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Change History

This page summarises all the significant changes made to this website with the exception of minor tweaks and additions to the visitor book and links pages.

You can received automatic notification of changes to this website by subscribing to the RSS feed using your favourite RSS Reader or Aggregator. Just click on the RSS feed button that appears on the menu bar above.

Read about the changes that occurred to this website in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, between 2000 and 2004 and the launch in 1999.

2016

  • So far 2016 has been a repeat of 2014 and 2015 with no time to freshen the content on this site. Nor have I had the time to carry out my Skye webcam expansion project. One day...

2014 and 2015

  • I've been so busy with my day job that little or no work has been done on this website. So many plans but no time. Sorry.

2013

  • 22nd Apr I have added a new page dedicated to the Elgol and Torrin Historical Society. This page includes over 70 photographs and postcards from their extensive collection.

  • 10th Mar Four new cards have been added to the postcard gallery.

  • 28th Jan Fellow geeks may be interested to know that the webcam image updates on this site are now managed entirely by a £25 Raspberry Pi. This cute little computer (yes I am geeky) has replaced a Windows server that had carried out this task since 2006, faultlessly processing around 1.8 million images.

  • 1st Jan The size of the webcam images have increased by over 300%... Okay, I've been watching too many Apple product launches because whilst such a sweeping statement is borderline justifiable, it plays with your expectations. The dimensions of the webcam images have been increased to just under twice the size that they were previously and now make the best use of the resolution available from the webcams (i.e. increased from 352x288 to 640x480 pixels).

    The downside is that increase also exposes the softness of some of the images and dirty lenses that cannot be corrected by sharpening. Increasing the webcam image size is one of those things that have been sitting on a wish-list for some time but a serious lack of free time during 2011 and 2012 prevented me from making a dent in this list. The impetus to do this finally came in early December following a conversation with Paul Telco that coincided with a Christmas break. Thanks Paul.

    I've also seized the opportunity to make some minor refinements to the content and layout.

2012

  • 6th Oct Four new postcards have been added to the postcard gallery. My apologies for the lack of web site updates during this year but my day job has dominated most of my waking and unconscious hours.

  • 20th May I've updated this site to comply with the European Privacy legislation governing the use of cookies that comes in to effect on 26th May 2012. You can read more on this and how I use cookies on the Terms and Conditions page here.

2011

  • 18th Dec I've added eight new photographs to the Gallery, another three throughout the site and updated two others with newer images. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to find them.

  • 5th Dec I've added two further 'then and now' sequences for Cill Chriosd Church and a pair of Torrin barns.

  • 4th Dec I've added a new 'then and now' sequence of Torrin Public School. There is more of these to come from a recent trip to Skye.

  • 23rd Oct Added support for Apple Safari Reader. This complements the iPhone and iPod Touch mobile theme added last year. The Safari Reader is particularly useful on iPhones running iOS 5 as it makes the longer pages found on this site easier to read on a small screen.

  • 25th May I am really busy with my day job so this is the first update in four months. The update is necessary to correct the embarrassing omission of a word on the home page, a word that has been missing for the past 12 years! My thanks to eagle-eyed Colin Rose.

  • 23rd January I've added a new page on west coast photographer and author M.E.M. Donaldson.

  • 16th January Some minor CSS changes to maintain compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

2010

  • 10th October Three changes; Firstly I've added a couple of new postcards. Secondly the RSS feed address has changed to work with some older Readers that expect a .xml file extension. Finally I've made some significant technical changes to support some new features that I have in mind. Let me know if I have broken anything using the "any comments" link below.

  • 29th August I have made some corrections to the website on the back of information supplied by Patrick Karney and Gordon Bushnell.

    Patrick corrected me on the original owners of the current Torrin quarry. He worked on the project from 1965 to 1969 and confirms that it was opened by William Robertson Shipowners and not William Thomson Forsyth as I had originally stated.

    Gordon supplied some information on Torrin shops. As a consequence I have changed the approximate date of closure of "Torrin Stores" to the 1940s (not 1960s) and updated the text on the Blue Shed Café to reflect the current owners.

