nsquared solutions Releases ManagedMaps

nsquared solutions Releases ManagedMaps

This morning nsquared went live with ManagedMaps. Here is a bit of a walkthrough of how to integrate a map into your website and/or blog.

Start by visiting the ManagedMaps website and Sign In using your Windows Live Id (the same credentials you use to sign into Live Messenger).

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Upon signing in you will be taken to the Manage tab.  Here you need to supply some basic personal data, so notifications about your map can be sent to you, as well as some details about how you want your map to look.  Whilst most of the settings are relatively self explanatory you may want to play with them to adjust the map to best suit your use.

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At the bottom of the page there are download links for either an Excel workbook (xlsx) or an XML data file.  In order to display pushpins on your map you need to download one of these templates, add points to them and then upload the updated file. I downloaded the xlsx file and have modified it to show both the nsquared offices here in Sydney and the former location of the Silicon Beach House in Perth.

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Having saved this Excel file I return to the website, use the Browse button to locate the file and then push the Upload my data points button. This uploads the data points, save the map settings and transfers me to the View page.  Here I can verify that the map looks the way I want it to – if I want to adjust the map I can return to the Manage tab and change settings.

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The next stage is to publish this map on my website/blog.  To do this I navigate to the Publish tab. Here I can see the snippet of code that I need to include on my web page/blog in order to display the map.

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If you click the Select and Copy code link this snippet of code will be copied into your clipboard for you to insert directly into your website (as I’ve done below)

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You will notice at the top of the map on the View tab there was a hit counter.  As the publish page suggests you get 100 free hits on your map for free.  Beyond that you need to subscribe via the Subscribe tab. 

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The subscription process is relatively simple as it uses the well known and trusted PayPal payment gateway.  You can come back at any stage and adjust your map and only need to commit to the length of time that you want to use your map for.

Windows 7 gives Calculator a Facelift

Windows 7 gives Calculator a Facelift

There are a large number of posts about all the new features of Windows 7 but they quite often focus on some esoteric feature that a small subset of users might be interested in.  What I think is nice is that some of the basic applications like Wordpad and Paint have had a facelift.  One of the applications I wasn’t expecting to see change is Calculator.  It appears that they’ve not only changed the layout but also added some neat features.

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Here you can see the Unit conversion panel.  If you’re spending time converting between metric and imperial units (yes, that’s you guys at NASA too) you might find this useful.

All CC.NET Builds are Green

All CC.NET Builds are Green

One of the things that has been bugging me over the last month is that one of our over 40+ build projects was failing.  Earlier this week Andrew brought in his build board – similar concept to the Build Bunny.    

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Yesterday it was connected and what was amazing to watch was the efficiency with which the one broken build was fixed.  Now perhaps this was just to see what the board would read when all the builds were ok but I suspect that just having the build more visible is a key factor. 

What’s interesting is that most of the crew use cctray so they know that one of the builds was failing.  So why does the build board make a difference?  I think the key difference is that with cctray because it’s somewhat private everyone can choose to ignore it.  With it in the open there’s no escaping it and someone has to put their hand up and fix it.