2007-12-19

Taking a Screenshot

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Taking screenshots or snapshots of your PC screen is very easy to do. The picture that you see below is an example of screenshot image of this site. Screenshot images can be created by simultaneously pressing the CONTROL key and PRINT SCREEN key (Ctrl+PrtSc). After doing this, open the Paint program found under the Accessories category of the MS-Windows menu. Use the Ctrl+V command to paste the image. You may then do some editing before saving the image file. If you want more advanced options, you may choose other image editing application programs such a CorelDraw or PhotoShop.

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Drivewire – Auto Parts and Accessories

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If you are looking for dependable aftermarket auto parts such as Ford auto parts, one of the best sites to visit is Drivewire.com. This site offers a wide array of product options, covering virtually all types of car makes and models. Finding the car parts that you need is very easy because of the convenient navigational tools of this site. You can easily access specific product catalogs by simply clicking the corresponding links. This site offers great product discounts that are highly competitive. Online shopping is the best way to purchase the auto parts that you need. Transaction is hassle-free and it may take just a few clicks of your mouse buttons.

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2007-12-17

Play Online Backgammon

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Do you want to play online backgammon just for fun or for real money? There are many backgammon sites that offer software downloads as well as actual tournaments. Unlike other types of games that involve dice rolling, backgammon also requires some degree of skills. If you want to play challenging backgammon online games with real people, MisterGammon.com is one of the best backgammon sites that you can visit. This site offers the latest information on online backgammon tournaments as well as tips on game strategies that can help you to improve your skills. The site is very easy to navigate and the loading time is fast. This site is credible and has over 100,000 regular players. You can be assured that your online funds will be secured if you sign-up for membership.

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2007-12-16

CSS Blockquote Formats

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'An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.'
--Mahatma Gandhi

The block quotation above was formatted using the <blockquote> tags. If you cannot view the styles that I have applied in the quotation above, switch to Mozilla Firefox browser. This browser is far much better than other browsers in terms of displaying CSS formats and in terms of being user-friendly. The Blogger/Blogspot default settings simply format blockquotes as indented. If you want to add decorative quotation marks and background color, you have to do some tweaking with the CSS codes. You can easily create blockquotes by higlighting the selected texts and clicking the "quote icon" found on the upper frame of the text editor as shown in the illustration below.



The format of the quotation above should look something like the one shown in the illustration below -- without the red oval, of course!



I have used the CSS codes shown below to achieve the effects that you see. Simply copy-paste these codes onto the style sheet of your template and save. Every time you make a block quotation, it will be formatted accordingly. You may also adjust some attributes to suit your preference. You can change the size of the decorative quotation marks and their colors; the height, width, and background of the blockquote; and the text formatting.

Codes:

BLOCKQUOTE {
color: blue;
display: block;
background: #FFF380;
padding: 0 60px;
width: 350px;
}

blockquote:before, blockquote:after {
color: #69c;
display: block;
font-size: 700%;
width: 50px;
}

blockquote:before {
content: open-quote;
height: 0;
margin-left: -0.55em;
}

blockquote:after {
content: close-quote;
height: 50px;
margin-top: -70px;
margin-left: 360px;
}

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Online Backgammon Portal

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Backgammon is a game that involves both chance and strategy. Very few people really know how to play backgammon. However, for those who have been hooked with the game, it is quite addicting, especially if large stakes are involved. Backgammon games can be played online. There are several sites that offer live backgammon tournaments. If you are looking for an excellent backgammon site, Gammon-World.com is one of the best backgammon portals that you can visit. This site also offers tutorials on strategies of the game. The site is minimalist in concept with very few distractions, allowing online players to easily navigate its pages.

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Online Slot Machines

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Online slots are among the oldest type of web-based gambling ever developed. Even during the early years of the internet as a public domain, online slot machines were already providing entertainment and price opportunities for the online community. Play slots are popular because of their simplicity and high probability of winning. An online slot machine is obviously far more convenient than the traditional casino slots. Sloterix.com is among the pioneer online slots. Its varieties of interactive games are easy to play and the website design is very ergonomic. Technical support is excellent and round the clock. Hence, you can be assured of high quality services.

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2007-12-15

Domain Names

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'What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.'

-- Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)


What’s in a name? Well, pretty much everything. An identity is directly connected to a name. Shakespeare was being philosophical when he wrote the famous dialog quoted above. You may indeed call a rose a skunk and it would still smell as sweet. However, that would create confusion, not to mention that a lot of people would disagree with you.

When it comes to naming a website or blog, the name is a primary determining factor of the site’s potential popularity or success. For instance, if you have a website or blog that focuses on children's toys, you obviously should not name it as adult-toys.com. Your site has a greater chance of being stumbled upon by search engine users if it is appropriately named.

