"Down at the D.O." — The Digital Orchard's Blog

Company announcements, industry news and other relevant information
that we find interesting and hope that you do, too!

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For Us, It's More Than "Just Business"

You've heard the saying "It's Just Business", but for us here at The Digital Orchard, we believe that true success comes from caring about how that business is done, and that takes presedence over everything else.Earlier this week, one of the companies that we've used for many years to help run our business, Code Spaces, had their business hacked. They lost all data backups and several of their key systems. Even though they were using the highly-respected infrastructure provided by...

Free Website Hosting for Builders, Architects, Contractors on Vancouver Island

Are you an architect, contractor or builder? Looking for more exposure on the internet? You can get ONE YEAR of free website hosting in two easy steps. The Digital Orchard is providing this exclusive offer to all professionals in the building industry on Vancouver Island.Two steps:Sign up for a free Building Links Trial (link). No obligation. No cost.Contact The Digital Orchard using our contact form. When you receive our response, simply reply with your logo and contact info.That's it! We'll...

Making Websites and Databases Faster

Websites that Drink from the Fountain of YouthHere at The Digital Orchard, ensuring that the websites and business databases that we build perform extremely well is one of our main priorities. All of our websites and databases are built on a high-performance platform that is constantly being scrutinized, tested and optimized for the absolute best performance possible. Essentially, this ongoing process helps the websites and databases become rejuvenated and stay healthy over time. This is contrary to many hosting environments...

PHP: Optimized version of is_numeric(), is_integer()

Here's a small tip about how to optimize the performance of the is_numeric() and is_integer() functions by not using them at all.For a given variable, $x = '1234', if you want to know if it is a number, the following code is 3 to 4 times faster than using the above functions.if ($x == '0'.$x) { ... }By simply prepending a string zero onto the front and then doing an equality check, you can immediately differentiate between numbers and non-numbers....

Email Contact Management Made Easy

The Digital Orchard specializes in building elegant, easy-to-use and reliable database and software solutions for our clients. One common task that spans many software applications is contact management, and one use for maintaining a list of contacts is for sending emails. Whether they be marketing emails or newsletters or something else, your business or organization relies on email communication on a day-to-day basis. Here at The Digital Orchard, we have developed our software platform to make the task of managing...

Small Investments, Big Returns!

The Digital Orchard is seeking micro-investments in order to move forward with several of our software projects and services. Rather than seeking a few large high-risk investments, we want to spread the love around. Invest $50 to $500 and be paid back with a healthy return after certain goals are reached.These micro-investments will be held in trust and will not be used directly by the company to cover operating expenses.Put your money to work for you! Think of it as...

Spring 2014 Promotion for Vancouver Businesses

Stop pulling your hair out. Have a database custom-built for your Vancouver business today that will make it run more efficiently. Sleep at night knowing that your data is safe and just a few clicks away at any time.For just one simple payment of $100 per month — no strings attached, no long-term commitment — we will build the database that improves your business productivity. Cancel at any time, but we know you won't want to. You'll be extremely impressed...

A Workaround for Safari's Aggressive Password AutoFill

Safari 7 is far too aggresive, virtually ignoring the autocomplete="off" directive added to form and input elements. Its predecessor had a preference that controlled this behavior. Why Apple decided to remove that preference and always AutoFill is beyond me, and became very frustrating when developing web applications that contained password fields. My personal login username and password for the site would override the value in these form fields. I'm okay with having to toggle AutoFill on and off as needed,...

New Volunteer Database for Islands Folk Festival

The Digital Orchard is proud to have been given the opportunity to work with the Cowichan Folk Guild and build a brand new Volunteer Database for their annual Islands Folk Festival. This new database replaces a former database that the owner of The Digital Orchard, Ted Wood, first built for the Festival back in 2000. We were amazed to learn that they've continued using this original database over the past 13 years! It was time to upgrade them to the...

