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Oct. 08, 2009

Welcome to the latest issue of the Developer Shed newsletter! What is it with fall and remembering the past? Seems like cooler air and colored leaves are enough to bring on the feelings of nostalgia...and even those in the tech field aren't immune. If you're in a mood to reminisce, check out the slide show we're highlighting this week from eWeek. It covers 50 years of hard drive history - including some you may have worked on way back when.

Hard drives may have changed, but one thing hasn't - your work never ends. So what tools do we have to help you get that work done more quickly? On Dev Shed we showed you how to do basic statistical analysis with PHP, and how to build a web site that lets your users change the font and background colors they see. For those who work with Microsoft-based technologies, ASP Free covered some new features for the status bar, how to get the correct drivers for your Windows XP devices if you lose them (during a reinstall, for instance), and showed you how to convert a MySQL database into an Excel workbook.

Website designers and developers reading Dev Articles this week continued to enjoy our series on building collapsible navigation bars, delved into what is and is not possible with nesting JavaScript functions, and learned how to build a custom 2D JavaScript array. If you're looking for a cell phone or a netbook, head over to Dev Hardware for some excellent reviews of models you might not have considered; you'll be surprised at some of the features you can get for less than you'd expect to pay.

SEO professionals reading SEO Chat benefited from a variety of articles this week. If you write a blog, you'll be especially interested in reading Wednesday's article on blog carnivals as a way to increase the traffic and readership of your site. Newcomers to web site ownership should stop by Dev Mechanic, you'll learn to build your business with an effective opt-in list and find free advertising opportunities.

You can catch even more useful news and other information on our other sites. Codewalkers told you about Cacti, an RRDTool-based graphing solution. Web Hosters reported on Beladen, a particularly nasty mass infection/security exploit. And Tutorialized and Scripts continued to feature some of the best content from our readers.

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

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Rational Build Forge Express eKit
Rational Build Forge Express Edition is an automation framework that packages the latest enterprise-grade technologies into a reliable, flexible and robust configuration designed and priced specifically for small to midsize businesses. The new Rational Build Forge Express eKit provides you with valuable resources - including a case study, podcast, demo, and articles - to help you increase staff productivity, compress development cycles and deliver better software, fast.
Learn more.

Build Forge Express demo: Enabling software delivery excellence for small and midsized businesses
This demonstration gives you an overview of IBM Rational Build Forge Express Edition, a global offering that provides a framework to automate and execute software processes. Rational Build Forge provides a software assembly line that can support all of your tools, technologies, and platforms so you can achieve a repeatable, reliable, and traceable build and release process.
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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:

  • This week Tech News highlights some of the funniest moments in Tech News history. No, you jerk, it isn't a blank video.

    Watch the video!

   
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Performing Inferential Statistical Analysis with PHP
by Codex-M, 2009-10-07

Statistics aren't just for Excel spreadsheets anymore. If you've been wondering how to use PHP to help you do a basic statistical analysis, keep reading. In this article you'll learn how to use PHP to help you compare data sets.
Read the full article
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Performing Descriptive Statistical Analysis with PHP
by Codex-M, 2009-10-06


Have you ever thought of doing statistical analysis using PHP? Well, as simple as this technology can be, it enables an analyst to do server-side scripting commands which accept data from a web form, and then analyze the data in the server using PHP.
Read the full article
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Completing a User-Defined CSS Website with PHP
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-10-05

In the first part, you learned about CSS and some basic tips/techniques for using the slider to display colors. In this part, we will discuss how we are going to write our AJAX and PHP scripts to make our user-defined CSS website.
Read the full article
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Create a User-Defined CSS Website with PHP
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-10-01

PHP as a server side scripting language can be used to customize CSS. This can make your website more readable and useful to your visitors. In this article, you'll learn what you can do to let them adjust your site so it looks good to them. This is the first part of a two-part series.
Read the full article
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Working with the Statusbar in MFC
by Gabor Bernat, 2009-10-07

Staying up to date with what's happening inside a program is crucial. The user should always know what he is waiting for or what he has to do next. To satisfy this duty, the creators of the Windows Operating System graphic user interface implemented a bar that lets you show various information. Over time this bar has come to be called the Statusbar. Along with other controls, when the MFC Extension Pack was launched, this item got a well-deserved upgrade in the world of MFC. Let us review this interesting part of our applications. This article is the first in an eight-part series.
Read the full article.
Finding the Correct Drivers for Windows XP Devices
by Codex-M, 2009-10-06


You reinstalled Windows XP on your computer and you lost your drivers. Worse, you do not know the name of the hardware/device name, and naturally, you don't have the installation CD. Are you stuck? No. Keep reading for some help.
Read the full article
.
Converting a MySQL Database to an Excel Workbook
by Codex-M, 2009-10-05

