Blog Anchor Point

Image Links

The images above, are actual Image Links, and are click-able. Use them to navigate to the sites indicated in the mouse-over pop-ups!

Sometimes, a mouse-click on images will enlarge them

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Strange Happenings!

A strange occurrence seems to be happening with Google Chrome Browser. I'm not the only blogger who has noticed this, either. One particular blogger has reported getting Warnings - ..

"I am getting security warnings that Blogger Sign in page is not secure - WHY?"

Perhaps, these two various inconsistencies are connected?

Of course, you would never sign-on to a non-encrypted screen! The sign-on screen should NOT have a red cross through the padlock, nor a red line through the https:// protocol.

This is what you want to look for ...

What truly worries me, is the many people who do not pay attention - and don't see this problem - this security risk!

... and here's another one...

A couple of times, when replying to a question in the Blogger Help Forum, I have clicked 'Post Reply' to find this ...

A reply full of, Chinese (I think) text! WT?

I'm doing everything I know of, to find out - why - on all counts!


Friday, 29 April 2011

Google / Blogger - Reset Forgotten Password

Something always goes wrong - eventually.

Today, I wanted to sign-on to one of my blogs, which has a Google Account, based on a email address. This is what I got because I had forgotten the Password (temporarily), though I did have it written down, and remembered where ...

I opened the blog, using another Google Account, based on a Gmail address, and then immediately checked the Settings - Permissions screen, to see if I was trying to log-on to the wrong blog. Sure enough, I wasn't dreaming. My account was listed there - plain as day. I clicked on the name, to see the Profile!

For the sake of this post, I clicked on the "Can't Access Your Account" button, and went through the process to reset my password ...

This is the screen where you enter the Email account that you forgot the password for:

Solve the Word Captcha:

Select the method for receiving the Reset Code. I chose by mobile phone:

The SMS (Text) Message reads:

"Your Google Verification Code is: 123456 (example only)"

Then, you enter the code in the following box, and then reset your password on the next screen following this one (which I did not do for this exercise):

All done.


Thursday, 28 April 2011

Browsers - a constant battle

Browser Bungles are not new to me. I've been caught before, and I've had my share of sidebar drops.

Today, I was looking at my blog in a few browsers, as I often do, because many bloggers/readers throughout the blogosphere use various browsers to view my blog. It is essential that you blog looks good in as many browsers, as possible. What do you think would happen if your blog looked fantastic in Chrome, or Firefox, yet looked like a squashed pumpkin in Internet Explorer? Don't laugh, because that could happen.

Internet Explorer has, historically, had CSS Model issues, which can cause smaller Page Element allowances.

In support of that, in the following images, you'll see the effect of a narrower main Page element...

Firefox V 4.0 Browser -

Everything looks great (at least to me, it does)! Then, I opened ...

Internet Explorer 9

You don't need a magnifying glass to see the spill around of my new Tabs bar image, under the flags of the Language Translator. This is caused by Microsoft's continued misinterpretation of the CSS Box Model, as discussed in the above Webcredible article.

So, browsers do display things differently, and will, sometimes, force distortion.
I just wish everyone used Firefox! can't please everyone, though. If I fix this to display properly in Internet Explorer, it will look silly in Firefox, I suppose, because I am not sure if I know enough about CSS hacking with ISO values, referred to in Webcredible - nor, whether that is still doable.


Disk Cleanup, and Defragmentation - my weekly MUST do!

I'll bet, right now, that many of my readers will say; "What?"

With the amount of bloggers out there who do not regularly clear (once a month, or more often) the Browser cache, it would not surprise me that they have never heard of Disk Cleanup and Defragmentation, of the Hard Disk on their computers. It's not mentioned by any salesman I've ever met, nor is it highlighted anywhere, to my knowledge. It is, however, an essential part of your Computer Care and Maintenance program ... especially, if you use the Internet, download files, and get regular updates!

