iOS Developer at Buffer

January 28, 2009

Thank you T-Mobile and Jed!

So 3 months ago, I was at my girlfriends. She was working and I decided I wanted to get mobile broadband. I went around the diverse range of shops to find the best deal. Unfortunately I decided to choose T-Mobile. I was promised 14 days to return the product, and that it would work fine on Mac, and most importantly that I could return to ANY T-Mobile store to cancel my contract.

So I decided to get T-Mobile Mobile Broadband, I leaned towards T-Mobile because they supposedly don’t charge extra if you go over the data limit. After trying it out for the first time it was apparent that something was wrong. The Mac application to connect to the T-Mobile network would stay connected for about 5 minutes then tell me that the device couldn’t be found and then persisted on being unhelpful by closing itself. After about 20 seconds this virtual CD drive mounted itself again and I could once again connect.

I was now back in Birmingham. Time was running out to cancel my contract for a service that won’t even work. I took myself down to the T-Mobile store on Corporation street, they told me to change a few options after the guy helping me “called his mate”, who “knew his stuff”. This didn’t solve it, I was then told I wouldn’t be able to cancel my contact at the store. Obviously I wasn’t very happy, so I was then passed a phone, in which I could speak to the customer services department. I was then told by the store staff that i’d probably have to go to the store I brought it from. 60 on a train to cancel the contract. After about 20 minutes I walked out of the store without making any progress.

I started to head back to the office and called up the T-Mobile store I brought the device from. They once again said I could cancel at any store.

A few days passed and I went to the T-Mobile store in Solihull and spoke to an unhelpful guy called Jed. He insisted he had a Mac and it works fine on his machine, that it was my fault. I must have a setting that’s at fault. He then told me that you can only cancel a contract at the store you took out the contract at.

I will be contacting both Trading Standards and Ofcom about the problems i’ve had, and hopefully I will stop Jed and T-Mobile from taking money from me for something that doesn’t provide me with the service they were supposed to provide, at a reasonable standard.

Moral of the story is, i’ll never ever use T-Mobile for any future services. If anyone know’s of any reason the device would disconnect/unmount then re-mount it self then please let me know, I have searched and can’t find anything that has helped.

January 28, 2009

Welcome to AndyDev

2 days ago I found some time to start working on making my blogging life active again. This started out with me toying around with designs in Photoshop. Soon after seeing a mates site coming along nicely, I decided to skip Photoshop altogether, and get straight into Coda.

I said I’d use no images and apart from my comment bubble (and Flickr) I have achieved this.

I have to say jumping straight into code really does help ‘designers block’. It helped me anyway. I could code the elements, then move them where I wanted them. While seeing a more ‘finished product’ than I would in Photoshop.

I have to thank SimplePie, a feed parser. That I seem to use for everything nowadays. Thank You!

While the layout is done, the content and more importantly the colours are yet to be finalized. That’s another beauty of a design with 1 image!

Thanks for checking the site out. Any feedback, good or bad is very welcome!

December 6, 2008

A change in direction…

After quite a few months of not blogging i’ve decided that i’d like to get back into the blogging scene again. Previously my site had been called ‘Mach2Designs’ but I never actually did ‘design’ so now i’ve decided to move over to Makes alot more sense, i’m Andy and I am a Web Developer!

I am planning on getting a new design and the blog will focus on things I see, learn and find, all to do with the web. The site will also follow the development of the new version of inBlogs a site owned by me, which aggregates web related blogs and displays all the posts in one place. You can also follow this aggregator on Twitter.

I look forward to bringing you some new blog posts, for now have a browse around a few posts that I have imported from my old blog.

May 10, 2008

inBlogs Relaunches

inBlogs has been up and online for some time but without me ofically relaunching it. Today is the day. After putting it off for weeks I have decided to get it out there and get it promoted and advertised.

So after a year of the site actually going live for the first time, it is back and better then ever. It is now alot faster than its older versions and it now also has its own Twitter account. So if you follow the inBlogs Twitter account you will get the latest inBlogs aggregated posts keeping you up to date on web-related news and blog posts.

If you have a web-related blog, then feel free to add it today here and you will automatically become a friend of inBlogs for free. Best part is, you will receive NO emails from inBlogs about renewing the upgrade of your listing on inBlogs. It is up to you to do that if you wish.

Add your blog now.

April 27, 2008

Magento – A Developers Brief Review

For a few weeks now I have been working with the new eCommerce solution Magento. In the past I have had brief encounters with other eCommerce solutions like Cubecart, as well as eCommerce plugins for e107. None of them really come close to been as well structured and feature rich as Magento does.

At the time of writing this Magento is at version 1.0, with a bug fix release just around the corner. Many of the features built into the core of Magento are features that aren’t built into other solutions without the use of plugins/modules.

Some of the nicest features that are built into Magento are…

  • Individual items within an order can be shipped to mutliple addresses.
  • People can create wishlists to send to there friends.
  • Reports (Sales, Tax, Searches, Stock, Most Viewed, Coupon Useage etc…).
  • Ability to allow users to configure products (Size, Colour etc…).
  • Import / Export Products
  • Export information about customers, (Collect email addresses for mailshots).
  • An RSS feed that warns you of low stock.
  • Users can tag products.
  • Order tracking.
  • To see more of the great features built in click here.

I am not creating a shop for personal use, but for a client of 383 Project. So my main focus on the system is the template system. The first time you look at the template/skinning/theming system in Magento it can be pretty daunting.

The files for the skin are separated between several folders (app/design & skin). Within the app/design folder you will find all the HTML for the templates, within the skin folder you will find the images, stylesheets and javascript files.

Once you get used to navigating through these folders it’s pretty much plain sailing. A neat feature in Magento allows you to turn on labels telling you where a particular template file is located, this can be found in the Admin Area > System > Configuration then navigate down to Developer and turn on ‘Template Path Hints’.

I will be posting more about the system in the near future as I work with it more and more. Personally, if I was creating an eCommerce site for my own use then i’d use Magento. Go try it out. If you want to know more head over to the Magento website and look around, they also have screencasts showing you the process of many parts of the system.

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