Featured - singlemomearningonline

single mom earning online
Blog of Eve
Well, I have been lucky to have many friends on the internet and some of them have their own websites  that interest me.

Today I am going to share some information about a website, singlemomearningonline Actually this is a website run by one of my long time friends Eve. She is from Philippines and is into Web-template design, SEO, online PTCs and much more.

The reason I include her website in the featured Website Section is that I feel that somewhere our blogs are related. I have been often writing about PTCs and she has got this dedicated blog to showcase her experiences and other creative ideas.

You would find many informative posts on legitimate work from home opportunities, available free jobs online and legit data entry jobs through freelancing, free to join affiliate sites and programs, making money, blogging tips and more.

Quite useful and handy! What do you think?

Join A Contest?
At the moment there is a contest running on this blog of hers where anyone can participate for free. There are just two requirements that you need to meet  - 

1. Have a blog of yours and
2. Follow her blog to get participating.

What is the Contest About?
The contest is about writing a blog post on your blog on a website diamondearrings.org with the words diamond stud earrings acting as an anchor text to their website. Simple enough. If you are unsure about how to use the words as anchor text you can simply copy and paste the following in the required location -
<a href="http://www.diamondearrings.org/">diamond stud earrings</a>

What do I write About?
Well, that is entirely up to you. However you are not allowed to write about this contest to get participation. You can write about their website, their products or anything that suits you. Use your creativity and get started into the contest.

What about the Prize -
Of course, there is money for the winner.
Though you can get the complete details on her website, here is a copy of the same -

$25 for the best blog post - This is to be selected by diamondearrings.org, the organizers of the contest
$25 for another blog post winner - this is to be chosen by Eve and this would be done randomly using random.org
$25 for the top referrer of this contest - status will be posted at the bottom of the related post at singlemomearningonline.com

Is that all?
No, after you have made your post on your blog, you have a small last thing to do to get your entry registered - After writing a blog post, just make a comment on this post at her blog which will be your entry for this contest. Only one entry allowed per blog. This means that if you have multiple blogs, you can have multiple entries there and this increases your chances of winning.

What goes in the comment?
Oh this is the important part. You have to put this as the comment on the page (simply copy it and change the blog post url to the one corresponding to your post on your blog)-
Referred by: http://geniuzs.blogspot.com/
Blog post: the complete url of the blog post you made

Thats all. You are in.

Happy Participation and may the best one win!


Win A set of Simulated Diamond Earrings by Advertising

Every new website needs visibility in its initial days and even some quality backlinks. Many new websites dedicate a page on their website for this purpose and take the help of Click Exchange websites. But I recently found a website that did something exciting than this and yes it was an interesting information that I am sharing here in this post.

While searching for some websites related to diamond stud earrings, I landed up on this website - www.diamondearrings.org. Nothing special about this webiste that makes it stand apart from its competition. However what I noticed was its business plan that makes it really apart from others.

On the home page it says that It is currently running a special offer - it is going to provide a beautiful set of simulated diamond earrings to everyone having an account with twitter, facebook or myspace page, blog, youtube, etc. To be eligible the only thing that the participant has to do is put up a link to the above website. Also, the participant should be willing to pay the $3.77 for postage and handling. Simple. This offer runs for a limited period only and the particpant can participate and take home as many sets as links s/he is able to put on.

This is what makes the website stand apart from the others of its niche. While many other websites are busy doing the SEO to get to the top of the search engines and paying out for advertisements of their websites, the diamondearrings.org website has used its own resources to generate an interest among the visitors to spread the brand name. It is quite likely that they would have a large number of backlinks and visibility in their initial days. This is what needs to be learnt from this entire exercise of theirs.

Save Your Hard Disk Part I: Scan Disk

During the 1980s when Personal Computers were coming up in the main stream, operating systems like DOS came up with some utilities that allowed diagnosis of the disks. At those times, the only type of disks that were supported were the Floppy Disks and we are all aware that these disks had smaller sizes in terms of capacities. The most sought after utility was a small program called the chkdsk – meaning – Check Disk.

What is chkdsk?
The chkdsk, check disk, utility allowed the user to scan the drive for errors. These errors were in terms of back sectors and was restricted to scanning only. DOS did not come with any methods to fix these errors. However the reporting of the bad sectors was done using the check disk.

As personal computers became more popular, more research was being done to increase the capacity of the disks and soon we saw the usage of hard disks on the personal computers. Soon the size (capacity) of the hard disks started to increase and poor check disk was restricted in its use as it could not handle the hard disks of over a size.

What About Norton Tools - NDD(Norton Disk Doctor)?
Then came Dr. Peter Norton who took the world of computing to a surprise with his Norton Tools. These tools were a bunch of tools that not allowed to scan the hard disks but also allowed to fix the errors. They also allowed the users to move the data stored at the lowest level – in terms of tracks and sectors – so that most of the data could be recovered and restored.

What Is ScanDisk?
It was in 1995 that Microsoft launched the first version of its GUI (graphical user interface) based operating system – Windows 95 and this is considered to be a turning point in the history of PC (personal computers). Since then, the computers hardware has been undergoing rapid changes and the most essential part is the use of ever growing capacities of hard disks.

Microsoft Windows 95 shipped with the Graphical version of the ChkDsk utility and Microsoft named it Scan Disk. This tool was also available in the stand alone versions of Windows 98 and Windows ME. The use of the Scan disk was limited primarily to checking the hard disk for errors and unfortunately it was more derived from the CHKDSK utility and therefore provided no remedy for correcting these errors.

Then when Microsoft intervened in the area of Operating Systems for Servers, it had to attach some more functionality to the Scan disk utility. This is when it attached the Analyze and Fix features in its Network based Operating Systems.

