Dave Perillo’s Disney Attraction Posters & Postcards: A Complete List

Believe it or not, some info is still difficult to find online. Whenever I get to the end of a thorny research question, no matter how trivial, I like to share what I’ve found back with the rest of the web.

Dave Perillo is one of my favorite artists right now. I collect prints/posters/whatever I’m supposed to call them. Dave did a series of posters based on Disney attractions and rides that I think capture a ton of the magic of those experiences. He’s got a semi-vintage style that I’m into, and I like that most of them include somebody on the ride itself. They encapsulate the experience of riding in a slightly abstract way, and aren’t just a well-posed picture of the attraction itself.

There’s too many of them for me to justify owning, but then I discovered 5″x7″ postcard versions! Now that’s achievable. But it was frustratingly hard to find a complete list of which posters exist. After extensive googling and browsing ExpressoBeans, here’s what I think is a complete list of all 16 prints, with release dates when I could verify them. I believe they were released in sets of 4:



  • Dumbo
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

  • Splash Mountain
  • Snow White’s Scary Adventures
  • Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Mad Tea Party (teacups)

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (2019)
  • Carousel of Progress (2019)
  • Peoplemover (2019)
  • Journey into Imagination (2019)

Here’s my collection! The bottom four are even signed.

collection of all 16 postcards

I’m disappointed that Disney chose to change the borders on the cards twice, but I still love having a complete set. Now to consider framing options.

Movies Anywhere is Great for Consumers

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In early 2014 Disney announced a surprisingly reasonable approach to their digital movie sales: Buy it once, access it on many services. “Disney Movies Anywhere” ensured that when bought one of their movies on any of iTunes, Amazon, Google, or Vudu, you also got it on the other three services at no extra charge.

Ever since then, Disney movies (including Marvel and Star Wars) are the only digital movies I’ve been willing to buy. If any one service went out of business, I knew I’d still be able to access the movies elsewhere. And since this coincided roughly with the time my daughter started watching Disney movies over and over again, I had to know they wouldn’t disappear into the void.

Even when DMA dropped support for Microsoft’s movie store recently, purchased & linked movies weren’t removed from your Microsoft account. Very reasonable.

As a bonus, DMA meant digital movie sellers could actually compete with each other on price. I don’t use Vudu, but if they put a Disney movie on sale I could buy it and watch it on my iPad via iTunes.

Sure, the Ultraviolet movie locker service has been around longer and did similar things, but it never had direct integration with platform-specific services like iTunes and Google Play. DMA was a breath of fresh air.

Today it got even better – Disney Movies Anywhere is now simply “Movies Anywhere“, since Disney added new studios to the mix. Fox, Warner Bros, Sony, and Universal movies now sync across services too!

That leaves Paramount and Lionsgate as the holdouts, and yes it’s slightly annoying to have to scrutinize a movie’s studio before I buy it, but this is still huge. I had a number of movies trapped in Vudu that I got via free promotions over the years, but I never watched them because I hate Vudu’s apps so much. Now those movies are also safely stashed in my Google, iTunes, and Amazon accounts.

And I’ll say it again: I can buy movies at lower prices from different stores when they go on sale! For example: The Lego Batman Movie is $2.49 on Amazon right now, so I bought it and watched it tonight via Google. The same movie is $19.99 elsewhere. This sounds simple, but it’s new territory for digital movies.

I’m strangely excited about this. Go sign up for Movies Anywhere. Link your various accounts and they’ll even give you a pile of free movies right now.

How to Fix Google Home’s Shopping List (again)

ifttt logoA few months ago I wrote about how to fix Google Home’s shopping list when I ran into an unusual error.

Two weeks after that post, Google removed the shopping list’s integration with Google Keep entirely. It now saves your shopping list to a weird isolated Google Express webapp, which notably has no offline access.

Without offline access, I can’t use the shopping list in a number of stores with poor cell signal.

Boo Google, this was an awful decision clearly done just to push shoppers toward Google Express. I could rant for a while about how much this decision bugs me. (This also eliminated the only reason I used Keep.)

But there’s a fix! Thanks to the magic of IFTTT, you can hijack Google Home’s voice commands and do something else with them instead. I wrote some applets there that save my shopping list items to the Todoist app instead of the Google Express webapp.

In the interest of sharing, here they are:

Create an IFTTT account, link it to your Google and Todoist accounts, and you’re off.

