the links here in case you find them useful too.

W3C Markup Validation Service:

IE NetRenderer browser compatibility check:


Website moved

Okay, so it has taken me longer than I had planned to move my website to the new hosting service. That’s purely down to me because I decided to redo the site.

I developed my old website using RapidWeaver mainly because I wanted to experiment with it, however I was never happy with the free templates and the degree of customisation available within them. In my previous life (working in IT) I had developed web pages using a combination of NetObjects and the good old text editor but of course that’s all in the past and my skills could therefore be best described as “rusty”. I decided that this time I would ditch the WYSIWYG design tools and re-learn some hmtl and css.

So I’ve designed and built the new site from scratch. I took advantage of the 960 Grid system which was a layout boon; I’ve used some simple css code and even more simple (!) html but the result is a nice clean website. At the moment the site only covers my Geocaching activities but I have plans to expand both that and add further content covering my other interests.

In parallel with this I’ve been digging beneath the surface of blogger to help daughter #1 customise her blog –¬†¬†(well worth a look) – and my next job as web developer is to work on daughter #2’s website.

There’s a link to my site in the side panel but here’s the URL if you want to have a look:

Domain admin

I recently set up some hosting for daughter.2’s website. While I was doing this I decided to move my existing website to the same hosting.

The new hosting is with a different company to the Registrar of my own domain. I was a bit concerned that this might be a pain, although upon investigation it seems easy enough to transfer registrar. However I decided not to change that until the domain nears renewal. Instead I just changed the name servers. I don’t know why I thought that would be difficult, because it wasn’t. It took a bit more than 24 hours for the change to percolate through the internet but it’s done now. I’ve just stuck a holding page on the new hosting for now – I should have the website copied over in a day or so. After that I plan to do some redesign, although that is taking a back seat while I work on my daughter’s website. I’ll post the link when it’s done.

The IT Dept

Today ¬†we tried to book a short break. Came to choosing the accommodation type and the webpage only gave me the option of “disabled facilities”, which we don’t want so I tried stepping back then selecting again.¬†Same result. Now, I know that they have other accommodation (I can see it in the LOV) but for some reason it won’t let me select it. Tried¬†cancelling and starting again. Same. Closed browser and tried again from scratch. Same. Tried Chrome instead of Safari. Same.

OK, so I was a bit annoyed by now so I rang them. They tried it themselves. The same. The nice lady agreed this wasn’t right, so we decided that I would make the booking without specifying an accommodation type after which she would go into my booking and amend the type to suit me. Once she had done this she would ring me back.

I assumed this would be a fairly quick process but in the event she rang me about 3 hours later. Turns out nobody in the bookings dept could do it and they had to get their IT Dept to make a change to the database.

So what on the face of it was a simple booking task took about 5 hours to complete.

Bloody IT.

Wizzard Prang gets a facelift!

I’ve uploaded my new web site¬†design

I’ve used Apple’s iWeb software for this site. As web design applications go it’s not bad, there are some minor drawbacks, however it’s much easier to develop interesting layouts than using vanilla HTML and it’s an advance on the old technology I used before.

At present the site is fairly basic but I’ll be uploading more content and images over time.