New Website Launch

New website at groupfitness.ogFinally I have finished the design of the new site layout for groupfitness.org! It has had a complete overhaul, and it is now a complete website with the forum integrated. This is project I have wanted to complete for years, but only now has it become possible.

We have organised the design of this site to make it possible to deliver to you new and interesting information about the group fitness industry. We will target this information for not just participants looking for information about exercise, but also for Group Fitness Managers and Club Managers around the world. This will include articles on things like:

  • How to become a better instructor?
  • Designing a group fitness timetable for your club
  • Exercise techniques

We are currently working on bringing you online shopping, with fitness products and Les Mills gear.
Ultimately we will be fully integrating Totally Les Mills into this new website and we are currently working on a new tracklist design with new exciting features.

I really want to thank a person who has gone by largely unrecognised for his contribution into the site……..my husband, Alexander. It is Alexander who motivated me and inspired me and at times when I had problems I couldn’t solve he helped me solve them. He had a very major input into the design of the logo and the overall design of the site. Basically, I put forth suggestions and he approved/disapproved them. I guess he’s my design manager…..lol. 🙂

optical communicationCheck out the new design, courtesy of Mel and Alexander 🙂

my first php script – dynamically rotating images

I’m proud of myself yesterday afternoon I wrote my first ever tiny php script. I’ve done lots of editing of php, since all the forum software and CMS’s use php, and I’ve become familiar with the syntax. However at university I learn Java and the entire course was entirely object oriented……so I struggled to get my head around a non object oriented language.

Anyway, I’ve given it a break for a while, but yesterday (with the help of Alexander who is on holidays at the moment) I returned to finishing off the new site I’ve been working on for groupfitness.org, and Alexander and I were discussing a dynamic image display (like a rotating banner, but not precisely a “banner” for our project). I’m sure it’s easy enough to find thousands of php scripts online that do just the job, but just as I was about to google for one, I said to Alexander “you know what? I should see if I can try and write one myself.” When I said that I didn’t honestly believe I could get a working banner, but Alex had done a similar little task once while trying to learn php and he’s kept telling me I should try and do the same and learn more php this way.

So, I tried it. Started off with a variable, a random number generator and wrote a simple script first that had some details hard coded. With some suggestions from Alex and not much editing, we got it to work! The idea is, that for each random image will display an image with a custom “alt” tag for each image plus a link to a website.

I ended up with this:

<?php

/* first integer is minimum and must not be changed. Second integer is number of images – 1 (ie. the size of the array) */
$random_number = rand (0 , 9);
$width = ‘156’; /*width of the images */

/* Array number must match image number image(n).jpg, ie. image0.jpg */
$image[0] = array (‘http://www.groupfitness.org’, ‘groupfitness website’);
$image[1] = array (‘#’, ‘1’);
$image[2] = array (‘#’, ‘2’);
$image[3] = array (‘#’, ‘3’);
$image[4] = array (‘#’, ‘4’);
$image[5] = array (‘#’, ‘5’);
$image[6] = array (‘#’, ‘6’);
$image[7] = array (‘#’, ‘7’);
$image[8] = array (‘#’, ‘8’);
$image[9] = array (‘#’, ‘9’);

echo ‘<a href=”‘ . $image[$random_number][0] . ‘” target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ width=”‘ . $width . ‘” src=”images/image’ . $random_number . ‘.jpg” alt=”‘ . $image[$random_number][1] . ‘” /></a>’;

?>

Now I’ve set up an array of different images. The one draw back is that everytime we add an image, we have to change the size of the random number generator and add the url and alt tag info, but it’s a simple script that will serve our purpose, and I’m really proud I wrote it myself! 🙂

I have wondered though about the two different methods I’ve used instantiating a multidimensional array. Personally I think that writing:

$image[0] = array (‘http://www.groupfitness.org’, ‘groupfitness website’);

should be identical to:

$image[0][0] = ‘http://www.groupfitness.org’;
$image[0][1] = ‘groupfitness website’;

However I’m not sure if the way I have instantiated the variable means that I have created an array, sitting inside an array, which creates the same output but could create extra overhead. Probably not applicable in such a small script as this one, but it’s just got me wondering.

