The 3510i “5”

I have recently received a used Nokia 3510i phone. Which is brilliant. I still need to buy a sim card, though...

The Open Valley “2”

Looking For Trouble “7”

Free Range Cows “1”

The Electric Fence “2”

Off to Photographize “1”

I quite enjoyed posting a few of the best pictures I have taken recently yesterday. So now I am off to do it again. See ya lay-der!

My Political Compass “7”

What an excellent website.

My political compass is as follows:
  • Economic Left/Right: -5.25
  • Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.13
Which essentially means that I am a reasonably left-wing, reasonably libertarian person. It also places me close on the map to Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and (of all people) the Dalai Lama. It also means that my idea political party is the Green Party. Fancy that.

Why not try it out yourself and leave a comment to tell me how similar/different you are on the scale?

How to be on top of Google “0”


It's one of those proud things that I just had to do.

I have taken it off now, but once busterTests is populated with tests and ready to go, I will start the advertising campaign back up using the money made through advertising on busterTests.co.uk.

I'm not sure why it has 'England' below it, though...

In the Fast Lane “3”

Mile-Long Traffic “3”

As Darkness Sweeps In “1”

Hiding from the Rain “1”

Public : Footpath “2”

England's Lush South-Western Countryside “0”

The High-Speed Dog “1”

A Little Bit of a Redesign “0”


When websites change it is almost always good. I am confident that the changes I have made to the design and layout of busterTests.co.uk are an improvement which will make the site easier to use.

Essentially I have moved the menu which was on the right up to the top (into a horizontal form). I have also made everything a bit plainer and nicer to look at. There are less containers of text now, which gives the pages a more open feel to them.

The headers have also been revamped into stylish bevelled things, and the sidebar has had a considerable make-over. Also, links now go orange when you 'hover' your mouse over them, which gives a really nice and energetic feel to the pages.

On the technical side, however, there have been two changes: firstly the mark-up (the code) has been made cleaner and simpler, which enables search engines and disabled people to use the site better.

Secondly, on observation of what Google (the most desirable search engine to target) has actually indexed, I have changed the way users access the tests. The process involves two pages, and is probably less database-intensive. It also should also Google (and co.) to index the tests, which will hopefully make it think the site is bigger, more information-rich and so a better candidate for a higher ranking.

But we will see… The battle for a high Google ranking continues…

Buster Search Results “2”

It is interesting that BusterTests, my new online revision site for GCSE students, is now at number 294 in the Google Rankings when you search for "gcse revision tests". But unfortunately it doesn't even come into the top 1000 for the keyword "gcse revision".

It is very hard to get your website to the top of Google's search results, so I expect this will be an uphill struggle.

Followup
Sensationally, and after the little redesign thing, bT's ranking has rocketed from 294 to 196 overnight. That is some jump!

Blood-Stained Menus “1”

Sometimes you simply can't have what you want. This is one of those cases.

I have been trying for the last two hours to get the menu effect pictured above. It's really difficult. I could just do it all in images and tables, as I did for the 247show.biz site, but for BusterTests.co.uk I have been desperately trying to stick to the web standards. But it's all too much.

So, as part of the new-ish design of busterTests.co.uk, you WILL NOT see these menus. Just a note...

Another Redesign? Surely Not! “0”


It hasn't even been one week into the launch of busterTests, and I am already thinking of redesigning some of the elements.

I have had a really critical look at the site, and despite a few praises, don't like the content layout. The 'page-header-bar-thing' has to be changed, and the overall content space needs to be increased. The menu can be moved, too.

I wonder where this all ends up...

Thine Books Hath Arrived “6”


I really do love getting parcels.

So here are all my summer reading books that arrived today. You may notice one that isn't on my summer reading list. This is because it sounds a bit pretentious and I would be slightly embarrassed to put it on the permanent list at the site of the blog.

