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Richard

Roller-Coaster.com.au Up & Running!

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It's coming closer. As of today, the Gallery system is totally finished. On the surface it's really not that different to most sites, but I designed a backend system that makes updates as painless as they can be (gone are the days from this site where it'd take me at least six hours start to finish to create a gallery). The database system has been finished for a number of months, it's just getting tidied up on the outside, and park and ride information is being entered. Right now it has 24 coasters in it and 11 parks. I've just got to tidy up a few things - get the news system talking to galleries so that an article can easily include photos, incorporate the forums into the design (which will be among the last things done) and find the "right" colour scheme. Right now it's white, highlighted with the same blue and green from Total Thrills. That's more than likely going to change. :) Unlike this site, which focuses on my own photographs and whatnot, the new one will allow you guys help contribute. Right now, if you've got high-quality (clear, crisp, resolution greater than 1024x768 and unedited) coaster/ride or park photos from around the country, in particular down south (I can cover the Gold Coast :)), let me know (PM or email me) - don't send the images yet though, I'll let you know when and how to send them. :) You will be credited for your contribution.

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Here's a screenshot of a gallery page. The images come up at full resolution as a nice Javascript popup, so they're not at all obstrusive, and it'll be difficult for anyone to get lost and close the wrong window or anything. Right now, the exterior of the site is pretty well finished. I'm working on a sumbission system. Initially, it'll just be "for staff only" to submit articles and galleries and whatnot, but I'm eventually going to get it going so that members can submit articles, which will be added to a queue for editing and publishing. For the time being, any submissions will be done by email. Lots of bug-checking, some finalising of the design and we're almost ready to go. I'll probably have a period of beta testing, much like I did with Total Thrills in the beginning which gives people an opportunity to play around and comment before it goes final and live. :) Early March, or sooner sound good?

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I've got no formal training - just enough years of experience. If you saw what I was doing a few years back, you'd cringe. When I start to design a new site these days I take note of things I like and don't like in sites I visit. It'll then usually take one site to get the ball rolling in terms of design, which I'll start by basing my design on. The design doesn't end up even remotely similar through a few solid weeks of making the design meet the predetermined needs I've got. I can't start working on a new site until I know what it'll look like in my head. With Total Thrills I have no idea where the original design came from (that's two "live" designs ago), but the next design along was just refining it and making it look neater (it was still pretty terribly I thought). There was a design I tinkered with for a few months, which didn't last, though I did rather like it (you'll be pleased to know that the Park Gallery images on the main page of Total Thrills are about the only survivor from that design). The current design for Total Thrills was sparked by Guide to the Point, with the large header banner, and it just grew from there, and as you can see, it's absolutely in no way the same to GTTP. :)

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I'm pleased to announce that the site's name will be released on Sunday to all those attending Wonderland Sydney with us. For those not coming, just stay tuned a little longer and all will be revealed. I hope to have the site up and running before the end of March, and this shouldn't be too hard to achieve. All that needs doing is the creating of galleries, which won't take long at all.

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Yep, new site, new focus, new design so new name. Just in case anyone is wondering, Total Thrills will remain for the forseeable future. The forums will move to the new site, but the actual main site will remain with the galleries and whatnot. I do have plans to also give it a different purpose (I've got the basic design complete), but the focus is on the new site. Roller-Coaster.com.au

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Yep, new site, new focus, new design so new name. Just in case anyone is wondering, Total Thrills will remain for the forseeable future. The forums will move to the new site, but the actual main site will remain with the galleries and whatnot. I do have plans to also give it a different purpose (I've got the basic design complete), but the focus is on the new site.   Roller-Coaster.com.au
Are you running ur new site as a business? Just that i thought for .com.au domain names you have to have an ABN?? Thats what i was told by melbourne IT. thanks

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There's actually a funny story behind that roller-coaster.com.au web site with the first beta picture..... I hopped on to totalthrills (as i do daily) and checked the new site progress post..... anyway there was a bit of talk so i just skipped most of it and clicked on the photo..... HEY!!! THE PHOTO SAYS "rollercoaster.com.au"!!!! So eventually i contacted richie and he blurred out the words!!! But anyway, in other news, i have been to Dreamworld over the weekend and will be getting photos and videos updated very soon.

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While Foxtel's busy having their digital revolution this evening, I decided to get in on the action and have a digital revolution of my own. Actually, I've been planning March 14 as the beta site launch for a while now, so here it is. http://www.roller-coaster.com.au Please note that it is nothing more than a beta test. It is far from the completed site. You'll see a distinct lack of photo galleries. The idea is to take a cruise around the site and have a look at what it can offer, not what it is currently offering. There'll be plenty of updates before the official launch to fill the gaps in content. Do read the article, it should help with understanding a bit about how the new site and in particular the beta period will work.

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Richard - the only problem I have with the site is that it is currently a bit too long in length to navigate it easily. Not sure if this is something you were looking at tweaking. Maybe it is just my resolution?! At the moment, to see all the info I have to scroll across sideways as well as the usual up and down. Is there any way you can shrink it down to the same size as Total Thrills? With the current sizing it makes the main page look a bit sparse too

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Are you running at 800x600? Because it's designed for 1024x768, with a fixed width (Total Thrills has a floating width, based on your resolution/window size - it can take any resolution, up to 1600x1200), if you're running at anything less then you'll get the horizontal scrolling. It's not something I really want to change because 1024x768 is the norm these days. If you're running at anything less, you probably need to take a look at your display settings or think about an upgrade. :)

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I just tried changing my display settings to the resolution you mentioned Richard. It has made everything quite small though and some websites don't look quite right. I'll use the wonderland website as an example. The graphics and menu now only take up a small part of the page with lots of blank white space around the edges. When I was using the other resolution the website graphics filled the page perfectly. Do I need to upgrade my computer somehow or is this the same with everyone?

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WOW yeah 800*600 is way out of date these days. I agree 1024*768 is the norm but having said that I run all my displays at 1280*1042. Most sites you'll find will be designed around 1024*768 and up.

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Yeah, I'm a 1280x1024 person. Back when 14" was standard, 640x480 appeared as the "large" resolution with 800x600 as the "small" one. With 15", 800x600 became the "large" one and 1024x768 became the "small" one. Now that 17" is the standard, 1024x768 is the "large" one and 1280x1024 is the "small" one. Some people prefer "larger", some "smaller". The current standard sized screen is really 17", so I design for the minimum standard - 1024x768. This covers me for about half the people out there with only 15" monitors, and every other bigger monitor right up to 19" and 21". It's just a lot neater to design with a fixed width rather than everything moving around and chaning size based on the screen. I know that what I see when I make it matches what everyone else will see. I'm sorry if Roller-Coaster.com.au doesn't work properly with your current resolution. However, I would suggest that if at least 1024x768 isn't your current comfortable screen resolution, then you probably could do to look at what's out there in terms of new monitors or computers.

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I tried to change my resolution to check the others out, but can't get my shape right so stuff it, back to the old 800x600 for Danno. Anyone got any tips for getting into shape? Yes, yes I'm personally in shape, round is a shape so sod off with the smart crap. Many thanks in advance.

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