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I've had a busy few months, dealing with all manner of launches and revising of websites. So, apologies for the lack of blogging ... again!

Since my last visit, I've been discovering the wonders of PDF. Initially, I was using a free piece of software called PDF995. This is basically a printer driver, that creates generic PDF files from any bit of software that has a Print function. Now, I've got hold of a demo of Acrobat 6 Professional, and this really rocks! Some of my work requires being able to create PDFs of forms so users can download them. I can even convert webpages to PDF files, a task which proved essential recently, when I had to export a listing of shops from one of my sites. The webpage was specially formatted into shop categories, and then, using Acrobat, I simply put in the URL, and I had a nicely put together document version to send to the printers. So simple, yet so powerful.

I was invited to a local seminar for Macromedia Breeze. But I didn't fancy going to the Marriott in KL, the memory of what happened at the Jakarta Marriott puts me off going there. Breeze sounds like a potential solution to our company's problem of doing effective training materials.

My most recent headache has been to contend with transferring the eCosway website onto CD-ROM, so it can be used in presentations or training. However, most web crawling software simply falls over when it gets the merest whiff of Javascript encoded URL links, so I end up with an unusable copy of it. Our alternative is a manually put together site, which has basically been left to rot over two years. So I've been adding bits and pieces to it, removing stuff, adding stuff, rejigging stuff, ensuring that consistency is there, when the sessions require step-by-step instruction through something like a user's web account, so they can perform transactions, auction bids, and many other things.

I finally found a way of burning all 3 main sites onto DVD-R, without filenames getting truncated. This disc has the chargeandearn, partnermerchants and eCosway sites all on one disc. It's always a relief to put one of these discs to bed, but also a headache, because there's so much more to finish with the latter site. My staff are always busy trying to keep the live site going, it's horrible having to devote so much time and energy to this thing. Once this offline CD is finally up to date, I'm thinking of insisting that it only get updated every 6 months or so. 2 years plus is very bad!

Glad to see that Macromedia finally got their long awaited updater for Dreamweaver MX2004 - the bugs in their first release were giving me serious headaches. The update is a lot faster, and removes a lot of mysterious crashes, but the occasional complex cut and paste from MS Word to Dreamweaver results in a unceremonious exit to the desktop. Roll-on the next updater ;-)


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