Friday, September 30, 2005

Host Problems With Servlets...

Not sure what the problem is -- just noticed it myself. Should be up later....

Sites affected...
  1. Q's Wire... Blogger Calendar
  2. This Blog -- Blogger Calendar
  3. WiredPages servlets
  4. QiSoftware MainSite servlets


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

91% Complete...

I have completed about 91% of the work to redesign and move "WiredPages". Let me know if you have any problems -- wiredpages@qisoftware.com.

Reference Posts: WiredPages Is Moving, Started Work...

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Monday, September 26, 2005

MacIE & HTML:AREA SHAPE Problem

I have run into a slight problem... The illustration on the right depicts part of the new WiredPages... Arts & Entertainment page. In the Publisher version [WiredPages] the horoscope links were attached to transparent graphic overlays using absolute <DIV></DIV> coordinates on the web page. This worked for every browser I tested.

With the new layout -- I decided to use relative coordinates and only the background horoscope graphic. I am having a problem with Mac IE. The other browsers are working. Here is more reading material on the HTML <AREA SHAPE=...> tag --> MSDN Reference -- <AREA SHAPE=...>.

Not sure what I am going to do about this problem. To test it in your browser, click --> Area Shape/Map Test.


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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Code Tricks... #5 Technorati's Hex

I have been trying to get my personal blog's title Q's Wire... accepted by Technorati as a "Tag". I finally succeeded. The trick -- use the Hex character %27 for an apostrophe rather than ' or numeric entity & #039; -- [illustration required a space -- but you would not use a space if defining an apostrophe with this method. HTML Tags: <KBD></KBD> did not work in this case.]

Ex: <a href="http://technorati.com/tag/Q%27s+Wire" rel="tag" target="_blank">Q's Wire...</a> is how my tag is placed in a blog post.

The new Technorati Blog Finder tool accepts the numeric entity -- & #039; for an apostrophe but the older Tag program does not. Initially this threw me off and I thought Technorati was ignoring my tag.

A good conversion chart for ASCII to Hex characters can be found here --> ASCII Character Chart. The diagram above shows a section of the chart -- conversions of several non-alphanumeric characters to Decimal, Hex, Oct, or HTML [also known as the numeric entity]. The hex value for odd non-alphanumeric characters should work with Technorati Tagging...

Now I need to figure out -- how to tell Technorati Tags -- "Please erase that post from the tag list..."

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Monday, September 19, 2005

Started Work On -- WiredPages "New Look"

I started work on a new look for WiredPages. Here is a screenshot of the theme that will be carried throughout each page.



Things are going well...

Other news... having a problem with my domain's SMTP server, so although I can receive e-mail, I cannot send through normal channels. I am using my business e-mail accounts to respond to inquiries -- however I am routing through my GMail service.

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Wired Pages is Moving...

Well after careful consideration I have decided to move my news service -- Wired Pages, from my AOL account to my business domain [qisoftware.com]. The primary reason why I have not done this before now -- bandwidth issues on my business domain, however I am coming nowhere near my monthly allotment.

I have also decided that Wired Pages will have the the new look recently deployed on the main "QiSoftware" site, however the color scheme will be a little different. Wired Pages is currently maintained with MS Publisher. I will miss the convenience of this software package -- however some of the constraints that Publisher placed on style issues have caused problems with several non-Windows browsers. I hope to alleviate most of these problems. What will I be using instead... Text Editors (i.e., vi, notepad, TextEdit...).

One other area that has caused problems -- I use a lot of Java applets on the site. This is a problem for recently released browsers for the Mac platform. Mac Internet Explorer and Safari don't seem to have problems. Mac versions of -- Firefox, Netscape, Mozilla, and Opera tend to have "skidding" problems with the applets. I am still looking at ways to correct this issue. Why use applets...? On the fly updates without refreshing the entire page. Developers of these [Mac] browsers are also working the issue. [Initial (Beta) releases of Firefox for the Mac, were painful for my applets.]

Anyway, this move will take a little time -- as I am not in any hurry and want to take time with the layout of each page. I also have other projects in the works.

I wanted to give notice and get any feedback you may wish to provide. I will probably post on this subject as the project evolves.

Reference Posts: QiSoftware... New Look "Live"

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Code Tricks.. #04 Audio On Web Pages

Many ask -- "How do I get sound on my web page or blog?" One way --

HTML Snippet
<EMBED SRC="http://www.qisoftware.com/me2.mp3" AUTOSTART=false WIDTH=144 HEIGHT=60 LOOP=1>


This example sets autostart to false, meaning the controls have to be used to start the audio. Most agree -- audio on web sites -- should be a choice... And of course you would use your own podcast or other audio source.

