Bowser Size from Google Labs

Browser size has been integrated into Google Analytics and would soon move out of Google labs.

This handy Google Labs tool will allow you to see your website as seen by users with different screen resolutions. One of the major challenges while designing a website template is to design the template so that user can read the relevant information at the very first glance itself. Sadly this depends on the visitors screen resolution. This tool from Google Labs will overlay a transparent ruler like layout to the web address you give it, thus enabling you to see how your web site looks at  screen resolutions other than yours.

Google Labs browser Size Screen cap
Screen Shot of Simple Informations on browser Size by Google Labs

The tool allows basic settings such as transparency adjustment of the ruler. You can use Google Analytics to know what resolution is used by most number of your visitors. Then you can head over to Browser size and see what all portions of your website is viewable at that resolution. This will allow you to make your web site more accessible and improve the “page views/visit” as well as “bounce rate”.

The following is a screen shot of my Google Analytics page showing the details of this blogs visitors and their screen resolution.

Visitor by resolution chart
Statisctics of visitors to this site by resolution – Google Analytics

Link : Browser Size | Google Labs | Google Analytics

One (free) instant messenger for all services

All the web sites having a chat facility has now got an instant messenger client. So a messenger that can handle multiple services was one I was waiting for a long time. I think this would be the case for most of you. But which client would support multiple services as well as run on both Windows and Linux? The answer is Pidgin a free and is distributed under GPL.

Pidgin is an instant messaging program for Windows, Linux, BSD, and other Unixs. You can talk to your friends using AIM, ICQ, Jabber/XMPP, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, QQ, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE, MySpaceIM, and Zephyr.

Pidgin is the default IM client that comes with Linux(well some distros only – as Saman pointed out in the comments). Almost all of the features of other IM clients are available in pidgin also. But there is no support for video and audio chat. Although file transfer is integrated, most of the time it won’t work (at least when I tried).For pidgin to work properly tyou may need GTK. You can find a version of GTK along with pidgin itself. If not goto GTK for Windows.

http://www.pidgin.im/shared/img/logo.pidgin.png

One of the main advantages of pidgin is that it can sign in to multiple usernames at once. You can sign in to you GTalk, ICQ, Yahoo… messenger accounts at once. So you don’t need to manage multiples Windows which is a great feature.

PidGin can be downloaded here : Pidgin for Windows, PidGin is available by default in Linux – or install by sudo apt-get install pidgin.

How to save copy righted Images from Flickr

Some images in Flickr are protected so that nobody would save them to their computer. This is done by overlaying the image with a transparent spaceball.gif image. You can see this in action in the following image.

Saving Flickr Image gives you the transparent spaceball.gif file.

Here when the save Image As option is taken you can save only spaceball.gif which is a simple 1×1 transparent image. So how do you save such images. One method that will come to your mind immediately will be saving it from cache. Yeah that works, but there is a method which is a lot  easier. You can use this in Firefox.

Right Click and Select Page Info

When you right click on any page opened in Firefox you can see an option Page Info. (Note that a similar option is viewable under the DOM Inspector) Click on that, Goto the Media tab. This can also be accessed through Tools » Page Info You can see that here there is a list of all Images, Music and Shock wave objects used on the page Just click on the image name you want to save and select Save As. Thats it.

All media in a page under the Page Info » Media tab

One you get familiar with images in Flickr you can see a similarity in all the main images addresses used in Flickr ages. Just check the image. You can easily spot tis one after some trial. Also any object can be saved fby using this method.

You might also be interested in knowing how to disable right clciks using simple HTML tags. If this method is used you can select Page Info from Tools menu on the top.

Free online image editor

Resizr is a free online image editing site. I will allow you to use almost all the basic photo editing features. “RESIZR was conceived in July 2006 by Matt Miller, after trying to help a user upload an image to the Urban Pug Forums. After suggesting some tools, it became apparent that there might be a need for a brutally simple online image resizer.”

Image in Resizr canvas

With Resizr you can Crop, Resize, Change filetype (GIF,PNG,JPG), sharpen, adjust levels, change the tone of the image (to B/W &&; sepia), adjust brightness and contrast and even control the quality of output file. Resizr is equivalent to a photo editing software. It is free and also saves your file for a specific amount of time before which you can download it.

Start a personal or group web site for free at Google sites

Google Sites” is now available for free public registration and use. With Google sites you can start a personal or group managed web site.

Google sites overview

You can upload content and manage all your files from one location. You can also decide who all could see your site and files uploaded. You don’t need to know HTML or other coding to build your own site. So if you were looking for one good reason to start a web site why wait, start it right now.

I have made a test page on Google Sites. Check it out and post your comments there.

