Things have been quiet recently here on the web-site, but there has been a lot of activity going on in the background!

From this spring there will be some some significant changes in the way that the business operates. We are moving onto a strictly part-time basis, to allow scope for other activities. The biggest impact is on the garden maintenance side of the business and other on-site visits, which will be reduced to a minimum. The other effect is that there may be lengthy periods when there is no contact cover, so from time-to-time there might be delays responding to emails.

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It has been quite a long time since there was an update to the plant database itself, so here it is – Data Release 22.

There is no program version update to go with it, the production program for Windows remains at version 1.6.1 and the mobile edition at 1.7. The downloadable install files now use Data Release 22, as will all newly supplied CD’s. The free web database, Plant Base Online, has also been updated to the same release level.

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At long last I’ve found some time to get back to some program coding! New versions of both the PBO Viewer apps for Android were uploaded to the market yesterday.

  • PBO Viewer  – 1.0.6
  • PBO Viewer Plus  – 1.0.5

These updates are to give much better scaling for a wide range of screen sizes. The original versions did not handle Android tablets at all well, but they should now display correctly on most 7″ and 10″ tablets.

( read more . . . )

You may have noticed already that some of the web pages have changed in appearance. I’m in the process of updating the site, so at the moment there is a mixture of old and revised pages.

The most noticable difference is moving to a slightly wider page view, which will hopefully make them easier to read. Nearly everyone is now using larger, higher resolution screens than when the website was first written. It makes sense to take advantage of that. There are a number of other changes that are not really visible, but improve load speed and efficency.

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As you may have noticed – there has not been much happening here during the last few months!  In fact there has been lots of other garden related activity going on, but this has left very little time for Plant Base program development. The current tricky financial conditions mean that priority must be given to short term needs. Though the coding work might slow down, at least the business is secure as it doesn’t owe anything to anyone!

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After many, many hours of coding from last autumn throughout the winter, the new Plant Base progam is finally at a stage where it can be used for some serious testing.

Obviously individual sections have been tested during development, but that doesn’t give an overall view. So I have now started to use the new program to manage updates on the real full scale database. This is a converted copy of the live “master” database and the intention is to take it forward as new master (subject to extensive checking, naturally!). So in effect, all new and updated plant data and pictures are now being enter with Plant Base 2.

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The daffodils are flowering, the birds are twittering – we decided to have a spring sale on the registration price of Plant Base.

Just for a while, the price of an emailed registration code has been dropped to just 25 GBP, which is the I think is lowest standard price ever. We hope this will generate some cash flow that can go towards current development costs.

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