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Everything posted by jerseyjoe

  1. I recently built a web site for a long-time client based in Europe. Not a CC site, but what I learned about the BOA Online Payments systems suggests great caution is called for in relying on it. I know it is not a CC gateway, but there will be times when it may get involved. My client could have paid me via PayPal but he mentioned that he had heard that his BOA account could be used to send me a check through their online payments. This had the attraction of avoiding PayPal fees which would have been significant dollarwise due to the amount involved. He had retained his BOA account in his home state of California because his overseas employment was for a finite term. He checked with BOA. The date was August 10. They said they would deliver an online check to me no later than Saturday Aug18. Considering that they already had a 1/2 day time zone advantage, the 9 days of processing time struck me as a tad excessive. But he and I were both curious to see the system function so we went ahead. What a lesson we learned. Late in the day of Aug 17, BOA cut a check as the Payer and me as the Payee. As best I can read from marks on the envelope it was not received by the US Postal Service in Columbus, Ohio as BULK RATE MAIL until Aug 18. There was no way in would be delivered in New York when promised. Here we have a California bank issuing checks from a small midwestern town by the slowest possible delivery method. In other words, to put the best face on it, they did not keep their promise. That late posting guaranteed them another two days of float. If that reflects standard practice, considering the volume of transactions, they are squeezing many millions of dollars out of funds owned by heir depositors. But that was the smallest part of the problem. I took the check - issued by BOA - to the BOA branch across the street from my office and asked them to cash it. After, all it is their check, I have plenty of ID, I was born in this neighborhood more than 74 years ago, and I am well known by just about every storefront business in the neighborhood. BOA declined to cash their own check. The explanation was, (and I am quoting verbatim), "These checks are the subject of so much fraud and we have no way of verifying its validity." I contacted my client. He notified BOA to cancel the dishonored check and return the funds to his account. Ten minutes later, he sent me the funds by PayPal. Caveat Emptor (that means, get involved in a transaction with Bank of America at your own risk.)
  2. I don't have a solution to the but maybe, at least a way back. before the issue got involved. All worthwhile hosts do daily, weekly and onthly backups. Also, if your hosting service offers the cPanel system for managing your domain, it includes a backup manager that you control yourself. If any of that is available, at least you can restore prior to the issue, make a local backup, and start again. BTW, when doing that backup, keep in mind that you will want to back up the database, not just the CC script.
  3. And they are surprisingly complex to change, with the need to match gradients across multiple "tab" pieces. I usually work with only Legend but just last night started to tinker with a Killer skin - and gave up after a while. And, just now, as I keyed that in, I realized that I probably started with the rrong approach. Instead of trying to do left, middle and right as discrete pieces, I should do a coherent tab and then slice it. (DUHHH). Well, maybe I'll yet do. But before I do I'm going to dig around and see how others have skinned Killer.
  4. As is widely abhorred, I am not shy about expressing my opinions on anything from the width of a CC web site to the need to impeach that ****ing criminal jerk in the white house. But I am late to this CC4 discussion and therefore will play shy guy at the dance, at least for a while. I will behave. I will behave. I will behave . . . I too hope that there is a method that will allow me as a developer and loyal promoter of CubeCart to be able to demo of CC4 as the selling tool I have used to create the sites I've built and licensed in CC3. I don't think that a limited time version will do. I think it may have taken me 6 months before I found my first customer and then another 6 months before the second. It was only around customer #4 that I figured out how to sell sites built on CC. Offhand I think the one for which I will start later this week will be CC store #8. Please don't ask how I d0 it. As I've said previously in other forae, I require all my clients to support CC by paying for a license. With sincere respect for Al's integrity and honesty - and good business sense - I trust he will find a way to accommodate those of us who have demonstrated their support for CC. I wouldn't mind paying the fee for the first copy and then getting a developer's refund or discount on subsequent copies for sites built for other parties. In fact I'm pretty much open to any reasonable suggestion that encourages us to work together. See, now? I can be polite and diplomatic when I really want to.