For the general user, on Windows XP and Windows Vista and also on Windows 7, the scandisk utlity comes with features that can be used to fix the problems on the hard disks.

How To Scandisk my Drive or Partitions?
To start Scan Disk on the Windows XP and above, you have to select the Drive – which can be a complete partition or a partition of the current harddisk. 

This is how you have to start it out –
1. Open My computer and from there select the disk on which you want to run the scandisk tool.
2. Right Click and Select Properties to display the properties dialog box on the screen

3. Once on the Properties dialog box, select the Tools Tab. It is here that the Scan Disk tool is available.
4. To start the scan disk tool, click on check now in the Error Checking Section. This will display the ScanDisk Window and it is here that you can instruct how you want to scan your disk.

5. On the window of scandisk you would find a couple of check boxes and these are the ones that decide how the scan disk should function. Following is a brief description of the options –

a. Automatically fix File System Errors – If you select this check box, the scandisk would do a thorough scan of your hard disk and will attempt to fix all of the system errors that it might encounter during the checking of the disks. The various file system errors that it can try to fix for you are lost clusters erroneous entries in the Tables used by the system (FAT or NTFS). This option when selected takes a lot of time depending on the capacity of the drive in question. It also takes time when you drive contains more data.

b. Scan for Attempt Recovery of Bad Sectors – This check box when selected, instructs the operating system to try and recover the areas that are getting bad. Selecting this does not ensure that the hard disk would be free from all errors after the scan but you can try this as an attempt to recover the areas that are getting bad. During this phase, the operating system will check for the bad sectors and try to recover the data if possible.

c. Once you are decided what to do, click on the start button.

1. If you are selecting the second option “Scan for Attempt Recovery of Bad Sectors” windows will automatically perform the first option for you and this means that you need not select the first option.
2. You would need to stop using any of the content on this disk before starting a scandisk on this drive. This means that you should not be using any data file or program file that is stored on this partition of the disk. If the drive is currently in use, windows displays a message asking if you want to reschedule the disk checking for the next time you restart your computer. Your drive is not available to run other tasks while the disk is being checked.
3. For a complete checkup of your disks and increase the speed of access to files and content of the disk, you would also need to perform Defragmentation of your hard disk.

Hope you liked this post. Its been a long time that I was away and now that I am back, I hope that my visitors would be happy. I welcome your feedbacks as ever.


Managing the Notifications Area on the Taskbar

After using windows for so many long years and installing applications for use and testing on the platform always clutter up my taskbar. Maybe yours too is a similar story. Over the period I realized that the right hand side of my taskbar, also known as the Notifications Area, should be displaying the time on the pc is messed up with icons waiting for my clicks... and of course I rarely click on them.

In today’s post I will be telling you the trick to clear up that space and make it available for some more running applications that are displayed on the taskbar.

You might be starting to think Do I really need to do this? There is always a Button on the left side of the clock placeholder that is supposed to show or hide the icons in the tray. Yes, I know that this is true and one can make use of it when there are too many icons in that part of the taskbar. But the point is Do I really need that number of icons there? The answer to this is simply NO. I will need only a few icons there.

Where Do The Icons in the Notifications area Come From?
The Icons that appear in the notifications area are the result of installations of different softwares or programs on your computer. To be clear there are two different categories of icons that get placed in that part of the taskbar. Some of those icons are placed here due to the fact that they are set to be the icons of start up applications - that is, those applications that start out when the computer starts. The second category of icons in this part comprise of the applications that are executed due to manual application and instead of using the normal task bar space, they get placed here (may be manually or automatically) for quick access.

I think, the applications that automatically start off, do not require to be placed here as most of these are essential to the running of the windows operating system itself. And again we can control their automatic starting from the msconfig utility of windows. But for those that get placed here manually - like I may hide my VLC player when it is playing the audio songs or the database server startup and management icon or even the camtasia recorder when I am busy recording something or even the chat applications like GTalk and yahoo messenger, these icons should be allowed to be present as they provide quick access to the applications that I am working on currently.

How To Manage The Icons In The Notifications Panel

Here is how you can remove the icons that appear on the right hand side of the Taskbar (on Windows XP) -
1. Right click on the Taskbar and then select the Properties to display the Start Menu Properties dialog box.

2. On the Dialog box, look for Customize Button in the notification Section. This will display the list of icons that appear in the Notification Area. The dialog box has two distinct Columns - The first one displays the name of the application and the other column controls and displays the settings for this applications availability and accessibility via the Notifications area. Please note that this trick will not allow you to get the icons removed. The only thing that this exercise will result in is to hide / display the icons on the Notifications area. That’s all there is to be done.

How To Change The Settings
Here is how you can change the settings for any application that has an icon here in the Notifications Area -
Select the second column, titled "Behavior" in the dialog box, for the application whose Icon you want to display or hide. This will activate a drop down list of options from where you can select an option as per your choice. The following are the available options -

1. Hide When Inactive
In case you want the Icons to appear when the application is running and hidden when the application is not being used, select this option. As the option indicates the application with this setting will be able to display the Icon in the Notifications area only when the Application is in use. For me, this is best suited for the Applications like Chat Messengers - Gtalk, Yahoo Messenger and MSN as I want them to appear for quick accessibility only when they are in use. Otherwise I don’t need them there. Reason is that I can always start them from the usual method - clicking on the Shortcut on the Desktop or the Start -> Programs Method.

2. Always Hide
This setting will force the application never to show its icon on the Notifications area. Though the application may be running but the icon for the application will never appear in the notifications area. This is good for applications that put their icons in the Notifications area but are rarely or ever used. For me this works fine with the Icons for the Graphic display as these rarely need to be changed or accessed.

