Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year's Resolution...

I went blog hopping this morning...

and the most striking post I read was from Mert (well I shouldn't be surprised!). His most recent post "How I Quadrupled My Blog Traffic In 3 Months" had me thinking about my purpose in blogging...thinking real hard...i thought it came in the most significant time..a few days from the coming of 2008.

So my new years resolution: Be serious about blogging ...and to create one brand new blog...and bring it to success in 4 months just like...Mert did!

What a great guy, that Mert is!



I'll be off to my parents this few days so I guess this will be my last post for 2007. Happy new to all!

Blogged with Flock

Choco Linkies

Got this tag from my wife.

The rule: When you get tagged, you have to add your name below the person who tagged you and by doing so you are letting the list grow. Make sure to copy with the urls to the addresses so anyone can click and visit these sites.

Limadang.com
RamblingMoo.com
blogginginmypyjamas
Chinneeq
Dora-zooropazoo
Babyshern
HiPnCooLMoM
Rachel’s Soulful Thoughts
When Silence Speaks
Dancing in Midlife Tune
Underneath it All
I am Dzoi
Hobbies and Such
moms…..check nyo
Choc Mint Girl
Amel’s Realm
My Thoughts
Rusin Roundup
Juliana’s Site
Max
Rooms of My Heart
Mariuca
A Great Pleasure
MondayMorning
LadyJava’s Lounge
Colin aka Cotojo
NafaSG
Hanna
My Life My World
Mommy’s Gibble Gabbles
Author’s Sweet Life
La Place de Cherie
Chez Francine
Confessions of an Army Wife
Bless Sanctuary
So cute lovely pixels
Just Say These Words
A Book By Accident

Soulful Thoughts of Rachel
Hailey's Bits and Beats
the other side of the monitor


So I am passing this tag to mimi and ahyrheynne

Blogged with Flock

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I am receiving spam messages from my own Gmail account, what the...!?

I am a GMail user. GMail was the first to introduce inboxes with gigabytes of space thus nearly eliminating your need to delete mails just to monitor your mailbox space. I am also a fan of their spam filter which I find very good (at least for my needs).

You see, I make it a habit to once in a while visit my spam folder just to see if I am missing some emails which GMail inadvertently marked as spam. Imagine my surprise when I found an email message sent by---ME in the spam folder! This message contain some non-sense ads! I quickly checked my sent folders and there was no log or copy of any messages that I sent to myself. I doubled check and the message indeed indicate that it was my email address as the sender

So what's happening here..?

My first thought was that somebody logged in and sent an email using my account. This was not an unlikely scenario since I read from different blogs that your email account can be easily hijacked. You can read a detailed user experience from David Airey's blog.

I googled and searched the web to find possible explanations and solutions to my problem. However, I was not lucky enough to find any. I even made a post to google groups but I am still awaiting any response. I'll update this post as soon as I get any information.

Friday, December 28, 2007

25% of the Best Careers in 2008 is in the Health Care Business

I googled "top careers" and came across a site listing the Best Careers in 2008. Only one profession was listed (which I perceived) to be under the Information Technology industry while eight out of thirty-one were from the Health Care Industry. Come to think of it, it shouldn't have been much of a surprise (at least for me).

If you research more information from the web you will know that the Health care industry is currently the fastest growing industry in the United States. Its growth rate in terms of job demand is expected to increase by 30% through 2014.

This demand for healthcare is driven by the increasing demand for medical attention of the significant portion of our aging population. And with the advances in medical diagnostic technology continues doctors, physicians, and dentists need professional assistance from skilled and sympathetic caregivers, delivered by today's top medical assistant programs.

So you see these days you don’t have to be a doctor (studying for so many years) to be part of the Health Care Industry. A lot of career options for healthcare graduates (medical assistant training programs) are almost endless.

I even know certain people who have stable jobs suddenly shifting to medical assistant careers. It seems this is the career path for the future.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

[English] Language Proficiency as a Competitive Edge

In this connected, global world space is immaterial because of the technology we use. Culture of different places and people is learned thru everyday occurrences without the hassles of traveling. In a click of a finger, information is uploaded or downloaded.

But to put order and coherence to the users, language should not be a barrier. So in order to connect and be at par with the rest of the techno-savvy people, English should be used as the universal language. Otherwise, one cannot keep up with the rest of the fast, technology driven world.

It is often quoted that: “Language limits perception.” Do you agree? I personally agree. There is a term or name for every object we perceive. But if we do not have the correct language to use, it really limits our perception and eventually, expression or put simply communication.

For non-English speakers, learning how to break down the language barrier is a must. Theirs will be too parochial or limited world of interaction, if they persist not to open up to learn the universal language. Thus, English as Second Language (ESL) has to be learned or practiced.

