My company recently created its’ first YouTube video. This is a short film of our Amouple Filling machine. We supply ampoules to many customers from a range of different industries, including the Ministry of Defence.
I often need to check how my websites are ranking. The easiest way I have found to do this (other than using paid software) is by downloading an Extension for Google Chrome called Stylish and adding a bit of code. This will highlight your website in search results:
Here’s How to Do It:
- Download Google Chrome
- Download the Stylish Extension from the Chrome Web Store.
- Enable Stylish then go into it and click on Write a New Style
- Name your extension something memorable e.g. “Highlight My Website”
- Enter the following in the sections Code and Applies to
- Obviously you will need to replace ‘yourwebsite’ with the domain you wish to highlight
- If you wish to change the colour of your highlighter enter a different colour code (bright colours work better because the stand out more)
You can also repeat the code for each website you wish to highlight, like this:
You will see results like this:
It’s a really useful way if identifying your website in a long list of results. Although I chose the top 3 sites in the example above, it’s of particular use when you are looking for a site which isn’t on the first page or if you have a lot of sites to look for.
It’s a great way to keep an eye on your rankings – not to mention other people’s.
My friend Jude made a video from our trip to Meribel in March. The song in the background is Shuffle by Bombay Bicycle Club.
Just a quick one – I bought a new car last week. It’s an Audi R8 4.2 FSI. I went for the R Tronic - which means it has an automatically controlled manual gearbox and “flappy paddles”. The car is in red with red side blades. Most R8′s are in black, white or silver; I wanted red because it was different. It’s a joy to drive and extremely fast!
I can now reveal my new business venture – The oTo Seating Company. oTo was set up by a friend of mine and his business partner a couple of years ago. The partner doesn’t have time to keep it going so my friend asked me if I wanted to join him. I’m very excited. Hopefully it will prove a success. I’m going to start by giving it a new digital profile and overhauling the marketing efforts.
My day job is very busy, absolutely loads going but the highlight for me recently has been working on Social Media for ReAgent and The Chemical Blog. We have some big things in the pipeline for each which I’m very excited about.
On a personal note, I’ve been waiting for a refund on a flight to Belgium since December. BA have finally agreed to refund me (very long story, can’t be bothered explaining) but the upshot is I am going to get my money back for the flight plus 20,000 Avios, which is effectively a flight for free. I’m really chuffed with the outcome. It’s been a pain in the backside getting a refund – the phrase ‘like getting blood from a stone’ have never been so apt – but I’m chuffed to bits with the end result.
On a micro level, I went on a Stag Do earlier in the month and I’ve been out for a few meals. I’ve continued the de-cluttering mission I started in December and I have another mountain of things to eBay, although I’ll probably leave it until April to do this. Next month I have a wedding to go to and I’m going to grab a week snowboarding in France towards the end of the month. I’m really looking forward to snowboarding. Normally I would have gone away earlier in the winter but I’ve been very busy this season/year. Hopefully get some good pictures.
Right, until next time!
Loving this video at the moment. I went to school with Ally, the lead singer, and we have remained friends ever since. I must have watched his bands so many times over the years so it’s amazing to see the guys getting the recognition they deserve.
January was reasonably quiet but very relaxing. I tend not to arrange much socially in January. I had a massive sort out on eBay which freed up some cash for my car fund (I’m hoping to get a new car around Spring/Summer). I had a couple of nights out, too, including a weekend in Leeds when we went to the Highlight Comedy Club and another in Chester at the end of the month.
I booked to go to Venice in July with my Fiancée - got a cracking deal – we are going to stay at the Palazzo Sant’Angelo. Other than that, it’s business as usual at work. We are still seeing good growth despite the recession. In my spare time I have been doing some work on the Deeside Wakeboard and Waterski Club website. I don’t do a huge amount of wakeboarding any more but the guys at the club are all really nice so I thought I’d give them a hand.
A friend of mine has approached me with a start-up business venture which I have agreed to take part in. It’s not signed and sealed yet, so I don’t want to say anything too soon, but it has potential so I’m excited about it. Always good to have your fingers in different pies and I get a kick out of doing anything new in business.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what to blog about recently. I’m not short of ideas, but I like to get into a routine with things. I think a monthly update about what’s been going on in my life is something I would like to include, this being the first. I’m also going to throw in the occasional post about something Web or IT related which I find of use. I think that will be my focus – bit of personal stuff and some useful/geeky tips. Been doing some pretty nifty customisation with Chrome, Facebook and WordPress recently and I’m sure it would be useful for other people to know how I do some things.
You may have noticed I’ve updated this blog to WordPress’ Twenty Twelve theme. I really like it – a more simple, cleaner look than Twenty Eleven.