So, what is my friend, Disk Cleanup? Windows Help1 describes it as;

"... Delete files using Disk Cleanup

If you want to reduce the number of unnecessary files on your hard disk to free up disk space and help your computer run faster, use Disk Cleanup. It removes temporary files, empties the Recycle Bin, and removes a variety of system files and other items that you no longer need..."

Indiana University 'Knowledge Base' 2, describes Disk Cleanup, inter alia, as checking, and cleaning up;

  • Temporary Internet Files: Files stored on your local drive that allow web pages to load more quickly
  • Downloaded Program Files: A storage location for programs downloaded when you visit specific web sites that use ActiveX and Java applets
  • Recycle Bin: Files that have been marked as deleted
  • Temporary Files: Items in the TEMP folder "

It is so easy, and important, to do. Disk Cleanup takes around 5 minutes to run - while you make a cuppa, and a sandwich. Please take 3 minutes, or less (I didn't have my watch on) to watch this Windows Help Video. Disk Cleanup is a program on your Windows Start - Accessories - System Tools file.

It is right near my next friend, the Disk Defragmenter!

Windows Help describes Disk Defragmentation as a method to;

"... Improve performance by defragmenting your hard disk

Fragmentation makes your hard disk do extra work that can slow down your computer. Removable storage devices such as USB flash drives can also become fragmented. Disk Defragmenter rearranges fragmented data so your disks and drives can work more efficiently. Disk Defragmenter runs on a schedule, but you can also analyze and defragment your disks and drives manually..."

The fragmentation of files, referred to in the above quote, can be described as, if you'll excuse my poor analogy, like this...

" When you download files, they come in folders, or 'boxes'. Your Hard Disk opens the boxes to access the contents, and stores the contents wherever it can - because it is busy and hasn't got the time to look for somewhere, neat and tidy. It doesn't worry about the box it came in, either. It just leaves that where it was! So, when you want the contents, the computer brain has to look all around the Hard Disk. Maybe, a little bit is here, there's another bit, etc. The contents are FRAGMENTED! This takes up CPU time and effort. It's gotta work hard! So, defragmenting your Hard Disk - REGULARLY - gets the Hard Disk working better, because it can find things quicker.The Disk Cleanup , gets rid of the Files, or 'Boxes', which are of no further use! These are called 'Temporary Internet Files'."

Take a minute, (and that's all it takes), to view this Windows Help Video on Disk Defragmenter

Don't be dismayed by this story, but - sometimes, Disk Defragmentation can take time. My daughter's PC took me 17 hours to 'defrag' - because she had never done it before, and had over 7 years worth of cleaning to do. Now, her computer runs like new, again! Thanks, Dad!

Once you have done it a couple of times, it will take far less time than to take a shower, and dress.


1. Windows Help
2. Indiana University - University Information Technology Services - Knowledge Base - "In Windows, what is Disk Cleanup?"


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Picasa Storage

I have written about limits on various sites, and this included Picasa Web Albums. You are allowed up to 1Gb of storage space for photos, on Picasa. After that, they expect you to rent more space.

I started blogging towards the end of 2005. That's five and a half years ago, and I have, or contribute to, 38 blogs. I am an image idiot, too. I love them. I add them wherever I can. Pictures, photos, images, or whatever you want to call them, are a great way to get the messages across, if needed, and I have many, many screen-prints, photos/images on my blogs. These all have to be hosted - somewhere.

I don't remember exactly when Picasa came on the scene, and I am truly remiss in not knowing more about it, however, I did find out the answers to the pertinent questions - namely, how does having images hosted on Picasa, affect me?

So, I know:

  • My storage limit is 1Gb.
  • I have an album for every blog. Why? Mmm - dunno!
  • Some of these albums have images in them which I forgot to delete. Delete them.
  • Some of these albums are empty. Delete them.
  • I am stupid for having empty albums stored on Picasa, wasting space.
  • Go directly to gaol/jail. Do not pass 'Go'. Do not collect $200.

Worth the visit.

That's all I need to know, basically. Unless I want to get into the technical side of things, I'll let Picasa keep doing what it does best - host images.