Themes –

Although the sign up process is simple the default themes available really sucks. You can edit theme, images used in template, colors and fonts from Appearance in site administration. Even the repeat options are provided for background images. Also you may change the home page to whichever you like as far as it is on the site itself.

Attach files –

Google sites has the ability to attach files to specific pages. So if you attach a file abc.def to a page you will get the file link as under this page.

Page history –

the author of the page is provided with the ability to view or revert a page to an earlier version.

Google sites provides version history - click for full size image.

For this a detailed history is provided including Author, time of edit, time after edit etc. Also you may subscribe to page changes.

File editing –

Editing the file has been made too simple so to say. Even if you know nothing about web page coding you will be able to create really good looking and attractive pages. The ability to insert Google docs, Google calender, Youtube and Google videos are major plus points. You can also insert Picassa sideshow directly to a page.

Automatic site map generation (not for search engines) –

A site map is generated automatically as you add more and more pages. The site map is not the one used by search engine bots. It is intended to make human navigation easier. You can add Google Analytics with the click of a button.

Search –

Web site search is built in. The search results page is rather neat and functional with the sidebar shown and results easily navigable.

Bottlenecks –

You cant use <embed>, <script>, <iframe> or <style> tags even while editing HTML code of the site as they are considered to be unsafe tags. So if you need to add a video you are forced to upload it to Youtube first. Pretty thoughtful from Google.

Over all Google sites is a great combination of functionality and ease of access for those who don’t want to get deep into the troubles of managing a site. You are provided with almost all the tools for basic site management. As always  uploading of an exe file is prevented, but after ZIPPING it can be uploaded. And at 100Mb although the storage space isn’t so much to boast about you will be satisfied for sure.

Download youtube videos as mp4 right form the youtube site itself

Many softwares and websites have been introduced which allowed users to download Youtube videos directly. But many of these have been disabled by Google in some way or other. but there is an easy solution to all these downloading problems.

MP4 video download option shown.

The Youtube videos can actually be downloaded from the Youtube web site itself in mp4 format. Thanks goes to Google operating system blog. You can easily add a button to your browser that when clicked will add a download as mp4 file link under the video properties in Youtube. Add this button by dragging and dropping it to your bookmark toolbar just below the address bar in the browser.

Download mp4 video

Know how to download embeded video from any site using Real Player

VLC media player is a free player which can play all formats of audio and video including those from youtube


Free service that lets you find out everything about a domain name

Domain Tools ping, lookup, search history, sales and all about domainsSome times we may need to know more about the site we are visiting, including its IP address, domain name provider, administrator etc. Or we may need to know if the site’s server is up by using a ping command. All these and more can be done by using DomainTools by Name Intelligence. It provides almost every service related to a domain name.
Here is what Name Intelligence says about Domain Tools :

Name Intelligence is best known for its feature rich website DomainTools.com. The mission is to gather and enable as much information as possible about every domain. Domains records exist in the deep web and are not as search able as the very web pages they host. Name Intelligence will enable search on whois records and expose multiple views of how the domains are structured. Our custom thumbnail system and intelligence fetching will draw in data from all sources that have complementary data to our records.DomainTools is ranked by several third parties such as Alexa to be the number one whois website in the world based on visitors. If a domainer is researching domains then DomainTools is the place to be.

You can lookup the sites IP, check performances of various hosts, view important information about servers and various domains, view history of domain name, do a reverse IP look up etc. They have got an XML API so that you can use their service right for your office or web purpose. Visit Domain tools to have a look at what all they are providing

Save web pages as PDF and save to your desktop for free

PDF online Logo
Most of us browse through numerous web pages and save them if we find them interesting. When I am downloading the entire site I will use Winhttrack a very useful web archiving utility. But the problem with html pages is that the have an associated folder, even the mht files are not much of use also if you need to read the page later as an e-book. So what if we could save the web page as pdf

Thats exactly what PDFOnline offers. It has a plethora of options to choose from. they provide online conversion of doc, jpg, htm and many more files to pdf. But you need to signup inorder to put there convert to pdf widget on your blog, which enables a visitor to save your page as pdf to their system. Users are able to convert pages to pdf just by clicking a button as the one shown here.

If you need the page exactly as you saw it on the net than you may try saving the file in Microsoft Web Archive format.

**Tips :Although this is nice and convenient I am sad to say that the formatting is pretty much ugly. What you’ll get is almost a screen shot and then also some image including backgrounds are missing. So for now save the page as .mht **

Main reasons for Invalid XHTML pages in blogs

Watching your blog pass all the validations like html, xhtml, css etc. is actually satisfying for everybody. W3Schools validator tool is the most popular one used for the purpose. Many Blogger users should have found that however hard they try there will still be errors if the strict check is enabled, Why?

