Monday, May 29, 2006

Still in there!

Aww maan - we thought Evan was going to be here! Still firmly settled in Laura's womb.
I need him to come out soon, otherwise I'm going to go insane!

On the development front, I'm awaiting content from Ang Marchant, and am building the E-Commerce auditor. All good fun, although I left the impression of MSAccess on my screen yesterday because it was on for so long!!! It's fading now though.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Getting Going With Baby Due

I'm finding it so hard to concentrate at the moment! Laura (my wife) is extremely close to giving birth to our son, and that's all I can think about! I keep finding myself staring into space when I should have completed a report or written an article about 3 days ago!

I need to crack on with an auditor database too! aah the list goes on!
Hope you guys are all ok, drop me an email some time? - development@moorhouses.plus.com

Ben

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Back to work again

Right, I've had a day and a half off, and deffinately need to get back to work. I bet my mailbox is at about 70 emails, which will be fun.
I have a meeting about creating a website at 8 am, I'm not awake at all, am hoping that I wake up by then!

I've been sharing my iTunes library with my brothers over the past couple of days, which is actually really cool. Just setup Hamachi to create a VPN, then share your iTunes library and look for shared music, and it simply pops up as long as your all connected the VPN.
You can't copy the music through iTunes, but you can browse the shared folder ;)

Anyway, random tip over, have fun.
Ben

Monday, May 22, 2006

Pushing to the limits

Hi guys and gals,

Just a short note saying do not push yourself to the limit - rest time is vital! I've learnt that lesson the hard way - working through the day, personal work at lunch time, getting up early to work, and working when I got in. Even thinking about work during traveling times. Obsessive? Yes, Stupid? Yes.
I'm now off work, not able to do anything, off to the dr at 12 with a suspected chest infection, piercing migraines and a painful cough. ie. Not Good!
You need to get some rest - if you dont rest you mind gets stale too, so you wont have any new good ideas.

Anyway, I'm off to go feel sorry for myself. You guys don't do your next job (unless it was to email the world about this blog), just go watch TV and chill out with your girl/guy.

Until next time, have fun!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Tutorials

Hi All,

Sorry for the huge delay in my posts! I'll get straight onto it - no delay.

I've been asked by various people to do some tutorials, one of them was how to create a "ticker" on a web page...

The basic html code for a "ticker" (aka marquee) is < marquee>YOUR TEXT OR IMAGE< /marquee>
You can then go about adding extra switches. eg. < marquee scrollamount="4" bgcolor="red">YOUR TEXT OR IMAGE< /marquee>

The switches are:

  • align (top, middle or bottom) - controls the position of the marquee box relative to the surrounding text
  • behaviour - Scroll (scrolls around the marquee area), Slide (slides from one side of the screen, and stops at the other), and Alternate ("bounces" between the ends of the box).
  • bgcolor - enter the colour or hex code you want the background colour to be.
  • direction - (left, right, up or down) changes the direction in which the text is scrolling.
  • height - sets the height of the marquee area
  • width - sets the width of the marquee area
  • hspace - sets the amount of horizontal space around the box
  • vspace - sets the amount of vertical space around the box
  • loop - the number of cycles the text will make (not including this equals infinite)
  • scrollamount - sets the number of pixels from one position to the next
  • scrolldelay - sets the number of milliseconds until the next position is shown

Thats all folks! get your requests in - development@moorhouses.plus.com

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Baby Times

Morning all! Such exciting times! My sister in law dropped my nephew off at our house last night to sleep over as her waters have broken! I'm going to have another nephew!
Only 4 weeks and 2 days until Evan is due now, I'm bouncing off the walls!

Monday, May 15, 2006

New way to blog

Hi all,
I have a new way to write my blog, which allows me to be more mobile.
Ill be writing it on my phone and it will send when i sync it with my
computer in the morning.

Ive been working on a couple of web design jobs recently - the project
perfect call website, and a site for my dads work (SiteLink). Im taking
the basic design into work tomorrow to show Angie who asked me to create
the site.

Another thing that was quite cool was getting a letter via my parents
from Rachael Gordon who I know from my work experience at Jesmond Parish
Church. She's into computers and databases, which fits into my new job
quite nicely.

