Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benq FP202W V3, Model Q2WS LCD monitor: Don't buy it.

If you are environmentally conscious, or hates waste, don't ever buy the Benq LCD monitor in the photo on the left. That was the LCD monitor I bought, and regretted. Why? Whenever you switch off power to the monitor, either via the built-in switch on the monitor or externally when you shut down the monitor or via the switch on a power strip (Wikipedia says this is also referred to as a plug board, power board, power bar, distribution board, gangplug, plugbar, multibox, or relocatable power tap. In my country, it is often referred to as an extension cable), the next time you want to switch the monitor on again, you MUST also switch it on via the built-in switch on the Benq LCD monitor irrespective of whether you have left it on or off. This is the very first time I came across such a lousy feature, and I have been through a lot of monitors.

Why you should not buy the Benq FP202W V3, Model Q2WS LCD monitor

I am talking from experience, a very bad one. The built-in switch on my old CRT monitor (a long time ago) malfunctioned. I sent it to the service center. They replaced the switch and charged me a fortune. After that, I vowed never to touch the built-in switch on a computer monitor again. I connect it to the power strip and and if ever I need to switch the monitor off to conserve electricity when I need to rest or to leave the house, I switch it off via the switch on the power strip. Now with the Benq FP202W V3, Model Q2WS LCD monitor, I have no choice. Whenever, I power off the monitor, I MUST press the built-in switch on the monitor again irrespective of whatever I do.

I published a similar post at Benq LCD Monitor FP202W V3, Model Q2WS: Don't waste your money and a visitor left a comment: "My 15" Benq has a similar issue, its blinking on and off. My take its faulty switch. After so many on and offs its blown. After reading your comment I am not going to bother trying to get it fixed. Just buy another one."

Well, looks like it is not only this Benq LCD monitor has that lousy feature. The commentator's monitor is 15". Mine is 22". I checked with Benq support, and they said that feature is to protect the monitor from power surge damage. To me, that sounds like pure bullshit. Power surge is dependent on the electricity supplier. If you have information I am wrong, please leave a comment and let me know why I am wrong.

So next time to have to purchase a computer monitor, make sure you check how the built-in switch works, especially if it is a Benq brand. I did when I canceled my yet-to-be-delivered Benq LCD monitor (same model) and got another one.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Above the fold, the most valuable space in Internet

Above the Fold

What exactly is meant by "above the fold". Easy to explain. The first time you land on this website (blog), what do you see? To make it clear, I will take a screenshot (before this post is published and click to enlarge):

The part a visitor first see without having to scroll down using the vertical scroll bar is called the "Above the fold". The term came from the newspaper. The newspapers you see in newspaper vendors are all folded, and you will first see the headlines. These are what the newspaper editors want you to see first, what they consider to be the most important news of the day.

I will equate it to the ground floor of shop houses and shopping mall. People are by nature lazy. If they can find something on the ground floor, they would prefer to buy them on the ground floor. They would rather not climb stairs to go to the first or higher floors. This is prime real estate, the most valuable estate that you can have.

Similar with section "above the fold" of your website. You try to put what you thing are the most important things in this section, those things that you want your visitors to see when they first land on your site. If they don't see something that attracts them immediately, it is likely they will surf away to another site.

Depending on what you consider important, you may put navigation aids like labels (categories) or menu bar which help your visitor quickly find the topics they want to read by clicking on the appropriate label or menu. If you want your advertisements to be displayed prominently, you will put them here, but you may sacrifice a bit of convenience for your visitors as to see the rest, they may have to scroll vertically down to see the rest. Only you can decide what is most important to you.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Change font size of browsers

I received a comment in my main blog Blogger Tips and Tricks where the reader complained he found the spacing of the words to be too small and he have difficulties reading the post. However, visitors are of all ages, some young, some old. I am 58 and for very small fonts, I can't read them as I used to be when I am younger. However, I cannot change the default font size or spacing for just one reader as if I do, others will have other complaints to make. The best option is to change the font size of the browser in your own computer.