1. For Blogspot : If you know your page well and look at the errors shown you will come to the sad conclusion that you will NEVER be able to make your page valid..It’s because even if write your posts and template in valid xhtml the Blogger parts – Navbar, iFrames and attributes used with them are not properly xhtml formatted. You can do nothing about them.

There are some common errors among these especially if you come from an HTML background. Many of the attributes used in HTML are invalid if we use xhtml strict mode.

2. For all : If you are a blogger or a web page developer there can be errors in your document. Of course if you are only starting you may not be able to resolve many of this. So following are the main errors and the suggestions to rectify them.

General

Always use small letter for all tags and attributes. ie use <img src=” ” alt=” ” /> instead of <IMG arc=” ” ALT=” ” />

<META>

Use small letters as well as close the tags your meta tags should read
<meta name=”name” content=”content” />

<a href=””></a>

Always use title attribute for <a tag <a href=”http://sample.com” title=”my title”>Link Text</a>

<img>

Empty tags are not allowed in XHTML. so you need to use <br /> for <br>, <hr /> for <hr>, <img /> for <img>

width=..,height=..,

It is always better to use <style=”width:xx px; …”> The usage is as follows
<img src=”PATH” width=”xx” border=”mm”>>. for this try using <img src=”PATH” style=”border: toppx rightpx bottompx leftpx; margin: toppx rightpx bottompx leftpx; width:xxpx;” alt=”Alternate text” /> (you can use negetive numbers for margin border etc.. and also px can be changed to cm centimeter, in inch etc..)

alt=”TEXT”

Never forget to put alternate text, the text shown in image disabled browsers. (always use some text that best describes you image)

<sctipt language=”JavaScript”>

Use <script type=”text/javascript(VBscript)“>

<style>

be sure you use <style type=”text/css”>

<u>

This tag for underlining can’t be used (it works still) use <font style=”text-decoration:underline;”>

Most common errors – from W3Schools site

not using </li> or other closing tags, usage of empty tags like <br>, not using alt in images etc…

So check your web page for errors and go care fully through the result page so that next time you edit your page the error wont repeat.

CCProxy – control sharing of internet between computers on network

CCProxy by YoungzSoft allows to control the internet access over LAN. It is not a free ware, but as usual there is a work around without cracking.

Proxy Server
CCProxy lets all computers on the LAN access Internet through one single Internet connection. Just need to install Proxy Server CCProxy on the server which can access Internet directly and the other PC clients can connect to the Internet through the proxy software. It will provide you a cost-effective Internet connection sharing solution without losing ease of use and peace of mind.

CCProxy can be downloaded from YoungzSoft download page. The installer is a 2.1 Mb executable and installation is a breeze. The software costs you $69 for unlimited users. The evaluation version is Fully Functional except for the fact that it supports only three users. CCP can control virtually anything with Net over LAN including

CCProxy Account Settings

1. Users : The Server can allow selected users to access the Internet. this can be done using the users IP address, Mac address or Name. So no other person on the LAN can just change their IP and do a fraud. Also if you give the IP CCP will automatically retrieve user info including MAC and Name. In Account Settings>>NEW input the IP of user and click retrieve info and you are done. You may also specify a USERNAME and PASSWORD for each user for more security.
2. User Surfing : The bandwidth, number of live connections, sites visited and time of connection can be controlled for each user. If you give -1 as value for Bandwidth, Connections etc the user has got no restrictions.
3. Proxy and Ports :

CCProxy Port Options

CCP also allows to assign individual PORTS for each protocol. See th Screen Shot. This increases security, also you can block selected protocols here.
4. Security : For all the server softwares to be secure they need to control interference from other users than Administrator. CCProxy allows Administrator to Set a Password to change the settings and also allows an option for users to login and change the Proxy settings via LAN. Of course the logging in through :LAN can be disabled. You can specify the site to be used for checking. The Socket IDLE time before disconnecting can also be specified.

CCP Miscellaneous Options

.Summary : To sum it all, CCProxy is an excellent piece of work by Youngz Soft. It give all the control that is required for a LAN Internet Proxy and I have never seen any product that gives you these much value for your money. If you need a proxy then don’t wait go for it.
Pros :
Excellent Control for Administrator, Not a piece missing, individual Port configuration for different protocols, Light (2.1 MB )and easy to setup, Ease of use, Impresive user interface.
Cons :
None in particular, (although the price may seem to be a little over the top, CCProxy is worth every penny)

Specifications :

Mem. Usage (idle) : (coming)
(minimised) : (coming)

Price :   $69

How can I make CCProxy have more users legally without using any cracks?