One example of institutions which cater to this market demand is Brain Train International Language Center. This is where most non-English speaking Asians or any nationalities can learn how to take command of the English language.

Brain Train is an academe-oriented service group that opened up in 1991 with an English tutorial class. A year after that, it pioneered in conducting review classes for high school and college admission tests in the Philippines. Several clients were greatly impressed and wanted their children to always have “that Brain Train advantage” and so it extended its services by offering year-round tutorials and enrichment workshops in all subjects in all levels.

Today, Brain Train has become the most celebrated review and tutorial center not only in Los Baños but in the whole Southern Luzon. Its rock-solid reputation comes from the high University of the Philippines* College Admission Test (UPCAT**) passing rate of its students. In fact, its UPCAT batting average never goes below 70%. In addition to that, Brain Train also produces several Oblation Scholars (UPCAT Top 50) and Intarmed Qualifiers (UPCAT Top 80). Its venture in high school entrance exams has also helped in proving it is the best, because two (2) out of three (3) students from the University of the Philippines Rural High School*** (UPRHS) reviewed at Brain Train, and Brain Train reviewees also dominate the Top 10 of UPRHS entrance exam. Overjoyed parents of these successful students spread the word that they have a lot to thank Brain Train for, while former students actually convey to their peers that learning in Brain Train is so much fun. Hence, students from all parts of the Philippines are being sent by their parents to Los Baños just to get that Brain Train advantage.

With almost 20 years heritage of excellence and superior service, Brain Train has again expanded its first-rate services with its English as a Second Language (ESL) / English as a Foreign Language Center.

Blogged with Flock

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bloghology

Recently I met a guy, Mert Erkal, in one blog networking directory, he authors an interesting blog entitled "Search For Blogging." It's quite a blog so I suggest you visit it. Anyways, SFB is launching Blogholgy.


What is Bloghology?

An anthology is a collection of poems, stories, songs, articles, or other literary passages chosen by a compiler. Similar to an anthology, a bloghology is a collection of bloggers, their profiles, photos, and links to their best posts. It is a PDF e-book which can be easily circulated throughout the blogosphere for personal branding and marketing of selected good quality bloggers.

What is the logic behind Bloghology?

Not all bloggers are good at personal branding and marketing. Especially the small bloggers face with a lot of challenges at the very beginning. Most of them stop blogging, because it seems almost impossible to overcome those obstacles, and succeed in the end.

Bloghology will help bloggers on marketing and personal branding by highlighting them and their blogs completely for free.

Know more about it at http://www.searchforblogging.com/

Ok, so why am I blaberring about it?

Well because I get to participate in its maiden release on January 2008.

Cool!

Blogged with Flock

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Back to Basics: SEO Tip #1-- Begin with the End in Mind

I remember reading Stephen Covey's best selling book: "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" If you're also familiar with it, the 2nd habit is Begin with the End in Mind. This holds very true in Search Engine Optimization.

Most web developers or site owners think of SEO only after creating or finishing/launching a website. By then, they would have lost a lot of SEO time and may have to repeat a lot of efforts in the end.

So Tip #1 Begin SEO simultaneously with your website.

It starts with your choice of domain name. Striking a balance with keywords and branding in your domain name is key factor. Although some may say that domain names only have a small factor in search engines algorithm, when those small factors stack up they can be a big thing!

The next one is your web site navigation structure. Some search engines do not crawl two to three levels of a website. So unless you employ some SEO techniques some of your web pages may be left out. The best way to have all your site's pages indexed is to create a site map for your site.

I'll discuss more about site map in my next post.

Blogged with Flock

Monday, December 17, 2007

A week of bad connection

It's been a week of on and off internet connection for me.

When I called my local ISP to let them know about it, they told me that there were some disconnections in their physical "cable lines" resulting in the intermittent internet connections.

It all started when contractors of a major telecommunication company started installing their lines in our area. I can't believe their gross negligence for their own safety and the consequences of their work procedures. You see, they will start climbing the telephone and/or electrical post (yeah, here in the Philippines, power and telecommunications are distributed via overhead power lines) through their ladder and then navigate their way from post to post by stepping on existing telephone and/or cable lines. No safety harness whatsoever!


So here I am again waiting on an FTP upload to connect so I can update a client...for a person highly dependent on internet connection...work...life seems to crawl! Arggg!

Blogged with Flock

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Alcatel OT-C825..not bad.

I was in the market for a mobile phone so I browsed around some shops here in the locality. I was hoping to get a Motorola RAZR phone (unlike the general population, I am not a Nokia fan).