It’s a strange time between Christmas and New Year. The festivities have been and gone, the loved ones have left and everything’s in limbo, waiting for New Year. I’ve done what I always do with the time – walking and eBaying. De-cluttering is good for the soul and having this down time between Xmas and New Year is wonderful. It reminds me of being 20 years younger, back in school when it was the summer holidays, waking up and seeing what lies in store; living from day to day.
Anyway, I’ve decided I want to make more use of media on my blog. I like to use Instagram so I’m going to start incorporating the occasional picture. The image above is the River Dee underneath the A55. It’s a busy bridge with a lot of cars and lorries using it. Very few people in these metal cocoons will have any idea how beautiful the bridge is underneath, only those who bother to venture below the bridge know, like myself and the random canoeist.
I’ve just spent some time having a massive sort-out of my image library on my computer and now I’m done it feels amazing! On the left is my picture library before my clear-out. On the right is my library once I’d finished. As you can see, I halved the number of pictures in my collection and freed up almost 100 GB! It wasn’t difficult and I used lots of tips and tricks to speed up the process. This is a guide of how I achieved it.
DELETE ALL THE PICTURES YOU DON’T WANT
Deleting all the pictures don’t want is the most time-consuming part of overhauling your image library, however, there are lots of things you can do to speed up the process.
USE A DUPLICATE FILE FINDER
I guarantee you will be will be amazed how many duplicate files you have on your computer. I normally pride myself on being organised and wasn’t expecting to find many duplicate pictures, if any at all, but this is what I found:
I had almost 3 thousand duplicates! I would urge anyone to check for duplicates. I used a piece of software called Duplicate Finder – Free Edition to identify all the duplicates. I was able to delete them easily from within the program, you might be able to free up a ton of space in minutes,
DELETE RAW FILES
If you own a half-decent camera then the odds are you will have taken some pictures in RAW format. Weighing in at around 25 MB a shot (sometimes more, sometimes a lot more) RAW files hog a lot of space on your hard-drive. To review your RAW files, search your computer using the extension of your camera manufacturer. Here are some of the most common:
- 3FR Hasselblad
- DCR, K25, KDC Kodak
- CR2 Canon
- ERF Epson
- NEF Nikon
- ORF Olympus
- PEF Pentax
- RW2 Panasonic
- ARW, SRF, SR2 Sony
Reviewing these can make a massive difference. I came across entire albums in RAW that I simply wasn’t bothered about keeping, so I deleted them, freeing up a huge amount of space.
DELETE VIDEO FILES
Video files are enormous; I found some on my hard drive which were over 1 GB. Similar to RAW files, different camera manufacturers use different file types for recording videos. Here are some common examples:
Search your image library for these common video file types and sort them by size. Even if you only review the top portion of these it is likely to free up a ton of space. The largest file in my image library was a movie from my Go Pro camera when I accidentally left it turned on in my pocket.
REVIEW MANY AT A TIME RATHER THAN INDIVIDUALLY
You will find it far quicker to review all the thumbnails of an album than scrolling through every individual image within that album. If you use Windows, select the Extra Large Icons view:
This will then give you a view of around 15 Extra-Large Thumbnails at a time:
Granted, you may not be able to identify subtle imperfections when looking at a thumbnail but you will be able to spot any which are underexposed, overexposed, blurred or incorrectly framed far quicker looking at 15 at a time. Don’t be afraid to be ruthless in this stage – it’s better to have fewer high quality images than a larger collection of mediocre ones.
ARRANGE YOUR IMAGE LIBRARY IN A NEAT, LOGICAL WAY
Hopefully by now you will have greatly reduced the number of pictures in your image library. The next step is to arrange the images in a neat, logical way. To a certain degree this is down to individual preference. I can only tell you what worked for me.
After some digging around online looking at the best way to store image files I decided to put them into files named using the following date format
This way, when the folders are sorted by Name it shows them in the order in which they were taken; they are chronological. The problem with using ‘British’ date format (which is what I was doing prior to this exercise) is that the Date comes before the Month, screwing up the order in which they are displayed.
After reversing British date format you should then put a short descriptive in the name of the folder, so your files look like this:
I have to say it is immensely satisfying having all my images arranged this way. If you sort by name A-Z it lists everything chronologically. The reverse also applies, so listing Z-A will arrange everything in reverse chronological order.
BACKING EVERYTHING UP
If you haven’t started backing up using cloud storage… you should. It’s very cheap nowadays to backup a large amount of data in the cloud and it’s more secure than backing them up yourself on a hard drive; hard-drives can fail.
Lots of companies supply cloud storage. The ‘best’ option is very much an individual thing. Dropbox is very popular, Apple users will tend to use iCloud, personally I use Google Drive (I’m a massive fan of Google products – I use them every day both personally and professionally – so it was the natural for me). I pay $10 (about £6) a month for 200GB.
Do a little research to identify the best cloud storage for you. There is a good article on the Guardian Website comparing some of the more popular options.
Another loose end, another video on Youtube