Goodies to Go (tm)
September 15, 2003-- Newsletter #250

By Vince Barnes

Goodies to Go (tm)
September 15, 2003--Newsletter #250

This newsletter is part of the network.

Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - Easy Photo Albums
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Goodies Peer Reviews
* Feedback Goodies  
* And Remember This...



Goodies Announcement

Just in case you missed it before, the new Beyond HTML Goodies book is now available!


Go beyond the basics and learn how the pros add and use dynamic HTML features and advanced JavaScript techniques. Beyond HTML Goodies demonstrates dozens of new and different features readers can add to their existing Web pages using HTML and JavaScript. The book starts with simple text and image tips, such as adding a clock to a Web page or causing text to appear when the mouse moves over an image. It gradually builds to more complex tricks, including manipulating forms or working with cookies behind the scenes. Throughout the book, readers enjoy Joe's snappy style and "to the point" discussion of each "goody" in the book.



Goodies Thoughts - Easy Photo Albums

When it comes to personal websites, one of the most popular features you'll find is the family photo album. And why not?! It makes absolute sense. An album on the web can be seen by any member of the family, anywhere in the world. We assume, of course, that they have access to the web -- this is, after all, the twenty-first century. Even folks without computers can usually find a cafe or a library or even a friend where they can get access. If you're in Oshkosh Wisconsin updating your album and they're in Yaounde Camaroon without a computer, tell them to pop down to Ureds cafe or Ecotel cafe and check out your pictures (how do I do that? -- Google; they were the top two listed in the Camaroon Cyber Cafe guide).

Another great thing (two things in fact) about web photo albums is that they can be duplicated easily and they don't deteriorate in time. We all know how to make a back up of a web site -- or if we don't, maybe we should be learning really quickly! Taking a book type album and making a couple of copies to keep in different places is not so easy. Also, photos tend to fade and lose color over time. They sell expensive, high grade paper and processing that can hold its color much better, but usually only in professional labs. The processing and printing you and I get will look purple and faded after a few years. Digital pictures will look the same in a few years as they do now, maybe even better with advances in printers, monitors and enhancement software.

On the down side, the process of building a web site out of folders full of digital pics can be tedious. Even the most die-hard coding fan has been known to turn a slight frown at the repetitive nature of the work involved. To make the site workable requires resizing each picture, creating a thumbnail for it, building index pages and linking them to each other and creating photo pages with their links from the index pages. And don't forget all the site navigation to go along with it!

Want an inexpensive, easy way to do it all automatically? I thought so! While one part of the fun of website building is the satisfaction that goes with knowing how to do it all, there is also a lot of fun to be found in doing a lot of it, easily and quickly! There are several products on the market that can help you with this. Some have all sorts of sophisticated capabilities and require extensive schooling just to understand their language -- and of course, they have a price tag to match. It's in the "under fifty bucks" range that you find the software we're looking for. I did a couple of searches on the net and found some solutions, including some shareware offerings. I'm a fan of the principle of shareware, but when I am asked to make a recommendation, I tend to look for the corporate support that goes along with a product that's been on the market for a while, with a viable business to back it up.

I wrote a review a while back about Jasc After Shot (see It has since changed its name and has gone through a couple of releases. It is now known as Paint Shop Photo Album 4, and right now its on sale at $38.00 for the download version (who reads a manual anyway?!) Much of what I wrote still applies. It is still a very easy to use and very capable product. For those of you that have been asking me about such a tool, now's the time to get it! A couple of the new features that are very cool are the optimizer for emailing pictures and the video CD creator. There are also lots of new retouching features.

If you don't want to buy a commercial product at this time, try out some searches for shareware offerings. There are some very smart programmers out there.

Thanks for Reading!

- Vince Barnes



Q & A Goodies

Questions are taken from submissions to our Community Mentors. You can ask a Mentor a question by going to

Q. I would like to add some simple password protection/security for a couple pages I am creating that will contain some proprietary information (directory) or to distribute material (formation lesson plans) yet not make them available to the general public or visitors. Are there some simple security techniques that you can recommend which would allow me to do this?

