Goodies to Go (tm)
April 12, 2004-- Newsletter #280

By Vince Barnes

Goodies to Go (tm)
April 12, 2004--Newsletter #280

This newsletter is part of the network.

Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - Easter Egg Hunting
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Goodies Peer Reviews
* Feedback Goodies  
* Windows Tech Goodies  
* And Remember This...



Goodies Announcement

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 - Easter Egg Hunting

In my neck of the woods and at this time of year, folk celebrate a holiday called Easter. Principally a Christian holiday to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it has also been adopted by a somewhat wider audience as a reason to indulge in passions for chocolate and sugar! It also has origins predating the Christian association, and going back to an ancient Anglo-Saxon Goddess called Eostre (also known as Ostara). She symbolized the rebirth of the day at dawn and the rebirth of life in the spring, and the festival bearing her name celebrated the arrival of spring.

Easter is rife with traditions having debatable origins. The Easter Bunny is a cute little rabbit that hides eggs for us to find on Easter. Ladies attending church on Easter Sunday would traditionally wear flamboyant and colorful hats known as Easter Bonnets. These bonnets celebrate the vibrant colors of the new growth and flowers of the springtime. Is it a coincidence that the French "Bonnet" and the word "bunny" are almost homophonic? Then again, the rabbit is a symbol of fertility and would be appropriate to symbolize spring.

Then there's the egg itself. While the eggs used originally may have been chicken eggs, they are now mostly made of chocolate and/or sugar saturated candy. They are in any case brightly colored. My particular favorite story for the origin of the Easter egg tradition is that of an emperor who said that the Resurrection of Christ was as likely as eggs turning red.

Whatever the origins, the traditions have led to the game wherein colorfully decorated eggs are hidden for children to hunt and find. When they find an egg, they get some token reward. It's a lot of fun to play with the children. Programmers are also kids at heart! As such, they have created their own Easter egg tradition.

To a programmer, an Easter egg is a piece of code that is hidden within a software product (or a web page). When uncovered, these "eggs" reveal jokes, pictures, credits or some other little tidbit. They are hidden so that they can be found. They are a form of programmer's signature and provide no other useful purpose. (A piece of code that is hidden and provides a useful purpose is a "back door" or "debugging tool", and one which is hidden and provides a malicious purpose is a "Trojan".)

Here are a couple of examples:

In Windows 2000:
1: Right click on the desktop and choose Properties.
2: Go to the Screensaver tab.
3: Select the 3-D text screensaver and open the properties.
4: In the text box, type "volcano"

For a web-page Easter egg, go to (you need to have Java enabled in your browser). Use the bunny's basket to catch the letters GOOGLE.

If you are aware of some entertaining Easter eggs, send them to the newsletter's feedback address ( and I'll publish some of them for everybody's amusement.


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 have read with interest your articles on setting up a web-server on ones own computer at home. I have visited the relevant sites but can find no mention of 'RAM-requirements' anywhere in the articles. Is there a 'rule-of -thumb' regarding available/minimum memory requirements and or processors to be considered before embarking on such a project?

A. Keep in mind that a web server is just a computer like the one you are working on now with some extra components installed to serve up a website. I did a search on Google for "RAM requirements for web-server" and I came up with several different sites that offer information about the subject. RAM will be much faster than your hard drive when it comes to caching so 512MB sounds like a nice number. Remember that the more hits you get to the site, the more memory it will take up. I have never set up a web server but reading around tells me that the more, the better.

Q. I am trying to have two things happen when someone clicks on a button at the bottom of my form. The first thing I would like to happen is have a second window pop up-which I have done without difficulty. The second thing I would like to happen is have the main page go to the home page for the site. I cannot seem to do both. I am only able to do one or the other. Could you please direct on how to accomplish both actions?

A. It might be easiest to create a function and place it in the head section of your document. Like below:
<script type="text/javascript">
function Doit()
And then call it with the onClick event in your button like so:
<INPUT TYPE="button" VALUE="I Agree/Submit" onClick="Doit()">

Q. I have a section that displays some products. Unfortunately there is only space for 8 products and I need to put a few more up there. How can I make that section scroll along slowly or pause if need be so that all the products will be available for viewing?

A. You might want to check out this link to some Image Slide Shows:

Q. Is it possible to prevent what is displayed on a web page from being printed by the viewer?

A. I don't know of anyway to prevent people from printing the information. Not only can they copy it by hand but they can also "copy and paste" the information by holding the right mouse button down and dragging the cursor over the text.
[Even if you block the right click function, they can still use a screen capture program & print the captured image. - Ed.]

Q. Is there any way to launch a new window with a certain width and height - WITHOUT using JavaScript?

A. Not that I know of. The JavaScript method is the only way I know of to set the width and height of the window.

Q. I am using CSS with class parameters and within a particular class, I just want one letter of each word on a certain phrase to be a different color, size and font. How would I use CSS for that instead of using the whole <font> tag for each letter? For example:
td.text {font:11pt Arial, Verdana, Helvetica; color:black; align:justify}
<td class=text>The Company Named Here was founded in 2003 by some smart person....... </td>
I would like C, N, and H to be different. How would I code that? I have found a lot of information about using CSS all over the internet, but nothing about just one letter that is already within a class.

