Magento Beginner’s Guide. PacktPub. Book

Magento Beginner's guideFew weeks ago I’ve been contacted from Packt Publishing in order to review their new book Magento Beginners Guide and because I had experience with that e-commerce platform, I decided to accept the offer.

Brief

Magento Beginners Guide is a new book that covers the process of building an online store using the Magento e-commerce solution. It’s written by William Rice and is focused on the main key features of Magento to setup a unique on-line store and customize its appearance with the help of examples.

This book is for anyone who wants to create an online store using Magento. If you are a non-technical person and are discouraged by the complexity of this powerful e-commerce application, this book is ideal for you.

About Magento

Magento is the world’s most evolved e-commerce solution which runs on the Apache/MySQL/PHP platform. From one installation, you can control multiple multilingual storefronts, all sharing customer and product information. Magento’s templates, themes and extensions gives the possibility to create an unique and powerful solution for e-commerce.

In detail

The book provides a step-by-step approach to building a simple and effective on-line store. It covers the key features of Magento that will help you get your store up and running. It guides you through the installation, configuration, adding categories and product attributes, filling your store with products from various types, payment configuration, maintaining relationships with your customers, and fulfilling orders.

Readers will be able to present and sell products in groups, sets, they can offer discounts based on quantities along with accepting various payments such as PayPal, CC, Checks, Bank transfers, Payment on delivery and many other payment gateways. Along with connecting to shippers such as UPS, FedEx, and USPS they will learn to apply tax rules to different shipping addresses and different types of products.

More on what you will learn from the book

  • Install and configure Magento and add products in the store;
  • Create categories and attributes to build your catalog of products;
  • Enhance your products with descriptions, images, and inventory information;
  • Create and apply tax rules to different product types and different shipment addresses;
  • Present and sell products in groups and sets;
  • Display products related to the one that is being viewed by a customer;
  • Offer your customer choices for a product’s size, color, or other attribute and give discounts based on quantities;
  • Accept payments using Paypal, credit cards, and checks/money orders and offer a variety of shipping options;
  • Create your own, customized shipping rates and connect to shippers such as UPS, FedEx, and USPS;

The beginner’s guide approach

  • Clear step-by-step instructions for the most useful tasks
  • Learn by doing – start working wight away
  • Leave out the boring bits
  • Inspiring, realistic examples give you ideas for your own work
  • Tasks and challenges to encourage experimentation

The publisher kindly provide two chapters from the book, so you can get a clue of the style in it.

How to buy that book?

Magento beginner's guideIf you like the book you can order it from here:
Magento: Beginner’s Guide
€27.89 save 10%

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Add to favorites
  • Identi.ca

That’s my face

last week I found this site [That’s my face] and I decided to take a try.

The process of submission is very easy. You need 3 images (front, left side and right side), once submitted you need to specify some key points which will make these images to become 3D object. Once you finish this, your face went on queue and it will be ready after couple of ours and the site will send you notification mail.

Official description of the service:

How it Works : Take a frontal and profile photo of your face, upload it to our servers and within a few hours we’ll generate your facial profile which includes:

Site features:

  • Your face at 20, 40 and 60 years old
  • Your face as an African, Indian, Asian or Caucasian
  • Your face as man or woman
  • Your caricature
  • Identify your facial asymmetries
  • Attractiveness rating
  • Compare yourself to others and find you look-alikes
  • Buy your custom-made FaceStatue!

I really liked the ages simulation. 🙂

Here is how I will look at 60 years:
That's my face

There is also analysis of your facial features:

  • 61 Shape Features
  • 26 Asymmetric Shape Features
  • 36 Skin Features

There is also “similar faces” comparison:

  • People with similar shape+skin
  • People with similar shape
  • People with similar skin
  • People with similar asymmetries

It’s a really big fun using it! I would recommend you to take a try.

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Add to favorites
  • Identi.ca

CSS Menu builder

Today I found a new service which could help to designers and developers while they creating the menus for their projects. The site is: www.cssmenubuilder.com and as far I can check from the site’s blog it’s quite new – about a month, but it provide very good service to it’s visitors.

So what is it? As the domain says it’s an online menu generator. The site provide 3 main types of menus: Horizontal and Vertical Menus as well as Breadcrumbs bars. The combinations are unlimited – see what the author said:

Please check out our 30+ horizontal menus, our 700+ vertical menus combinations and our breadcrumb menus that consist of more than 200+ combinations, in total the site offers more than 1000 menu combinations not including the endless color combinations.

Briefly what I like and what I miss in that site:

  • Great service for people which are too busy to spend hours for building menus. I could say I am one of them 🙂
  • It’s free, no need to register.
  • Ability for live preview of the menu while doing it.

There is only one thing which missing and it’s multilevel menus, let’s hope this functionality will be available soon.

