Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Step away from the programming language ...

Step away from the programming language ...

I simply should have a padlock on the part of my computer which allows me to tinker with the behind-the-scenes programming features. Every once in a while I get a mad and uncontrollable rush that cannot be stemmed or guided, and nothing will do until I have had my way with the website's background. Simply stated, I think I know more than I actually do about my program.

This time came on one of the busiest days we have had lately. We were preparing for a really big incoming stock shipment, and putting up all available stock on the shelves. Too, we had to prepare at least a hundred receipt packages so they would be ready for order filling on Thursday and Friday. Then, we got in a shipment of a new yarn (which is a secret for now and will be sold in September), and of course, there was the off and on search for any earthquake damage from yesterday. So, all in all, a busy day.

Today appeared to me, for some strange reason, to be the perfect day to rearrange the payment methods that a customer would see on the Wool2Dye4 website. I do these things because I am incapable of learning from experience in certain areas of my work life, and maybe in life in general, come to think of it. So, off I headed to the very serious list of modules which control the important aspects of the website such as payment and shipping, and I decided to start accepting checks. This, in total disregard for previous bad check experiences, but never mind. Today I decided, for about two hours, to accept checks. Then, I noticed that the order that the payment choices were appearing on the website seemed not to be very pretty, and here at Wool2Dye4 we like to make everything pretty. So I rearranged the order of checks/credit cards/PayPal to a pleasing array on the payment page, clicked 'Save and Update' and went back to work with the packers.

About two hours later, in checking my eMail, I got a shock of seeing letter after letter with one common word in the subject line and that was, 'problem.' Nothing, absolutely nothing is less welcome on a busy day than an eMail with the word 'problem' in the header, and this was not one but many eMails screaming about a problem. Oh, No. Quickly, I read various descriptions of the same issue: the website was frozen in place and was accepting no orders at all.

There could only be one reason. I'd been fiddling around in the secret depths of the program and caused this mess myself. But how to fix it? I thought that undoing my changes and restoring the original choices would do the trick, so I undid the choice to accept checks and reordered the payments to the original lists, I thought, ... but, no. So, I tried it again with the same results; however, this time I knew how to take a screen shot (because of my new online class in Adobe Acrobat, no less! See? I am trying to learn how to fix my problems). Quickly I fired off two screen shots to WebGuy with a short and sweet confession of my errors. Then, I called the credit card processor.

The young man at the other end of the line was insistent that there were only three errors which could yield the Error Message Number 13. It had to be thirteen, right? Numbers one and two were not applicable, he said, but I just couldn't believe that choice number 3 was right! That one was that I had changed the log-in name. I had not, or so I thought. I continued to try to bring his attention back to reasons one and two. Eventually, he made a deal with me that if I would just try to reset the log in, and if it didn't work, he would take care of setting everything back to normal by himself. But I had to give his way a try ... and long story made short, of course his suggestion worked. In practice, I had not reset the log-in, but in reality I had inadvertently done just that. That is to say that the program had an automatic reset to the default login of the program, not the card processor's coded login, and that was how the error message came to show on the website.

While I was at the crucial point of understanding what all of this actually meant in plain English, my call waiting feature started to buzz and buzz and buzz. So, we quickly got off the phone, and there was WebGuy to the rescue, hoping he was not too late and that I had not reset the basic code. Luckily, I had not, but it was an opportunity for me to ask him when the new program would be ready.

The new programs are a lot easier to handle for a natural born fiddler like me. There are checkmarks where the changes are immediately shown in example format. I am guessing that some smart programmer came up with that idea to stop people like me from ruining the delicate programming features they work hard to create. At any rate, when I turned eMail on again, there were zip/zip/zip several orders posting one after the other. Two, of course, were my own from the testing, but I didn't care. Orders again. Ahhhh.... that lovely sound of the soft little ping when the order notices come in.

I'll admit to a moment of panic, OK, yes. But, I must say that I had a moment of pride, as well. When I realized that I had a hand in fixing the problem, I was really proud of my day's work.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Honeysuckle Patterns

We took the samples of the patterns developed for The Honeysuckle Project to Sock Summit 2011,and we had so many wonderful and positive comments. These ten patterns will be sold on and the site will be up and active in the next week, by August 17th. Please check back and after a week or so to see when the site opens up for sale of yarn, patterns, and kits.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Honeysuckle Project at Sock Summit 2011

What a wonderful reception for The Honeysuckle Project, our breast cancer awareness campaign, at Sock Summit! Caught a couple of new designers who want to be added to the project, a major magazine is going to mention THP in the magazine's next editorial. So many breast cancer survivors came by the booth to thank us for getting knitters involved at any level, and I gave skeins of Honeysuckle pink to each one. I heard stories and shared tears and laughter. It was wonderful and moving and made me so very proud.

Pictures from Sock Summit

Our booth
A closeup of the yarn display ...
Sharon G and Barb B burst into song!
Our booth stood out on the marketplace floor!