8/29/2007

How to build your own Social Network site in a jiffy!

The TechCrunch put together the great list of DIY (Do It Yourself) capable social network site build platform providers. Obviously, you can build one yourself from scratch, but who really wants to waste their time coding from the beginning when you can simply use some of the great API and clickable building site as provided in this list White Label Social Networking Platforms. Best of all, all these sites does provide base line product for free!

The original article can be found in 9 Ways to Build Your Own Social Network and the summary of the information is quoted below:

Ning (which means “peace” in Chinese, in case you were wondering) currently provides by a wide margin the best platform for setting up fully functional and visually appealing social networks from scratch.

KickApps is targeted more at web developers (and companies with web developers on staff) who want to incorporate social networking features into their existing websites without going through the hassle of coding and maintaining those features on their own.

CrowdVine may not be pretty or intricate but it’s not meant to be. Until recently a one-man show embodied by Tony Stubblebine, CrowdVine provides the simplest, most basic solution for those looking to set up their own social network.

Representatives for GoingOn (still in beta) admit that their site is ugly (and, I should add, quite disorganized), but appearances tend to mask the potential of this company’s platform, which is intended to straddle the divide between those of Ning and KickApps.

CollectiveX is a borderline white label social network platform. Its questionability arises from its orientation around exclusive groups (”groupsite” being its word for “network”) and from its very narrow range of customization options. Additionally, members of a CollectiveX group cannot friend each other, so it lacks a basic feature of virtually every social network (apparently, it is presumed that everyone within a group knows each other).

Me.com, which runs on top of software called SNAPP, is the MySpace of white label social networking platforms (and I mean that derogatorily). The idea, as with Ning, is to set up a network in a minimal number of steps. However, each of Me.com’s themes is an eyesore and, worse, the organization of elements throughout the default network is horrible. If you like this MySpace approach to user interface design, then you’ll be right at home. I, for one, get a headache just looking at the thing.

Broadband Mechanics’ PeopleAggregator is an experiment in building social networks around open standards so that people can easily move between networks, whether or not those networks are run by the same owners or contain the same features.

Haystack, a Cerado product, is a social networking utility that is even more stripped down than CrowdVine. Networks (or “haystacks”) built on this platform are very simple, both visually and functionally. The main features consist only of profiles and group blogging.

ONEsite, a subsidiary of the hosting company Catalog.com, provides a hybrid social networking/website hosting solution. They allow you to mask your social network’s URL so that it meshes with an existing website, but they won’t offer you their free social networking solution unless you buy a domain with them. In the limited time of this study, we weren’t able to set up a network of our own.



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8/25/2007

Understanding Microprocessors

The arstechnica site have very good overview and underlying theories on how microprocessor works. The articles also covers different processor architectures. Here are list of his articles:

Inside the PowerPC 970, Part II (5/2003)
Introduction to 64-bit Computing and x86-64 (3/2003)
Understanding Pipelining and Superscalar Execution (12/2002)
Understanding the Microprocessor (12/2002)
Understanding Bandwidth and Latency (11/2002)
A Brief Look at the PowerPC 970 (10/2002)
The Future of x86 (6/2000)
DNA Computing (4/2000)
Playstation 2's Emotion Engine (3/2000)
HP's Dynamo (3/2000)
Joshua Revealed (2/2000)
Sun's MAJC and IA-64 (8/99)
RISC vs. CISC: The Post-RISC Era (8/99)
Into the K7: introduction to the new architecture (7/99)
The dual Celeron explained (6/99)
Clocking and hacking the BX chipset (6/99)
Behind the benchmarks: SPEC, GFLOPS, MIPS, et al (4/99)
CPU preview for early '99 (1/99)
Understanding CPU caching II (12/98)
Overclocking Myths: of yields and electromigration (12/98)

