Goodies to Go (tm)
July 7, 2004-- Newsletter #292
Goodies to Go (tm)
July 7, 2004--Newsletter #292
This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.
Featured this week:
* Goodies Thoughts - FTP @ Home
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Goodies Peer Reviews
* And Remember This...
The new Beyond HTML Goodies book is now available!
Goodies Thoughts - FTP @ Home
In last week's newsletter (see
http://www.htmlgoodies.com/letters/291.html) I briefly mentioned that I use
FTP to send files back and forth between my notebook computer and my main home
machine. I was surprised by the number of requests I received for information on
how to set that up, so this week I am providing that information.
The first thing to think about is the type of internet connection you have. If you are using dial-up (through a modem and phone line) this might not be a reasonable solution for you. That is because you would be setting up your computer to act as a server (in this case, an FTP server) that needs to be already connected to the internet whenever you need to access it. Although it is possible to connect and remain connected over the phone line, it is not practical for most people. It is also rather slow, and by the time you have paid for the line and the access account, you have paid as much as broadband connection anyway. Any kind of broadband connection (cable, DSL, etc.) will be just fine.
Once connected to the Internet, your computer needs to be "addressable". When you connect to the Internet, your computer is assigned a numerical address (the IP address) which, with most broadband (and dial-up) accounts, can change at any time. If you don't know this number, you can't get back to your computer ("address" it) from out on the Internet. Since it changes, you need a way to translate something that doesn't change (a fixed name, for example) to the dynamically changing IP address. The solution to this is called "Dynamic DNS" and is discussed in an earlier Goodies Thoughts which you can find here: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/letters/276.html
Now that your computer connected and addressable, you need to have an FTP server program in it. If you have Linux, you can use any of the FTP server applications that come bundled with most distributions. For the MAC, there's Rumpus from Maxum (http://www.maxum.com -- they have a great FAQ list on their site.) If you have Windows XP Professional, you can use the FTP service in IIS, although this is not my personal favorite choice.
For Windows, I suggest Serv-U FTP from Rob Beckers and Rhino-soft (http://www.serv-u.com/?Prod=su) This is a very easy to use FTP server program with a great feature set, and there's a free version that will be adequate for most personal use situations. (btw - Rhino-soft also offers a Dynamic DNS solution called DNS4Me.)
The last step in the server set-up is to make sure you can get to the FTP server program through your firewall. You will need to open up the FTP port you use. The standard FTP port is 21, but you can provide yourself a little extra protection by choosing a non-standard port. Whichever port you use, it needs to be the same in the server, the firewall and the client program (that's discussed next.) There is also an FTP feature called Passive Mode (aka PASV) that uses additional ports (in Serv-u, you can see the details of this feature on the Advanced tab in the Settings window.) To use this feature, you will need to restrict the range to a few ports and open them in your firewall also (the Serv-u Help pages have a lot more information on this feature.)
Finally, you will need an FTP client program in your remote computer (your laptop, for example.) While you are on the Rhino-soft website, check out their FTP Voyager. This is a program that is so easy to use theres virtually no learning time involved! Another excellent choice is SecureFX from VanDyke software (http://www.vandyke.com/download/securefx/index.html) A famous MAC client is Fetch from Fetchworks (http://fetchsoftworks.com) And for Linux, there are client choices bundled with most distributions.
Using FTP to move files back and forth in this fashion is a great way to protect those files and the valuable work they represent from loss. Portable computers are notoriously dangerous places to store data!
Also, remember the three golden rules!! (see http://www.htmlgoodies.com/letters/262.html)
Thanks for Reading!
- Vince Barnes
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. Every so often when using cookies and things are not working as expected, I go into my cookies file on my XP computer and open the cookies file to what is really there! I am sometimes a little confused as although the format seems to be user name @ web address, minus the last extension (eg email@example.com), sometimes there is a  or  as well. Sometimes there several such cookie files. Why does this happen and is there a way of purging these cookie files from the web page that generated them?
A. I suspect that the multiple cookies from the same site are different pages that are placing cookies on your XP. The only way you can delete them is to go to TOOLS > Internet Options and then click on the Delete Cookies button. Of course this will delete all cookies which you may not want. There is also software that can do this for you. You could also delete them manually, but that could get rather tedious.
[Check out Pop-up Stopper at http://www.panicware.com - the Pro and Companion versions can do this for you automatically as you close your browser - Ed.]
Q. (I can't locate the original question, but this answer is worth including!)
A. I notice that you are using internal styles on your pages (the styles between the <style> tags in the <head> of your file). If you use an external style sheet, and reference it in the head instead (by using the <link> method) then that should reduce the reloading, since the external style sheet will be downloaded into the cache.
You can save the styles from the page (between the <style> tags) to a new text document named styles.css (or something similar). Then, in your HTML documents, reference it like this:
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="style.css" />
A. To answer your question, style sheets have been supported to increasing degrees since Netscape
4.x, Internet Explorer 3.x and Opera 3.6. There is an excellent discussion on this subject at:
Browser detection is a daunting enough task and even with the newer versions, some viewers
actually have style support turned off.
Taking this into consideration, my approach has been to build in a short message to viewers who
either can't or won't support styles and using styles to hide this message in the background of
the page such that the style supporters will not be aware of nor be distracted by the message. The non supporting viewers are directed to an appropriate link which only they can see.