A. The easiest way to do this is to protect an entire folder. This way you do not have to do any scripting for the protection. You will have to get your host to set it up for you. Usually they offer this for free. They will then give you access to a text file that you can change the password to the folder. You can usually add as many passwords as you need by simply adding them to the text file, saving it and then uploading it to the server.

Q. I'm having trouble with the css of my site navigation working across both netscape and ie - this is what I have:
#leftmenu a {
padding : 2px ;
margin : 2px ;
margin-bottom : 0px ;
display : inline ;
width : 100% ;
font : 10px verdana ;
border : 1px solid #E6E6DC ;
text-decoration : none ;
#leftmenu a:hover {
color : #BCBCB2 ;
line-height: 17px;
border : 1px solid #BCBCB2;
font : 10px verdana ;
text-decoration : none ;
My site is at  If you look at it in IE, it looks fine, but in Netscape it doesn't. Can I fix it?

A. Which version of Netscape are you viewing the site in? It looks like it needs some minor tweaking to work in NN 6, but it's probably not going to work in NN 4.7 and lower (which has little CSS support).
You may want to experiment with tablesless layouts or try placing your navigation menu in a list instead. A good resource for styling link lists is

Q. I would like to use CSS alone (no javascript) to put an image in the background of a table element (td), and still be able to have text = appear over the background image. I have been trying to find all references to background-image, but most refer to body, and the others only replace text in a td cell.=20 Can it be done?

A. The style for background images applies to most tags: body, p, div, td, li, etc.
<td style="background-image: url(image.gif);">
Alternately you can define the styles in an external style sheet: td { background-image: url(image.gif); }
Two good resources for CSS are:

Q. I am looking for code that will allow me to transfer names across different pages. If you could point me somewhere I would be grateful, thanks.

A. With JavaScript you can use cookies or pass the data through the URL to the next page. Here are some links to tutorials that might help:






News Goodies

House Plans Wednesday Vote on Internet Tax Ban
[September 15, 2003] Legislation seeks to permanently extend current temporary ban that expires on Nov. 1.

Click here to read the article


White House Names Yoran as Cybersecurity Chief
[September 15, 2003] Bush selects Riptech co-founder and current Symantec executive to implement administration's National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace.

Click here to read the article



PeopleSoft Showcases New Tools, Integration Plans
[September 15, 2003] Eager to draw attention away from Oracle's highly-publicized takeover attempt, the company shows off its joint J.D. Edwards/PeopleSoft suite, EnterpriseOne.

Click here to read the article



Symbol Wins $23M 'Wi-Fi' Patent Suit
[September 15, 2003] A federal jury orders Proxim to shell out six percent royalties on past sales of Proxim's Open Air 802.11 and 802.11b products.

Click here to read the article



Sony Ups Storage, IP E-Surveillance Ante
[September 15, 2003] The IP-based networked cameras provide economical surveillance.

Click here to read the article



Motorola Enhances Set-Top Line
[September 15, 2003] The company licenses technology from Viaccess to help cable and satellite operators offer pay-per-view and other services.

Click here to read the article



Microsoft Rings Up Partners For Smartphone
[September 15, 2003] The software giant looks to AT&T Wireless and Motorola to make its GSM/GPRS smartphone dreams a reality in North America and beyond.

Click here to read the article



Borland Targets C++ Developers with New Tools
[September 15, 2003] The software tools developer delivers a development environment and application lifecycle management suite for the C++ language; Borland claims strong support from mobile apps developers.

Click here to read the article


Microsoft Launches Live Meeting, Boasts Office Integration
[September 15, 2003] The software giant debuts the latest iteration of the PlaceWare Web conferencing service, now integrated with its Office System.

Click here to read the article



IBM Launches RFID-Integration Tools
[September 15, 2003] Big Blue integrates data tracking tools into its Websphere line of middleware as radio frequency tags start to catch on in the nation's supply chain.

