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HTMLfixIT Archive for the ‘Utilities and Programs’ Category

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 by Franki

My average day has me logged in and working from about 6 different computers. Some are Linux, some are Windows and one is a Mac. Up until now, on all of these machines, I had separate different browser favourites\bookmarks, passwords, histories, preferences histories etcetera, and if I needed a bookmark or whatever on when computer when I was on another, I’d have to remote control or walk there to get it. Until now that is. Mozilla Weave has changed all that and now I have the same settings/history/bookmarks on all of my machine on all 3 operating systems. Best of all, it’s a free service!

What is Mozilla Weave I hear you ask? Well, think of it as an online service that stores your browser details in an encrypted state on one of Mozilla’s servers and you can access that data using the weave browser extension installed into as many different Firefox browsers as you like. In my case, my 6 different Firefox installs over Linux/Mac/Windows all have the weave extension installed and configured to use the same weave account, and as a result all of them now have the same browser details.

Case in point is this post, I’ve never posted to from this computer before, but because this computer and my home computer both have weave installed, this computer “remembered” the post address and the user-name and password to log in.

This is the way things are destined to move, all your data available all the time from anywhere. I’m a fan.


Friday, January 4th, 2008 by Don

Robert Scoble is a fun act to follow. He looks at things and tries them out. He pushes and pulls and isn’t afraid to look silly for trying. He recently tried a script to export his friends from facebook into a Plaxo contacts list. Facebook promptly suspended his account!

Welcome to the club Robert. I was banned as well. My reason? I didn’t use my real name. When I joined (and I must say I really don’t get facebook at all. It seems a waste of time to me) it told me I had to use my real name, so what did I do? I used “My Real Name” as my user name. They didn’t like that apparently and thus banned me.

Here is the funny part — I guess it’s funny — they didn’t bother to tell me I was banned. I found out when I went there and tried to log in. I lost all three of my friends I had gained! Terrible.

Facebook is entirely free to set the terms of service it wants. It CAN require that you use your actual name (in retrospect when it said you had to use “your real name” I guess they were speaking other than literally. They CAN prohibit you from scraping data with an automated script like Robert was doing. That does not bother me, hey they own the system.

I have two issues however with facebook:
1. I would think it prudent of them to give some advance warning. They apparently did in Robert Scoble’s case, but they did not in mine. I was simply banned and gone. Even in his case, he was presumed guilty until proven innocent I guess you might say. They banned first and didn’t investigate before doing so.
2. They need a reasonable and fast way for you to reinstate if you are interested after committing a sin. In my case, my email address is apparently still banned and several emails saying okay, release my email so that I can register under my actual name have simply gone unanswered and tries to use the address over a period of time show it still banned (I have not tried it lately).

Obviously many people apparently do get facebook. Sure I like finding people I have lost touch with via facebook (something I do now on a new account registered under an unrelated email address — geez like who doesn’t have 103 email addresses anyway), but the method of conversation, this whole write on a wall things, it all seems disjointed to me.

My other and greater concern is with this whole concept of spending great time and resources putting information, contents, thoughts, contact lists, etc. on a third party site in their complete and unfettered control. Doing so causes me pause. There is a trend this way in business and personal things, but what to do for disaster recovery? I guess Robert will find out. In my case, I just said hi to my three friends the next time I saw them. If I cannot back it up, I don’t waste much time on it.


Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 by Don

I have been trying to find a forum software I really like. I used phpbb for a few, but have not been all that happy. I tried Vanilla and like it overall, but it seems to have some issues, like for example with incompatible plug-ins and absent plug in’s it isn’t all that powerful. So I tried this comparison site It is pretty good. It compares and contrasts between a number of the popular programs so that you can pick. I found mybb this way and it looks quite good so far.


Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 by Don

I have not made a favicon for a bit, so I figured I’d whip one up today. I did a quick google search (still my favorite search engine after all these many years) and I found a nice little utility to whip a favicon up. It allows you to download it and the only bad thing about it is that it is all zipped up and you need to unzip it to use it. It worked perfectly for me.

some random favicons

What is a favicon? Well it is a little teenie image that appears to the left of your url in the address bar (three examples above) and then shows under your bookmarks or favorites in many cases.

