Over the weekend I decided to reinstall a new operating system on my home laptop. This was because windows xp had started to grind to a very slow speed and it was taking an age just to start firefox and my email. It got to the point were I just did not turn my computer off in order to save time. So I decided to do a Matt Cutts and try and run my home office Microsoft free.
I chose Ubuntu as my operating system and downloaded Ubuntu 9.10 as an ISO file which could be burned. I had to do this on another computer as my CD drive was knackered. This posed a problem with installing as I had no CD drive. So I had the option of taking the hard drive out and installing into a laptop with a working CD. But luckily my father in law has the same laptop and I just swapped the drives around.
Now for some reason 9.10 would not install as it caused the installation procedure to crash and remain incomplete. So I started again with Ubuntu version 8.04 which has long term support. This installed cleaning without any problems.
Once configured I installed the following apps to get me into a developer ready mode.
I also use syncplicity on windows to keep my password database syncronised between home and the office. Ubuntu provide their own app call Ubuntu One which gives you 2GB free space. But the do not have a Windows client for the office. Also Syncplicity uses .net 3.0 framework, which cannot be installed over wine. So I will be know on the look for a windows/linux client for file syncing.
All this took me a good part of Sunday to complete. But the final result is a very fast old laptop with all the features I need to carry on developing.
Zone 1 Creative recently went live with a new online store built in X-Cart call the Guitar Amps & Pedal Co. GAPco.co.uk.
The site replaced audiotoyz.co.uk and guitars-amps-uk.co.uk and so had instance traffic from these already indexed sites. One of the first things that I did was to install the XML Sitemaps module from magenticONE and also upload the froogle file to Google base so the products were searchable via Google Product search.
As usual google took it time to index the site, and after about two weeks we started to appear. However I was suprised with the amount of traffic we had generated from Google product Search. Our best clicked through product was the ‘Fulltone OCD‘ and we even made a sale on the first day it wen t live. Not had that for a while.
It goes to show how import this tool is for e-commerce owners, and it is also important to tweak the feed file as much as possible. One essential tweak that I made to xcart core build was to automatically add the manufactuer name to the beginning of the product name. So instead of being OCD it now read Fulltone OCD.
They have released a social media icon pack available under a creative license.
Zone1 Creative have now been using X-Cart as it main ecommerce package for over a year now. Since moving away from EROL and its lack of online management features we have built some nice sites that break the concept of X-Cart sites look too similiar.
In a recent interview Matt Cutts said that your sites loading speed will be a huge factor towards the way google ranks it. Google and many people at google believe the web/internet should be fast and so they should reward sites that load quicker and are optimised through reuse of code and parrallel loading.
According to Cutts, speed hasn’t played a role in rankings in the past, but that may very well change. Watch the video for more details about Caffeine and Google’s resources for helping webmasters improve site speed.
So tools such as Yslow! and firebug will show you a waterfall chart of how you page loads and what is holding it back. These can be used to improve the speed and ensure that pages are cached more efficiently.
There are a lot of excellent free Windows comprehensive repairing and fixing tools around the internet.
But there are times when you want just one quick fix for example when you are under a virus attack and you just want to enable the Task Manager or the Registry Editor so you can fight the virus back, or when some new installation changed your XP behavior and My Documents opens on every start up.
This is the right time to draw XP Quick Fix Plus with 40 common Windows XP problems fixes, only 0.58mb, portable, small and fast, a must have on every computer and with a small extra, a command line utility to fix 6 common problems directly from command line !