The KLAT2 Supercomputer (6/2000)
Cooling the BX Chipset (7/99)
The AMD Athlon: Intel's Paranoia Realized (7/99)
SMP smackdown: The God Box vs. the Nerd Box (7/99)
A brief history of clock: Overclocking mechanics (4/99)
SIMD shootout: K6-III vs. Pentium III (4/99)
The PII goes SECC2 (4/99)
Anatomy of a re-marked Pentium II (3/99)
Pentium III: Slot One Battle Royale (2/99)
300A or not 300A? (1/99)
Celeron + Mendocino = Overclocking lust (8/98)
The Pentium Pro: Why it still rocks (11/98)
FAQ: Celeron overclocking (11/98)



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8/20/2007

All that you need to start PHP programming

Now that I have to work on generation of some web pages, I was looking into using PHP to be used for the site that I'm building. If you have done some scripting/programming before, this seems quite easy. As an added bonus, ZEND Developer Zone put together a great tutorials in PHP 101: PHP For the Absolute Beginner as quoted below.

Additionally, there are some tips and tricks listed in the following two articles that you want to take a look at. 10 things you (probably) didn’t know about PHP and 15 Cool Things About PHP That Most People Overlook shows you some mind boggling tips that can help you program PHP. Now go start building your site! =)

PHP 101 (part 1): Down the Rabbit Hole [July 17, 2004]
An introduction to PHP’s variables and operators.

PHP 101 (part 2): Calling All Operators [July 18, 2004]
The rest of the PHP operators (there are many), and simple form processing.

PHP 101 (PART 3): Looping the Loop [July 19, 2004]
Basic control structures explained.

PHP 101 (PART 4): The Food Factor [July 20, 2004]
Arrays, PHP array functions, and what it all means.

PHP 101 (PART 5): Rank and File [July 21, 2004]
Everything you’re ever likely to need to know about dealing with external files from a PHP script.

PHP 101 (PART 6): Functionally Yours [July 28, 2004]
All about functions, arguments, passing by reference, globals and scope.

PHP 101 (PART 7): The Bear Necessities [August 07, 2004]
A gentle introduction to object oriented programming in PHP 4 and PHP 5.

PHP 101 (PART 8): Databases and Other Animals [August 31, 2004]
All about connecting to a MySQL database from PHP, using the mysql or mysqli extensions.

PHP 101 (PART 9): SQLite My Fire! [September 16, 2004]
Introducing another database: SQLite.

PHP 101 (part 10): A Session In The Cookie Jar [October 3, 2004]
Sessions and cookies – how to keep track of visitors to your site.

PHP 101 (part 11): Sinfully Simple [October 3, 2004]
An introduction to PHP’s easiest method for dealing with XML.

PHP 101 (part 12): Bugging Out [January 30, 2005]
Basic error handling.

PHP 101 (part 13): The Trashman Cometh [February 27, 2005]
A primer in basic security.

PHP 101 (part 14): Going to the Polls [March 8, 2005]
Putting the pieces together – a first Web application.

PHP 101 (part 15): No News is Good News [June 4, 2005]
Creating a simple RSS news aggregator.



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8/19/2007

Great online educational programs

I found great article/reference written by Christine Cyr titled Your Virtual Ph.D. which list out online courses that you can take to further your education from simple programming to university programs! Title itself it misleading since those courses do not and will not earn you Ph.D. degree. Some of the offers certification programs, which costs fairly large sum of money, but none of them are targeted toward degree programs. Most of them are free, which is great for your to brush up on or study with.

Quoted reference is as follows:


UNIVERSITY EXTENSION PROGRAMS:



MIT OpenCourseWare

What Is It? Similar in philosophy to open-source software, OpenCourseWare offers anyone free access to course materials for virtually all of MIT's undergraduate and graduate courses. Once upon a time, you needed at least a library card to get a free education. But with this site, you can get rocket-scientist smart without even paying late fees.

Why's It Cool?This is a site for people who enjoy the pure pleasure of learning. You won't get credit for any of the course work—in fact, you won't even have access to teachers—but if you're a self-starter and curious, you can dabble in any of the subjects that MIT offers.