However, when I was about to ask the sales person for their Motorola RAZR phone I saw this phone with a chrome casing and leather effect frontage, it has a cool vintage look. I was thinking..okay..I'll look at his phone for a while...never did I thought that I will not be looking at another phone.

The mobile phone was a "star" product in Alcatel's 2007 collection, the smokey brown OT-C825 is packed full of features including a built in MP3 player, 1.3 Megapixel camera, video recording and webcam function. A tri-band phone (GSM triband 900 / 1800 / 1900) and at 99 grams-- a real lightweight! Although it's not a 3G phone it has GPRS and is Bluetooth capable.

It's a slider phone that have dedicated music keys allowing the user to instantly play music with a touch of a button.

It can also play MP4 and 3GP video formats, and since it supports external memory of up to 2GB you can store hundreds of MP3 files and videos.

What's more, its price is way affordable than the RAZR!

I thought it was a good deal so instead of a RAZR, I ended up bringing home an Alcatel OT-C825 phone plus a few thousand pesos of savings.


Blogged with Flock

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bill Gates' Address to Harvard Class of 2007

I got this from an email of a relative this morning...I thought its an interesting read so I am posting it up...


President Bok, former President Rudenstine, incoming President Faust,
members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members
of the faculty, parents, and especially, the graduates:I' ve been
waiting more than 30 years to say this: "Dad, I always told you I'd
come back and get my degree."

I want to thank Harvard for this timely honor. I'll be changing my
job next year . and it will be nice to finally have a college degree
on my resume.

I applaud the graduates today for taking a much more direct route
to your degrees. For my part, I'm just happy that the Crimson has
called me "Harvard's most successful dropout." I guess that makes me
valedictorian of my own special class . I did the best of everyone who
failed.

But I also want to be recognized as the guy who got Steve Ballmer
to drop out of business school. I'm a bad influence. That's why I was
invited to speak at your graduation. If I had spoken at your
orientation, fewer of you might be here today.

Harvard was just a phenomenal experience for me. Academic life was
fascinating. I used to sit in on lots of classes I hadn't even signed
up for. And dorm life was terrific. I lived up at Radcliffe, in
Currier House. There were always lots of people in my dorm room late
at night discussing things, because everyone knew I didn't worry about
getting up in the morning. That's how I came to be the leader of the
anti-social group. We clung to each other as a way of validating our
rejection of all those social people.

Radcliffe was a great place to live. There were more women up
there, and most of the guys were science-math types. That combination
offered me the best odds, if you know what I mean. This is where I
learned the sad lesson that improving your odds doesn't guarantee
success.

One of my biggest memories of Harvard came in January 1975, when I
made a call from Currier House to a company in Albuquerque that had
begun making the world's first personal computers. I offered to sell
them software. I worried that they would realize I was just a student
in a dorm and hang up on me. Instead they said:

"We're not quite ready, come see us in a month," which was a good
thing, because we hadn't written the software yet. From that moment, I
worked day and night on this little extra credit project that marked
the end of my college education and the beginning of a remarkable
journey with Microsoft.

What I remember above all about Harvard was being in the midst of
so much energy and intelligence. It could be exhilarating,
intimidating, sometimes even discouraging, but always challenging. It
was an amazing privilege - and though I left early, I was transformed
by my years at Harvard, the friendships I made, and the ideas I worked on.

But taking a serious look back. I do have one big regret. I left
Harvard with no real awareness of the awful inequities in the world -
the appalling disparities of health, and wealth, and opportunity that
condemn millions of people to lives of despair.

I learned a lot here at Harvard about new ideas in economics and
politics. I got great exposure to the advances being made in the
sciences. But humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries
- but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity. Whether
through democracy, strong public education, quality health care, or
broad economic opportunity - reducing inequity is the highest human
achievement.

I left campus knowing little about the millions of young people
cheated out of educational opportunities here in this country. And I
knew nothing about the millions of people living in unspeakable
poverty and disease in developing countries.

It took me decades to find out.

You graduates came to Harvard at a different time. You know more
about the world's inequities than the classes that came before. In
your years here, I hope you've had a chance to think about how - in
this age of accelerating technology - we can finally take on these
inequities, and we can solve them.

Imagine, just for the sake of discussion, that you had a few hours
a week and a few dollars a month to donate to a cause - and you wanted
to spend that time and money where it would have the greatest impact
in saving and improving lives. Where would you spend it?

For Melinda and for me, the challenge is the same: how can we do
the most good for the greatest number with the resources we have.

During our discussions on this question, Melinda and I read an
article about the millions of children who were dying every year in
poor countries from diseases that we had long ago made harmless in
this country. Measles, malaria, pneumonia, hepatitis B, yellow fever.
One disease I had never even heard of, rotavirus, was killing half a
million kids each year - none of them in the United States.