Right, Im going to spend the evening with Laura. Maybe next time Ill get
used to writing as if its the morning (when this will be published).

Until next time, have fun!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Continuation of a busy lifestyle

Morning all!

In order to continue having a busy lifestyle, I needed to get more work to do! So, I've now got an intranet site to design and implement by 22nd of this month! Ah the joys of being good at what you do! It also disproves a couple of statements - it's not what you know, it's also not who you know, the phrase should actually conclude; "It's who knows you" ;)

My word of advice for this morning people - get out there and get yourself known. Aim for people asking for you specifically, that way you can charge lots of money :D
Unfortunately I'm only doing the first part of that so far!

I should get my XP box at work today... how long have I been saying that?! they should've arrived at West Bank (the name of the building where I work - its on the west bank of a river) last night. I really hope it did, because my NT box is dying quickly!!

Anyway people, I'm off to TRY to finish my blog template.

Until next time,
Have fun.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mr Fixit

Ever find that you're spending all of your time fixing things rather than actually creating things?
I find that so frustrating, especially since I enjoy fixing things so much! (It makes sense to me anyway :) )
For example, Tuesday night, I spent a couple of hours getting the fan working on my father-in-law's car, then last night I spent an hour diagnosing a fault on a neighbours fiesta, and then when I came in, had to fix my iPod because it wouldn't let me save any settings to it!
That took me to midnight, leaving me with a grand total of 0 hours for creation and development.

I need to find ways to work faster without spending too much money.

Finding the time though is the next hurdle - check out my day's timetable for today:
6am - get up, get dressed. Check emails, RSS feeds and update my blog, burn 3 CDs for people at work and a neighbour.
7am - wake Laura (my wife) and Kateland (daughter) and get Kateland ready for school including breakfast, teeth and clothes.
8am - set off for work, listen to a podcast on web design or technology in my attempt at keeping up with the technologies I work with.
9am- get into work, have a meeting with Liz (my current manager) about what I'm going to be getting completed before I leave that team on 5th June.
9:30-15:30 - web design meeting with training administrator, communications officer, and a representititve of Thomas Danby College.
15:30-17:00 Database design to pull and store two random staff members from each of the 61 sales/service managers.
17:00 - catch a bus home, whilst listening to the 2nd part of my podcast
18:00 - get home, have my tea, get changed spend some time with Kateland.
19:00 - put Kat to bed, and spend some time with Laura
22:00 - come downstairs to do some web design / research
01:00 - time for bed, and the day starts again!

As you can see, there's not much time in there... if anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear from you!

I have 15 mins left this morning so am going to rattle through my RSS feeds.

Until next time,

Have fun

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Morning all!

With my new job safely tucked under my belt, my work is focussed on completing the communications hub Intranet home page.
I hit a snag when the footer that is automatically added onto the page appeared half way up, hidden underneath my design!
I'm currently changing all items to relative Spans, before realigning them. Because this doesn't take the items out of the design and "float" them, it pushes the footer down.
An annoying thing, but hey it's gotta be done.

I'm also going after SiteLink's website - they're wanting to make some new designs but have the sales staff creating designs! Although they have some nice ideas, they want to use thing like the dreaded Frames! NOOOOOO!!! I'm sure a google search spider would love to list their navigation page... not!

Ah well, I should be getting some more information on what they want and how they want it tonight, when I can draw up a design for them.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Redesign

Hi All!

It's been 5 posts now, and I'm still using a standard template!! What is the world coming to?

So, over much deliberation, and trying to work out what blogger.com is doing with the wierd and wonderful tags they use, I'm going to be creating a new cleaner template.

Therefore, if you can't view my blog properly, I'm really sorry and I will fix it. Lets see if I can do it all today... drumroll..... I have an hour and a half.

Recoup Ready For Burst Of Work

Hi all! I'm feeling so tired at the moment! I think so much has been going on that my energy levels have taken a pure battering, I think I'm going to have to start getting up early instead of working late.

It's the boring stage of business startup at the moment though - planning what i'm going to do. I can't wait to sell my first site, and get feedback from it. Ah well, I have a large chunk of research done into prospectors, so on with the business plan.