Can't Miss? The sheer volume of subjects available is stunning. The site offers course materials in everything from aeronautics to biological engineering to linguistics.

Harvard Extension School

What Is It? The Harvard Extension School provides access to roughly 100 online courses in art, science, math and technology, all from the comfort of your couch. Upcoming fall courses range from an introduction to Greek literature to a variety of Web-development classes.

Why's It Cool?These courses bring students right into the classroom with video lectures that are posted along with the other course materials. Bonus: Distance learners are always welcome to drop in on the real lecture if they happen to be passing through campus.

Can't Miss? For a sneak peek of what these courses are like, a few sample lectures are available online.

Stanford Center for Professional Development

What Is It? The school offers more than 250 courses in subjects ranging from bioengineering to nanotechnology. Coursework is delivered through a variety of mediums, including the Internet, television broadcast, videotapes and two-way video. Scientists and engineers flock to this program to enhance their professional skills.

Why's It Cool? The classes fit a wide variety of educational needs. Students can enroll in short courses and seminars aimed at improving skills in specific areas, or they can sign up for the long haul with certificate programs and even graduate-degree programs.

Can't Miss? Instructors include some of the crème de la crème of Stanford's school of engineering.


SINGLE-SUBJECT COURSES:


O'Reilly School of Technology

What Is It? Whether you're a coding novice or an open-source enthusiast, the O'Reilly School of Technology has a class in Web development to suit your needs, including HTML, Linux/Unix, Java and XML, to name just a few. The school also offers certificate programs in a variety of subjects like Linux/Unix system administration and .NET programming. Students gain
credits through the University of Illinois Office of Continuing Education.

Why's It Cool? Course materials dispense with convoluted tech-speak and instead go for a casual, fun tone that makes the information easier to retain.

Can't Miss? Anyone who uses the Internet regularly could benefit from learning HTML. The "Introduction to HTML and CSS" course fits that bill perfectly and provides a great base for moving on to more complicated classes.

The NetMath Program through the University of Illinois

What Is It? This granddaddy of online math programs has been helping home-schoolers, university kids and professionals put two and two together since 1991. The school's offerings include algebra and trigonometry, analytic geometry, and calculus for business. Students receive credits from the University of Illinois, an accredited Big Ten university.

Why's It Cool?With a holistic learning approach that engages the whole brain (including the part that likes to have fun), NetMath takes the "I want to jump out the window" out of math class. Each course incorporates interactive software that gives students a more exciting and memorable way to learn than old-school, one-dimensional textbooks.

Can't Miss? The program uses Mathematica software to help students visualize abstract algebraic concepts.

Auto Mechanic program at Ashworth University

What Is It? You can become your own grease monkey with this professional-level auto repair course. The program offers a series of 20 lessons that teach everything from engine assembly to fixing a car's heating and air conditioning systems.

Why's It Cool? The lessons are just as well suited to the auto enthusiast who wants to tinker in his own garage as it is to pre-professional mechanics.

Can't Miss? The tools—this course comes with lots of 'em. Included in the cost of the class is a wrench set, socket wrench set, screwdrivers and tire gauge.

PC Repair at Penn Foster Career School

What Is It? Penn Foster offers a sequence of classes designed for people who want to become PC-repair technicians. The courses will teach you how to repair PCs, printers and PDAs, as well as cover PC operating systems and data recovery. Sick of calling in the professionals every time your PC crashes? Complete this program, and you'll be able to do it yourself.

Why's It Cool?You don't need to be a computer whiz to take these classes. The first lessons teach the basics of computer language and the fundamental elements of hardware and software—all at a pace you can set yourself.

Can't Miss? If you're actually looking to switch careers and become a full-fledged PC repair technician, the Penn Foster Career School will help you find a job.


PODCASTS:


NASA Podcasts

What Is It? NASA's experts bring you this fun, free series of audio shows on flight, space and a range of other subjects pertaining to the solar system and the universe.

