Goodies to Go! Newsletter #312

By Vince Barnes

Goodies to Go (tm)
November 22, 2004 -- Newsletter # 312

This newsletter is part of the network.

Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - Thanksgiving
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* 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 - Thanksgiving

Around this time of year, there is a holiday celebrated in the US known as Thanksgiving. It's a harvest festival celebration, the origin of which goes back to some of the earliest European settlers in the Americas.

A group of English Separatist Puritans sailed from Plymouth, England aboard the Mayflower on September 16, 1620. They dropped anchor near where Provincetown is today on November 21, 1620, and on December 26, 1620 finally landed where Plymouth, Massachusetts now is. They founded Plymouth Colony, signing the "Mayflower Compact" agreement to create "just and equal laws for the general good of the colony." These settlers are now known as the "Pilgrim Fathers", and included leader William Brewster, John Carver, Edward Winslow, and William Bradford, , governors of Plymouth Colony; John Alden, assistant governor; and Myles Standish, a professional soldier and military advisor.

The settlers came upon the Samoset Indians who, surprisingly, could speak English (they had learned it from English traders on the Maine coast) who introduced them to the Wampanoag Indian chief Massasoit and his interpreter Squanto. Signing a peace treaty with the Pilgrims, the Indians taught them to fish, grow corn and gather fruit. The Pilgrim's celebrated their first harvest in 1621, and invited the Indians to join them in an event now known as Thanksgiving Day.

Today, the holiday is celebrated on the last Thursday in November. These day's it involves eating turkey and "fixin's" in unduly large quantities, and taking the next day off work to go shopping (it's usually the busiest shopping day of the year.) It's a good holiday because it doesn't apply to any particular religion and is very much a family day.

In keeping with its early tradition, we take time to consider those things we are thankful for, and I'm going to do a little of that today.

Obviously, I am thankful for the Internet. It is the most remarkable of modern inventions. It has created an entirely new way for me, and for many of you, to earn a livelihood. It has shrunk the world by creating new ways for us to communicate with each other, and helps us achieve much higher levels of understanding which is, in my view, the path to global peace (though we still have a long way to go!)

I'm thankful also for all those programmers out there who toil to create the fantastic software tools and toys that I use everyday. I have been programming since the early 70's and I recognize the tremendous advances that have been made.

I'm thankful to Jupitermedia for providing a home for HTML Goodies and this newsletter.

And most of all, I'm thankful for you, Goodies to Go readers and HTML Goodies visitors for your support and continued loyalty. You are the reason we can keep going, and the reason we can continue to provide a free resource and free newsletter to our community. Each week I close this piece with the same words, this week I want to highlight those words:

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. (Question was posed as a JavaScript question) How do I (or can I at all) use a button in frame A to send the page in frame B to a specific E-mail address?

A. Unfortunatly JavaScript cannot send HTML emails. You will need to use a Server Side language such as Perl, PHP or ASP. The best you could do with JavaScript would be to send a link to a Page, but in your case that would not work as you want them to build the document and then send it.

Q. I have volunteered to create a web site for a science fair at our local elementary school. I have just begun to write html, and find it really easy. I would like to know if you could recommend any good html editor, that at least had syntax checking and , I guess style sheet support. I want to keep it simple, so others who follow me in coming years will be able to maintain the site without having to learn something complicated.

A. Ease of use, inexpensive, style sheet support and the new version, 2003 has syntax checking, I would suggest FrontPage 2003, about $170. Some would argue that FrontPage is for amateurs. I have used it since FrontPage 98 and have been very happy with it. It gets better with every version and FP 2003 has it all. It is a WYSIWYG editor as well as an HTML editor. You can choose either or both at the same time with the new version. I have used Dreamweaver, about $400 and it is a great editor but the price is far greater than FrontPage and the learning curve is greater, in my humble opinion. If you are looking for a very nice editor that has everything you are looking for (no WYSIWYG) you can try CoffeeCup HTML Editor - - about $50 and lifetime upgrades. I own it and use it also. very nice editor but not all of the bells and whistles as the others. For a free HTML editor with no WYSIWYG you can try 1st Page Editor - I have never tried it but have heard good things about it.

Q. My website uses frames and I was wondering if there was a code (which I was gussing uses Javascript) that refreshes a page/frame automatically every X minutes?

A. If you want to reload a document in one frame frome another you could do this:
<script language="javascript">
function doReload()
Then start it by using the onLoad event in the body tag:
<body onload="setTimeout('doReload()',60000)">
This would reload the document in the frame named "framea" every 60,000 miliseconds (1 minute).

Q. I'm trying to design a personal portfolio site and need to have people click on my thumbnails to see larger images in a new window... easy. However I found a site that makes it hard for people to save/steal copyright materials- it makes the new window close when it is clicked on... I can't figure out how to do this.

A. You could use the onClick event in the body tag. Of course they can still steal your images because the images have to be downloaded to your PC for your browser to display them. The body tag would look like this:
<body onClick="window.close()">
This will only work if the window was opened using the JavaScript command.

Q. This is a question based around HTML and Java. Firstly, how do you specify a constant width for a drop down menu, and secondly, how to you change its colours?

A. This is more of a HTML/CSS question, but you could use a style tag in the select tag to specify that. Here is an example:
<select name="sel" style="width:80;color:red;background-color:yellow">
<option value="yes">Yes</option
<option value="no">No</option
This example would limit the select (dropdown) to 80 pixels, the text will be red and the background color of the select will be yellow.

Q. I'm trying to create a sort of mouseover-driven context-sensitive help system for my website. The basic idea is that you mouse over a set of services (system checkup, basic service, advanced service, etc) and a window pops up telling you what it is you're going to be paying for. I can get windows to pop up quite's getting them to go away again that's having me in fits. Is there any way to do something like:
onMouseOut="window.diediedie('popup');return true"
and have it actually work?