If you are new to MySQL and you are working with either a fairly large or small database, there comes a time when you need to export your data into an Excel workbook. This article will walk you through the process.
Read the full article.
Introduction to Office Live Workspace
by Codex-M, 2009-10-01

Office Live Workspace is Microsoft's web office extension to their desktop-based MS Office applications such as MS Excel, MS Word and PowerPoint. At first glance, the service looks similar to Google Docs, but it is not. This article will walk you through the basics of using Office Live Workspace.
Read the full article.
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Nesting JavaScript Functions
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-10-07

If you are a C/C++ programmer, then you are not used to nesting functions. In JavaScript, you can have one function inside another. In this three-part series, I answer the following questions: can you call a nested function from outside the outermost function? Can a nested function call an outer function? What is the scope within nested functions? I will also show you how to pass arguments between nested functions and look at the relationship between nested functions and the JavaScript object.
Read the full article
.
A Custom 2D JavaScript Array
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-10-06


If you do not like the normal way of creating a two-dimensional array, for any particular reason, then this article is for you. Let me emphasize here that there's already a strong and growing need to make web pages active. So you need to start thinking about writing a custom two-dimensional JavaScript array. You will see how easy it is to do this.
Read the full article
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Creating a Scrolling Navigation Bar Effect with CSS and JavaScript
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-10-05


Welcome to the third part of a four-part series that shows you how to build collapsible navigation bars with CSS and JavaScript. In this part, you'll learn how to combine the functionality of the Prototype and Scriptaculous libraries to construct a pretty useful scrolling navigational bar.
Read the full article
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Deleting JavaScript Properties and Methods
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-10-02

Welcome to the second part of a three-part series on adding and deleting JavaScript properties and methods. In this part of the series, we learn how to delete properties and methods. Before we get into that, let us see how to add properties and methods to objects (instances).
Read the full article
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Replacing and Spliting JavaScript Sub Strings
by Chrysanthus Forcha, 2009-10-01

In this second part of a two-part series on JavaScript String regular expressions, I look at multiline matching, how to replace matched sub-strings and how to split an available string using a regular expression object. Before we do that, let us look at the String way of extracting matches and then compare it with that of the RegExp object.
Read the full article
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Samsung SGH-T659 for T-Mobile and HTC Snap for Alltel
by wubayou, 2009-10-07

The Samsung SGH-T659 and the HTC Snap are pretty far apart when it comes to their feature sets, but one thing they do have in common: their price. Neither one of them will bust your budget. Both will get the job done, but they're definitely designed to appeal to different kinds of cell phone users.
Read the full article
.

Hannspree Hannsnote Netbook
by wubayou, 2009-10-06

It seems that many people value portability and comfort at the moment. What's better to accommodate that need than netbooks? With their small yet efficient design, they make the perfect solution for computing on the run. So let's take a look at the Hannspree Hannsnote.
Read the full article
.

Samsung Glint SCH-u350 from Alltel and Verizon Wireless Escapade
by wubayou, 2009-10-05


Do you want a fancy cell phone, or something that does just a few things really well? If you're in the latter category, keep reading. The pair of cell phones featured in this review may not be designed to compete with the iPhone, but they get the job done.
Read the full article.
Samsung PN58B860 Plasma TV and Toshiba 55SV670U LCD TV
by wubayou, 2009-10-02

Today, let's take a look at two TVs. We'll start with the Samsung PN58B860 Plasma TV, a set filled with features and a great design. We'll also look at the Toshiba 55SV670U LCD TV, a backlit LCD TV with several adjustment settings and connectivity options.
Read the full article
.
Nokia 7610 Supernova
by wubayou, 2009-10-01

Those familiar with the Nokia line of phones may have recognized the name of the new Nokia 7610 Supernova. The previously-released Nokia 7610, which came out years ago, had a unique design, complete with a slanted and curved keypad and a paint-splattered graphic on the back cover. The newly-released 7610 Supernova bears no relation to that funky phone, however, and only resembles it with its moniker.
Read the full article
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Use a Blog Carnival to Boost Your Blog`s Traffic
by Joe Eitel, 2009-10-07

Is your blog not getting as much traffic as you'd like it to? Before you start paying money to improve the situation, you might want to consider a blog carnival. It's an excellent, free way to get your posts in front of more eyes - and it could win you more links and more loyal followers. Intrigued? Keep reading.
Read the full article
.
Google Sandbox Effect
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-10-06

Is your site relatively new? Have you applied all of the best SEO advice you can find, but you're still not ranking? Do you think you may have done something wrong? It might not be anything you've done; it might be the Google sandbox. Keep reading to find out what it is, and how to get out of it.
Read the full article
.
Page Rank Sculpting
by Ivan Strouchliak, 2009-10-05