So who has the best favicon you have ever seen? Drop a comment so we can check them out. They are very limited because really they are simply 32 pixels square and well … that doesn’t leave much room for detail now does it?


Friday, August 17th, 2007 by Don

As you know we are a big fan of shared work on the net. Someone today pointed out a PHP mail form handler script that appears to be drafted with some thought to avoiding spam, serves as a nice replacement for Matt’s Old Perl Formmail Script and even helps you to configure itself.

I have not examined the coding, but they certainly address many of the issues I would be concerned about in their text and claim they are on top of those issues.

I am looking forward to giving it a try and digging into the code a bit.

As a web designer, if you install formmail scripts, you should log those installations and check at least quarterly to see if they have been updated. While this script claims no known vulnerabilities that have been exploited, of course there is someone out there as we speak trying to find one. Eventually if you don’t keep upgrading, changing, etc. they catch up to you so regular updates (this script was updated yesterday) are good.


Wednesday, July 11th, 2007 by Don

Robert Scoble asks what happened to it. Where did ICQ go? Well, we still use it for our support forum … sort of. We run our own chat channel, but to be honest don’t sit in it much. Why? It can sometimes be distracting I guess and frankly I just forget to turn it on. Want to discuss an issue in there? Simple, drop us a line with the contact form and ask us to jump in there. We usually will.

In our case we run our own perl script for the chat channel and you can simply use your browser to connect to us. We tend to use MIRC a low cost IRC Client and then we use voice software to read the content of the chat room. Back when we both had more available time we could spend hours answering questions. To be honest, we decided at some point that we could only help those who had a quicker question and some people we had to refer on to other sources (like google the question and pick the right answer). Still, being able to bounce it off of someone in chat can sometimes be the breakthrough you need. We can be there for you, just ask.


Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007 by Franki

Recently I had to create a website for a customer that contained quite a long video clip. After much searching around and some experimentation with wmv and divx I decided to use Flash. After all, if it’s good enough for YouTube…… Flash can achieve very good compression rates while maintaining “watchability” and was supported by a larger percentage of the population than any other format, which was exactly what I needed. The video I had to work with was 1.8 gigabytes, so the compression I needed was going to have to be pretty extreme.

Next step was to find a free (preferably) tool to do the encoding, which I figured would mean I’d lose the very latest codecs, (and right I was) but I was hopeful I’d still achieve the results I needed. (and I did.)

After much searching I came across Super which is a video processing/encoding tool that offers flash encoding as one of its benefits. This is a well designed, functional piece of software and I got what I needed from it without once needing to read any documentation. However the design of the Super pages at the eRightsoft site is deplorable beyond measure and I can’t believe it was designed by the same people that created the tool. I could not download the tool from their website no matter how hard I tried, the page just kept looping. I had no proxy, no software firewall , nothing was blocking my referrer and I tried 3 browsers (IE, Firefox and Safari), then I gave up and downloaded it from Afterdawn.

I was thinking about writing a tutorial detailing the steps I took making my videos, but it really was too easy and not really worthy of one. The only tip I could really give is to right click on a blank part of the main window to see all the config settings.
The site I worked on was finished on time (2 days) and I had a perfectly watchable 10MB flash video embedded in the page as well as offering Xvid, DivX and WMV higher quality versions available for download. Perfect!


This site is totally free to use, you have absolutely no moral or legal obligations to help us continue.
There are however, some costs involved in running the site.

<random humor>
Plus Don likes to feel he has helped keep Franki in BBQ sauce.
</random humor>

So if this site helped you find your way, perhaps you could consider contributing to our costs. Whatever amount you feel this site was worth to you would be just wonderful.
Use PayPal if you do decide to share and help us with the costs and in appreciation for our time and attention, or alternatively buy a book from our Bookstore..

  Time  in  Don's  part  of the world is:   May 24, 2024, 10:26 am
  Time in Franki's part of the world is:   May 24, 2024, 11:26 pm
  Don't worry neither one sleeps very long!

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