3. Always show
This setting will force the applications icon to be displayed in the Notifications area even if the application is not running. This setting is best for applications that you frequently use or access multiple times during the day.

Click OK to make the changes you have made. 

Oh yes, I forgot, you can click on the Restore Defaults button anytime to get the settings to their default.

Hope you found the post useful. Feedback would be appreciated as ever.

SweetPTR - Not That Sweet

In today's post, I am going to tell you about another website that is a scam. I know that I have put up an article on this blog using which you can easily find out whether a website is a scam or not, but this website, I had joined it much earlier and I was expecting this one to be a scam too.

You might be wondering in case I knew it was a scam, why did I join the site at the start? Well, as i mentioned in the earlier post, I joined this website just because my up-line, the one who referred me to this site is a good friend of mine. I know him personally and I had told him about the site being a scam but it was late and he had joined this website. Now, just for the sake of friendship I joined this website and was honest to the friend as well as the site.

I reached the Payout Limit in November last year. (Again, why the heck did I take so long to publish this scam!). I told my friend that I had reached the Minimum Payout and now I had even asked for the payment. The payment that the site mentioned was about 5000.00 USD. (See the huge amount involved? This is what made me believe that this website was a scam). My friend on the other hand was yet to reach the minimum payout limit as he was involved in some of his assignments and did not manage to do his share of assignments on the SWEETPTR website. So all I had to do was to wait.

I did not want to mess up the things for my friend by exposing the fraud done by this website. Again, I thought, why not contact the admin of the site for the payment. I was promptly replied by an email that stated that it would take ONE month before they can pay me! (Another point that proves that SweetPtr is a scam site). I was glad that at least they cared to reply to my query and that too quite instantaneously.

So I waited for the due date to reach and when the date passed, I again contacted my friend who was of the belief that this site will pay just because the admin had cared to respond to my email. In the meantime, he too had reached the minimum payout limit and had applied for the same. So we both decided to wait for another month or so, just to ensure that my friend also gets a chance to be paid.

After a long long wait, I got another email from the admin and you won’t believe it, this email was just a replica of the earlier email that I had received. From this, I got the clear idea that the website has got an auto response feature installed for all the emails or contacts that are being sent to them and they send the same email to all. The next thing that is to be noted is the fact that the email stays on their list and they keep sending you an email just to avoid your rejection and at the same time keep you in belief that the site is legit and will do the payment soon.

So here is the modus operandi of the sweetptr site -
They lure you into the registration process by telling you that the registration is free and you can earn 1000.00 USD per week. 
Here is how -

You get a sign up bonus of 25.00 USD. You get 10.00 USD per email that you read on from their website. And lastly you also get a 30% referral bonus.

If by now you dont feel lured enough to get started and care reading down, their website states that the free members will get paid once they have accumulated an amount of 5000.00 USD  in their account with sweetptr. This amount is reachable within 5-7 weeks of your registration with them. You are also promised a 2.00 USD for every person who signs up with sweetptr under you. All this makes you believe that the things are going to be great and you should start with them as soon as possible.

The problem starts when you have reached the promised minimum payout limit of 5000.00 USD. Once you have that amount accumulated in your account, the Pay Me (or Redeem) button gets available in your profile. You feel happy to have that button available and you click it expecting the payment. But after some days, when you don’t get the amount, you send out an email to them and they respond telling you that you have to wait for about 30 days before getting paid. Alternatively, in case you don’t want to wait that long, you can pay an amount of 199 USD and get the following benefits
Free Gift "Notebook Lenovo G530 T4200 3GB 320GB LED"
Instant Payout within few seconds to Paypal, Moneybookers, Liberty Reserve,
AlertPay (other payment methods within 24-48 hours).

The SweetPtr has being playing it safe. They have kept the payout amount reasonably small as compared to some of the other PTR sites. They have also kept the duration to reach the minimum payout lesser than some of its competitors. So even if you reach the minimum payout and leave as you will not get paid, it will not affect them... they already would have done their business.

So the moral of the story is that you can keep cheating the people if you keep the things short. In the long run... Don’t ask me. We definitely need some organization on the internet to keep a watch on these sites.

Sitemaps Explained

Ever been to a new place and realized that you are lost just because you do not have a map? That’s exactly what happens when you land up at a very big site searching for something very small (for them). How often you would have wondered that it would have been a great idea if they could just give you a place which provided a list of all the pages that they had on the site! This is the Site Map for you.

What Is a Sitemap After All?

Technically, sitemap is a map of the site which can provide the visitor a clear cut layout of the pages as they exist on the site. Traditionally, the layout is linked to the relevant pages and the visitor can click a link to be taken to that page of the site. In this sense, you can say that it acts like a guide for a new visitor by providing the links to the different sections to the website. It will help the visitor in identifying a page that he or she is looking for and can reach to that page simply by clicking the link on the sitemap.

If you are looking for a definition of the sitemap, here is a definition from wikipedia -

A site map (or sitemap) is a list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for web design, or a web page that lists the pages on a web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. This helps visitors and search engine bots find pages on the site.

Types of Sitemaps

As is clear from the definition of the Sitemap, as provided by wikipedia, there are two different categories of visitors to any site. The First Category is the Search Engine Bots. And the other category is the set of people who have come to your website looking for something of use to them. You have to satisfy both of these visitors if you want your website to be a success. Because there are two different types of visitors to your website, there are two different types of sitemaps one for each of the category of the visitors.

1. The HTML Sitemap
This is the sitemap for the visitors who are in the second category - the people who are on your site looking for something. Generally, it is a normal HTML page where the pages are listed in a hierarchical fashion and all the pages are linked to the respective page URLs. This helps in page navigation. 
You can also employ CSS to make this page good looking. If you are good at JavaScript, you can also add some creativity and effects. Note that the better you convey the messages on this page, the better it gets for people visiting your site.

