Goodies to Go (tm)
August 16, 2004-- Newsletter #298

By Vince Barnes

Goodies to Go (tm)
August 16, 2004--Newsletter #298

This newsletter is part of the network.

Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - An Unwelcome Visitor
* 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 - An Unwelcome Visitor

I have spoken before about the joys of having a wireless network connection at my house that enables me to sit outside with the sunshine being filtered by the oak tree's leaves while I work on my notebook PC. Those of you who have been reading this newsletter for a while will remember this, and also that I have said I get plenty of those sunny days because of where I'm located. That's not all I get!

I'm located in Florida, USA; central Florida, to be a little more precise. Last Friday evening we were visited by a most unwelcome arrival named Charley; Hurricane Charley. The eye of this destructive beast rolled right over the top of me. What a mess! It's not something I look forward to going through again. There are now far fewer leaves to filter the sunlight -- Charley blew a huge portion of that oak clean off the tree! It also downed hundreds of others and did an awful lot of damage to homes, offices and property. This is my fourth hurricane, but the worst by far.

It didn't, however, cause any harm to my computers!

When a storm of that sort is approaching, you take precautions. We started off with the basics, but may not have put exactly what you would call full energy into it. That was because the predictions were that Charley would be missing us by about a hundred miles. We'd be getting lots of rain and high winds, but not the full destructive force of a hurricane. Until late Friday morning, that is. Charley changed course! Now it was headed straight for us and would be arriving that evening.

We had to scramble to get supplies in, things had to be packed. Documents gathered, wrapped in plastic, put in plastic boxes, the boxes wrapped in plastic and put in the trunk (boot) of the car in the garage. Books, valuables, trinkets, glassware, etc. all had to be wrapped and put into plastic boxes. Then it was time for the computers. (It's my wife that makes the other stuff go first!) I looked at my backups. They were fairly current, which is pretty good. Trouble is, I could only do so much to protect the media they were on. The answer.... DVDs. I back up to DVD periodically; about every three months or so, just in case. But with a threat like this, I needed a current set. Even with the 4.7GB capacity of a DVD, I have far too much data to fit on one DVD, so with time now being very short, I had to organize it into logical chunks.

This was an interesting task. I could easily separate some things: pictures, videos, music, word documents, other important data file types. Most of this stuff was already pretty well organized and only had to be sorted into suitably sized chunks. Fascinatingly though, a number of files turned up, blended in various places amongst my data files, that didn't fit any of these categories. They were temporary copies of this or that, work files I used at some point for experimentation, various downloads and other "stuff" that I had stashed away "temporarily". By the time I had finished scrapping this junk, I was a full DVD down in my backup count.

I got the data copied off; seven DVDs took care of it. I used DriveImage ( to create an image file of my system disks and burned that onto another DVD. Same thing for my notebook PC (you may remember -- I don't keep any data on the notebook.) I put the nine DVDs into a ten-pack container with one of those clear disks they use for packaging above them and another below. They fit in there very nicely! That package went into my "doesn't leave my side" brief case along with passports, check books, cash, wallets, keys, flashlight and spare cell phone (even inactive phones in the US can all call the emergency number, 911.) The notebook went into a plastic bag, into a plastic box, and into the trunk of the car. The other computer is too big for the boxes, so it was going to have to brave it alone where it lives.

It was now dark, very noisy and very, very wet outside and I was just wrapping a plastic bag over the top of that computer when I heard screaming and howling coming from the other room. It was Charley, outside, but trying it's very best to get in through every crack and crevice it could find. We hunkered down and waited.

After a couple of hours or so, the howling was down somewhat and I dared to look out of the front door. Things looked different, even in the dark! And the next morning.... let's just say you learn to respect Mother Nature!

I didn't lose connection to the Internet, however, and my data is now even better organized than before the storm. I also have a fresh back-up; dated Friday the 13th of August, 2004!