For other examples see this link --> Adding Sound To a Web Page

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Monday, September 12, 2005

QiSoftware... New Look "Live"

Late yesterday evening I installed the new QiSoftware main site and related Product pages.



Let me know if you have any problems.

Reference Posts: QiSoftware... Getting A New Look, Code Tricks... #03 HTML Horizontal Lists

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Attention To Details... Legal Notes

I am beta testing my new site. I found a problem with one of the new forms. The problem does not exist on the master copy. Be advised that unauthorized access of my accounts is illegal. I installed the page in question yesterday evening in a temporary location. There is no link anywhere to the test area. Not funny!!!! OOPS -- My mistake. However this is a major issue -- and my warnings in this area should not be taken lightly. (RT - 9.11.05)

DO NOT ACCESS MY ACCOUNTS.

Reference Posts: QiSoftware: Serious Infraction..., QiSoftware: Legal Reminder -- No Authorization

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Code Tricks... #3 HTML Horizontal Lists

While implementing the new look for the main QiSoftware site and related Solutions pages -- I discovered a problem with Opera and HTML horizontal list elements.

The problem -- even though a specified height was set to force the elements of an HTML unordered list "<ul> ... </ul>" to remain on the same line, Opera browsers on PC and Mac platforms ignored the restriction. Specifying --> width: 100%; in the [div ul] CSS style area corrects the problem.

Keep in mind the problem only shows up in Opera... BTW, things are going well. Should have the new site ready later today.

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Friday, September 09, 2005

QiSoftware Is Getting a New Look...

I have been working on a new look for my main site... qisoftware.com. Most will agree it's long over due. Here is a screenshot of the "new look" --


In the past I have used Publisher to produce my sites... This time I am trying to replicate a look I like with a text editor, several browsers, four computers (mainly for browser compatibility testing) and a lot of patience.

Things are going well but it may take some time... Lots of Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) issues. Hope to be finished by Monday or Tuesday...

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Ratings, Links, & Some Thoughts

There appears to be two schools of thought with regard to website popularity:
  1. those that believe Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the best promotion tool and
  2. those that believe linking with other sites is the best promotion technique.

Those who are not really interested in their site's ranking -- but interested in selling goods and services are more concerned with keywords and Search Engine Optimization.

The other group is more concerned with their ranking and how many links they have. Does it necessarily mean they have a larger audience? NO -- nevertheless it is an important factor to those that subscribe to this school of thought. This group is often offering advertising space. How do advertisers really look at this rating methodology?

I offer services [software consultant], I am a blogger, I have forums. I am concerned with putting my company's name out there and finding an audience for my blogs and forums. I also offer advertising space.

I recently left a comment on a blog about Java. I wondered at the popularity of Java applications over C++ applications for desktop environments. Today, I found a reference to the comment on Technorati. Yes I did leave my blog link, but does anyone ever click on commenters' links or are they simply noted by organizations like Technorati? I never click on links in blog comments. I rarely read blog comments. Do you?

I garner a lot of readership with posts in forums using my signature. I rarely leave comments on blogs -- but when I do, I leave a link. Does this count in my ranking/popularity factor?

What made me think of this -- (1) I just checked DMOZ.org -- and no "QiSoftware" is listed yet... and (2) I was perusing SitePoint and saw a lot of references to SEO. I am also inundated with e-mail each day about the importance of SEO. Why are Alexa, Technorati, and similar organizations not more concerned with SEO and keywords? I have a good keyword (term) -- "Blogger Calendar". Where is my audience? [I believe it's being undercounted.]

HOW DOES ALL OF THIS WORK?

Reference Posts: Alexa - Links In, Alexa's Response, DMOZ Listed -- Important?

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

News, Software, & Java -- Popular Topics Stats

I have added a popular topics "bug" to the News, Software, & Java [NS&J] forums. Users will be able to quickly access the areas they are seeking. A PHP->MySQL "hack" was integrated to provide this feature. Busy afternoon...

Because the forum maintains a lot of useful lists -- it is not always obvious, it's active. It is. Users are often seeking add-ons for their blogs or the latest blogging news and trends. Registration is required to post questions, suggestions, or replies. You may look around all you like.

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Technorati Blog Finder --

Technorati's latest tool -- Blog Finder, (beta) -- is as a directory of blogs, organized by subject. See the blurb on the left as related to QiSoftware. As an example -- the illustration below shows how Technorati lists the blogs currently maintained in their Blog Finder directory with subject matter related to "QiSoftware" (yes they are all mine):


The list ranking is based on most links found for a site. Incorporating the most trafficked site based on reader preference as a ranking factor would also be a nice feature. I think links are sometimes overrated, but that's just me. Reference Post: DMOZ Listed -- Important?.