2. The XML SitemapThis is the sitemap that is meant specifically for the Machines and Programs (known as Bots, spiders) that are sent by a search engine to index your website. Google introduced Google Sitemaps to allow the webmasters publish lists of links from across their sites. The basic premise is that some sites have a large number of dynamic pages that are only available through the use of forms and user entries. The Sitemap files can then be used to indicate to a web crawler how such pages can be found.

Now you would be wondering - if that is the case, do I need different Sitemaps for all the search engines or, are the other formats and specs that I have to follow while creating a sitemap for Google different for those created for Other Search Engines? The good news is that Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask now jointly support the Sitemaps protocol. This means that if you have successfully submitted your XML sitemap to any of these search engines, it means that the other major players will accept the same one too and you need not bother about creating a separate XML sitemap for the major players.

Advantages of a Sitemap

1. Satisfied Visitors
A site map's main benefit is to give users an overview of the site's areas in a single glance. You will not have any visitor who would say that the site is not providing great facilities and searching for some information on the site is easy. This means that the people visiting your site would be more than satisfied. They will be able to reach the pages they would have otherwise hunted for quite easily.

2. Flash Websites
Initially, the websites that were completely based on flash and other non-html content were mostly ignored by the Search Engines as they could not understand anything non-html. Now the search engine bots can identify the different pages on the flash website in case you have placed a correct XML Sitemap for them.

Important Tips for HTML Sitemaps

1. Start from the topmost level
Say for instance, you have Services page and from there you have a page on Application Development and Website Design. Arrange the hierarchy and display it as
        -Application Development
        -Website Design

2. Make the Sitemap Eye-pleasing
    You have a wide range of colors and fonts to select from. Use your creativity and imagination to create a page that is eye-pleasing and soothing for the Visitor. Keep in mind that this to make the navigation easy. If the visitor can locate the page (s)he is interested in, you will not lose 
a visitor.

3. Ensure No Broken Links on the Sitemap
Make sure that your site map will provide also the links to the important pages in your web site. Remember the main use of the sitemap that you are creating is to help visitors navigate. So cross-check that you have put all the links correctly and none of the links is missing.

4. Link It Up
Display a link to the sitemap on each and very page of your website (if possible). If that is not possible, at least ensure that the home page does have a link on it. You can keep two links for the sitemap on the homepage - one at the top and the other at the bottom.

How to Create XML Sitemaps
To create XML sitemaps there are different places on the web. You can do a google search for them. However, I, prefer using the XML-sitemaps to create my XML Sitemaps. They are really easy to use. All you have to do is follow the following Four Steps and you are ready with the XML sitemap for your site -

1. Enter the URL and fill out  some optional parameters that they need. For most cases, the default ones are fine. Use the Home Page URL for best results.

2. Click 'Start' button and wait until the site is completely crawled. This takes a few seconds (depends on how large the site is).
3. It generates a page reporting the missing or broken links, number of pages that were used and some information. If there were no errors, you would be taken to the fourth page.

4. Downlaod the XML File

Once you have downloaded the xml file for the sitemap, all you have to do is to upload it. You will need to upload it to the root folder of your website's folder. Then, as a last step, you would need to submit this xml file to the Search Engine.

Submitting XML Sitemap to Google
To submit your sitemap to Google, log in to your Google's Webmaster Account and upload the sitemap. You are done.

Migrating to a New Operating System? Consider These Frist

I do not know about you, but for me, I am feeling sick and bored of the look and feel of my existing operating system. After using that operating system for quite some years now, I want a change in the operating system on my PC and am currently weighing the different options that I have. For those who do not know, my current Operating System is Windows XP.

In this post, I would be discussing the Issues in migrating from one operating system to another. I would not be discussing about which operating system you should opt for and why. Instead, this discussion would be a general one highlighting the pros and cons of migrating to a new operating system as a user.

What are the options?
First Things First. When you are planning to migrate to another operating system, there are a few limited options to select from
a. Upgrade of Existing Operating System
This means, at the very core, the Operating System would remain the same and the only thing that is going to change is the Version. Say for instance you are planning to migrate to Windows 7 from your existing Windows based operating System. In this case, there are less issues and hassles.

b. A New Operating System
You are totally dissatisfied from the existing operating system (there may be several reasons) or you want to change the operating system just for the sake of getting something that would allow you to use many other applications. Say for example you are planning to migrate to Mac or Windows just because there are some applications that just won’t run on your existing Linux System. This involves a lot of issues and it will take time to get used to the new operating system.

What are the Issues?

1. Interface
The Interface is the biggest issue that haunts a computer user when thinking of migrating to another operating system. Over the period of time we get so much used to the operating system that any change in the interface is not acceptable to us. This is one of the main reasons that Windows  
Operating system did not let go of the Classic Start Menu that it introduced in Windows 95, even though it has now introduced Windows 7 (the 8th version in the series of Microsoft Windows starting from Windows 95).

2. Applications
Almost all of the users of computers have a set of applications that they use. Now, when changing their operating system, if they are told that any of these applications will not work, users will not want to change their operating system. This is very true in case of Designers and Multimedia Authors.

3. Application Keystrokes
Changing the operating system may not only affect the set of applications that can be used but it can also affect the keystrokes that you are accustomed to. How about this - you are accustomed to using CTRL S to save a file on one operating system and on the new operating system it requires you to save using CTRL A. You would end up many a times using CTRL S (trying to save the file) but each time you would end up in getting something else done.

