Goodies to Go (tm)
July 21, 2003-- Newsletter #242
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Goodies to Go (tm)
July 21, 2003--Newsletter #242
This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.
Featured this week:
* Goodies Thoughts - The Strain Of A
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Goodies Peer Reviews
Just in case you missed it before, the new Beyond HTML Goodies book is now available!
Goodies Thoughts - The Strain Of A Day's Work
Maybe it's just me, but there's something I've noticed that makes me wonder.
Certain diseases seem to become "trendy" for a while, and everybody is diagnosed
as having them, then the next thing you know, they're no longer so fashionable
and the incidence rate seems to drop dramatically. I'll give an example, but
first let me say that I'm only giving a lay person's crude observations; there's
nothing medical or scientific about them!
A little while ago everybody was talking about TMJ. It stands for temporomandibular joint, which is where the jaw joins the skull, but was used to refer to all sorts of problems associated with that joint. It seemed like everywhere I turned people were being diagnosed and treated for TMJ, then it just seemed to fade away. A friend of mine recently mentioned that he was being treated for TMJ and the thought popped into my head "I remember that, I wonder whatever happened to it!" It has become what I call a definite "Hmmmm!"
Then there's Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This is associated with the pain people experience when they use a computer keyboard too much. Or perhaps it's when they use it incorrectly; I'm not really sure. It was all the rage for a while, though, and stores were selling wrist rests and ergonomic keyboards and other paraphernalia like it was going out of fashion. Which, strangely enough, it seems it was! The people I know who have bought these items swear by them, though, so there's no arguing with the result. I've been using computers for more decades than I care to admit and in that time I have found that the pain in my wrists builds mostly when I'm having the hardest time with what I'm working on, not when I'm typing the most. I call it tension and for me the cure is to get up, walk away and do something else for ten minutes or so. I usually can think better when I return, also.
I certainly don't mean to belittle these diseases, though. I know that they are truly a problem for those who suffer from them; I just wonder if there aren't cases where stress and tension are diagnosed as something else.
Years ago, monitors sat on top of desktop computers on your desk, putting the bottom edge of the screen some nine or ten inches above the desktop. Then along came monitors with "tilt and swivel" stands that were designed to stand directly on the desktop and put the bottom edge of the screen about six inches above the desktop. I remember when I first used one. At the end of the day I was noticeably less tired and felt less strain in my neck. It seems that the slight change in the angle of my head made a big difference to me. I have since observed this many times, especially when I help out somebody who has their computer arranged in one of those furniture pieces specifically designed for a computer, and sporting a shelf for the monitor to stand on. I only have to sit there for a fairly short while before I can feel the tension in my neck. One of my neighbors recently replaced their computer hutch with a flat table as I had suggested. They tell me that they are using the internet more now because it seems less stressful.
As the day gives way to the night and I am still working away at my machine, I will notice my eyes getting tired and the pain building in the back of my neck. If I keep going without making adjustments the pain gets to the point where I am forced to stop and am now miserable. I am sure that there are a lot of contributing factors, such as ordinary tiredness or my ever increasing age (funny how that happens, isn't it?!) etc., etc.. My observation here, however, has been that there seems to be a relationship between the tension I feel building and the relative brightness of my monitor to that of the room it's in. For example, I might start working at the same time each day, but will feel the strain earlier in the winter than I do in the summer. The cure is as simple as turning the lights on.
In my workroom, I recently replaced the ceiling fan and the new one came with a light fixture for four bulbs where the old one only had one. The pull chain that turns on the lights turns on first one pair, then the other pair, then all four. I have two forty watt bulbs for the first pair and two sixties for the second. This gives me eighty, one hundred and twenty or two hundred watts worth of light. My old one was just sixty. I have found this to make a huge difference. As the horizon rises to conceal the sun and steal the ambient light from my room I only have to remember to turn on the light and I can continue much longer than before without any pain building up. It seems that my eyes feel the strain more when my screen is so much brighter than the room.
Like I said before, these are only a lay persons unscientific observations, but if you sometimes suffer from these annoying symptoms while using your computer, you might try these little fixes to see if they help at all. Of course, if they don't help, get medical help -- we want you to enjoy your computer in comfort so that you will continue to build on the internet we have come to depend on so much!
As to the eye strain I feel, I feel it is less than I strain my punny language!
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. I read the HTML Goodies "Copy To Clipboard" tutorial (see http://www.htmlgoodies.com/beyond/clipboard.html ) but I have 5 textboxes. I need each combo box to have a button next to it that copies the contents of the box to the clipboard. Each box must have its own button. I can not figure it out, so could you possibly help me?
A. Here is a solution you can use. I tested it and it works as expected. However, you will have to create a separate function for each textbox (each function MUST have a different name). You can use the same TextArea for all of the functions, but each function will need to address a different InputBox.
Copied = copytext.createTextRange();
<INPUT TYPE="text" ID="copytext">
<TEXTAREA ID="holdtext" STYLE="display:none"></TEXTAREA>
<BUTTON onClick="ClipBoard()">Copy to Clipboard</BUTTON>
[Note that this is an IE specific function. It doesn't work in Netscape - Ed.]
Q. I was wondering if there is an efficient way to design a site that fills 100% of the visitors' screen without having to code multiple pages and use a Java sniffer to deliver the correct page. I know there is also the option of directing the tables to a percentage equaling 100%. Any thoughts on other ways to go about this?