"What Smart Students Know" is an extremely interesting book. It defines the thinking processes that lead to a better understanding of the subject matter, and save you time in general. It also heavily questions the teaching environment, which is rather entertaining. I will do a review of it, but it is a tad more complex than the others so it might not be a brilliant one.

Outrage

HAVE YOU SEEN THE SIZE OF THAT BLOODY MEMORY BOOK?!?! It's TINY! The blue book at the top of the picture is meant to help you memorize names a faces, but one thing is for sure: I remember the bloody £2.50 I spent on that book! I really do hate books like that. It had better be good.

Televisión Interesante “0”

Two important stories have broken out in recent days that I have a comment about.
  1. TRISHA GETS THE SACK
    This is good news, but perhaps the fact the Vanessa Feltz (a.k.a. Fatty Bom-Bom) may replace her is more important.

  2. FOX NEWS' "FAIR AND BALANCED" SLOGAN ATTACKED
    Hahahahaha. Good. People may use this phrase often, but most of the male presenters at Fox News are actually douche bags.

Summer Reading “1”

It simply has to happen. I must read some books this year.

How many have I read so far? Not many at all. Mostly revision guides and that sort of material. So I have decided to order loads of books from Amazon (whatever happened to real bookstores?) and work my way through them.

I am rather picky, so these ones should really be good. As I read them I will be sure to post my thoughts about them and try hopelessly to comprehend the storyline.

I'm not illiterate or anything (although my year 8 English teacher disagreed, but my average English coursework 'A/B' grade agrees), but I do have a good deal of trouble understanding plot and meaning. That mainly comes from me being able to remember who's who when it comes to characters. I've even ordered a book to help me with that.

I saw 'Want to Play?' in W H Smith (in Newport) the other day, and boy-o-boy it is a whopper. The biggest I've ever read. But then again, a challenge is a nice thing, isn't it?

The Scissor Sisters “8”

What an amazing band!

With lyrics like "Dark room Danny can't see with the lights turned out, [the] black-haird tranny counts sheep with the bed turned down..." and "When you're walking down the street and a man tries to get your business, and the people that you meet wanna open you up like Christmas" who can't love them!

This is probably the only album I will buy all year (the annual album I like to call it), and I am proud to have made another excellent choice.

When you're runnin' from a trick
And you trip on a hit of acid
You gotta work for the man
But your biggest moneymakers' flaccid
You gotta keep your shit together
With your feet on the ground
There ain't noone gonna listen
If you haven't made a sound
You're an acid junkie college flunky dirty puppy daddy bastard!

Newport “0”

Today I spent an entire day in the welsh city of Newport. I was there getting a passport.

It is surprising how large Newport is and how many shops there are.

That is all.

Two-Way Advertising “5”

BusterTests.co.uk is gaining momentum, and I have started to plan out a few new tactics for making the site popular.

The main tactic to to advertise heavily on the site. The adverts aren't pop-ups or pup-unders (for that would break the webmaster code), but simple banner ads at the top and in the middle of the tests and results. They occur ever four questions.

But here is the clever part: it only costs £0.04 to advertise a website on Google for the search terms "gcse revision" and "gcse bitesize" (the single-most searched thing when it comes to 'GCSE').

I haven't started the adverts yet, but it sure is cheaper that I thought it would be.

The second thing that I was thinking about is the whole notion of 'brand identity and experience' - what does busterTests stand for? What feelings to users get of busterTests? How can I make them like it?

I am developing my ideas all the time, and I have to do so rather quickly for them to be applicable, but I am thinking towards the direction that busterTests should be a cheeky website. I want it to stand out from other boring sites (like bitesize) and make it a fun and engaging site that allows the users/students to progress at their own pace, whenever they want. I want them to think that busterTests is cool, and so that organic marketing can occur, and the site will be spread by word-of-mouth.

More on this later.