4. Shortcuts
When using windows on a computer we have accustomed ourselves that in case the mouse doesn’t work we can quite easily open the start button by pressing the Windows Key and viola the start button pops up as if we clicked it suing the mouse. Again if we want to run/open the windows explorer, we press the Windows Key and viola the windows Explorer opens up... There are so many good shortcuts that we are accustomed to. But when you migrate to another operating system, these keys loose their importance and you would be wondering what keystrokes does this new operating system provides.

5. Lingo
Not only keystrokes, initially, you would also get confused when it came to the Lingo of the new operating system. Say, for instance, you would be told to use the CMD key (On Mac), and this would leave you thinking - cmd... is it a command or something... coz on windows platform, CMD generally refers to the start of the Command Prompt.

6. Hardware Concerns
Well, after so many years with Computers, I think anyone can overcome these issues. It is just a matter of time and things will be okay in the long run.  
But there is another thing that one must think about before making a selection of whether to migrate or not and that is the Hardware. In days when things are getting clumsier due to money games, there are times when you will be using a hardware designed specifically for an operating system.
Though, I am not sure on this, but then I wonder why Microsoft gives the Compatible Hardware Lists for some operating systems. So this issue is also to be considered when thinking to migrate to a new operating system. You would not want a piece of expensive hardware to go dead just because your new operating system doesn’t support it.

Which New Operating System to Migrate To?
It is a choice of preference and also the tasks that you are planning to do determine what operating system you should go for.
1. Work
If you are going to work on Adobe Products, you would not consider Linux or UNIX based systems. You would have to settle with Microsoft or Mac OS.

2. Gaming
If you are going to use your PC for mostly playing games, then again you would have to leave off UNIX/LINUX as there are not many games that are compatible with these platforms.

3. Security
In case you plan to change your operating system to something that gives you greater security from Viruses, Hacks, User Level Security and other securities, then I would recommend you to go for UNIX or LINUX based Operating System.

4. Hardware
In case you are planning to have a new Operating System, you also have to give a thought about the current Hardware that you have. Mac OS'  
Leopard version is out for Intel Based Systems also but is yet to be officially tested and this rules out the use of Mac OS in case you have an Intel Based system. Similarly, Microsoft is not a choice for people who have MAC. It simply won’t install.

5. Data
Apart form the above issues; the crucial issue that will haunt you in case you are planning a changeover to another brand of operating system is the Data. Will you be able to use the data that you have stored using the applications on the current operating system? In most of the cases, if it is not a designing set of data, you would find programs, tools and utilities that would help you in resolving this issue. Again, the technology will be there and you would be able to transfer the data in most of the cases. Yes, it might require some extra input in terms of money and efforts in finding the right tools but that would be a price that you would have to bear.

6. Costs
That is the last major factor which will help you in determining which operating system you should Migrate to. Many LINUX flavors are free to use and have their limitations. Similarly Mac OS and Windows all have a price tag attached and it is you who has to decide whether it suits your pocket or not.

7. Help
The last issue is where and how to get help in the time period that you would need to master and learn the new operating system. On my part, I think, Internet has a vast library of help on all that and if you are willing to devote some of your precious time into learning the new operating system you can always think to migrate.

Now the last thing... I have not mentioned above... but you can in most cases install multiple operating systems on your computer. Though this requires a hard disk of higher capacity or two hard disks but this is a viable option for people who want to get the best of different worlds.

Hope you liked reading this post... Comments would be highly appreciated.


Increase The Performance of your Windows Based Computer

For Windows users, the biggest problem that starts once you start loading more and more of useful Applications and create files, is - SPEED and overall performance of the Operating System. I had been suffering from this problem too and have been able to find out some tricks that helped me in solving the speed issue to a great extent. In this post I will be sharing some of those tricks so that you could benefit too.

You would be wondering Windows XP? That’s an operating system that Microsoft has shelved for quite sometime now and why the heck I am giving some tips for this operating system? So let me tell you that these tricks also work for Windows Vista and Windows 7 Operating Systems. Again, I believe that there are many users, like me, who still use Windows Xp. I had migrated to windows Vista but then had to revert back to Windows XP as there were many flaws in Vista...:( Sad, but true. Now I am in no mood to shift to Windows 7 however good it might be! And, there are many others who are still using older versions of the Operating System.

So for all the Windows Operating System Users, following are the tips that you can use to speed up the performance of your operating system.

1. Disk Scan
I would recommend using the scandisk utility that ships with the windows operating system. This utility does a thorough checking of the hard disks for any errors and fixes them if instructed. Perform the Scandisk with thorough mode settings and if you have any bad sectors on the disk they will get detected. This utility will also rectify the other errors in the file system like broken links.

2. Clean Up
Run a disk cleanup utility. The clean up utilities take care of removing the Temporary Files that get created as you work along with windows operating system. They clean the files in temporary internet folder, trash can, temp system files, etc. The advantage that you get from this is that the files are removed and there is more space on the disk available.

3. Dupe File Finder
There are times when we start copying files and this, results in files with same content but different filenames. I would recommend using an application that would help you in identifying the duplicate files and you can remove the duplicates to recover some disk space.

4. Defrag
Once you have removed all the temporary files, run the Defrag Utility (pre-bundled with Windows Operating System) on all partitions and all disks that you have. This will help in arranging the contents of the file which will help the operating system in accessing the files faster.

5. Registry Cleaner
After the removal of the non-required files and the Defragmentation of the Disks, it would be wise to run a registry cleaner utility which would scan the registry of the windows Operating System and correct it. Errors start getting into the registry files once you start installing and uninstalling applications on your windows operating system. All these errors need to be fixed and the non-repairable entries need to be removed. This will speed up the working of operating system.

6. Classic Styles
Under XP, you can tell Windows to use Classic Style on your desktop, - this will remove the neat single click and internet-style desktop but for lower end systems this will improve performance in other areas, such as gaming and multi-tasking.