For the FireFox browser, my favorite and also the browser favored by Blogger. If you don't already have FireFox, I strongly recommend that you download and install it. See What is FireFox and why you should have it. You can download and install directly from any of my blogs via the "Browse the web better. Get FireFox with Google toolbar" at the top of any of my blogs, including this one, or via the FireFox button in FireFox with Google toolbar browser.

To change the font size, click TOOLS > OPTIONS in the menu bar at the top of the browser. Click "Options" and you will get a "pop-up":

Firefox browser menu bar Tools Option

In the "pop-up" click the CONTENT tab and in the FONTS AND COLORS, click the down arrow to display all the font size available. select the font size you are comfortable with, then click OK.

FireFox browser change font size

Flock Browser

I have 5 browsers in my computer. Having many browsers is a big advantage for every web surfers, but especially important for webmasters. Bloggers can also be considered as webmasters as they control the appearance and the working of their blogs. See Why you should have more than one browser. There are more reasons why I believe having many browsers are important, and will add them to the post when I remember them and/or when I have the time. I can't remember if checking to see how your blog looks in various browsers have been added as one of the reasons but I will check later.

Although Flock is a relatively new browsers, I have been using them without problems, especially when working with Blogger. If you want Flock, just type or copy-paste "flock download" into the search box above, tick the box beside WEB and search.

The only thing I miss is having the very useful Google toolbar. According to Hack: Google Toolbar in Flock, it is possible to install Google toolbar for Flock, but the instruction looked too dicey for me to want to try.

The proceedure to change font size for the Flock browser is about the same as for FireFox. Click TOOLS > OPTIONS in the menu bar at the top of the browser. Click on "Options" and you will get a "pop-up"

Flock browser change font size

Again, click the CONTENT tab (highlighted with a red ellipse) and in the "Fonts & Colors" section, click the down arrow for "size" and chose the font size you are comfortable with. Then click OK.

Internet Explorer 7

I currently have problems changing the font size for Internet Explorer. I will update this section when I have the time. In any case, I very much prefer FireFox browser and would highly recommend you get it if you don't have it already. I am a retired Associate Professor with a reputation to maintain, and I will not recommend something I don't use and like myself.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What to do with scam or phishing messages

You may get emails supposedly from reputable organizations like banks, eBay, Paypal, email providers like Yahoo and gmail, etc. The email may look genuine and ask you to provide personal details like names, password or something bad may happen to you (your account may be cancelled for example). The "From" field of an email can easily be altered - it is not a reliable indicator of the true origin of the email. It may read From, From: eBay, Accounts Department Citibank, etc. It may contain clever messages like a message supposedly from Paypal that says an email address had been added to your account. And if you really happened to have a Paypal account with that email address from which you received the scam or phishing message, you will be quickly alarmed and frantically respond to that message by replying or clicking on a link that seems to send you to Paypal site. I was taken in once by such a phishing message.

As mentioned above, many fraud emails have links for you to click to update or submit information. These links can be forged too. If you are cautious or something alert to to the possibility of fraud, you can check the authenticity by hovering your mouse over the link. You will see the site you will be sent to at the left side of the taskbar at the bottom of the page in Firefox and by right also in Internet Explorer 7. If the URL is not something like,,, etc, but some suspicious looking URL, be very careful.

However, I just checked Internet Explorer 7 and in one site of the Herald Tribune, I think (I do multi-tasking and have left this for some time and the page where I saw it had been closed) hovering a link to "Microsoft" did not show the destination site, but when clicked, turned out to be a Herald Tribune analysis report of a listed share counter.

If you have been taken in by one of these scam or phishing messages and was taken to a page to reveal your personal details like name, password, etc., you have one more chance not to be taken in. Such sites which ask for personal details normally would be a secure site. You can spot secure site in FireFox because the address bar change to yellow from white on such site. In addition to that, there will be a padlock Firefox padlock icon for secure sites on the extreme right of the address bar.

