Archives For August 2010

Just a quick note to let you all know the wait is over (2.5 weeks stuck pending!), our latest extension has been approved and you can try off site, automated backups for free! by downloading it from Magento connect.

There was much merriment in the office as you can imagine:
celebrating the release of our new extension

On a related note; I’ve not been a big advocate for twitter over the years, but twice now it has prevailed over traditional support methods. Firstly with 2 Degrees, and now more recently it out supported forums to finally get some help from Varien, thanks @_snowcore!

I think twitter puts the support on public display. It’d be like if there was a website that showed the average wait time for big Telcos to answer their phones and those much touted call logs that they use to improve their service and training, were openly shared on the internet for everyone to listen to. Or maybe twitter gets results because someone in the marketing department is on a ‘social media’ buzz, who knows – but I can tell you it works.

For others with extensions that are stuck pending on Magento Connect, it looks like it’s a matter that requires human intervention and you best bet is to seek out attention from Varien.

So, if anyone has any questions about using the Magento Backup tool we’ve finally released, they should tweet me, or whatever.

Being a computer programmer typically means all of your friends and family immediately assume you a) can fix their wireless router and b) want to. For the same reason we often get asked to help make a website, blog, webstore, killer web 2.0 app or all of the above – which in the most part I can’t help with through lack of spare time. But I did manage to fit a WordPress + WP-E-Commerce project in, and this is a case study of that development project in particular, comparing WP-E-Commerce to Magento.

My girlfriend Cindy asked me to help with her latest venture, Cheap Titles – so naturally I helped whip up a site. Despite spending most of my time developing Magento, I actually thought I’d give the WordPress + WP-E-Commerce combo a try. I’ll summarize my rationale for that in the next section – suffice to say it made some things a lot easier.

So this is a little blog post that summarizes my experiences making the site with WP-E-Commerce, what I noticed different about the platform, as compared to Magento – and in particular how I found the underlying code quality of WP-E-Commerce measured against Magento.

Continue Reading…

I just uploaded Tweet Beeper to Google App Engine. It’s a simple application that receives an email, and then converts the subject line into a twitter direct message (which in turn can be an SMS sent to the recipients phone). A little whimsical, I know, but the weather was fairly average here this weekend!

TweetBeeper in 1 Minute

How do I use it? Easy!

  1. Follow @TweetBeeper on Twitter.
  2. Send a subject-line email to:
    your-twitter-id [at] tweetbeeper.appspotmail.com

What can it do?

  1. Cron Job Output to Direct Messages
  2. Webstore monitor failures to SMS
  3. Magento Sale notification emails (or any store)
  4. … and any other situations where email to SMS would be handy

TweetBeeper.com - Email to twitter Direct Message service

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This is a blog post about Magento backups, how you can do them by default in Magento and how a new extension I have made called Cloud Backup will help to make them automatically and send them offsite to Amazon’s S3 storage service – increasing the chance you’ll have a recent backup if (when) bad things happen to your store or server. I’d like your help beta testing this new extension, and this post will hopefully convince you why that’s mutually beneficial for us. The extension is still pending on Magento Connect so give it a whirl, I’ll update this post with the link shortly, or for those that are particularly keen to test it, you can download the release directly and install it manually.
Continue Reading…

Well, I said if I got 100 downloads of my latest Magento extension to set custom starting order numbers I’d make some improvements to it, and sure enough it happened. So here are the improvements. Please note I did not actually do the one improvement I promised I’d do, but I did a bunch of others that I hope make up for my laziness. You can get the updated version on Magento connect or download it directly.

In version 0.3 you can now:

  1. Hopefully avoid the Update before Save fiasco
  2. Disable the padding on the order number, invoice number etc
  3. Disable the prefix so that your numbers are treated in their entirety by the increment logic (and possibly the padding logic)
  4. Set a custom increment amount to trick your nosey competitors into thinking you do 1000 orders a day!

If you happen to be reading this JT, I skipped v0.2, but I’ll circle back around for the cron increment functionality you suggested at 300 downloads, promise!

As always please give this extension a try in a dev environment first, it’s still being actively developed and I consider it beta. Despite that I am using it myself on several production stores.