7. Run Required Apps on Startup
When we start installing applications, several of them register themselves to start during windows startup. To cite an example - if you have installed Yahoo Messenger or Google Talk, these applications automatically start up when your operating system starts. Many a times we do not want such applications to keep running from the start. Run msconfig and under startup and only keep the programs that are essential to load in the tray icon (and hence stay resident in memory). Uncheck anything else non-essential, like an ATI or Nvidia control panel, Quicktime utility, Real Audio, etc.

8. Upgrade drivers
Check for the latest BIOS, video, motherboard, sound, etc drivers from the manufacturers. A newer driver will help accessing the contents faster and this implies that the processing will be faster.

9. Backup
Backup your files (data files) quite often. If you want you can store them or Re-writable media or also Pen Drives. Do this to keep the number of files on your computer to the minimum. This may not be actually helpful, but you can also boast of doing this when times are bad and you are recovering from a hard disk crash.

10. Anti Virus
I know some of my friends had the habit of installing multiple anti-virus softwares on their computers just with the notion that many anti-virus mean a better security. Please if you have the same notions and beliefs, remove all of the anti virus software that you have on your computer and install a recommended or reputed anti virus application which also protects you from Internet. Read my earlier post on this.

As a last moment tip, you can also keep visiting the Operating System Manufacturers and the Software Vendors for knowing about the minimum system requirements needed to run the software. You might also consider an increase in the RAM or Hard Disk capacity to meet these requirements.

Hope you found this post useful... Comments would be appreciated as ever.


Work as a Translator

In the world of internet, Translation is a term used to mean re-writing of content in a different language.

Statistics reveal that in the present day scenario the Translation industry is a booming business and the world wide market is stated to be $15-billion.
Traditionally translation refers to the comprehension of the meaning of a text and the subsequent production of an equivalent text, likewise called a "translation," that communicates the same message in another language. The text to be translated is called the source text, and the language that it is to be translated into is called the target language; the final product is sometimes called the target text.

Seems interesting...

Technical Resources
As an absolute minimum, you need to own, or have unlimited access to, the following:

1. A computer
A desktop or a laptop anyone will do. Whether you start on a windows Platform or the Mac or even the LINUX/UNIX depends on you. But I would recommend that the Operating system you use must be able to handle the other application softwares and fonts that you would need for the translation services.

2. An Internet connection
As you start translating, you would realize that gradually the file sizes will get larger and larger. So to send those across you would definitely prefer to have a faster internet connection. You can start from an internet cafe but over the period you would realize that you need to stay online... most of the time. So plan to have an Internet connection at home (if you do not have that yet!).

3. A Word Processor
You will need at least a good word processor that supports multi-language fonts. UNICODE support would be great. Some good applications that you can use include Open Office (on all operating systems) or Microsoft Office Package(on windows). In case you are translating web pages you would also need to have a Web Page Editor - my recommendation Adobe's Dream weaver (not available on UNIX/LINUX).

Other assets that you can think to include:
1. Fax
In case your clients need you to sign documents many a times, you can go for a fax as the Postal Services can be slow and expensive. As an alternate to this, you can enquire if they accept digital versions of signatures and if they do, you can scan the signature and use ie. You will not need a fax then.

2. A mobile phone or a pager:
In case you are on the move during the business hours of your clients (this might happen if you are working for a client who is in a different part of the world), it would be a good idea to have a mobile or pager connection to stay in contact.

3. Dictionaries and reference books
You are going to need loads of these. Depending on your field of work you will need the books. You can also plan to have dictionaries to help you find words in the language that you are translating into. You will need multi-language dictionaries. You can also use the internet to find the dictionaries and the information.

4. A quiet place.
A place where you can concentrate more on the work and get less distracted.

The Soft Skills Required
Apart from the Technical requirements you also need to posses the following soft skills. These skills are essential to continue in this field. If you are looking to join an organization that does the conversion tasks, then these are the only things that you need.

1. The Languages
You need to know at least the source and the target languages if you have to make a mark in this field of conversion. An effective translation requires first class knowledge of both the languages. You should have the knowledge to write and read both the languages as well as thorough understanding of both.

2. Knowledge of the subject which is getting translated
You have to have the knowledge of the subject which you are translating. A better understanding of the subject from both sides (the source language and the target language) would help you become a better translator.

3. Familiarity with both Cultures
If you are familiar with the Cultures in terms of values, traditions, customs, laws and regulations of both the languages, it would help you understand the subject better and also the chances of leaving a mark in the translation world. Your translations would be more genuine and more acceptable by the target language.

4. Patience and Tons of Patience
If you have to be a successful translator you have to understand the first rule is that you have to have a lot of patience. Great translators are not made overnight and it takes a lot of continuous effort on the part of a translator to become great.

How do I Go about It?

1. Get Certified
The first step is to get certified. There are a lot of different places where you can get certified. I am citing two below. You have to get your certification for learning the target language as well as a certification for doing the translation. Some organizations prefer that you have both while some others just need you to have the certification that you are well versed with the languages. So you have to select which languages you want to go with and then based on the requirements you might consider getting certified as a translator.

2. Where To Find Jobs
Best place to search for the Translation jobs is the internet as there are many people who would like to use the services of a translator. I am giving below two links just to have an idea.

3. Who Will Need My Translation Services?
People or businesses that are into content will need your services as a translator. You can be required by the following groups and many more-

a. Web Content Writing
b. Publication houses
c. Writers
d. Advertising Media

Should I be an Employee or an Employer?
It depends on what your plans are. You can start off as an employee and then when you have some exposure you can jump into the business. In case you want to get into the business straight away you would need some sources from where you can get work on a regular basis. Apart from that you would also be required to hire professionals who would translate for you. The organizations listed above can help you in finding both.