I had committed this mistake of naming some of my blogsites with very long and non-descriptive names. Unfortunately, it would not be very practical to change those names now that I already have done some optimization.

On the other hand, if your Blogger/Blogspot blogsite is still new and you want to change its name or register a domain, you may simply go to the Settings-Publishing tab of your blog account and change the name or publishing address of your blog as shown in the illustration below. You do not need to manually transfer all the contents of your blog to a new address. The publishing address of your blog would simply be changed. On the other hand, if you want to register or buy your own domain, you may click the appropriate option. Buying a unique domain for your blog would make it more optimized and professional. Registering your Blogger/Blogspot blog as a domain will remove the "blogspot" extension. Domain registration can be as low as $10 per year!

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A Web Portal to Online Casinos

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The web is pretty much a crowded place. Finding your way requires some sort of guide map, especially if you are looking for specific sites such as online casinos. If you are a professional gambler, a gambling addict or simply someone who enjoy the thrill of high-stake games, then Gamblux.com is the perfect site for you. This site is not actually a gambling site but a portal or gateway to the best online casinos. The navigation tools and layout of this site are great. Hence, you will not get lost. Here, you can find casino news, comprehensive casino guide, and a wide range of game options.

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2007-12-14

Online Hotel Reservations

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If you are planning to have a Roman holiday this Christmas, you might end up being frustrated in finding Rome accommodation (pun intended). Rome is one of the busiest cities this time of year. You can expect a deluge of pilgrims in that ancient city. If you have not booked reservations at least two weeks in advance, you could not expect to find the best accommodations such as Hotel Venice. Your Roman holiday might end up as a penance rather than a vacation. There are many online sites that offer hotel booking services complete with tour package. However, only few of these truly offer high quality services commensurate to the fee required.

Aside from hotel rooms, you might also want to avail a Rome apartment. In this manner, you will be assured of privacy. Most online reservations also offer other service packages such as bed and breakfast, transportation, plane reservations, guided tours and even audience with the Pope. Finding the right website is sometimes confusing with all the fuss of competition. Paying for accommodation booking services might not come as a surprise to you. However, did you know that there are actually booking websites that offer excellent but free services? If you do not believe me, you might want to visit FreeReservations.com. Free services such as this give credence to the popular saying: “the best things in life are free.” Rome was not built within a day but you can book reservations within just a few minutes.

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2007-12-13

Hosting Template Codes

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Have you ever wondered how to host your Blogger/Blogspot HTML template codes? Well, there is the option of posting them on your blogsite or website. But then, in order to do this, you must first have to change the arrow brackets of the tags so that they can be displayed as texts. A convenient method of doing this is to copy-paste the template codes onto MS-Word and use the Replace command to replace all the arrow brackets with the corresponding ampersand (&) symbols. For details regarding this, you may read this related post: Displaying HTML Tags. After replacing all the arrow brackets, you can then post the template codes on your site. However, this method is a bit tedious and may introduce unnecessary XML codes that might not be parsed by the Blogger HTML editor.

Another option would be to simply upload the text file (Notepad) version of your template to a web host. There are many web hosting services that you can avail. Some are for free while others require payments. The best free web-hosting site that I have encountered so far is Googlepages. You can upload text files and other types of files to Googlepages. These files will then be hosted in unique pages of their own -- with corresponding URL addresses, of course.

To upload the text version of your Blogger HTML template, simply follow these instructions:

Step1: Open the HTML editor of your Blogger template.

Step2: Check the “expand widget” box. Copy the entire codes using the Ctrl+A and Ctrl+C command on your keyboard.

Step3: Open a Notepad. Then, paste the codes that you have copied using the Ctrl+V command on your keyboard. Save the file using the appropriate filename (example: backup template.txt).

Step4: Open your Googlepages account. If you do not yet have an account, you must first create an account. Typically, if you have a Blogger account, you can easily open your Googlepages account. The username and password for this account are the same as the ones that you are using for your Blogger account.

Step5: Upload the Notepad file as shown in the illustration below. As you can see in the example, I have uploaded the template of my Alternate Reality blog.



Step6: After uploading the Notepad file, click the corresponding link of the uploaded file. A new page will open displaying your text file. For instance, the web page for my uploaded template is hosted at this address: Alternate Reality backup template. You can use your created page as backup template or as reference link for your blog posts. If you want to have a formatted text file, you may use MS-Word to format and save your text file. You may then upload this file.

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Custom Writing Services

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Even with the available help essay services on the Internet, some students still find it very difficult to write high quality research papers. Sometimes, the problem lies on the writing skills and not on the availability of information. If you want custom papers for your project, thesis, term paper or dissertation, you may simply buy an essay from credible websites. Technically, it would not be considered as plagiarism if you avail custom writing services, especially if you provided the rough draft, sources and format specifications. Services such as these simply polish and organize your research papers.