I don’t know the answer, but I’m inclined to think that the way I have done it accesses the array memory space in the same way as the second example, but it’s difficult to find out the answer for sure! If there’s any php guru’s out there I’d love to know the answer to this one!

Feeling a bit more positive

I’ve had some great replies on the below topic on the post I made on the forum, and people have given some really great advice. I was a PT so I know what I need to do to get myself back into shape again. The only thing is, that even Personal Trainers need a Personal Trainer. The knowledge is there, but not necessarily the motivation. A PT’s job is to extract from you the things you can’t do by yourself (otherwise PT’s wouldn’t have a job!).

So, if I could I think I would get myself a PT right now, however Personal Training isn’t something that really exists here in The Netherlands…….or at least Apeldoorn. So I will have to attempt to work through it myself.

One of the things I would like to start with is maintaining my blog with much more Les Mills topics again, writing about the latest releases etc. Maybe I can help get my passion back by focusing again on the things I used to love. 🙂

I have started with updating totallylesmills.com with the latest tracklists for the upcoming releases. I still get emails all the time through that site for updates on the tracklists and information. Eventually I will be rebuilding the design of that site to make it more user friendly and also use a database that will make it easier for me to maintain!

Site fixed

Just a few days ago we upgraded the database of my websites to a virtual private server to try and cope with some of the speed issues. This transfer “should” go without a hitch however it appeared that something corrupted the database for groupfitness.org just after this transfer.

And after pouring over mysql documentation, learning how to log into the database through a telnet session, discovering I couldn’t fix the tables via the telnet session, then finding the sql command for ‘REPAIR TABLE tablename’, THEN finally I individually typed the command for each table that was corrupted……

 

Only after I did all that I discovered this in GUI of myphpadmin:

  Database GUI

Fixed blog – Reported Attack Site

I’ve had a few reports of people saying this blog has been reported as an atttack site and that anti-viruses show a trojan when browsing this page. I’m not 100% sure what has happened, but I can only assumed that the WordPress blog software has been compromised somehow.

So, what I have done is downloaded the latest version of wordpress and upgraded to it from both my blogs, completely replacing the previous installations of the software. Hopefully this should solve any problems.

For now the site will still display as a “Reported Attack Site” within Firefox, but I have requested a review and hopefully this will be cleared up soon.

Facebook users

For those who are on Facebook, I have opened a new group called “Group Fitness” as support for this forum.

Since so many people use Facebook, I thought it would be a great way of keeping you all updated with what’s happening on my websites.

Group Fitness Facebook Group

Share the love of Les Mills!

Quieter day

I rested for quite a bit of the day today as this cold seems to have gotten worse and it’s really taken it out of me. I’d have spurts of energy that would only last barely an hour but yet haven’t been able to sleep well though. I think I’m mainly over the jetlag, but I guess I just feel really run down now.

The Christmas tree we bought was down in the storage room (as recommended by the garden centre – the tree has come from freezing temps, so they say to store it overnight first so it can adjust gradually to the warm) and so Alex prepared the tree by cutting off the base etc, while I tried to snooze. Later we decorated the tree together which is again another European tradition.

Decorating the Christmas Tree

In the afternoon we went to Alex’s work and he showed me around. There was some kids play on which we saw a bit of which obviously I couldn’t understand a single word of. I got pretty tired and exhausted after walking around for a bit, so we went home again where I surrendered to the couch while Alex prepared the spaghetti that I was going to make for him……..I gave him instructions while I laid in a coma, haha.