How Legal Is Your PTC Site?

With many people around on the internet interested to make quick money, organizations that misuse this keep cropping up every now and then. They just don’t seem to know how many people suffer due to their fraudulent approach. In today's post, I will be telling you how to identify a SCAM PTC site and why the PTC sites turn into scams.

What Is PTC, after all?
But first things first! PTC is an acronym that means - Pay to Click or Paid to Click. What this means is that someone gets paid to click something on the internet. With the burst of the Dot Com bubble in the late 90s, everyone wanted to have a website. Now after all this, it was - who will visit the sites? SEO was quite unknown during those days and mostly was done on the Meta Tags. Site Visibility using search engine was quite remote as the people those days were neither that Search Engine Friendly nor were willing to go by the new names. They preferred to stick with the sites that they knew.

So the new websites that were getting created thought of something that would help them gain visibility for their sites and PTC was born. But who would click or view their sites without money getting involved? Hence money was brought into the big picture.

Today, people have also found out another way to get their site displayed to some people using click exchange programs but that is not the part of discussion here.

Who Joins the PTC?
There are thousands of people who join the PTC sites and hope to make an earning from these sites. Generally the following sets of people join the PTCs -
a. Housewives
b. Students
c. Working People
d. Retired People
e. Others

Why Join PTC?
The reasons for joining PTC vary from person to person but in most cases it is the need of that extra money that one can make easily from these sites that lures them into joining a PTC site.

Some other people also join just because their friend, who has joined a PTC, is in need of a referral.

How Do the PTCs Work?
The business of PTC is similar to the other businesses. They have income and expenses.
Earnings -
The income of the sites comes through two channels -
a. The websites that they advertise
b. The people who register with them as so called Premium members.

Expenses -
The PTC sites that are legal have the following expenses -
a. Payment to the people who view and click their displayed ads which is the bulk expense
b. Setting up the Website and investing in the initial advertisements of their sites

For Members
For the Members of the PTC site, these offer prices per click. The members are to view a set of advertisements for a pre-specified time mostly 30 seconds to 60 seconds and they are paid $0.001 to $1.00 per click. This depends on the pre-decided amount. The payments to the members are made after they reach a minimum payout limit via different modes - Online Money Transfers, Online Agencies, Cheque and various other methods.

All these vary from the Site to Site. I have tried to provide the ranges and details as I could find them. Please consult the support or your up line (if you were referred) for the correct details prevalent for your PTC.

Why Do the PTC become SPAMS
As there are good guys and the bad guys, same is the case with people who run the PTC sites. Some of them, trust me - a very few of them - are legal and have a history of paying their members. But most of them turnout to be scams. The reasons why this happens are 

i. The site was started to be a Scam
Sad, but true! There are people who are interested in making money more than building value and earning a name for themselves. So they start up with a small site, hunt for some local websites who would be interested to pay them some cash for advertising their sites. They make the money and then when the site is launched, they spend some of this money to get publicity and members. They also lure members to join by showing great benefits and false testimonials of being paid.

ii. The Site did not calculate the registrations correct
This happens with sites that have miscalculated the regular traffic that keeps coming to their website regularly. When you host a site, there are some limitations on the incoming traffic on either a per day basis or a per month basis. If you exceed this, the error - Bandwidth Exceeded - appears to the visitors and the site gets suspended till the matters are resolved.

iii. Disputes with their Paying Agency
This is another reason why the PTC programs get suspended and mostly get closed. They have some payment disputes with the online payment agencies. The payment agencies like paypal or alertpay generally charge both parties - the one who makes the payment and the one who receives the payments. Once there is a slight change in their policies, they may not be acceptable to the payee. So the payee needs to resolve the matters (which in most cases) is not through. So this leads to the PTC site closing down, and we brand it as a scam.

Ok, so how do I decide that a Site Is a Scam?
That is the big question. You have to be sure that the PTC site that you are joining, will it really pay you or you will end up just wasting your precious time. Following are some of the things that you should note before joining any PTC site -

i. The Minimum Payout
This is the first thing that you should check. The higher the minimum payout limit, the higher the chances that the PTC site is a scam. Generally the Legal PTCs have a minimum payout starting with $1.00. So if your PTC says that it has a minimum payout starting at $100.00, beware there is something more behind the scenes.

ii. Read and Re-Read the Terms and Conditions of the PTC
If it doesn’t have any... then it is a scam. Think this - why wont they publish the TOC if they are legal? There are some sites where they do not make payments but allow you to exchange or advertise your website in lieu of the payments. Most of the sites have a wonderfully written Terms and Conditions and it would appear that they have consulted an advisor who has drafted them. You have to re-read till you understand all of it - yes, all of it not most of it.

iii. Use WhoIs
WhoIs is a free tool that maintains the details of every site there is on the internet. Anyone can use its service to know the details of any website on the internet. Use this tool to find out the name, e-mail and other information about the administrator of the PTC. If anything is missing or mentions Privacy Protect then the site is not trust worthy.

iv. Contact Number or Forum
Search for the Helpline Numbers or enquire about the same in the forums. If they have it, check if the numbers are free and if they are then the chances of the PTC being legal are high. Call them up and verify whether they really exist or not.

v. Contact Address
If they have a contact postal address, try contacting them - maybe through a friend or otherwise. But ensure yourself that they really exist.

vi. Payment Duration
It is essential to know that when will you be paid. The lesser the time it takes to get your first payment, the better the site is. Also worth mentioning is the fact that you need to know how quick the payments are. Most legal PTC sites pay immediately on request. Those who say need time to process... think twice. It is the age of computers and everything is to be done via computers. So what for do they need the time for processing?

vii. Check the Rates for Advertisements
This is also an essential factor in determining whether the PTC site is legal or a scam. What if you find that they charge $100.00 for advertising and pay just a meager $0.00001 per click? Can’t you smell something wrong here?