We were shocked. We had just assumed that if millions of children
were dying and they could be saved, the world would make it a priority
to discover and deliver the medicines to save them. But it did not.
For under a dollar, there were interventions that could save lives
that just weren't being delivered.

If you believe that every life has equal value, it's revolting to
learn that some lives are seen as worth saving and others are not. We
said to ourselves: "This can't be true. But if it is true, it deserves
to be the priority of our giving."

So we began our work in the same way anyone here would begin it.
We asked: "How could the world let these children die?"

The answer is simple, and harsh. The market did not reward saving
the lives of these children, and governments did not subsidize it. So
the children died because their mothers and their fathers had no power
in the market and no voice in the system.

But you and I have both.

We can make market forces work better for the poor if we can
develop a more creative capitalism - if we can stretch the reach of
market forces so that more people can make a profit, or at least make
a living, serving people who are suffering from the worst inequities.
We also can press governments around the world to spend taxpayer
money in ways that better reflect the values of the people who pay the
taxes.

If we can find approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways
that generate profits for business and votes for politicians, we will
have found a sustainable way to reduce inequity in the world. This
task is open-ended. It can never be finished. But a conscious effort
to answer this challenge will change the world.

I am optimistic that we can do this, but I talk to skeptics who
claim there is no hope. They say: "Inequity has been with us since the
beginning, and will be with us till the end - because people just .
don't . care." I completely disagree.

I believe we have more caring than we know what to do with. All of
us here in this Yard, at one time or another, have seen human
tragedies that broke our hearts, and yet we did nothing - not because
we didn't care, but because we didn't know what to do. If we had known
how to help, we would have acted.

The barrier to change is not too little caring; it is too much
complexity. To turn caring into action, we need to see a problem, see
a solution, and see the impact. But complexity blocks all three steps.

Even with the advent of the Internet and 24-hour news, it is still
a complex enterprise to get people to truly see the problems. When an
airplane crashes, officials immediately call a press conference. They
promise to investigate, determine the cause, and prevent similar
crashes in the future.

But if the officials were brutally honest, they would say: "Of all
the people in the world who died today from preventable causes, one
half of one percent of them were on this plane. We're determined to do
everything possible to solve the problem that took the lives of the
one half of one percent."

The bigger problem is not the plane crash, but the millions of
preventable deaths.

We don't read much about these deaths. The media covers what's new
- and millions of people dying is nothing new. So it stays in the
background, where it's easier to ignore. But even when we do see it or
read about it, it's difficult to keep our eyes on the problem. It's
hard to look at suffering if the situation is so complex that we don't
know how to help. And so we look away.

If we can really see a problem, which is the first step, we come
to the second step: cutting through the complexity to find a solution.
Finding solutions is essential if we want to make the most of our
caring. If we have clear and proven answers anytime an organization or
individual asks "How can I help?," then we can get action -
and we can make sure that none of the caring in the world is wasted.
But complexity makes it hard to mark a path of action for everyone who
cares - and that makes it hard for their caring to matter.

Cutting through complexity to find a solution runs through four
predictable stages: determine a goal, find the highest-leverage
approach, discover the ideal technology for that approach, and in the
meantime, make the smartest application of the technology that you
already have - whether it's something sophisticated, like a drug, or
something simpler, like a bednet.

The AIDS epidemic offers an example. The broad goal, of course, is
to end the disease. The highest-leverage approach is prevention. The
ideal technology would be a vaccine that gives lifetime immunity with
a single dose. So governments, drug companies, and foundations fund
vaccine research. But their work is likely to take more than a decade,
so in the meantime, we have to work with what we have in hand - and
the best prevention approach we have now is getting people to avoid
risky behavior.

Pursuing that goal starts the four-step cycle again. This is the
pattern. The crucial thing is to never stop thinking and working - and
never do what we did with malaria and tuberculosis in the 20th century
- which is to surrender to complexity and quit.

The final step - after seeing the problem and finding an approach
- is to measure the impact of your work and share your successes and
failures so that others learn from your efforts.

You have to have the statistics, of course. You have to be able to
show that a program is vaccinating millions more children. You have to
be able to show a decline in the number of children dying from these
diseases. This is essential not just to improve the program, but also
to help draw more investment from business and government.

But if you want to inspire people to participate, you have to show
more than numbers; you have to convey the human impact of the work -
so people can feel what saving a life means to the families affected.

I remember going to Davos some years back and sitting on a global
health panel that was discussing ways to save millions of lives.
Millions! Think of the thrill of saving just one person's life - then
multiply that by millions. Yet this was the most boring panel I've
ever been on - ever. So boring even I couldn't bear it.

What made that experience especially striking was that I had just
come from an event where we were introducing version 13 of some piece
of software, and we had people jumping and shouting with excitement. I
love getting people excited about software - but why can't we generate
even more excitement for saving lives?

You can't get people excited unless you can help them see and feel
the impact. And how you do that - is a complex question. Still, I'm
optimistic. Yes, inequity has been with us forever, but the new tools
we have to cut through complexity have not been with us forever. They
are new - they can help us make the most of our caring - and that's
why the future can be different from the past.

The defining and ongoing innovations of this age - biotechnology,
the computer, the Internet - give us a chance we've never had before
to end extreme poverty and end death from preventable disease.

Sixty years ago, George Marshall came to this commencement and
announced a plan to assist the nations of post-war Europe . He said:
"I think one difficulty is that the problem is one of such enormous
complexity that the very mass of facts presented to the public by
press and radio make it exceedingly difficult for the man in the
street to reach a clear appraisement of the situation. It is virtually
impossible at this distance to grasp at all the real significance of
the situation."

Thirty years after Marshall made his address, as my class
graduated without me, technology was emerging that would make the
world smaller, more open, more visible, less distant.

The emergence of low-cost personal computers gave rise to a
powerful network that has transformed opportunities for learning and
communicating. The magical thing about this network is not just that
it collapses distance and makes everyone your neighbor. It also
dramatically increases the number of brilliant minds we can have
working together on the same problem - and that scales up the rate of
innovation to a staggering degree.

At the same time, for every person in the world who has access to
this technology, five people don't. That means many creative minds are
left out of this discussion -- smart people with practical
intelligence and relevant experience who don't have the technology to
hone their talents or contribute their ideas to the world.

We need as many people as possible to have access to this
technology, because these advances are triggering a revolution in what
human beings can do for one another. They are making it possible not
just for national governments, but for universities, corporations,
smaller organizations, and even individuals to see problems, see
approaches, and measure the impact of their efforts to address the
hunger, poverty, and desperation George Marshall spoke of 60 years ago.

Members of the Harvard Family: Here in the Yard is one of the
great collections of intellectual talent in the world.

What for?

There is no question that the faculty, the alumni, the students,
and the benefactors of Harvard have used their power to improve the
lives of people here and around the world. But can we do more? Can
Harvard dedicate its intellect to improving the lives of people who
will never even hear its name?

Let me make a request of the deans and the professors - the
intellectual leaders here at Harvard: As you hire new faculty, award
tenure, review curriculum, and determine degree requirements, please
ask yourselves, "Should our best minds be dedicated to solving our
biggest problems? Should Harvard encourage its faculty to take on the
world's worst inequities? Should Harvard students learn about the
depth of global poverty - the prevalence of world hunger, the scarcity
of clean water, the girls kept out of school, the children who die
from diseases we can cure?

Should the world's most privileged people learn about the lives of the
world's least privileged?"

These are not rhetorical questions - you will answer with your
policies. My mother, who was filled with pride the day I was admitted
here - never stopped pressing me to do more for others. A few days
before my wedding, she hosted a bridal event, at which she read aloud
a letter about marriage that she had written to Melinda. My mother
was very ill with cancer at the time, but she saw one more opportunity
to deliver her message, and at the close of the letter she said: "From
those to whom much is given, much is expected." When you consider what
those of us here in this Yard have been given - in talent, privilege,
and opportunity - there is almost no limit to what the world has a
right to expect from us.

In line with the promise of this age, I want to exhort each of the
graduates here to take on an issue - a complex problem, a deep
inequity, and become a specialist on it. If you make it the focus of
your career, that would be phenomenal. But you don't have to do that
to make an impact. For a few hours every week, you can use the growing
power of the Internet to get informed, find others with the same
interests, see the barriers, and find ways to cut through them.

Don't let complexity stop you. Be activists. Take on the big
inequities. It will be one of the great experiences of your lives.

You graduates are coming of age in an amazing time. As you leave
Harvard, you have technology that members of my class never had. You
have awareness of global inequity, which we did not have. And with
that awareness, you likely also have an informed conscience that will
torment you if you abandon these people whose lives you could change
with very little effort. You have more than we had; you must start
sooner, and carry on longer.

Knowing what you know, how could you not?

And I hope you will come back here to Harvard 30 years from now
and reflect on what you have done with your talent and your energy. I
hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional
accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have addressed the
world's deepest inequities, on how well you treated people a world
away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity.

Goodluck.

Blogged with Flock

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Tips to increase your site's pagerank

I am a web developer. I design, develop, code web sites.

My wife…she is a blogger.

Nope she is not a pro-blogger. Not even a techie. But for the past 6 months, she is seriously into blogging.

So when she kept on asking me about SEO, pagerank, driving traffic, etc, I just decided to make a post out of it.

Plain and simple, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is all about the techniques involve in having popular search engines display your site’s URL in the most coveted first pages of its search results page when a user search for a particular keyword.

There are a lot of myths and urban legend on how to effectively employ SEO, but for the beginner (read: my wife), I listed some tips or guidelines taken from the best possible source, Google (Note: for a full and detailed guideline visit Google Webmaster Guidelines):

  1. Have other relevant sites link to yours.
  2. Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites
  3. Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
  4. Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site. If the site map is larger than 100 or so links, you may want to break the site map into separate pages.
  5. Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
  6. Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
  7. Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn't recognize text contained in images.
  8. Make sure that your TITLE tags and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.
  9. Check for broken links and correct HTML.
  10. If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a "?" character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few.
  11. Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100).
  12. Make pages for users, not for search engines. Don't deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as "cloaking."
  13. Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, "Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?"
  14. Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
  15. Don't use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc.
  16. Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
  17. Don't use cloaking or sneaky redirects.
  18. Don't send automated queries to Google.
  19. Don't load pages with irrelevant keywords.
  20. Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
  21. Don't create pages that install viruses, trojans, or other badware.
  22. Avoid "doorway" pages created just for search engines, or other "cookie cutter" approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.
  23. If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

How simple is it to install an internet camera?


Recently I have client project which involves the installation of an internet based camera (IP Camera). He wanted me to set up the camera to his shop so that he can remotely monitor it from home or from wherever. Honestly, it took me quite a while to set it up but with a few trial and error and lots of perseverance, I was able to have it up and running (or shooting?).

For this system to work you need the following set up:


  1. Internet Connection (at least 256 kb/s upload speed)
  2. At least one personal computer
  3. broadband router
  4. IP Camera
  5. CAT5 Cables

The IP camera I used was an Edimax IP Camera Model IC-1500. It’s a pretty decent camera. Aside from the fact that you can view the camera remotely via streaming video anywhere through Internet Explorer, it has the following features:
  • It supports Motion JPEG Images Compression
  • Supports Motion Detection and sends the snapshot of events
  • Records Video Clips on a Predetermined Schedule
  • Supports DDNS and UPnP (although I experience some issues with this)

For the router, I got a DLINK 4 port broadband router.

The set up was quite straight forward:
  1. Read the accompanying manual of your camera and router.
  2. Connect the router to your DSL modem
  3. Connect the PC to the router
  4. Install the camera in the most strategic place (Note: the camera I got needs an external power source so you may want to plan ahead regarding where to plug it. Some cameras have “Power over Ethernet” features. This is cool feature since the camera is powered by the same cable connection you used to connect it to your network).
  5. Install the camera software in your computer.
  6. Access the web page of your broadband router (normally, its http://192.168.0.1) via your web browser.
  7. In your router web page, forward the ports of your IP camera (typically its 80 for the web port and 4321 for the video port).
  8. Run the camera software and if there are no other problems then you’re done!

I won’t talk about the actual step by step procedure since this pretty much covered by the products manual (see step 1). Now having accomplished the above task, I can view my camera over the local area network.

I have one SIMPLE problem though: I can’t view it over the internet!
After reading and re-reading the manuals, browsing hundreds of sites over the internet, contacting the product customer support...I finally figured it out.
The solution is with the ISP! My client’s internet connection is under a dynamic IP set up. For the camera to work all I need to do is to have my client’s ISP to issue a static IP address to our internet connection. One phone call and a day after, my client is now contentedly viewing a streaming video of his shop from his home 10kms away.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What is SEO?

If you are trying to look for a particular product or service in the internet, the most common way for you to do that it is to launch your favorite browser, go to either Google or Yahoo and type away the keywords and hit the search button.

In less than a minute you are presented with millions of results, all containing the keywords you looked for. Since there are no possible way to display all those results in a single user friendly way, Google or Yahoo ranks those results in terms of relevancy to your search and display them in accordance to their rankings.

Now, I don't know about you, but normally I just browse up to the second or third pages of the search results only. If you are like me then you spent time only at the most ranked search results and those other sites are lost in oblivion.

So what does this have to do with SEO? Apparently, a lot!

If you are a web site owner, a web developer or even a blogger (...remember my wife?), you would like to have your site displayed in the first three pages of the search results. Why? because having your website land in these precious pages can drive traffic.

And SEO or Search Engine Optimization is all about driving Traffic to a website. Because what's the use of a website if there are no people visiting them--get the point?