  5. I vaguely recall seeing this same skin somewhere. Who made it, please? BTW - the CubeCart Copyright footer is not as legible as it needs to be unless you buy a license. I think it's only fair to respect the spirit of the license for unpaid use by making that footer as legible as anything else on your site.
  6. hhmmm . . . not likely (I hope) for another reason. Some of have been here long enough to recall a late night game of "pass the laptop" that ended when someone woke up and the laptop was GONE. I hate to ask this question, but it's Sunday afternoon here in New York and I have meeting in an hourwith a client ready to buy a store (third time's the charm). I've not mentioned CC4. Unless I know it's going to come out over the next 4 / 6 weeks, I won't. I'm not asking "when will 4 be available?" - just need to know that I'll not be setting myself up for "Why did you sell us the old software?" before the store is published. Guidance please? Silence or tell him that it's coming at a date-to-be-announced?
  7. I suspect an even less ominous scenario, but one that still requires that your PP address is also your standard email address. PP has a feature, visible onscreen in one of the tabs, "Request Money." They might have called it, "Send an Invoice" or "Send a Bill" but I guess their choice is a good one. Were there a security breach, you wouldn't have gotten what is basically just a structured email, you would have had the funds removed from your account. I don't hear that anything like that has happened. Hope that helps . . . Joe
  8. I think you are more on the right track with direct popups. My opinion is that adding an intermediate step would be more annoying. If the buttons were restrained to mini-questions mark images on the order of 10px by 10, they could be visible without being intrusive. I can't recall where I saw - and used such buttons only a few days ago on a site I'd never visited. If I stop straining my brain to recall, it will come to me when I least expect it. But it was wll done and very helpful in clarifying configuration questions. I'll post it after it bubble up out of my mental fog.
  9. I agree that such guide points, if done thoughtfully, might improve customer experience. I've considered creating a help page - and have seen one on a CC site only a few hours ago. But I suspect that few people actually use them. Best evidence at hand for that opinion, the great percentage of the same questions asked in these CC forums that are asked over and over again - and are well answered in the free video tutorials that are offered via the "Support" link above. So, maybe contextual guide points would work. But not easy to do without interfering with the buyer flow. For example, how would you explain the n/a issue without filling up the page with text? Maybe a "?" button and a pop up? Alternatives?
  10. do a search on this site for EasyPHP. It's so simple to set up a caveman could do it. There's a similar set of instructions over on the cubecartforums.org site in their Documentation Project.
  11. Mr. T pities the fool who fears the avatar About 20 / 25 years ago, in another life, married to a wealthy but weird woman, I lived in Lake Forest, Illinois. My neighbor to one side was an heir to the Armour meat-packing fortune. The folks across the road were of the road were of Baker-Henredon furniture-making fame. In the neighborhood were some of the richest people from the world of finance and commerce. All very "white shoe" and nose-up. You can imagine the shock when Mr. T bought one of the most beautiful properties around, one situated so that a large portion of the traffic in and out the town had to pass by the home's 30-foot high wrought irons gates. In a sense, the gates were not needed for privacy. The mansion sat back from the road maybe 100 yards, and that area, maybe 100 yards wide, was filled with a forest of 100-year-old trees. Oaks, Pines, etc. Mr. T wasn't there but a few weeks when a large crew of workmen arrived equipped with power saws and wood-chippers. It took the horde a few days of intense work and hundreds of truck loads to cut down and remove every one of those trees, some them 50 and 60 feet high. As Mr. T explained to a call from the local newspaper, "What's the point of having one of the biggest houses in town if nobody can see it?"
  12. Here's what Google returned for the phrase (meaning keep the quotes) "meta description" http://www.google.com/search?q=%22meta+des...lient=firefox-a Now go do the same thing to "meta keywords"
  13. I think we are not getting all details or getting them correctly. Let's get the basics clarified. You say you are able to change permissions on all other files. Does that mean you able to change permission in the files required by the CubeCart installation steps that are launched when you go to www.yourdomain/install ??