I checked my usage, after all these years, too. Guess what? That's right - I am using very, very little of my 1Gb. In fact, with the hundreds, possibly thousands, of images I have posted to my blogs, I am only using... 3.99% - that's 40Mbs used!

I figure, at the rate I have been posting images, that I only have another 125 years of blogging, before I have to buy space on Picasa.

I have also written on ways to reduce the size of your images, and still get great results! Big is not best. Big is dumb!

Worth a thought!


Deleting a Picasa Web Album

From my last post, Deleting Images Hosted in Picasa Web Albums, came the reason for writing this post - Deleting a Picasa Web Album.

Nowhere did I read this advice, before I went crazy(er)...

"You cannot delete a Picasa Web Album, if it still contains a photo!"

Image 1.

OK. Now, having deleted all photos in the album, I was ready to proceed with the execution, sorry, deletion.

Image 2.

Once again, Picasa Help1...

Image 3.

Now, for something you should bear in mind. It says, in the next image that it may take 24 hrs, or so, for the album to come off the 'web.

It also says that any links to this photo album will NOT work.

Image 4.


1 Picasa Help


Deleting Images Hosted in Picasa Web Albums

Just recently, I started to look seriously at Picasa Web Albums. I thought it was due for an investigative look-see. The reason was simple. That's where all my blog images are hosted!

I noticed that there were lots of albums listed there, which were of not-used-any-longer blogs, or even stub blogs (because I don't delete blogs!). What possible use were these photos, from old blogs, in an album(s), stored on Picasa? They were only taking up storage space! That is something you do not want - unless you are like me and have heaps of photos hosted on Picasa, but use very little storage space! (Another post). (BTW, you might like to read a post I wrote this morning, on deleting posts with images attached).

So, I set out to delete these unused photos. How do I? Mmm.

It took a few seconds for the penny to drop. I clicked on the album, and the display of photos came up. I saw the Edit option, clicked it, and saw the command I wanted Delete this photo. Great. I deleted all the photos in the album. Easy-peasy!

Picasa has a Help Page1 for this, too.

Now, I need to delete the empty album. See my next post.


1 Picasa Help


Deleting a Post - What happens to the Images?

What happens to the images which were published on a post - if the post is deleted?

All images uploaded to a blog, via the Blogger Photo Uploading Wizard, will be stored on Picasa Web Albums. They will remain there until you remove them - one way, or another.

If you just click Delete, your images will remain in your Picasa Web Album, for that blog.

Just clicking Delete...

The images will remain in your Picasa Album...

However, if you place a tick in the little check-box next to each image, on the deletion GUI ...

...the photos you checked, will be deleted from the Picasa Web Album - forever! Only images from another post, on that blog, will remain.

Just something to be mindful of, if you want to delete a post, with images!
I presume deleting multiple posts at one time, may, or may not, provide this option. I haven't tried/tested that theory!

p.s. If you intend to delete the blog, as well, or transfer the control of it, to another account, you should also be aware of how this will affect your Images.


Monday, 25 April 2011

Author - Remove thyself!

Once upon a time, if you were an Author of a blog, and wanted out, you had to plead with the Administrator of the blog to remove you.

I don't know when it happened, exactly, but Blogger has enabled an option for an Author to remove him/herself. It appears on a Settings screen of the Author's Dashboard.

Simply click on the option to 'Remove yourself from this blog'. Your posts will remain on the blog, but you won't be able to post any more, and the blog will not appear on your Dashboard.

Easy as!


Clickable Tabs Images

Sometimes, boredom leads to goofing-off and spurs creativity.

Yesterday, the Easter holiday was getting to me - the shops I wanted to go to were shut, and my girls had been to see me, and gone home for dinner. I was a little down. So, I started to look at my blogs to see if anything jumped out at me as needing repair, or adjustment. Then, I thought ...

"I wonder if I can use image icons in my Tabs Links bar?"

Naturally, I consulted on this, and decided, based on his suggestions, to 'give it a go'! It worked!

There is only a small heap of challenges in doing it.

