James Crisp

Coding, calisthenics, book reviews, mind hacks and the occasional personal bit.

Category: YourWeddingPresents.com

Wedding Registries for the Pommies

Your Wedding Presents now shows all money amounts in pounds, if you say you are from the United Kingdom. God Save the Queen!

ScreenCasting

After being inspired by the Rails screencast long ago, I thought it would be fun to make a screencast for my free wedding registry site. It takes a bit of work.

I checked out a few different screencast recording packages and ended up going with CamStudio. It is a fairly basic product but free and good enough for my needs. It lets you choose a window to record and also lets you include an audio track. I think the easiest way to use it is by recording to AVI (very quick) and then converting to Flash SWF (slow), when you are happy with the movie. In terms of SWF settings, I found the best combination was 16 bit colour, Playback rate and Keyframe rate at 20 frames / second. It is also a good idea to set the ‘Percent of movie to preload’ to something like 15%, to get things rolling quickly for your viewers.

I’m reasonably happy with the resulting wedding registry screencast, although there is certainly room for improvement. CamStudio unfortunately doesn’t let you set the look and feel of the playback controls, so they feel a bit out of place. When I get time, I might also split the screencast into two – one from the bridal couple’s perspective, and one from a guest’s perspective.

YourWeddingPresents.com (wedding registry site) now live!

I’m really pleased to announce that YourWeddingPresents.com (a free, independent, wedding registry site) is now live!

When my sister was getting married, she had a lot of trouble finding a good free wedding registry that was not tied to any particular shop. I developed the wedding registry site to fill this gap, and also to improve my web programming skills. I’ve tried to design Your Wedding Presents to be really quick to sign up and easy to use. Please tell me if there are any problems with the site, or ways the site could be made better.

On the technical side, I developed Your Wedding Presents using Ruby on Rails. It is running on an Apache load-balanced Mongrel cluster and data is stored in MySQL. It is hosted on Rails Playground.

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