VancouverEastVillage - Supporting Local Small Business

The Digital Orchard is proud to be working closely with VancouverEastVillage.ca, a showcase of small businesses in the East Village / Hastings Sunrise region of Vancouver. Together, we will help to foster growth of small businesses in this beautiful and unique community.VancouverEastVillage was founded with the goal of promoting the unique and diverse range of businesses for groceries, household supplies, entertainment and dining services, among others. Through the venues of an easy-to-browse website and social media blasts, VEV, as it...

The Digital Orchard to Launch in the Philippines

The Digital Orchard is excited to extend our business to the Philippines. Over the past several years, the owner, Ted Wood, has formed close bonds with many Filipinos here in Canada and around the world, and has come to learn about and appreciate the wonderful culture and uniqueness of the peoples of the Philippines. Ted has also learned of the ongoing struggles that many people in the Philippines face on a daily basis and feels that one way to help...

System Events Now in Full Deployment

Over the past week and a half, I've successfully upgraded the three servers that I'm managing which run xAppOS-based websites. Progressively, I've been updating each website to activate the new System Events architecture, and the roll-out has gone reasonably smoothly.As with any new software feature or functionality, there's a certain number of bugs and coding challenges that can only be seen when running the code in a live (production) environment. Real-world testing is still a necessary evil. Here we are...

Giving Your Website a Heartbeat

Today marks the first day when a new feature of xAppOS goes live on several websites. It is a feature that has been in development for several months and finally reached a state deemed stable enough for being let out in the wild. This system is an Event+Action system where actions can be run by triggering events. This system solves a challenge that has been becoming more and more apparent as the xAppOS platform grows and matures. A growing portion...

The World's Smallest Macintosh

A 1/3 scale Macintosh....

Custom Database Development

The Digital Orchard has been providing all-encompassing website design, development, hosting and maintenance services for our clients for many years. We still believe that our all-in-one approach brings tremendous value to our customers, and we will continue to provide these services. However, the landscape for designing and building websites is changing, and we're changing with it. In contrast to when we started, there's now several options available to consumers at lower price points than what we can offer, or even...

Calling all Home Builders, Architects, Plumbers, Roofers, Architects, etc. on Vancouver Island

During 2013, the Digital Orchard is pleased to offer a special promotional package for any business in the construction industry on Vancouver Island. If the business signs up for a Building Links subscription or a 1stView Business Directory listing, professional website hosting will be provided for the company's website at no cost during the same period of time. This offer is available to all builders, roofers, plumbers, windows installers, landscaping specialists, siding professionals, architects, home designers, and any other professional...

MyBlog - Our Blogging Software, Substitutions Feature Added

MyBlog is the name of our Blog software for the xAppOS web framework. It provides an easy way for our clients to maintain a blog, filled with rich content and syndication in a variety of ways - email subscriptions, RSS, ping services, Ping.fm, and so on.The most recent update to MyBlog added the support for what we call Substitutions. This is a feature that enables the blog author to define content they want to include into a number of blog...

xAppOS - What is it? Overview and History

xAppOS - the magic behind our sites.For the past several years, we (The Digital Orchard) have been developing a website framework that forms the foundation on which we build most of our clients' websites. This framework has evolved through several versions and architectures to become what it is today. There's many web frameworks available, each bringing their own strengths to the table. Some are full-featured self-contained packages, such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, and others aim to be really good...

Steve Jobs and NeXT

Here is a great video that perfectly summarizes the genius and leadership of my inspiration - Steve Jobs. ...

Sometimes they took the air from the room...

It's been nearly a month since Steve's passing and I'm still deeply moved by it. It has led me to discover just how profoundly Steve and his beloved company, Apple, has affected my life and inspired who I am. Twenty years ago, I remember gleaning over the beauty of Apple's product manuals. I would read them cover-to-cover, studying every detail. Steve wasn't at Apple twenty years ago, but the attention to detail was instilled in the company when he founded...

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