/introduction/newsletter_archive/goodiestogo/article.php/3608976/Goodies-to-Go-Newsletter-390.htm Goodies to Go! Newsletter #390

Goodies to Go! Newsletter #390

By Vince Barnes

                      Goodies to Go (tm)
               May 23, 2006 -- Newsletter # 390

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Featured this week: a

*   Goodies Thoughts - Eyes Train To See
*   Q & A Goodies
*   Discussion Goodies
*   News Goodies
*   Feedback Goodies
*   Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
*   And Remember This...

Eyes Train To See

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.  Getting rid of eye strain is as much a matter of training myself as training my eyes!

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


Q & A Goodies
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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 want to have a small window open when someone clicks a link on my page.  I don't want a full size window, just a small one.  Can JavaScript do this?

A. Since you will probably have more than one link on a page you should set up a function in your head section of your document that will be used by multiple links.  You can pass the html page you want to load in the window to the function when the link is clicked on.  With window.open() you can set the
width, height, postion and other attributes.  Here is an example:
<.script language="javascript"> function OpenWin(linkid)
    {  NewWin=window.open (linkid,"newwin",config="width=200,height=250,location=no,status=no,directories=
The variable "linkid" contains the page you want to load.  This was passed to the function when the link was clicked on.  Then in the body section of your document your link could look like this:
<.A HREF="javascript:OpenWin('somepage.html')">Apples<./A>
You would wrap the link around the word that you want to click on for more info.  The HTML Goodies site does have a tutorial on window.open()
(see http://www.htmlgoodies.com/primers/jsp/article.php/3478231 and http://www.htmlgoodies.com/primers/jsp/article.php/3478241  -- Ed.)

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. I  have been working on trying to come up with a better menu for my index page. I used Sothink DHTMLMenu to generate one. I have it working, but it takes quite a while for the menu to load. What is my problem?

A. I can't see your menu, but I can make a couple guesses. You have a bunch of images that need to load to make the menu work. The browser looks for them when you do your mouseover, which means calling the server and asking for the image, and repeating the process for each image. My first guess is you could fix your problem with a preloader, so the images are already in the browser cache. Here's an example of a preloader:
// preload images
        var an_image1 = new Image(151,37);
        an_image1.src = "images/navigation/options_home_over.jpg";
        var an_image2 = new Image(151,37);
        var an_image3 = new Image(151,37);
This is a JavaScript that declares a variable as an image and specifies the size so the browser doesn't have to figure it out, and then give the variable a value consisting of a URL.
My second guess is that your images are large and taking a long time to download. Keep them small, like 3k each, or even eliminate them if you can.
Get rid of the "best viewed at" message. No visitor will change their screen setting just for your site, nor take the blame for he site not working at their screen setting. You just have to make it work at different sizes.

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers

Q. I am using the script under the So You Want to Resize Your Window, Huh? tutorial and was wondering if I could have it so that when a website visitor clicks on my main image, the re-sized window would pop up rather than them having to only click a text link.

A. This is an example of how you can click on an image and have a window popup that is sized to the width and height of the larger image:
<.title>Image Pop Up Viewer<./title>
  <.SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">
        image0=new Image()  // preload images large images
        image1=new Image()
        image2=new Image()
        image3=new Image()  // preload thumb nail images of large images
        image4=new Image()
        image5=new Image()
        var ImgWin=" "
        function imgwin(Imgn) // get width of large image that was pre loaded above
             h=eval(Imgn+".height") // get height of large image that was pre loaded above
             if(h<.100)  // cannot open window less than 100  by 100 pixels
             picgif=eval(Imgn+".src")  // build image source
             if(ImgWin.open)  //  if the window is open close it
            /*Create window and display large image of thumbnail.
               If you want to change the position of the window when it pops up change the values for the top and left
               properties below in the variable WinProps.  The values in top and left are number of pixels from the top
               and left of the edge of the screen.
             ImgWin.document.write("<.BODY marginheight='0' marginwidth='0'
leftmargin='0' topmargin='0' bgcolor='lightyellow'>")
             ImgWin.document.write("<.CENTER><.IMG SRC="+picgif+" BORDER='0'
             ImgWin.document.write("<.FONT SIZE=-1><.A HREF='#'
onClick='self.close()'>Close Me<./A><./FONT><./CENTER>")
     If you add more thumbnail images make sure that you include the thumbnail and larger image in the
     preload sections above.  In the onClick event for the added images make sure you change the value
     being passed to match the image name of the large image that matches the thumbnail image.  Both
     of these must be setup in the image preload sections above.
   <.A HREF="#" onClick="imgwin('image0');return false;"><.IMG SRC="thumb0.gif" NAME="img0" BORDER="0"><./A>
   <.A HREF="#" onClick="imgwin('image1');return false"><.IMG SRC="thumb1.gif" NAME="img1" BORDER="0"><./A>
   <.A HREF="#" onClick="imgwin('image2');return false"><.IMG SRC="thumb2.gif" NAME="img2" BORDER="0"><./A>  <./CENTER> <./body> <./html>

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers

Q. I have noticed that some of my internal pages will come up on a search engine. Is there anyway that I can have these visitors redirected to the main home page instead of having them link to a page that is basically out of the flowing order of the site?