Why's It Cool? Think you're signing up for a sleep-inducing audio lecture? Not so: These shows are pure edutainment. Load them onto your iPod, and learn a little something during your next long commute.

Can't Miss? Check out the program on the power of acoustics and resonance, in which country musician Clint Black explains how his guitar is like a rocket.

Astronomy Cast


What Is It? This weekly podcast reaches for the stars, covering everything about astronomy, from cosmology to Castor and Pollux.

Why's It Cool? The hosts of each episode, Fraser Cain (from Universe Today) and Pamela L. Gay (from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville), are entertaining and well-informed.

Can't Miss? Be sure to download episode 31, "String Theory, Time Travel, White Holes, Warp Speed, Multiple Dimensions, and Before the Big Bang," in which Gay disproves most of the theories behind science fiction.

Quirks and Quarks

What Is It? The Canadian Broadcasting System presents its popular Quirks and Quarks science radio show in the form of a podcast. Recent episodes have included segments on crayfish sex, the future of human evolution, and water on Mars.

Why's It Cool?
The Canucks know their science, and they're great at picking out topics that make for good cocktail-party conversation—you know, the quirky ones.

Can't Miss? One episode suggests that we might reduce global warming with an Earth "sunscreen."

Naked Scientists

What Is It? The BBC presents this weekly podcast, hosted by researchers at the University of Cambridge.

Why's It Cool? The hosts are funny and the subject matter is always engaging. The whole family will enjoy hearing about topics like venoms and toxins, out-of-body experiences, and Armageddon-like natural disasters.

Can't Miss? The episode on extreme survival is about how different life-forms—fish in Antarctica, divers in the ocean, and fighter pilots high in the sky—endure dangerous environments.


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8/16/2007

What you need to do when you resign

If you are thinking of resigning your current position, wikiHow has great guide on How to Resign Gracefully. With this, you can prepare what and how to do it in such a way that you do not end up burning all your career bridges.


Steps and Tips from wikiHow is quoted here:

Steps


  1. Keep it to yourself. Once you've made the decision, don't go blabbing it all over the company until you have notified your immediate supervisor. Give her or him time to absorb and process the information. If the company makes an attractive counter-offer, it will be awkward if you have already announced your plans to coworkers.
  2. Plan to give notice. If you want to leave under the best
    possible terms, don't leave your employer high and dry, scrambling to cover your position. Give at least two weeks notice, so that your boss can prepare to have others cover for you, or have time to groom a replacement.


  3. A moment of your time?
    A moment of your time?



    Ask your boss for an appointment to discuss an important matter. Poking your head in and asking for a moment of his or her time will do - just be respectful of the fact that your supervisor has a job to do, and may not be able to drop everything at the precise moment you are prepared to spring this news on him or her. If there is too much going on, you will only add to your his or her hassles, so if it's at all possible, wait for a time when your boss will have a few moments to focus on your news.
  4. Be repared, direct, and polite. Rehearsing privately will help you be ready when your supervisor has you in to talk. Most managers are extremely busy and they will appreciate your direct approach, forgoing the temptation to "cushion the blow," "find the right way to say this," or otherwise beat around the bush. You might say something like:



    • "I've been considering my options here for some time, and I've decided it's time for me to move on. I am grateful for the opportunities I've found here, but I must give my two weeks' notice."
    • OR... "I need to let you know that I have been offered a new position at another company. I have really enjoyed working here, but I need to give you my two weeks' notice as of today. Does it work for you if my last day is [whatever two weeks from then is]?"

