Goodies to Go (tm)
August 18, 2003-- Newsletter #246

By Vince Barnes


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Goodies to Go (tm)
August 18, 2003--Newsletter #246

This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.

Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - Blast Those Darned Worms!
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Goodies Peer Reviews
* Feedback Goodies  
* And Remember This...



Goodies Announcement

Just in case you missed it before, 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 - Blast Those Darned Worms!

Now I know that none of you were caught by that nasty Blaster worm that circulated last week! That's because every one of you keeps your machine up to date on security patches and anti-virus updates. Right? Uh-huh!! Perhaps we'll let that slide with the notation that you probably saw its effect of your friend's machine!

What's the advice you should be giving your friend? "Use automatic updates wherever they're available; keep your software, your operating system and especially your anti-virus software up to date." This involves, amongst other things, acquiring and applying all the security updates and patches and the services packs for your OS. Every operating system, whether Windows, Linux, Mac/OS, Unix or other is a target for hackers. If you are undefended on the internet, you will be hacked. This includes systems and software exalted by proponents of "Open Systems" and free software, as in the GNU project -- take a look at the last item in the News Goodies today, for example.

It's a sad fact that in today's world as much as you try to build something, there will be somebody out there trying to tear it down. To protect our systems and to keep our work safe requires a solid defensive strategy. Such a strategy involves partnering with other, like-minded people. The people in the best position to help with defenses in your computer are the authors of your operating system and software and those in the anti-virus business.

There was plenty of warning of the vulnerability exploited by Blaster and the security patch to defend against it was out a while before it hit. The only targets it could get into were machines that had not been patched. There are those who read the little messages on their screens and think to themselves "I'll get to that later." Not if the virus or worm that exploits it gets to you first, you won't! Again, I'm sure this didn't happen to you.

I recently wrote a piece on this very subject for those tasked with administering enterprise systems. You can find it at http://www.enterpriseitplanet.com/security/features/article.php/2240901 There's a lot in there that would apply to you too.

Even with the best defensive strategy, and with religious attention paid to virus updates, there is still the possibility, small as it may be, that a hacker will be able to get it and do damage somehow. Every hack is discovered by someone and tried on some system first. It would be very bad luck, but it could be your system they pick. That's where the three golden rules of computing come into play. In case you don't know what they are, I'll recite them for you here: Rule number one: Back up; Rule number two: Back up; Rule number three: Back up. When all else fails this will be your saving. You can always take a machine off-line and restore your operating system, programs and data files. If you have a back-up, that is.


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 http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors.

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

MSN Search Tests Worrisome for LookSmart
[August 18, 2003] The paid inclusion company says Microsoft's evolving search strategy could cripple its MSN distribution agreement.

Click here to read the article


One Palm, Two New Names
[August 18, 2003] Handheld maker renames hardware, software divisions as it faces pressure from new PDAs coming on the market.

Click here to read the article



Overture Rolls Out AltaVista Toolbar
[August 18, 2003] Days after rival Google rolled out its new toolbar, Overture answers with one of its own, featuring a pop-up blocker and translation features.

Click here to read the article



Agiliti Launches Global Internet Access Service
[August 18, 2003] New service allows remote and mobile professionals to connect to the Internet and to corporate networks via VPN over local lines, toll-free numbers, broadband or Wi-Fi hotspots.

Click here to read the article



SCO Pushes Web Service platform
[August 18, 2003] SCO Group opens its SCO Forum conference in Las Vegas with a flurry of announcements about its SCOx Web services initiative, but a few names appear to be missing from the marquee billing.

Click here to read the article



NYC's Union Square Park Gets Wi-Fi'd
[August 18, 2003] A popular hotspot in New York gets even hotter.

Click here to read the article



Real Gets Rolling Stones; Best Buy Deal
[August 18, 2003] The Rolling Stones joins the music download party and gives RealNetworks first dibs at the majority of its tracks.

