Archive for January 2006
Linguistic Accessibility of Websites
The power and prowess of websites is better known by the quantity of content, its reach, the impressions it had made on its' visitors mind, to name a few parameters.
With respect to the reach, the website can best reach by providing translation services to reach the audience in thier native language for best appeal.
Linguistic Translation does not need extensive groundwork to start with however, a minimal startup requires only associating the website with a few translation webservices and websites. I would like to share with the readers a few translation websites that aide in this perspective:
Quick and Easy Network Tools
Managing and maintaining a significantly sized network does always carries with it significant responsibilities and that too in this world of Internet, which is filled with viruses, trojan horses and all sort of hackers. The responsibility and head-aches still increase when it comes to the point of production servers.
Fortunately, just like free email services, a lot of enterprises and open source developers have come together to remotely host services that aide in network management.
I would like to share some significant of them, which will be of real use.
- Reverse DNS Look: Check out this website hosted by 12Dt.com/ which offers efficient reverse DNS resolution of a given IP address. Free services are restricted to 100 requests per IP address and subject to cookie support in the web browser.
- Protected Whois Check: Whois databases too have been victims of spammers getting the email addresses by automated tools. Check out this protected whois database from Godaddy.
QBasic and Related Downloads
Following up my previous post, a few friends of mine were asking how to get QBasic and related help. As such and as far as I know, I don't think the current versions of Windows (Windows XP or Windows 2003) has Qbasic.exe shipping along with it.
A search in Google revealed the following MSDOS Utilities. Perhaps, I would like to share it among the readers. But the following things need to be clarified and I have posted in some community newsgroup. Once I get the response, I would try updating them over here:
- Compatibility of these programs with the current Win32 model.
- Future compatibility of these programs as Win64 gains sway.
- License restrictions.
Perhaps if some reader of this blogpost has some answers, feel free to share with others as blog comments.
Power of QBasic
QBasic, the MSDOS version of QuickBasic and successor to BASICA, Turbo Basic and GWBasic. There are some cool features in this language, that I think even the current ones do not directly and so easily support.
For example, there are three simple commands like Play, Sound and Beep. While Beep is supported by an escape sequence and the ASCII character code, sound and Play do not find direct equivalents in Visual Basic or even in C#.
I am trying to understand this and perhaps if you visit Experts-Exchange and particularly this page, you would find an interesting discussion on this topic.
'This webpage could not be saved'
How many times you have confronted this message when attempting to use File -> Save WebPage complete. I think in these cases, which also takes up more diskfiles and a folder is being created, you can use Web Archive (.MHT) file name extension.
Check out this article for the problem description and resolution: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q235589
CTRL+Enter in Internet Explorer
CTRL+Enter is really a very useful feature in Internet Explorer. We type google and CTRL+Enter automatically prefixes the TLD suffix and www and navigates to the URL. Myself and my friend faced a piquant situation yesterday. It was not working.
After a brief tweaks and fiddling with IE Options, we observed that this is dependent on Tools -> Internet Options -> Content -> Autocomplete checkbox to be enabled. Only then it works.
Also, it would be interesting to go a bit deep into the technical background of CTRL+Enter too and perhaps this technical background also helps us to customize it. Check out Jeff's WebLog for details.
Save your websites using CAPTCHA
Webmasters have frequently lamented of their websites getting junk submission forms.. Business Development Managers accuse system administrators and network administrators for poorly configuring thier email server and hence they are getting voluminous amount of spam messages.
Unfortunately, the truth is otherwise. Whatever you configure in your network, the spammers and phishers have more sophisticated spam robots which can travel across the web navigating through the hyperlinks. If they encounter an email address of the form mailto:, they add to thier catalog. If they encounter forms, they just try to flood it with these submissions. The net result of these spoof submissions is that in case of blog comments, you get a lot of junk text. In case of serverside processing, you get junk email.
It is not very difficult to combat this menace. There is a new technology called CAPTCHA, which provides generation of dynamic numbers and text, which are rendered as images and saved in the serverside session. Now the form-filler has to visually see this form, fill it in the adjoining text box and submit it. To further secure the dynamic nature of this, the images and text in the images are so much generated with random shapes so as to ensure that only a human eye can decipher it and not a computer program or a spam robot.
Typical examples where you can find CAPTCHAs are:
- Google Blogger Comment (The blogger should have enabled it from his blog control panel).
- MSN Hotmail/Yahoo or other most webmails' signup forms. MSN Hotmail, I guess, also has an audio to spell out the digits for the visually challenged people.
Now comes the question. How to implement this CAPTCHA for simple websites. Is this too complicated. No not all. There are very many open source CAPTCHA applications, which you can download, modify and use for yourself. If you are bit afraid of modifying code, there are a lot of free remotely hosted CAPTCHA services too, which offer you free service but for a link back or an advertisement to support them.
Here are a few of them.
Source CAPTCHA implementations:
- CAPTCHA Image by BrainJar.
- CAPTCHA Control for ASP.NET by LordFKiller
- CAPTCHA Webservice by Massimo Beatini
- CAPTCHA from WebWizGuide.
Remotely hosted CAPTCHA implementations:
- CAPTCHAS.NET (This also supports Audio CAPTCHA like in MSN Hotmail)
Tutorial on CAPTCHA (for PHP)