  • Designing the images to an exact size. I used 50 x 50 in the above Tabs
  • This has to be the same for each icon, otherwise the Tabs bar will show the differences - one bigger than the other, or a white line underneath, etc
  • You have to code the Linklist as html - not as an XML GUI
  • therefore, the code goes into an html/Javascript gadget, rather than a Linklist

My first steps were:

  • Start testing in my Research/Testing blog - don't want to do it on my main blog!
  • Test for which size image icons work best - trial and error!
  • Add a caption, using Paint, and re-size the artwork to 50 x 50 using Picture Manager
  • Incidentally, the latest version of Paint is great for this, because it tells you the size of the finished artwork, and you can also use it to reduce the larger artworks, if you don't like Picture Manager!
  • Upload the images to the html Editor, and substitute the Blogger URL with the various Link URLs for my Tabs display
  • add target="_blank" after each URL to ensure the links open in a new window
  • Remove excess formatting (see: Highlighted section below)
  • Add the Bullet codes next to each image script ( ie: <ul>....<li>...</li>...</ul> ) You'll see that further down in the script.
  • Name the gadget - I always use 'Pages'
  • Add the finished script to an html/Javascript gadget/page element, and position it just above the Main Page, below the Header.

The codes:

Initially, the uploaded images look like this first batch of script. the Blogger URL has to be replaced, as well as the formatting of the <div>...</div>

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
<a href="" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left:1em; margin-right:1em">
<img border="0" height="50" width="50" src="" /></a></div>

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
<a href="" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left:1em; margin-right:1em">
<img border="0" height="50" width="50" src="" /></a></div>

The highlighted sections need to be replaced, as follows, and when the Bullet points are added, the finished script looks like this:

<li><a href=""target="_blank"><img border="0" height="50" src="" width="50" /></a></li>

<li><a href=""target="_blank"><img border="0" height="50" src="" width="50" /></a></li>

<li><a href=""target="_blank"><img border="0" height="50" src="" width="50" /></a></li>

<li><a href=""target="_blank"><img border="0" height="50" src="" width="50" /></a></li>

Now, the code can be inserted/pasted into an html/Javascript Page Element/gadget, so it looks like this:

Of course, I am not a graphic artist, and only had some old icon images to work with, however, I am sure you will have your own ideas.

Easy as! Hope you have success with it.


Sunday, 24 April 2011

Clickable Blog Buttons & Text Boxes

One particular way to make a clickable image icon, or Blog Button, is to design your own, and display it in your sidebar by itself, or put it in a Text box, or html/Javascript gadget, as a code. That way, your readers can add it to their blogs, if they wish to, and have a "one-click" image link to your blog! It sounds complicated, but it is fairly easy - just a little time consuming.

Everyone knows MS Paint, and it's ability to do many things - one of those is designing. It took me a few minutes to design this (rather basic) image for Roberto's Blogs - the Report blog (this blog).

The next part of the job is to reduce the image in size, to a workable icon - I did that in MS Picture Manager. Now, with an image around 4 Kbs in size, I can upload it to the Blogger editor. It will look like this ...

The code for it looks like this...

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
<a href="" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left:1em; margin-right:1em"><img border="0" height="70" width="70" src="" /></a></div>

Now, how do you make that clickable? How do you make that image into a hyperlink to YOUR blog? Well, that's easy, too. In the following script, I have highlighted the part of the code which needs to be changed. This change necessitates you adding YOUR blog URL, instead of the Blogger URL (of course, don't remove any tags (< and >) - just replace the URL) ...

Add your blog URL where the following highlighted code is ...

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
<a href="" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left:1em; margin-right:1em"><img border="0" height="70" width="70" src="" /></a></div>

In the case of this blog, the Report, the code would end up looking like this ...

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
<a href=""target="_blank"><img border="0" height="70" width="70" src="" /></a></div>

Now, you have a clickable, (hyperlinked) image for your blog. Easy as! ( You can Click it if you wish.). Here it is...

Note: There's no real need to include <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">...</div> around the actual image script, and it can be removed.

