About Me

My name is James Powell. I am the writer, designer and web master of Mac Tricks And Tips. Over the past year I have used the Apple Mac operating system more and more. In this time I found tips, tricks and other bits of information that really help my experience. As a result I made this site to share with the world these tips and tricks.

A bit about me. I have been living in Lincoln in the United Kingdom. I have lived there all me life. Its a pretty slow place, but I like it. If you want to contact me you can use some of the information listed below or the Contact Form.

  • Email: jamespowell100@mactricksandtips.com
  • GTalk: jamespowell100@mactricksandtips.com
  • Google Plus

Quick Facts

  • I am 24 years old.
  • I started blogging early 2007. I really didn't know what I was doing. It was a quick set up on Blogger, but I gradually improved and got better. I slowly got more adventurous and into my blogging style.
  • I love all things technological. No matter how complicated. I don't read manuals
  • I have finished my A-Level courses in: Double ICT, Maths and Design & Technology, getting high grades in each
  • I am currently at the University of Sheffield studying Material Science and Engineering.
  • Politicians, and any one who doesn't know what they are doing annoy me.

If you want to know more about me, drop me and email or use the contact form located here.

About Mac Tricks And Tips

This section is all about Mac Tricks And Tips. From the day the CPU calculations initialized this site, to today. Each major stepping stone is covered. You can look at the website archive, which shows every post made by myself on this site.

Timeline

May, 2007

Blogger Logo

The start of Mac Tricks And Tips. At the time when I bought my Mac, I wanted to share with the world what I new. I started on blogger with the default template, with not many changes to the overall design. But due to time constraint, and the fact that I didn't know what I was doing the site sort of died to the back rooms of the internet.

January, 2008

The restart. After blogging for over a year I had a better idea what I was doing and I wanted to start again dealing with Mac tips and tricks. A redesigned the default blogger template, into the one seen below. As well as this I bought the Mac Tricks And Tips domain. The re-development took about a month (starting in December). As most designs it went through a couple of re-developments until I decided on something that I was happy with. The domain was a rather simple impulse purchase. I was actually quite surprised that I could have snagged something so good.

Mac Tricks And Tips Blogger Design

February, 2008

Mac Tricks And Tips was well under way. After a month of posting and tip finding I was in full flow of blogging. It was time to make a bigger splash. After slowly having more and more posts I decided to make The Top 100 Essential Mac Applications. This post ended up on the Digg front page, bring in a wade of visitors and new RSS subscribers.

April, 2008

Things were moving along nicely, there was a steady stream of income and visitors, but I wanted to do more with the site. The limitation of blogger meant that I could only do certain things. I wanted more control over the site and what I do with it. As a result I took the decision to move to WordPress. It wasn't a straight move. I decided to change the site design, learn PHP and move to a web host. Over the next couple of months I learnt how PHP worked, how WordPress worked, as well as good website design skills. I new who to make websites, I was doing that for a long time. But I pulled out all of the stops, tweaking and modifying the site on my local computer until I had something I wanted. A screen shot is shown below. Mac Tricks And Tip Wordpress Design

WordPress Logo

June, 2008

School was nearing the end and exams had finished. It was moving day. After spending months designing the site and looking at every possible web host available I picked Slicehost.

January 2009

As I had started Univeristy things were not looking so good for the site. I couldn't keep up with the number of daily posts simply because I did not have enough time. As a result there was a drop in visitor numbers and RSS subscribers. It was quite a low time for the site. In this period I realised where the site was going and how I could improve it. Christmas came an went (really quickly) and I had a time to relax. I came into the new year with a clear plan of what I wanted to do and how I could expand the site. There were going to be changes to the site and the number of posts. Plus some new features such as forums which were going to be released in the new year.

June 2009

The old site had been getting a bit stale in my opinion. Although I like the previous design it could easily be improved. Therefore, once as I had finished University I decided to re-design the site. This was done to modernize and simplify the site, it also brought a unified design to all of my domains and sites. Mac Tricks And Tip Wordpress Design

Today

All of these events lead of too today. What you currently see if the latest and greatest for MacTricksAndTips.

Background

computer php css code

This final section is dedicated to how this site runs. The cogs and gears behind the pages you see. I've put this page up because I am always interested in how a site runs and what people use. This section is all about the different elements that bring this site together.

  • The core is PHP and MySQL running on an Apache web server.
  • The blogging platform is WordPress which I have mentioned numerous times.
  • The template is my own custom design, based on the Apple websites and various websites I visit
  • CSSEdit is used for the CSS.
  • TextMate is used for the HTML and PHP

Various Website Plugins are used to make the site better and more useful. These include:

  • All In One SEO, for making everything search engine friendly.
  • Feedburner Feedsmith, keeps track of the feeds on this site and points them to Feedburner.
  • Feed Count, this plugin shows the graphical number count within the sidebar.
  • Google XML Sitemaps, used to create site maps of this site.
  • Page Comments, breaks the comments down into individual pages so it doesn't take an age to load the page.
  • Subscribe to Comments, enables the email check box at the bottom of the comments box. This means that you receive and email every time a comment is made on that post.
  • WP Super Cache, used to cache all of the PHP files on this site. It keeps this site running in tip top condition, and at a decent speed.
  • WP-PageNavi, shows the large page numbers at the bottom of the main page.

Finally jQuery, javascript is used to do the fading in effects, show on this page, as well as the small comments box drop down on the posts. It was used more extensively through out the site, with lots of visual effects, and moving parts. But it looked rubbish so I removed it.

Testing was made sure that it was Valid CSS and HTML. This site has been tested in Firefox, Safari and the latest Internet Explorer. If the site renders funny you may need to upgrade you browser version. I recommend Firefox.