Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Nice image signature for your posts using signature generator

Have a look at this post: Signing post with nice graphic signature. This is much nicer than the one I did (was mainly for demonstration purposess) at Sign post with image signature (click BACK button to get back to this post). That was done with the free free Ifanview photo edito (click BACK" button to get back to this page), this "live signature" generator produces almost hand-written like signature, and is obviously more attractive looking. I was planning to do a real hand-written image signature with Paint, but that would make a pretty scratchy signature unless you can control your stroke very well. I think I will leave that to the future, if ever.

Thanks to Amanda of Blogger Buster who created an easy to use image graphic signatue generator which she called "live signature" and using the wizard, by making a couple of choices, I was able to generate the graphic signature to put at the bottom of the post with very little fuss. When you are done with selecting your choices, you will end up in this page:

My Live Signature

First to the the "live signature" site and generate the graphic signature you like. You will end up with a graphic signature image. Right-click on the image and select "Save image as" and save it into your computer. Before you can use it, you have to upload it to the web, You can use the Free Image and Video Hosting. You will have to get the photo URL. The process of getting the photo URL is explain in the lower half of this post Uploading and manipulating images for Blogger (click BACK button to get back to this page).

Another way is to create a special post or a special blog for the purpose of hosing the image. Upload it in the usual way, view the post, click on the graphic image signature that you have uploaded. (see Graphic image signature: Test

You will be taken to a page containing only the graphic signature image. Click VIEW > PAGEB SOURCE in the menu bar and a new window will appear containing the page source. I will put the actual page source in the scroll box below:

<title>Peter+Chen+signature.png (image)</title>
<script type="text/javascript">
if (top.location != self.location) top.location = self.location;
// -->
<body bgcolor="#ffffff" text="#000000">
<img src="" alt="[Peter+Chen+signature.png]" border=0>

The photo URL is highlighted in red. Copy this and preferably paste it into a Notepad file so you can get it anytime your like.

Then type at the bottom of the post the HTML for an image:

<img src="photo URL" alt="some text to describe the image" />

where the photo URL is what you see highlighted in red in the scroll box above.

Now if you don't want to have to go to the trouble of typing this image HTML each time you create a new post, go to SETTINGS > FORMATTING and at the bottom, you will have the POST TEMPLATE, a box for you to paste the abovve img tag into the box. Save the setting. After that, each time you create a new post, this img tag will automatically appear in your post editor. Just type your content above the img tag.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

IP Address Ban Don't work Anymore

(see update below)

I have published a post How to ban IP address (click BACK button to get back to this page) and in its original version, tested to work. However, I do not have any IP address I would really want to ban, so didn't implement it for any of my own main blogs. However, a blog visitor commented that he couldn't get to the original site I used to generate the code to ban IP addresses. I checked and it was true, so added an update. Later, that site went offline, then online, then offline. I had to put up more than one updates. Then another blog visitor commented that that the site is online, but goes to a different address. The new address is

Apparently, the site owner or owners have added more applications, of which IP ban is only one. You have to click on a link "IP Address Blocker" at the above site to get to

This is the screenshot from the above site, after I have added my own IP address to ban so that I can test:

Generate script to ban IP address

If you click on the above screenshot, you will be able to see everything more clearly, including very faintly, my current IP address (mine is a dynamic IP address, which means it is not the same all the time. I may get another IP address if I switch off the modem, switch it on again to get back online) which is displayed faintly in red beside "Don't ban your own IP address:" My current IP address is

Today, I got another comment, asking how to add the URL to redirect the person(IP address) we want to ban. As I haven't tested the new site yet, I decided to test for my own blog Natural Remedies. It didn't work. I went to

to reconfirm my current IP address, and it was reconfirmed that the above IP address is my current IP address. If you want to check your current IP address, copy the above URL and paste it into your browser address bar (preferably in a new tab with a browser like FireFox so that you do not need to lose this page.

I decided to test it for another of my blog Health is Wealth, and reconfirmed it didn't work.