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. If all the URLs of my site must be changed due to mandatory site redesign objectives and certain features of a new content management system, would redirects from all old URLs to all the new ones offer the best means of retaining users who have bookmarked or link to those old URLs? Also, does my situation necessitate resubmitting my site for indexing by search engines?

A. You could use redirects but I believe they would actually hurt you in the long run with the search engines. They do not like redirects and may or may not penalize you for them. I would go ahead and change the links to the new ones and create a custom 404 error page that would apologize for the inconvenience and have the new navigation on that page. You can also ask people to re-bookmark the pages. I believe people would understand the small inconvenience. You will have to re-submit your website to the search engines so they can re-index the site into their database.

Q. Why is my background image not visible when I load my website from a webserver but visisble when I load from my hard drive?

A. I would only be guessing because I do not have the page you are speaking of, but it is my experience that when an image does not show it is usually the path of the image in the HTML code that is incorrect. Check the path. If it looks something like this:
It is trying read the file from your local computer and not the server. The source path is incorrect.
It should something like this:

Q. Is there any way (such as using the "repeat-y" function) to get the background to border down the right as opposed to the left side? also, is there a way to get it to tile down both sides? I am essentially interested in getting the look of a border on both the left and right side of the page, but I want it to appear correctly on all screen resolutions, so of course, making a very long image with the desired left and right backgrounds simply on opposite sides or the image would be impractical.

A. I have one way for this to work; however, it doesn't work in IE 5.5 (I don't currently have access to IE 6 at the moment, but can check later). It does work in NN 6 and above, Mozilla, and Opera.
Add two divs to the bottom of your HTML file:
<div id="left"></div>
<div id="right"></div>
Then add the following CSS:
#left {
position: fixed;
top: 0;
left: 0;
width: 100px;
height: 100%;
border: 1px solid red;
margin: 0;
padding: 0;
background: url(ava.gif) repeat-y top left fixed; }
#right {
position: fixed;
top: 0;
right: 0;
width: 100px;
height: 100%;
border: 1px solid red;
margin: 0;
padding: 0;
background: url(ava.gif) repeat-y top right fixed; }
This will set backgrounds for the two extra divs in your HTML, and should tile the length of the page. IE 5.5 doesn't recognize the "fixed" property for anything other than background images for the BODY tag, so the extra divs scroll with the page.

Q. I've just started experimenting with frames for a redesign to my website (hand coded and I'm self taught with HTML!) I want to use an image behind links for the side frame on my page. I just don't know how to code a background image so that it will remain "fixed" (I think that's the right word) instead of tiling itself across the page.

A. I think you're looking for this CSS property:
background { url(image.gif) no-repeat; }
You could also add "fixed" as another property, which will hold the background in place (no scrolling). The "no-repeat" will add the image just one time.

Q. I made a small "form" type page with 3 boxes in which to type data. I am trying to figure out how to make that page open with the cursor already located in box #1, instead of having to hit Tab 2 or 3 times. The form is written in HTML, but I'm assuming that I will need to use JavaScript to accomplish this.

A. You could use the onLoad event in the body tag to place focus on the first
box this way:
<body onLoad="document.form_name.field_name.focus()">
"form_name" would be the name you gave your form in the form tag and "field_name" would be the name you gave the first box in your "<,input>" tag.
If your form and field do not have a name associated with them then you can use this format: document.forms[0].elements[0].focus()
The above refers to the first form and the first element in that form.






News Goodies

XP SP2 Warning List Released
[August 16, 2004] Users should check MS list twice to avoid possible disruptions of third-party FTP programs, P2P applications and multimedia streaming software.

Click here to read the article




More Trouble for Flawed CVS
[August 16, 2004] Vulnerabilities in popular open source code management tool deeper than first publicly revealed.

Click here to read the article


McAfee Deepens Security Reach
[August 16, 2004] The company buys into risk-management arena with Foundstone acquisition.

Click here to read the article




Symantec Says Don't Leave Security Patches to Chance
[August 16, 2004] As viruses, worms and other threats continue to abound, it seems there's a new patch released in the time it takes to say 'vulnerability.' To automate the patch management process, Symantec today announced a new version of ON iPatch.