SEO includes a diverse set of activities that you can perform to increase the amount of targeted traffic that comes to your website from search engines. This activities may include things that you do to your site itself, such as optimizing its code and text or it may include communicating directly with the search engine, or other web developer to pursue listings and reciprocal links.

SEO is a long and process and requires a lot of patience. This is not simple task that one can achieve in one sitting. As I journey in my learnings with SEO , I will be posting some snippets of SEO techniques that anybody--even non-developers can do, so watch out!

Blogged with Flock

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Should we flock towards a new browser?

I came across a new browser.

Flock.

It's supposed to be a new browser geared towards social networking. Curious to see as to what it has to offer differently from my current fave Firefox, I downloaded (you can download it here) its 10MB file installer and installed it. In fact I am now writing this post using Flock.

My initial impression..looks promising..

The first feature I used is the "Open Blog Editor" in the tool bar...nice.

I'll test drive it more in a couple of days and post my experience from its use. Meanwhile, here's a quote of what Flock's website say about it:

Flock is built on the Mozilla Firefox open-source browser, so it has all the features you've come to expect in a high-quality web browser, like intuitive buttons and menus, personal customizability, reliable security, enhanced privacy protections, and automated updating. However, Flock is much more than that! The Flock Social Web Browser has been fully integrated with a wide range of social networking websites and popular blogging tools. So with Flock, you can now keep in touch and share text, links, pictures, video and more with friends, family and co-workers across the entire internet with unparalleled speed and seamless ease.


Until then...

Blogged with Flock

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Does my business really need a website?

When asked about such question I always answer: of course! Even if your business is not into selling products or services online, having a web site will not hurt. What most people don't realize is that the internet is always available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 4 weeks a month, get the picture?...it never sleeps!

Taking away online shopping services, let me list down a few features why your business will need one:


  1. Provides 24 hours marketing tool. It can act as an online brochure, a catalog, a promotional media for an event or activity. Published it and its always there (Ok..that depends on the reliability of your web host provider). Plan and created properly, your website can reduce cost on your marketing budget. And as they say in business: a penny saved is a penny earned.
  2. Widen the reach of your market. The internet knows no boundaries. Once its published, your web site can be seen and accessed around the world. Now, who wouldn't like that?
  3. Promotes modern image of your company or business. A properly designed site can boost your corporate identity. In addition, placing information regarding your business' achievements, awards, or a link to a press release in your site can enhance your image as an industry leader in your field.
  4. Enhances customer support. Aside from providing contact information, your site can place support information regarding a product or service. This can be an online manual, user guides, etc. It can contain a service bulletin board or forum where other users can interact and provide tips, reviews, etc.
  5. It can gather contacts and build leads. Your site can also collect information about your visitors. You can ask for their email address or let them subscribe to an online newsletter where you can further market information regarding your products or services.

As you can see, having a web presence can surely benefit your business. However, having one doesn't necessarily translate to business success. You still have to work hard on many aspects to get it done. That's the way it is.

So does YOUR BUSINESS NEED a website?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New QED Website!

We are now at the beta stage of the New QED Website! A cleaner look and easier interface while maintaining the XHTML validity. Don't forget to send us a feedback if you have any suggestions.

Blogged with Flock

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Brief History of Time...err, I mean the World Wide Web

I met a former student of mine two weeks ago. During our small chat we talked about what it was like back when I was in college…well, that is almost two decades ago. The most significant thing I remember back then was we actually use the university library to research and do our studies…the internet, at least in the Philippines—is still in its infancy.

I actually first encountered the use of the world wide web back in 1994, when the web browser being used is Mosaic. The web then was mostly text based, few graphics and most of them are low resolutions if any. Connection speed was predominantly done using modem which means turtle slow connections. Multimedia and video streaming was unheard of.

The world wide web was created by sometime in the early 1990s by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau as an academic project to aid their physics research at CERN. Although during that time the internet already existed, the use of formatted text and hyperlinks on Web Pages made it more accessible and user friendly.

The Web was made more accessible to the public when the NSCA Mosaic hit the scene. It was created by Marc Andresssen who later founded Netscape Communications. Netscape then released Netscape Navigator and together with Microsoft Internet Explorer comprised one of the notable competition the software world has ever seen.

As it is the World Wide Web is a collection of web documents connected by what is called as hyperlinks. These documents are written in a special language called HTML (or Hyper Text Markup Language). However, as applications being used to share information in the internet becomes more complex, more and more publishing technologies becomes available: CSS, DHTML, JavaScript, XML, etc. These technologies enables web developers to create rich web documents and pages that enhance the surfing experience of users.

