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Showing posts from July, 2009

Beauty Beyond Belief

Three weeks after our trip up to Alaska and Victoria, BC, I am still reeling from shock at our last "tourist" stop: Butchart Gardens.

I had heard about it, and I had even seen several pictures from various people who had gone, and, I must say, I was still hopelessly unprepared for the overwhelming beauty of the whole thing.

Just look how gorgeous it is!



The colors, the variety, the order are unlike anything that I have ever seen.



It's beautiful in the day time....



It's beautiful at night...
It's beautiful through a crappy can't-take-night-time-pictures camera!



Even the garbage cans were exquisite!



It was even beautiful when my finger invaded the upper right portion of the lens during a night-time photo with my can't-take-night-time-photos camera!



And, of course, there was a piece of time and space etched out in Butchart Gardens that perfectly complimented my wife's own striking beauty...



So, yeah, it was absolutely, unequivocally, unmistakably awesome beyond a…

The Cost of Conflict

There are two things that make freelancing attractive and rewarding for me:

1. Finding out what is possible
2. Showing clients what is possible

By the first, I mean that having several small projects from several different clients inevitably produces industry breadth. One month, a freelancer may be developing an online shopping cart in Java or PHP and the next month an online data feed in Google Base.

By the second, which is actually the impetus for this post, I mean that there are several people out there who have no idea what possibilities the software industry can afford them. It is wonderful to hear a person talk about a vision that they have, later to see in a prototype that their vision can often be realized in today's technology.

In this case, #2 was a biggie. Mike, owner of The Cooperation Company, told me at the beginning of our collaboration that he wasn't sure if services like mine even existed. It was a pleasure as always to help give a customer a pleasant surpri…

Print E-Z

This project had a very unique requirement: They wanted to dynamically serve up their products without augmenting their application with a server-side technology like PHP or Java. More specifically, they wanted their products to be pulled from a datasource instead of being statically specified in HTML.

Hmm...

What if we used a data source that could be hosted elsewhere and served over Javascript?

GoogleBase to the rescue!

In this project, we used GoogleBase to store their products and then javascript to read them from GoogleBase and render them on the correct pages.

It was tricky, but we were successful.

Relationships

There was just one problem that we found during implementation, and that was that Google Base just wasn't prepared to have many integer values assigned to a single attribute. We needed this in order to map each product to the pages that it ought to appear on.

To make a long story short, we tried countless strategies over the course of a couple of weeks until the following…

Cummings Studio Chocolates

This is a chocolates website that was a lot of fun to develop because I got some free chocolate out of it! It is based off of ZenCart, which is based off of osCommerce. On this site, I did all of the graphic design, most of the content definition, and all of the custom programming.

ZenCart is a PHP shopping cart application that is a huge step forward from the base osCommerce. While I have a new open source shopping cart application favorite (KonaKart), this was my favorite for a long time.

We customized the shipping options for local delivery as well as regularly shipped as well as some custom programming for a Design-Your-Own-Box section that they were very excited about.

Note: The site is currently in disrepair due to a versioning issue. You can still view quite a bit of it; however, you won't be able to get all the way through the site. I am working to fix it.

The Pi-Dye T-Shirt Shop

So, this one is my baby. I developed this site for a personal business several years ago with the help of my good friend Benji Smith. It is developed in PHP and is based on the open-source shopping cart application osCommerce. Benji did most of the look-and-feel, while I designed the t-shirts and did the custom programming.

Some of the custom programming elements were:

1) Integration with PayPal
2) Attribute-based weights
3) Hot products listing

In summary, this showcases PHP development, integration with open source, and graphic design.

The Longaberger Company

So, I picked up a little bit of freelance work this last month to pay for the Tile Surprise that I gave my wife after our Alaskan Vacation (that was an expensive June).

Anyway, at the end of one job, my client asked for my portfolio to hand it off to others.

Gasp!

It's been so long that I've done freelance work that I'm not sure that I have one!

So, here goes nothin'. This is the first post of several that will "showcase" my past work.

The first that comes to mind is The Longaberger Company: