Community MX Open House

I am a big fan of Community MX and from 24/12/2007 through to 1/1/2008, they will be celebrating the holiday season with an Open House! Every one of over 2400 articles and tutorials will be free to read. Find out what you have been missing as they open up the vaults for a peek inside all the great stuff that happens there every single day.

You will still need to be a member to download support files and use the forums, but the great news is they have a number of affordable subscription options available. And if you come across something you just have to have, you can always buy just that article to get the download. You can browse their Categories page, or use their Advanced Search to help find just what you are looking for.

New Site Launch

My company launched a new website today for William and Elinor’s ski and holiday chalet.

This site presented some new challenges as it needed an availability calendar for both properties that they have, a map on how to find the chalet in France and I wanted to take take advantage of the newly installed Apache 2 zlib component on my server.

The availability calendar was built by hand using an idea suggested by Joe Makowiec allied to a previous booking system I had built for a Motel Site and some ideas taken from a DMX Zone Tutorial and with a little perspiration I ended up with a system that was simple for Elinor to update but powerful enough to give the results required.

The Google Map was created courtesy of WebAssist’s Pro Maps for Google extension which proved extremely simply to implement once I had the necessary information from William and Elinor.

To improve page load times I wanted to take advantage of the Apache 2 zlib component and the comments on this article gave me the clue I needed and I created a .htaccess file with the following code:
<filesmatch “\.(php|html|txt|css|js)$”>
SetOutputFilter DEFLATE
</filesmatch>

that does the job nicely, if you have the Web Developers Toolbar installed in Firefox choose Information -> Document Size to see the results.

Sri Lanka take the spoils

Any team with Muttiah Muralitharan playing in their own back yard are always going to be a difficult proposition but when England dismissed them on the 1st day for only 188 the door was more than ajar. But England’s batting proved fallible  and Ian Bell apart  no-one performed over both innings whilst Kumar Sangakkara proved what a class act he is with the highest score in both innings.

Mercenaries

The BBC report that Bears Kolpak signing Vaughn van Jaarsveld is refusing to return to the county despite signing a 2 year contract in June.

For the life of me I cannot understand how importing South African cricketers under this pretext is going to help English Cricket, good riddance to him I say.

Beached Yacht on Manari Beach, Kimberley

We found this yacht beached about half a mile from where we were camping on Manari Beach, Kimberley, Australia. Dave the guy who owned the yacht had fallen asleep and was brought ashore on an exceptionally high tide.
Despite our best efforts Andrew, Rod and I were unable to refloat it that morning but I am pleased to report that Rod went back the next day and he and Dave managed to get the yacht sea borne again and it is now sitting in Rod’s front yard awaiting some TLC after having been swapped for Rod’s 4 wheel drive.

Kaiser Chiefs

On Monday Night we went to see the Kaiser Chiefs at the Birmingham NIA.

They were supported by The Little Ones who I only caught a couple of songs of their set and We Are Scientists who I thought were excellent. If you live in the Midlands you can catch them live at Warwick University on Sunday 2nd December.

The Kaiser Chiefs were also very good, they played a tight set and are obviously excellent musicians but I felt there was a lack of connection between them and the audience as at the end of their set they just kinda wandered off stage without really acknowledging the crowd. It may be the Modern Way to paraphrase one of their songs as I have only just started to see live bands again after a long hiatus but I felt it showed a lack of gratitude for the support of their fans.