Choosing Your True Type

For web developers, choosing the right typeface or font for a web page is very important. Having the correct typeface on the web adds meaning to the message being delivered. Fonts can set the tone for the entire page. They invoke feelings. Using the right typeface can literally make or break a website. For my non-geek readers so that you don’t feel left out, choosing a typeface is like dating a girl or choosing a lifetime partner. Here are three quick points to help you in choosing your True Type.

Type Matters

Choosing the right type matters. Typefaces subconsciously affect the way we feel. The feelings when viewed can be formal or casual, modern or traditional, serious or friendly, cool or warm. What’s your type? Is your type traditional or modern? Is it bold or narrow? Tall or short? Edgy or smooth? The truth is there are no set rules when it comes to choosing the right typeface. Just choose the right one for the right occasion. If you want a newspaper feel, you might want to use Times New Roman. If you want a plain and blocky feel, you can choose Arial, which happens to be an IRS favorite. If you want something informal, Comic Sans MS will do the trick. It really comes down to your preference. So, choose wisely.

What You See Is Not Necessarily What You Will Get

Not all typefaces will render exactly the same way due to various OS and varying browsers. Mozilla’s Firefox will render certain typefaces slightly different than Internet Explorer. The Safari, Netscape, Gecko and Opera browsers might render them a little differently. An 10 pixel Arial font, for example, may look slightly bigger, smaller, narrower or wider in various browsers. That’s why it’s important to see how the typefaces behave in various circumstances. Have you ever been with a typeface that turned out to be other than?

Use Web Safe Fonts

So, it’s time for your girlfriend to meet your parents. What’s the safe choice? The same goes when choosing a font. Is Georgia really on your mind? Or is it the French-speaking Trebuchet? Do you prefer an older and mature Times? Or maybe the younger and trendier New Times Roman? How about plain old Arial? Is she not good enough? Or would you rather go with the Greek goddess named Helvetica? The choices are many and difficult. If I had to make a choice, I would choose Georgia and Helvetica. Yes, both. I love both of them. I chose them not because my name is Greek and “Georgia on my Mind” sounds very good when played on the saxophone. I chose them because both typefaces are easy to read and work great in italics. Both typefaces are easily available and are therefore web-safe.

I hope you find these three points helpful. Good luck in finding your True Type.

Thanks to Daniel Will-Harris’ article for the inspiration.

World’s Largest Wireless Network?

It figures to be the largest wireless network in the world covering 1,500 square miles from South San Francisco down to Santa Cruz covering more than 40 cities and covering 2.4 million people. The project is called Joint Venture Wireless Project. The team plans to build one-square-mile test sites in Palo Alto and San Carlos in the next few weeks with about 30 to 40 nodes per square mile.

Not bad. So, who will build and manage the network? It’s a consortium of several Silicon Valley companies from IBM, Cisco Systems, non-profit SeaKay and a smaller wireless provider called Azulstar. The team is called Metro Connect Team.

There’s scanty information about the project, but I found a website called Wireless Silicon Valley. Here’s the update page, but the links are not working. You can learn more about the project by reading the winning Request for Proposal.

Oh, one more thing, the Silicon Valley Metro Connect team will offer a wide range of wireless services for mobile users including a free, advertising supported service and paid services for city employees, mobile workers and visitors. No pricing yet.

Expanding Your WordPress Theme

I recently created a static webpage that looks exactly like my WordPress blog. So far, so good. There’s a slight problem. What if I decide to change my blog title or blog description? My static pages are going to be outdated. The following tutorial will show you how to make your static pages, well sort of dynamic.

The following code extracts your WordPress blog name, blog description and the URL from the WordPress database.


// Database Configuration Settings
$host = "localhost"; // Default to localhost or servername
$db_username = "username"; // Your DB username
$db_password = "password"; // Your DB password
$database = "wp_options"; // WordPress Options Table
// Connect to WordPress Options Database
$db = mysql_connect($host, $db_username, $db_password);
if (!db) { die ('<p>Could not connect to MySQL database because of: '.mysql_error().'</p>'); }
// Get Blogname 
$result = mysql_query("SELECT option_value FROM $database WHERE option_name = 'blogname'",$db);
$row = mysql_fetch_array($result);
$blogname = $row["option_value"];
// Get Blog Description
$result = mysql_query("SELECT option_value FROM $database WHERE option_name = 'blogdescription'",$db);
$row = mysql_fetch_array($result);
$blogdescription = $row["option_value"];
// Get Home URL
$result = mysql_query("SELECT option_value FROM $database WHERE option_name = 'home'",$db);
$row = mysql_fetch_array($result);
$home = $row["option_value"];


To display the blog name, blog description or URL in your static page, just echo the variables shown below! Place this code in your static page. There you have it. A static page with a little bit of dynamism in it.

echo $blogname;
echo $blogdescription;
echo $home;

Mega Millions’ Odds: 1 in 176 million

The Mega Millions jackpot is currently at $370 million. The jackpot’s estimated cash option value is $221.1 million, before taxes. What are the odds of you winning? 1 in 176 million and 0 in 176 if you don’t play. Mega Millions is played in 12 states namely Texas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Washington state.

View the winner here from Mega Million’s website.

Sage Stylesheet: Seeing Red

For Sage lovers: I’m releasing a stylesheet called Seeing Red. In case you’re wondering, Sage is not a herb, but a lightweight RSS and Atom reader for Mozilla’s Firefox. If you are using the Firefox browser, give Sage a try. Here’s a list of Sage features:

  • Reads RSS (2.0, 1.0, 0.9x) and Atom feeds
  • Newspaper feed rendering customizable via style sheets
  • Feed Discovery
  • Integrates with Firefox’s bookmark storage and Live Bookmarks
  • Imports and exports OPML feed lists
  • Technorati and RSS search engine integration
  • Support for a number of locales: Argentine Spanish, Catalan, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, and Swedish
  • Simple, one step install / uninstall

Download: Sage
Download: Seeing Red