Review and forward look

I haven't blogged alot on this blog for a while, I'll be aiming to do at least 4 / 5 long posts about things codesmarty in 2017.

For the last few months I've done a quick retrospective every month. Looking back at the last month and then planning the next few months. Only after I've done that do I review the last months plan. It helps me to see what I did and what I planned to. Using this way I worked out how nuts some of the ideas of what I can do are and for the last 4 / 5 months my goals have been alot more achievable and setting achievable goals has been a huge boost all around.

ExtractorApp rebuilt and relaunched. Still the verdict is out. I'm really not sure if there is a product or market never mind a product market fit.

Cloudstatus in contrast to extractorapps no growth, cloudstatus is growing. I've added more services and some more integrations to other systems. For the last six months we've broken the 1K visits. Increased the number of paid users. I've added a weekly digest email that goes out every Monday. At the moment it goes to 148 email addresses. It will be interesting to see what this does, the users who have had trials ended get a "Activate now" button.

Rianu is an older project I tried before but never really got any where with it, which is a pity I think I have some good ideas with this one. But it's back and making a come back, more on this in the near future.

SSL all the things, I've added SSL to everything. Using a combination of Cloudflare and letsencrypt.

Serversncode is a blog about code and server and things, it's where I blog about tech things. It's something I've wanted to do for a while and I finally this year started blogging there aswell the plan is to do at least 1 post a month documenting things and how to's.

Going forward.

I have a clear idea of what I want to do for the next 6 months and it should lay some foundations for what comes after that.

I want to build out more posts on ServersnCode. Launch at least 3 new projects.

I want to add more ads to cloudstatus and try use some of that traffic to get some extra revenue. Also add some ads for my own projects.

Things I want to learn more about

  • Actor Models in .net. Akka.net, Service Fabric and orleans. Want to focus on .net and Azure / AWS. Document and play in this and build some knowledge.
  • Machine Learning / AI - Work more in AI. I want to start by tackling something fun. I want to predict premier league football matches. It's a way in and an interesting and fun project.
  • CI and CD, different ways to do CI and to different places.
  • Docker and containers.

And that's pretty much it, it's been interesting. Now onwards and up.

I haven't blogged alot on this blog for a while, I'll be aiming to do at least 4 / 5 long posts about things codesmarty in 2017. For the last few months I've done a quick retrospective every month. Looking back at the last month and then planning the next few…

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CloudStatus lift off

Problems using the cloud

A few weeks ago I had an issue, users couldn't sign up to an app I had created, except they were signing up but during the process it was getting lost. I logged in and everything seemed fine, I tried to sign up and I got lost too, but the data was in the database. I spent the next 30 mins trying to figure out what was going on, but couldn't figure it out, on a thought I checked Windows Azure status and there it was an "intermittent error" on Dublins websites or web app as they are now known.

I like many developers have started using the cloud more and more, I use Amazon Web services and Windows Azure for a large number of different things. Sometimes just to try stuff out but also for some important things.

It wasn't my issue, as soon as the issue on azure had been sorted my site came back too.

I thought about it a while and sure I have the windows Azure status page which has the information. So I decided I needed a way to subscribe to these updates to get an email alert when there was an issue on the cloud of some kind that might effect me.

Enter CloudStatus.eu

I usually just write down an idea and move on thinking I'll come back to it, this time I didn't I decided to execute it. So the following day I bought the domain name and after about 10 days of development, design and everyones favourite past time testing. We're live now.

CloudStatus.eu will monitor Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Microsoft Windows Azure. When an event is available cloudstatus can send an alert to your inbox. These alerts are free. Quick intro Cloudstatus is a Cloud monitoring dashboard.

I also added a pro account, which allows you to filter the alerts you receive, so you can select the services you are using. Add up to 5 email addresses to an alert. So your support account can get a notification as well or other members of your team.

Slack intergration using webhooks, you can add a web hook to a filter this will post a message to a slack channel from "cloudstatusbot"

Check out CloudStatus.eu

So far I've added support for

I am looking at adding more though so pop on over and give the alerts a try and let us know what you think.

Problems using the cloud A few weeks ago I had an issue, users couldn't sign up to an app I had created, except they were signing up but during the process it was getting lost. I logged in and everything seemed fine, I tried to sign up and I got…

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Things I found out by using Google Page speed

Quick Intro

Building a web product is only one step, the hard part is getting it found. Organic search is still important. SEO is not about getting your site found, it's about making it easier to be found. As it says on wikipedia "Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's "natural" or un-paid ("organic") search results." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Searchengineoptimization

I built extractorapp.com (It's an app for converting data more here). I got my first users through the friends, family and fools route. But for an app or site to work you need to get organic traffic. It's the easiest source, it's free and never really runs out if you keep your site up and running and there is interest.

