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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The last day


One more day to go, I can hardly believe it, doesn't time fly when you're.... er... well enjoying yourself. What a journey from a sketch on a piece of paper months ago to all of this, I am pleased with the way the site looks for launch, I hope people visiting it will agree, I have given the site plenty of scope for expansion later on and I hope I will get a lot of feedback on how to improve it. Still more work to do so better get back to it only a few hours to go.....aaaahhhh!

and back to me...

posted by Richard @ 1:25 PM


Monday, August 29, 2005

More hands please!!


With only 3 days to go things are starting to be a bit frantic to say the least, but I think I am going to get the mojority of the main elements finished on time. It has been a little tricky uploading all the large files as the ftp server for the site has been a little bit tempremental today. Only a few more to do and then it's really checking all the site links to make sure it all works.

I have been sending out some emails to friends to alert them to the launch date so hopefully I will get a visitor or three. I have also tried to get a press release sent out to a few music sites and magazines but this has proved to be a little difficult so late in the day.

Anyway, back to the fold and all hands to the pumps

and back to me...

posted by Richard @ 10:36 PM


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Less than a week


Time is slowly ticking away until the site goes live, in fact just over 6 days, In a funny sort of way I will be so relieved as I can get back to doing some music again. All my focus has been on website creation for a while which is not my forte really. One down side is that these blogs will be available for all to see so I better check my speeling. :-)

Traveling again later today, this time I'm off to Dublin for the weekend, I will obviously have my computer with me as there is still so much to do. Right back to the opening intro

and back to me...

posted by Richard @ 5:51 PM


Wednesday, August 24, 2005



Today I have been hard at work building the site intro, this is the optional animation and video before you get to the home page. I have seen so many bad examples of these that I am anxious not make one that does not have the impact or even worse to be over the top. I have worked out a rough storyboard and some basic animatics but now I have to put all the correct elements in place.

Not long to go now just over a week and I am going to be loosing a couple of days for a prior engagement, so really need to get a move on.

Finally I don't normally comment on news outside my own sphere but today I feel I need to, Bob Moog the inventor of what we know as the synthesizer sadly has passed away, I can remember the impact of what he created and how he paved the way for all the keyboards and synthesizers that followed, I would just like to say, Bob thank you.

and back to bob...

posted by Richard @ 1:08 AM


Saturday, August 20, 2005

To the mountain top


Well today has been a fantastic day here in Cape Town, it really is a beautiful place especially when the sun is shining as it has been today. As I said in my previous post today I was going to do some filming for the "Traveling Man" video. My dilemma when I'm on my own is lugging all the gear around and keeping guard when I'm doing the filming, as it transpired on the way to the cable car station I got chatting to my cab driver who was intrigued as to why I was taking so much gear including a guitar up the mountain, I explained why and we chatted further. Ludwick although living in Cape Town had never been to the top of table mountain so a little bit of quick thinking and the prospect of a free trip up the mountain turned Ludwick from cab driver to camera man and production assistant. We had such a great time, making a new friend and seeing the smile on his face when we reached the top of the mountain makes this sometimes so worthwhile. Ludwick thank you

and back to me...

posted by Richard @ 4:50 PM


Friday, August 19, 2005

In through the back door


I'm in Cape Town now and I've had to tap into some one else's wireless Internet account, the hotel I'm staying in (naming no names) said it had a broadband internet account but only has dialup, dialup?!, you can hardly call it that it's more like a snail on valium, anyway I scanned the airwaves and have managed to get onto an unsecured wireless network, so whoever you are thank you for leaving your back door open.

I mentioned in my previous entry that I was in Syncing hell with the streaming video for the site, I am pleased to say that I have resolved this so we should have video and audio in sync when the site goes live.

Tomorrow is another work day but I do have some time off and I plan to do some shooting for one of my videos called "traveling man", the idea behind this video is very simple, wherever I am in the world I take some video of me with my guitar in front of a well known landmark, and eventually I will edit this all together into a video where I am jumping around the world, simple but it will take a long time to finish, so this is a video that is sort of on the back burner. So it's up table mountain tomorrow.

and back to me...

posted by Richard @ 10:21 PM


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

That syncing feeling!