Whoop! “0”

Here it comes: busterTests.co.uk is nearly up and ready to breath it's first fresh breath of users. The hosting is now up and running and so I can start to upload and do some last-minute testing.

For the first week or so it's going to be a beta-team exclusive thing, and won't show a sign-up option on the front page. Anyone who sees this post here and email me, however, will be able to get an account.

I have just made a few physics tests and they come out looking really well. It takes a good 15 - 30 minutes to make a test but it's all worth it in the end.

101 Things Removed From... “0”

The Human Body. Yet more classy programming from Channel 4.

Yet again it's probably going to keep me entertained right until the end. I wonder what number '1' is?

BusterTests Progress “0”

It's all coming along quite nicely at BusterTests.co.uk - although there isn't anything on the webserver at the moment owing to a complete balls-up of my previous hoster's support (and me demanding a refund), I have switched over to the rather promising Scottish host.

With a bit of luck it should all be ready by my target date of the 16th. The actual site engine will probably be ready to work (at its most basic) by the end of tomorrow, but there is still all the tests that need to be made and entered. Which will take ages. Sadly.

Hardcore Programming “0”

I'm back from an 80th Birthday party and am determined to get down to business with busterTests.co.uk. It requires some hardcore programming, but I reckon I can handle it. TOTALLY HARDCORE! Whooo!

It's Not Easy To Leave The Country “1”

Sadly, getting a passport is an difficult and time-consuming task which takes forever and leads you on a windy, narrow path before you actually get anywhere. Well... that's my experience. At this rate I'm not even sure if I'll get my passport, let alone get to San Jose.

Nevertheless, it's only 2 weeks 'till I depart from Gatwick or wherever, and I'm off to Newport Passport Office on Tuesday to get mine in person. That is, if it all goes to plan.

Simply Typical “7”

Fox News sure is a safe channel for kids to watch. Especially when they are showing free porno.

What an Odd Site “1”

http://maddox.xmission.com/hatemail.cgi?p=1. Give it a go.

Coming Along Nicely “0”

Although I have only been working since about 5pm today, I can say that busterTests is coming along nicely. So far I have developed a fundamental test creation system, a directory of the tests and an entire login/logout system.

The next stage is to make the actual test pages, which will consist of a page that processes the database information on the test, and then a page that will mark the results using the database in various ways.

As far as the design of busterTests is concerned, I have pretty much finished it. It will need a few alterations during the making of additional features of the site, but it's made to be flexible. After I designed it, I noticed an unfortunate resemblance to the Blogger design. I have to say that this is rather coincidental, and the colours are quite different.

Random Amazon Question “1”

Hmmm... Reverse alliteration in the title? Anyway, WHY OH WHY does Amazon.co.uk believe that I would quite like to purchase "Pokémon Colosseum (With Free 59 Slot Memory Card) "??? Surely it's a computing error!?

Need A Cut? “0”


The level of detail is frightening. This isn't even the 5 megapixel version, either.

Feline Surveillance “0”

It's The Very Concept! “3”

Google searches can be a bitch.

The Virgin Link “3”

In all of my years designing websites (and even surfing the internet for that matter) I have never heard an unvisited link referred to as a "virgin link". But it does actually make sense.

I wonder when I'll get an opportunity to use it...

Horoscopes of Significance “2”

Recently I have found that horoscopes for my star sign have been significantly more concise than usual. They are normally along the lines of "you will encounter a challenge today", yet recently they have been more like "you are extremely busy, don't discuss this with your family and don't let others put demand on your time". Erm... Okay then.

Do It The British Way: Have A Moan “0”

I have recently had a bit of a problem with the webhost of the up-and-coming site BusterTests.co.uk. They had quite a slow support system and weren't answering my requests for confirmations of payment/account creation.

How did I get around this? I just had a little moan.

Moaning seems to be the best thing to do if you want to have your way with the business in question. I'm sure it's a rather British thing; nationals of other countries would probably just sue or start demanding things.

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