Goodies To Go! Newsletter #383

By Vince Barnes


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

                      Goodies to Go (tm)
               April 4, 2006 -- Newsletter # 383
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Featured this week:
*   Goodies Thoughts - Personal Information
*   Q & A Goodies
*   Discussion Goodies
*   News Goodies
*   Feedback Goodies
*   Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
*   And Remember This...

Personal Information
Who knows what?  About you, I mean, and how much does it matter to you?  "It matters a lot!  My information is private!  My private life is my business and not anybody else's."  This would be a fairly typical immediate response from the "person on the street", but even so, it is nowhere near the reality, nor even their true opinion, when you get right down to it.
I had the great pleasure this morning of listening to Mr. Tom Ridge deliver a keynote speech at the Information Security conference, Infosec 2006.  Mr. Ridge, you may recall, is the former Governor of the State of Pennsylvania who was called upon by President Bush after 9/11 to form the US Department of Homeland Security.  He is now retired from public service.  When you think about how broad a problem "Information Security" is you can see why he is such an appropriate speaker.  He delivered a speech that was thoughtful, informed, entertaining and provocative, and included ideas that I'd like to share with you today.
Addressing my original question, consider this:  you buy a few books, now and then, from your favorite bookseller, and have signed up for their members club so that you can receive the extra 10% discount on everything you buy.  After a while, you receive a letter in the mail that reads something like: "Dear Valuable Customer," (actually, some may even include your real name!)  "We have noted your interest in biographies, especially those written by Mr. A. Jones, and would like to point out to you that Mr. Jones' latest biography, that of Mr. B. Smith, is now available in our stores.  In appreciation of your loyalty, we would like to offer you the enclosed 15% discount coupon against the purchase of this book.  ...... etc. etc."  How do you feel about receiving this letter?  Does it matter to you what the quantity and type of information it is that they have to gather to be able to do this?  Does it matter to you with whom they share this information?  (Did you actually read the disclosures when you signed that original membership form?)
Now consider this:  you have used your local library for several years.  Your library, or course, is a part of your local government, which in turn, of course, cooperates with the next levels of government, however they may be structured where you love.  You receive a letter in the mail from the library reading something like: "We have noted your interest in (subject matter) and would like to inform you that we have recently received stock of (book[s]) by (author[s]) which may be of interest to you.  Please......  etc. etc."  Now, how do you feel about that one?
Does it matter to you how much information is gathered about you by government agencies, who, if you live in a democracy, ultimately are responsible to you, the voters, versus how much is gathered by anonymous corporate executives and their organizations?  To most people there is a difference.  The question is, should there be, and if so, is that difference correctly oriented?
As I said, Mr. Ridge's speech was provocative!

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

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We have had a number of people indicate that their email client programs are interpreting code examples in this newsletter as actual HTML code instead of text.  To overcome this problem and to enable everyone to read the newsletter, there is a period after the "<" in each tag.  If you cut and paste to try out code examples, please remember to remove the periods.  Wherever we intend you to use "<." in your code, the example will show "<..".  In this way, you will be safely able to use a global edit to change "<." to "<".  Thanks to all of you for your patience with this; if this technique creates an undue problem for you however, please let us know via our feedback address (see Feedback, below).

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
     The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. I'm trying to get some JavaScript running. I'm able to parse two vars to a function, the third one will not work.
This is the function:
<.SCRIPT LANGUAGE="javascript">
function nieuw(a,b) {window.open (a, b, config='height=600,width=200,toolbar=no, menubar=no, scrollbars=no, resizable=no,location=no, directories=no, status=no')}
It's called by:
<.a href=# onclick="nieuw ('bijeenkomsten.html', 'newwindow')">Bijeenkomsten<./a>
My goal is to have the screensize set by the calling function, so far i'm unable to do that. I tried by replacing the height and width values by var's, tried to put the height and width into the caller, nothing works. Is it possible to do that or not, if yes how?
A. Actually, you can do it without calling a function. Try this for your code:
<.a href="javascript:location='bijeenkomsten.html'; window.open('bijeenkomsten.html','Bijeenkomsten', 'height=600,width=200,top=10,left=10,toolbar=no, menubar=no, scrollbars=no, resizable=no,location=no, directories=no, status=no')">Bijeenkomsten<./a>
Notice that I added two more attributes, top and left. You can determine where to position the window as well.  If you need to use the function, your call is good, except for one possible item. Is newwindow the title of the window? If not, replace newwindow with the title (could it be Bijeenkomsten?)
As for the function itself, remove config=.
Here it is:
<.SCRIPT LANGUAGE="javascript">
function nieuw(a,b) {window.open (a, b, 'height=600,width=200,toolbar=no, menubar=no, scrollbars=no, resizable=no,location=no, directories=no, status=no')}

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
     The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. Where is the tutorial on mouse over for "click here"?
A. You should be able to find one in the JavaScript Primers on the HTML Goodies site.  Here is a link to the Table of Contents: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/primers/jsp/index.php
[If you're looking for a particular piece of JavaScript code, check out http://www.javascripts.com and http://www.javascriptsource.com -- Ed.]

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
     The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. When you open a new window is it possible to close the original window?  When I run this code I just get an error message after the new window opens.
window.open("page.html", "whatever", config="height=500,width=500") self.close;
I've tried replacing self.close with main.close and window.close but I always get errors.  main.close only works for closing new windows.
A. The reason you are getting the erros is that you have the wrong syntax for your window close.  The correct syntax should be:
to close the original window.  The other problem that you will have is that when you use JavaScript to close the original or main window an alert will popup asking you wether you want to close it or not.  This is a security feature that keeps someone from closing the window without the viewer's permission.  JavaScript is not allowed to close the main window.

