Dashalytics - dashboard google analytics snapshot tool

If you are a Mac user there are a world of cool tools available to help your workflow. One of the tools I use is dashalytics. This allows me to place multiple windows in my dashboard which track my websites. I have one for my most frequented sites but I could just use one to save screen space.

dashalytics brings in basic information about your traffic from Google Analytics. You are able to look at traffic stats from 1 day to 2 years. It also gives you additional information although it seems lately Google has been messing with the data feed/api so you might not get all the titles etc you are after (sort it out Google).

If you like watching traffic info but don't have time to always load up GA, then this should be useful for you.

http://dashalytics.rovingrob.com

PS - you can donate if you like it.



Blocking spam using Mollom (Drupal)

In the last week I have had a large % of site crashes on one of my most popular sites. Usually able to cope with 5K+ daily unique visits the site was falling over for no apparent reason. It wasn't until I checked my Drupal Mollom logs that I found out why it might be that my server was under a little extra strain. And it seems it has not just been the last few days but weeks that this has been a problem which is why my last host was happy to see the back of me.

The below graph indicates spam that was filtered and handled by the Mollom module installed on my Drupal installation. The orange is bad, the green is good. All I can say is thank you Mollom (and Dries) for such a great spam protection module. I can sleep better at night...now how to stop the spam coming so my site doesn't freak out at stopping it. I am guessing Mollom has to work hard to filter such high volumes of spam and junk which still strains the server.


Mollom Spam Protection

I should add Mollom works across other platforms including Wordpress, Joomla!, Radiant, SilverStripe.



iPhoto images - library missing when storing images on external hard drive (HDD)

If you store your iphoto photos on an external hard drive and remove the hard drive sometimes iPhoto gets a little confused. When you next start iPhoto it shows you an empty library. Don't panic! Your photos should still be fine on the external drive it's just iPhoto doesn't know where to find them.

The traditional solution is to delete the iPhoto folder in HD/users/username/pictures and then when you start iPhoto it asks where to find the library. But this does not work in this case. Instead it seems to create another folder in HD/Volumes/Username/iPhoto which is weird. If you can find this and delete it then this solution will work.

Other wise just hold down Option before you click on the iPhoto icon and it will ask you where the library is - reselect the external HD folder and bingo. She's a beauty.

To rebuild your iPhoto library:
Hold down cmd and option when you launch iPhoto and attempt to rebuild your library.

To only re-find the iPhoto library.
Hold down option only and tell iPhoto where the library is.

Hope that helps someone - it took me ages to find the solution.



Kris Morris - I think we both know - review

I can't pretend not to know Kris Morris or his music. Having played with him at various venues over the years including kitchens, offices and other similar high profile music venues. However, having not input a great deal on the latest album I think it fair I have the opportunity to give my thoughts on his latest album 'I think we both know' (available on itunes, emusic, amazon and www.krismorris.com).

There are a few things that stand out about 'I think we both know'. First is the laid back musical approach. There is no hogging the microphone here, filling the gaps with surplus musical noise, no egomania and no awkward moments. Instead it is relaxed, tuneful and confident. You feel like you can trust the album, and more importantly it's maker.

Enjoyment Factor: 
9
Value for Money: 
10
Quality: 
9
Novelty Factor: 
9
Share it Factor: 
10
Replacement: 
10
Listenability: 
10


Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone. Hope you get lots of chocolate. Check fmd for latest Easter Deals. http://www.feedmedeals.co.uk/easter-deals-discounts-voucher-codes
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Destroy the Runner - I, Lucifer Review

I, Lucifer fro Destroy the Runner was something I came across on last.fm. I don't get on last.fm much but did find myself on a discovery tour recently.

This album starts with huge potential and the opening riffs appeal to the 80's rock god in me. I do find though that as the album proceeds it loses it's potency. The musicianship is good and some of the riffs are great but over all the album melts into a constant tone and rhythm. I think a few more dynamics could have been good. It's not a bad album and you won't waste your money but it could be more.

If you like IvoryLine with a bit of Underoath and Inhale Exhale dropped in you will get along fine with it but it definitely ends up on the IvoryLine side of the fence as a whole. Personally I prefer this rather than too much growling.

Screamo moments but still a solid heavy rock album in a lot of ways.

I will stick with it for a while and will no doubt always enjoy it for the odd listen. In this genre I am grateful for anything decent.

If you want to get a preview try it on Amazon or Last.fm to see if it sits right for you.

Enjoyment Factor: 
7
Value for Money: 
7
Quality: 
0
Novelty Factor: 
5
Share it Factor: 
5
Replacement: 
6
Listenability: 
7


Five basic SEO tips for Beginners

This is part of the SEO Waterfall© I am working on. This SEO post is for beginners so all you experienced folks should naff off now before you make snorting noises.

5 SEO Basic Tips:

1: Page titles - does the page title of each page in your site say what the page is about?
(The page title is what you see printed at the top of your browser window. This page title will be Five basic SEO tips for Beginners | mark parrott)

2: URL - Does the URL of the page include descriptive words which explain what the page is about?
This page URL is http://www.markparrott.com/blog/five-basic-seo-tips-beginners

3: Titles - Does the main page Title summarise what the page is about and also include the descriptive words used in Step 1 & 2?

4: Content - Does the content in the page stay on topic. Does is include words that help define and explain what the page is about.

5: Don't forget your Tags - In the page meta data (in the code which makes up the page) make sure you include Title and Description tags.



My Blog...my hurried and unpolished elevator pitch

If I was to consider what I might find useful for this blog it would probably be the folowing:

The help people discover useful tools and applications for everyday use to help them save time and become more effective at what they do, whether it be work or lifestyle applications. It would also be to provide thoughts insights into my fields of work including SEO and Internet Marketing.



Personal & Small Business financial software for my Mac (OS X) (Money & Bookkeeping software)

It has been a long path to reviewing an entry level, basic financial, budgeting, money monitoring tool for my business & personal finances. (Note: This post is looking at a UK business but all products are available for international countries, in fact most are US based products.)

Having no need for the high products like Intuit Quickbooks, Tas Books, MYOB or SAGE I wanted to find something affordable that allows me to do basic accounts management, budgeting and bank statement reconciliations. Enough that I can give my accountant a summary at the end of the year and monitor my budgets and income in the process.



Drupal Website Performance - Improve your website speed by optimising it with CDN

Drupal can be a server heavy CMS. So there are alot of things you need to optimise to make it run as smoothly and as fast as possible. Load times can be a real traffic killer but there is hope. I have experienced a whole lot of techniques to optimise your Drupal website but this post is all about one  module called SimpleCDN. It is called SimpleCDN, I am guessing, as it was first made to work with the SimpleCDN network.



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