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Limited time to do anything at the moment

Anyone who reads this blog regularly (and I’m happy to say there are a few that fit that category) will have probably noticed that my frequency of posting has been severely curtailed over the last few weeks. This is due to a number of factors:

  • Very busy at work which means I’ve been working longer hours than usual
  • No new vintage cameras to work on 🙁
  • Several problems with the found-film site to deal with.

Unfortunately (or possibly fortunately) the work situation isn’t likely to change in the next few months since I’m just starting on a new project (actually something quite interesting – creating a recommendation service with Solr), and the vintage camera supply doesn’t seem to be improving since I can’t seem to find anything interesting to buy at the moment.

The found-film issue is to do with the usability of the site on mobile, which I found a few days ago was rather destroyed when I did some changes to introduce maps to the display. Because of this issue, I decided to actually make a change I’ve been thinking about for several months, which is to produce a site which allows me to more easily change the WordPress theme.

When I first created the found-film site about a year ago, I had no experience with WordPress development, and basically did things in a pretty non-standard way. This resulted in me creating template files which overrode the built-in theme files for use in displaying some of the pages (archive, single post and search).

So the changes I’ve introduced have restored the site’s usability on mobile and allowed me to ditch a whole load of templating files and just set a theme as I want. The result is that I’ve changed the overall look and feel a bit which is shown below.

As well as improving the mobile experience, another big plus is that the individual pictures are now much bigger than they were which allows anyone who wants to try to work out locations etc a better chance to do it. Although I’m reasonably happy with the theme I’m now using, I’ll be looking at others to see if they give a better experience so I could well change it again in the next few days.


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I’m a software developer by profession but I’ve been taking pictures since I was about 8 years old. In that time I’ve owned cameras of all types and sizes from 120 roll film thro’ 35mm to my current Pentax K-5, Ricoh GXR + P10/S10/A12 28mm/A12 50mm, Canon S95 and recently acquired Sony NEX 6.

  1. Mike PENRITH says:

    Hello Simon – don’t worry about the gaps in your posts, quality versus quantity and all that ! Don’t forget KISS principle as making things too complex can bounce back on you. The fact that you are assessing aspects of your site objectively gives much encouragement

    Old cameras – I am sorting a number of boxes, so if you let me know any specific make or model, I will have a peep.

  2. John says:

    I’ve missed you! Similar problems myself … not much out there I want at the moment, and I’m about to move home shortly (fingers cross), so I don’t need any more junk to pack-up.

    1. Simon Hawketts says:

      I know how you feel about packing stuff up. Although we aren’t planning to move we are trying to have a clear out and I’m starting to think I might sell some of my cameras. I can’t possibly use them all and they just take up room.

    2. Simon Hawketts says:

      Good luck with the move by the way

  3. bcwhitetn says:

    The only Solr I know is the Java search engine. Surely, uou mean something different?

    1. simon says:

      At the time I wrote that I was planning to do a recommendation service based on metadata matching using solr (yes the java search engine db), but subsequently this changed to using machine learning

      1. bcwhitetn says:

        Ah, OK. I used it because I had to as a consultant on a huge Java EE application. It ran the Maxim website. I maintained it while they transferred operations from Franklin, TN back to Manhattan. I started machine learning full force in grad school. I majored in cybernetics. My advisor was an old AT&T guys which matched me perfectly. I have been doing machine learning in the academic setting for 20 years. I have many publications on associations between genes and complex human disease. I left the field in 2018. (Multiple sclerosis issues like concentration and focus were fading fast.) They were transition from my templated web site to WordPress. I don’t think I missed anything. 🙂

        Not that I want try and impress you, but I thought you might it interesting. Take it easy. -Bill

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