Standard osCommerce Buttons

Standard osCommerce Buttons

While setting up an osCommerce installation, I decided that I needed “regular, plain, standard, whatever you want to call them” buttons for it’s frontend. I searched the osCommerce contributions/addons site and found nothing “standard”. So, I opened up my image editor of choice (Fireworks), then did a little magic and ended up with a contribution, here.

Final Thoughts: Standard is not so standard anymore!? Grrr…

System Recovery

The perfect Microsoft setup? Is there such a thing? Yes, if you plan ahead of time for disaster. What am I talking about? System recovery is today’s topic.

The best way to prepare for a failing system is to separate the “system” and “storage”. Why? With the system and storage separated, we can do anything to the system and at the same time preserve our stored data. I have been SEPARATING the two for a while for all friends and family members that have totally missed up their systems. Does the system have to be totally wiped? No, that’s about the only time users will seek help. The process is pretty simple but very effective:

Separation in Bios – here we make to physical partitions out of one hard-drive

  1. Boot from you favorite OS CD, mostly a Microsoft OS
  2. Wipe out the whole hard-drive
  3. Create 2 or more partitions, the first partition should be C: and at least 10GB (more if you have a bigger HD)
  4. Install the OS on that partition

Separation in OS – here we make use of the second partition

  1. After everything is done, login into OS
  2. Open “My Computer”, right click C: drive, rename it to “System”
  3. Right click to rename the other drive to “Storage”… you may have to format it
  4. Exit everything, right click “My Documents” properties
  5. Click on “Move To”
  6. Browse to your “Storage” drive/partition, make a folder, select it

That’s about it. What we did was first made to partitions, on for the operating system and one for storage. Just in case the OS needs to be fixed. With there being a drive just for the OS, if needed it can be wiped without messing with the personal data.

But for all this to work, the user MUST NOT save any important data on the C: drive. Thanks to Microsoft’s design, personal data is sent is mostly sent to “My Documents”, which we move to the “Storage” partition.

We can go further by cloning our “System” partition, but that’s other article.

DNN Installs

Installing DNN on shared hosting as always been a hard task. And to think I’d have it down by now. I at least remember by heart the basics:

  1. Download the software from the DNN site
  2. Upload the files to the shared hosting
  3. Ensure permissions for the ASP.net user are correct
  4. Setup the database and user
  5. Config the webconfig, ie. enter in the DB connection data/string
  6. Go to browser, invoke install @ http://mydomain.com/install
  7. Change admin and host passwords

Thats is normally it, unless you run into permissions problems; which is often on shared hosting servers.

But while trying to setup my Freedotnetnukeskins.com on Lunarpages.com servers, we (support and I) discovered that the directory “skins” CANNOT be used as your virtual directory. My guess is this might be in the DNN manual somewhere, but we were using the “auto install DNN” plesk so it was hard to pick out.

Suggest WP Plugins Please

WordPress, blog software that we can’t live without… thats if you’re not a Blogger. But with all its greatness, having plugins can and have greatly enhanced our blogs. So far, I have installed:

wp-email211 by Lester Chan
wp-pagenavi211 by Lester Chan
wp-polls220 by Lester Chan
wp-postratings111 by Lester Chan
wp-postviews111 by Lester Chan
wp-print211 by Lester Chan
wp-wap210 by Lester Chan
cforms.5.4 by Oliver Seidel

Currently, I am looking for a “social web” plugin that works with my theme. Other than that I would like suggestion for plugins… looking through the directory is nnnnooooo fun, so please suggest away if you know of a “must have” plugin.

osCommerce Must Have…

I have been doing alot of osCommerce work for a client over the pass year and a half. And although there are many “contributions” that are a must for any production osCommerce shop, without a doubt when it comes to designing a site, the “Simple Template System” aka STS contribution created by Brian Gallagher is a must have.

If you are new to osCommerce, you will soon find out that designing your osCommerce website can be quite painful. But once you add the STS contribution to your site, you essentially add a skinning method to it… making your job half as easy. Link? Click Here.

Signature Images

I have been seeing cool signature images. So I thought I’d try making a few for myself. Here’s my first stab at making them…

woot_shopper.jpg

noteful_user.jpg

kyrise_star.jpg

a8le_owner.jpg

Again, this is just my first stab at doing them, I’ll revisit them soon if time permits…