Evaluating Joomla

I’m looking at Joomla to serve as a simple website development tool and content management system. Hoping to find something that let me create a simple site for a client who can then go on and manage text and change pictures. I have on client in particular, a small business, with a very limited budget and no on-board technical staff. I’m skeptical since this is the realm of magic bullet in my experience…either tools are too complicated for endusers or so simplistic and restrictive as to be useless for developing a site.

Feel free to leave comments about CMS you’ve used and like, or don’t like, and why.

Are you trying to support clients who have 1K budgets for websites, who also want to be able to update info by themselves?

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Updates (and downgrades)

I recently nstalled updates for two favorite programs: Beyond Compare and SnagIt. I can recommend Beyond Compare 3.0. I can’t recommend SnagIt 9.0.

Beyond Compare is an essential tool. It’s cost effective, efficient, effective, and the upgrade adds features without spoiling its strengths. I am pleased that version 3.0 compares CSV files as tables, and highlights changes in a new pane at the bottom of the screen. (That was a little hard to get used to. I found I kept having to double check which change was coming from which document.)

I wish I could be as complimentary of the SnagIt upgrade to version 9. I’ve used SnagIt for years, and I was esctatic that version 9 opens multiple files. The limit in earlier versions was the only thing I disliked about the software. Other than that, though, it’s also been an essential tool I use daily.

SnagIt is, or was, a lightweight tool that quickly captured screens (by region, window, element, etc), provided simple but nice annotation tools (balloons, arrows, etc) and some simple image processing. The interface was clean and it was easy to find the tool I wanted. Not surprising it captures scans, but it also does a fabulous job capturing scrolling webpages.

Sadly, the upgrade to version 9 has bloated the software without adding much in the way of new features that offset the bloat. It loads slowly and the interface is hiddeous, IMO. The aesthetics are moot, of course, but unfortunately TechSmith has adopted that abortion of an interface, the Microsoft “ribbon,” which means form taking up space content could use, and complicates finding and using tools.

TechSmith has made the mistake other software companies too often make. They’ve lost their focus on what it was that made SnagIt great, and have tried to push it in a direction[1] that makes it unsuccessful at the original job and the new one. I’ve uninstalled it and am back with SnagIt 8.

[1]It seems to be shooting for Adobe Photoshop Elements, software I hate to use. Honestly, when I need to do extensive image processing I’ll either slit my wrists or I’ll suck it up and buy and learn PhotoShop.

Yet another desktop calendar

Seems I’m always looking for a desktop calendar…I’ve tried too many to even mention. I haven’t even been certain of what I want. It needs to be unobtrusive, but give me a quick overview of the month, plus let me drill down into details. Since I use Outlook, I want them to be linked.

I may have found just the program. I’ve always rejected others within an hour or two, this one has been installed now for 24 hours. So far so good.

Mailwasher Kaput?

Bummer. I’ve used Mailwasher for years to preview my email. It’s been a great little utility that did what it advertised, well, at an affordable price. But it’s been crashing like crazy of late. I can’t pin it down to the service that seems to always hang it up (my MSN account) or the OS (it’s been running XP for ages) or the application itself.

Of course I suspect the service. I’ve been logging the errors (I hope) the past week so  that I can send the log to the folks at Mailwasher in hopes that they can clue me in. I don’t want to change utilities. If I’m anything I’m fiercely loyal to companies (and friends) who do well by me. (I won’t consider a tire related job by anyone but Discount Tire.)

Rats. I so do NOT want to have to use Outlook as my first line of *defense*. For example, who in god’s name thought it was a good idea to force you to select and mark individual emails as junk? Any idea why they thought it would be dangerous to mark several at one time but that it was okey-dokey to allow a permanent delete (Shift-Del) on multiple emails with a prompt with “Yes” as the default? Give me an effin’ break.

Oh, woe is me.