Completed: One Life Goal and One 2009 Goal

Every Easter my family went to Myrtle Beach for a week to two weeks and we stayed in my mother’s cousin’s beach house. Alone, that was exciting, but what was mesmerizing was this thing called “cable”. Sure – cable was around when I was younger, but my parents thought channels 2-13 were enough for us. I would love going to Myrtle Beach and then watching this crazy comedian named Gallagher. Ever since I first saw his great Sledge-O-Matic – I decided I had to see him live…and I am finally going to next month. He is coming to the Chicagoland area and I am totally excited to see him in action.

Another goal of mine – has been to finally start releasing some WordPress plugins and I did that earlier this week by releasing SDAC Related Content – a highly configurable, cached plugin that allows you to show related posts by category at the end of your posts or pages that does not make any database changes (perfect for WordPress VIP). I have a few more plugins that will soon be released as well as some themes. I just need time 🙂

Jappler Recommends: Skitch

My new consultant Ben yesterday was troubleshooting an issue with me and he sent me several links using a service called “Skitch“. I finally checked it out because I am constantly taking screenshots and low and behold – Skitch kicks ass.

Check out this image I created in a matter of seconds for an example: http://skitch.com/sdacinc/bm5yq/jappler.com-add-new-post-wordpress. I took a picture. Made some notes with text and also was able to circle content and with a touch of a button – it was uploaded to my skitch site. Very slick!

You can take a picture with your web cam, upload the images to your .Mac account, FTP server, etc.

Slightly Less Busy Now!

I am always excited to complete a project – as the end of the project is by far the most stressful, but when the project goes live – it makes up for it. The last few months I have been working with a talented group of people at TIME Inc. to create a web site for their senior political analyst Mark Halperin and the site debuted today. The site was exciting to work on and I learned a lot. Now that this is out, hopefully I will be able to post a bit more.

The Page

new portfolio is available to view.

I finally had a few minutes to update my company’s (SDAC Inc) web development portfolio. If you are interested to see what I have been busy working on in the last two years, check out my consulting web development portfolio. You will notice I mainly focus on building dynamic web sites using WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS). I have a few additional non-SDAC web sites in my personal portfolio, but this is a good start.
[tags]SDAC Inc, portfolio, WordPress[/tags]

quickbooks…grr.

Today was one of those “nothing is easy” days. One of my tasks today was to customize my company’s QuickBooks invoice template. As a UI person, I often need to customize pretty much everything I use in some way or another. I have to say, QuickBooks is not very friendly when it comes to making changes to the standard. After I added my letterhead as the background and changed the font/font color, and column widths, all I wanted to do is move the “Bill To” box at the top left over about 50 pixels to line up with my company logo. After doing some research via Google searches, I came up with nothing and have to settle with the “Bill To” box hanging out far too right, in my opinion. If any readers use QuickBooks and have any thoughts, I would greatly appreciate it.
[tags]SDAC Inc., QuickBooks, Google[/tags]

real artists ship.

The perfectionist in me wants to wait to introduce a new design, etc until everything is perfectly in place. But recently, I was reminded that “real artists ship“.

I am starting to get more consulting business and I was unhappy with my business web site design. It was dark, uninviting, and just felt heavy. I needed something lighter, brighter, and in typical Jen factor…minimal. Enter the latest design: SDAC Inc. I still have a lot to do…a lot of rewriting of text, adding more graphics to bring more interest in, and to convert my Photoshoped header into bits and pieces controlled completely by CSS, but I had to take a good look at my priorities.

Usually when people procrastinate, they surf the web, clean, etc, but me…when I get really busy, I redesign. When I have a big design project coming up, I instantly look at my web sites and look to see what I can redo. Once I got several hours into this redesign, I realized I had to cut back on some of the things I wanted to implement because it was more important that I get a new design out there than have the same design with 4x the time put in to make everything perfect.

When I go out, I go all out. Not only did I redo the entire design, I also moved my site from XOOPS to WordPress. XOOPS was overkill, and let’s face it…I love WordPress.

I learned a good lesson from this whole experience…put something out there, then improve on it later instead of holding out for days/weeks.
[tags]real artists ship, SDAC Inc, XOOPS, WordPress[/tags]