A. There are two that I know of depending on exactly what you want to do. One maximizes the browser window on entry to the page. The other expands the page without toolbars to the entire screen. The second one only works in IE and can be annoying to some people as they don't like websites to take control of their browser and it can be hard to close the window after the effect happens. I only suggest thst you use them sparingly.
A. Usually the code will show up on a page if you have left out the <script> </script> tags.
Q. How do you create a form?
A. Here is the link to the HTMLGoodies tutorial on forms:
[& check out the new Forms article just added to the site (see the Home Page)]
Q. I love the Dual Image Flip effect. Instead of buttons I'd like to put plain old links. I don't know how to do this and if I change a thing, it won't work. Please help! Also, I need help on putting the image in one place, and placing the text in another. I have a square box that I need to put the image flip in.
A. Here's what you want:
<a href="somepage.html" onmouseover="flip('1.gif','pica')" onmouseout="flip ('0.gif','pica')">Mouse Over Me</a>
<img src="0.gif" name="pica" border="0"></a><br>
As far as placing the picture it depends on how you have your square box defined. You could use a table to position the image or even layers such as <div> or <span> in combination with the style tag.
SCO Escalates Linux Battle
[July 21, 2003] UPDATE: SCO Group ups the ante in its battle against Linux, equating running the operating system with software piracy. But with the Unix System V copyright registrations in hand, the firm offers to sell users a license.
Yahoo!, ACNielsen Team for ROI Measure
[July 21, 2003] UPDATE: Consumer Direct aims to give consumer packaged goods manufacturers a better idea of how their online advertising translates into sales.
Sprint Plans Public Wi-Fi Push
[July 21, 2003] The telecom will provide access to 2,100 hotspots in airports, hotels and convention centers by year's end.
Time Warner to Test Microsoft's iTV Software
[July 21, 2003] Trial runs of the software company's re-configured interactive guides are seen as a crucial test for Redmond's ambitions to break into television screens, once and for all.
SBC Invests in EchoStar, Adds DISH TV Bundle
[July 21, 2003] The telecom adds satellite TV to its offerings as it fights competition from cable TV rivals.
Yahoo! Adds Site-Building Tool
[July 21, 2003] The portal offers SiteBuilder as part of its Web hosting service, in a bid to appeal to small-and medium-sized businesses.
High Speed Wireless Set for D.C., San Diego
[July 21, 2003] With data speeds of up to 2.4 Mbps, Verizon Wireless to offer service it says will be comparable to wireline connections.
Business Objects to Take Crystal Decisions
[July 18, 2003] The $820 million acquisition joins two strong players in the business intelligence software sector.
Apache Updates Popular HTTP Server
[July 18, 2003] Version 1.3.28 is a bug and security fix that, among other things, prevents server crashes when going into an infinite loop caused by internal redirects and nested subrequests.
Is Adobe Targeting Microsoft's InfoPath?
[July 17, 2003] Adobe appears to be challenging Microsoft's claim on the nascent market for tools to create XML forms, but is it really?
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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/
Following last week's article about photos in which I said "if you took the photo yourself, you have the right to use it how you wish", J.D. Lee wrote to point out that there can still be legal problems if your pictures include certain people, public or private property. Thanks Jo, my comment really was a little too broad. There would certainly be problems if, for example, you took a photo of General Motors' logo, blew it up and hung it above your used car lot! There can also be a lot of far less obvous problems. If you want to publish something, which is what putting something on a website is, and you are not sure of the legality of using it, get legal advice from a suitable professional. "Mistakes" can be very expensive!
Also, did you notice the note about email filtering near the top of this newsletter. I know spam has become a nightmare for all of you and filtering is almost essential these days. We have had several questions concerning the ever changing "from" address generating by our list handling system. The note provides the solution for you. Here it is again:
All Goodies To Go newsletters are sent from the domain "internet.com." Please use this domain name (not the entire "from" address, which varies) when configuring e-mail or spam filter rules, if you use them.
Thanks again for all your feedback!
Windows Tech Goodie of the Week:
Microsoft Excel for Data Analysis and Reporting in ASP.NET
Excel is a powerful tool for data analysis and reporting that is heavily used by many business users. The internet has brought a new level of data availablity to information previously locked away in Access databases or flat files. This article focuses on how to get the best of both worldsby using Excel with ASP.NET.
And Remember This . . .
On this day in...
1955 The Last of The Roy Rogers Show
Having made its debut in 1994, the popular radio program The Roy Rogers Show aired its final episode on this day in 1955. Roy Rogers (Leonard Slye) and his trick horse Trigger gained popularity starring in Republic Pictures films following the departure of cowby star Gene Autry from the studios. Like Autry, Rogers moved into radio with his show which always ended with his signature song "Happy Trails". A TV version of the show started in 1951 and continued until 1957. One of the wealthiest men in Hollywood, Rogers built an empire that included a TV studio, real estate, horse and cattle ranches, a rodeo show, and a restaurant chain. Roy Rogers died in 1998.
Today was also the day that: in 1873 Jesse James robbed his first train; in 1940 the USSR annexed Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia; in 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon (by GMT -- it was still yesterday in the USA!); and in 1990 Pink Floyd's "The Wall" was performed where the Berlin Wall used to be.
Born today were: in 1816, Paul Julius Baron von Reuter (Reuters News Service); 1899, wirter Ernest Hemmingway; 1911, writer Marshall McLuhan; 1920, violinist Isaac Stern; 1924, actor Don Knotts; 1926 film director Norman Jewison; 1947, singer/songwriter Cat Stephens (aka Yusuf Islam); 1952, actor/comedian Robin Williams; 1957, comedian Jon Lovitz
Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!
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