I definitely will use this service for my future projects. Why don’t you try yourself?
The site: www.cssmenubuilder.com

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Add to favorites
  • Identi.ca

Ubiquity Plugin for Firefox

Yesterday I’ve seen the presentation of this new plug-in and I think it’s quite good! I’ve installed of course and indeed it’s very good! The part which I like is that it’s possible to be extended. Take a look of the video, it’s very good.

Here what the author of the original article say for Ubiquity features:

The overall goals of Ubiquity are to explore how best to:

  • Empower users to control the web browser with language-based instructions. (With search, users type what they want to find. With Ubiquity, they type what they want to do.)
  • Enable on-demand, user-generated mashups with existing open Web APIs. (In other words, allowing everyone–not just Web developers–to remix the Web so it fits their needs, no matter what page they are on, or what they are doing.)
  • Use Trust networks and social constructs to balance security with ease of extensibility.
  • Extend the browser functionality easily.

Link to the original article: Introducing Ubiquity


Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Add to favorites
  • Identi.ca

Yet Another Multicolumn Layout (YAML)

Today I found a nice CSS framework which claim to solve the multi-column layout issues which everyone of us meet during the construction of the web site design.

Actually I am speaking about YAML – Yet Another Multicolumn Layout. At first time I mix it with Yaml.org, but actually it’s a different thing. It’s a set of CSS files + few image files which would sort the issues with multi-column layouts.

The benefit is the availability of good documentation and nice examples.

Hope you found it helpful.

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Add to favorites
  • Identi.ca

Zoomii.com – nice interface for Amazon.com

Hey,

Long time I haven’t post anything about external sites in my blog. Well, this will be changed with that post 🙂

I am writing about a new Book store which I found over the daily browsing over social networks, but I was really amazed, so I decided to share it.

So the web site is Zoomii.com and it’s just interface to the Amazon site. The interesting part is not the content /well there are a lot of interesting titles/, but the interface provided from the store.

Instead of usual tables and lists of books in Zoomii.com all book are structured as in a real book store in shelves. There is one quite nice video tutorial on how to use the book store, so users wont be confused using the in the site.

I suspect that they using the engine of Google Maps, or at least it’s very similar, because all actions remembers me the Google service.

Hope I intrigued you and you would visit that amazing book store.

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Add to favorites
  • Identi.ca

Toondoo.com – The comics builder

I always liked such sites. Probably there are a lot of them out there, but recently I found that one – toondoo.com and within 2 weeks I found that they upgrade the service and it become very advanced.

With few words – toondoo.com is a online service which give you ability to build comics by drag and drop elements from the gallery. The features which I like in it:

  • ability to create your own characters
  • ability to change character’s mimic and body position
  • ability to upload images
  • ability to draw your gestures
  • ability to edit previous created comics

There a lot more things.

This also inspire me to start my own comics blog. You can find my “art” at comics.chankov.net.

Hope you enjoy it.

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Add to favorites
  • Identi.ca

Vectorize your images with VectorMagic

Vector MagicLast Friday I found quite nice service for vectorization of raster images. The service is provided from University of Stanford.

The front end is written in flash or flex and the interface is very intuitive and easy to be used. There are input image detection, quality levels and also ability to edit the preview of the image.

The supported input formats are JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF and EPS, SVG, PNG are the output formats.
The comparison results showing that this tool is better than Adobe and Corel alternatives.

It’s very nice tool I really enjoyed with it /while I tried to vectoring my own portrait :)/
This service seems to be already very popular – according to their blog there are already 1,000,000 uploads.

Hope you like it too.

Update: The service becomes paid. Although you have 2 free credits while you sign up.

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Add to favorites
  • Identi.ca

Nice to meet you, Lily

Today I’ve read about Lily. Lily is an open source, browser-based, visual programming environment written in JavaScript. It’s an XPI application which could be executed in Mozilla run-time and of course in FireFox browser.

This application uses JavaScript modules and there are already over 180 ready to be used including UI, Graphical and Sound, Math and various Web services from Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Flickr, Twitter and Digg. There is possibility to write your own modules which give you possibility to expand the functionalities depending from your needs. The applications written with Lily are stored in JSON files, so it is very convenient to exchange applications between users.

The biggest benefit of this application is that you literally connect functional blocks in order to “construct” the application. That’s why it is very intuitive and easy to be understand.

I’ve tried to create a math application and it run quite well. It’s extremely easy to make it, but it was a little bit hart to understand how to run it. Fortunately for every module there is nice and good help with examples written with Lily.

What I really like in this application and strongly recommend you to take a look on it.

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Add to favorites
  • Identi.ca

11 Things which every developer would do when starting a new project

For every project which is going to be started there are at least 11 things which you need to do before. Here is my list of things which need to be happen before starting any project. During my work experience I’ve started many projects and I think that these are the most important issues which you need to do before start the project.
Continue reading

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Add to favorites
  • Identi.ca