  5. Be prepared to discuss. Chances are you've been working with this boss for some time, and whatever your reasons are for leaving, she or he may have some questions. Or your boss may value you much more than you realized, and make a counteroffer. Being polite and dignified about your resignation could make this possible. You will need to consider in advance whether you would stay for a pay raise, increased benefits, a promotion, or other incentives. This would be a prime negotiating opportunity, so be prepared for it, and know your own bottom line. If staying is an option, what would make you open to it? Check the warnings below, though, because
    counter-offers have some serious downsides.
  6. Emphasize the positive. Be honest, but polite. If the boss asks you if he or she had anything to do with your decision, and was a factor, it's best to rely on tact and diplomacy to make an honest answer palatable. In other words, you won't help yourself by saying, "Yes, you're a lousy supervisor and I would have been way better," (even if it's true). You can be truthful without being cruel: "It was a factor, but not the entire reason. I felt our working styles and approaches just weren't a great fit, and that we never meshed as well as I wished we had. Still, the overall experience here has been positive; it's just that with this new opportunity, I feel excited to have new challenges."
  7. Have a copy of your letter of resignation in hand. Make your letter brief, non-confrontational and professional. An example: "Dear Mr. Spacely: It has been my honor to work for Spacely Sprockets, Inc. This letter is to notify you that I will be leaving to accept a new position with another company as of [a date which is AT LEAST two weeks from the date of your conversation and letter]. Please accept my thanks for our association, and best regards to you and the entire company for the future. Sincerely, George Jetson."
  8. Shake hands,smile, and thank your boss. Whether your departure is to relocate, to take a better job, or just to get away from this guy, show some class when you're walking out the door. Shake hands, thank your soon-to-be-former supervisor (yay!) for "everything," and leave. Go to your work station and stay there for at least 10 minutes. Now you can go blab it to everybody, but don't rub it in your boss's nose - be classy and simply confirm that you will be leaving.

Tips


  • Remember that there are very few who are so free as those who have nothing to lose - but it won't serve you well in the future if
    you go shooting your mouth off just because you're on your way out. It won't kill you to make nice for two weeks, because you're getting out of there, and that entire experience will be behind you.
  • The jerk you leave behind today may well end up being your boss again in the future. And remember, too, that sometimes those jerks are oblivious to the fact that they're not well liked. If you are remembered as someone who was positive and generous in the past, you may well be greasing the wheels to a great future as this boss puts you (the friendly face he remembers from before) ahead of the strangers in the new position. This may facilitate transfers to other branch offices,
    better assignments, and more.
  • It may be wise to refuse any offers to stay with your current employer. Accepting a pay raise or other bonus after threatening to leave can cast you in a negative light with co-workers and the company as a whole. It can also make you seem indecisive and of questionable loyalty. Always keep a record of the offer in case you come back to the company in the future.
  • After informing your supervisor, be sure to personally tell other managers or key employees with whom you have worked that you have resigned. Say it in a way that "thanks" the person for helping you develop your career. "I don't know if you've heard, but I am resigning to take a position at another company. Before I leave I wanted to be sure to let you know how much I've enjoyed working with you." These people may leave for other jobs in the future and you want them to have positive memories of you. Who knows when they can impact your next career move.




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8/08/2007

All that you need for web developer!

The {softwaredeveloper}.com have put together great developer reference lists in I Got 99 Problems, but Developing Ain't One: 100 Essential Resources for Web Developers. About half of them are reference to good forums and blogs where you can get update on latest news and tools. However, among them, I love it's coding resource round up quoted below:

Incredible Coding Resources

Sometimes, you just need
an "easy" button. Check out these cheat sheets, samples and other
helpful coding tools for a shortcut to excellence.