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2007-12-12

Menu Bar with CSS Definitions

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(Related Topic: Adding a Menu Bar)
Menu bars are the basic navigation tools of a website. Menu bars allow the visitors or users of a website to conveniently navigate from one page to another. Without the menu bar or any other navigation links, all the contents of a website have to be placed on the front page. This would be tantamount to printing a whole book as a long scroll rather than the more practical leaf-page format. The menu bar is comparable to the index or table of contents of a book. It allows the readers to find the particular page or contents that they want. Thus, the need for scanning the whole book is eliminated.

Even blogsites may need menu bars for easy navigation. For instance, this blogsite features a simple menu bar located at the top portion of the header area. This menu bar leads to the different resources and information found on this blogsite. Since each blog post is located on a unique page, you can link the important pages to the items of your menu bar. For instance, I have included the following items in my menu bar:

HOME||CHAT||GAMES||SLIDES||BLOGROLL||ABOUT||CONTENTS

The menu bar of this blogsite was created using simple text links. There is another way of creating a Blogger/Blogspot menu bar using CSS definitions. CSS adds text effects to the menu bar. In my previous post on this topic I have discussed the simple method that I have used for this blogsite without using CSS definitions. In this post I will discuss the method that utilizes CSS definitions. (For an example of Blogger menu bar with CSS definitions, visit this site: Much Ado About Nothing.)

Here are the steps that you should follow to create a menu bar for your Blogger/Blogspot site:

Step1: Create a new header page element. To do this, please refer to this post: New Header and Crosscol Elements.

Step2: Find the HTML section that is shown below and add the red-higlighted codes.

<div id='header-wrapper'>
<b:section class='menubar' id='menubar' maxwidgets='1' showaddelement='yes'>
<b:widget id='LinkList2' locked='true' title='Menubar' type='LinkList'/>
</b:section>
<b:section class='header' id='header' maxwidgets='1' showaddelement='no'>
<b:widget id='Header1' locked='false' title='Beautiful Beta (Header)' type='Header'/>
</b:section>
</div>

Step3: In the style sheet section of your template, add these CSS codes:

#menubar h2 {display:none;}

#menubar ul {
list-style: none;
}
#menubar li {
float: left;
}

#menubar a:link, #menubar a:visited, #menubar a:hover {
padding: 5px;
display: block;
color: $headerTextColor;
}

#menubar a:hover {
background-color: $headerCornersColor;
}

Step4: Save your template and go to the Page Elements tab. You will notice that a new page element box has been added above the header title. Click the Add a Page Element link and choose Link List as the new page element. You can now start linking pages from your blogsite posts or from other sites.

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2007-12-11

Small Business Web Hosting

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Our age is the age of information. Virtually all types of information can be accessed with a few clicks of the mouse buttons. In fact, we are overwhelmed by too much information that we sometimes do not even know which information is right. The internet is a worldwide library that made it possible for the easy access to information. Aside from academic concerns, the internet is the gateway to global marketing. The amazing thing about web marketing is that you can actually do business 24 hours a day even when you are asleep or simply twiddling your thumbs. Your customers can literally come from any part of the planet. If you intend to start a web-based business, you must first find the right web hosting site for your business.

Small business web hosting sites are ideal for start-up individual enterprises. When it comes to web marketing, the possibilities are endless. You can offer very obscure products and services, yet you will be surprised to find a sustainable market demand. There are many sites that offer free or paid web hosting services. However, only very few of these provide the right information that you need to make your web business successful. Before you jump into the bandwagon, you must first gather the right information.

Learn from the real-world experience of others. Those ordinary individuals who made it big in web-based enterprises are those people who were willing to learn from their mistakes. However, you do not need to go through the same grueling process that they have gone through. You can know more about web marketing by simply reading the articles written by successful web marketers. Being equipped with the right information is like possessing a treasure map. The map itself will not give you wealth but it can lead you to riches that perhaps even beyond your wildest dreams.

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2007-12-08

Understanding Style Sheets (CSS)

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There are actually different types of style sheets that can be integrated with HTML documents. However, the most commonly used type of style sheet is the Cascading Style Sheet or CSS. As the name implies, this style sheet is a layered style sheet. This means that different formats can be implemented using different attributes. CSS is an extension of the HTML language. CSS allows generalized formatting of a web document without the need for individually tagging each element. Basically, CSS provides the general formatting for the texts, graphics and layout a HTML document or web page.

You can consider CSS as some sort of generic formatting tool that is much similar to the formatting tools of word processors. CSS tells the browser how a particular type of page element will be displayed. For instance, the post titles (header texts) of this blogsite are displayed as left aligned, blue color, and black during mouse hover. All of these characteristics are declared in the style sheet. Without the style sheet, the individual titles need to be tagged separately.

