Goodies to Go (tm)
January 5, 2004-- Newsletter #266

By Vince Barnes


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

Goodies to Go (tm)
January 5, 2004--Newsletter #266

This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.

Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - A Resolution for the New Year
* 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 - A Resolution for the New Year

Today is the fifth of January so if you're much like ninety-nine plus percent of the population who made a New Year's Resolution, it's ancient history already; broken, shattered, scattered and forgotten! Ah well! Promise yourself you'll do better next year (which, like the rest of us, you won't!)

So what do you do when you feel like you're failing and you need something new to try? You turn to HTML Goodies and the Goodies To Go Newsletter, of course! And so, here we are with an offering of a resolution you can live with. It's not the kind of New Year's Resolution you are used to; but then, they've not been working too well for you, have they? This is about screen resolutions. Naturally. This newsletter is about the web after all. But we're going to help you set a resolution you can keep, change at will, and still keep!

You create web pages. This means that you probably have a 17 inch or bigger monitor (15 inch for a TFT/LCD screen) with you display resolution set to 1024x768 or larger. This "wild" assumption is based on a variety of surveys that have been looking at the type of computer equipment that people have and the uses they put it to. Those of us who use the Internet enough to be interested in creating web pages usually have equipment that is a little more modern than some, and has a better than average display capability. Larger pixel counts (aka "dot resolution" or a variety of similar expressions) show more items on the screen, but with everything a little smaller. A larger screen compensates for the smallness of each item, making everything comfortably visible to the eyes again. Higher pixel counts (and greater color depth, aka "number of colors") require more video memory and a faster video card to keep up with changes. Even fairly modest modern computer configurations are easily capable of 1024x768 pixels at 24bit or 32bit color depths. this is very readable on a 17" CRT or a 15"LCD screen.

Why is this important to you? I'm so glad you asked! When you create a page, it's important to you that the person you intend to look at the page gets to see it in all its glory. You have to check it. To do that you must know what they will be looking at the page with and you must be able to look at it the same way. Since we've already covered the equipment you probably have, we need to discuss what your visitor will be using. If, by the way, your PC doesn't have the capabilities I've described here, you could always resolve to get yourself some new gear this year. That shouldn't be too painful!

For a considerable time Web Wisdom has said that a designer should design their pages to an anticipated screen resolution of 800x600. This is based on the idea that this is the resolution most web surfers are using. It is less and less the case, however, as people are getting newer and better equipment to take advantage of all the exciting new things the web can do for their lives. If your site is to target a younger audience (teens to young parents), the chances are they'll use 1024x768 or better. Some of their elders still prefer the larger images that go with the lower resolutions because that's easier on their eyes. You'll have to decide for yourself which is better. Lower and higher resolutions than these two would only really be needed in special circumstances.

To see what your page is going to look like at the different resolutions you don't have to keep changing the resolution of your desktop. Instead, you can say a quick "thank you" to Bob Conley, one of our mentors (see http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors) for this neat little idea which appeared in a recent Goodies To Go Q&A section. In your browser's address bar type:
Press your enter key and the screen will resize to 640x480. Save it to your Favorites (Bookmarks). Do the same with 800x600 and 1024x768 resolutions and save them to your Favorites. Now you can click on the link in your Favorites to resize your browser without having to change your settings. If you're using IE6 you can also drag the "e" icon in the address bar to your "Links" menu and drop it. You will get a message warning you about saving an "unsafe" URL because it contains JavaScript. You can ignore the warning because you know it's safe. I prefer to keep these setting in the "Links" list because I keep tool type things there, but that's just me.

So now you can keep your resolution, at least your screen resolution, while your try out other resolutions to see how you like them. I hope everything turns out to be that easy you in this new year!


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.  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. I would buy a pre-built e-commerce application to handle this for you. There are many out there, but it depends on what your server will support. I use Active Server Pages(ASP). It runs on Windows servers. I also use a shopping cart called VASP (www.vasp.com) and it handles exactly what you are looking for. Others do also but I am familiar with that one and can tell you that it is a very nice cart for the money. Another I would suggest and is a bit cheaper is ClickCart (http://www.clicktech.com). This one I believe handles eBooks but I am not 100% sure. Send an email to the Leo, the owner and I am sure he can answer your questions.