  14. each FTP program does it slightly differently but offhand, that sounds right. So when you do that, you should see a small window box open up telling you the current permission. You should be able to edit the three or four digits and clcik on some sort of an OK or Submit. Few FTPs will give back an obvious confirmation that the permission has been changed. You either have to watch a window showing the transaction in progress or reopen the properties to see what it looks like now. One tool that does confirm if it has gone through is the File Manager in cPanel. That's why I asked if you have cPanel. Joe
  15. For the purposes of using CC, I don't think there is much difference between them. I run a few Linux servers and host 8 or 9 CubeCart stores. Never had a problem changing file and folder permissions. What FTP client are you using to change permissions? Do you have cPanel?
  16. Yes you can but do a search here on EasyPHP and you'll see that xamp and joomla and other server simulators are harder to use.
  17. Hmmm - do you have the link to that Ansuk item? If it works, I'll get you a free Gyros Souvlaki with Greek (not French) Fries - but you'll have to come to Jersey City to pickup.
  18. Well, that's a huge improvement that I think will serve you well. My final advice is to reconsider the color scheme. Colors express and influence emotional response. That phenomenon is so powerful that most people don't even know they are being manipulated by the application of certain colors. There are university doctorates built on the uses of color in commerce, politics, art, etc. For example, the Nazi swastika flag of red, black and white was chosen by Joseph Goebbels after consulting with psychologists to come up with a combination that would evoke fear and brute strength. Offhand, I can't think of any other national flag that uses those colors - and they are avoided for the very reason the Nazis chose them. Your color scheme is almost the exact opposite, devoid of emotion. The colors are unassertive and dull. The interesting thing is you are selling scents that appeal to the most evocative and permanent of all our senses, the sense of smell and its effect known as "involuntary memory." I only need one whiff of a certain perfume and the memory of my first intimate encounter with the opposite sex floods back even though it happened beneath a boardwalk on a summer night almost 60 years ago. The thousands of pages of one of the most famous books in world literature, The Remembrance of Things Past, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcel_Proust) begin with telling how the author's entire youth returns when he smells a Madeleine, a simple lemon-scented cookie. Your scheme could be a lot more inviting and evocative. White space is powerfully positive. The judicious and restrained use of a hot color (red, orange, etc) as accent in a few places pulls attention. Blues and greens create a sense of stability, confidence and competency, which is why CC skins that use blue are so popular and why so many web sites base their scheme on those colors. If you Google "color scheme generator" there are many many web sites that offer tools and charts for creating compatible schemes of varying purposes. Hope that helps . . .
  19. Sounds like a hosting server issue. I can't image anything in CC that would cause that Admin panel behavior. Have you spoken with your hosting service tech support? Ir also strikes me strange that you should have to rebuild. Doesn't your hosting service offer a simple reinstall from an automatic backup?
  20. The search and login are simply the default for the Legend skin. The only thing I did was move those elements up on the page because the banner (file: topHeader.jpg) I installed is is only 90pixels high, instead of the 116px high banner of the original skin. I truly begrudge giving over those 26 pixels. The original banner simply waste space that is better used for product and for selling. I've even done sites where the topHeader is only 60px high and it looks fine. As for the width (756px), another reason I like Legend in general is that it is a fixed width that displays well at all screen resolutions. If you hand around here long enough, I usually post an average of one lunatic rant about the the ignorance and arrogance of designing for higher resolutions, thus alienating and rejecting the huge numbers of people who have their displays st for 800 by 600. Not that anyone, to my knowledge, has ever taken my advice on that point . . . PS: thanks for the compliment. All I did was create a new banner using the graduated color blending tool in Photoshop, add the Greek-ish font that someone in this forum was kind enough to find for me, replace the boxTitle.gif above each box with a "Greek key" border copied from a 2,500 year old temple and convert the default 3-column layout to 2-columns so the product photos could be large yet leave room to display the product description text next to (instead of below) the product image. I posted a similarly modified free theme over in www.cubecartforums.org under the name "midtown"
