Archive for January, 2006

New release

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

We released a new version of the zoomin localsearch site today. Featuring a new power-orange colour scheme, cool indicative icons and simpler user interface.

Watch out for the next release (code-named Elephant) early next week. 🙂

Zoomin Plugin for mozilla

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

We recieved this awesome email from Matt Purvis:

<quote style=”background: #eee; display: block; padding: 1em”>
I couldn’t find a Mycroft (Mozilla and Firefox) search plugin for Zoomin so
I’ve made one for myself and thought you might be interested in offering it to
your users….

If you want to test the plugin you can install it from my (rough!) install page:

Well – I installed it and it works great – Matt’s even built us a cool little favicon – you can now search NZ addresses right from your search toolbar in firefox.

Thanks Matt! 😀

Projectx maps in the wild!

Saturday, January 21st, 2006

One of our first customers has put his own mapping interface online using Zoomin Maps.

Nz Flats allows you to view your search results in either a standard text based search – or with each point plotted on our maps embedded in their site.

It’s nice to see our maps out there getting used – 3 months from hand hitting keyboard to our first customer out there for real.

Some blog mentions

Saturday, January 21st, 2006

Zoomin has been mentioned around some New Zealand weblogs quite a bit over the previous few weeks. One of the coolest mentions was from Hitwise – where Sandra Hanchard did a neat article on us – thanks Sandra! 🙂

A new release on Zoomin

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

Just a quick note to say that we’ve released a new version of the Zoomin System.

The best bit about this release is that we’ve got lots of features in testing and ready for deployment over the next month. We’re looking forward to building a community of New Zealanders that want to share their favourite cafes, beaches and skate spots.

Building with Web 2.0

Saturday, January 7th, 2006

I meet a lot of New Zealanders – young and old – who do some web development projects on the side. I thought I’d put up a post I can point them to that serves as introduction to some of the “web 2.0” tools and concepts we use.


Ruby is an awesome programming language, Rails is a fantastic framework. Stop doing PHP / ASP now and start doing rails. Today. Now. Right now. Install it!


Use mysql or postgresql (we use pg) and get phppgadmin / phpmyadmin so that you can easily modify the database. Normalize everything you can. It makes housekeeping simple. Keep everything in a db – don’t store any data (except for BLOBS/images) outside of the DB.


Don’t use tables for layout. Don’t put any style tags into your layout either – use CSS all the way.


Use Javascript (aka AJAX) sparingly to make your site better. Don’t put in any javascript until you’ve got the site working in a non-javascript way first. Use javascript to reduce ultra-annoying round-trips to the server. Use behaviour to apply your styles.


We like the design of flickr / odeo / 43things and Digg.

The fundamentals are big fonts – minimum of layout or markup. Make your site fun to use. I play Super Mario or Donkey Kong to warm myself up to UI design – I like being reminded of all the simple rewards you get for exploring the game. Your site should be the same – reward people for using it.

Staying current

Get a bloglines account and subscribe to some blogs that discuss topics you’re interested in. Set up your own blog and post to it regularly – even if it’s just rubbish like I post to my blog – it builds up a profile of you on the net – so that potential partners / employers / etc can see that you’ve been around the block.

Join NZ2.0 and chat with the other nz entrepeneurs. And finally – bowl up to Creative HQ on a friday afternoon and come say hello.

There’s always someone around who’s keen to chat. Especially if you’ve got something live on the net to show us! 🙂

New release of Zoomin on Wednesday

Saturday, January 7th, 2006

There will be a new release of the Zoomin website on Wednesday the 11th. We’re pushing out some cool new features that will help you find and share New Zealand places with your family and friends.

We hope you’ll stop by and check it out!

Introducing Tomek and Ross

Thursday, January 5th, 2006

Zoomin has grown again.

Tomek Piatek joined us in early December. Tomek manages our development process and is rails developer #3 at Projectx. Tomek recently worked at Weta Digital (the company that does the special effects on King Kong and Lord of the Rings). We’re very happy to have him onboard!

Ross Lin joins us from the University of Otago – where he recently completed his computer science masters. Ross has significant GIS experience and will be working on making our maps better looking and more useful.

It’s going to be a full office next week. 🙂

Summer Resolutions

Monday, January 2nd, 2006

John and I decided that we need to blog more frequently in 2006.

So here we are!

Most of Projectx has taken a well-deserved fortnight off work over the christmas break – in preparation for our next feature release later this week.

In other news – If you’re interested in New Zealand’s next generation of internet companies – you should join up to NZ 2.0 – hosted by Richard McManus and Nat Torkington.

Projectx is very excited about 2006 and we hope you’ll come along for the ride!