Today there are billions of pages comprising millions of websites available in the World Wide Web, and these numbers are still expected to increase every year--How's that for a science project?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Differentiating the World Wide Web and the Internet

In my field of work you’ll be amazed to know the number of people I have encountered that confused the internet with the World Wide Web. So I would like to post my share in an attempt to at least shed light to that confusion.


Internet

Plain and simple, the internet is the global connection (or network) of computers. It’s just a bunch of powerful computers located in different parts of the world connected by high speed networks. These computers either acts as servers or clients. This powerful computer commonly acts as Servers. While your computer (typically the one you use at home) is commonly called the client computer. Server computers “serve” to certain request of information from client computers. This is how the internet works—by passing around information from different computers.This global connection of computers we now call the INTERNET have many features:


  1. E-mail or electronic mail.The exchange of written (well actually its digital) messages to different users around the world. Compared to snail mail (mail sent via the traditional postal service), e-mails are delivered almost instantly and is more cost effective.

  2. File Sharing (File Transfer Protocol). FTP enables us to share digital or electronic file (these maybe software programs, videos, photos, etc.) to other users across the world via the UPLOAD or DOWNLOAD feature.

  3. Discussion groups. This let users join in specific topical discussion who share common interest.

  4. Published Information. These are published information linked with each other via hyperlinks. This is more commonly known as the World Wide Web (WWW) or simply the Web.
The creation of the World Wide Web has significantly boosted the use of the internet. Actually, it’s the web that makes the use of the internet more exciting! I’ll discuss more about the Web in my next post.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Quod Erat Demonstrandum (Q.E.D.)!


It was supposed to mean "which was to be demonstrated" or its slang equivalent Quite Easily Done.

That's the name we gave to our newly formed, start up web design company...QED IT Solutions

However, it was nowhere close to being EASY...Believe me!

We started out as nine individuals dreaming of establishing our own business now we are down to five! The past months were spent brainstorming on how to go about the business, its mission and vision, strategy, marketing plan, etc. It was really taxing.

I thank God that at this time, were able to get our own office, personal computers without really cashing out on a big investment.

Also, we now have four clients!

The business horizon is looking good...but still not easy. Heck, it was not supposed to be easy...at least not for us...Quite Easily Done Solutions is what our clients WILL HAVE when they deal with us!

Monday, August 20, 2007

My Digital Life Anywhere Without the Laptop

My Flash DiskAbout a year ago I was surfing the world wide web when I came upon this website that offers an amazing piece of software collection that redefined my computing experience-- Portable Applications .
Portable Applications let you carry your favorite application programs and your personal settings in your USB. You can then plug your USB in any computer with Windows platform and run them from there. Best of all most of these programs are free!

Now that I don't have a laptop, being able to carry my files from my home pc from my work computer (I used to be a center manager for a IT Training School) and having all my tools and utilities in my person has been a time saver!
Here is a list of portable apps that I have on my 2GB USB Flash Disk:
  1. 7-zip portable
  2. AutoRunINf Application
  3. Capture
  4. ClamWin Portable
  5. ColorPic
  6. Command Line Portable
  7. Converber
  8. EssentialPIM
  9. Filezilla Portable
  10. FireFox Portable
  11. FoxIt reader
  12. GAIM Portable
  13. GIMP Portable
  14. HoverSnap
  15. IDD
  16. Image<--> Icon Converter
  17. KeePass Portable
  18. LavaSoft Ad Aware
  19. NotePad++ Portable
  20. Notezilla
  21. OpenOffice Suite
  22. Opera Portable
  23. Password Generator
  24. Portable Sword Project (Online Bible)
  25. Scribus
  26. Thunderbird Portable
  27. TrueCrypt
  28. VLC Media Player
  29. WinHTTrack Website Copier
  30. wxdFast
  31. YBDict Dictionary
Try visiting this site to get you started with portable applications. Believe me its worth it!

The Other Side of the Monitor Contact Form


Use this form to contact me

Enter your full name:

Enter your email address:

Enter your web address:

Enter subject for message:

Enter your message:















Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Opening TAG < HTML >....

Here I am. Finally, I have decided to type in that url in my firefox addres bar that will lead me to Blogger.com.

I don't know if one can call me a newbie. I am aware of the existence of this type of website for a long time. I have read (okay, I admit-- just browsed) a lot if not hundreds of blogs before. I am an internet user for more than 10 years now. From Mosaic way back in 1996 to firefox today, I have been routinely using the world wide web. But making my own blog...never took it seriously since my wife got hooked with it fews month back.

So here I am sitting in my computer chair, taking a break from writing some html codes ( i am a self learned web developer and trying to make a living out of it) ...typing away my first post!

So it now begins....