Cool thing in the news today is that Apple have applied for a patent on a wireless iPod. So it looks like the bluetooth iPod is on its way!

Very short blog entry today, but its 1:24am, and my wife is upstairs asleep in bed. I intend on joining her in the land of Nod.

Have fun all, and until tomorrow.

Ben

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Recouperation

All work and no play makes Ben a dull boy, and Ben being a dull boy makes a rubbish company!

Yesterday was a very eventful day, and there are lots of things on the horizon.
The first main thing is that I got a job; still with HBOS, still in the same building too. As soon as we agree my money and my release date from my current job, I'll be starting as a Data Development Analyst. Which is basically creating database systems to handle requests for data, which will then be used by "the business" to make informed decisions on items such as bonus.
It should be a really good thing, and one of the huge benefits is that I'll have a payrise, hopefully quite a substantial one too. We shall see!

Another thing is that Damian Carpenter left West Bank, he's one of those men who you can go to see if you want to know how something is done, and he will either have it done, or find someone who can do it for you. I will miss him greatly as we bounced so many things off each other, and he's been there if/when I needed him.

Another thing that happened yesterday, I think was a bit of a friendship building exercise; my father-in-law's car has a faulty radiator fan, so we took the old one out, he had a new one to put in, but when we finally got the old one out he had the wrong one! SO frustrating - he wasn't to know, but the guy at the scrappy should have known.
Anyway, there's a new bloke on the street, so him helping was nice to get to know that he's a good lad.
Paul has a new fan on Monday, so we'll put that in then.

Web Design Company News
Obviously with all of this going on, I was absolutely exhausted by the evening. I was supposed to talk to my Dad online about his company's website - SiteLink.co.uk / sitelink.no-ip.info but he wasn't online, which if I'm honest was a nice suprise as I was falling asleep. Having planned to stay up until 4am working on the site, I went to bed at 12:15am which is very early for me!
Therefore, the company development suffered.
I have however completed the basics of the prospector database, so that needs filling now.

Next Business Target
I need to complete the research into schools and churches within a 5 mile radius of our house (Shawcross, Dewsbury), and enter the data into the database.

Cool new thing
Skype, Ebay inc.'s VOIP (Voice Over Interne Protocol) online "telephone" system, will be introducing free conferencing for upto 100 users, allowing a chairperson to control when each person can speak. That will be a big help for companies were staff work from home across a large distance, or even across multiple offices.

Until next time people, keep learning!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Catch up!!

Been a while! Sorry I missed a while, I'm going to try to post every day here. Granted though some days will be missed.

Well I had an interview for another job within HBOS, same building too which makes life easy. If I get it, I'll be a Data Development Analyst. (writing databases and queries basically). That should be really cool, and will also bring in the much needed extra cash!!

I unfortunately haven't had chance to do anything on business startup, which I'm not too chuffed with. I've just had so much on.
I did however have the wonderful experience of one of my younger brothers coming to stay. I loved seeing him, I miss my family all so much as they live over 100 miles away in Sunny Cramlington. It's always so nice to see them. I also just got an email from Jo, I gave her the address of this blog, so Jo if you're reading this, thanks for emailing - small contact meant a lot.

Business Startup Target
When running a business, it's always a very good idea to keep a record of your prospectors - people who are potential clients. i.e. people who are within your target market, and you think you can improve their website (in my case) for a fee that they can afford. Although you should also never exclude anyone from your prospectors database as some clients will suprise you.

Newest Thing I've Learnt
I've been working with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) recently, which can basically control the formatting and layout of your website from an external file, allowing you to change the look of your entire site by changing one file.

I've been learning today how to make the site "elastic" using CSS. This is where your layout is calculated using "em" values, so that when a user scales the text in their browser (to make it bigger or smaller) your design shrinks and grows with it so that it doesn't fall apart and look poo.

Very cool piece and will be using that in future.

Small blog today - I have over 180 RSS feeds to read before I can start working and its coming up to 11pm already!

Talk soon,

Ben

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Starting a business plan, plus web developments

Morning all!

I decided that the best way for me to thing of some form of content for this blog would be to write some notes during the day of the things that I've done, or things that have made me go "hmm...." or "What!?". But you know what's bugging me the most...? My keyboard keys are in the wrong place! I think its an American keyboard that's been imported. Very nice though - fingerprint scanner too.