Still, despite feeling so unwell I still got myself together for combat in the evening. There’s only 1 combat class at the gym so I couldn’t miss that! Thankfully Alex drove me to the gym though instead of riding the bike in the cold. The combat class was great, although I struggled and felt myself pretty out of breath. Still, I was determined to give it a go and I have to say that following combat in another language was even harder than following balance. Although I was really lucky I remember most of the chorrey, although the warmup was lost on me. It was the warmup from BC31, so not from long ago but I just didn’t remember it. It was quite amusing at one point during track 4 (Listen to the Bagpipes) the instructor must have cued everyone to stop but of course without understanding the language I kept going as per the chorrey. Alex also did the chorrey, but the instructor had made a mistake. The instructor stopped, the entire class stopped, we were doing the knees and everyone looked at us, the instructor looked us……then we looked at each other and stopped. It was quite funny! Normally I would follow instructors despite whether it’s a mistake or not, however doing combat in dutch brings a whole knew meaning to “precueing”for me! 😆

Anyway, need to rest up and get a good sleep as we’re heading off to Germany tomorrow for a Christmas thingy. So I get to go into another country, yeehaa. Another “travel location” I can add to my Facebook 🙂

backup

So as you can see I’ve mainly got my blog back up and running, and I even found I was lucky enough to have a backup (which has my images) that I did back in June 07. So that means I’ve only got a few months worth of images I need to reupload on the forum (which means editing each post).

That’s not too bad, much better than having to do the whole lot!

People are probably asking, why is someone with an IT degree not backing up more often? One word -> dialup. It gets quite painful uploading and downloading as it is, without having to do entire backups of my sites.

I know I know, I should do it more often………so far I’ve been lucky. At least my host keeps backups of the database, that’s awesome and has got me out of trouble!

oh dear

bloody hell, I broke my blog.

Yep, I deleted wordpress……..the software that runs this site.

damn, well at least I can restall it and the database is still intact. However, I’m going to have problems with the photos, and I’ll probably have to reupload the entire lot, manually, one-by-one.

Ouch

Operation M.U.S.I.C.

Fitness centres that play music for group exercise classes face massive increases to copyright licence fees from the PPCA, a move that threatens the future of group exercise. The original proposed copyright price increases were in excess of 3000% more (yes, three thousand percent) than the current rate of 94c per class.This is clearly not acceptable or affordable for the fitness industry and we need your support to fight it!

To help with raising money for this cause, I am going to auction 3 tops donated to me by Les Mills International. A female T-shirt, a male T-shirt and a jacket…..all signed by Dan & Rach, the BODYCOMBAT program directors. 100% of the proceeds will go straight to Operation M.U.S.I.C. I will upload piccies soon.

I just received these in the post today, so next I’ll be sorting out the auction method, either manually or via auction software. If anyone has any recommendations on the best way of running this auction let me know! I’ll run the auction from either www.totallylesmills.com or www.groupfitness.org

Extra special thanks to LMI and Dan & Rach for helping me support this.

Going to Auckland

well not only am I going to Auckland, but I figured this was an appropriate time to work on my “Going to Auckland” section on totallylesmills. So today being ANZAC day and all left me with a bit of spare time to recall my previous trip.

The main crux of it is there and now my only other little 2 projects are to work on “accomodation” and “places to eat”. Those will be coming next, but there’s a little more work involved there. This next trip next week will give me an extra opportunity to remember everything that’s needed to know about going to the Les Mills filmings.

I’m a little bit nervous now though because for some reason I’ve seriously aggravated my back. I haven’t had problems this bad in years, but I’m struggling to move around or pick things up at the moment. Let’s just hope it clears up after a couple of days cuz this could end up being REALLY bad timing. All I did to aggravate it was get up out of a chair…..pffft. I somehow just turned the wrong way and ……wham…….now I can’t stand up straight. Nurofen Plus is my friend….

Hotlinking

While having a bit of a browse through the statistics for my websites I happened to noticed some referrals coming from other sites. After some browsing I noticed that there was at least one site that has hotlinked to my piccies on my server for totallylesmills.