This is the second part of a two-part article on page rank optimization and page rank sculpting. To understand it better, please read the first article. It covers such topics as relevancy vs importance, how PR is calculated, dampening factor and more. In this article, we'll discuss page rank from external link, the explicit principles of page rank sculpting, and more.
Read the full article
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Beladen: 40,000 Website Attackers
by Joe Eitel, 2009-10-07

In June 2009, Websense, an Internet security firm, identified a mass infection of up to 40,000 websites by a new attacker nicknamed "Beladen." Beladen, which translates as "loaded" in German, is so named because the security exploit works by directing visitors to various websites to a website named Beladen. That website then takes advantage of security holes in various applications to "load up" unsuspecting computers with all kinds of bad software.
Read the full article.
Robust Open Source Firewall Solutions
by Tony Antal, 2009-09-30

It is not enough to protect ourselves from viruses, worms, malware, and other kinds of malicious applications. A dedicated firewall is a security measure that helps us to prevent unauthorized access to or from our network. In this article we are going to present six open source firewall solutions. These won't be simple apps that act only as firewalls, but rather feature-laden suites offering commercial-like functions.
Read the full article.
Protecting Yourself Online
by Tony Antal, 2009-09-23

Being online is the norm nowadays. Gradually we've even become addicted to being online all the time. A decade ago we'd just pop in and out of the online world to check our mail, search for something, or send some photos. But now we're accustomed to the comfort that comes from broadband connections. This article will tackle the possible dangers of being online and how to protect ourselves.
Read the full article.
 

Check out the amazing tutorials from IBM developerWorks and see what all the buzz is about!

Hello World: 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
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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Actionscript Mouse Events
Learn to respond to different mouse events like clicks and hovers.
Read the tutorial.

Fireworks
We are going to learn to use the brush tool to create fireworks.
Read the tutorial.

Simple Photo Flash Menu
See how to create simple Flash menu. Simplistic tutorial and fun to read. Read the tutorial.

Tips on PhpLib
The pHpLib template makes it very easy to create a website. It is based on a template. Read the tutorial.

Key controls
This Flash tutorial will teach you about the basic key controls.
Read the tutorial.

Replace a String in a TXT File
Replace strings in TXT files through PHP.
Read the tutorial.

 

Want to Earn Cash & Fame Writing
for ASP Free

Developer Shed is actively seeking fresh, new writing talents for our Microsoft Windows technology site. We're looking for Windows programmers, system administrators, and more to provide our readers with the latest, up-to-date techniques and strategies.

Here's your chance to earn some cash, gain some exposure, and beef up your resume! If you would like to join our team, email your name, a description of your qualifications, and the topic areas you would like to cover to contact_editor@developershed.com.

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

EzUploads
EzUploads utilizes CGI upload methods to a PHP site back end. You are able to upload unlimited file sizes. Supports Ascii Captcha.
Learn more.

MultiUser Chat Software
Multi operator ASP script based chat messaging software contains full support of Ajax technology. Learn more.

DepthStats
The target audience for this script is anyone looking to stay away from stat services and stats provided by hosting companies.
Learn more.

.Net Ad Server Solutions
We provide a complete line of ad management, ad network, affiliate network and banner solutions.
Learn more.

PHP Stock Portfolio
System allows you to hide, show, or show masked values for each of eleven value fields. Script retrieves data from Yahoo! Finance.
Learn more.

MyFTPUploader
MyFTPUploader is a Java applet for uploading multiple files and directories to an FTP Server. Easy to use. Learn more.

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Beginner`s Guide to Building an Effective Opt-in List
by Joe Eitel, 2009-10-07


An effective opt-in list is vital to the success of an online business. Yet many business owners go about building this list the wrong way, often alienating potential customers in the process. Keep reading to learn how to avoid making those kinds of mistakes and build a list that will help your online business grow.
Read the full article
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Find Free Advertising Opportunities
by KC Morgan, 2009-10-05

After you've manipulated the keywords, created great content and designed pages that are easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye, you have a lot of options for promoting your Web site, and every single one of them centers around advertising strategies. But no one has a bottomless budget for spreading the word about their pages, and some sites have almost no advertising budget at all. Wouldn't you like to know how to find free advertising opportunities instead?
Read the full article
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Meta Tags: Still Useful?
by Joe Eitel, 2009-10-02

For website developers who have been in the business for quite some time, the term "meta tags" brings forth memories of early website editors little more complex than notepad, websites that only had to fit an 800 pixel wide page, and times when "Web 2.0" was an unknown phrase. These developers were intimately familiar with meta tags and all of their capabilities and power. But do they still have any power today?
Read the full article
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Cacti: RRDTool-based Graphing Solution
by Tony Antal, 2009-10-07

