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Jan. 01, 2009

Welcome to the first Developer Shed newsletter of 2009! We hope you're all celebrating the new year in your preferred way, whether it's at a loud party with lots of friends and champagne when the year ticks over, or quietly at home contemplating the past and the future. If you're contemplating the future of application development, may we offer some research material? Take a look at the article we're highlighting this week from eWeek. Cloud computing started coming into its own in 2008, and it looks like 2009 will see a strong continuation of this trend. Check out the article for all the details.

You'll find a smaller selection of articles on our sites this week, due to the holiday, but we think you'll enjoy what we published. Dev Shed readers dug more deeply into the details of building a blogging application with the Code Igniter PHP framework, and also learned a few things about mobile programming with Python. Those who prefer Microsoft-related technologies, meanwhile, learned how to work with dates and times in C#, and how to handle compressed folders in WSH. Interested? Visit ASP Free for the complete tutorials.

Website designers and developers visiting Dev Articles this week will enjoy the start of two article series. One shows you how to create DIV-based CSS tables, while the other teaches you different ways to produce web page dialog boxes. Hardware enthusiasts, meanwhile, found us in a contemplative mood for the new year: we took a look back at Microsoft under the recently-retired Bill Gates, and considered what an inexpensive, open source, three-dimensional printer that can print itself would mean for the world (yes, this really exists). We also reviewed the HTC Diamond.

Speaking of mobile devices, readers of SEO Chat learned how important they're becoming in the search market and, by extension, how and why to optimize their web sites so they're comfortable to surf on the tiny screen. We also discussed how to optimize for two important Google algorithms, and how to use images on your web site to increase your traffic and tell your story.

We always give you more, and we're not going to slack on that just because we're starting a whole new year! Web Hosters gave you a list of the top ten web hosting companies in the US. Codewalkers gave you all the details on Clonezilla, a free mass disk-cloning utility that could save your favorite system administrator tons of time and effort. And Dev Mechanic pondered that modern question on the lips of site owners everywhere: what does Google want?

As always, thanks for reading. Until next week,
Developer Shed Staff

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It's edgy! It's irreverent! It's all about technology! It's News You Can't Use,
and you won't want to miss it! View this week's edition to learn the answers to these burning questions:

  • What's better than a brand new episode of Tech News? How about an old rehash of some of the best clips this year? Writer seen drunk in the corner, celebrating the New Year a few days early.

Watch the video!

   
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Linux I/O Schedulers
by O'Reilly Media, 2008-12-31

In this sixth part of a seven-part series on the Linux I/O file system, you'll learn about the importance of I/O schedulers, and the various different types. This article is excerpted from chapter four of the book Linux System Programming: Talking Directly to the Kernel and C Library, written by Robert Love (O'Reilly, 2007; ISBN: 0596009585). Copyright © 2007 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.
Read the full article
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Using Code Igniter to Enable Comments in a Blog Application
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2008-12-30


Welcome to the fourth episode of the series entitled "Building a Blogger with the Code Igniter PHP framework." Comprised of seven approachable articles, this series steps you through the development of a blog application using this friendly - yet powerful - PHP framework. We include copious code samples to demonstrate how to use the MVC pattern to develop a real-world program.
Read the full article
.
Mobile Programming using PyS60: Advanced UI Controls
by A.P.Rajshekhar, 2008-12-29

In an earlier article I wrote, the topic of discussion covered the basic UI controls that PyS60 provides. These controls are useful when the solution to be developed is simple in terms of interaction. However, if a scenario presents itself where interaction becomes complex, then the basic controls would not suffice. Keep reading to learn about the advanced controls you will need to deal with these kinds of issues.
Read the full article
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Creating SharePoint Lists
by O'Reilly Media, 2008-12-31

In SharePoint, you can get a lot of mileage out of something as simple as a list. This four=part article series shows you how. It is excerpted from Essential SharePoint 2007, Second Edition, A Practical Guide for Users, Administrators and Developers, written by Jeff Webb (O'Reilly, 2008; ISBN: 0596514077). Copyright © 2008 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.
Read the full article
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Working with Dates and Times in C#
by Barzan "Tony" Antal, 2008-12-30