This is one of my pet hates. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t pretend to own the copyright to the images or anything, but hotlinking is stealing MY bandwidth. For those who aren’t sure what hotlinking is, let me explain. When we create a website using your own host, such as I have here and with all my other sites, I pay for server space and I get allocated a certain amount of bandwidth (downloads). If someone was to download a picture and then upload it to their own site, then so be it. However hotlinking refers to actually linking to and displaying the image while it’s still hosted on my server. What this means is that when someone browses that page it uses the bandwidth on my server, without me ever getting credit for my site.

Now I actually have tons of bandwidth, but that’s not the point. Hotlinking is considered incredibly rude.

So what I have done is created a .htaccess file, restricting the access to my images, meaning you can hotlink no more. Like I said……it’s just one of my little pet hates. So I like to educate people on good netiquette and to NEVER HOTLINK!

There, I feel better now 😉

New sections on totallylesmills.com & groupfitness.org

I’ve started developing a new section on totallylesmills.com called “Going to Auckland” for those who wish to make the trip to a Les Mills filming.

I’ve been holding on to the idea for quite a while, but I’ve now made a progressive start since the idea was just “waiting” in my head.

Hopefully this will be as useful to the public as is the rest of the site!

 

Meanwhile, I’ve opened up a new downloads section for paying members of groupfitness.org to download marketing materials and ideas for their own group fitness classes. The materials are all my own original materials. As a graphic designer in a previous life, I thought I’d make this stuff for my own classes and meanwhile I figured it was a great idea to share them to paying groupfitness.org members.

Any suggestions and requests for marketing ideas please feel free to email me. Because I’m trying to limit spam I don’t want to publish my email address here, so for now please use the email form at totallylesmills. Or you might want to leave a comment here. 😉

Spam Captcha!

I’ve installed a “captcha” on comments now, cuz I’m getting fed up with the number of spam robots posting floods of spam on the comments. They have to be approved by me anyway, but the volume is getting a bit much to deal with, grrrr.

So I hope you all don’t mind, but you now have to enter a visual code in when writing comments.

I promise, it’s better than viagra……..really….

Launches today

Today we had our six-in-one launches where we do 30 mins of each program. I’m starting to wonder whether I’ve made a
bad decision taking on a 4th program cuz it’s been a bit tough learning all the chorrey, and we weren’t even launching whole releases? I’m hoping that it’s just the pressure of my new job as PT aswell and maybe I can manage 4 programs over time? At least it ran pretty smoothly and we managed to keep to time, but I felt like trash in attack.

I really ballsed that one up but the rest were ok.

I started off with pump for which I was on my own so I did tracks 1-4 which went well. James and Thuy did Step next which I participated in, which I’m now regreting because I should have spent the time going over my chorrey….oh well.

Next was attack, I did tracks 2 and 3 and James did 4, 6, 9. I dunno why but I just keep messing up track 3……it didn’t feel very nice today.

Combat went well. I didn’t think I quite had the chorrey well enough, but I pretty much nailed it except I did one too many reps in track 2 which no one would have noticed except that Jo started doing something different 😉 That’s one thing newbie instructors take a while to get the hang of, going with whatever the instructor cues despite if it’s wrong or not…..but they’ll get there! 😉 I took tracks 1, 2 and 8 while Jo did 3 and 7. WE ROCK!

I participated in about 15 mins of Jam with Marlisa before leaving so I could go over my balance tracks again. I’m glad I did that cuz it really made the difference I think. I took 2 and 3 and Marlisa did 5, 6 and 9 and we had agreed to go over time for the last 5 mins so we could do a Meditation/Relaxation for those who chose to stay. Most did so that was great.

Although most of it went well, the stress got to me a bit and attack really rattled me so it put me in a bit of a tense mood this afternoon. But that was ok, since I sat at Natty’s house and played on her playstation all afternoon……….when I probably should have been getting some stuff done, but hey……gotta have downtime sometime!

Now that I’ve come home though I arrive to find that my websites are down because there’s emergency maintainence on my webhosts datacentre (or am I supposed to call it “datacenter” cuz it’s American? 😉 ). So I’m currently typing this blog entry in notepad so I can upload it later 😉