As you've surely noticed, we frequently cover topics related to server administration, targeting the audience of system administrators and network technicians here on Codewalkers. Today, we will overview Cacti - a complete network graphing solution that utilizes the functionalities of RRDTool. Throughout this article we're going to discuss how implementing Cacti as a network monitoring system can yield good results.
Read the full article
.
A Web App Based on a Model for the CodeIgniter PHP Framework
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-09-30

Among the numerous features provided by the CodeIgniter PHP framework, its flexibility is probably one of the most appreciated by both beginners and experienced users. This flexibility gives them the liberty to develop their own custom model classes with minor restrictions. Precisely this characteristic is highlighted in this series of articles, which form a comprehensive guide that walks you through building a highly-generic model class. You'll be able to use this class for creating database-driven web applications without having to code multiple and redundant models. This article concludes the eight-part series.
Read the full article
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Completing a Model for the CodeIgniter PHP Framework
by Alejandro Gervasio, 2009-09-30

One of the most remarkable features offered by the CodeIgniter PHP framework is its great flexibility, which lets web developers build custom libraries that contribute to extending the framework's core functionality. In this group of articles you'll learn how to create a generic model class for CI. The class will permit you to perform CRUD operations against a number of database tables in a truly painless fashion, without having to spend a long time coding numerous and complex models.
Read the full article
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Google's Bar Code Logo

Google changes its logo periodically to celebrate significant holidays, birthdays of important people, and anniversaries of major events. Wednesday's logo celebrated the anniversary of a pretty important event whose significance is still being felt today: the first patent on the bar code. Norman Woodland and Bernard Silver filed the patent in 1949, and it was granted in 1952. If we still used the system they'd originally intended, we'd have dartboard-shaped codes instead of bar codes. Woodland and Silver figured that would allow the codes to be read in any direction.

Modern bar codes have drastically shortened the amount of time most of us spend at the checkout counter and made it much easier to keep track of inventory. Since the bar code format is a global standard, scanners from anywhere can interpret bar codes from anywhere else, as long as they conform. TechCrunch notes that "The barcode is a great example of why uniform protocols and standards serve a greater good for everybody, and the same lesson certainly applies to the web."

You can have a little bit of fun with the logo if you have a bar code reader (such as a declawed Cuecat). Make sure the reader is hooked up to your computer. Go to the logo and print it out. Now go to Google's home page, put your cursor in the search box, and scan the bar code print out. You'll see "GOOGLE" in the search box and get a list of search results.

Read more about this

From the Sewer to Your Gas Tank?

What if we could turn raw sewage into fuel? A number of scientists and companies have been working on this problem, and two say they have succeeded. Applied CleanTech, based in Israel, and Qteros, based in the US, have jointly developed a process for turning sewer sludge into ethanol.

The process uses both current sewage treatment techniques and microbes. The microbes can convert biomass into ethanol. Not only does it convert solid waste into a fuel, it reduces the amount of sludge processed by traditional treatment methods, because it starts with the raw sewage. The process extracts the biosolids with a technology already in use, and turns them into a feedstock. The feedstock, in turn, goes to a microorganism that digests the cellulose in it and gives back ethanol. The companies note that this method for making ethanol is a good alternative to the usual enzyme-based method, which calls for multiple steps.

Not only does the process yield fuel from something that would otherwise be thrown away, but it reduces the operating expenses of waste water plants. "Our customer is every municipality that has a waste water treatment plant," noted Jeff Hausthor, co-founder of Qteros. No doubt they'll soon be flush with contract offers.

Read more about this

A New Use for a Multi-Touch Surface

If you've ever wanted to see inside the human body, the Norrkoping Visualization Centre and the Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization in Sweden just created something that will get you as close as possible, short of an autopsy. It's called the Virtual Autopsy Table, and it uses high resolution MRIs, rendered and processed into 3D images. These images appear on the table itself, and can be manipulated by the viewer.

Judging from the video of the table in action, users can turn, move, zoom in, "cut" with a virtual knife to examine certain parts in more detail, and focus on different layers depending on their interest, such as the skin, circulatory system, nerves, skeleton, brain, etc. The creators of the table note that it works well as a complement to a conventional autopsy, and that it can be used to see things that such an autopsy would make it difficult to discover. Furthermore, it could open up new frontiers in medicine, especially in those places where autopsies are often not culturally accepted.

The virtual autopsy table was designed as a teaching aid, and looks as if it would serve admirably in that role. As Engaget notes, "we wouldn't be surprised to see these cropping up in museums all over the globe any day now." Can't you just see a virtual autopsy of a dinosaur or an early hominid? Or how about one where you get to virtually "unwrap" a mummy, a layer at a time? The possibilities are endless.

Read more about this

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