Goodies to Go (tm)
September 27, 2004-- Newsletter #304

By Vince Barnes

Goodies to Go (tm)
September 27, 2004--Newsletter #304

This newsletter is part of the network.

Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - Better Late Than Never
* 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 - Better Late Than Never

... that's what I say! I apologize for the late arrival of this week's newsletter - I have once again been in the turmoil produced by hurricanes passing over my head -- the third in six weeks! I know that's not too interesting for those of you who don't have to live through these things, so I have no intention of harping on the subject any further, except to say that my family and I are still fine, and that events like this cause me to reflect on a few things and come up with these few observations.

It's great to have a generator to provide stand-by power to a data center -- it would be even greater if it provided enough power to keep the air conditioning going so that expensive pieces of equipment wouldn't overheat! It would also be great if the generator itself didn't rely on movable louvers for its own ventilation -- when the wind is strong enough to hold them closed, it too will fail!

Electricity is the most under-appreciated of modern conveniences.

Gas (petrol) comes next, then ice, then drinkable water.

I wish people were as friendly all the time as they are after adversity has just been beating the you-know-what out of them!

Possibly the most useful thing I ever wrote in this newsletter can be found right here:

No matter how hard you work to eliminate that omnipresent "singe point of failure", you won't accomplish it because of Murphy's law -- the best you can hope for is a relatively painless recovery.

Based on comparison of the diligence of technicians to the response of clients, it's clear that every good deed deserves criticism.

And as a final observation, no matter how hard one tries to set aside the effects of events, and not bore people with the repetitive details, it just seems to occupy so much of one's time that it's all that comes out. Sorry! To make up for it, however, I am working on something for next week which I think will be of great interest to you.


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 am fairly new to website design and need to design a site in FrontPage 2002 to sell a book. The book will be sent as an e-mail attachment after customer has paid through our merchant account. The order form when the website is set up will go through to our bank merchant account on a secure server and the e-mail should be automatically attached. Could you direct me to a tutorial somewhere that gives me information on how to do this?

A. The space codes in the problem area are not followed by a semicolon, whereas the spaces in the areas that are working have the required semicolon -- " ". Add the missing semicolons and you'll get spaces instead of code.

Q. II am just curious as to how some web pages get that small icon to the left of the URL in the Address window when you visit their site. If someone know how that's done I sure would like to know.

A. That is called a Favicon and you can find out more about it here:

Q. How do you set up a forum?

A. Instead of creating one from scratch, you should look into the many free forums available on the web. If your server supports Active Server Pages go to and do a search for "forums". If your server supports PHP, go to and choose a site to visit from there.

Q. I am looking for JavaScript help in order to pre-select a option in a select field inside a form. I am using server-side scripting (PHP) in order to provide the selected value.

A. You could use PHP to create your option tag and select the option you want that way. I have a small Help Desk application written in PHP that I have set up dropdowns to select the date. I have them default to the current date. Here is an example of the dropdown for the
<select name="beg_req_month">
{print "<option value='" . $i . "' selected>" . $i .
{print "<option value='" . $i . "'>" . $i . "</option>\n";}
The variable $prob_month is set to the current month in some previous code. For Javascript to set the selected option you would use a statement like this (which sets the first option tag to selected):
[Beware of the period following the less than symbol in the "for" statement above -- this is one of the periods inserted as a part of the technique mentioned in the note at the beginning of this section & does not belong in the code you execute -- Ed.]

Q. Q. I'm trying to set up an email form. How do I send form data to an email address instead of a file? My email form just brings up outlook; how do I get it to send email directly? When I get data to me email address it is in an attachment with an ".att" extension -- what is this and how do I read it? How do I get my email form data to be formatted as text instead of being full of stuff like "1=on&2=on&3=Better+Management"?

A. To get rid of the .att extension (and formatting problems) add enctype="text/html to the form tag like so:
<form action="" method="post" enctype="text/plain">
Version 6 (and above) browsers do not support email forms (action="mailto:... etc.) Instead, it is necessary to use CGI scripts (PERL, CGI Shell Scripts, PHP etc.) Alternatively, if your server supports FrontPage extensions, there is a "WebBot" in FrontPage that automatically handles sending form data to an email address (as an option to, or in addition to saving it to a file.) Also, take a look at: and

Q. I have created on a development site thru "Dreamweaver/UltraDev", information which our project team are copying to another application. The challenge we face is to have the information on the development presented as a hard copy, with page breaks and hopefully in the same format (colors and all). So far all we have done is to copy and paste the information into a word document, but we are losing most of the original format.

A. Using CSS you can set the where the page breaks are when printing your web page. If you are doing this within a company in which everyone is using the same browser you may get away with it with few problems. Not all web browsers recognize this particular attribute. I believe IE 5 and above and Netscape 6 and above will recognize it. The CSS attributes "page-break-before" and "page-break-after". Both instruct the printer to begin printing a new page, with the difference being before or following the element the attribute is applied to. For instance if you apply the attribute within the H1 tag like this:
<style> h1{ page-break-before: always; } </style>
The printer will start a new page before every H1 tag.

