Gattonero 2012 Christmas card

Has it really been a year since I sent my last Gattonero Christmas card?

With rising postage costs I’m now even less motivated to send out a paper card so once again I made the call to local designer Liz Elcoate from Capriccio Design and gave her the brief.

As my freelance business Gattonero would be nothing without the black cat, I donate to the place we adopted from – the Peterborough branch of Cats Protection.? This year they have started an Amazon Wish List so you can donate actual items rather than a slightly impersonal bundle of cash, plus what cat doesn’t deserve a handful of Dreamies at Christmas?

Enough waffle, here’s this year’s Chrismas card design. Merry Christmas!

Gattonero 2012 Christmas card

New Basecamp vs Basecamp Classic

After the rumours and the wait, 37Signals’ online Project Management application Basecamp has been relaunched in an all-new fashion for 2012. Called “New Basecamp” (as opposed to Basecamp Classic), the new version was also known as Basecamp Next and is being touted as a separate product to Basecamp Classic.

The main difference for me is the completely revamped UI which regular users of Basecamp will also appreciate. Classic has been getting on a bit and is seeing competition in the cloud project management arena with Wunderkinder’s Wunderkit amongst others so 37Signals have been under increased pressure to add a lick of paint.

I’m not yet sure if a split in the product offering is a good one, with New Basecamp currently free to try for 90 days. I’ll give it a go but if the cost increase is considerably more for no real obvious feature benefits then I’ll probably stick with Classic. Continue reading “New Basecamp vs Basecamp Classic”

Christmas Card for 2011

Truth be told, I don’t have much time for traditional paper based Christmas cards. I appreciate the sentiment, but lets be honest with ourselves, cards are expensive, as is the postage and come the New Year all the cards go into the recycling bin at best.

As someone that offers web development services, it only seemed fitting that I send a digital e-card to my clients. Not one of those dancing elf monstrosities, or a cobbled-together-in-5-minutes-because-we-forgot-to-get-cards-in-the-post type affair, but a bona-fide bespoke Christmas card. Then for good measure and a warm feeling inside, a hand-picked charity donation to a cause I’ve supported for a few years – Cats Protection

Last year I got in touch with local designer Liz Elcoate from Capriccio Design who produced a great art-deco “chat noir” style design.

This year I gave Liz the brief of something 50’s inspired, Christmassey and with the obligatory cat (in case you wondered, my company is called Gattonero – Italian for “black cat”). Here’s the finished design which I’m really pleased with:

Gattonero black cat christmas card

Christmas Card for 2010

This year’s Gattonero Christmas e-card sent out to clients:

I wish I could take credit for the design, but I opted to use someone far better skilled at the artsy stuff that myself – Liz Elcoate from Sketchy Design Capriccio Design

Instead of sending paper based greetings cards, I sent this card by email and made a donation to Cats Protection –

Add some glamour to your gadgets

I’ve long had an affection for stickers. As a child I would rush to the local newsagent armed with my pocket money to choose whichever pack of stickers was flavour of that particular month (failing to complete the Panini 86 World Cup album was probably the reason why I care little for Football these days). ? But sadly my life has been void of stickers now for many years… until last Saturday when a trip up to Leeds for the Think Visibility conference introduced me to Gadget Glamour, a company that specialises in customising (or glamorising) your gadgets (mainly Apple gadgets) with a range of stickers, skins and cases.

Continue reading “Add some glamour to your gadgets”

How to: Include external PHP file in WordPress

So, you want to include (also include_once, require or require_once) another PHP file in one of your WordPress files?? Fine, but if your PHP file is in a different folder/directory to your WordPress installation you might run into problems.

After spending too long trawling the WordPress Codex trying to find a solution, I luckily found this post by Andy Fletcher – How to use a PHP include with WordPress

ABSPATH is your friend and the answer to your prayers. ? For example, assume your PHP files are in a folder off your web root called “thefolder”, you would include them using:

<?php include(ABSPATH . '/thefolder/thefile.php'); ?>

Simple when you know how.

Beginner’s Guide to CMS Made Simple 1.6

As a web developer I use a variety of Content Management Systems (CMS), either a bespoke solution I develop myself or more commonly an off the shelf (normally) Open Source platform.

I’ve been using the excellent CMS Made Simple for a couple of years now with great results (don’t let the “simple” in the name fool you, this is a feature-rich application) so when I was asked if I would like to review a copy of CMS Made Simple 1.6: Beginner’s Guide by Sofia Hauschildt I jumped at the chance.

Embarrassingly, I’ve had this copy of the book sitting by my desk for a couple of months but have been so busy with work I’ve not had the chance to flick past the first few pages. However, now I’ve got some new CMSMS projects in the pipeline I’m looking forward to getting into the book and seeing what it can offer. Continue reading “Beginner’s Guide to CMS Made Simple 1.6”

View Peterborough on Google Streetview

Pretty much a year to the day when I first heard that Google’s Streetview cars had been spotted in Peterborough and the images have now gone live on Google Maps!

Have you had a look yet?? Do let me know if you find anything interesting happening in Peterborough that day – I know that may be a long shot…