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The personal blog of Michael Ashby

Giving “Wumbler” A Test Drive

After my post entitled WordPress Needs More Tumblr Style Templates, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I kept returning to the themes I listed over-and-over. Each time picturing what my site would look like once the theme was activated. None of them had 100% of what I wanted, but as you can no doubt tell from the site, I went with Wumblr from


My First Impressions

Actually, I’m very impressed! After un-zipping the file, I looked high and low for a .readme file, or something providing the instructions of all the plugins I’d need, custom fields, and whatever other errata in order for the theme to work properly. In actuality, all I had to do was simply upload the theme like I would any other theme.

Once uploaded, customizing the theme was a breeze. Most of the settings were in the custom sidebar and all the necessary widgets were already installed. It took me all of 5 minutes to completely customize the site. It seriously could not have been easier.

95% There

Now that the new theme is in place, I’d say I’m a about 95% there. I’m not wild about the headers for each entry and the body type. It’s not horrible, but I’d like to punch it up a bit. Of course that’s easy enough to do through CSS, it’s the other 95% that’s hard and thanks to Themify, that part is already done. πŸ™‚

In the meantime, I’ll keep playing around with the new “Post Type” feature in WP and how I can customize MarsEdit to take advantage of some of Wumblr’s additional features.

What Do You Think?

Overall, I was looking for something clean and minimal, but with a nice overall design ascetic. Other than wanting to make a couple of tweaks, I think the new theme is a nice improvement. What do you think?

WordPress Needs More Tumblr Style Templates

I’ve been thrilled beyond belief since switching to WordPress back in 2008 and I continue to be amazed with nearly every update. WordPress is truly fantastic software and it forms the base of any web project that I’m involved in because I can manage just about any type of content I need to. That being said, Tumblr keeps tempting me with it’s themes and it seems my eye isn’t the only one it’s captured.

V​i​n​t​a​g​e​ ​S​c​r​a​p​b​o​o​k

Tumblr’s built-in themes are great on their own, but then you have designers knocking it out of the park on free templates like Sean Farrell’s new theme Leatherbound, or premium themes like Vintage Scrapbook by Pixel Union and I have to admit to a bit of blog envy.

Tumblr is a simplified tool for blogging, so perhaps I’m drawn to the simplicity of the designs, but I’m having a hard time finding themes on par for WordPress. It’s not that WordPress is lacking in the themes department. ThemeForest recently announced that they now have over 1000 WordPress themes. Sifting through those 1000 designs, I see that many of the premium themes out there are focused on taking your weblog beyond the basic blog. Magazine styles and portfolio styles abound, but none of those fit my needs.

I have a simple weblog and I need a simple, but elegant template. This may explain why designers are drawn to doing Tumblr templates. The format is standardized and simple in nature and doesn’t require that you design with a framework in mind, or with the expectation that — through custom plugins and custom fields — a user will expand your work beyond the basic blog and thereby “break” your design.

Could that be it? Tumblr is easier to design for and that’s why so many designers are trying their hand at it? To test this theory and end my frustrations with my earlier searches, I Googled for “Tumblr WordPress Themes” and was surprised to find a couple of good links with decent resources.

22 Tumblr Style WordPress Themes and Microblog in WordPress with these 15+ Tumblr Style WordPress Themes both yielded some nice designs that were definitely in line with what I’ve run into for Tumblr. Below are a few my favorites:

With thousands of themes out there both in free and premium models, roughly 25 are in a “Tumblr Style”. That’s not a lot. Maybe I’m an edge case, but Tumblr is clearly capturing mindshare and I have to think that some of it is due to it’s simplicity and great looking themes.

Any Buyer’s Remorse Yet?

Today Apple unveiled new iMacs, which marks the second refresh to the line since I purchased my 27″ i7 back in January 2010. I dug through the specs, like I’ve done before, to see if there was anything compelling enough to consider upgrading.

The differences between what I have now and the new 27″ i7 are:

  • A processor that is .6 GHz faster
  • 2MB less L3 Cache
  • Upgraded video card with quadruple the RAM (2GB vs. 512MB)
  • HD FaceTime camera
  • (2) Thunderbolt connections

Last time it was easy scoff at, but I have to admit that this time has me scratching my head a bit. I even went so far as to price the value of my current machine on Gazelle (screenshot) to see how much I’d have to come up with.

$2,730.16 – New 27″ iMac w/ Tax
$1,132.00 – Current 27″ iMac
$1,598.16 – Difference

With that much of a gap, it just doesn’t seem worth it for the upgrade. The difference alone is enough for a MacBook Pro.

So do I have any buyer’s remorse? Absolutely not. I’ve had this machine for almost a year and a half and if my 2007 MacBook is any indication, I’ll be using this bad boy for many years to come.

Quickbooks Online Crashes Safari

I’ve been a QuickBooks user since I started my first company back in 1997. It’s been a love hate relationship mostly because I don’t enjoy working on the books. Recently though, QuickBooks has kicked things up a notch by drop kicking my browser when it prints more than one time.

When I switched to the Mac back in 2006 I wasn’t happy with the Mac version and so I continued to use the Windows version. In 2009-2010 I switched to Quickbooks Online because it looked like the product had become more stable and relable.

Why didn’t I get QuickBooks for Mac? Well, for starters it’s almost $200 and (from what I’ve heard) lacks many of the features found on it’s Windows counterparts. Of course QuickBooks Online charges me a monthly fee, so I suppose it’s all the same in the end.

I have looked for alternatives, trust me. I bought Cha-Ching, but they were acquired by Intuit. I signed up for Mint and they too were acquired by Intuit, but they’ve at least kept the service running. Even today, I did a search on, but I just don’t see any viable alternatives.

There are some great invoicing products out there, like FreshBooks, but I need the full accounting package, not just invoicing.

Why am I so down on QuickBooks? Because of a new little gem that happens every time I need to print more than one item. I can consistently crash QuickBooks Online meaning that my browser completely shits the bed and crashes. What special magic does it require? Simply print more than once. Don’t use Safari you say? Well, the same thing happen in Firefox and Chrome as well. It’s a pain in the ass, but at least it’s consistent.

Here’s a video that will show you how the crash works happens.

QuickBooks Online Crash Issue When Printing from Michael Ashby on Vimeo.

I posted a question in the Intuit Community [link] and was surprised that I got a response. Unfortunately, the response was to call customer support. I’ll be sure to get right on that when I have an hour to waste.

In the meantime, if anyone has any other suggestions, I’m all ears.

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