The above 2 blogs use the New Blogger template, so I decided to test it on a blog Blogger old classic template store, added it direct to the template rather than through the LAYOUT as in the cases above, and it still didn't work.

I will have to do some further checking and will either add an update here or do a new post plus add a link to that new post here if there is any fresh development.

BTW, the latest question from the blog visitor was how to add the URL to redirect the person (IP address) we want to ban. (The IP address ban is not an actual ban but a redirect to another site that we ourself can specify). The original test was done a long time ago, so I cannot remember exactly, but vaguely remembered there was a way to add the URL of the site we want to redirect traffic from the IP address we want redirect to. However, when I did this test, there was no way for me to do that, so I assumed that the site to be redirected to would probably be that of the application creator. But as my test showed, it just didn't work. So you just have to be patient while I try to work this out.

In the meantime, if you happen to be reading this post and want to ban an IP address or you want to test it for yourself, I would very much appreciate you let us (me and this blog readers) know about your experience by adding a comment.

Update 29 October 2007: Got a response from the creator of this IP Address Ban who says he is having problems with his current webhost which I will paste verbatim below:

"The next couple of months I`m going to work on a new system on another webhost. So I hope to offer somewhere in the month January 2008 a new ip-blocker service. Maybe with some extra futures."

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sign post with image signature

Here are the instruction on how to sign your post with an image signature. You can see a demonstration at Papaya: Healthy and cost effective fruit. The signature is in text form, but it can be "hand written" as well. Instruction for this will follow later.

I first used the free and very good Irfanview photo editor (click BACK button to return to this page) to create a blank image. Once Irfanview is opened, I click IMAGE > CREATE NEW (EMPTY) IMAGE in the menu bar at the top, set the width and the height of the image, choose the background color, then click OK. In the newly created image, I drag and drop the mouse to make a selection where I want my signature to be displayed, click EDIT > INSERT TEXT INTO SELECTION, type my signature, tick "transparent if I want the text to be transparent or select the background color for the text otherwise. Select the font family and font size, select text alignment (left, center, right), then click OK. If you find it unsatisfactory, it is very easy to change. All you need to do is to repeat the steps above, all the original settings and text will still be there, change what you need and click OK again. Once satisfied, save the signature image into your computer.

You will next have to upload the image signature to the web. There are many ways to do that. What I did is to create a new post in a blog specially for this purpose, and you can see the image signature uploaded at Signature image for blog post. I clicked on the signature image which gets me taken to a web page containing only the image. I then click VIEW > PAGE SOURCE which will cause a new window to open, displaying the source code for that page. I past below in the scroll box the source code I obtained:

<title>signature.jpg (image)</title>
<script type="text/javascript">
if (top.location != self.location) top.location = self.location;
// -->
<body bgcolor="#ffffff" text="#000000">
<img src="" alt="[signature.jpg]" border=0>

The photo URL is highlighted in red. I click and drag the mouse over the URL, right-click and chose "copy" (or ctrl+C) to copy into the clipboard. My habit is to open a Notepad file and paste it there so I can always get it when I want.

I then type the HTML for an image at the bottom of the post. The HTML will be of the form

<img src="photo URL" alt="some descriptive text" />

The photo URL will of course be replace by the actual photo URL highlighted in the scroll box above. Preview, and if satisfied, publish.

I put the actual HTML to display the image signature in the scroll box below:

<img src="" alt="image signature" />

Once you have created this HTML, you can have the HTML in every new post you create by clicking the SETTINGS > FORMATTING tabs, paste the HTML into the post template at the bottom and save the settings. You then don't need to retype the HTML each time you create a new post.

If you want a hand written signature, you will have to use Paint that comes with Windows under Accessories. I will add instruction later or more likely make a new post and put the link to that post here.

Printing your blog

Printing your blog with BlogCollector

Some of you might be interested in having your blog in hard copy, that is, you may want to print your blog. Here is one way you can do that. Type "BlogCollector" into the search box above, tick the radio button beside WEB and search. You should get the link to download BlogCollector in the very first result.