Every software engineer can testify that all kinds of projects, regardless of their purpose or how simple the requirements seem to be, deal with dates and mostly times. Fortunately, C# has built-in methods and properties that make our lives much easier. In this article we will present some of the most common techniques to manage and work with date and time variables.
Read the full article.
Compressed Folders in WSH
by Nilpo, 2008-12-29


Windows XP provides built-in zip file support in a feature referred to as Compressed Folders. While the compression of a Compressed Folder is not as effective as many third-party implementations, it does offer great compatibility since it is natively supported on all modern Windows platforms.
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Using the Decorator Pattern for a Real Web Site in Flash
by O'Reilly Media, 2008-12-31

In this conclusion to a six-part series on the decorator pattern, we're going to put what we've learned to work on a more realistic example than the ones we've covered up until now: a web site for a hybrid car dealership. This article is excerpted from chapter four of ActionScript 3.0 Design Patterns Object Oriented Programming Techniques, written by William B. Sanders and Chandima Cumaranatunge (O'Reilly, 2007 ISBN: 0596528469). Copyright © 2007 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.
Read the full article
.
Creating DIV-based CSS Tables
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2008-12-30


In the last few years, divs have became very popular with many web designers, particularly when it comes to building the layout of the many different pages that comprise a web site. And certainly, this table-less approach has proven to be quite successful over time. It permits developers to create both liquid and fixed designs with relative ease by using a standard methodology. Unfortunately, one aspect of the approach can cause web pages to display in very different ways on different browsers. This four-part series will show you an important workaround.
Read the full article
.
Producing Web Page Dialog Boxes
by John Best, 2008-12-29


These days, many web-based applications are trying to look more like desktop applications. To a limited extent, it works - until you come to dialog boxes. A desktop application's dialog box works one way, and the dialog boxes you can get from an opened web page work another way; they do not provide the same functions. Fortunately, there is a way to change this. This first part of a five-part article series gets you on your way.
Read the full article
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Microsoft: Looking into the Past
by Joe Eitel, 2008-12-31

The history of Microsoft is a colorful one, dating back over three decades. In that time, the software company has grown from the outlandish ideas of a nerdy boy to a massive technology empire led by - at one point -the wealthiest man in the world. This is a retrospective look at Bill Gate and his career at Microsoft - past, present, and future.
Read the full article
.
The Printer That Prints Itself
by Bruce Coker, 2008-12-30

What do you think of when you hear the word printer? For most of us it conjures an image of a machine spitting out sheets of paper covered in words and pictures. But not for Dr Adrian Bowyer, founder and leading light of the RepRap (Replicating Rapid Prototyper) project, who has an altogether grander vision. Would you believe an inexpensive printer that can print in three dimensions?
Read the full article
.
HTC Diamond
by jkabaseball, 2008-12-29


The iPod is a household name now, and the iPhone is rapidly joining it in that regard. The iPhone is not the only smart phone with a touch screen, however. Many companies are getting the hint that consumers want this on their cell phones and MP3 players. Today we are going to take a look at one of these devices, the Diamond by HTC.
Read the full article.
 
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Using Images to Tell Your Story
by Terri Wells, 2008-12-31

The Internet has come into its own as a visual medium, with entire sites devoted to still images and video. When searchers look for information or entertainment, they have come to want a little eye candy along with all those lines of text. What are some of the best ways to give them what they want?
Read the full article
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Google`s Trust Rank and Hilltop Algorithms
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2008-12-30

PageRank is not the only algorithm Google uses to determine relevancy of pages. In this article we discuss two more publicly known algorithms, Hilltop and Trust Rank. Keep reading for some enlightenment on how the most popular search engine in the world ranks web sites.
Read the full article
.
Mobile Search Engine Optimization
by Bruce Coker, 2008-12-29