Note that you’ll need to set up both applets to get it to work with more variations on the voice command – IFTTT doesn’t let you specify enough variations in one applet alone.

How to Fix Google Home’s Shopping List

June 2017 update: This doesn’t work anymore, Google made major changes to how shopping lists work on Google Home. See this updated post.

I love my Google Home! I switched from the Echo a while back, largely for two things:

  • Chromecast integration
  • A much better shopping list app

(I could go on a looooong rant about how much I hate the Echo’s companion Android app.)

But lately the Home’s shopping list functionality started failing me. It worked fine until about a month ago, when it got very confused:

I kicked it off with the usual “Hey Google, add cheese to my shopping list”. After a 5-10 second pause, Home almost always told me it didn’t understand what I was asking. If I tried again, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.

To make matters worse, sometimes the Home was actually adding items to my shopping list when it told me it wasn’t.

Here’s how I fixed it:

  1. In Google Keep, delete the note that Home uses for your shopping list.
  2. Use a voice command to add something to your shopping list.
  3. Home will re-create the shopping list note
  4. Now it works just fine! No more lengthy delay or failed commands.

Important note: This will obviously delete all the items on your original shopping list.

I still don’t have any hard evidence for what causes this, but here’s my theory:

I had more than 350 items that I’d added to that list and then checked off as I bought things. All of those items were technically still part of the list, just hidden from view. Maybe that got too large for Home to handle?

Who knows. But I’m going to delete the list every couple months from now on.

As I’ve written before, I like to document tech fixes – especially when my usual searches for help failed me. With a little luck this’ll fill in some Google gaps.

Library Technology Essentials Webinar

logo_500x500[1]Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be doing a webinar with some of my co-authors in the Library Technology Essentials series. I’ve got 6 minutes and 40 seconds to talk about why I love WordPress and what’s covered in my book, Pecha Kucha style. This is my first time presenting in this format, and I’m extremely excited about it.

Because the format doesn’t leave much time or space for links, here’s a list of things I mention in my slides:

How to fix Amazon’s “Send to Kindle” feature

stkTopBanner[1]When I manage to fix a technical issue that doesn’t seem to be well documented online, I like to share what worked for me. In that spirit:

This morning, as I often do, I emailed an ebook file to my @free.kindle.com address to load it onto my Kindle. For the first time in years, it didn’t work. I got no error message from Amazon, and never got the standard email acknowledging receipt of my file either. The file just never appeared on my Kindle. I tried sending it via their Send to Kindle PC application too, and got the same results – my file disappeared into the ether with no confirmation or error message.

After pulling my hair out for a while, I noticed that my Amazon Cloud Drive (everyone gets 5gb of storage for free) was full. I piled it full of some last resort backup files six months ago and promptly forgot it existed. When I deleted a few files out of that Drive today, suddenly all my Send to Kindle features started working again. I don’t know if this is a policy change or related to the recent changes to the structure of Amazon Cloud Drive, but I do know my Drive has been full for months. I don’t know why it suddenly started rejecting my files, but there we are.

Side note: It’s very poor design for Amazon to not provide any error message in this situation. They could very easily email me about the full Drive, or pop up a message in the PC application. Both options looked like they sent the file successfully. Amazon support was also completely clueless about this when I contacted them.

The TL/DR version: If your @free.kindle.com email address or Send to Kindle program has suddenly stopped working and provides no error messages, check if your Amazon Cloud Drive is full.

10 terrible things about using WordPress as a large scale content management system

(This is a companion piece to yesterday’s post, 10 great things about using WordPress as a large scale content management system)

After spending a few months administering a large WordPress site at work, a handful of things have grown to drive me crazy. I still like the system more than I dislike it, but here’s ten things in need of improving:

1. Plugins

Yes, this one is on both the positive and negative lists. Plugins add virtually any feature you want to your site, but not all of them are actively maintained. They can also conflict with each other, leading to the unenviable situation where you have to pick one very useful plugin over another. Every time a plugin gets updated, I hold my breath and franticly check the site to see if anything broke.

2. You will need a programmer

Working with custom themes and types is amazingly useful, but you will need a developer to do it (or someone willing to quickly learn). Staff time for this kind of customization is significant.