  1. [AJAX] Prototype Dissected: Use Jonathan Snook's nifty cheat sheet for Prototype as a quick reference tool.
  2. [AJAX] A Field Guide to Scriptaculous Combination Effects: By Amy Hoy, this informative PDF discusses default options, toggling and more.
  3. [AJAX] Max Kiesler: Round-up of 30 AJAX Tutorials: This list covers client-server communication, tabbed pages and tons of other resources for Ajaxians.
  4. [AJAX] Max Kiesler: 60 More Helpful AJAX Tutorials: Want more? Max Kiesler shares even more awesome resources.
  5. [AJAX] AJAX Programming Online:
    Sang Shin of Sun Microsystems offers a free 18-week course on AJAX.
    Even if you don't sign up for the course, this site can provide a
    wealth of information.
  6. [AJAX] Mastering AJAX: Check this out for Brett McLaughlin of O'Reilly Media's three-part series on mastering AJAX.
  7. [ASP] HTML to ASP Converter: This software converts HTML code to ASP with unique customization options.
  8. [ASP] ASP/VBScript Cheat Sheet:
    Dave Child has compiled a reference sheet with the help of developer
    Allan Wenham. You'll find reminders for regular expressions, file
    modes, methods and properties, among others.
  9. [ASP] Best ASP.NET Practices for Shielding Your Site From Hackers: This Microsoft Webcast gives tips on hacker techniques and ways to neutralize them with ASP.NET code.
  10. [ASP] Common Applications of Regular Expressions: This time-saving tutorial explains ways to efficiently match patterns of strings.
  11. [ASP] ASPFAQs: This ASP FAQ list is categorized and updated. Check out the Ten Most Viewed FAQs for a quick rundown.
  12. [ASP] ASP from A to Z: Use this resource as a primer on ASP. It includes a handy glossary.
  13. [CSS] CSS Cheat Sheet: Another cheat sheet from Dave Child featuring CSS references for properties, syntax and more.
  14. [CSS] CSS Property Index:
    This list offers an alphabetical index of properties as well as the
    various statistics and details that go along with each of them.
  15. [CSS] CSS Shorthand Guide: Check this out for Dustin Diaz's tutorial on CSS shorthand.
  16. [CSS] CSS and Design Gallery: Although written in German, Dr. Web's gallery offers links to a massive number of CSS designs you should check out.
  17. [CSS] A Roadmap to Standards: Mezzoblue discusses web standards with special concern for CSS development and design.
  18. [CSS] CSS Panic Guide: This "guide for the unglued" provides links to many helpful CSS resources.
  19. [CSS] Layout Gala: This resource has 40 CSS layouts that you can download.
  20. [Htaccess] htaccess Cheatsheet: Check out this simple .htaccess file cheat sheet for good, clean fun.
  21. [HTML] A Simple Guide to HTML: This cheat sheet lays out tags for text formatting, tables, frames and more.
  22. [HTML] Composing Good HTML: Although slightly out of date, this guide outlines the essentials of good HTML composition for advanced users.
  23. [HTML] HTML & XHTML Tag Quick Reference: This reference sheet covers the most important tags and rules for HTML and XHTML.
  24. [HTML] HTML Color Code Combination Chooser: Use Site Pro Central's Colour Scheme Chooser to see your color before committing to a hex code.
  25. [HTML] XHTML Cheat Sheet: This updated cheat sheet points out elements, characters and more.
  26. [HTML] Quick Escape: Use the Quick Escape tool to convert raw HTML to escaped HTML.
  27. [HTML] HTML & XHTML Entities: This set of tables contains categorized tables of allowed entities in HTML and XHTML.
  28. [JavaScript] JavaScript Cheat Sheet: The JavaScript Cheat Sheet covers methods, functions and regular expressions.
  29. [JavaScript] JavaScript General Introduction: Check out this beginner's guide to JavaScript for a primer on the language.
  30. [JavaScript] Regular Expressions: VisiBone has compiled this quick reference sheet for client-side JavaScript.
  31. [JavaScript] HTML to JavaScript Convertor: This converter takes HTML and turns it into a series of document.write() statements that can be used in JavaScript.
  32. [JavaScript] Venkman JavaScript Debugger: Use Venkman's tool to debug JavaScript in Mozilla based browsers.
  33. [JavaScript] Introduction to Events: Check out this tutorial for an overview of events, event handling and the problems associated with it.
  34. [JavaScript] JS/DOM Object Quick Reference: This appendix from JavaScript Bible is useful for quick reference on JavaScript and Browser Objects.
  35. [Perl] Perl Regular Expression Quick Reference: Use this PDF for quick reference to characters, quantifiers, modifiers and more.
  36. [PHP] PHP Cheat Sheet: Print out this cheat sheet for quick reference to functions, SuperGlobals and other helpful components.
  37. [PHP] Smarty Cheat Sheet for Template Designers: Use this Smarty cheat sheet for functions, variables and loads of other references.
  38. [PHP] PHP Code Exchange: You can search for categorized PHP code at this exchange site.
  39. [PHP] PHP Code Examples: Check out hundreds of PHP code examples in the PHP Freaks code library.
  40. [PHP] PHPFAQ: Use this question-and-answer reference for loads of popular PHP tips and tricks.
  41. [PHP] Admin Generator Cheat Sheet: Consider the Admin Generator Cheat Sheet your "easy button" for Symfony Admin Generator code.
  42. [PHP] Regular Expressions Cheat Sheet:
    Reference regular expressions quickly with this cheat sheet. Sections
    include POSIX, character classes and quantifiers.
  43. [Python] Python 101 Cheat Sheet: Use this cheat sheet to get familiarized with the language of Python.
  44. [Ruby on Rails] 19 Rails Tricks Most Rails Coders Don't Know:
    Use this collection of tips to make more efficient use of your code.
    Also, send your friends into a state of shock and awe.
  45. [Ruby on Rails] Ruby QuickRef: Print this out for quick reference to Ruby details, from general syntax to object design.
  46. [Ruby on Rails] What Goes Where: Amy Hoy has written a simple cheat sheet that helps you remember where to put everything.
  47. [Ruby on Rails] InVisible Ruby on Rails Reference: This blog will give you a quick guide to the most used functions, methods and classes in Ruby on Rails.
  48. [Ruby on Rails] Resistance to Persistence: This cheat sheet is a compilation of information from various books, tutorials and Web sites about Ruby on Rails.
  49. [Ruby on Rails] Ruby on Rails Caching Tutorial: Keep this little gem in your arsenal in case you wind up on the front page of Digg.
  50. [Ruby on Rails] Faster Pagination in Rails: This resource helps you understand pagination and what you should be doing about it.