Why is it when you think you are making progress something happens to set you back, well that's what has just happened, I have spent the last few days encoding video for the site and have just uploaded it to test the streaming and downloading, Once uploaded when streaming the audio and video is completely out of sync, I am really puzzled, it works perfectly on my computer prior to uploading then it's all out.... aaaahhhh!

So i'm going to have to try different methods to try and get it right, it doesn't help that the connection speed in this hotel is a little slow, well more like a snail on valium really.

So this computer is going to be working over time tonight to try and get some settings that work.

Maybe it'll be for the better, let's hope so.

It is really strange writing this with no one out there reading this yet!, am I talking to myself?, let's hope not in a couple of weeks, couple of weeks!!!!!!! _ aaaaaaahhhhhh

and back to me...

posted by Richard @ 9:36 PM


Monday, August 15, 2005

Up side down!


Greetings from South Africa, well after a long overnight flight with no sleep I've eventually got round to posting a blog for today. It's been one of those days when you spend hours at the computer and have not a lot to show for it. I have really got to get more focused to list the things that 100% definitely have to be in the site for launch. I am being so picky on little details that probably the average visitor to the site will not be aware of. But having said that first impressions count so much, so a balance needs to be created between the must haves and the maybe soon's.

Well that will have to wait for another day, time to set this computer to work overnight on compressing some video for streaming.

and back to me

posted by Richard @ 12:09 AM


Saturday, August 13, 2005

Up and away


Well it's been a busy couple of days, writing and creating content for the site, I'm gradually getting through it but there is still so much to do, mostly I have been encoding and compressing video content to be able to stream off the site.

I'm now off to South Africa for a week working in Johannesburg and Cape Town, off course I will be taking my computer, camera and video camera with me.

I have only got 18 days to go so I can't miss a whole week out.

Right off to the airport,

and back to me...

posted by Richard @ 5:50 PM


Friday, August 12, 2005

A live interview


What a really productive evening, not only did I manage to get "the story so far" interview uploaded to the site but the interactivity within it is great, you can navigate to any question instantly and see the video playing. I really hope that someone at least finds it interesting. Flash is a little bit crueder than the video editors I am more familiar with but it works very well for video streaming for websites.

I also finished the text transcript, this will be available to view or download as .pdf.

So off to South Africa at the weekend, so i'm not sure what internet access I will have but I should be able to uipload something.

Anyway for me iot's time for an early night, well it's still gone midnight.

and back to me...

posted by Richard @ 12:06 AM


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Quite Flash


Today I have been studying the manuals on flash to help with some of the video elements on the site, in particular the interview called "the story so far". I want this to be very interactive so the viewer can jump around the interview to hear any question in any particular order, hence flash.

Trying to get the scripting right is a little bit of a headache, but I eventually made some headway this evening.

I'm off to South Africa on Saturday to do some consultancy work for a week so i'm quite anxious to get as much done as possible before I go.

The countdown is already 21 days, it doesn't seem that long since I started it, time flies. I am starting to resign myself to the fact that not all the elements will be ready on the launch day, but that's what you get for trying to do everything on your own.

and back to me

posted by Richard @ 1:15 AM


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Streaming or steaming


As you can see by the time it's another late night, i've been stuggling getting the best results in compressing the video content for the site, there are presets available in most compression programs but sometimes the results are questionable, All I want is to get the best quality video for different connection speeds, seems easy hey, well it should be but is proving difficult, another added complication is the fact that "the story so far video interview" is 21 minutes long (it does have a live recording in there as well) so I need to offer shorter downloads, maybe break it down into 4 sections.

Apart from that things are ticking away slowly, I need to get all the video elements out of the way soon so the site will have a good variety of content from day 1 , i'm tired now and starting to waffle so time to callit a day.

and back to me...

posted by Richard @ 1:04 AM


Monday, August 08, 2005

Camera, lights, compress!


Well I managed to take some time out over the weekend, it was good to get away from the computer for a few hours at least. Unfortunately the website won't get finished like that so it's back to business again.

