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Jim\'s View on the World - Part 2
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Hod Rod II

Hot Rod II Libby Hot Rod & Libby

Hot Rod II (black & white) is a 7 month old kitten. Libby is 9 years old. She is pretty set in her ways, but Hot Rod challenges her some times. He frequently sits on top of the litter box waiting for her to come out and tries to paw her. This has been so frequent and funny, I am trying to get this on video. I missed the best attempt when HR used both paws to grab her.

(click the thumbnail pictures to enlarge)


MediaPlayer Updates…

In my original tutorial, I mentioned that I normally ftp files but that I would include how to use the Assets feature.

The problem is that if you have a lot of video files and they are on the large size, any change you make to any file included in the Assets folder causes RapidWeaver to upload every file listed in the Assets folder! This needs to be fixed in RapidWeaver – it should look to see if the website file is different from the local file before blindly uploading everything.

While you could use an ftp application to manage the asset files, here’s a suggestion. Once you make your initial upload of your video and picture files, delete them from the Assets list. Leave the playlist.xml, mediaplayer.swf, and swfobject.js files (they are small) in the list for future updates.

If you add media to your MediaPlayer, add them to the Asset area, Let RapidWeaver upload them, and then remover them. Since you added media, you would need to change the playlist.xml file which will get uploaded also.

I ran into a problem when each video plays. It plays like 1.3 times and then goes to the next one in the list. I checked and double check to make sure my conversion was correct (and it was), but I tried using flv format and it seems to work correctly.

Now, once you load my page, it starts with the first video and sequentially works through the list with only a minor blip at the end of some of the files.

I will have some more information as I find time to post things…

A better day: New Adoptions

I was at the vet’s paying my bill and asked if they knew of any cats looking for a home. The words were hardly out of my mouth when their phone rang. It was a someone looking to give a cat away to a good home. What are the odds…

I got the information, picked up my Mom, and took a trip to see the cat. He is a seal color Siamese, about 2 years old, who appeared at their door 4 months earlier. He was a bit of a wreck, so they took him to the vet for a tuneup and neutering. While they had hopes this cat would get along with their older cat (which has cancer), they never became friends. They felt it was in his best interest to find him a good home.

My Mom and her new companion (Scooter) are getting along pretty good so far. It is always difficult to try to replace an animal with hopes the new one will be like the old.

We found a nice 7 month old mostly black male kitten through a local organization. While our older cat, Libby, continues to hiss a bit, they are coexisting without any incidents. We have had the new kitten for a week and have decided to adopt it today.

Pictures will be coming…

911: We will never forget

We will not forget

MediaPlayer Options

I am in the process of moving the original page to a tutorial area on this site. I need to do this because I want my new Life:included up and running pretty soon. You can always check the progress on Life:included or go to the tutorial area.

  • In this entry, I want to list some of the features I will be looking into soon.
  • Using MySQL as a resource of media files.
  • Setting up different layouts
  • Using different media types within one player.
  • Having multiple players on one page.
  • Sending media files with different data rates depending on the connection speed.
  • Exploring the variables and parameters.

Stop back or use use the RSS feed.

My MediaPlayer settings.

I should have included this in the tutorial. Here is the current contents of my HTML Code page (excluding the notes).


Adding MediaPlayer Viewer to your RapidWeaver site(s)…

Media Player

In talking with one of my associates, I decided to replace all my QuickTime movies with Flash swf files. One of the big reasons was my viewing audience.

If your host does not provide some statistics, you should look into adding Google Analytics to your site. You will find that the vast majority of visitors run Windows and use Internet Explorer. I’m not 100% sure, but I believe that some version of Flash is installed on Windows. I am 100% sure that QuickTime is not included with Windows. Statistics vary from 99% on Adobe’s site (in Mature Markets) to around 60% by individual web site designers. Think about this…


Adding WordPress Blog to RapidWeaver

RapidWeaver includes a Blog page as one of its standard page types. While the RW Blog page is quick to install, it has two issues:

  • You can only use RW to make Blog entries.
  • You must use a 3rd party solution for comments.

Both of these issues make it complicated to run and maintain a Blog. There is a better way, if your host supports WordPress and you are up for a little adventure using code.


Web Design Step 1: The Tools…

No matter which web site development application you use (I prefer RapidWeaver over Adobe GoLive or DreamWeaver), it is a great benefit to have an arsenal of tools including a text editor (with support for html, css, js, php, etc. files – I prefer TextMate), a css editor (I use CSSEdit), and a debugger.

The debugger is perhaps the most important, yet the most often skipped… and the best one is free! I know this because there are too many help requests in the RapidWeaver Forum that could have been answered in the time it took the author to ask the question, IF they had the right debugging tool!

The browser FireFox (free) supports a host of Add-ons (most, if not all free). The hands down winner for debugging is the add-on FireBug (free).


Page Locations

Every web page has a file (document) name and location. In RapidWeaver, this information is entered in the Page Inspector / General Settings in the fields Filename and Folder.

Up until recently, I kept my pages organized in folders. Most of the time I used a folder name pages to keep everything except the home page, which must be located in the root directory. This seemed like a logical way of organizing a site.

While looking through information about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), I found that using the folders may have not been the best thing. So, I now place almost all pages on the root directory by using just a slash ( / ) in the Folder field. While I still don’t like this, pages may do better with SEO results.


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