Google Experiment

I am experimenting with Google AdSense adverts in the bottom right corner of the screen to explore for myself how effective and inappropriate they can be. So far the setup has been painless and only the occasional random advert has appeared out of the blue. This is not intended to be a big money earner but I am curious as to the income rates that are achieved.

Google Search Added

I have been having a bit of an aesthetic cleanup of the website for the New Year. Part of this has involved the inclusion of the Google Search box rather than a Joomla search tool. This was for two reasons, firstly the Joomla search functionality is only slightly better than useless and secondly I wanted to experiment with Google AdSense after reading the Google book.

Setting up AdSense as with Paypal has been surprisingly easy, it is no wonder the company is worth so much when they can provide simple yet effective advertising space with almost zero configuration. I know I will not earn any money from the search tool but even then the statistics on the Google AdSense site are useful by themselves. I am still not sold on the Google text/image ads on the website however just because they are so busy. They could easily fit down the side of the screen but a nice bit of whitespace is a relief for the eyes especially after visiting many sites which are literally covered in text adverts and images.

PHP/mod_rewrite issue fixed


A keen observer will notice that search engine friendly url's are working again on my site. Whilst the SUSE bug concerning PHP/mod_rewrite is still not fixed at least the SUSE security guys have a work around: just place the rewrite LoadModule statement before the PHP one in the Apache config file. As simple config change, restart and everything is back to normal.


Site Upgraded to Joomla


Of late I have been pretty busy and have not been able to do much maintenance on the website. For some unknown reason the comments function stopped working and thanks to a renegade SUSE PHP security update the mod_rewrite Apache extension stopped working (resulting in a lot of dead links).

This morning I upgraded Mambo to the latest version (4.5.3) and found things were going so well that I did a full migration across to Joomla 1.04. This migration turned out a lot easier than I first expected which is a welcome relief. Now the comments section works as expected and I have put in place some Apache redirects so that the more popular mod_rewrite links continue to function as normal. Hopefully Novell/SUSE will sort their PHP package out and get mod_rewrite working again (it has been a good week since it broke so hopefully it will be any day now).

Revit Tutorial Fixed & Other Updates

It was brought to my attention that aspects of the Revit tutorial (which at the moment has had over 7,000 readers) was missing the roof section and some images. I am not too sure exactly where they disappeared to but I have fixed up these bits.

On an aside downloads of the Webmin theme are going very strong, there has been over 500 downloads already and it was only released a week ago.
Just of out curiousity I have turned on annonymous comments again as an experiment. Feel free to comment on anything here.

RSS Feed Online

After a bit of tinkering I have a FeedBurner (RSS & Atom) feed for this subject online. It can be subscribed to here. The issue was my content management system (Mambo 4.5.1) only natively supporting feeds of the site frontpage. Fortunately there is an add-on that supports multiple site feeds but setting this up is far from intuitive. Oh well, its up now I guess.

It's actually interesting to see the development of the different RSS/Atom standards. RSS begun development as a group project but then a difference of opinion between Dave Winer and a number of other members split the project in two. Dave Winer produced RSS 0.91 whilst a little while later the working group came out with RSS 1.0.

Server & Graphical Updates

It has been a very busy month. After arriving back in New Zealand Emma and I spent a week in Auckland before driving down to Wellington. Since arriving back we have been very busy finding a place to live, unpacking boxes and getting back to work. After some issues with my last web host I decided to setup my own server and in the process I have redeveloped the graphical appearance as the old one looked a little boring. Now if there is any problems with the site I can fix them much sooner and the process of backups has become a lot simpler.

StatCounter: A Free Web Statistics Service

Just before Chirstmas I recently moved this site to a Web Host in the United States. This service has been very cost effective but in the process I did loose a little bit of control in terms of being able to check Apache server logs for web statistics. The service provided a basic overview of site traffic in bandwidth used but did not tell me who was visiting the site and what was being read. I did a quick Web search and found StatCounter, a free web statistics analyser that does not need access to your server logs.

By placing a small piece of harmless Javascript in the header of the webpage StatCounter gleams useful information from the visitor. I can log in to StatCounter and checkout a continually updated set of reports ranging from who visited to what they read and how long they stayed. Useful stuff and quite reassuring to know the site is being visited frequently by people from around the world.

AutoCAD Tutorials Added

Today I have added the AutoCAD 2002 tutorial and the AutoCAD to RayFront import howto to the Software Tutorials section.

Revit Tutorial Uploaded & Visual Revamp

During a little bit of downtime over the Christmas/New Year break I have given the site a visual overhaul plus begun uploading a backlog of content. This morning I have published the Revit tutorial I wrote a few years ago. Last night I updated the YouWHO download to version 1.3 which includes a number of bug fixes and a menu creator tool. In the near future I will be publishing an AutoCAD tutorial and a RayFront importing howto.