Saturday, 31 July 2010

XML Sitemap generator for Wordpress

This is an excellent XML sitemap generator tool by Arne Brachhold and is listed on the Google XML sitemap code pages.

It is a free plug-in for Wordpress and is tested and compatible up to version 3.0.

There are easy to toggle on/off controls depending on how you want to include or prioritise your pages, and the tool automatically submits to the major search engines (although you need an API key for Yahoo) when you update your Wordpress posts.

You can also manually generate and submit the XML sitemap if necessary.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

DVD transcoding

A client provided a DVD of some video footage to submit to the Youtube channel that accompanies the website, but extracting and processing the video wasn't as straightforward as first imagined.

 Throw away the PC and use Handbrake (0.9.4) for the Mac OS X and they put it best...
There's an old proverb in the video encoding world: "Speed, size, quality: pick two." It means that you always have to make a trade-off between the time it takes to encode a video, the amount of compression used, and the picture quality. Well, this release of HandBrake refuses to compromise. It picks all three.
It was a straightforward, quick (relatively) and easy to use resource which prompted a VLC update to make sure everything worked out ok. Lots of default presets for output devices and purposes but allows a codec-minded transcoder to tweak as required.

Bit of a cocktail message theme going on suggesting that alcohol and computers do mix. Callisti disagrees.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Just playing around, playing around

Wordpress 3.0 is still a bit of a playground so some things are being tried out on the Dumfries bed and breakfast site...

Trying out a few plugins, and some of the features of the framework. There is a new php file in the template called loop.php which is an advance from 2.9 - this could probably be streamlined a bit though.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Fixing Macs

Ever get that problem with a MacBook Pro when you plug headphones into the headphone socket and when you take them out the built-in speaker volume is disabled?

Sound emanates on start up but even once boot up is complete, System Preferences shows a greyed out box for volume. Until you plug the headphones back in again.

Solution in this instance:

1. Think logically, study symptoms in relation to the whole
2. Observe processes without panic
3. Check user forums and apple support
4. Inevitably try the Command-Alt-P-R but to no avail
5. Skoosh WD40 in the headphone socket and wiggle a stick in it

Possible inference:

A bit got stuck in the socket when the headphones were in. Agitation and lubrication managed to unstick it.

Advisory note:

Use USB headphones in future