If there is one area of certain growth in these troubled economic times, it is the mobile communications sector. And with significant improvements having emerged over the last few years in vital areas such as data transfer speed, screens and content, mobile devices are starting to challenge the PC as an Internet access device of choice. This in turn has raised a key issue in the Mobile Internet space: that of the optimization of sites for mobile devices and search engines.
Read the full article
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The Top 10 Web Hosting Companies in the U.S. in Web Hosting Articles
by Joe Eitel, 2008-12-31

There are many, many web hosting companies, but they are fighting over small parts of the market. If you have been wondering who the big boys are in the United States, look no further. This article gives you the list. You may be surprised to see who made it - and who did not.
Read the full article
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What is Click Jacking?
by Katie Gatto, 2008-12-23

As a web savvy person of the modern era, you probably believe you are aware of all the potential security threats that you might come across when surfing the web. You know better than to trust that PayPal e-mail telling you to log in in 24 hours or your account will be closed, and you do not randomly download or open e-mail attachments, so you think you have the game locked up. Well, phishers have another way to get to you and your sensitive personal information. It is called click jacking, and this article will tell you what it is and how to protect yourself.
Read the full article
.
FCC Frees White Space Spectrum for Wireless Broadband Service
by Joe Eitel, 2008-12-17

Weeks ago, countless Americans were glued to their television sets watching election coverage and waiting anxiously for the presidential results, but little did they know another important vote was taking place at the Federal Communications Commission. By a unanimous vote of 5-0, the FCC officially agreed to open up the "white spaces" spectrum, making it available for wireless broadband - unlicensed and free to everybody. This article will explain what white space is, and why you should care.
Read the full article
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Check out the amazing tutorials from IBM developerWorks and see what all the buzz is about!

WebSphere Service Registry and Repository
Manage, govern, and share services across your organization by using WebSphere Service Registry and Repository. Follow the hands-on exercises to learn how to navigate the Web interface to publish, find, reuse, and update services.

Building JavaScript applications with JSEclipse
Using JSEclipse, JavaScript programmers now have their own Eclipse plug-in that provides many important features to aid in the development of JavaScript applications. JSEclipse gives JavaScript developers the same ease of use that Eclipse has been providing in the Java language and others for years. Learn to use this tool, while creating a colony of evolving "creatures" on your page.

Learn how to install and use the Rational Asset Manager Eclipse client
In this tutorial, you can learn how to install and configure the IBM Rational Asset Manager Eclipse client, explore the different views in the Asset Management perspective, learn various search techniques, work with existing assets, and submit a new asset.

Improve your build process with IBM Rational Build Forge, Part 1: Create a continuous build and integration environment
Learn how to implement a build management system that uses and extends your existing automation technologies. This tutorial shows, step-by-step, how to install and configure IBM Rational Build Forge to manage builds for Jakarta Tomcat from source code.

Build Web services with transport-level security using Rational Application Developer V7, Part 1: Build Web services and Web services clients
Build secure Web services with transport-level security using IBM Rational Application Developer V7 and IBM WebSphere Application Server V6.1. Follow this three-part series for step-by-step instructions about how to develop Web services and clients, configure HTTP basic authentication, and configure HTTP over SSL (HTTPS). This first part of the series walks you through building a Web service for a simple calculator application. You generate and test two different types of Web services clients: a Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) client and a stand-alone Java client. You also handle user-defined exceptions in Web services.

Test terminal-based applications with Rational Functional Tester
Regression testing -- in which code is thoroughly tested to ensure that changes have not produced unexpected results -- is an important part of any development process. But many testing environments neglect the terminal-based applications that still form the backbone of many industries. In this tutorial, you'll learn how the Rational Functional Tester Extension for Terminal-Based Applications works with other Rational Functional Tester to help test terminal-based applications quickly and easily.

Improve your build process with IBM Rational Build Forge,
Part 2: Automate builds for a real-world Tomcat project

Learn how Rational Build Forge can extend a simple compile and package build process by adding customization and deployment capability. Go from a manual method to automating: checking for code changes; getting the latest source; compiling and packaging; customizing; copying to and restarting a deployment server; and sending e-mail notification that a new version is available.

