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May, 2004:

New Photoalbum Pages

I’ve just added a page to the photoalbum for Chloé’s work at Nursery School: Busy Fours. It’s just some of the art she has done since she start attending in January (2004). This year she has come a long way and only recently has she been able to draw poeple with faces and limbs. Now I think that is pretty impressive for a soon to be 4 year old but I will let you be the judge.

I have also added a few more pictures the main photo album page as well. There is even one of Denise taken this weekend @ 24 weeks. She is looking rather big for Denise.

Now the way I’m doing this tonight is actually pretty

cool!!!

I’m sending this post in from the e-mail client(Agendus Mail) on my Sony Clié PDA (palmOs). Blogger has this feature that allows authors (I know we’re called bloggers too but I just can’t use the same word twice in the same sentence) to write up their blogs anywhere and then just email them in. This is great news for bloggers who can not surf the web at work but that do have access to e-mail. Also their there a lot more of us PDA junkies out there who use the little machines anywhere the thought strikes us. No more stupid pieces of scribbled napkins.

Now I know I’m still new to this medium, but had I had any of these tools when I was in radio, I might of been able to be even more topical.

Well here goes…

Testing the settings

Sometimes when you are used to doing things one way, you have a tendency to try and do everything that way. For example, this site has a template that I use and have created in Dreamweaver. It uses ASP and for some reason after recreating the template in the blogger format, I can only get the first page to load. The other pages seem to have been written properly but they just don’t load up.

So now I’m writing a second post just to try and test the settings. Sometimes when working with a database in Dreamweaver, you need to add a few records for it to work properly. Now I’m sure this is not the case but I just have to try it anyways. I wonder if this is common when posting to your own site.

Well I’ll soon find out…

Welcome to Planete Fortier

Well after much debating, I have finally caved in an created a web log using Blogger rather than building one myself. I had actually started building one earlier this year. The underlying database seemed pretty simple and the blog and comment entry pages are very easy to write using Dreamweaver and ASP. I guess the thing that made me reconsider it was the eventual size of the database and being able to control the dates properly. You see this site is actually hosted on a server in the UK and so the server time is actually 5 hours ahead of EST. Therefore all posts would need to back dated 5 hours. This gets awfully complicated when having to set the time back past the midnight mark. Either way, this made it too complicated and I guess I got discouraged. It’s not as if I can’t write my own pages,after all, I do after all write web articles for the site. Actually I’m just finishing up a two parter on Drive-by Hacking and Wireless Computing. I’ll post details of it as soon as it’s done.

So you can imagine how pleased I was when I finally broke down and gave Blogger a better look. You see as a web developer I don’t like to admit I can’t program something, but at the same time I don’t see any use in trying to re-invent the wheel. This is the main reason that I use Dreamweaver rather than hand code everything like I use to. The other reason I didn’t want to use an external solution was that I am manic about keeping track of visits to the site and heaving hosted it hosted elsewhere I would never have been able to see how the blog was being received. I wrote my own tracking program over a year ago and have been developing it ever since. It’s ideal for small database driven sites that don’t want to pay the extra $400.00 to $500.00 to use a package like Webtrends. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Webtrends, in fact it’s great for larger sites or standard HTML sites. But if you have a database driven site, collecting browser data and stats simply means creating a stats table in your database and then adding a few lines of code to every page. I created a tracking page which is all ASP code and simply call to it at the beginning of my templates. So once I have written one trackable page, all my pages become trackable. Now I don’t make the stats available to the public yet, it’s not like I get more than a couple thousand visits to the site per month that I can brag about, but it’s quite cool to be able to drill down the dates to every single hit, check which bots and crawlers have been to the site and which pages they have indexed, and what browsers people are actually using. There is nothing worse than spending hours creating a Netscape 4 compliant page when you only get 126 visit from Netscape 4 users per year. What surprised me even more is that 63% of my visitors (not counting search engines) are using Internet Explorer 6, I was so sure that most people were too lazy to bother upgrading their PC’s let alone their browsers. It all just goes to show important these stats can be in helping a web developer or even a company serve their visitors better.

It will be interesting to see how this blog is received, I know most visitors spend more than 3 minutes here before moving on but I would to love to know what they actually think of my efforts.

Good reading…