In Internet Explorer 7, they have followed the example of Firefox and the address bar is supposed to change to blue in secure site plus a padlock Internet Explorer 7 padlock icon for secure site icon, also on the extreme right of the address bar.

I have 4 browsers in my computer, including Internet Explorer 7 (my favorite is FireFox) and there are many advantgages of having many browsers in your computer, especially if you are a webmaster or a blogger (a blogger is in fact some kind of webmaster because he has to administer his blog). I just checked the log-in page of my online bank which is a secure site with Internet Explorer 7, but the address bar remained white and didn't change to blue. The only sign that it was a secure site is that padlock Internet Explorer 7 padlock icon for secure site icon on the extreme right of the address bar. I think you probably have to make some setting to get that blue address bar, but I have not found a way to do it. If you don't see such signs that the site you were taken to to give your private details, do not be taken in and give such crucial information. In any cases, reputable organizations like banks, Paypal, eBay, Yahoo, etc., will never ask for your password.

If you have received such scam or phishing messages, you should report them abuse@domain (read below). Look for the from email address first (you probably have to click "Show details at the top of the message). If for example it say, then report it at If say it came from then report it to etc. The name abc and xyz in the above examples and the domains are just examples to show the type and form the sender used or selected. You should also forward the whole email into the abuse@domain for them to have a complete picture of the scam or phishing attempts. Chances are they will be banned from using the domain.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Special characters for your Words, Excel, Powerpoint documents, blogs, etc.

You may come across the situation where you need to insert special characters into your word documents, Powerpoint presentation, Excel spreadsheet, blog posts, etc. One way is to use special codes to display the special characters as shown by Displaying special characters.

Another easy way is to use the Character Map. To get the Character Map, hold down the Windows Windows icon key, and press the R key. This will bring up the Run dialogue box as shown in the screenshot below.

Windows Run dialog box

Type charmap into the dialog box and there will be a large choice of special characters to chose from:

Windows special Character Map

You can also do this by clicking on the START button in the taskbar and selecting RUN.

Clicking START button followed by RUN to open Run dialogue box

In the Character Map, click on a character and you will see a "pop-up" as shown in the above screenshot. Click SELECT and that character will be enter into the "Character to copy" field. Click COPY to copy into the clipboard, then you can paste it into whatever application you want. For example, the above character was selected and copied, and will be pasted here:


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Advanced Uses For Myspace

Advanced Uses For Myspace
by: David Riewe

MySpace members can generate a website quickly through templates. These templates enable users to create a generic website in very little time. For those who are just interested in making new friends or keeping in touch with old friends, this may be all the member needs. However, those who want to offer more on their website or those who simply want to create a more detailed website may require some more advanced knowledge to achieve the desired effects.

Adding Background Music in MySpace

The majority of websites on the Internet do not have background music. This may lead many novice MySpace members to believe adding music to the background is a difficult process but it really isn’t. In fact MySpace makes it incredibly simple for members to add music to their profiles. The steps to add music to a MySpace profile are as follows:

* Log into your MySpace account
* While logged in visit this web address:
* Listen to the music available and select a suitable song for your profile
* Click on the link that says “Add” below the song title
* The music is then automatically added to your profile

It is important to note that users can only add one song at a time to their profile. Clicking the “Add” link on a second song will result in the original song being replaced on the profile by the new song. Songs can be removed from a profile at any time by going to the “Edit profile” section of your account and entering the “Profile songs” subcategory. Here you have the option to remove your chosen song.

Adding Videos to MySpace

Adding videos to MySpace is also not as difficult as it seems. Even those with no HTML skills can add videos produced by other members or even their own videos to their MySpace profile. The steps to add a video to your MySpace profile are as follows:

* Log into your MySpace Account
* From your MySpace homepage, click on the “Add/Change Videos” link
* You are then taken to another webpage where you can either search through a database of previously uploaded videos or upload your own video
* To search the database, click on the search videos button and browse through the available videos
* After watching a video you can add the video to your profile in a couple of ways. First you can click on the “Add to my profile” button or you can copy the source code provided and paste this code into the desired location on your profile.