NEW! Application development for the OLPC laptop
The XO laptop (of the One-Laptop-Per-Child initiative) is an inexpensive laptop project intended to help educate children around the world. The XO laptop includes many innovations, such as a novel, inexpensive, and durable hardware design and the use of GNU/Linux as the underlying operating system. The XO also includes an application environment written in Python with a human interface called Sugar, accessible to everyone (including kids). Explore the Sugar APIs and learn how to develop and debug a graphical activity in Sugar using Python.

 
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Tutorialized is dedicated to programming, designing, and many other
tech related tutorials.

Straighten Crooked Photos
Learn how to easily straighten crooked photos in Photoshop.
Read the tutorial.

Basic Drag and Drop in Flash 8
How to create basic drag and drop with Flash 8.
Read the tutorial.

Blend Techniques With Layer Mask
Learn blending techniques by using this layer mask. Read the tutorial.

Grails Services and Google Maps
A guide to using them. Easy tutorial and simple to read. Read the tutorial.

Flash Zoom In and Zoom Out
A Flash zoom in and zoom out application with Actionscript 2.0.
Read the tutorial.

Google AdSense Split Testing
Guide to maximizing your revenue with a small PHP script.
Read the tutorial.

 

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Scripts is dedicated to developer and programming related scripts both commercial and free, and for all OS platforms.

h2desk Help Desk Software
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PHP Store Pixel Ads
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Billing accounting software generate various accounting reports including final report, stock reports, sales reports, and others. Learn more.

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TimeTracking is a web based time tracking application. It allows you and your team to enter time spend on different task while working.
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Remote PC Monitoring Software
Network asset database administration freeware utility generates software auditing and management reports. Learn more.

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What Does Google Want?
by KC Morgan, 2008-12-31


It mocks you, it taunts you, it insults you. It ignores you. It is Google, the most popular (and therefore, most powerful) search engine on the internet. And no matter what you do you or how you change your site, you can not seem to make it to the top of the engine search results. Want to boost your ranking and get more traffic? It is time to answer that new-age question: what does Google want?
Read the full article
.
Can Not Find the Right Keywords?
by KC Morgan, 2008-12-24


One week, everyone is all abuzz with excitement over a blockbuster movie. Another week goes by and suddenly going green is the most popular topic again. How is any webmaster supposed to keep up with changing Internet trends? It is a common quandary, but in this article we will show you how to keep up with trends without totally remaking your web site every month.
Read the full article
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Polls, Contests and Site Giveaways: Add More, Without Doing More Work
by KC Morgan, 2008-12-17


Web 2.0 is here, and it is exploding all over the Internet. Streaming video, news feeds and online forums can fill your site with rich content that will help you draw in lots of new traffic. But do not discount the tried-and-true traffic-driving methods of the past. This article will review some of these quick and easy additions that will encourage your visitors to return.
Read the full article
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Clonezilla: Free Mass Disk-Cloning Utility
by Barzan 'Tony' Antal, 2008-12-31

From time to time you have probably run into situations when you have unfortunately lost your data or simply needed to set up copies of operating systems on various systems with additional software. While disk-cloning utilities should not really be considered as backup utilities, they undoubtedly can be used for that purpose too. But the real beauty and niche purpose of disk-cloning tools comes from the ease of mass disk-cloning. Today we will briefly review Clonezilla.
Read the full article
.
Bugzilla: Open Source Bug-Tracking System
by Barzan 'Tony' Antal, 2008-12-24

It has been said that there is no software without bugs. The ones that look perfect surely have a few that have not been noticed yet. Reporting bugs is really important for both software development companies and individual developers. This is why bug tracking and management systems were created. These applications assist developers to track their bugs and provide an opportunity for users to report them.
Read the full article
.
IT Inventory and Resource Management on Steroids
by Barzan 'Tony' Antal, 2008-12-17