Q. Hello, I have a link question. On my site I have the link color scheme to be black, which works well on the left bordered side of my page, but not on the right side which has a black background. Is there anyway to change the color just one or two links without changing the color of all the links?

A. Using CSS and assigning a class to each link you can use different colors and other attributes to whichever links you want. For instance if you want one of your links to be black and another to be white you would set up a style sheet like this:
<style type="text/css"> {color: #000000}
a.two:link {color: #FF0000}
Place the style between the <HEAD> tags. Now apply the class to the actual links in your HTML like this:
<a class="one" href="default.html">This link will be black.</a>
<a class="two" href="default.html">This link will be red.</a>






News Goodies

Microsoft Prepared to Strip Media Player
[September 27, 2004] As a crucial European antitrust appeals hearing draws near, Microsoft indicates it has a WMP-free Windows ready to go -- if needed.

Click here to read the article




HP Dumps 64-bit Interests
[September 27, 2004] The computer maker said a lack of Windows applications helped its decision to dump its investment in 64-bit workstations.

Click here to read the article


Chips, Networkers Lead Stocks Lower
[September 27, 2004] Semiconductor and communications equipment stocks led the market lower on Monday, as investors remained jittery ahead of third-quarter earnings reports in October.

Click here to read the article




ITSM Deployment Is Conference Focus
[September 27, 2004] The itSMF USA Annual Conference highlights the need for IT service management training.

Click here to read the article




Cingular Sells Off Biz Messaging Unit
[September 27, 2004] Cingular divests its messaging technology unit. AT&T Wireless, which is being acquired by Cingular, has launched a messaging-only handheld for teens.

Click here to read the article



Sun Persists with Single Programming Model
[September 27, 2004] UPDATED: The company's engineers aim to bring the Java community a little closer by creating one persistence model for JavaBeans and Java Objects.

Click here to read the article




Topspin Bundles Utility Computing Package
[September 27, 2004] The InfiniBand specialist bundles its switches and adapters together in one cost-effective, grid computing package.

Click here to read the article



IBM in Major RFID Expansion
[September 27, 2004] Big Blue will spend $250 million to solidify its presence in a sector it sees as high-growth.

Click here to read the article




Report: Web Services Market to Explode
[September 27, 2004] A new research report from Radicati Group projects the market for Web Services to hit $6.2 billion by 2008

Click here to read the article



Shaving Time From The Virus Race
[September 17, 2004] IronPort Systems has launched the latest version of its IronPort C-Series E-mail Security Appliance, adding Virus Outbreak Filters that the company said could respond to new virus outbreaks within minutes.

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:

VBScript String Concatenation
(And Why It Should Be Avoided Like The Plague)

A lot of ASP code makes extensive use of string concatenation, and, although VB and VBScript handle it very poorly, nothing is usually done about it because so many developers are simply unaware of the performance problems. This article not only explains the problem, it also illustrates just how bad it can get and provides a few alternatives. Of course... all the source code can be downloaded and used in your own scripts.

*** AND ***

Unit Test - Testing with NUnit Framework

Kamran Qamar introduces unit testing with NUnit and offers some best practices, tips, and tricks.

*** AND ***

Creating a Tabbed Interface for Displaying Parent/Child Data

The end goal of this article is to create a custom ASP.NET server control that will allow one to create a tabbed interface by simply dropping a Web control from the Toolbox in Visual Studio .NET onto the Designer.




And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

1964 Warren Commission Report Confirms Lee Harvey Oswald Killed JFK

The Warren Commission was given the task of investigating the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy. The report, released on this day in 1964, concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots from a rifle pointed out of a window on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository. The report also concluded that Oswald had acted alone, and the Jack Ruby, who fatally shot Oswald on live national television, had had no previous contact with Oswald. Thus, the report concluded that there had been no conspiracy in the assassination. The report did not, however, silence the conspiracy theories, and in 1978 the House Select Committee on Assassinations issued a report that indicated that Kennedy was "probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy". According to this report, the killing may have involved multiple shooters and organized crime. both conclusions are still disputed by many people today.

Today was also the day that in: 1540 the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) was founded by Ignatius de Loyola; 1779 John Adams negotiated Revolutionary War peace terms with Britain; 1787 Constitution was submitted to the states for ratification; 1821 Revolutionary forces occupied Mexico City as Spanish withdraw and the Mexican Empire declared its independence; 1938 Ocean liner Queen Elizabeth was launched at Glasgow; 1988 Lab tests reportedly prove that the Shroud of Turin was not Christs burial cloth; 1989 Sony took over Columbia Pictures for $3.4 billion cash; 1990 Senate Judiciary committee approved Justice Souter's Supreme Court nomination;

Born today were: in 1722 revolutionary rabble rouser and Lt. Gov. of Massachusetts (1789-94) Samuel Adams; 1792 illustrator (for Charles Dickens) George Cruickshank; 1817 the first black US Senator Hiram R. Revels; 1895 actor George Raft; 1920 actor William Conrad; 1933 actress Kathleen Nolan; 1934 actor Wilfred Brimley; 1947 model/actress Cheryl Tiegs; 1947 actress Liz Torres; 1947 musician Marvin Lee Aday (Meatloaf);


Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!


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