Click here to read the article



See Your Business as the Media Sees You
[August 18, 2003] Market360, which marks Biz360's entry into the SMB market, is designed to let companies measure the effectiveness of their public relation efforts. Just as importantly, it lets you track how your competitors are perceived.

Click here to read the article


Senator Releases RIAA Subpoena Data
[August 18, 2003] Coleman says his Subcommittee on Investigations will broaden probe into P2P networks to examine criminal penalties for file-swappers.

Click here to read the article



GNU Project Server Hacked by Intruder
[August 14, 2003] The potential exists for an intruder to have inserted back doors, Trojan horses or other malicious code into free software source code distributions.

Click here to read the article








Goodies Peer Reviews


Every week a site selected each week 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 http://www.htmlgoodies.com/peerreviews




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 http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors/

Several of you wrote to point out that I missed out PHP in my list last week (see http://www.htmlgoodies.com/letters/245.html) Oops! That was indeed an omission. There have also been several requests for a PHP introductory tutorial -- watch the site!!
David Doiron commented about the piece on sound in issue # 244 ( see http://www.htmlgoodies.com/letters/244.html) He's a man after my own heart when it comes to the question of sound on a website. David also asked if he could quote me when talking with his clients -- the answer is yes, please do! You are all very welcome to quote me when talking with others about the Internet (or anything else in which you find my writings may be applicable!) I just ask that you please reference the source. Thanks!

I also received an email from someone who plays loud music in their car because they are hard of hearing (I am sorry but I cannot find your email at this time to get your name.) I do not mean to offend anyone and I am sure that there are exceptions to every rule but I believe that the vast majority of those playing loud music in their cars are motivated by something other than being partially deaf. Of course, there is no doubt that they are on their way to being partially deaf. A good friend of mine who is an MD specializing in matters of the Ear Nose and Throat tells me that it takes less than a minute of being in a car with the sound cranked up like that to start doing permanent damage to the ear.

About those calendar implementations -- there's still time to send them in, but it's running out! Best hurry! (See newsletter # 243 -- it can be found at http://www.htmlgoodies.com/letters/243.html -- just in case you missed it.) I am still taking submissions, so if you haven't sent in yours yet, send it in! I will be publishing a few in the near future.

Thanks again for all your feedback!


Windows Tech Goodie of the Week:

Deploying ASP.NET Applications - Part 1

This article details support provided by the .NET Framework for packaging
and deploying ASP.NET Web applications. It also shows how to use Windows
Installer technology for creating sophisticated ASP.NET Web application


** and **

Excel as a Client-Side Data Viewer ASP.NET Sample

Depending on what your web site offers, it can often be
helpful to your visitors if you offer your content in
formats other then HTML. One of the more popular
formats for sites that deal with numerical data, stocks,
money, etc. is that of a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.




And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

1920 Suffrage Amendment Ratified
The State of Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States on this day in 1920, thus giving it the two-thirds majority of the states that it needed to becoome the law of the land. The 19th Amendment says "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex" and "Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation." Organized in 1948 by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, America's woman suffrage movement passed a resolution that declared "it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise." The 19th Amendmend gives them the right to vote that they sought.

Today was also the day that: in 1227 Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan died; 1587 Vinginia Dare was the first English child born in the new world; in 1834 Mount Vesuvius erupted; in 1958 Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita was published; in 1961 the construction of the Berlin Wall was completed; in 1962 Peter, Paul & Mary's "If I Had A Hammer" was released; in 1972 the Swede's fined Paul & Linda McCartney $800 for possession of Cannabis;

Born today were: in 1587 Virginia Dare (see above); 1750 composer Antonio Salieri (nemesis to Mozart - ??); 1834 store chain founder Marshall Field; 1904 cosmetics CEO Max Factor; 1917 former US Secy. of Defense Casper Weinberger; 1922 actress Shelley Winters; 1933 film director Roman Polanski; 1937 actor Robert Redford; 1943 actor comedian Martin Mull; 1945 singer Nona Hendryx; 1952 actor Patrick Swayze;




Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!


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