You will have noticed by now that when first visiting this website, and many others, you see some kind of notice about the use of web cookies.

If you didn’t know already, cookies are just small text files on your computer that are accessed by the web browser.  They have various uses, but as they can be used to gather information about your web activities they are now subject to the EU e-Privacy Directive regulations. In the UK this is implemented by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

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The first public Beta test version of the new Plant Base 2 program is available for download.  A lot more information and download links are on the web pages for the Beta test.

Some sections of the program are not finished yet, but with most of the main features working I thought that some users may want to to take an early look at it.  As with any Beta software, it is best to treat it with a little caution! However during many hours of testing here, recent builds have behaved well with no major issues.

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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.

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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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