  • 1st August Another day of updates off the back of my Skye holiday with 26 new images added to the gallery page, four additional header images plus some images refreshed throughout the site. It is interesting to contrast the photographs taken in winter with those taken in the last two weeks. Everything looks so green. I much prefer autumn/winter look though. What about you?
  • 31st July I am just back from my first summer trip to Skye in over 10 years. It rained on 10 out of the 12 days that I was there, including on St. Swithin's Day.. I have brought back some rain-free photographs for posting on this site over the next week. Lots of greenery that will contrast nicely with the brownery(!) and snow that permeates the current images. The first batch of 12 have been added to the gallery of 24 images that appear randomly at the top of each page of this site. You can see all 36 of these images on the newly created header image gallery page.
  • 20th June My day job means that I have once again been paying far less attention to the website than I would like. I have spent a couple of hours today working on some boring but essential technical stuff (primarily enhanced XHTML 1.1. compliance since you didn't ask :-). I've hopefully not broken anything. Please let me know if I have.
  • 14th March The latest webcam to be added to this site is located at "Moeraki" holiday home in Harrapool by Broadford. The webcam looks out over Broadford Bay to the Crowlin Islands, Applecross peninsula and Loch Kishorn. The feed is courtesy of Jenny Till. Thank-you Jenny.
  • 21st February A year ago I started taking photographs to create a "then and now" feature, comparing some of the scenes shown in the postcard gallery with how the scene appears today. I have finally published the first "then and now" scene with many more to follow when I have some more free time.
  • 13th February I've created a mobile version of this website for iPhone and iPod Touch visitors. By default the iPhone will display the mobile themed site which is a lighter weight version of the full site that has been designed to be easier to read and navigate on a smaller screen. Visitors can turn the mobile theme on and off by flicking the appropriately labeled switch at the bottom of each page. Note this switch only appears if you are running on an iPhone or iPod Touch. Support for other mobile 'phones may follow if there is sufficient demand.
  • 31st January Another day, another four webcams added to the site! Too many to name but you will find them all on the webcams page. The feeds are once again supplied by Tim Macpherson of Glenelg Holiday Cottages. Thank-you once more Tim.
  • 30th January A couple of enhancements have been carried out to the webcam pages. The webcams page now includes a preview from each of the past five days. Whilst it has always been possible to view any of the past 30 days on the webcam archive pages, including as time-lapse sequences, surprising few people made use of this intriguing feature. By giving this more prominence I hope that this will change.

    On the webcam archive pages I have added a new and useful "play entire day" button along side the pre-existing "play from selected time" button.

    Finally I've made a number of technical changes behind the scenes that has resulted in most of the pages on the site being updated. If you encounter any problems or have any feedback - good, bad or indifferent - please click on the "any comments" link at the bottom of any pages or contact me.

  • 28th January The third new webcam in little over a month! The view from the new Loch Duich webcam towards Eilean Donan Castle will be instantly recognisable to anyone who has travelled on the A87 main road to Kyle of Lochalsh. The webcam and feed is courtesy of Tim Macpherson of Glenelg Holiday Cottages. Thank-you Tim.
  • 25th January The second of the two new webcams at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is up and running. This webcam looks out across the Sound to Sleat towards the Knoydart peninsula. Once again my thanks to Caoimhín and Dòmhnall.
  • 23rd January The popular time-lapse sequence of a day in the life of Blaven - originally recorded in 2002 - has been replaced by a higher quality time-lapse sequence shot earlier this year. I recorded 24 new sequences over a period of 24 days and all but three days proved unusable. Not for any technical reasons but because the clear blue skies and lack of clouds on 21 of the days do not make for particularly interesting viewing.
  • 17th January Following my annual Christmas pilgrimage to Skye plus lots of unseasonal snow and blue skies, I've added 13 new photographs to the Gallery page. Another four recent images have been added or updated elsewhere on the site. I should come up with a way to identify new images plus some additional content changes that I've made but that will just spoil your fun in spotting them! More to follow.
  • 16th January A RSS feed has been added. Also note the appearance of the RSS feed button on the menu bar. Subscribe to this feed using your favourite RSS Reader or Aggregator and you'll automatically receive notification of any significant news or changes to this website. Fred Riley from Nottingham suggested the addition of this useful feature. Thank-you Fred.
  • 12th January The installation of power and network cabling has allowed the first of the two new webcams at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig to be moved to nearer its final home in the roof space of the main college building. Click here to see the new view. The intrusion of the roof is temporary until both webcams are fixed in place. Thanks again to Caoimhín and Dòmhnall.

2009

  • 14th December Those nice people at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig have the first webcam up and running here. The webcam is temporarily located in the college library but will be relocated before the end of February to a more permanent location, without window reflections! My thanks to Caoimhín Donnaíle and Dòmhnall Dòmhnallach for their on-going efforts.
  • 11th December Some website changes have been made in preparation for two new webcams that I am donating shortly to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. One of these will replace the failed BBC webcam that has for the past 10 years delivered some stunning images of the Sound of Sleat.
  • 12th September This website is ten years old today. Happy Birthday!
  • 28th June My first free time in over three months. Fortunately the new site has proven to be reliable so I've concentrated today on correcting the embarrassing typos that escaped on to the site. I have also added five new pictures to the gallery, removed references to the defunct Skye Music Festival and Royal Mail Postbus service and added a new section on flying to Skye. Work on the weather page is still outstanding plus there is still much to do on refreshing and updating the content.
  • 24th March The migration and re-write of the webcams archive page and back-end server processing is complete. In response to a couple of requests I've increased the archiving period from five days to thirty days. As a consequence, for the next couple of weeks the oldest days will not contain any images until the archive fills up. Now only the weather page remains outstanding with one weekend to go! During April, with the migration to the new site complete, I'll start on the long overdue task of re-writing and refreshing the words.
  • 15th March First week of the new site! I've spent this weekend clearing tasks on the "to do" list. Only two more pages to finish and they are the most problematic; the webcams archive page and the weather page. Both require a significant amount of work re-writing server side VBscript to C#. Two weekends left in the month, two pages to go.
  • 11th March Added a further nine picture postcards held back until the migration to the new site was (largely) complete. The postcards page has been re-worked to include a gallery of thumbnails eliminated six extra pages.
Click to enlarge

8th March www.blaven.com is given an extensive makeover the second time in ten years.