Alternately you can add your own videos to your MySpace profile by first uploading them to MySpace and then adding them to your profile. When uploading a video care should be taken to ensure the video does not violate the terms of service.

Creating Interactive Features on MySpace

Creating interactive features on MySpace is a bit more involved. Members can create features which allow visitor interaction but these features require more extensive HTML knowledge. The best way to acquire the information necessary to design these types of features is to research the subject of HTML code in books or on the Internet. However, if you find a feature on another MySpace website you would like to include in your own profile you can contact the member and ask them how to add this feature.

About The Author
David Riewe is the webmaster of Dave's Inforama and MySpace.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

SEO Tips: Link Building

SEO Tips: Link Building
by: Will Spencer

This article is a follow-up to an article I wrote about On-Page Optimization (SEO tips on page optimization). On-Page optimization enables each of your web pages to make the most out of the mojo that they have -- but you need inbound links (Search Engine FAQ) to create that mojo in the first place.

I use the term "mojo" as a generic descriptor for the importance given to a web page or a web site based upon inbound links. Similar terms include page rank, site rank, trust rank, and authority. Those terms tend to carry too much linguistic baggage, so I use the term "mojo" for simplicity unless another term is specifically required.

Mojo is created by getting inbound links to your web site and to your web pages.

Getting inbound links is one of the most important, and time consuming, tasks involved in SEO.

Here are a few tips to generate inbound links. Each of these tips are appropriate for some web sites, but none are appropriate for all web sites. Select the link building strategies which are most appropriate for your specific web site.

Submit to Web Directories

Start with big slow directories like the Yahoo Directory and the DMOZ Open Directory Project, but don't stop there.

Search out the small directories which are dedicated to topics relevant to your web site.

For more suggestions on finding directories to submit to, read How can I find web directories? (Find Web Directories)

Reciprocal Linking

Write individual e-mails to specific webmasters whose web pages compliment your own and tell them that you would like to trade links with them.

Make sure to personalize each e-mail, or your e-mails will be quickly deleted as spam.

To achieve the best results from your e-mail, include the following in your initial e-mail:

* Mention two positive items about their web site, so that they know that your e-mail is not a generic spam.

* Include directions to the specific web page where you have added the link to their web site.

* Mention the Page Rank ( of the page where you have added a link to their web site.

These web sites exist to help you search for reciprocal link partners in the same market niche' as your web site:

* Find Link Partners
* Link Partner Finder
* Themes Reciprocal Link Finder

Write Articles for Other Web Sites

One method for getting inbound links is to write quality articles and submit them to other web sites for publication.

Each article should include a link back to your web site.

These links are better than links from link pages, because there tend to be very few outbound links on the article page.

Write a brief article on some topic related to the topic of your web site. Do not write an article about your web site, but write an article that would be interesting to people who would also be interested in your web site.

Send this article to webmasters who maintain web sites on topics similar to the topic of your article. Explain to them that they can post your article for free on their web sites, in return for a link to your web site.

To find web sites to submit articles for publication, visit Where can I submit an article for publication? (Submit Articles)

Create and Submit Press Releases

Write press releases about your web site and submit them to press release distribution services.

To find places to submit press releases for publication, visit Where can I submit my press release?

Join a Reciprocal Link Program

Reciprocal linking programs exist to help webmasters share links with similar web sites.

Some of the reciprocal link programs are:

* Link Market
* Info Wizards
* LinkExchanged
* Link Partners
* Links-Pal
* Linkateer
* Webmaster Link Exchange
* GoTop Link Exchange ($19.95 fee to join)
* LinkLeads
* Link Traders
* LinkExchangeIt
* SiteSell
* 123ExchangeLinks
* Ads4Links
* Spocka
* Links For You

If you have a blog, try blogLinker, the automatic link swapper for blogs.

These link networks can generate a lot of e-mail. You will probably want to create a new e-mail account just for these networks.