I use the following code to accomplish this:
position:relative; top: 0px; left: 0px;
<.span id="nostyle">This page requires CSS which is not being supported by your browser - Click
on "?" for details<./span>
Q. Is there was a way to position a background image in the center of a page regardless of screen resolution?
A. This code will position the image in the center:
background-image : url(image.jpg);
background-position : center center;
background-repeat : no-repeat;
To position in the center of a table, try using this (be sure to replace __ with the height and width of the image):
<.table height="100%" width="100%">
<.tr><.td valign="center" align="center">
<.table height="__" width="__" background="image.jpg">
Any text on the background
Q. On different browsers, because of the text size preset (smaller, small, medium, large, larger) the text looks either really small or huge. When I change the preset on my own computer, the alignment of all the text goes crazy. How can I fix this?
A. Stylesheets are intended to solve just this problem. You can specify
text sizes. These tutorials will explain them: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/beyond/css.html. You can see how I did this on real life sites by looking at the code at http://umbrigade.tripod.com
ICANNot Pay Those Dues
[July 5, 2004] The Internet governing body wants registrars to pay up to 475 percent more in annual dues; 75 of them form an alliance to respectfully decline.
Virtually Free for All in Utility Computing
[July 2, 2004] FEATURE: Virtualization is quickly becoming the bedrock for a number of utility computing strategies from major vendors.
Microsoft Issues Security Update For Trojan
[July 2, 2004] Redmond is urging customers to reconfigure their operating systems right away as it works on bigger patches for IE.
Oracle Trial Comes Full Circle
[July 2, 2004] It began with Microsoft/SAP acquisition plans and ended with IBM 's notes on how to create FUD.
Verizon Goes West
[July 2, 2004] Paying Qwest for wireless network assets, the mobile carrier expands its coverage in 14 states.
Microsoft Settles Up
[July 2, 2004] Vermont and Minnesota reach deals on class action suits.
Industrial Strength Java Nears Completion
[July 2, 2004] Sun's version for the RTSJ can do real-time and non-real-time threads simultaneously.
Bang the DRM
[July 2, 2004] Jupiter Research survey results reveal enterprise DRM revenue to explode by 2008.
802.11n Seen Leapfrogging UWB
[July 2, 2004] ABI Research looks at the landscape on PAN players. Where should chipset makers place their bets?
Critics Call For Open Java
[July 1, 2004] JavaOne -- Complaints about the sloth of the JCP and the cost of the TCK may get muted by customers, who apparently do not care.
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
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For full details about this program, see http://www.htmlgoodies.com/peerreviews
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 http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors/
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:
Q&A: Ed Kaim, Product Manager, Microsoft
Ed Kaim, product manager on the Developer and Platform Evangelism Division at Microsoft, talks to 15Seconds about the role of the developer in the upcoming Longhorn era.
And Remember This . . .
On this day in...
1865 The Salvation Army was Founded
Preacher William Booth and his wife Catherine started the Christian
Mission in London's East End on this day in 1865. The Mission later
(1878) changed its name to the Salvation Army to "wage war against
the evils of poverty and religious indifference". The structure of
the Army imitated the British army, wherein the ministers wear
uniforms and are called "officers" and new members are called
"recruits". Quoting their mission statement: "The Salvation Army, an
international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal
Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is
motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of
Jesus Christ." The Salvation Army is still headquartered in London.
Funded by contributions and by the sale of their publications, they
operate evangelical centers, hospitals, emergency and disaster
services, alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs, community
centers, social work centers, secondhand stores, and recreation
facilities throughout the world.
Today was also the day that in: 1687 England's Royal Society published Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica; 1811 Venezuela became the first South American country to gain independence from Spain; 1841 Thomas Cook opened his first travel agency; 1891 six horses in Rapid City, South Dakota were killed by hail; 1946 Louis Reard presented his two piece swimsuit design at a Paris fashion show (named after the site of the US atomic tests earlier in the week at Bikini Atoll); 1948 Britain's National Health Service started; 1950 the Law of Return passed, guaranteeing all Jews the right to live in Israel; 1962 Algeria gained independence from France (after 132 years); 1968 John Lennon sold his psychedelic painted Rolls-Royce; 1969 Rolling Stones played a free concert in London's Hyde Park; 1971 US voting age was reduced to 18 as the 26th Amendment to the Constitution passed: 1975 the Isle of Man began issuing their own postage stamps; 1975 Cape Verde Islands gained independence after 500 years of Portuguese rule; 1983 a baby girl was born to a Roanoke Virginia woman who had been brain dead for 84 days; 1989 Rod Stewart his his head on stage and knocked himself out;
Born today were: in 1794 inventor of the graham cracker, Sylvester Graham; 1810 circus promoter Phineas Taylor Barnum; 1853 South African diamond merchant and politician Cecil John Rhodes; 1879 tennis cup donor Dwight Filley Davis; 1904 actor Milburn Stone ("Doc", Gunsmoke); 1909 former USSR president Andrei Gromyko; 1928 actor Warren Oates; 1929 actress Katherine Helmond; 1944 musician Jamie Robertson; 1951 musician Huey Lewis;
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