Today I have been concentrating on the video streaming aspects for the site, inparticular what format of compression codec to use that will suite most peoples browsers. With broadband starting to take off it would be easy to think that this would be straight forward, unfortunately there are still a lot of people around the world on slower dial-up and with older browsers. Anyway after a lot of deliberation I have decided to go for flash video (.flv) for viewing and a choice of either Quicktime (mpeg) or WindowsMedia 9 (.wmv) for download, it means a little more work for me but I think the choice will be well worth while.

So more staring at the computer again but I am quite happy with the progress i'm making.

and back to me...

posted by Richard @ 12:53 AM


Friday, August 05, 2005

An icon


Ok hands up, who knows what a favicon is?, any guesses?, nope, ok well I'll tell you.

A favicon is the little logo that pops up next to the website address at the top of your browser, so know you now, so why am I asking?, well that's what I have been doing today, researching, designing and implementing mine into my website. So after many design ideas I have finally come up with this one at the top of this blog.

It was a little confusing getting the code right, ( you should know me and code by now ) but eventually I got it sorted, so I now have an icon. I always wanted to be one :-)

So now it's the weekend and i'm going to try and take some well deserved time out if I can, but you know what I keep looking at that countdown clock on the home page and aaaahhhhh!!!

26days, 12 hours, 15 minutes and 32 seconds to go!

and back to me...

posted by Richard @ 11:28 PM


Thursday, August 04, 2005



Well we have blog integration into the site, ha ha that took a while didn't it. It's amazing that a little "/" could be the root of all frustrations. It seemed that when I was setting the template for the blog upload I was missing a "/" , this little swine tells the pages to look at my local style sheet. If you don't understand what I just said then don't worry neither do I. :-)

The Article for the User magazine has been handed in so no going back now, it will be interesting to see how much web traffic it generates.

It seems ages since I did some music, It's funny with all of this website stuff going on, which is obviously so important for the promotion side of things, the music writing is taking a back burner, I must remember what this is all for and keep up the writing and playing, after all I maybe playing a few gigs soon...

Hmmm now where is my stage outfit?

and back to me...

posted by Richard @ 6:29 PM


I can see the headlines now!


My day has been website creating yet again, this time working out a news ticker that will display all the headline news for the site, I have configured this so I can upload my news stories and the ticker will read them out across the top of the page.

It's really starting to take shape now, a lot of the really difficult things are done just writing most of the content to add in now.

At last I have finished the article for the User magazine, it reads really well, I will also write at some time a making of story for the non technical amongst us.

Anyway it's late now another long day.

and back to me...

posted by Richard @ 1:20 AM


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

and then there were lyrics...


A slight change of plan from the idea of writing a biography today, I really needed to finished a master template for the site that has a random line from all of my lyrics appearing at the top of each page.

This was achieved with writing a JavaScript that randomizes an array of lyric lines, it works as well - yes!!!, another thing of the list.

Also I've been looking at some colour swatches to try and have a different colour for the main sections of the site which are.

home | news | music | biography | community

as well as looking aesthetically pleasing it helps for people navigating the site to remember which section they are in.

So let's see 29days, 13hours, 9minutes and 13 seconds to go until the site goes live as the countdown keeps reminding me.

and back to me....

posted by Richard @ 10:39 PM


Monday, August 01, 2005

I've only gone and done it!


Yes, yes, yes and yes as Meg Ryan so delicately put it, after a fraught and frustrating night I finally finished the forum, wow what a challenge, I know a few of you out there will say but that's easy, well yes once you know how to do it then it's not too bad.

Well, now what's next, hmmm, I'd better write a biography I suppose.

Right me.....Ok where shall I start?, at the beginning?...

Richard was born 20th June 1966.........

checkout this link to see how I did.

see you soon

and back to me...

posted by Richard @ 1:22 PM


I will not be beaten


This forum thing is not going to beat me, I am determined to get it sorted tonight, well ok , this morning ..... wow time has flown.

Give me a guitar any day!, at least they do what you want :-), well sometimes.

and back to me...

posted by Richard @ 12:24 AM


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