Unhappy Chappie

If you see Vista on the horizon, head for the hills!

More about this later when I’m allowed to tell you.

May 11, 2016 · Phil Rogers · No Comments
Posted in: Uncategorized

If you want something doing properly…

Have you ever used that phrase “If you want something doing properly, do it yourself” ? It can be very frustrating when you rely on something or somebody and they just don’t deliver what you want.

I have been a user of the Opera browser since version 3.0 (It’s up to version 20 now). When I first started using it, it was an absolute delight to use. It was by far the fastest browser available and had some excellent features that are still not available in in other browsers unless you install a 3rd-party plug-in, or have been copied but implemented poorly. Back in those days, you had to pay for Opera, so you kind of expected something better than the rest. It became free several versions later.

After version 12, Opera decided to start anew. They dumped their existing HTML rendering engine and adopted the Chromium engine that is used in Google’s Chrome browser. They also dropped most of the other cool features that distinguished Opera from the rest, and the result is effectively a Chrome Clone. It supports most of the Chrome plug-ins, but not all of them, and thus it is not only a Chrome Clone, but an inferior one at that.

The Opera Community has also been dropped and replaced with a forum that doesn’t appear to be monitored by Opera staff on a regular basis. There have been lots of complaints about the disappearance of the cool features, but Opera insist that they are not going to reinstate them because it will run plug-ins.

On the one hand, I can see their point – why supply a monolithic browser full of features that many people don’t use? People who want those features can add them in. All true, but if that’s the case, what distinguishes Opera from Chrome, and makes you want to use Opera? Nothing. In fact, as it doesn’t support all plug-ins, Chrome becomes the better choice.

To make people want to use the new Opera, they should either reinstate the features people have been complaining are missing, or bundle Opera with a set of plug-ins that implement those features, which they can then choose to enable or disable as required. This would be a much more manageable approach to supplying a browser that stands out from the rest. Google concentrate on the rendering engine and Opera build a unique user interface around it.

Getting back to my original rant about “If you want something doing properly…”, this got me wondering jsut how difficult it would be. So I downloaded the Chromium engine and added it to a simple browser application that I put together in a matter of minutes. I now have a very simple, but fully-functional browser that I made myself, which encapsulates the Chromium engine, just as Chrome and Opera do. Now all I have to do is implement the features that I like from the older versions of Opera, and I have the best of both worlds. So when people ask me which browser I use, I’ll be able to say something like “Operatic Chromium”.

May 2, 2014 · Phil Rogers · No Comments
Posted in: Computing, Internet

Dusting off the IM Hat

For several years now, I have been dabbling in the online marketing arena, mainly in affiliate sales, and in software products. I’ve always had a day job at the same time, and that looked likely to continue unless I really made it big-time. About 18 months ago, I changed my day job and I really enjoy it. Being a lot closer to home than my previous job, I had more time to spend with my family and on other pastimes such as learning the guitar. With all that extra time, you’d think that I’d have more time to concentrate on my online marketing efforts, but that hasn’t been the case because of all my other interests.

Recently, however, I realised just how much I missed the thrill of the chase in the online marketing field and have decided to set aside some time to get back into it.

So I am removing the virtual dust off my websites, affiliate programmes etc., taking stock of what I have, and re-examining the market to see what has changed since I’ve been away.

One thing that is fairly obvious to me is that my mailing list is a very feeble shadow of its former self. I noticed this a few months ago and actually cancelled my Aweber account because it seemed pointless paying for something that I’m not using. The lists have remained abandoned for such a long time (relatively speaking) that many members have unsubscribed, their email addresses no longer exist, or my messages are ending up in the spam filters. So, I am in effect starting from scratch all over again.

Oddly enough, I don’t see this as a bad thing – my previous efforts were somewhat disorganised and I see this as a clean start, but with the benefit of hindsight.

I’m not going to rush into anything, or make the same mistakes I did before. My biggest mistake was starting something and not seeing it through to the end before starting on the next project. Although I made money from them, it was never the consistent, recurring income that I always planned to achieve.

My first task, I think, must be to get a large supply of paper and a pencil, and work out a plan of action, brainstorming ideas as I go. Once that’s done. I’ll work out a road-map, draw it up and stick it to the wall over my PC to serve as a reminder. I’ll probably add some images of things such as my dream car, house etc., to act as a set of goals which I can see every day.

So, if you watch this site, you’ll start to see some activity again, but don’t expect a flood – I’ve got a lot of background work to get done before I really start to make my public presence felt again.

February 21, 2014 · Phil Rogers · 2 Comments
Posted in: Online Marketing

It’s So Easy To Go Off Track

It’s been many months since my last post on this blog. It’s amazing how easy it is to get out of the habit of posting, and once you’ve lost that habit, a blog can easily fall into a state of neglect.

So this post represents me getting back on track.

Last summer I started a new day-job and it had a profound effect on my day-to-day routine, and that’s the problem. Once your routine is broken, some tasks get overlooked or forgotten.
The job is great though. Working on accounting software is a big departure from the sonar systems I worked on previously, but I’m learning some great new programming skills.

As you’ll see from previous posts, I am learning to play guitar. I’m still not that good yet, but I do practice as often as I can – at least every day – even if it’s just a five-minute run through one song.

My two young sons are now attending stage school on Saturday mornings and loving it. We’re all looking forward to them appearing as Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz in July.

I have just begin to resume development of my software product, Simple Software Maker, which I hope to release within the next few days. Version 1.0 will be free in exchange for a Tweet about it – using this great new tool, G.I.F.T. (Get It For Tweeting).
GIFT was created by my good friend, Dan Blackburn. I reckon it’s going to become a major marketing tool. If you have a giveaway product, or want to offer discount vouchers, why not Give It For Tweeting? Your customers get the gift, while you get the publicity as word gets sent to your customers’ Twitter followers.

So if you would like to get a free copy of Simple Software Maker 1.0, keep your eyes peeled for the GIFT button which will appear on this blog over the next week or so.

April 6, 2013 · Phil Rogers · No Comments
Posted in: General, Online Marketing

Guitar Stand

Having recently taken up the guitar in a serious way, I thought it was about time to invest in a guitar stand. It’s really not very good to leave your guitar leaning against a wall or item of furniture, where it can slip and fall down.

Also, there’s something rather cool about the way a guitar looks when it’s in a stand – kind of makes it look as if you’re serious about your guitar!

Anyway, this week my local Aldi store is offering guitar stands for sale at a bargain price of just £6.99, so I invested in two of them – one for myself and one for my son.

They are easy to assemble, lightweight and of fairly sturdy, metal construction, with neoprene pads to protect the guitar. They fit both electric and acoustic guitars, so they are very practical.

The rounded fork which cradles the neck of the guitar has a rubber tie across it to keep the guitar in place if it gets knocked.

My only criticism of the whole thing is the pair of arms that support the body of the guitar. They are mounted in such a way that they can swivel round so that instead of forming a shallow “valley” for the guitar to sit in, they present a hill. Unfortunately, when gravity gets its way, the preferred resting position of these supporting arms is the wrong way up.

It’s a fault that I can live with at home, but if I was a professional musician using them on stage, I’d get very annoyed at them.
I’ll probably rig up some means of holding them in the correct position that will still allow me to pack it away for transportation if necessary.

So, apart from that one minor niggle, I’d say that at £6.99 they are a bargain. They’re in the shops this week, and selling fast, though!

November 18, 2012 · Phil Rogers · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: music