Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Motorcycle safety tip

This is not a normal Blogger Tips and Tricks post but a post with an important safety message on which your life may depend if you ride a motorbike. I do not know how many of visitors to this blog ride motorbikes, but the post Motorcycle safety tip - keep to the side of the road as far as possible has an important safety message and a horrific video of a motorcyclist being run over by a truck. I hope all who view that video will tell any motorcyclist they know about the motorcycle safety tip.

Do let those you know who ride motorbikes about that video.

Picture to link to label page or any webpage

"I have a picture on my side bar, I would like to link it to all labels containing say books. There are five post under that label, and when my guest push the picture of the books, I would like the page to pop up only the posts with the label, Books."

Well, that is easily done. First you have to be familiar with hyperlink, namely using <a href="URL of target webpage">anchor text (some text descriptive of target webpage)</a>. And since you want the link to go to the label page "Books", that URL will be the URL of the label page of "Books" which you can get by right-clicking on the label "Books" in the sidebar and selecting "Copy link location".

You also need to be familiar with uploading pictures to the web and getting the picture URL like what is described in Using Blogger to host pictures.

Now the required codes are

<a href="URL of target webpage"><img src="picture URL" /></a>

and if that is not clear enough, ask.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Using Google Sites to host music files for hotlinking and embedding


Because the reliability of various third party web hosts are in question, I am now looking into using Google Sites for hosting music files for the purpose of hotlinking and embedding. I have done a test at Testing Google Sites for hosting music file for hotlinking (Click Play button , also, you may need to install Apple Quicktime) and the test is successful.

Using Google Sites to host music files for hotlinking and embedding

Go to Google Sites and log into your Google Account if necessary.
Click Create new site Create new site button
Give your site a name (Fill in the box for
Site name:....:
Google Sites will automatically create a URL for your new site
http://sites.google.com/site/.... (depend on availability)
(If the URL is not available, a list of alternatives may appear below. Tick one if suitable, otherwise repeat the "Give your site a name" process again)
You may fill in a Site Description if you want
Site Description:.... (optional)
Choose Share with (.) Everyone in the world can view this site
Choose a theme
Complete captcha
Click Create page Google Sites Create Page at the top right corner
Select a template (see screen shot below)
Google Sites choose template
Choose (.) File Cabinet
Choose (.) Put page at the top level (unless you are creating a homepage)
Give your new page a name (example "Music")
Click Create Page

Click Add file Google Sites Add file
Add a file from:
(.)Your computer
Click Choose File and browse to location where you have your music file stored)
Fill in the File Description
Click Upload and wait till your file complete uploading
When the file has finished uploading, the uploaded file will be displayed below. Right click on it and choose Copy link location to save the uploade music file URL into clipboard (see screen shot below):

Replace the URL of hot-linkable MP3 file in the embed code below:
<embed width="160" src="URL of hot-linkable MP3 file" autostart="true" loop="true" height="50"></embed>

with the music file URL that you have saved into clipboard. Edit autostart="true" to autostart="false" if you don't want the music to play automatically.
Paste the embed code into your post editor if you want the music player in a post or into a HTML/Javascript gadget if you want the music player in the sidebar or similar locations.

Related posts:
Install Apple Quicktime to make MP3 player work
Hotlink filehost and embedding music player
Invisible background music player
Testing embedding music player with Imeen
Embedding Imeen playlist
Embed eSnip music player in sidebar
Make music slideshows with Fliptrack
Add music to your blog another easy way
Adding music to your blog

Monday, September 21, 2009

Access blocked sites with proxy servers


For a long time, I have known that if a website is blocked (like how blogspot.com was blocked in China), one can use a proxy server to bypass the blocking, but have never tried it before. Recently, because the Malaysian government blocked Malaysia Today because the blog exposed what the Malaysian Cabinet tried to hide from the public information contained in this damning confidential Cabinet paper, I came across How to access Malaysia Today by proxy to beat the block.

Basically, this is what I gathered from that post. These are various proxy servers you can use:

Update: Those search boxes you see below are images of the search boxes of the proxy servers mentioned below. If you want to use the proxy servers, you will have to click on the links and search on those proxy servers sites themself.