Click here to read the article








Goodies Peer Reviews


Every week a site selected each week for review. Each week, reviews of the previous week's selected site are chosen for publication on the HTML Goodies website.


The current week's selected site is published in Goodies To Go and in the Peer Reviews section of the website.  Current contact email addresses for submitting your site and for submitting reviews are published in Goodies To Go.

If you would like to have your site reviewed, sign up for the Goodies To Go newsletter in the Navigation Bar on the left side of this page. 

For full details about this program, see




Feedback Goodies

Did you ever wish your newsletter was an easy two way communications medium? Ploof! It now is!
If you would like to comment on the newsletter or expand/improve on something you have seen in here, you can now send your input to:

We already receive a lot of email every day. This address will help us sort out those relating specifically to this newsletter from all the rest. When you send email to this address it may wind up being included in this section of the newsletter, to be shared with your fellow readers. Please don't send your questions to this address. They should be sent to our mentors: see

I had a couple of email problems this past week, and along the way I lost some of your feedback. I apologize, and ask that if you sent me feedback last week, please resend it.

I am still getting notes about our changing email address. The system we use generates a different "from" address as it handles the (very large) number of address to which our newsletters are sent. Some spam filters pick up theses addresses as spam. If you can configure your filters to look for the domain "" and always accept mail we send, you will be able to get the newsletter through. Unfortunately, when the Blaster worm hit recently, one of its characteristics was to fake our address. Consequently it has been added to a few spam lists. You should be able to over-ride this in your software, however. It's the price of having such a famous address, I'm afraid!

Thanks again for all your feedback!


Windows Tech Goodie of the Week:

The Basics of .NET Tracing

A standard debugging tactic when developing in ASP is to
use Response.Write statements to display troubleshooting information to the screen. With ASP.NET this practice has (thankfully) become obsolete as the result of a feature called tracing.



And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

1890 Agatha Christie Born
Mary Clarissa Agatha Miller, better known as Agatha Christie, was born on this day in Torquay, Devon, England. She got the Christie name from her husband, Colonel Archibald Christie, upon their marriage in 1914. Agatha is know as the Queen of Crime, not for bad social habits, but for her prolific writing. Starting in 1920 with The Mysterious Affair at Styles, she has penned 79 novels and short story collections, creating amongst others, such famous characters as Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple of St. Mary Mead. She also wrote over a dozen plays including The Mousetrap, which opened in London on November 25, 1952, and is now the longest continuously running play in theatrical history. By the time she died, her books had sold 400 million copies in more than 100 languages. They continue to be hot sellers.

Today was also the day that: in 1620 The Mayflower sets sail from Plymouth England with 102 pilgrims on board; 1830 William Huskisson (England) became the first person to be run over by a train; 1894 Japan beats China at the Battle of Ping Yang; 1904 Wilbur Wright makes his firts flight; 1916 the first tank was used in a war - "Little Willies" at the Battle of Flers Courcelette in the Somme, France; 1935 Nuremberg Laws strip Jews of German Citizenship & adopt the Swastika as the official Nazi symbol; 1949 The Lone Ranger premiers on ABC-TV; 1961 Hurricane Carla hit Texas with 175 mph winds; 1965 "Lost in Space premiers; 1978 Muhammad Ali beats WBA Champ Leon Spinks; 1982 first issue of USA Today published;

Born today were: in 53 the 13th Roman Emperor Trajan; 1789 author James Fenimore Cooper (1st major American novelist); 1857 William Howard Taft (27th US President); 1876 newspaper publisher Frank E. Gannett (the Gannett Co. is the publisher of USA Today, btw); 1890 Dame Agatha Christie; 1904 King Umberto II of Italy; 1907 actress Fay Wray (King Kong); 1916 actress Margaret Lockwood; 1927 comedian Norm Crosby; 1946 film director Oliver Stone; 1946 actor Tommy Lee Jones; 1984 Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales (3rd in succession to UK crown)

Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!


Archive Home Page.

Make a Comment

Loading Comments...

  • Web Development Newsletter Signup

    Invalid email
    You have successfuly registered to our newsletter.
Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date