There are 5 versions, BlogCollector Lite, BlogCollector Standard and BlogCollector Professional. BlogCollector Lite is free, which is the version I have, you can backup your Blogger blog provided you use a standard Blogger template, especially the Minima tmeplate, or you use a template which have not been edited too extensive. For blogs with certain template, BlogCollector may not be able to backup your blog. This blog uses a New Blogger 3 column template modified by Ramani and I have successfully backup this blog PLUS turned it into a PDF which you can print. You can download the PDF file at PDF version of award winning blog, Blogger Tips and Tricks. However, make sure you read the added notes or updates.

BlogCollector Lite my be free, but there is a maximum (limited) number of entries you can backup and and maximum (limited number of pages you can export export into PDF file. With BlogCollector Standard (not free), you can also export it as RTF (Rich Text File) or as HTML plus support backing up unlimited number of blogs and unlimited number of blog entries. BlogCollector Professional (the most expensive) support any paper size - letter, A4, customized, has better HTML conversion, support images in PDF, support re-publishing of blog entries to new blogs, there is no BlogCollector header/footer, you can export in PDF, HTML and RichText formats, PDF encryption such as password protect, copy protect, print protect, etc., give you flexible layout control such as countinuous entries, or each entry in a separate page.

Once you have exported into a PDF RTF file, you can print the whole blog. If you export it as a HTML file, you can view the file in a web browser like Internet Explorer, FireFox, etc. However in this case, if you want to print the blog, you can only print page by page.

Printing a page of your blog without any additional software

HP has provided a way for you to add a "Print this" (or anything you want) at the bottom of the page which a visitor can click to print the page. Instruction for doing this is given in Add "Print This" option for your blog (click BACK button to get back to this page).

Printing blog and ink or toner usage

Now printing obviously uses up ink or toner, especially if your blog uses a black background or has lots of photos. Printers ink and toner are not cheap, especially if you buy original. I suspect many printers at sold at near cost or sometimes even below cost as once you buy their printer, you are practically locked as a customers for their ink or toner cartridges which the printer manufacturers sell at high price.

However, there is a way around that. You can get replacement cartridges at Inkers. You can purchase online cost effective compatible (generic)ink, inkjet cartridges, toner, toner cartridges provided for your printer, copier, multifunction or fax machine. To give you confidence, they even give a 100% guaranteed against defect for one full year plus have a thirty day no questions asked return policy. So if you change your mind, all you need do is to call at 800-848-7232 if the package is left unopened within less than 30 days and they will refund your money in full.

I see quite a lot of printer manufacturers represented there, the more popular ones are I believe Canon toner cartridges, my laser printer manufacturer HP toner cattridges and many more.

They also offers inkjet catridges like Epson Inkjet cartridges, etc.

For continental USA, they also gives free shipping ground delivery by UPS.

Friday, October 26, 2007

"Add to Any" social bookmarking: Making your own button

I have previously publish an easy method to put a button on your blog for your blog visitors to bookmark your blog at Easy social bookmarking for your blog using "Add to Any" (click BACK button to get back to this page).

A blog reader asked if it is possible to use her own button for the "Add This" bookmarking button. I had a look at the script and saw that it should not be a problem and did a test/demonstration at Health is Wealth. Click on the "bookmark this" button and see what happens.

The demonstration button, done with a free photo editor, Irfanview (click BACK button to get back to this page).

What I did was this. I opened Irfanview (click BACK button to get back to this page), click IMAGE > NEW (EMPTY) IMAGE, then input the width and height of the button I wanted to create. You will have to input a width which is equal or less than the width of your blog sidebar. If you don't know, refer to How to find the width of the blog Header, main column, sidebar (click BACK button to get back to this page). You can select the background color of the new image. Next, I click and drag the mouse to create a selection, click EDIT > INSERT TEXT INTO SELECTION..., set the font size and color, background color, etc, type "Bookmark this" or any text you like, then click OK. If you want a more fanciful button, type "button generator" into the search box above, tick the radio button beside WEB and search. Find the button generator you like and generate your fanciful button. Or you can use more sophisticated photo editor like Photoshop.

The newly created button was saved into the computer, uploaded the button to Image for bookmarking website, click on the displayed button to get to the page where only the button was displayed, click VIEW > PAGE SOURCE in the menu bar at the top of the browser. A new window will open displaying the page source codes for the post. Below inside the scroll box is the page source I obtained:

<title>Bookmark+this.jpg (image)</title>
<script type="text/javascript">
if (top.location != self.location) top.location = self.location;
// -->
<body bgcolor="#ffffff" text="#000000">
<img src="" alt="[Bookmark+this.jpg]" border=0>

The photo URL is highlighted in red. I click and drag over the photo URL, and my normal habit is to open a Notepad file, paste the URL into it so that I can get it anytime I want.

Below is the script for the "Add to Any" social bookmarking button:

<a href=""><img border="0" width="91" alt="Add to any service" src="" height="29" title="Add to any service"/></a>

Again, the photo URL for the default "Add to Any" button is highlighted in red. I drag and drop the mouse over this photo URL to highlight it, click delete to get rid of it, then replace it with the URL of the button I created. So the new script become:

<a href=""><img border="0" width="91" alt="Add to any service" src="" height="29" title="Add to any service"/></a>

So there you are folks. That is how I created my own button for the "Add to Any" social booking button at the bottom of the left sidebar (at time of publishing). I know it is not much of a button, and I am confident of doing better given time and the proper tool, or even with the same tool, make the button bigger. It is over to you. You can go make your own fanciful buttons and make it says anything you like, like for example "Bookmark this great blog. If you don't, it will be the greatest mistake of your life". Maybe I will do that later, because I think that is the truth for this blog (not that one which is a relatively lower traffic blog compared with this one).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Free fonts for your blog

Are you not satisfied with the fonts that is available for your blog? If so, you may want to check out
100 Legal Sources for Free (as in Beer) Fonts. I have not tried it as I am not a big fan of fancy fonts and is quite satisfied with what I have, so I cannot vouch for what is available in that site. But if you like fancy fonts, give that site a try.

As to how to use it, if you don't know, ask, perhaps I will answer with another post. That is for the future

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Blogger will like to take a break from blogging, but wondering if he really ever will

I have been blogging for years, often stuck in front of the computer nearly all my waking hours, and perhaps should take a break. I have been to Thailand, Indonesia, Belgium, Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and United States of America, but that was 20 to 30 years ago. I went back to Geneva, Switzerland, for the Geneva International Invention Exhibition a few years ago. Maybe it is time to do a bit of traveling again, and this time, for a real vacation.

Where should I go? Well, I understand that New Zealand is a pretty unique place. It was the last place on earth to be populated by human, do not have any man-eating animals, no snake (wonder if they have rats), and have some very unique animals, birds, fauna and flora. I would love to see that fierce looking Maori warrior sticking his tongue out at me. Plus I think I would enjoy the mild temperate maritime climate as a welcomed change from the hot and humid tropical weather in my country.

Auckland skyline by Beau Wade

The largest city in New Zealand is Auckland, in the North Island of New Zealand. Plus lots of events are hosted in Auckland year round. An example is the Waitakere World Junior Badminton Championships 2007 which will be held between 25 October - 4 November this year. My country, Malaysia, will be among the many teams from twenty-six countries competing for titles. Others include other Asian badminton powerhouses China, Korea and Indonesia. I should be there to cheer the Malaysian team to victory.

Then there is this interesting "The Pride of Auckland", world famous sailing and dining cruises with daily scheduled cruises, regattas, match racing and sailing events for groups of any size. There will be informative commentary on the sights of Auckland’s beautiful Waitemata Harbour by the crew. Not only that, guests are welcomed to help sail the yachts and as a bonus, guest gets free entry to the New Zealand National Maritime Museum. And the cost? From $48.00 per person only.

But I am, sad to confess, a cheapskate. I use all free tools like the free and very good Irfanview photo editor (click BACK button to get back to this page) together with Paint that comes with Windows for the screenshots for my blog. I use exclusively for all my blogs and never use custom domain. For reasons, have a look at Why I never use New Blogger custom domain. For photos for my posts, I either use my own photos or those photos uploaded to Flickr under the Creative Commons license (I would of course give attribution to the source plus inform the owner of the photos). The above photo is an example and as soon as I have published this post, and have the post URL, I will inform Beau Wade about this post.

I use the free BlogColletor Lite to make a downloadable PDF file of my blog to sell for $1.99????? at PDF book Blogger Tips and Tricks for sale online. Didn't expect to sell any, but to my surprise, I sold one!!!! If you want the story, you will have to surf to my "e-Commerce" post above to read about it. Hope you will buy one too, but read the update carefully.

Now knowing my cheapskate nature, don't be surprised that if I really take a break from this addictive blogging hobby, I would go for Auckland Accommodation which gives a Lowest Rate Guarantee. The guarantee says that if I can find a rate lower than the best available Internet rate on another web site for the same hotel/accommodation on the same dates, all I need to do is to inform them within 24 hours of booking and we will honor that rate for the night(s) for which the lower rate was found and refund me the difference. Now for a cheapskate like me, that is very comforting.

I may even go extreme and go for Auckland Central Backpackers. After all, I bought Peugeot alloy light-weight racing bike from the flea market for a song when I was in Geneva for the Geneva International Invention Exhibition, stayed in a caravan by the Geneva lake far from the city center, cycled around Geneva and saved enough on bus fares to cover the cost of the bike, spent less than what I was given and took home a bonus plus had a real jolly time. If I can do that in Geneva, I may be able to do something like this in Auckland too. Only trouble is, no one is going to sponsor me for my proposed break from blogging in Auckland. Any offers?

Changing fonts and colors for New Blogger

Update: Use the new template designer to change font instead. Login to Dashboard > Layout and click the template designer at the top right corner of the page.

It is now very easy to change the fonts and colors of various things in your New Blogger blog. You don't need to tamper with the template. You can do it direct from the LAYOUT.

Sign into (Dashboard). You will see a list of all your blogs. Click LAYOUT for the relevant blog. Then click the FONTS AND COLORS sub-tab. See screenshot below:

Say, you want to change the font for the Header. Scroll down till you see "Page Header Font". On the right, you will have the radio button to chose the font family and further to the right, you can change the font style to bold or italic. There are also linls to change the font size to "bigger" or "smaller"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Make active (clickable) links in posts and comments

I am quite sure I publish a post on this subject before but just can't seem to find it, so doing it again. You can find out how to do it at How to make a clickable link, but that is a long post and include using the tool bar in the Blogger post editor, with the information on the HTML for hyperlink at the bottom of the post, I think.

This post will just focus on HTML for hyperlinks and is for everybody, not just Blogger users. This is how you should type your HTML:

<a href="URL of target site">anchor text</a>

If you are not familiar with URL, go to
What is URL and how you can get it.

The word "anchor tex" is a description (the title of a blog, post, anything you like) and is what will be displayed on a browser. For example, the HTML for the hyperlink to the precursor of this blog should be type as

<a href="" target="_blank">Blogger for Dummies</a>

and in a browser, will appear as

Blogger for Dummies

UPDATE: Attributes like target="_blank" are not allowed in comments. Only a limited numbers of HTML tags are allowed in comments including <a> <b>, <i>

"Blogger for Dummies" is the anchor text and is important for the search engine uses it to figure out what is the target site (the site you are linking to) is all about. People who practice SEO (Search Engine Optimization) try to put suitable keywords (words surfers are likely to use to search for content) in the anchor text.

You may notice an extra target="_blank". This is to make clicking on the link open a new window. You can also use target="new". However, the use of target="_blank" has been deprecated. It still works, but we don't know about the future.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Centering photo, search box, etc.

Previously, the way to center something is to use the <center< tag. That has been deprecated and its use is not encourage (It will still work though, but we don't know about the future).

Now if you want to center something, you must use inline style sheet. You have to surround the "something" with <div style="text-align:center;"> and </div>

That is, you have to type it as

<div style="text-align:center;">somthing</div>

Friday, October 05, 2007

What to do with comment spam

I am sure you have got bloggers putting irrelevant comments in your posts plus links to their sites. I will show what I do when I get such comment spam.

1. I set comments to only registered users (meaning they must have a Blogger account)

2. I moderate comments, and thus have a permanent record of the comments in my Inbox together with the spammer blogger profile.

2. I use Yahoo email address to receive comment moderation email notification and set the option to display full header (giving details of IP addresses, etc).

To set Yahoo to display full header, click "Options", "General Preferences", then in the "Messages" section, tick the radio button beside "Show all headers on incoming messages"

3. Highlight all the information the the header and copy to clipboard.

4. When I get a comment spam, click the down arrow in "Forward" and select "As Inline Text", type "Reporting comment spam. Full header:" then paste the full header into the message.

5. Add "Reporting comment spam" in front of the message subject

6 Forward to

Amazon products on spam

I have done this a few times, and hope Blogger support have the time and/or willingness to stamp this spamming out. However, I have not received any feedback from them after reporting comment spam. However, I have reported email spam to,, and have got positive responses.

If you are using Gmail, to get the full header, at the top right of the page, click the down arrow beside "Reply" and chose "Show original" and the full header will be displayed. See screenshot below:

Gmail display full header

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Can I have a blogspot URL that is long not updated or without any post?

This question comes up very often and in fact I just got one. A blogger tries to get the URL he wanted, but someone has already taken it but has not updated it for long time or may even not have made any post at all. Question is, can he have the URL? Short answer at the bottom of post, in red.

Long answer:

1. According to Blogger policy, blogspot URL do not expire. That means theoretically, they are forever. However, if it has been identified (rightly or wrongly) as a spam blog, there is a possibility that the blog will be deleted and the URL becomes available again and then you can have your go for the URL.

2. According to Gmail policy, if there is no activity on your Gmail account for 9 months or more, your Gmail address can be deleted. If you use that Gmail address as the username for a Blogger account, and it has been deleted, it is likely that the same may happen to your Google account together with the blogs (this may also apply to the blogger whose URL you want).

Amazon products for Blogger

But what if the Blogger account is started with a non-Gmail email address like, for example, Yahoo?

Yahoo, when it first started, says their email addresses are for life (what exactly "for life" is up to you/them to interprete). Now when you start a Yahoo email address, that message no longer appears, so I don't know what are their current policy is. However, if you don't sign into a Yahoo email address, it will be deactivated. I am guessing that if you use a Yahoo email address for your Blogger (Google), you have less chance of getting your Blogger (and Google) account getting deleted, together with the blogs.

I am testing what are the actual effects of all these mentioned at Will Blogger blogs ever be deleted?. The results wouldn't be known for some time.

So if you are eyeing a particular blogspot URL, if for any reason the blog is deleted, you can have a go at the URL.

Other possibility is to try to contact the blog creator and ask if he or she is willing to release it to you. Unfortunately, frequently, the profile in not made public, and even if it is made public, they may have chosen not to display their email address. In this case, you have no recourse.

But you have alternatives. You can become creative and alter the URL a little bit. For example,

is already taken (by me), but your can try

which may even be better because according to WebCEO, search engine cannot distinquish between words made into a compound word, but they can if you separate them using hyphen. This can be good for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as the URL is given high weightage by search engines according to WebCEO. Further, if you jumble many words into a single compound word, you may end up with something that may convey a meaning very different from your original intention, some of which can be very embarrasing. You can find some funny examples in Webmasters who didn't think when they registered their URL.

Note that using hyphen in URL is controversial, and I am hoping to find the time to research the subject further. Also check the comments to read what Jan had to say about hyphen in URL

You can also try adding an extra word to an already taken URL. For example,
may be already taken, but you can try

If you are creative, there will always be a way around a problem.


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