Hyperlinked Image code in a Scrollable Box

Another useful tip, which quite a few bloggers1 use, is to offer their Readers a chance to add the icon to their blogs2, as I mentioned above, as well. To achieve that, you need to add code for a Text box, to 'wrap' what you already have. That's easy, too.

The script for the Text box is ...

<textarea name="HTML for Picture" rows="4" cols="20"> at the start, and with </textarea> at the end. eg:

The code that you add to your sidebar, or wherever, actually contains the link and the image, would look like this ...

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
<textarea cols="20" name="HTML for Picture" rows="4"><a href=""target="_blank"><img border="0" height="70" width="70" src="" /></a></textarea></div>

Together with the actual Image icon, my icon looks like this finished product ...

All your Readers have to do, is copy the script from within the scroll text box, and add it to a Text gadget, or html/javascript gadget, and they will have the hyperlinked icon on their blogs!

Just a click away from your blog! You'll see some samples in my sidebar!

And you don't have to keep it all to yourself, either. You can make these boxes for your Favourite 'other people's' blogs. I could make one for any of the Great Blogs I read, or Follow. I'm sure, the owners would not mind. It's a great way to help them build their readership, and maybe, in turn, you'll get more, too.


1. - Bonnie Calhoun's wonderful blog "How Can I Do That?"

2. - Annie's Creative Blogging Blog U


Thursday, 21 April 2011

Personal Attacks - How far will Blogger go?

Often, bloggers search for help to have perceived personal attacks on them, published in other people's blogs, taken down from the web. They may well be correct in their assessment, however, does it constitute having their blogs taken from the web? Blogger's position on this is very clear.

Blogger Help explains, in short, Blogger's position1, on this problem.

This snippet from the above article1, sums Blogger position up, fairly well.

"We strongly believe in freedom of expression, even if a blog contains unappealing or distasteful content or presents unpopular viewpoints. We realize this may be frustrating, and we regret any inconvenience this may cause you. In cases where contact information for the author is listed on the page, we recommend that you work directly with this person to have the content in question removed or changed.

Here are some examples of content we will not remove unless provided with a court order:

  • Personal attacks or alleged defamation
  • Parody or satire of individuals
  • Distasteful imagery or language
  • Political or social commentary

It is my opinion only, but I believe that many blogger would rather hope Blogger will do for them, what they should be doing for themselves. Go and see a Lawyer, as you would in 'real life', for a similar offence. If the claims by these slanderers, and libelists can't be substantiated, they may be ordered by a judge, to take their rubbish off the Internet. If, as mentioned above, a court order is obtained, then Blogger will also act.

1. - Blogger Help - Reporting Abuse


Known Issue - Known Issues is NOT updated

The header on this very-much used Blogger blog, reads;

"The latest on what's still a problem, what's getting fixed, and what's been taken care of, direct from the Blogger team."

It looks impressive, doesn't it? It's like most of Blogger's blogs, though. Does it have a function other than as a space-filler? Does it actually do anything? Does anyone ever update it?

Now, don't get me too wrong, here, I do use Known Issues nearly every day, as I like to know what's happening, before I go on the Help Forum and try to assist bloggers who have problems, but if the information is over a year old, what good is it to me? eg: Don't try to tell me that Blogger hasn't had a problem with Follower / Friend Connect, since August 2009 - and - don't try to tell me that problems have not been fixed since then! Well, according to Known Issues, that's the case ...

These people who work at Blogger - engineers, programmers, or whatever, need to get a dose of reality.

"Communication", as Jordan, Blogger Employee, said, on Friday, 13th October, 2006 - just before Blogger to Blogger Beta Migration, "is something we know is important and are working to increase."

Well, they haven't progressed very far!


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Custom Domain - Automatic Registration Renewal

Each year, the renewal of your Domain Registration, requires US$10 - if purchased through, like Roberto's Blogs dot net, was. The payment is made by Credit Card, and can be Automatically Renewed.

When you purchase your Domain, Google Apps sends you this email ...

This email MUST be kept safely filed, just in case of any problems with your Domain. It is the Registration email. You use the link on that email to set-up your Google Apps account. Nothing difficult in that. One of the options you will see, is the Automatic Annual Renewal of your registration.