CSS codes are placed inside the <head> tags of a HTML document. These CSS codes, are further nested inside the <style> tags. In Blogger/Blogspot templates, the style sheets are found between the <b:skin> tags. If HTML tags are easily identifiable because of the arrow brackets (< and >), CSS codes are easily identifiable because of the curly brackets ({ and }) CSS codes or attributes are enclosed within these brackets.

Below is an example of CSS codes. These CSS codes provide the background image for this blogsite. Tweaking these codes in my template will change the attributes of the background image.

<style type='text/css'>
body
{
background-image:
url('http://www.quiltingbb.com/images/wood_tile.jpg');
background-repeat: repeat;
background-attachment:
fixed
}
</style>

Unlike HTML tags, CSS codes do not necessarily need to be grouped in hierachical order. However, for the sake of convenience, the CSS codes are grouped according to the particular HTML elements they format. For instance, in the Blogger templates, the CSS codes for the header elements are grouped together. CSS codes have similar attributes to HTML tags. Some of the most common attributes of CSS codes are width, alignment, height, color, and text effect. Hence, if you are very familiar with HTML tags, you can easily learn how to format CSS codes. In my successive posts, I will discuss specific CSS formatting codes that can be used in Blogger/Blogspot templates.

If you want to learn more about CSS, you can visit this site: W3.ORG

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2007-12-05

Site Within a Site

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Do you want your favorite site to be displayed within your blog?. There are Javascript codes that you can create and copy-paste on your website or blogsite to enable you to create i-frames. An i-frame is actually like a picture frame contained within another picture frame. It may also be compared to a window within a window. An i-frame allows you to view other sites within your own site. Hence, there is no need to navigate away from your site. You can simultaneously view two sites. For instance, if you scroll down to the footer area of this blogsite, you will see an i-frame displaying my GooglePages site (Family Life). This is made possible by the i-frame codes that I have embedded on this site.

To conveniently create an i-frame for your site, you must first create the code in Bitty Browser. Follow the step-by-step graphical instructions below:

Step1: Open Bitty Browser page.



Step2: Go to the settings page by clicking the "change something" link.



Step3: Choose the "change the contents" option.



Step4: Choose the "website URL" option.



Step5: Paste the URL of your choice inside the form box. This could be the URL of your other blog or the URL of your favorite site.



Step6: Get the HTML/Javascript codes by clicking the "Get HTML" icon.



Step7: Copy-paste the codes to your blog. Simply choose the appropriate location. Preferably, you should embed the codes on the footer area of your site. Now you are done. Save and view your blog.



On the other hand, if you do not want to go over the abovementioned steps, simply copy-paste the codes below onto the footer area of your site. Simply change the red-highlighted URL address with the URL address of your choice.

CODES:

<!-- BITTY BROWSER : WWW.BITTY.COM : {BEGIN} -->
<script type="text/javascript">
<!--

/* Bitty Browser tips & tricks: */
/* http://www.bitty.com/manual/ */

bitty = {contents: [{
service: "bitty:browser",
title: "Bitty Browser",
width: "100%",
height: "400",
titlebar: {display: "on"},
buttonbar: {textlabels: "on"},
searchbar: {display: "on"},
homepage: {contents: [{website: "http://homar.murillo.googlepages.com/"}]}
}]};

// -->
</script><script src="http://b1.bitty.com/b2script/" type="text/javascript"></script><noscript><a href="http://www.bitty.com/">Bitty Browser</a> (JavaScript required)</noscript>
<!-- BITTY BROWSER : WWW.BITTY.COM : {END} -->

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2007-12-03

Embedding PowerPoint Slides

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Have you noticed that the Blogger/Blogspot post editor only offers photo and video upload? The illustration below shows the icons that you should click if you want to upload photos or videos from your hard desk. However, what if you want to upload PowerPoint or PDF files? There are no straightforward options that you can choose. Hence, the best option would be to first convert the files into some sort of codes and copy-paste or embed them onto your blog in similar manner that YouTube videos are embedded on blog posts.



To embed a PowerPoint file onto Blogger, you must first create an account in Slide Share. After creating an account, you can then upload the PowerPoint files that you created. However, the maximum file size that is allowed is 30 Megabytes. Well, this is enough for general purposes. Uploading may take some time, depending on the file size. On the other hand, the process of converting the file into Slide Share format may take longer time. Hence, you should be patient.



After your file has been converted into codes, you can now embed the codes from the corresponding code box as shown in the illustration below. To do this, copy the corresponding codes; then, open the text editor of your blog and choose the "Edit Html" tab. Paste the codes that you copied. Publish your post or save it as draft.



Now you are done. After publishing your post, you can now view your blog. Remember, there are separate codes for Wordpress and Blogger. Simply choose the appropriate codes that you are going to embed. Here is an example of an embedded PowerPoint file. This file was created by my friend, Joseph Benedict:

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