Anyway, the things I want to cover today are:

Start of my business plan
IE7
and CSS and Accessibility Standards

Start Of My Business Plan
Since my 6th form days studying Business Studies at A-Level, I've known the basics of setting up a business, but now its time to do it for real I begin to realise that I know naff all!Sitepoint.com however managed to save my bacon, providing tutorials on what to include, and the best ways to go about writing one. They seem to have tutorials on everything and anything that a web master might use.
I basically picked through articles such as Write a Business Plan that Works and How to Market Your Business on a Shoestring, both of which go into great amounts of detail, but also give you room to go off and do some top-up research.


So far I've written about 2% of the Strategic foundation section.. what?! I hear you say.
The Strategic Foundation section covers a whole range of topics, starting off with "Where are we going?" - where you think your company will bein 5 years, you accomplishments, how much you will be earning from the business, and what your company will be doing on a day to day basis.
It then goes into much more detail, with sections such as "What will my role include?", "What will our capital situation be?", "Who are we targeting?", "What are the current and emerging trends in the industry?" and "What attributes make up an ideal client and a nightmare client?".
I've got to "Who are we targetting?" and decided on Schools and Churches within 5 miles of my home due to my lack in transport, and wanting to work on two niche markets rather than risk spreading myself too thinly. I'm currenly building a database of prospectors (Prospective clients) using the Internet to search through directories, and industry web sites for as much information on each company as possible.

IE7
I've just upgraded to IE7 Beta 2, and was extremely impressed and suprised!
Now I know that Internet Explorer isn't the most compliant browser available, but they've incorporated tab based browsing, which I use all of the time so that I don't have 3 million browser windows open at the bottom of my screen.
On the front end they've also put small icons, a search facility, and some other nifty bits and pieces.

Ok ok, boring I know, just wanted to stick that bit in there, and just for the record yes; Firefox is still my favourite browser.

CSS and Accessibility Standards
There has been a new web design department introduced at HBOS called D3, rather stylishly named for an internal department I think, better than "Retail Distribution Communications - RCC" anyway - that's not exactly memorable! They're pushing for good design practices, trying to get designers to work on the usability of their sites, and promoting accessibility standards.
Since the page that I design is in the top 10 sites within HBOS I thought I should get my act together and learn how to use CSS properly. I was amazed to find that not only could I not find a site, but when I emailed Paul Boag (Web Designer for www.headscape.co.uk, owner of www.boagworld.com and general usability and accessibility guru) he said that he didn't know of any sites which covered the subject thoroughly! Dun dun duuuuu....
Obviously my mind sprang to "oooh possibly get a site up and running that promotes those things" which would obviously get some attention my way, but hey - I kinda need to know what I'm talking about.
I think that will need to be built into future plans unfortunately.
If any of you find a site that does the above, please let me know though - email me at development@moorhouses.plus.com or BenMoorhouse@halifax.co.uk (or both if you're feeling nice and dont want me to have to send it home or to work).

Cheers all, its been a fun morning, but I must dash - I have more business plan to write, and a job interview today!!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Welcome to my first blog entry... I've seen so many blogs, but just never gotten round to doing my own. In due course I'll write my own, and move it to my own webspace, but for now blogger.com seems to be nice and easy (In other words, blogger.com have me for life heh!)

Ok so its the end of another long day, I suppose for my first entry I should say who I am.
Ben Moorhouse; 22 year old Communications Consultant working for HBOS, but wanting to get my own web design company off the ground. It takes so much work though!!
Just writing the business plan has already taken up 9 A4 sheets of my poor PCs lowly memory.
I'm married with a daughter and a son to be, Kateland is 5 and Laura (my wife) is 20. Evan is due to drop out sometime around June 15th

Anyway, I'm assuming I'll be the worlds lonliest blogger for a good while until I start talking about something COMPLETELY useless!
Although I have no idea so far, I think I'm going to focus this blog on my company setup. Then never know, if it gets off the ground I may even do a podcast of some sort... Does that mean I'm tied to doing a PodCast now?

Anyway, it's midnight, and so Tuesday now. I have loads to get through, so will try to post tomorrow.