Surely one of the toughest tasks of IT managers and even system administrators is keeping track of computers, network devices, software, and their configurations from the network. As long as there are only two computers, it is acceptable to memorize everything, but what if your network totals several hundred if not thousands of items? No way! In this article we will present free IT inventory and resource management solutions to help us out.
Read the full article
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Seeing Clearly Without an Optometrist

If you're reading these words through eyeglasses, consider what it took you to get them: you had to pay to visit an optometrist, go through an examination, choose a frame, and pay again to get your final prescription (more if you also ordered prescription sunglasses or contacts and we won't even talk about Lasik!). Now imagine the fate of those with poor eyesight in developing countries; they can't begin to afford what we take for granted.

But one man is working to change that. Josh Silver, a retired physics professor from Oxford University, has invented a solution so simple it can bring a clearer world to everyone, even the world's poorest people. Silver's glasses feature plastic lenses filled with clear liquid in sacs. The sacs connect to syringes housed in the arms of the glasses. Injecting more fluid from the syringes makes the lenses fatter and stronger, while removing fluid with the syringes weakens the effect.

Once the wearer is happy with the adjustment, they turn a screw and remove the syringes. Voila! Perfect eyesight with no optometrist or insurance involved. So far, 30,000 pairs of Silver glasses have been distributed in 15 countries. Silver dreams of getting his glasses onto the faces of one billion people by 2020. Already, it's having an impact. Major Kevin White, a US humanitarian worker who began distributing the Silver glasses, said that People put them on and smile. They all say, 'Look, I can read those tiny letters.' Here's to Silver and a clearer new year for everyone around the world.

Read more about this

Getting Power to Enslave Roaches and Rats

Scientists have been able to use microchips implanted into rat and cockroach brains for some time to control these creatures' movements. But the control often doesn't last very long, because of the size of the batteries required to power the setup. Tiny batteries have tiny lifespans, often lasting only a few minutes. But Keisuke Morishima from the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Japan thinks he may have that problem licked.

Morishima's idea involves using the creature's own movement to create the electricity required to keep the microchip in operation. As a proof of concept, he attached a tiny piezoelectric fiber to the back of a Madagascar hissing cockroach. The roach generated electricity via the fiber simply by walking. In fact, the roach generated more than 10 millivolts not a lot, mind you, but Morishima calculates that 100 of these fibers could generate enough electricity to power an insect-brain-controlling microchip.

Kevin Warwick, a UK-based cybernetics expert, thinks 100 fibers might be too heavy a load for a single cockroach. But that particular method of power generation may have merit when applied to rats. Not only can they carry more, but their larger bodies should generate more power. Oh, and if you're wondering why scientists are even trying to control rats and cockroaches with microchips, the reasons include discovering disaster victims, spying, and taking advantage of their advanced sense of smell to detect chemicals and/or explosives.

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Now That's a Small Computer

Moore's Law faces a hard limit of sorts: just how small can you make a transistor? As tiny as they might get, we will never get down to the atomic level. Or will we? Christian Joachim is set to challenge that. He works at the French National Scientific Research Center's Center for Material Elaboration and Structural Studies in Toulouse, France. He heads up their Nanoscience and Picotechnology Group.

Though work on atom-scale computing started in the 1990s, it's only now beginning to bear some fruit. And that's not surprising, really; Joachim has observed that his field is in the same position as transistors were back before 1947, when no one knew where they would go. Plus, nanotechnology does things backwards if you consider the usual way chip design works; manufacturers, even nanotechnologists, work from the top down trying to make things smaller; Joachim's team has been trying to work from the atom up. The question we have asked ourselves is how many atoms does it take to build a computer? Joachim explains.

Joachim and his team have succeeded in constructing a simple logic gate out of 30 atoms that does the work of 14 transistors. They are also working on what would be necessary to carry out computing processes inside a single molecule. For fun, and also to help their research, Joachim's team has also built wheels, gears, motors, and nano-vehicles, each made up of a single molecule. Could very tiny, moving nanocomputers be on the horizon?

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