Goodies To Go! Newsletter #345

By Vince Barnes

Goodies to Go (tm)
July 12, 2005 -- Newsletter # 345
This newsletter is part of the network.


Featured this week:
*   Goodies Thoughts - Is PHP For You?
*   Q & A Goodies
*   News Goodies
*   Feedback Goodies
*   Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
*   And Remember This...
Is PHP For You?
Are you one of those people who have given a little thought to PHP but decided in the end that it's a language for those computer types who run their own servers and not really something you want to get into?  If so, you might want to reconsider.
If you're brand new to web page design, you are probably having enough fun for now with using HMTL and all of its capabilities.  After a while though, you will most probably join those legions of others just like you who have started to include JavaScript into their pages to provide a new level of interaction between you site and your visitors.
All will be going well for another while -- your adeptship growing nicely.  Then you will start to realize that all the interaction is happening at your visitors computers and you're missing out on the game!  When it comes to the need for your site to start learning things about your visitors, and to provide them with access to much larger volumes of information that can be held in a few dozen web pages, you will be wanting to connect files and databases to your pages.  You'll want to store information your visitors provide, and show it back to them later on.  You will want to have server side interactivity.
That's where PHP comes in.  PHP has become the most popular server side language for the likes of us.  It is supported very widely.  You'll find it is available on all the best dressed hosting services.  If you're not sure about yours, ask 'em!  If they don't have it, ask them if they will be putting it in before you move!!
"All well and good," I hear you say, "but I don't know any PHP."  No problem.  As usual,, when your need is there, HTML Goodies will be there to fill it.  We have a new PHP tutorial series being developed for you -- and it is very well und way.  You'll find it at : and it's already over twenty sections long and still growing!  Don't let the size fool you into thinking it's going to be too hard to learn either.  Dig in and you'll be surprised how easy it really is!
PHP is for everybody!

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.


. 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 taken over responsibilities for an inhouse intranet site and when users access a certain page, I want to have a "pop-up" page come up that gives specific information or instructions, and I would like to have it close itself after a certain amount of time.  Any suggestions?
A. Try using a timer to execute a self.close command. You might find a free script that does this already at or, and there are other free script sites that might have something.

Q. How can I force a user to submit a form by clicking the "Submit" button only and not by using the "Enter" key?
A. This script had the desired effect, but not in all browsers. It worked in Netscape 7 and IE 6, not in Opera 6 and Netscape 4.
<script language="JavaScript">
<!-- ;
function showAlert() {
alert("don't do that");
return false
// end hide -->
<form action="http://yourcgiscript" method="post" onKeyPress="showAlert()">
<input type="submit" value="default value">



News Goodies
EU Probes Intel's European Offices
[July 12, 2005] UPDATED: Early-morning raids raise eyebrows amid EU's four-year-old antitrust probe of Intel's business practices.
Read the article:

Tech Coalition Seeking Input to Define Spyware
[July 12, 2005] The Anti-Spyware Coalition wants input on its definition before working on best practices for the industry and end users.
Read the article:

Skype Goes Boingo For Wi-Fi

[July 12, 2005] Boingo now offers Skype access across its 18,000 hotspots.
Read the article:

Microsoft Shifting Adware Approach?
[July 12, 2005] Is Microsoft hot on Claria or soft on adware?
Read the article:

IBM Explores BPL in Texas
[July 12, 2005] Big Blue teams with a Texas energy company to test Broadband over Power Lines.
Read the article:

IBM to Chill Servers With 'Cool Blue'
[July 12, 2005] Big Blue plans to blast data centers with its server cooling device designed to save energy.
Read the article:

Analysts See Solid Year for Storage
[July 12, 2005] Wall Street analysts expect a strong year for storage sales with some vendors and technologies faring better than others.
Read the article:

HP Dips Into Dell Personnel
[July 12, 2005] HP skipper Mark Hurd continues his executive overhaul.
Read the article:

Domains Gone Mobile
[July 11, 2005] The Internet's going mobile with a new top-level domain for devices.
Read the article:

Ruggedized Pentium Boards for Harsh Environments
[July 11, 2005] Pentium III still is state-of-the-art in embedded space. 
Read the article:

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 helps 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 for all your feedback!

Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
Running Microsoft Access Stored Queries from ASP.NET
While you won't get the performance benefits you do with SQL Server, you can use stored queries in Microsoft Access to move the query text out of your ASP.NET code. In addition to helping you get used to the idea of stored procedures, it might also help lessen your vulnerability to SQL injection attacks.

*** AND ***

Retrieving the First N Records from a SQL Query
There are often times when retrieving results from a database that you only are interested in displaying the first N records from the resulting query.
In this article we'll look at both ROWCOUNT and TOP and see when to use each one. Read on to learn more!

*** AND ***
Hosting Indigo Web Services
In the second article of his series on Indigo web services, Chris Peiris explains how to host an Indigo web service and examines the IIS, self hosting, and Windows Activation Service hosting options. He then provides step-by-step instructions and sample code for an IIS-hosted and self-hosted Indigo web service.

And Remember This ...
On this day in...

1862 Rolling Stones Make Their Debut
The Rolling Stones give their first public performance on this day in 1962 at the Marquee Club in London.  Mick Jagger had run into his old school friend, Keith Richards, and invited him to join his band, known as Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys.  At the time, Jagger was a student at the London School of Economics and Richards was an art student.  Jagger and his band frequently jammed with a band known as Blues, Inc. (which included Brian Jones.)  Blues, Inc were to play the gig at the Marquee, but some of the members were scheduled to appear on a radio show at the same time.  Jagger got a group together to replace Blues, Inc. that included himself, guitarists Richards and Jones, Bass player Dick Taylor and drummer Mick Avory (later with the Kinks.)  He named the band the Rolling Stones after a line in a song from Muddy Waters.  About a year later Bill Wyman joined to replace Taylor and Charlie Watts replaced Avory.
Today was also the day that in: 1543 King Henry VIII married Catherine Parr (#6 & the last); 1812 General Hull led US forces in invasion of Canada; 1862 the US Congress authorized the Medal of Honor; 1909 the 19th amendment to the US Constitution was passed (granting the power to tax incomes); 1920 Lithuania became an independent republic with the signing of a treaty with the USSR; 1934 the prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay was abandoned; 1948 six RAF deHavilland Vampire jets became the first jets to cross the Atlantic; 1951 a mob tried to prevent a black family from moving into all-white Cicero, Illinois; 1957 Dwight Eisenhower became the first US President to fly in a helicopter; 1960 the USSR launched Sputnik 5 with two dogs aboard; 1966 a record 10.5 inches of rain fell in one day in Sandusky, Ohio; 1966 Race riots in Chicago, Illinois; 1967 Blacks riot in Newark, New Jersey - 26 killed, 1,500 injured & more than 1,000 arrested; 1970 Janis Joplin made her debut; 1982 the US Federal Emergency Management Agency promised that survivors of a nuclear war would still get their mail (uh-huh!); 1984 New York's Geraldine Ferraro became the US' first major party female Vice Presidential candidate;

Born today were: in 1730 pottery designer and manufacturer Josiah Wedgwood; 1817 naturalist and author Henry David Thoreau; 1854 Kodak camera inventor George Eastman; 1884 Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani; 1895 lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II (worked with Richard Rogers); 1895 architect and geodesic dome inventor R. Buckminster Fuller; 1908 comedian Milton Berle; 1917 painter Andrew Wyeth; 1937 comedian Bill Cosby; 1943 singer Christie McVie; 1948 exercise guru & ? Richard Simmons; 1951 actress Cheryl Ladd; 1956 actress Mel "Mary Ellen" Harris; 1964 actress Judi Evans;

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