  21. Go look in your the folder where your images are stored. It will normally be /yourdomain/images/uploads for the lager pix and /yourdomain/images/uploads/thumbs for the smaller versions that CC automatically creates. I can see the larger version so, we know you have images in the first folder. Are the images in BOTH folders? If not, I suspect that 1) these two different domains are installed on a different hosts The first one has GD installed (the program that makes the thumbs); the second hosting server may not. 2) if the servers both have GD - or if the domains are on the same server, then I'd have to guess that maybe the way the images were copied to the newer site may have been via FTP, thus bypassing the CC image manager and the process that generates thumbs. But that's a wild guess because I don't know for sure at what point GD generates the thumbs. If that's not it, I'd need FTP access and the CC ACP to take a deeper look. BTW - a few suggestions . . . Photo of a patterned garment against a totally different patterned surface (such as the toddler's PJs) makes it very hard to see the pattern of the garment itself. A totally blank surface of a single, non-patterned color, such as white or tan or some other unassuming color, will show the garments better. Also, either use a brighter flash, or manipulate the image in something like Picasa (free from Google) or Photoshop to brighten the image and tweak up the contrast, your product images will have more "pop." Also, on the subject of images, since product patterns can only be seen well in close up, are you aware that CC has a neat feature that allows you to offer more than one image per product? In View Products, click on "Manage Images" under the product thumb. You could then offer a close up of details such as patterns, buttons and other details. Also, centered text is fine for headlines, but not for multiple lines such as product descriptions. The eye gets tired making the jump from the right end of one line to searching for the irregular start of the next. This may seem petty, but it definitely is an issue in web site legibility. I know that a set of centered lines has a neat and tidy look about it. But since the point of text is to be read, not merely to be seen as a tidy visual element, centered text is counter productive. Keep multi-rows of text justified to the left and they will be much easier to read. Finally, give serious thought as to the relevance, for you, of those default boxes such as Language, Currency and Information. Ask yourself, how does each of them encourage making the sales? If I remove them will I lose sales? If I eliminate the clutter and distraction that they are for most shopping carts, will that help visitors focus on my products - and thereby improve sales? I think the latter is more likely. Hope that helps . . .
  22. BTW - regarding the food, it is EXCELLENT. There are, you may have noted, a few hundred photos that have had to be Photoshopped for uniform appearance and size and installation and association with a specific product. Many hours. Many, many hours. (seriously . . . lots of hours). The restaurant is only a short distance from me. I have made it a practice, while working on this site, to bring my wireless laptop there and work through lunch and/or dinner time. The owner is a great host and always insists on my accepting yet another free meal. Ahhh, the rigors we web developers suffer and the sacrifices we make for our craft. (pass me that plate of baklava, huh?)
  23. Those are good ideas about the subcats. I did some exploration in Google images to see what small gifs other restaurants might use but soon realized that there is another issue. The way CC's subcat images are applied, the same graphic must be used for both the Catering menu and the Takeout/Delivery menu Category. So, absent a mod that would be make one graphic specific to one cat and another graphic specific to another, whatever I do must be as generic as the bland file folders. Your idea about using the Greek "key" like the one used below boxTitle (as those designs are called) would work but only if I make the graphic large enough to enclose some white space. The key is 32pix high. Any smaller and it starts to lose identity as a key. The means a graphic that would have to be 32 for the top line, 32 for the white space and 32 for the bottom; total, 96pix. There are rows of icons. Allowing for the required space between the rows, that area would have to be at least 320 px high, pushing the product list off the bottom of many displays. I'm thinking that I may be better off to create a 1 pix high graphic in the identical color as the bg those icons now sit on. That would make the icon invisible - no loss since it is merely decorative - and not very - while bringing the product list up higher. Only the text label would show. Hmm - later today, when I have time, I'll play with that. I'll post back here again after I do.
  24. You are right, but the issue is less a matter of a short image than a short product description. If the item had more verbose text, then the area would extend below the image. I expect that the client will provide more words for items like this and that should resolve the issue. Thanks for your comments. Greatly appreciated.
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