3. Media management

For a content management system, WordPress does an awful job at managing multimedia content. It began life as a blogging platform, not a full website CMS, and in media management those roots show. WordPress lacks anything beyond the most basic ability to organize media, and we haven’t found a plugin to fill in the gaps yet either. For example: There’s no way to see a list of which pages an image is used on. This would be extremely useful to know when cleaning out old image content.

4. Updates

Expanding on the plugin problem above, WordPress itself also has updates. Like the plugins, it’s difficult to know if any update will break something important on your site. And even if it does, you need to update anyway. WordPress updates often address security issues, and lagging behind leaves your site vulnerable.

5. Moving From Test to Live

We have struggled to set up a workflow to test a new plugin or update before rolling it out to our live site. We maintain a separate development WordPress server, but it is rarely 100% in sync with our live server. And even if it is, we might spend hours configuring and tweaking a new plugin on the development server. Unless that plugin has an export/import feature (and many don’t), we have to do all that configuring all over again on the live version.

6. Content Editor Inconsistencies

This might be my pet peeve about WordPress. When editing a page, users have the option to write raw HTML or work with a more WYSIWIG-style editor. Going back and forth between the two sometimes causes odd display issues, especially when line breaks are involved.

7. Differentiating Pages and Posts is Confusing

Owing again to its roots as a blogging platform, WordPress has two main types of content: Posts and Pages. We work almost exclusively with Pages on our site, but it’s very easy to accidentally get lost in the Posts options instead. This is especially true for users who might have used WordPress as a simple blog before, avoiding Pages entirely. The difference is subtle, but important.

8. Spam

While not specifically a fault of WordPress, you will get spam. We’ve disabled comments on our pages, which eliminates a large chunk off the bat, but we still get a ton through our various request forms. If you want to buy an NFL jersey from China, boy do I have the website for you! I dislike captchas from a usability standpoint, but I think we may be forced to add them to our forms.

9. There’s a Whole Lotta CSS Involved

WordPress can get very complicated, very fast, and that includes the CSS it generates. We spent countless hours debugging our menu’s CSS, trying to get it to look and work correctly across browsers. It looks nice, but if you want to change the design I hope you can parse through a bunch of spaghetti code.

10. It Can’t Be Everything to Everyone

As much as we love the idea, we weren’t able to put 100% of our content into WordPress. We’re significantly invested in Libguides as our course page and subject guide platform, for example. While we were able to get our WordPress menu to appear at the top of our Libguides pages, the two content management systems are very much running side by side. That’s just one example of the ways we have content living outside of WordPress. I’m thrilled to have the bulk of our content in WordPress, but it didn’t work out as a complete one-stop solution.

We have workarounds for most of this, and the rest is largely bearable. But media management and editor inconsistencies stick out to me like sore thumbs, and I hope they’re improved soon.

(This is a companion piece to yesterday’s post, 10 great things about using WordPress as a large scale content management system)

10 great things about using WordPress as a large scale content management system

(This is a companion piece to another post, 10 terrible things about using WordPress as a large scale content management system)

Now that I’ve spent some time on a team administering WordPress on a large scale, I can point to ten things I really like about using this CMS in our environment:

1. Plugins

WordPress has a mind-bogglingly large repository of plugins available. If there’s a feature you wish WordPress had, 99.99% of the time you can find a plugin to do it.

2. Responsive Themes

Do yourself a favor and pick a responsive theme. It’ll reorganize your pages to display in a much more usable fashion on mobile devices and other unforeseen oddball screen sizes.

3. Granular User Permissions

WordPress’ built-in user role management functions leave a little bit to be desired, but (see above) there’s a plugin for that! Press Permit took a bit of time to figure out, but now lets us make sure users only have access to the pages they need to maintain. This cuts down on accidental edits or deletions, and provides a less cluttered interface to our staff.

4. Formidable Plugin to Manage Forms

Formidable is an amazingly flexible plugin for adding forms to your site. It’s got power on the back end too: We use hidden fields to turn it into a rudimentary ticketing system for website support requests.

5. Extensibility

WordPress’ custom types make it possible to add your own arbitrary data types to the system. Through types we were able to add our study spaces as items in WordPress.

6. Shortcodes

Shortcodes should be the #1 feature marketed by WordPress! They’re simply reusable blocks of text. For example, we have building policies that are consistent across branches. Instead of having a half dozen copies of that text to maintain on the site, we just have to update it once. The shortcode then pushes the content automatically to each required page. Shordcodes: Putting the Content Management back in CMS.