I thought I knew a bit about SEO and it turns out I did a bit, there was alot more that I never relized was out there. I've tried to bring some of it together and there will be more posts than this one but for now Google Page Speed.

Google Page Speed

Google Page Speed is a tool by google (in case you missed that one) it's about speed. The faster a site the better the ranking. It can be tricky to find out where the issues but this is where page speed helps.

Google Page Speed

When I ran it the first time my mobile score was not bad in the 80's but my desktop score was terrible.

Google Page Speed First Result

The great thing about this tool is that it tells you what is needed.

Minify JavaScript

The one step we always forget but should remember to do of course.

Enable compression

Compression Using something like gzip to compress files, javascript etc,

Leverage browser caching

Setting an expiry date or a maximum age in the HTTP headers for static resources instructs the browser to load previously downloaded resources from local disk rather than over the network.
Browser Caching

Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content

None of the above-the-fold content on your page could be rendered without waiting for the following resources to load. Try to defer or asynchronously load blocking resources, or inline the critical portions of those resources directly in the HTML.

Following the suggestions I now score much higher

Google Page Speed Second Result

I didnt fix everything there was one thing that kinda got me. One of the scripts it had a problem with me using was Google analytics, that's right using googles own analytics will hurt your score, go figure.

Quick Intro Building a web product is only one step, the hard part is getting it found. Organic search is still important. SEO is not about getting your site found, it's about making it easier to be found. As it says on wikipedia "Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process…

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How to Convert an Excel file to CSV file

A quick guide to Convert an Excel file to a CSV file

  1. Open the Excel file.
  2. Click file and save as.
  3. Change the file type to CSV(Comma delimited).
  4. Select a good location to save the file.
  5. Give it a good name, all files need a good name.
  6. Hit save and your done.

That's it. Want to do more than that why not check out Extractor

A quick guide to Convert an Excel file to a CSV file Open the Excel file. Click file and save as. Change the file type to CSV(Comma delimited). Select a good location to save the file. Give it a good name, all files need a good name. Hit save…

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Create your first CSV / XML

About

Extractor makes it easy to convert Excel files to CSV

Create your first CSV

Creating a CSV / XML file works the same way, it's just the type of file at the end that's different.

Once a file is imported and ready. You'll see a list of the sheets available if it's an excel file.

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Once the file has been imported, you have the option to "Create CSV" or "Create XML"

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Create CSV / XML output

We'll skip the templates for now and just create a CSV.

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First up you can name the profile. By default it will have the sheet name.

Then you can add some columns to create a CSV or XML output.

By Default "Text Field" is selected. You can give it a Column name, and then enter the Text you want to see on the CSV or XML output

Hit Add column to CSV when your ready.

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Doing that and you will see a new column appear to the right this will list the columns as you add them.

To Select a column from your file drop down the source drop down.

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Once you select the column you get a few more options

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Column Name will default to the name of the selected column, you can rename it, this will only effect the CSV or XML output

Before Text / After Text: will add text before or afte the value that is in the column.

Basic Calculations: Allow you to perform simple calculations on the value in the column.

Add as many columns as you want and then hit Save Profile.

Then just sit back while we create your file and put it right into your inbox.

About Extractor makes it easy to convert Excel files to CSV Create your first CSV Creating a CSV / XML file works the same way, it's just the type of file at the end that's different. Once a file is imported and ready. You'll see a list of the sheets available…

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Getting Started - Extractor

About

Extractor makes it easy to convert Excel files to CSV

Getting Started

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Once logged in, select the "New File" option.

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Select a file to upload (.xls, .xlsx, .csv)

Once you select the file and click upload you'll see the file detail screen.

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The first field is the name of the file you just uploaded. If you want to give it a better name you can do it here.

Headers

You have three choices for headers.

Leave both Header Row / Custom Headers blank and the system will not know where the headers are.

Header Row

Set a header Row number, this will then allow the system to pull the headers from this row.

Custom Headers

Enter the headers manually in t his field use , (comma) to split the headers.

That's it, Click confirm file and the system will import your file.

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When your file has been imported you'll get an Email from us.

About Extractor makes it easy to convert Excel files to CSV Getting Started Once logged in, select the "New File" option. Select a file to upload (.xls, .xlsx, .csv) Once you select the file and click upload you'll see the file detail screen. The first field is the name of…

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