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8/07/2007

Search engine... What is it really about?

After I ran into article The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine by Google founders Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page, my interest in internet search engine have triggered. I knew the code optimization was very important because you are dealing with real-time data presented to millions of people at the same time on search queries from billions of pages.

Not that I wanted to start building my own search engine, while I was digging through what would be needed to build such system, I ran into widely read article in the search engine community Why Writing Your Own Search Engine is Hard by Anna Patterson. She did great job of gathering what really it would be like to actually generating codes for your search engine! Here are abstract from her article:

Big or small, proprietary or open source, Web or intranet, it's a tough job.

There must be 4,000 programmers typing away in their basements trying to build the next "world's most scalable" search engine. It has been done only a few times. It has never been done by a big group; always one to four people did the core work, and the big team came on to build the elaborations and the production infrastructure. Why is it so hard? We are going to delve a bit into the various issues to consider when writing a search engine. This article is aimed at those individuals or small groups that are considering this endeavor for their Web site or intranet. It is fun, but a word of caution: not only is it difficult, but you need two commodities in short supply—time and patience.


Additionally Anna even points out that there are open source search engine project by Mike Cafarella and Doug Cutting in article, "Nutch: Open Source Web Search." You can find out more detail on this open source project from Nutch home page.

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8/04/2007

Export all your email to GMAIL!

If you are like me, you would want email client that you are using to have all the functionalities that comes with Gmail. Accessibility from anywhere in the world with internet connection without your own computer. The great search function which provides advance search options as well as search efficiency. There really isn't anything you can hate about Gmail.

Now with some work, you can export all your mails to gmail and enjoy the similar functionalities. There are few tools out there already but Google GMail Loader (GML) is one that is most popular and that works fairly well. There is even Wiki page dedicated to describe how you can port your emails to Gmail using GML from various email client formats. You can take a closer look from How to Import Archived Outlook Email Into GMail Using GML.

