REVIEW: Belkin Storage Folio with Stand for The new iPad and iPad 2

A case that had potential, but is fundamentally flawed.
★★☆☆☆

I recently upgraded my 1st generation iPad to the new new iPad (4th gen), which meant I also had to buy a new cover, as my trusty Booq Folio was no longer suitable. I decided on the Belkin Storage Folio which has a low profile snap-in design, but also features a functional pocket on the front.

Pros

The case balances being low profile and functional at the same time fairly well. The snap-in corners really do hold the iPad in securely, and protect the corners from minor bumps. Thanks to this clever design, the case doesn't cover the bezel of the iPad like many other cases, and doesn't get in the way of using the device. It also helps keep the device clean, as you can wipe the entire screen without taking it out of the case. Additionally, the small pocket on the front is perfect for keeping your charging cable, cleaning cloth and stylus with the iPad at all times.

Cons

BUT, the case has some fundamental flaws. When in the typing position the case folds back on itself and the front cover slots in to a little flap to keep it secure. The problem is the case isn't rigid enough, it started to sag after about a week. It started off at a typing angle of about 30 degrees, but started to sag at the main fold and ended up at about 20-25 degrees. This is also a problem in standing position, proving tricky to get the case standing up, and making it unstable when it finally does stand. The case also doesn't support the sleep/wake function of the new iPad, but I guess this is reflected in the cheaper price.

Summary

I got fed up with the case after 2 weeks, so I went out and bought a Belkin Trifold Folio. This features the same snap-in design, but it has a much sturdier stand and it also has sleep/wake support. It doesn't have the front pocket, which is one of the reasons I originally went for the Belkin Storage Folio, but I can live without it. Overall the Belkin Storage Folio was a bit disappointing, but being priced at £15.99 on Amazon at the time of writing, it does fall in the budget case category, so perhaps I was expecting too much.

I really like the design of the Belkin iPad cases, but if you want something you can use as a stand, I would have to recommend the Trifold Folio over the Storage Folio.

BPreplay, an Open Source Alternative to VAG Rounded

You may have noticed the sleek new font being used by Salesforce.com in the new AppExchange, and quite prominently on the Dreamforce page.

This font is called VAG Rounded, which is a commercial font originally designed for Volkswagen, and is also the typeface used on Apple keyboards!

You can buy the font online, but if you buy all 4 fonts in the family it can get a bit costly.

BGreplay is an open source font very similar to VAG Rounded which you can download free here. If you're looking for a @font-face kit you can download one over at FontSquirrel.

5 Chatter Messenger Feature Requests

The Summer '12 release of Salesforce.com saw Chatter Messenger finally made generally available. Chatter Messenger is a feature I have been watching closely ever since I heard about it. As a Salesforce.com Administrator, a real-time instant messaging platform baked right in to every Salesforce.com page, with no installation required, is a massive benefit to supporting end users on a day-to-day basis.

The Winter '13 release is right around the corner, here's a list of 5 features I would like to see make it in to future releases.

Read more...

Installing WordPress in a subdirectory, running it from the root directory

I may be completely alone in this, but I've never been a fan of installing anything straight in to the root directory on a web server. I've always opted for installing various bits of software in to their own subdirectories.

This has served me particularly well if I've needed to install several different bits of software on the same website, for example a piece of forum software to run alongside an existing CMS. Everything stays neat and tidy in its own subdirectory.

It also works really well for developing something new alongside an existing live enviroment. You can work peacefully inside the subdirectory, and even use .htaccess to restrict access to protect the innocent. When you're ready to go live, you can redirect traffic from your root directory to the subdirectory.

So I finally decided to publish my new website, and went about redirecting my root directory to the subdirectory where I had installed WordPress. I have my own method for doing this, but I decided to see what the official WordPress documentation says.

It details two main methods. The first method describes copying the index.php & .htaccess file to the root directory, tweaking the source code of the index.php file, and then changing the Site Address (URL) in Settings > General to remove the subdirectory. The subdirectory then becomes transparent to visitors, who would be able to browse the website on URLs such as http://marktyrrell.com/about.

The second method describes using a simple .htaccess file in your root directory, to redirect visitors to the subdirectory. Using this method, visitors would see the subdirectory in all URLs, you're simply redirecting anyone that lands on the root URL straight in to that subdirectory.

I opted to stick with my own method which I have been using for a long time, and works with various pieces of web software. To use this method with WordPress you first change your Site Address (URL) in Settings > General, removing the subdirectory to show something like http://marktyrrell.com. Ignore the error message you get after clicking save. You now create the following .htaccess file in your root directory (obviously modifying it to your domain and directory).

.htaccess
# Turn on rewrites.
RewriteEngine on

# Don't apply to URLs that go to existing files or folders.
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

# Only apply to URLs that aren't already under /wp.
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/wp/

# Rewrite all those to insert /wp.
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /wp/$1

# Redirect the root folder.
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www.)?marktyrrell.com$
RewriteRule ^(/)?$ wp/ [L]

Importantly, clear your web browser cache and delete any cookies for the domain. After you've done this navigate to your website root directory, and you should see your WordPress installation sans the subdirectory in the URL.

I prefer this method as I wasn't too keen on copying and modifying the index.php file. If anyone knows of any potential drawbacks to my method, or why going down the modified index.php route is better, drop me a line in the comments.

Older Posts

Archives

2012
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
2011
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
2010
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec