Widgets

Widgets are pretty amazing. I witnessed what widgets can do while poking around with several themes at WordPress.com. I was pretty amazed how users can drag and drop elements into the sidebar area. The usual sidebar suspects such as Pages, Links, Calendar, Categories, Archives, Recent Comments, Search and Meta were available along with Text and RSS feeds. With Text, you can drag and drop a text box in the sidebar panel which is similar in function to the About text you see in several WordPress themes. The RSS widget allows you to syndicate news in your sidebar such as CNN, BBC and Yahoo News for example. You can specify how many Text and RSS widgets you want added by simply selecting from a dropdown menu.

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Black-Letterhead 1.2

Black-Letterhead theme version 1.2 is now available. This is the latest version which works with the latest and greatest WordPress Widgets. With widgets, you can now move content in and out of the sidebar area by simply dragging and dropping widget elements. How cool is that? Well, if you’re interested in downloading the latest version of the theme, just visit the Black-Letterhead pages. Here’s the download page.

To learn more about widgets, here are several links for your reading pleasure.

WordPress.org
WordPress.com
Lorelle on WordPress
PascalRossini.com

Akismet Saves

The worst thing that could happen to you if you own your own blog is having comment spam. When I first started blogging a couple of years ago, I was rudely introduced to comment spam. I had over 150 junk messages from poker, casinos, sex, porn, drugs and just about anything in this planet. Thanks to how Google rank websites. The more links you have, the higher the ranking. So, I spent a couple of hours deleting the spam comments.

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Page Shift Bothers Me

Have you ever been to a website where the pages shift when navigating from one page to another? The author of a particular site may have done an incredible job of designing a world-class theme, but the ocassional page shift can be a cause of irritation to some including myself. So, what causes page shifts? How do you get rid of it?

First of all, the cause. All browsers including the popular Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer add a vertical scrollbar to webpages that do not fit the screen. A typical monitor screen usually has a resolution of 1028 x 768. Some screens have slightly lower resolution at 800 x 600 and a few at 1280 x 1024. The vertical resolution is the second number. So, a typical screen has a vertical resolution of 600, 768 and 1024 pixels.

No matter how big your screen size a great deal of web pages will exceed the vertical resolution of your screen. That’s a fact. For pages that either too long or too tall, all browsers add a vertical scroll bar to the page for navigation purposes. Users can either use the Page UP or Page Down keys, the Up and Down arrow keys, or the click-wheel which are available on the latest computer mouse for navigation purposes.

Now a few browsers such as Firefox are configured by default to hide the vertical scrollbar for pages that fits a user’s screen. The difference in width when the vertical scrollbar is on and off causes some webpages to shift left to right and vice versa. This especially true for webpages that are styled centrally. The page shifting is the cause of the irritation.

To eliminate the page shift, just add the following code to your CSS stylesheet. This code eliminates page shifting by forcing a vertical scrollbar to show up regardless of the height of the page whether it fits or exceeds the vertical resolution. The effect is you will always have a scrollbar present regardless of page height. It might look odd at first when you have a scrollbar that does not scroll, but people usually do not notice it. Chances are, they don’t even know.

html { min-height: 100%; margin-bottom: 1px; }

For Firefox 3.5 or later, please add:

html { overflow: -moz-scrollbars-vertical !important; }

Using Deepest Sender

I’m trying something new. I found this Firefox extension which works with the WordPress blogger. It also supports several other blogs such as Live Journal, Blogspot, etc. This post is being edited and will be sent using Deepest Sender. Well, I hope it works. If not, then I’ll send a follow up stating otherwise. I like it. It has a simple interface. You might want to give a try if you are using WordPress. It’s worth a try.

USA vs Germany

Team USA will play against Germany this coming Wednesday, March 22 in Dortmond, Germany. This is a tune-up game for the United States against this summer’s World Cup host country. The US will field a team mostly composed of MLS players since most of their European-based players were not released by their respected clubs since March 22 is not an official FIFA international match date. However, Germany will be at full strength. It’s will be Germany’s A Team against the USA’s B team. It will be interesting to see who wins the match since Germany recently suffered a 4-1 spanking from the Italians and the US defeated Poland 1-0 just two weeks ago.

Double NAT

I redesigned my home network the other day. Previously, I had two separate private networks. One wired network and a wireless network. Both networks were behind a Smoothwall Linux firewall running on my old PC. The wired network was directly behind the Smoothwall firewall while the wireless network was behind the wired network which means it’s going through two NATs or network address translations. Well, it’s not a very good design. It was probably causing a little bit of propagation delay.

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