Visually the entire site has been overhauled with a new look, new and re-arranged content and lots of new and updated photographs.

Technically the HTML has been upgraded from XHTML v1.0 to XHTML v1.1 and CSS2. The classic ASP of the previous site is replaced by ASP.net with all server side code re-written in C#.

The rebranding has taken four months working late in to the evening and weekends and is 99% complete. The rough edges will be tidied up before the end of March but if you spot anything obviously wrong please contact me.

2008

  • 1st June In the past couple of months the number of spambot postings via the comments, contact and visitor book forms have risen dramatically with, on any given day, over 100 postings being made. To counteract this the forms on this site now require an additional Captcha-style verification step to determine whether the poster is a real person or a spambot.
  • 31st May Most pages on the site can now be bookmarked on popular social sites including del.ic.ous, digg, google and stumbleupon, using the bookmark button at the end of each page.

2007

  • 4th November Added a fifth page of old picture postcards of Blaven, Torrin and the surrounding area.
  • 10th June Added a new Gallery page containing an assortment of photographs of Blaven, Torrin, Broadford, Skye and beyond.
  • 9th June Revisions to the weather page.
  • 2nd April Multiple revisions to the Skye Links pages ahead of the 2007 holiday season.
  • 14th February Borve webcam closed after six short months of operation. Many thanks to Johnathan Bowker for hosting the webcam during this period.

2006

  • 9th December Corrected the list of John Muir Trust founders on the Torrin page. Sorry.
  • 5th November Added moon phases to the weather page.
  • 3rd November New page added to visitor book.
  • 8th October JavaScript changes to the weather and webcam pages to improve compatibility with the increasingly popular Firefox web browser. Minor content updates and new postcard added. New page added on Kyle Pharmacist and photographer Duncan Macpherson.
  • 21st September Added a couple of new black and white postcards.
  • 17th September Various changes in preparation for the new Borve webcam.
  • 14th May Added a fourth page of postcards plus two new black and white cards.
  • 2nd April Added a short section on the abandoned village of Keppoch. Photograph to follow.
  • 1st April Added a further four black and white postcards plus an additional two colour postcards.
  • 18th March Added four more postcards, splitting the lengthy single page in to three separate pages. Additional updates to the Skye Links page.
  • 12th March Added a new page containing images of old picture postcards of Blaven, Torrin and the surrounding area.
  • 5th March I regularly receive requests from web site visitors asking to be put in touch with individuals who have signed the visitor book. I have added a new facility that allows a message to be sent indirectly to a person in the visitor book by clicking on the e graphic next to their name. To avoid abuse, messages may be reviewed by me before being passed on. The email addresses of individuals in the address book remain private. I have updated the terms and conditions to cover this new facility.
  • 19th February Added a new feature that allows landmarks in any of the main webcam images to optionally be highlighted by overlaid captions. Also added the capability to display additional information on a webcam page.
  • 13th February The comments, contact and visitor book signing forms have been re-written with integral server-side scripts. This is part of the on-going migration of the site to from PHP on Linux to the Microsoft ASP platform.
  • 12th February Minor change to the main menu, added the new more and site map pages.
  • 11th February More technical changes. Merged three webcam pages in to a single ASP page with client side JavaScript rewritten and moved server side. Also introduced new webcam time bar feature. Minor menu updates and baseline template updates to remove obsolete style sheets.
  • 5th February New "test2" webcam introduced.
  • 4th February Major technical changes during the conversion of the entire website from plain HTML to XHTML compliant ASP derived from a baseline template. This will facilitate the introduction of new and exciting features.
  • 1st February Menu bar changes to all pages, added a drop-down menu.
  • 29th January Added support for Macromedia Flash with the Firefox browser.
  • 28th January Extensive reworking of the webcams page in preparation for the introduction of new webcams. Created sub pages for each webcam that included a new five-day snapshot, archive and playback. Added the "Skye at night" section to the Skye links page.
  • 26th January Created this change history log page.

2005

Click to enlarge

1st November www.blaven.com rebranded and re-launched.

2000 to 2004

  • Website change history was not actively maintained during this period.

1999

Click to enlarge

12th September www.blaven.com website goes live. The image on the left shows how this site looked on launch day.


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