Click here to read the article




Oracle Judge Takes Hard Line on Corporate Secrets
[August 13, 2004] Bearing Point, Accenture, PeopleSoft and others argue for protection from publicizing private information as an after effect of Oracle's antitrust suit.

Click here to read the article



Blogs: The Marketing Killer
[August 13, 2004] FEATURE Executives are seeing dollar signs in RSS feeds, as corporations are no longer relying solely on the official corporate statement to get the message out.

Click here to read the article




eBay Takes Craigslist Stake
[August 13, 2004] The popular Craigslist trading site hooks up with a wealthy backer to help fund expansion.

Click here to read the article



Gartner Calls XPSE a Miss
[August 13, 2004] Research firm tells consumers and businesses to say no to XP Starter Edition.

Click here to read the article




DomainKeys Set to Send Mail
[August 13, 2004] We lock our homes and businesses with keys to protect against unwanted intrusion. So why not our e-mail?

Click here to read the article



China Gets a Linux Boost
[August 11, 2004] The world's most populous country is set to become another center of gravity for the Linux universe.

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:

Implementing and Promoting Daily Builds

This article introduces a strategy for implementing and promoting daily builds and offers tips and tricks for preventing and fixing breaks.

*** AND ***

Taming the ASP.NET Validation Summary Control

One of the most useful ASP.NET validation controls is the ValidationSummary control. While this control can be quite helpful, if can also confuse users by causing multiple error messages to appear when used in conjunction with custom error messages. This article outlines a simple technique that can help simplify things with just a few lines of code.



And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

1977 "The King" Died

On August 16, 1977 Elvis Presley died at Graceland, his mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 42 years old. Elvis, The King of Rock and Roll, paid $4 for the privilege of recording a few songs for his mother. The studio owner liked what he heard..... Elvis had been discovered. In 1955 he gathered a good following of fans in the South, and in 1956 became a national sensation with the release of "Heartbreak Hotel". He served in the US Army as a jeep driver from 1958 to 1960, after which his style became more of the romantic ballad genre. His career turned largely to film making with 27 musicals being released in the 1960's. In the seventies, Elvis gained a lot of weight by eating junk food, and became addicted to prescription drugs. His physical and mental health declined. The doctors ruled that he died of a heart attack, but there are many who believe he committed suicide. (There are also those who believe he's still alive, but they are probably also members of the "Flat Earth" society!) He is buried in the grounds of Graceland.

Today was also the day that in: 1829 Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker arrived in Boston to be exhibited; 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation was signed (US); 1896 gold was discovered in the Klondike; 1898 the Roller Coaster was patented; 1934 US explorer William Beebe descended 3,028' (1922 m)in is Bathysphere; 1955 Fiat ordered the first privately owned nuclear reactor; 1960 Cyprus gained independence from Britain; 1960 the Republic of the Congo (Zaire) was formed; 1963 The Dominican Republic regained independence; 1984 a Los Angeles jury acquitted auto make John DeLorean of cocaine charges; 1985 Madonna married actor Sean Penn; 1988 IBM introduced its Artificial Intelligence software;

Born today were: in 1897 circus master Robert Ringling; 1899 actor Glenn Strange; 1902 English novelist Georgette Heyer; 1910 actress Mae Clarke; 1913 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin; 1925 actress Fess Parker; 1930 actor Robert Culp; 1930 English poet laureate Ted Hughes; 1932 singer Eydie Gorme; 1935 actress Julie Newmar; 1936 actress Anita Gillette; 1936 actor Gary Clarke; 1938 actress Ketty Lester; 1939 English actress Carol Shelly; 1946 actress Lesley Ann Warren; 1953 musician James Taylor; 1953 TV personality Kathy Lee Gifford; 1957 musician Tim Farriss; 1958 singer and actress Madonna (Ciccone); 1960 actor Timothy Hutton;



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