Join the DigitalPoint Ad Network

The DigitalPoint Coop Advertising Network enables you to automatically trade links with thousands of web sites across the Internet.

Join a Reciprocal Linking Forum

Several web forums exist for the purpose of sharing and trading reciprocal links. These linking forums include:

Link Trade Forum

Start a Reciprocal Linking Program on Your Web Site

You can also setup a reciprocal linking program on your own web site.

For more information on setting up a reciprocal linking program on your site, read How can I add a reciprocal link manager to my web site?

Start or Join a Web Ring

You can use an existing web ring service such as WebRing, or you can create your own web ring using the PHP-Ring webring script.

Join or Create a Top Site List

Search for top site lists which are relevant to your web site.

Add yourself to the existing lists. If no relevant top site lists exist, create one.

Provide a Useful Service

Create dynamic content on your web site which other web masters can include on their web sites by linking to it.

Every webmaster who uses your content automatically adds a link to your site.

Firearm News (Firearam News) is an excellent example of this. If you add a small bit of JavaScript to your web page, your users will receive up-to-date news on firearms.

Of course, you will also have to contact other webmasters to let them know about your service -- perhaps even with a press release.

Buy Links

If all else fails, you can always buy links to your web site.

About The Author

Will Spencer is the webmaster of The Internet Search Engines FAQ (Internet Search Engine FAQ), SAN Security (San Security), and Enterprise Storage Management (Enterprise Storage Management).

Friday, January 26, 2007

25 Simple Blog SEO and Traffic Tips

25 Simple Blog SEO and Traffic Tips
by: Jeremy Steele

This is a nice concise list of 25 ways to greatly increase your blog's traffic and search rankings.

1) Content is king!

2) Submit your site to as many search engines as possible. After the initial indexing I would recommend resubmitting every 6 months.

3) Comment on as many blogs as possible. Make your comments thoughtful and not spammy.

4) Link up with popular blogs - trackbacks can be good for SEO as well as your traffic.

5) Write a good article and post it on a site like, although this won't help as far as traffic goes (you will get a HUGE boost for a few hours, then it will tone back down, you probably won't get any permanent readers from Digg) and it sure doesn't help with your relationship with your web host, it can create some new inbound links.

6) Use . Instead of the GoogleBot searching for your pages you can tell it where your pages are. This is a great way to get your whole site indexed.

7) Content is king!

8) Get listed on web directories like Although many SEO "experts" think it is overrated no one disagrees that it can help boost your site's rankings.

9) Add some links for feed readers and blog aggregators like,, and

10) Add some social bookmarking links at the bottom of each post

11) Make it easy for your users to find your RSS feed

12) Add a "E-mail This!" link either on the header or the footer of each post

13) Content is king! (see a pattern?)

14) If you write a really good post try e-mailing the URL to some big-name bloggers with a short personalized message. You never know, they might like it and link to it.

15) Try asking some big sites who are in your niche if they would like to trade links. More often than not they will say "no", but at least give it a try.

16) Don't obsess over "get rich quick" schemes.

17) Don't obsess over "get lots of traffic really quick" schemes.

18) Submit your RSS feed to a bunch of RSS directories, has a large list of popular directories.

19) Use to notify a ton of aggregators that your site has been updated.

20) Don't obsess over the numbers - it takes time to build up a good reader base.

21) Make your posts as keyword rich as possible. Whenever you can use a word that has to do with your niche, use it!

22) Use lists, especially if your site is targeted towards more tech-savvy users

23) If you have a MySpace page or a home page on a similar service put up a link to your blog.

24) Tag important keywords, using this site ( ) you can tag keywords.

25) Last but not least, offer free stuff. Everyone loves free stuff!

The really important thing you have to remember is, just have fun. If your blog is causing you to become stressed out then it probably is not a good idea to continue blogging.

If your readers can tell you are having fun while providing good content they will become permanent readers.

About The Author
Jeremy Steele started his website in mid-2002. Since then he has joined the blogging community and runs four successful blogs. This article is copyrighted so please obtain permission before republishing or altering it.