Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’

Favicon: Why your website needs one

August 26, 2010

When you are going about your business on the Internet, have you wondered about the icon next to the title of the web page tab you are on and how it got there?  The design of that little icon is related to the artwork associated throughout the website you are on and is called a favicon.

If you're a webmaster, you cannot forget to include a "favicon", a graphical representation of your website which allows you to brand the site and increase its prominence in your visitor's Bookmarks or Favorites menu.Why do you need a favicon?  It allows you to brand your site and increase its prominence in your visitor’s Bookmarks or Favorites menu.  Graphical representations of your website, especially in browsers with hundreds of saved website links, will not only help visitors find the link to your website more easily but can allow them to visit your website more often.  What happens, then, if you stumble upon a website without a favicon?  Websites that do not have a favicon assigned to them will be provided with a generic favicon — a bland sheet of paper dog-eared at the upper right corner.

How can you make sure you brand your website with a custom, memorable favicon emblematic of your site?  By making a favicon of your own, of course!  There are many websites you can choose from to create a favicon, but I recommend Dynamic Drive’s FavIcon Generator.  The directions are relatively straightforward.

  1. Browse your computer for the image you wish to turn into a favicon.  Make sure the image is in the file format .bmp, .gif, .jpg, or .png.  All icons will be saved in the file format .ico.  Do not select any of the options.  Click on the “Create Icon” button.
  2. A preview of the favicon will be generated, displaying what it will look like in the address bar of the browser.  Even though the preview uses an address bar reminiscent of Internet Explorer 4 or 5, the favicon generated will look the same in Firefox, Google Chrome, or any other browser released after 2004.  Click on “Download FavIcon” and save the favicon to your hard drive.
  3. In order for your new favicon, “favicon.ico”, to be seen on your website, you must upload it.  Connect to the web server hosting your site and upload the favicon to the root directory.  You may also upload it to the image folder of your site if you wish.
  4. Depending on the markup used on your site (HTML or XHTML) or your browser preferences, you must insert the appropriate <link> tag in the HEAD section of all the web pages of your site.  Use this guide if necessary and make sure that the <link> tag contains all three attributes: rel, type, and href.
  5. After you save the changes to your site, go through it with a few web browsers and make sure the favicon has been uploaded and referenced correctly.  If the favicon remains a dog-eared sheet of paper, the address contained in href may be incorrect and may not be pointing to the favicon’s location.

Remember, you’re creating a favicon for your website so that it stands out on your visitors’ web browsers.  Whether they add your site to their bookmarks or bookmark toolbar, a visual representation of your website will help them remember your site easier and access it more often.  If you want to brand your site on your visitors’ web browsers, start small with a favicon.

UPDATE: HTML-Kit, “a full-featured editor for HTML, XHTML, XML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and other text files”, has made creating and inserting a favicon to your site a snap.  How quickly can you have a favicon up and running for your site?  According to their tutorial below, in under a minute:

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Francis M. Unson

 

A Guide on Malware and Spyware Removal

February 3, 2010

Note: This guide will help you remove a significant amount of unwanted spyware and associated folders, files, and registry entries.  Serious infections need more steps or the use of Hitman Pro by SurfRight.

Step 1 – If you have any anti-virus software on your computer, install the latest definitions by running an update and run a FULL scan.

Step 2 – Install CCleaner, a system optimization, privacy, and cleaning tool that removes unused files, cleans traces of online activity such as the Internet history, and cleans registry entries.  Download CCleaner on CNET.

A step-by-step guide to removing harmful malware and spyware from your computer with the use of Spybot and Malwarebytes.Step 3 – Install Spybot – Search & Destroy, an anti-spyware application.  Download Spybot on CNET.  Run Spybot once so that you can download the latest updates.  When the Spybot-S&D Wizard pops up, click on “Search for Updates”.  At the Spybot-S&D Updater window, make sure all the updates listed under “Important Files” are checked, and click on Download so that the latest updates are installed.

Step 4 – Expand the Spybot-S&D menu on the left and click on “Settings”.  Click on the third option below it, also called “Settings”.  Go to the dropdown menu:

Automation >> System Start

and select the option, “Run program once at next system startup”.  Exit the application when done.