A. You might want to take a look at this script. It is very flexible and looks great.






News Goodies

Banner Ads Serving Up MyDoom
[November 22, 2004] New move in virus battle renders banner ads susceptible to MyDoom variant.

Click here to read the article




IBM Flies Into Aerospace Electronics
[November 22, 2004] Big Blue wins a longterm engineering and services contract from Honeywell worth up to $250M.

Click here to read the article


PeopleSoft Soap Opera Still Alive
[November 21, 2004] UPDATED: PeopleSoft's board remains defiant even though more than 60 percent of shareholders favor Oracle.

Click here to read the article




ICQ Launches Improved E-Mail Service
[November 22, 2004] The instant messaging company also announces premium plan.

Click here to read the article




QLogic, McDATA Combine on Blades
[November 22, 2004] The storage vendors will boost connectivity over networks by co-creating a switch for blade servers.

Click here to read the article



House Approves Internet Access Tax Ban
[November 19, 2004] President Bush promised to sign four-year prohibition on connection taxes.

Click here to read the article




Unix Still (Kind of) Holding Its Own
[November 19, 2004] FEATURE: Despite rumors of its demise, Unix is very much alive and kicking. But analysts are still concerned about its ability to do battle with Windows and Linux.

Click here to read the article



Clash of the .Net, J2EE Clans?
[November 19, 2004] Microsoft's development platform has made huge strides since its debut, but Java proponents say they're just picking up steam.

Click here to read the article




The Risk of at-Work Surfers
[November 19, 2004] Employees unaware of security risks associated with surfing the Internet on the job, NetApp says.

Click here to read the article



Kmart/Sears Success Is in the IT
[November 19, 2004] UPDATED: Forget product mix and store layout. Melding IT systems key to the success of this merger.

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

Thanks again for all your feedback!




Windows Tech Goodie of the Week:

Database Edit ASP.NET Sample

This sample shows you how to use the ASP.NET DataGrid's built in editing capabilities to edit records in a database. It also includes some basic Try...Catch...Finally style error handling to prevent people from entering text into the integer fields and vice versa.








And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

1963 John F. Kennedy Assassinated

In one of the most infamous and subsequently controversial assassinations of the twentieth century, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was fatally shot on this day in 1963 while riding in a Lincoln convertible through the streets of Dallas, Texas. At 12:30 p.m., as the car passed the Texas School Book Depository Building, Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots from the sixth floor, fatally wounding President Kennedy and seriously injuring Texas Governor Connally. Half an hour later, Kennedy was pronounced dead at Dallas Parkland Hospital. On November 24, Oswald, who had ties to the USSR and to Cuba, was being moved from the Dallas police HQ to a more secure county jail, when he was shot dead with a single shot fired by Jack Ruby, FKA Jacob Rubenstein. Ruby, who plead innocent by reason of insanity (he supposedly suffered from "psychomotor epilepsy" caused by grief at Kennedy's assassination, and so shot Ruby "unconsciously") was found guilty of "murder with malice" and sentenced to death. Ruby was alleged to have ties to organized crime. Circumstances led to many conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination. In 1964 the Warren Commission report concluded that "neither Oswald nor Ruby were part of a larger conspiracy, either domestic or international, to assassinate President Kennedy", but in 1978 the House Select Committee on Assassinations reported that Kennedy was "probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy", and that multiple shooters and organized crime might have been involved. The controversy continues still today, as there are firm believers on both sides of the discussion.

Today was also the day that in: 1718 English pirate Edward :Blackbeard" Teach died off the coast of Virginia; 1842 Mount St. Helens erupted; 1886 The Victoria Street Cable Tram began operation in Melbourne Australia; 1910 Arthur Knight received a paten for steel shafted golf clubs; 1916 author Jack London died of kidney disease; 1928 Maurice Ravel's "Bolero" was first publicly performed (Paris); 1932 a pump capable of calculating the quantity and price of fluid it delivered was patented; 1935 the flying boat "China Clipper" took off from California with 100,000 pieces of mail on the first trans-pacific airmail flight; 1963 the Beatles released their second album, "With The Beatles", in the UK; 1963 English author Aldous Huxley died; 1963 English author C.S. Lewis died; 1967 the BBC (unofficially) banned the Beatles' song "I am The Walrus"; 1968 the Beatles released their only double album, nameless, but dubbed the "White Album" for its plain white cover; 1975 Juan Carlos was proclaimed King of Spain (following the Nov. 20 death of dictator Francisco Franco, who had no idea that Juan Carlos would reinstitute democracy); 1977 regular Concorde flights between Europe and NY began; 1989 Conjunction of Venus, Mars, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn & the Moon, and Eastern Airlines pilots and flight attendants ended their strike, but most of them were not rehired; 1990 US President George Bush (Sr.) visited troops in Saudi Arabia for the Thanksgiving Holiday; 1990 Margaret Thatcher announced her resignation as British Prime Minister;

Born today were: in 1819 English author George Elliot; 1888 Edgar Rice Burroughs' fictional character Tarzan of the Apes; 1899 actor and songwriter Hoagie Carmichael; 1904 actor Roland Winters; 1906 actress Lee Patrick; 1910 actress Mary Jackson; 1913 English composer Benjamin Britten; 1921 comedian Rodney Dangerfield; 1932 actor Robert Vaughn; 1935 actor Michael Callan; 1939 actor Allen Gerfield; 1940 actor, comedian, animator (the American in Monty Python) Terry Gilliam; 1943 tennis star Billie Jean King; 1958 actress Jamie Lee Curtis; 1961 actress Mariel Hemmingway; 1966 English Nicholas Rowe; 1967 Tennis star Boris Becker;


Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!


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