Goodies to Go! Newsletter #323

By Vince Barnes

Goodies to Go (tm)
February 7, 2005 -- Newsletter # 323

This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.

Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - Easy Server Administration
* 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 - Easy Server Administration

Back in October of last year, I wrote about an alternative hosting solution for smaller websites. The solution involved the use of a virtual server -- a setup within the hosting company's server that looks and behaves to the user as if it was a complete system itself. The piece can be found here: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/letters/305.html

The solution provided an example hosting company called Aplus.net (for more info contact Liz Zacharieva, lizz@aplus.net or visit http://www.aplus.net)

Following that piece, I have received questions from some readers concerning the amount of knowledge of Unix (and Unix-like systems) they would need in order to run their own virtual server.

While it's true that most of the lower cost servers are running one or another flavor of Unix, they mostly also have a very powerful web based administration tool installed on them. This tool is called Webmin (http://www.webmin.com), and is a product mostly developed by Jamie Cameron (jcameron@webmin.com) and offered under a license for free commercial and non-commercial use. Even if the server you get doesn't have Webmin installed, the instructions provided on their site make downloading and installing a breeze.

With Webmin installed on the system, almost all administrative functions are performed through the web interface. No Unix knowledge required! The most Unix you'll need is for downloading and installation and those instructions are pretty much step by step.

Aplus.net is not currently offering any more virtual server solutions, but I notice that they do have a "Value Server" offering. These are systems that were in use by other customers, but are no longer, and are not "state-of-the-art". They are, however, a great value and would provide plenty of power for hosting some smaller sites (i.e. less than million-a-day e-commerce sites!) When I checked just now, they had 29 of these left at $49/mo each. In a short while there will be 28! (I like to keep a few things spread around the world!)


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 have a domain name that I keep my website posted at. But I also use folders on my site that I do not link to from anywhere in my site. These are just folders for me that I can create pages of reference material that I can look up on the go. I would like to be able to give the address for these pages to certain people but for the most part want to keep them private. Is there any way that I can keep them from showing up in search engines, or some code that would render them invisible to search bots. I don't want to password protect the pages I just want to make it harder for people to stumble onto them without knowing the link.

A. You can tell the search engine robots which folders should and should not be indexed by them. It is called The Robots Exclusion Protocol. When a robot visits a web page it first looks for a file named ROBOTS.TXT. This file contain the information about which parts of the site should nojt be visited by the robot.
The Robots META tag lets you tell the robots if a document should be indexed or not:
Only a few robots support this way.
HTML Author's Guide to the Robots META tag:
The Web Robots Pages:

Q. I am trying to find a way to post my students' grades to my webpage, while insuring individual privacy. I have learned from the tutorials how to include a password to keep the grades private. As far as I can tell, I should be able to make an individual web page for each student and have the password link to that page, showing them their grades. I have 70 students and do not look forward to editing 70 pages each time I have to update grades. Is it possible to store the grade information in one place and have each individual page find and display the info for the appropriate student?

A. You may have already been told that using JavaScript and HTML alone is not a very secure method of protecting HTML documents from being seen by others. I would recommend that you investigate using a Server Side language such as Perl or PHP. You can use both to access a flat file or file stored in a database such as MYSQL and then build your HTML document with the students grades. I know it's not the answer you were looking for, but with javascript you can not read files or write to files. You would have to store the students data in a JavaScript array and then build the pages from that which would compromise your data.

Q. Used this bit of code:
var num=1
img1 = new Image ()
img1.src =
img2 = new Image ()
img2.src = "images/noahnick.jpg"
img3 = new Image ()
img3.src = "images/kevinnick.jpg"
img4 = new Image ()
img4.src = "images/mikekevin.jpg"
img5 = new Image ()
img5.src = "images/noahkevin2.jpg"
function slideshowUp()
if (num==6)
function slideshowBack()
if (num==0)
slide show opens - goes thru each image, after the last slide it looks
for an image that isn't there instead of looping to image #1. Same
problem in reverse Any suggestions?

A. Try setting the initial value of the variable num to zero instead of 1. In your function you add 1 to it as the first step. Also in your function slideshowUp when num has a value of 6 set it to zero instead of 1. In your function slideshowBack try setting num to a value of
6 when it reaches 0 so that when you subtract 1 again it will be set to 5.

Q. I have a song loading on the first page of the website. I would like that song to continue playing throughout the website with the ability to be turned off at any time. Could you please tell me how to load it so it doesn't start over with the selection of any page link?

