April 15, 2002-- Newsletter #176

By Joe Burns

Goodies to Go (tm)
April 15, 2002--Newsletter #176

This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.


Goodies Thoughts - Want a Bluetooth?

As both a Mac and PC owner, I like to keep up with new innovations for Mac as well as the PC. Since Apple has developed a long and rather impressive history of introducing and popularizing some of the best technological innovations such as SCSI, USB and FireWire, I like to see what they will come up with next. Odds are whatever innovation they present will soon be adopted into the PC Market. You really have to give Apple great respect for their consistent innovative thinking and some of the cleverest commercials ever to be seen on television. Have you seen the one with the the guy that making faces at the iMac and the iMac making faces back? That has to be a top 10 favorite of mine right behind the Tabasco sauce commercial from several years ago with the guy in the Louisiana Bayou eating pizza and the exploding mosquito. If you want to see the Apple ad go to http://www.apple.com/hardware/ads/imac_window.html. Anyway, I digress.


Recently, while reading some of the highlights of Apple's MacWorld Conference in Tokyo last month I came across the next cool gadget that Apple will be incorporating into its operating system and hardware, Bluetooth. What an odd and completely non-descriptive name.


So, what is it? Well, think of it as a wireless USB. The idea is to eliminate all of the cords and many of the connection problems associated with USB and infrared connections.


With so many devices using USB now, it can be quite a headache to run all the cords necessary for your USB devices. While eliminating cords around and under your desk would be nice, it's definitely not a huge selling point.


The real benefits would come with handheld devices, your keyboard and your mouse. Imagine connecting, uploading and downloading from your Palm or PocketPC just by turning on the device. Imagine your new wireless keyboard or trackball that you can take anywhere in the room without having to worry about a line of sight to your infrared device.


Basically what we're talking about is a scaled down wireless network designed to move small chunks of data from one device to another. The technology uses many of the same principles as wireless networking but at a much slower transfer rate of 1 Megabit per second which is significantly slower than your 10/100 Mbps or 1 Gigabit per second network cards. Each device that you want to connect via Bluetooth would need a transceiver attached to it (about $50 right now) which would communicate with a base unit that could handle up to 8 connections.


Most likely, this particular innovation won't have nearly the same impact as USB or FireWire but it will probably become a mainstay with handheld devices. It will give handheld device users the ability to tap into their computer, download information from kiosks in stores and malls, or easily interface with fee-based communication services at places like airports. All this without a cord.


Each year I always enjoy seeing what new idea Apple has come up with. Some years are definitely better than others but they always seem to stay ahead of the pack.


Thanks for reading!


Quiz Goodies

Once you have created a Cascading Style Sheet file, how do you link it to your pages?


Read answer below.

Q & A Goodies

Questions are taken from submissions to our Community Mentors. You can ask a Mentor a question by going to http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors/.


Q. Why is it when I use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) it sometimes looks different in different browsers?


A. Well, the unfortunate truth is that some browsers interpret Cascading Style Sheets differently.


Often your best plan of attack is to first determine what browsers you are targeting. Most developers will target primarily Internet Explorer and Netscape since they are used by the vast majority of surfers.


Secondly, test, test and retest. Be sure to take a look at your pages on as many different targeted browsers as possible. Testing on different versions of each browser is also recommended. Some developers will even create a test page that utilizes every element of their Cascading Style Sheet for testing between browsers. This is often a good benchmark technique for testing that avoids having to run each and every page through a series of browser tests.



Q. In HTML how do I make a link to an Acrobat PDF file so that when a visitor clicks on the link, the PDF will automatically load in an Acrobat browser window?


A.  This is a question we get quite often. To have an Adobe Acrobat file appear in the user's browser link to your .pdf file using the <A> tag like this:


<a HREF="http://www.yourdomain.com/yourfile.pdf">
Click here to download my Acrobat file!</a>


The user's browser will automatically launch Adobe Acrobat and display the file in the browser. Be careful, though, if they don't have Acrobat installed on their machine the browser will treat the file as just another download and prompt the user to save the file. Most developers that use Adobe Acrobat files will provide a link to the Acrobat Reader free download somewhere on their pages. They will also caution users that they will need Acrobat Reader installed before they can view the file.


Q.  I know this must sound silly, but when I put a image on my website, I can see it but anyone else who comes to my page can't see it!


A. This is a common problem for those learning HTML. The problem is most likely an incorrect file path like this:

<IMG SRC="C:\WINDOWS\MyDocuments\filename.GIF">

This points to a file on your local hard drive. You need to upload that file and change the SRC to reflect where you have uploaded it. Hence the reason why you can view it, but other people can't.

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community. The answer was provided by Alex Newport, one of our HTML Mentors.

News Goodies

"Web Services" is one of the latest buzz words in Information Technology. So, why are major corporations like IBM, Sun and Oracle pushing it as the next step in the evolution of the web?

Click here to read the article


Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com is getting a bit more than miffed at the Author's Guild for accusing him and his company of being bad for business.

Click here to read the article


How would you like to have access to one of the most powerful web search engines on the planet directly from your web applications? Guess who's making it possible.

Click here to read the article

Quiz Answer

Linking a Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) file to your pages is often the easy part. The hard part is usually getting the CSS file set just the way that you want it.


To link your CSS file you use the <LINK> tag like this:


<LINK REL="stylesheet" TYPE="text/css" HREF="http://www.yourdomain.com/yourfile.css">


The REL attribute defines the relationship between the file you are linking and your page. The TYPE attribute defines the file type which is text (.txt) or Cascading Style Sheet (.css). Lastly, HREF defines the location of the file that you are linking.



And Remember This . . .

For those of us in the United States today is tax day. A day that many of us dread and despise.


While I looked long and hard for some great little historical tax fact or some other tax tidbit I could find nothing that was all that interesting. So, instead of a tax fact I thought we would explore something having to do with money like, say, piggy banks.


Do you know where the origin of that classic savings institution, the piggy bank, comes from?


The piggy bank has its origin in 18th century England. In the 18th century, mined metal was very hard to come by and usually reserved for the aristocratic elite. So, peasants and commoners typically made everyday household items such as bowls, cups and dishes out of a natural clay known as "pygg".


Those frugal folks that desired to save money often stored their wealth in jars or pots know as "pygg jars". Though the "pygg jar" was not originally molded in the shape of a pig, the name "pygg jar" became "pygg bank" which did eventually evolve into the shape of a pig as makers of banks began to design them to resemble their more common name, "pig bank".

Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!


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