Zend2.com

Surf over to http://zend2.com/ where there is a box (see screen shot below):

zend2.com proxy server

type in the URL (in that particular case, mt.m2day.org) and click Go!, and presto, the blocked site Malaysia Today is accesible again!!

Here are some more:

Free Anonymizer:

Free Anonymizer for browsing anonymously

Hide My Ass (has pop-up)

Hide my ass proxy server

Kproxy

Kproxy anonymizer

HAPPY SURFING AND THUMBS DOWN TO THOSE ATTEMPTING TO HIDE WHAT NEEDS TO BE REVEALED.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Recomendation for comments - no captcha


A few years back, most bloggers have to deal with unwanted spam comments, especially if they had not enabled comments moderation. Because of such widespread spam comments, most bloggers enabled captcha (word verification) for comments in which case commentators would first have to complete the word like the one you see in the screen shot below:

captcha for comments

If you allow comments for your posts and moderate your comments, I would highly recommend you do not enable captcha (word verification) for the following reasons:

Ever since all blogging platforms including Blogger add the "nofollow" attribute to hyperlinks in comments, the incentive for spammers to post spam comments have been greatly reduced and I have found that spam comments have reduced to almost zero.

Having to complete word verification is a great inconvenience, especially for the visually impaired who have to click on the universal handicap icon in order for the alphabets in the captcha to be read out in audio form. I have tested clicking on that icon and the resulting machine voice is practically indecipherable. I have captured it on a video. Play the video below and see if you can make out what the voice is trying to say:



In my opinion, captcha is a torture. Why subject your readers to torture when the original reasons for enabling captcha, spam comments, is no longer a problem.

Update: Looks like a few bloggers have a different experience from mine in that they get lots of spam comments. I will like to hear about your experience. Please leave a comment.

Easy favicons ready to use


A Favicon (short for FAVorite iCON) is a little image displayed in the browser address bar and tabs or in bookmarks, like this in the address bar of this webpage above.

The very first step to installing a favicon is the creation of the image to use for the favicon which if you trying to create in the small size allowed for favicons, is no easy task (unless you use an existing photo and shrink it to size like mine )

To cut the hassles, Favicons4free have created a huge library of ready to use favicons together with the codes you need to install them. Just click on one of the categories (examples - animals, flags, birds, etc.) and in the new page, copy the single line of code next to the favicon you want,

favicon and HTML code
then go to the template editor and paste the code just after ]]></b:skin> and just before </head>, preview and if everything looks all right, save template. (span style="color:red;">

Note that the codes given by Favicon4free is not compatible with XHTML which requires ALL HTML tags to be closed. For example, the given code is

<link rel="shortcut icon" href="http://www.Favicons4Free.com/icons/flags/malaysia.ico">


You will have to add a matching closing tag </link> at the end of the code so that it become

<link rel="shortcut icon" href="http://www.Favicons4Free.com/icons/flags/malaysia.ico"></link>

or alternatively edit the tag to include a backslash / to make the tag self-closing, like this:

<link rel="shortcut icon" href="http://www.Favicons4Free.com/icons/flags/malaysia.ico" />
(note the space in front of the backslash / and the (red) backslash itself just before the last "greater than" symbol.

This was tested on a blog Guide to Malaysia for which the country's flag was selected for the favicon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Display images in larger sizes

"why is it that my images are big but when i upload them they become so small?"

When you use Blogger's photo upload icon to display images, you can chose 3 different default sizes - large, medium and small. If your image is very large, Blogger will shrink it to a smaller size for display. However, if you are in the COMPOSE mode, you can use your mouse to grab the edge or the side and drag-drop it to create a displayed image that can be larger or smaller than the default.

Alternatively, you can use the HTML image tag <img src="photo URL" /> to display it in the original size or use that tag with a width attribute <img src="photo URL" width="some number" /> to display it in whatever size you choose.