7. Sort pages by date last modified

The Sort by Last Modified plugin does one simple thing, and does it well. With it installed, you can sort all your pages by the date they were last updated. I can see at a glance if something has gone ages without an update. I don’t know why this feature isn’t included in WordPress, but at least it’s easy to add!

8. Revisions

Made a mistake? WordPress keeps all the old versions of your page, and it’s easy to roll back to any of them. Just like Wikipedia. You might need to enable Revisions under your Screen Options section to see them, but WordPress keeps track of your changes all along automatically.

9. Checking Broken Links

The broken link checker plugin provides simple reports pointing out broken links on your site. Getting data like this on our pre-CMS site was a nightmare, and I still can’t believe it’s so easy now.

10. Avoid Conflicting Page-Edits

If you try to edit a page while someone else is working on it, WordPress makes sure you know that’s the case. No more overwriting simultaneous edits!

So that’s the good stuff! Come back tomorrow for another post, this time covering pieces of WordPress that drive me insane.

(This is a companion piece to another post, 10 terrible things about using WordPress as a large scale content management system)

Redesign of the UNC Libraries’ website

Desktop homepageLast month we debuted the completely overhauled UNC Libraries website at library.unc.edu. Roughly a year in the making, this is a huge step forward for the Library.

Our old site was entirely hand-maintained pages, and included over 60,000 files (HTML, CSS, images, php, etc). My jaw dropped when we uncovered that number during our initial site inventory! We slashed most of that away, and moved what was left into WordPress. Even if that was all we did, being in a content management system would help immensely whenever the next redesign comes around. But our new design is also more flexible, modern, and usable.

I’m not going to quote an exact number of how many files we have left, since it’s a falling number as we move more and more of the remnants into WordPress, but it’s in the neighborhood of 10% of what we had at the start.

This was my department’s major project for quite some time, but User Experience is far from the only unit deserving credit. Our developers and countless stakeholders who advised us made it all possible.

Some of my favorite things about the new site:

  • It’s responsive! We’re still tweaking the exact trigger points, but the site reorganizes itself to work well on a desktop, tablet, or mobile browser. Here’s a screenshot of the mobile view. I’m so excited that we won’t have to maintain a whole separate mobile site anymore!
  • The new Places to Study page (inspired by Stanford’s wonderful feature) lets students filter our physical locations and find what they’re looking for in a study space.
  • Thanks to the Formidable plugin we have easy and powerful centralized form management. We even use it as a simple ticketing system for managing user feedback about the site.
  • Our staff directory is so much more usable and detailed than the old version. Something like this doesn’t have a huge impact on our site’s overall usability, but will make a big difference for internal use.
  • The big background images really show off our spaces.
  • Our new hours page, while not actually part of WordPress, does a great job of displaying our many branches’ status at a given moment.

We don’t consider this a completed project by any means. We’re well into Phase II now, wrangling the pieces of content into place which proved a bit too unwieldy to be ready by launch.

I’ll admit I was skeptical about WordPress’ ability to serve as a full-fledged website CMS. While I’ve used it as a blogging platform for almost 9 years, I’d never gotten deeply into all it can offer. I was happy to be proven wrong! WordPress has proven to be a flexible and powerful platform, and I’m quite excited to keep working with it. When I think about how much more maintainable the new site is, I practically get giddy.

Our early feedback is largely positive, and we plan on doing some serious user feedback campaigns to guide our future work. Thank you to all who have worked with us on this project!

I’m sure I’ll be writing (and hopefully presenting) more about this in the near future.

Review: iMito MX1

imitoI’m trying to regather some posting momentum with a series of short reviews about stuff I like.  Look for one every couple of days.  I’m not paid for any of this, I just like reviewing things.

The iMito MX1 is one of those pieces of technology that feels like it shouldn’t exist.  This is a full computer packed into a super tiny case.  If it helps with scale in that picture, the thing sticking out the top is an HDMI plug.  Connect it to a TV and you’ve got Android running on the screen.

It sounds a little odd to want to run a phone and tablet operating system on your TV, and admittedly the interface is a little wonky at times when using a keyboard an mouse.  Still, having access to the Android app store means a dead simple way to get Hulu, Netflix, my podcasts, Google Music, Youtube, and Plex (more on this in another post) onto the big screen.  All for less than $60!