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 http://www.aspin.com and do a search for "forums". If your server supports PHP, go to http://www.code4u.com 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):

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="mailto:somebody@somewhere.com" 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:
http://www.htmlgoodies.com/articles/emailforms1.html  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 http://www.javascriptsource.com or http://webdeveloper.earthweb.com, 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

IT Giants Return Home For the Money
[January 5, 2004] Broadband, wireless, digital content and PCs turned home entertainment hubs have tech heavyweights at CES taking a fresh look at the consumer market.

Click here to read the article



Chipmakers Give Thanks for November
[January 5, 2004] Worldwide sales figures from an industry trade group show a continued interest in chips for PCs, cell phones, consumer devices and cars..

Click here to read the article



Macromedia Updates Director for Internet Age
[January 5, 2004] The latest version of the Web graphics software maker's mainstay product adds support for JavaScript, Flash MX 2004 content, DVD-Video.

Click here to read the article



PayPal Readies European Subsidiary
[January 5, 2004] The online payment service (and eBay's) expansion into Europe has hit a new gear.

Click here to read the article



First 2.5-inch SATA Drives On the Way
[January 5, 2004] UPDATE: Fujitsu's 2.5 inch mobile hard drives are geared for laptops in the early stages.

Click here to read the article



RIAA Lawsuits Chilling Illegal Downloads
[January 5, 2004] The music industry may have lost a recent round in court over its crusade against file-swapping, but a new study shows that it's got the edge in the war.

Click here to read the article



Grand Central's Next Stop: Improved Web Services
[January 5, 2004] Business integration services provider's new 4.0 platform promises a complete stack for companies deploying Web services.

Click here to read the article


CA Drivers: Eyes Off That Laptop
[January 2, 2004] If you're a California driving Web-surfer, it'd better be in the back seat after passage of AB 301.

Click here to read the article



Intel Readies Prescott for a Street Fight
[January 2, 2004] The company prepares its next-generation Pentium desktop chip to deflect interest in AMD's Athlon 64.

Click here to read the article



MSN Messenger Worm Making Rounds
[January 2, 2004] Jitux.A worm uses the popular IM network to spread itself.

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 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/

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:


Introducing ADO.NET and the Typed DataSet


Thom Robbins explains how DataSet object features can be combined with XML to create a new type of object called the typed DataSet, which simplifies the task of data navigation.




And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

1643 The First Divorce in the Colonies

Anne Clarke of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was granted a divorce from her husband, Denis Clarke, by the Quarter Court of Boston, Massachusetts on this day in 1643. Dennis admitted abandoning his wife for another woman. Had had two children by his wife and two more by the other woman. Because he also refused to return to Anne, the puritan court had no choice but to punish him by granting Anne the divorce. The Quarter Court's final decision read: "Anne Clarke, beeing deserted by Denis Clarke hir husband, and hee refusing to accompany with hir, she is graunted to bee divorced."

Today was also the day that: in 1066 King of England Edward de Belijder the Confessor died in the Battle of Hastings as William of Normandy (William the Conqueror) invaded England; 1709 1000's die in sudden extreme cold in Europe; 1809 Britain and France agree to the Treaty of Dardanelles; 1914 Ford Motor Company hiked up wages from $2.40 for a nine hour day to $5.00 for an eight hour day; 1919 the German Farmers' Party formed - later known as the National Socialist Party or Nazi party; 1930 Moa Tse-Tung wrote "A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire"; 1945 Pepe Le Pew debuts in Warner Bros. cartoon "Odor-able Kitty"; 1968 Dr. Benjamin Spock was indicted for conspiring to violate draft law; 1970 soap opera "All My Children" premiered on ABC TV; 1971 US Heavyweight Boxing Champ Sonny Liston was found dead; 1972 NASA announced the development of the Space Shuttle; 1981 the "Yorkshire Ripper" Peter Sutcliffe was arrested for, and later convicted of the murders of 13 women; 1998 vandals decapitated Copenhagen's Little Mermaid;

Born today were: in 1592 Mughal emperor of India and builder of the Taj Mahal Shah Jahan (or Jehan); 1787 genealogist (Burke's Peerage) John Burke; 1855 safety razor inventor King Camp Gillette; 1909 mathematician Stephen Cole Kleene (regular expressions); 1923 publisher Robert Bernstein (Random House); 1928 42nd US Vice-President Walter Mondale; 1928 Pakistani Premier Zulfikar Ali Khan Bhutto; 1931 choreographer Alvin Ailey; 1931 actor Robert Duvall; 1938 Spanish King Juan Carlos I; 1946 actress Dianne Keaton; 1958 actress Suzy Amis; 1963 singer Rick Ambrose; 1969 singer Marilyn Manson;


Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!


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