A. The easiest thing to do would be to enclose the letter in a span tag and specify styles for the span.
For example, your CSS would look like this:
.text {
font: 11pt Arial, Verdana, Helvetica;
color: black;
align: justify; }
.text span {
color: blue; }
and your HTML would look like this:
<td class="text">The <span>C</span>ompany <span>N</span>amed <span>H</span>ere was founded in 2003 by some smart person...</td>
The C, N, and H would be blue.
You could also set up different classes for each letter. Examples follow:
.text {
font: 11pt Arial, Verdana, Helvetica;
color: black;
align: justify; }
.text .c { color: blue; }
.text .n { color: red; }
.text .h { color: green; }
and the HTML:
<td class="text">The <span class="c">C</span>ompany <span class="n">N</span>amed <span class="h">H</span>ere was founded in 2003 by some smart person...</td>







News Goodies

Beware of Browser-based Attacks
[April 12, 2004] Hackers entering through holes in browsers 'may pose the next significant security threat to IT operations,' a new report warns.

Click here to read the article



AMD Latest in Intergraph Quandary
[April 12, 2004] The chipmaker will spend $10 million, plus 2 percent of its profits for the next three years to keep Intergraph out of court in what has become a growing trend.

Click here to read the article



Microsoft To Settle DRM Suit with InterTrust
[April 12, 2004] UPDATED: Software giant to pay millions in order to end patent infringement suits from digital rights management software maker.

Click here to read the article


Citigroup Banks on Indian Outsourcer
[April 12, 2004] The financial services giant will pay $126 million to buy the remaining shares of outsourcer e-Serve that it doesn't already own.

Click here to read the article




PMC-Sierra Unveils 4-Gig Loop Switches
[April 12, 2004] PMC-Sierra and Agilent have developed a number of products for the emerging 4-gigabit per second Fibre Channel standard.

Click here to read the article




Gateway Makes Support a Priority
[April 12, 2004] The systems vendor today announced a $39-a-year premium support service that guarantees businesses that they will reach a live, trained technician in 30 seconds.

Click here to read the article



Wireless Costs Slipping through the Cracks
[April 12, 2004] A Yankee Group report shows a decentralized telecom policy in the business world is significantly inflating costs.

Click here to read the article



Sun Abandons UltraSPARC Projects
[April 10, 2004] The company says it will continue on its Throughput Computing path, but the Millennium and Gemini chips are no more.

Click here to read the article



The Changing Face of Open Source
[April 9, 2004] FEATURE As open source moves up the software stack, development moves behind corporate firewalls.

Click here to read the article



IE Vulnerability Flagged
[April 9, 2004] Other Web browsers could also be affected because of a flaw in Internet Explorer's ITS protocol handler, CERT warns.

Click here to read the article






Goodies Peer Reviews


Every week a site is selected 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

For those who are missing Peer reviews: we are once again revising the Peer review program in the hopes of creating a workable solution. The current plan is to move the new Peer Review pages into place in the new year. All those who have been selected for reviews in the past will be featured in the new pages. The new method will make it much easier for your peers to provide feedback and much easier for us to handle the publication side of things. "Watch this space!" It's coming soon!!


Thanks again for all your feedback!



Windows Tech Goodie of the Week:


Database Record Killer ASP Sample Code

What do you get when you combine the fast deleting interface of our image
killing script with the database code from our record deleting sample? A
script that helps you weed out those unwanted database records in the blink
of an eye.


And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

1961 First Person in Space

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death on this day in 1951, convicted of passing secret data On April 12, 1961 Cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became the first person to travel into space. The 27 year old Gagarin was aboard the USSR's Vostok1, and orbited the Earth in 89 minutes at a maximum orbit of 187 miles. The entire space flight lasted 104 minutes and during that time the only thing Gagarin said (purportedly) was "Flight is proceeding normally; I am well." Becoming immediately world famous, he was awarded the Order of Lenin and given the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

Today was also the day that in: 1606 England adopted the Union Jack as its flag; 1654 England, Scotland & Ireland united; 1844 Texas became a US territory; 1857 Gustave Flaubert's "Madame Bovary" was published; 1861 the American Civil War began; 1872 the Jesse James gang robbed $1,500 from a bank in Columbia, Kentucky, killing one person; 1905 New York's Hippodrome arena opened; 1919 British Parliament set a work week at 48hrs. and established minimum wages; 1935 Germany prohibited the publication of "non-Arian" writers; 1940 Italy annexed Albania; 1955 the Salk Polio vaccine was deemed safe and effective (Polio has almost been eradicated from the face of the Earth -- see; 1969 Simon & Garfunkle released "The Boxer"; 1973 France recognized North Vietnam; 1973 Sudan adopted its constitution; 1973 Swaziland suspended its constitution; 1981 the first launch and maiden voyage of the Space Transit System - the space shuttle Columbia; 1985 the 16th shuttle mission launched - Discovery; 1988 Harvard University received a patent for a genetically altered mouse (1st animal); 1992 Euro-Disney opened at Marne-la-Vallee, France;

Born today were: in 1892 Jazz clarinetist Johnny Dodds; 1923 opera singer Maria Callas; 1930 singer Betty Clooney; 1932 singer Herbert Butros Khaury (Tiny Tim); 1936 actor Charles Napier; 1947 talk show host David Letterman; 1950 singer/actor David Cassidy; 1956 Cuban actor Andres Arturo Garcia Menendez (Andy Garcia); 1968 actress Alicia Coppola; 1979 actress Claire Danes


Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!


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