The Google Apps Administrator Help also has this subject covered, for your convenience...

Once you indicate your intention to Automatically Renew your Registration, Google Apps will send you this notice, shortly before deduction time...

Presuming that your Credit Card has sufficient funds available, the transaction will go through with no fuss ...

If, by some chance, there is a problem with your renewal - possibly, lack of funds, or, as in my case here, a change of Credit Card (which I forgot to update), then Google Apps will send you an email telling you ...

Overall, renewal of your Domain Registration - Automatically - is painless and efficient. Why try to remember?


Google Analytics - Installation of the code

If you choose to use Google Analytics to review, or display Statistics of site visitors to your blog, as opposed to Statcounter, or Sitemeter, you still have to put a code on your blog. The question is; "Where do you put it?"

The simplest way to explain it, is that the code, or token, is written in Javascript. As you can see in the following image, the first line of the code says; <script type="text/javascript">. All New Blogger blogs have HTML/Javascript gadgets, into which you add Javascript code! Why add code to your blog template if you don't have to?

Either, select the gadget from the 'add a gadget' option/Page Element, at the bottom of your Design screen, or paste the code into one of the other 'add a gadget' options on the screen, and DRAG it to the bottom of the page. You don't even have to give it a title, if you don't want to. It has no function which can be clicked on.

Bear in mind that there is a huge possibility you won't see any results for, maybe, 24-48 hours, either. You have to wait for the Search Engines to evaluate visits/gather data. Also, much of the Google Analytics Help information is designed for Website developers, and is tailored for them - not necessarily for bloggers! If you see anything written expressly for Blogger, it is either old, or describes a 'phased-out' version of Blogger - like classic blogs!

If code is written in Javascript, and you want to add it to your blog, whack it in a Javascript gadget! Adding script to your Template is a scary thing for most bloggers - and opens you up to major problems. Don't risk it unless you know what you are doing - even then, there's NO need to!

See: The Google Analytics blog for some 'light' reading!


Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Blogger Stats - 3 - What do they tell you?

Continuing from No. 2. in this series, and in celebration of my 400th post on this blog, it is interesting to view the 'Audience' statistics - Pageviews by Browsers. This pie chart divides up all viewings by particular Browsers used, and gives a valuable key to blog presentation.

A long time ago, maybe 2006, many bloggers were experiencing sidebar drop, a phenomenon which still occurs today, but not as often. I can't explain it fully, other than to say that irrespective of what many people think, Browsers exhibit different qualities, and allow viewing differently. In other words, what you see via one Browser, may not be what you see via another.

For example, in 2006, when the sidebar-dropping problem seemed to be at its peak, I read a very interesting post on the possibility of narrower page element width in Internet Explorer Vs. Mozilla Firefox.

I was also a victim of this. One particular reader of mine alerted me to the fact that my blog exhibited sidebar drop when viewed in IE Browser. I had become so blasé that I ONLY viewed my blog via Firefox. Silly mistake, and the above Stats prove it.

People will view your blog via an ever-increasing range of Browsers, and your blog should be viewable to all of them!

One thing, as a lover of Firefox, is that, as you can see, the balance of 'power' is gradually evening-out. The Stats are telling me that Firefox is nearly on par with IE - at least with my readers! They also tell me that it is just as important to ensure my blog is viewable in ALL Browsers!

What about yours?


Saturday, 16 April 2011

Alternatives to Deleting a Blog

If you, for whatever reason, have decided that the best way to fix a problem on your blog is to delete the blog, or you just don't want to 'blog' any more, or you have to delete it because of one of a thousand other reasons, I'm sure, people can come up with, first, think of the possible alternatives.

The reason for thinking of alternatives is, that many, many people come to the Blogger Help Forum asking, (you guessed it), "How do I restore my deleted blog?"

I have always suggested making an unused, or unwanted blog, into a Stub Blog. My friend and sage mentor in things blogging, Nitecruzr, is of the same opinion. The reason for this action is explained in this post.