GML can port almost all format except for one of the popular MS Outlook format. However, you can port it be first porting them to generic .m format with Thunderbird import function. Or you can use ReadPST in the mean while to get going.


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8/01/2007

Domain Name selection tips

Anita Campbell has put together the great list of 10 Tips for Choosing a Domain Name. If you are looking into either build your own dot-com or make a site for your side interest, now is the chance for you to start thinking about generating and keeping one of the domain before they are all gone!
1. Make it a dot-com -- Henry Ford is rumored to have said about his Model T Ford that you could have it in
any color “so long as it’s black.” That same attitude pretty much sums up one naming philosophy: choose any domain name, so long as it’s a “.com” extension. In the United States, most people typing in a domain
name will type “.com” by default. With over 70 million registered URLs, the “.com” extension is by far the most popular, with “.net”, “.org”, and ”.info” lagging far behind in popularity, according to the ICANN Wiki.

2. Short and easy to spell -- Shorter is better. A short URL is easier to remember and less likely to be
misspelled than a long one. For obvious reasons, avoid any domain name that by its nature is hard to spell or confusing.

3. Company names and brand names -- Whenever possible, register your company name as your main URL. It’s what people usually try first when looking for your business website. You might also consider registering your product/service names as additional URLs. The reason? Some companies now create mini-sites specifically for products and services -- think Jif.com or Tide.com. Or they point the product URL to a section of their main website that features that product.

4. Keywords and household words -- Some companies register industry-specific terms, common words or short phrases that your customers or prospective customers may commonly type into a browser. According to Monte Cahn, CEO of Moniker.com, “Seventy percent of people type directly in the browser address field,
while the other 30 percent go through a search engine.” This has increased the value of domains that are household words, easy-to-remember phrases, or keywords. Domain names such as Autos.com
and Seniors.com sold for more than $1 million each, he says.

5. Personal names -- Register your own first and last name as your URL if you are a consultant, writer, or
other professional whose reputation in your field is critical to drawing customers. Think TomPeters.com. You have several options here. For instance, you can use your personal name as your business domain. Or, you can point your personal-name URL to a separate company website. Either way, people looking for you are more likely to also find your business website.

6. Be defensive with misspellings -- Buy up common misspellings of your domain name. That way, you don’t leave traffic on the table -- and competitors won’t be able to buy the misspelled domains and siphon off traffic intended for your site. According to Cahn, try this method to find misspellings: Get a number
of people in your office to type in your domain name 100 times each in a browser. If you don’t have employees, get your family and friends involved. Keep track of every mistyped URL. Those are the URLs you
want to buy and point to your site.

7. Protect your brand with other extensions -- While the “.com” extension is the most popular, as a defensive measure consider also snapping up other extensions of your domain name. Secure the .net, .info, .biz and similar extensions. If you do business internationally, think about securing country extensions, also (such as .co.uk).

8. Don’t forget mobile -- With mobile devices becoming more popular, big brands are starting to register and develop their .mobi sites specifically for mobile users. So do what the big boys do and register that .mobi. You may have no plans to build out a .mobi site today. But as mobile usage grows you may be
glad you have that domain in two or three years.

9. Avoid long hyphenated URLs -- Ochool of thought in vogue a few years ago was to register domain names with strings of keywords separated by hyphens. The reason? It was thought that you could get higher rankings in the search engines if these keywords were in your URL. This approach led to some ridiculously long URLs prone to misspellings and confusion. This approach has fallen out of favor in most camps, as it is not clear that search engines give any preference to hyphenated keyword URLs.

10. Register domains for as long as possible -- A final word of advice: secure your main domain names for a minimum of several years so they don’t expire out from under you. Ten years is best. What’s $89 (the current cost of a 10-year registration through GoDaddy.com) when your company’s entire Web presence is at stake?


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