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
     The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. I am trying to open a new window using Javascript and I have suceeded in doing so. But I have encountered a problem: the window opens with half on the screen and half the window off. Basically if a user wants to see the other half of the new window, they must drag it into a new position. Do you have any sugestions on how to get the window to open on a specified place on the x-axis and the y-axis of the  user monitor?
A. One method is to use the top and left properties.  Here is an example:
function OpenWin()
   { PopMen=window.open ("poplink.html","popwin",config="width=175,height=225,location=no,status=no,directories=no,toolbar=no,scrollbars=no,menubar=no,resizable=no,top=0,left=0");

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
     The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. I was using the tutorial in my HTML goodies book on JavaScript.  I used the code in the book, but i altered it for my own use.  I cant get it to work, and I dont know why.  It seems like a perfectly sound code to me, but when I try and run it, I get an Object Expected error for the <.onLoad> command. (code was attached)
A. In your script, you have "funtion dateinbar()", just change it to "function dateinbar()" and the problem should go away.
[This is such a common type of error - no matter what your level of experience, have someone else look at your code.  Often a fresh pair of eyes sees something so obvious that we ourselves keep missing it!]

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
     The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. I am looking for a simple way to open an alert box by clicking on a graphic on the page.
A. Here is one way to open an alert box by clicking on a graphic:
<.A HREF="javascript:alert('Hello!')"><.IMG SRC="0.gif" BORDER="0"><./A>

Discussion Goodies
Have you seen the discussion forums on the HTML Goodies website?  It's a great place to get help from others who, just like you, are developing web pages.  Many different topics appear in the forum, and a new one will appear if you create it!  Here's a sample of recent topics:
Help with Swimming Pool Party Rental Calculator:
javascript to gray out checkboxes not working:
Forcing a refresh AFTER a page has been cached:

News Goodies
Negroponte's $100 Notebook
[April 4, 2006] MIT's Nicholas Negroponte explains his plan to change the economics of notebook technology.
Read the article:

Microsoft to Offer 2-Month ActiveX Reprieve
[April 4, 2006] The software giant says developers need more time before changes become permanent.
Read the article:

New Chip Promises Smooth Mobile Video
[April 4, 2006] Chip startup claims energy-efficient, breakthrough processor will help bring an end to sputtering, choppy video on mobile devices.
Read the article:

Funding Robotics in The War Years
[April 4, 2006] Robots are being groomed to take an increasingly active role in military and Homeland Security operations. 
Read the article:

Movie Studios Offer Downloadable Films
[April 4, 2006] But the price -- up to double the cost of DVDs -- may be too steep for consumers.
Read the article:

IBM, HP Stack Up on Linux
[April 4, 2006] The vendors announce open source stack initiatives to make it even easier for customers to deploy and implement.
Read the article:

The Next Battlefront For Robots
[April 4, 2006] Military robots may be at the front lines, but researchers are now looking at ways to use them to improve medicine and elder lifestyles.
Read the article:

Virtual Server Gets a Free Ride From Microsoft
[April 3, 2006] Virtual machine add-ins for Linux also part of Microsoft roll out; VMware un-phased.
Read the article:

Microsoft Adds A Little ProClarity
[April 3, 2006] The software giant agrees to purchase ProClarity to improve its BI platform for Office 2007.
Read the article:

Cisco Joins the 4-Gig Party
[April 3, 2006] With McData, Cisco and Brocade fighting for market share, 2006 is shaping up to be an interesting year for director-class Fibre Channel switch sales
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 http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors/

Thanks for all your feedback!

Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
Displaying the Sizes of Your SQL Server's Database's Tables
In this article we'll look at two ways to grab some data from an SQL Server and display it in a web page. Read on to learn more!

*** AND ***

An Overview of the New Caching Features in ASP.NET 2.0
With ASP.NET 2.0, caching can still be implemented as simply as it was in
ASP.NET 1.x, but for those of you who want to do more, Microsoft has added
a number of features which help make caching even more flexible and robust.
In this article I'm going to give you a quick overview of the new caching
features in ASP.NET 2.0 and show you how to use them.

And Remember This ...
On this day in.....
1581 Francis Drake completed his circumnavigation of the globe and was knighted; 1818 the US congress decided that the US flag would be thirteen red and white stripes with twenty stars on a blue background in the corner; 1850 the City of Los Angeles was incorporated; 1905 370,000 died in an earthquake in Kangra, India; 1933 73 died when the US dirigible Akron crashed off the coast of New Jersey; 1939 Faisal II ascended the throne of Iraq; 1949 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) treaty was signed in Washington DC; 1958 the first march against nuclear weapons was staged at Aldermaston, England; 1994 Mosaic Communications (later Netscape Communications) was founded;

Born today were: in 1821 cylinder lock inventor Linus Yale; 1881 Encyclopedia man Charles Funk (Funk & Wagnalls); 1892 actress Esther Howard; 1915 guitarist Muddy Waters; 1924 actor Peter Vaughn; 1924 actress Eva Marie Saint; 1925 actress Elizabeth Wilson; 1928 poetess/actress Maya Angelou (Marguerite Johnson); 1932 actor Anthony Perkins; 1946 actor Craig T. Nelson; 1948 actor Luke Halpin; 1948 musician Pick Withers (Dire Straits); 1950 actress Christine Lahti; 1964 actor Robbie Rist; 1965 actor Robert Downey Jr; 1976 actress Alicia Silverstone;

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