So, apart from deleting an unwanted/unused blog, what alternatives do you have?

Here's a list of things I'd consider - not necessarily in this order:

  • Just forget about it! It won't go anywhere, and won't cost you any money. Hide it!
  • Transfer it to another, less used, Google Account. Store it out of sight, so to speak! Forget about it.
  • Remove the blog from the Google Listings on Settings - Basic.
  • Go to Webmaster Tools, copy the token to stop Search Engines from crawling your blog, paste it on your template, and then, either forget it, or even, make it a Private blog.
  • If it is your ONLY blog, remove ALL personal information from the Profile, and remove the Profile gadget from the blog.
  • Remove ALL posts, and photos, from the blog - delete them properly
  • Make your blog - a Stub Blog
  • Change it from something which has made you dislike it, into something you love!
  • If you don't like the URL - change it! Just make sure you do it the right way!

Remember: Never, never delete your Google Account thinking it is the way to delete a blog. There are always alternatives! Delete in haste, regret in the future!


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Memory Expansion

Back in January, 2006, wife No.3. arrived home from a trip to visit her mother, in a little village near Surat Thani, in Thailand. With her, and why, I still do NOT know, she had a brand-new laptop computer. The computer was, ostensibly, for me to replace a rather dog-eared and complaining PC which I had persisted with for over five years.

Initially, I was delighted with the new acquisition, as one never looks a gift-horse in the mouth, or at least, the old saying goes.

Upon closer inspection, the little laptop looked smart, and appeared willing to take on the job of providing my porthole to the blogosphere. It had 80 Gbs of HD memory (which I have never even used half of), a 1.73 Ghz Intel Celeron Processor, and barely 512 Mbs of RAM. So, it was passable, and I liked the compactness, portability and inbuilt mouse-pad. I was flying! What was even better was that we sold the 'old' PC for more than we paid for it!

So, here I was, with a super-doopa new laptop, cruising along the airwaves, thinking I was Bill Gates. I never had any 'real' problems with it, either, until just recently, when it started making funny noises, too. When I boot it up of a morning, it makes a sound like a disc spinning. Maybe the HD is starting to feel like me - past its use-by date! The little trooper had, for all intents and purposes, worked like a navvy for 5 years, 12-18 hours a day, at the hands of a less than competent driver/task-master - me! It's done a fantastic job, but everything has a finite life-term, that I know of.

I believe that all equipment of this nature, has an in-built term of use. Eighty thousand hours seems like a good figure. That's way more than I used it (12 hours/day/5 years-odd = roughly, 21800 hrs), but its 'HOW' you use it that has a large bearing on that figure, too - rough, gentle, etc. I believe that 'how' you use a laptop equates to a factor of 5 times, which says my laptop is, in human terms, approaching 110 years of age, and ready for the aged-care facility at the local Mater Misericordiae hospital for centurion computers. I'll probably see it there, soon. Do they use computers for basket-weaving?

So, when the noises started, I immediately thought I'd better do some backing-up of what I need, in case it falls over on me. I initially thought of CDs, DVDs, Memory sticks etc.

Now, just up the road from my place, is a fabulous 'techie-type' shop, with more stuff in it, than an eider-down pillow. So I ventured through the doors. I became immediately lost, mind-boggled, and bewildered. (I really do have to get out, more). The equipment these stores have now, is unbelievable. Finally, I met a salesman, and timidly asked him where I would find what I wanted - or, at least, what I thought I wanted. Ha.

He asked me whether I wanted a 500Gbs, or a Terabyte? "What?"

Apparently, since I was last in a 'techie-store', (1977), boxes called 'External Hard Drives' have been developed. I thought when man walked on the moon, we'd seen the last of the technology boom. How wrong was I?

Bear in mind, my laptop had 80 Gbs in Total - partitioned, too! Here I was making a decision on 500 or 1000 Gbs of HD ! What would I use it all for? I don't have that many photos. I don't play games, and I don't watch movies on my computer. Yes, I know - boring! The salesman said; "It's so easy to hook-up, too. Just plug it in and start saving! It's already formatted!" Of course, that's what I wanted. Why not get an External Hard Drive? Mmmm! It wouldn't save the day for my computer, but it would for my storage/back-up requirements! Go get 'em, Roberto!