A. The way the site is set up now you cannot have the music playing without re-starting on each page. If the entire site was done in Flash it could be done if the information being sent to the browser was only sent once. Because each page loads separately the song is going to keep re-starting.





News Goodies

VoIP Players Form Security Alliance

[February 7, 2005] Networkers, software vendors and researchers team up to see that VoIP security keeps pace with adoption.

Click here to read the article


IBM to Debut 'Cell' Chip
[February 7, 2005] The chip is expected to power applications in small consumer electronics devices, home entertainment systems and supercomputers.

Click here to read the article




HP Strikes 3G Deal in South Korea
[February 7, 2005] HP rides the latest wave in telecom and debuts new Mobile Device Management software with its SK Telecom contract.

Click here to read the article




Macromedia's ColdFusion Looks Beyond the Web
[February 7, 2005] The company continues a transformation from its Web graphics software roots.

Click here to read the article



Spamhaus Accuses MCI of Hosting Spam Gangs
[February 4, 2005] Spamhaus Project blasts ISP over hosting policy. MCI counters that it's not in the business of censoring Internet content.

Click here to read the article




SBC Blasts Level 3's VoIP Proposal
[February 4, 2005] The Internet telephony carrier is accused of seeking a self-serving quick fix to interconnection fees.

Click here to read the article



Developers Can 'TiVo It'
[February 4, 2005] UPDATED: The DVR provider opens its box with an SDK.

Click here to read the article




Tools Part of the SOA Challenge
[February 4, 2005] Experts in distributed computing suggest ingredients that organizations need to attain a suitable SOA.

Click here to read the article



A Deal to Plug Analog Gap in Digital Media
[February 4, 2005] Microsoft, Macrovision strike IP licensing deal to help stop content from breaking free of DRM protections.

Click here to read the article




Red Hat and Meetup.com Cross Roads
[February 3, 2005] A look inside the Red Hat meetup groups sprouting in Boston, Raleigh and Toronto.

Click here to 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 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/

Thanks again for all your feedback!




Windows Tech Goodie of the Week:

ASP.NET Mixed Mode Authentication

In many web applications it is desirable for both intranet users and external parties to be able to seamlessly log onto the system. The problem this raises is that it is not easy to allow intranet users to log in via Windows integrated authentication while also allowing external parties to log in to the same application using standard forms authentication. This article will show you one way to achieve the best of both worlds when it comes to authentication.


*** AND ***

XML to HTML (via XSL) Using the XML Server Control ASP.NET Sample Code

A while back I wrote a sample that takes an XML file and an XSL file and combines them to produce appropriately formatted output. It's quite a handy little script and I've been using here and there for things like menus and navigation bars. While the original sample was only a dozen lines or so, it has recently come to my attention that there's an even easier way to accomplish the task in just one line of code.


*** AND ***

Passing Parameters from One Page to Another

Passing parameters from one page to another is a very common task in Web development. In this article we will examine the source code for the augmented class and look at an example of using this functionality in an ASP.NET application.




And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

On this day in...

Lord Byron made his maiden speech in House of Lords; 1839 Henry Clay declared in the Senate "I had rather be right than president"; 1900 Labour Party was formed in England; 1905 Oklahoma admitted to statehood; 1947 Arabs & Jews rejected a British proposal to split Palestine; 1959 Castro proclaimed the new Cuban constitution; 1964 Cassius Clay became a Muslim & adopts the name Muhammad Ali; 1969 Al-Fatah-leader Yasser Arafat became president of PLO; 1979 Pink Floyd premiered their live version of "The Wall" in Los Angeles; 1994 Howard Stern stopped a would-be jumper on the George Washington Bridge

Born today were: in 1478 English lawyer/Lord Chancellor of England/saint Sir Thomas More; 1693 Empress of Russia Anna Ivanova Romanova; 1804 pioneering manufacturer of agricultural equipment John Deere; 1812 English novelist Charles Dickens; 1906 Last Emperor of China, Henry P'u-i; 1917 English actor/comedian Dick Emery; 1924 English actress Hattie Jacques; 1945 actor Pete Postlethwaite; 1948 musician Jimmy Greenspoon; 1949 musician Alan Lancaster; 1962 country singer Garth Brooks; 1965 actor Jason Gedrick; 1966 comedian Chris Rock; 1985 actress 1985 [Alber]Tina Marie Majorino

Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!

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