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Magento Commerce Email Template Set

Magento comes with a set of email templates. There are rather a lot of them, as there are a lot of reasons for Magento to send e-mails. There is a problem though: none of them are designed for real-world use. The problems with the default templates are multiple: Many contain default text for the “Acme Shop” with hard-coded phone numbers of the Magento offices. Many rank very highly as SPAM and usually don’t get to their destinations. HTML tags are

Cleaning UTF-8 Streams for XML Parsing

Many applications I work on require the reading and parsing of third-party XML streams. These streams often originate with user-entered data and subsequently end up with invalid characters in. Of course, this should never happen, but it does and when it does, you need to be ready for it. It surprised me to learn that not all valid UTF-8 characters are in fact valid in well-formed XML. So with a combination of this fact, and with remote applications allowing user-entered

nLite – Windows Installation Customizer

I came across this neat Windows application today. It is basically a tool for creating customised Windows installation disks. I’ve seen similar tools for slip-streaming service packs into disks, but this one goes a step further and makes it dead easy to include drivers and various other Windows tweaks. It is all very straight-forward to use: Point it at the original Windows disk. Tell it what you want to change (point it at service packs, drivers, etc.) Tell it to

Affiliates For All [Magento Users]

If you run a Magento shop, and you would like to drive customers to your shop, then an affiliate programme may be one option to look at. This is basically low risk and low cost, since you only pay when you make sales. The Affiliates For All Open Source application is able to support the running of your affiliate scheme. Your affiliates would register on your site, through this application. Your only involvement would be to approve their application, and

Designers now boarding at gate … err…

The latest craze for designers seems to be redesigning airline boarding cards (and/or websites). Dustin Curtis started this off a little while ago, after wondering why American Airlines’ website is so difficult to use. Being proactive, Dustin redesigned the site and sent it (with an impassioned letter) to AA. This started a conversation with their web developer which is quite revealing about large organisations and their difficulties in bringing about change. This inspired Tyler Thompson to have go at redesigning

New WordPress Plugin: role-approved-comment

Update: this plugin is now hosted here on wordpress.org This plugin allows users in specified WordPress roles to have their comments automatically approved, while users in other roles require their comments to be approved by an editor. Until this plugin gets hosted on Worpress.com, here is version 1.0 for download: role-approved-comment.zip

International Classification for Standards (ICS)

The International Classification for Standards (ICS) categories are used to serve as a structure for catalogues of international, regional and national standards and other normative documents, and as a basis for standing-order systems for international, regional and national standards. It may also be used for classifying standards and normative documents in databases, libraries, etc. The classifications can be downloaded here for free as a PDF document (intro page here). This document lists the main categories first, and then a full

Silencing a DES-1228P Switch

Well, not quite silencing, but they can be made a lot quieter. First a brief introduction. The D-Link DES-1228P network switch is D-Link’s attempt to get into the corporate world. I’ve never much liked D-Link equipment purely because of reliability issues, Netgear being my consumer choice. I gave this one a chance for a client setting up a new office. What makes this switch stand out is that it provides 24 ports of Power Over Ethernet (POE) along with Quality

Got a new camera

It’s an Olympus SP-590UZ super-zoom. The photos below give you some idea of the range of the zoom on this thing. These photos were taken without a tripod, on a dark overcast day. [flickrset id=”72157618881198922″ thumbnail=”square” overlay=”true” size=”medium”] I was looking at a full SLR, and if I were a professional photographer then it would make sense. But for the same price as a decent SLR, I could afford the Olympus, and a pocket compact camera, and renew them both

Ionic – CSS multi column framework

Introducing Ionic, a CSS framework put together to specifically handle layouts with more than 2 columns in CSS. The framework, originally written by Jason under the name ‘fluid1’, has been used on our client’s website, IEMA.net, since 2005. The aim of the project was to make it accessible to all the common browsers, whilst keeping the HTML markup as semantic as possible. Currently the script only supports a maximum of 3 columns, but there is no reason why the algorithm

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