So, A$89 later, I was the proud owner of a Terabyte External HD drive thingo. My main worry was why a 500Gbs model was the A$10 cheaper! "You mean I will get an extra 500Gbs for only A$10?" I'm no mathematician, but even I could figure out two things:

  • I must be getting ripped-off on 500Gbs models, and ...
  • I am a very smart shopper - I just got a Terabyte HD - an extra 500Gbs, for A$10 more!

Then, after safely depositing my purchase in the back of my friend's car, we decided to investigate the nearby shop, which was also a 'techie-type' shop. Again, lotsa stuff - including exactly the same Terabyte External HD drive that I just bought - for A$79.00 - A$10 cheaper! Needless to say, I felt sick. Being a pensioner, $10 is $10 (4 meals). I ponced-on back to 'my' shop, told them the story, and guess what? That's right - they refunded the difference! Happy camper - again!

So, as an expression of gratitude, I bought two brand-new laptops from them. One for my beautiful, intelligent daughter, who has started University this year, and one for me!

Of course, as I was in the driver's seat on this purchase, I would stick to my age-old theory: - Make sure that the computer has...

  • the right Processor
  • adequate Memory
  • a dedicated Graphics card

I bought 2 x eMachines eME640G Notebooks (I haven't told Jessie, yet)!
The 'specs' look like:

Packaged Weight (kgs) 4.04
Battery Type 6 cell
Camera Type Integrated Webcam
Display Type LED
HDMI Out Yes
Hard Drive Size 500GB
Memory 2GB
Memory Card Slot Yes
Number Of USB Ports 3
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Optical Drive DVD Super Multi Drive (Dual Layer)
PC Graphics ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 512MB
PC Processor AMD Athlon II
PC Processor Speed 2.2 GHz
Screen Size (Inch) 15.6
Widescreen Yes
Wireless Acer Wireless 802.11b/g/Draft-N

So, now I'll have 1500 Gbs of HD memory, in total, and a new computer, which is tough enough to handle my requirements, and could, in effect, run a few small 3rd World countries! All I have to do is figure out what I want to use it all for.

Delivery is later today, or tomorrow.


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Blogger Stats - 2 - What do they tell you?

Understanding Traffic Sources Stats really is a way to grow your blog, especially with Blogger.

Many people leave the same time-worn questions in the Help Forum:

"How do I attract readers to my blog?" Or,
"How do I find where my readers come from?"

There are lots of Statistical Counters on the market. Statcounter and Sitemeter are two great ones, and I think this Blogger one is, too. They all give you roughly the same information. One big difference is that Blogger is here - right on your blog.

In answer to the above questions, I always say - Write, Write, Write. Then, visit, comment, visit some more. Other bloggers1 will probably say the same things. The proof is in the following stats. I do a lot of Blogger Help Forum visiting and helping. This helps get my Profile seen. Hopefully, my answers get readers to visit my blog to read posts, too!

You can see lots of referrals from the Help Forum, where bloggers have seen my links to informative posts. Other blogs have also referred readers to my blogs. Their URLs are listed ...

Site names are also listed as referrals...

Finally, specific search words have brought readers to my blog. That only comes from consistent writing and posting...

It's as plain as the nose on your face - in order to gain readers, you have to do things like:

  • Provide something they are interested in - a reason to visit your blog!
  • Visit other blogs and sites. Get known around the blogosphere.
  • Comment earnestly on other sites, and blogs - leaving your Profile ID, or URL as an invitation to visit your blog

Your Stats will reflect different messages, than mine. Don't just use one source, either. Read all the Stats options and get a picture from what they ALL tell you.

It won't happen overnight, but it will happen. It takes a lot of work!

Speaking of Stats: see:1 blog post - Following/Friend Connect, Stats and ""

and, from the same source1 - Post Editor, Stats and Internet Explorer V9


1 The Real Blogger Status Blog