Another nice feature that the developers at Technorati have added to their knowledge-ware tool set for blogs.

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Internet Times... Legal Notes

The Internet has often timed things wrong. By that -- I mean things like forums, blogs, servers, and websites which provide time stamp entries, sessions, or just information -- often seem to get it wrong. Different world times, Daylight Savings Time and forgetfulness all contribute to the problem.

I myself, have forgotten to adjust internal program times on both my Wordpress blog and the News, Software, & Java Forums to accommodate Daylight Savings Time. There are also problems with users setting up their forum profiles to accommodate their local times. Most simply opt not to set the time.

Why this preface? This is one of those business legal notes that I have become accustomed to posting -- to document problems.

I use market bugs on my news service to provide time stamped information and to show the types of tools I develop. The markets I report on -- all use U.S. Eastern Time. I use my server's time stamp -- with strong warnings pertaining to time delays on each of the market bugs (there are two). These warnings are written in a manner that completely decertifies the information. (If you look at market bugs used on Internet sites and pages - you will find similar wording and warnings.) The information is there to provide a flavor for how the markets are doing when open or the last reported stats when closed.

Sometimes my web host does not set the clocks for Daylight Saving Time or resets as an afterthought as was the case last December -- 2004. It may also have been a new installation of the Java framework, not sure. To accommodate these time issues, I maintain two versions of the market bug programs -- swapping them out as needed. My server uses U.S. Pacific Time which the programs convert to U.S. Eastern Time.

Because of the nature of this data I am very conscious of these times and check them often. Last night I realized someone had gained access to my domain and swapped out the program used on the business page -- which took it out of sync with the application on the home page. I did not forget to do one and not the other. Who would do this and why? Not sure. See series of Why Me...? posts on Q's Wire...

Unauthorized access and malicious hacking of data and programs which affect the operation of tools on my domain, sites, and pages are serious mistakes.

Reference Posts: QiSoftware: Serious Infraction..., QiSoftware: Legal Reminder -- No Authorization

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Grammar 101 & Illegal Access...

I am having a hacking problem (not a software solution problem). Someone is gaining unauthorized access to my accounts and site. I want it to stop. However, since this appears to be a game to some... let me advise you... I am not laughing.

BTW: The grammar rule for it's/its is -- here from the Common Errors in English site.

Do not access my accounts or sites without my permission -- and go get a lesson in simple grammar.

Reference Posts: QiSoftware: Serious Infraction..., QiSoftware: Legal Reminder -- No Authorization

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Affiliate Programs... August 2005

Major affiliate network activity for August 2005 -- yielded 11,555 impressions, 7 click-throughs, and no sales. AdSense for the same time period, yielded $1.50 (I actually had 2 clicks in one day this month).

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DMOZ Listed -- Important?

I've been doing some research on the "links in" factor and what it affects. In my quest -- I studied the qisoftware.com urltrends report and those of these sites:

Blog UrlTrends Report/ProfessionAlexa Ranking
electricvenom.com/lawyer

whatsnextblog.com/pr-writer

lashawnbarber.com/freelance writer

386,507

99,782

82,103


All of the above sites are single blogs and DMOZ listed. qisoftware.com has 2 blogs, a forum, a main site, etc and is not listed. The difference in the links data between their sites and mine is amazing. So I queried MSN Search with this phrase -- "Importance of DMOZ". The first link returned, this --> The Importance of DMOZ.

I also listed the professions of the bloggers, I used in my research. I am not a political junkie so I do not keep up with the La Shawn Barber blog, but I do read the other two on a regular basis. Each publishes well written posts. I am not a writer, though I have done extensive technical writing -- software manuals, specs, etc. These days, my writing mainly consists of 15-20 minute blog posts, without much editing... I have no listing with DMOZ -- because of bad editing skills? Give me a break. If I forget a brace in software code my programs wouldn't work -- [my programs do work] -- I forget a comma and I am an idiot with no links? [This is not worded too strongly, but I will skip the explanation.]

My site's popularity/traffic rankings should not be based on these factors -- if these are the variables being assessed. I jumped on the blogging bandwagon when it was hot and developed a tool -- the "Blogger Calendar" that generates a lot of curiosity... My forums maintain popular lists and poll questions... People visit my sites, especially other bloggers.

There is absolutely no logic here and being a programmer with a rather logical mind.. I need logic.

BTW: A week ago I submitted wwww.qisoftware.com to DMOZ under the Software Consultant directory. I have not heard anything from them yet [an editor has to review the submission]. This evening I submitted Q's Wire. Let's see what happens.

Reference Posts: Alexa Links In, Alexa's Reponse

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