A. You might try using document.referrer to check where they came from and if it is not the page you want then redirect them to it.  Something like this:
<.script language="JavaScript">
You would place the above in the head section at the very beginning.  The drawback to this script is that if they go to this document from anywhere in your site other than the document specified it will redirect them to that one document (page).
[You can also prevent specific pages from being indexed in (most) search engines; see:
about halfway down the title piece there is a discussion of the ROBOT Meta tag and Robots.txt -- Ed.]

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers

Q. Is there any way that a web page can be updated by using a simple form button?  For example: a school wants to post that their school is closed by going to a page and clicking the "school is closed" button, which updates the home page.

A. You could have the part of the page where the closing notice would appear be pulling code from a server side include, and let someone have access to just that file where they can change the text. If you use the form, the form could write to a database and the display page pulls data from the database. Perhaps a server side script could write a file, which could then be picked up as a server side include. If you decide to go with a form, you'll have to use some server side script and perhaps how to hook up to a database. You would need to find out from your host what languages they support. Having users directly update the include file is the simplest to set up. This tutorial explains it:

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:

Adding a password feature to exsiting script:

compatybility code for Opera, IE, Mozilla, Firefox:

cant display image in Mozilla - please help !:

News Goodies

Business Integration Via Open Source
[May 23, 2006] Jitterbit stirs up the business integration pot with its open source contribution.  
Read the article:

Motorola Q Could Spell Trouble For Treo
[May 23, 2006] The Moto Q is not a BlackBerry killer -- yet. However, analysts say, the Treo may be in trouble.
Read the article:

VA Data Breach Stirs Washington
[May 23, 2006] The bad guys have personal data on 26.5 million veterans. But they may not know it yet.
Read the article:

Microsoft's Triple Play Beta Release
[May 23, 2006] UPDATED: Vista gets up close and personal looks. Will it fit the world of the changing PC?
Read the article:

WinFX Adds New Security Method
[May 23, 2006] No more entering a username and password? Sign me up!
Read the article:

Sun Looks to Cut Staff After All
[May 23, 2006] Company plans to close one campus as part of restructuring
Read the article:

Cisco Notices NeoPath
[May 23, 2006] Cisco funds the file virtualization startup, which also nabs a NetApp executive as its new COO.
Read the article:

Enterprise Search is About The 'Folks'
[May 23, 2006] Enterprise Search Forum speakers agree that effective search engines depend more on people than technology.
Read the article:

Video Ads Mark Shift in Google
[May 23, 2006] The search giant finally embraces portal metrics.
Read the article:

It Must Be WinHec Time
[May 23, 2006] AMD unveils new desktop processors, while Microsoft chairman Bill Gates talks up Vista at WinHec conference.
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 

Visual Studio 2005 Hands-On Tutorial - Part 4

This is the fourth part in a series of hands-on tutorials that will take you through all the steps to build a complete application using Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005. The tutorial is finished by creating a Web Service to host the data and then consume the Web Service from Windows, the Web, and the business layer.

*** AND ***

User Tips: Receiving an Email When Database Data is Changed

This tip, from Wade, demonstrates how to use a trigger and xp_sendmail to alert a DBA or developer when any data is updated in a certain database table.

*** AND ***

Stacked Bar Chart Sample Code

It seems that some of our visitors were experiencing technical difficulties with the positioning used in our stacked bar chart sample. This update simplifies the generated HTML and should cause fewer display problems.

And Remember This ...

On this day in...

1430 Joan of Arc was captured by Burgundians at Compiegne, who sold her to the British; 1701 Captain Kidd was hanged in London for piracy and murder; 1785 Benjamin Frankilin announced his invention of bi-focal eyeglass lenses; 1867 the Jesse James gang robbed a bank in Richmond, MO, killing two and stealing $4,000.00; 1887 the first transcontinental train arrived in Vancouver, British Columbia; 1922 Walt Disney incorporated his first film company, Laugh-O-Gram Films; 1945 Winston Churchill resigned as British Prime Minister; 1966 The Beatles released "Paperback Writer"; 1969 The Who released the rock opera, "Tommy"; 1981 NASA launched Intelsat V; 1990 the cost of rescuing failed Savings & Loan associations was put at $130 Billion;

Born today were: in 1707 Swedish botanist and the "Father of Taxonomy" (the naming of plants and animals) Carolus Linnaeus; 1734 Austrian physician and hypnotits Friedrich Anton Mesmer; 1883 actor Douglas Fairbanks; 1890 English actor Herbert Marshall; 1912 actor John Payne; 1912 English actor Marius Goring; 1920 actor Sid Melton; 1928 English actor Nigel Davenport; 1931 actress Barbara Barrie; 1933 English actress Joan Collins; 1934 synthesizer inventor Robert Moog; 1936 actor Charles Kimbrough; 1951 Russian chess champion Anatoli Karpov; 1961 comedian/actor Drew Carey; 1966 English actress Helena Bonham Carter; 1984 actor Adam Wylie;

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