Step 5 – Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, another anti-spyware application.  Download it from CNET, as well.  Leave the checkboxes for “Update Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware” and “Launch Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware” checked so that the application installs the latest Malware definitions.  Exit the application when done.

Step 6 – Restart your system.  When you see the logo of the manufacturer of your computer, go into Safe Mode by pressing F8.  Login to an account with the highest permissions (e.g. Administrator).  If your children have an account, DO NOT use it.  Spybot will run automatically just before loading the Windows desktop.  When the scan is completed, press Fix selected problems.  You may receive a warning popup window saying that “some problems couldn’t be fixed” and recommends that a restart is necessary.  Click on No and DO NOT restart your computer for now.  Repeat Step 4, then exit the application.

Step 7 – Run Malwarebytes.  Click on the Scanner tab, select “Perform full scan”, and press the Scan button.  When the scan is completed, press the “Remove Selected” button.

Step 8 – Run CCleaner.  “Cleaner” on the top left side of the window will be selected by default.  Make sure all the boxes are checked under the Applications tabs and all boxes except “Wipe Free Space” are checked under the Windows tab.  Click on Analyze and, when complete, click on Run Cleaner.  Next, click on “Registry” on the left side of the window just below “Cleaner”.  Click on Scan for Issues and, when complete, click on Fix selected issues….  If there was just one error found, click on Fix Issue.  If multiple errors were found, click on Fix All Selected Issues.  Do this step twice.  Exit the application when done.

Step 9 – Restart the computer.  Login as you normally do.  Spybot will run automatically just before loading the Windows desktop.  When the scan is completed, press the “Fix selected problems” button.

Step 10 – Many types of malware like to exploit out-of-date versions of Java, so update your Java Runtime Environment.  You can download it from Java’s website.

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Francis M. Unson

How to organize a successful yard sale

February 1, 2010

Why would you have a yard sale? Two reasons come to mind: to get rid of your excess clutter and, of course, to make money.  After all, “a person’s junk is another person’s treasure.”  In order to have a successful yard sale, follow these tips:

  • Follow these steps if you want to organize a successful yard sale.Gather your inventory.  If you haven’t used it, worn it, or it has sat in an obscure corner of your living room or closet for over a year, it becomes inventory.  Don’t give the item a second look; you didn’t give it a second look in a long time, anyway.
  • Do your homework.  No price gouging!  Visit a yard sale or two (or more) and do price comparisons.  Furthermore, depending on where you live, you may need a permit.  Know the rules!
  • Set the date.  Don’t overlook this detail.  Setting a date for the yard sale forces you to manage your time more effectively; you will not decide halfheartedly to do a yard sale “sometime in the spring”.
  • Advertise! Post BIG signs at the entrances of your neighborhood.  Set up a Facebook Fan Page.  Tweet about the yard sale.  Just get the word out!  The more foot traffic you can direct (or divert) to your yard sale, the more successful it will be.
  • Prep and price.  In order to save yourself a lot of time and energy during the yard sale, price every item you intend to sell.  Use masking tape or adhesive stickers.  Bundling will give shoppers added value.  Selling a dozen candlesticks for $10 will go faster than selling each candlestick for $1.
  • Setup shop.  Use your front yard, driveway, or garage.  Make sure that would-be shoppers can see the yard sale from the road.  Set up your wares on foldout tables, plywood, or old rubs.  Use a money-box or even a muffin tray if you are going to make change.  Keep a watchful eye over your inventory.
  • Sell, sell, sell! Just don’t sit there waiting for the customers to come to you.  Walk around, interact with the customers, and talk to them.  Share lots of information about the items.  The more information you give them, the less questions they will ask.  Offer free coffee and sell donuts.  If they’re eating, they’re staying–and if they’re staying, they’re buying, right?
  • Following the sale.  Box the unsold inventory and donate them to charity.  Go around the neighborhood and remove all the signs you put up.  Send a thank-you Tweet on Twitter for peoples’ participation.  And finally, take out the family to well-earned dinner.

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Francis M. Unson