Related posts:
Using Irfanview photo editor for your blog

How to add caption to photos

New Blogger template for posting large photos

Bubbleshare, another way to display photo album

How to make clickable (hyperlink) pictures

Put photo of authors in post footer

Putting author's photo in center bottom of post

Add series of photos in blog footer












More later.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

bX- error codes


Are you facing problems and getting bX- error codes? Press ctrl+F and type in the error code to search a list of error codes below which are links to explanations for troubleshooting. For example, if after pressing ctrl+F keys, a little window will open and as you type in "bX-3r3e" you will find the link to bX-3r3ejc like in the screen shot below:

control key to find

bbX-lgwej
bX-1us3c3
bX-1zu2vy
bX-2bdp09
bX-2f00qm
bX-2o3sed
bX-2v7ys6
bX-37qik4
bX-391dlh
bX-3d9atb
bX-3r3ejc
bX-45y3w1
bX-4d29hg
bX-4qmsfw
bX-5d69vr
bX-5j5nhh
bX-5tdd1p
bX-677pki
bX-68tbuv
bX-6gfpx3
bX-6tj0s5
bX-6tnmaz
bX-6vix0l
bX-7auoq8
bX-7mplh0
bX-7s15tm
bX-85oi4e
bX-9pjt6o
bX-9w7qz9
bX-acffys
bX-afo7e2
bX-aw21o0
bX-bce8517c
bX-blo1ut
bX-btoxyn
bX-cf3xin
bX-cldfi1
bX-cviw8s
bX-cxyu7t
bX-d7il0a
bX-dalets
bX-dw5843
bX-e441ek
bX-ekwfjb
bX-f87uq5
bX-ftexlv
bX-gbdnj4
bX-gcdngf
bX-geqofh
bX-gfz536
bX-gi5hu8
bX-h94xv
bX-hqxd1g
bX-i54acw
bX-idlp73
bX-irbo2k
bX-jdokxi
bX-ji78k6
bX-jp3d1
bX-kayz6v
bX-kewlk9
bX-kka0xf
bX-l28v5z
bX-l96j2
bX-l9xjx9
bX-la6m4o
bX-lsioy8
bX-ltlqzv
bX-lw8mpb
bX-lzkkhl
bX-mq2of1
bX-mtwwdi
bX-mws9sr
bX-mzm63b
bX-n3ff52
bX-n4mon3
bX-napiw5
bX-nsm4vm
bX-o0zoa0
bX-obv7m3
bX-ot8any
bX-pgtif7
bX-pn0dtw
bX-pohgdk
bX-ppqi9d
bX-pq8xgs
bX-prdd9n
bX-prxtbp
bX-pu7aaj
bX-pvq71c
bX-qa45xg
bX-qeihpe
bX-r1buvw
bX-r1ezpk
bX-resilr
bX-rfg2oe
bX-rh26vj
bX-rr85sd
bX-rthuiq
bX-rxaqrt
bX-seep61
bX-sp4hmm
bX-t0ou3g
bX-tgu0qs
bX-tkcah7
bX-tlsikm
bX-tsvpgj
bX-u01hr1
bX-ujue70
bX-uwdr66
bX-uxu3fu
bX-v2vqfh
bX-volzpw
bX-w0b81c
bX-woam4u
bX-x7mp8t
bX-xd3w84
bX-xetjcr
bX-xjlu2f
bX-xovb7t
bX-xt3xtp
bX-xu1zoq
bX-y4ne02
bX-yvq86z
bX-yvtdin
bX-z8kqgm
Error bX-l1gck6 (cannot post/upload photos from Picasa Web Album. Blogger Known Issue Problem solved as of JANUARY 21, 2010)

See also bX error codes - what to do

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Sitemap (TOC) for "Blogger for Dummies"

Thanks to Amanda of Blogger Buster, I learned about this simple Best Table of Content (TOC) or sitemap for Blogger which I tested by creating a sitemap for my very first "Blogger related" blog, Blogger for Dummies (which I reluctantly had to change title to Dummies Guide to Blogger because of trademark issues).

You can see the link to the sitemap at the top of the second sidebar of my very first Blogger related blog. I hope you will have a look at it and give me some feedback by leaving a comment.

I think I will probably use Abu Farhan's 2 line script for this blog as well sometime in the very near future.

Find help, info, instructions, tips, tricks

Tip: Use search box below or this box, labels in the first right sidebar, archive, ctrl+F for this page or sitemap to find topics