Checks that you can do After You Join
Many of us might have already joined a couple of PTC sites before reading this article. So here are a couple of things that you can use to find out the Legality of the PTC -

i. The PTCs Ads Mostly
If you find that the PTC is providing you mostly with its own packages (pages from its own site), then you are in a scam site. Consider this - How long will a site pay you for viewing its own pages? There is no income that will be generated in doing this.

ii. The PTC Site is down for this reason or that quite frequently
This is again an indication that the site is a scam otherwise why is the site going down frequently? One fine day it will be down and never re-appear.

iii. It’s been quite long but I have not been paid
If it is more than 30 days that you have requested your payment but have not received it, the site is a scam. Otherwise why is it holding out your money?

Lastly, here are a few sites that can help you in finding out whether your PTC site is a scam or not

Remember it’s your precious time and you are in control of wasting it or utilizing it.
Good Luck.

Understanding Blogger Themes - Part IV

For all those who have been following up with my posts on modifying the Blogspot Template, today I will be telling you add some icons (pictures) to make your blog better in terms of professional looks. For this you will need a few icons. You can search for your own preferred set of icons but for those who do not want to waste time and get started right away, they can make use of the following icons.

List of Icons that I have used
Post Image

Sidebar Icon

Date Icon

A point that I would like to mention before you start out searching for the icons, please note that the space on blogs is very less and you would love to save it for other purposes. So please search and download icons which are small in size. Generally, Icons with 16X16 pixels should be preferred but in case they are too small, go for 32X32 pixel icons.

For getting the things right you will need to have a space with Google Sites. For those who do not know what is this can read my earlier post Use Google Sites to Upload and Place Links. You can use any web space but it is my recommendation to use Google sites, just because it is with Google. You already have a set of utilities that Google provides for free. So why not use it!

In this tutorial we will be adding icons to our post headings, date stamps,..... For how your blog will look like after this exercise, you can have a look here.

Once you have got the icons ready and uploaded on your space provider, log in to the blogspot account and goto the Edit HTML page for your blog.

Placing The Icon for Date
Search in the CSS code for a section named h2.date-header. This is the block of CSS responsible for the display of the date stamp on the blog. You will have to put the following CSS in the existing block of CSS -

padding-left: 18px;
padding-top: 0pt;
background-color: transparent;
background-image: url(the url of the Image / Icon as per your settings);
background-repeat: no-repeat;
background-attachment: scroll;
background-position: left center;

Placing the Icon for Posts
Search in the css code for the section named post h3. This is the block of CSS responsible for the display of the Header or Title of your Posts. You will have to put the following CSS in the existing block of CSS -

background-image: url(Place the Location of the Icon for Post Heading here);
background-repeat: no-repeat;
background-attachment: scroll;
background-position: 10px 0.5em;

If your post heading already has an Icon and you want to change it to something else, it is easy. Simply replace the existing icon in the url property.

Placing the Icon for Comments
Locate the comment-link(s) section in the css code of your blog. This is the block of CSS that controls the look and feel of the Comments link on the blog. You will have to put the following CSS in the existing block of CSS

background-image: url(place the Location of the Icon for Comments here);
background-repeat: no-repeat;
background-attachment: scroll;
padding-left: 14px;

There might exist multiple instances of comment-links in your template. You would have to change the css for all of these. This will display the same icon for comment-links at all places. In case you forget to do so, you may get different icons for comment links at different places.

Placing Icons for Sidebar Headings
The sidebar headings are marked with the h2 HTML tag. So you will have to locate the CSS code that says .sidebar h2. Place the following code in the section

background:url(place the Location of the Icon for Sidebar Headings here);

A Brief Explanation
What is being done is that some spaces are added on the left of the date stamp. After this, the background image is set and lastly the repetition of this image is stopped.

Understanding Blogger Templates (or Themes) - Part III

After reading through the earlier posts on the Templates (Post I and Post II) you might be thinking to make some modifications to your existing template. Well after this post you can change the Header of your blog and also get rid of that NavBar that Google provides at the top.

But before that, we need to move into understanding CSS. CSS is an acronym for Cascading Style Sheets and, as the name indicates, is responsible for styling out the sheet or the HTML for the page that you see in the browser. This was introduced to make keep HTML simple and make the formatting aspects of websites easier.

I will be modifying a blog - "HTML, CSS and SEO Explained" during the course of this tutorial. You would find that this blog still has the Rounders template and by the end of this tutorial the theme would be modified to make it look a different theme altogether.

Now, after you have some basic understanding of the terms used in CSS, what is required now is to have some idea of what we are going to do. As I mentioned in the last post and even at the start of this one, the first thing that we would do is to get rid of the Traditional Header Background that the template provides me.

Changing the Header Image
Well, Blogspot provides quite a simple method to do this -
1. Log in to the backend of your blog
2. Go to the Layout and select the Page Elements tab
3. Click on the Section that displays the heading text for your blog. This will display the Configure Header Window where you can easily specify the image that you need.
4. You can also select whether current text on the Header of your blog will be displayed or not when this image is shown.
5. Once you have made your selections click Save button and voila the heading is changed.

The NavBar
Now that you have changed the header you would like to get rid of that NavBar that blogspot displays at the top of the blog page. But before you turn it off there are a few things that you must make a note of. The NavBar contains some essential tools and functionalities -

1. The Search Box - This provides the capability to search in your blog and is a really worthy function. If we remove this link, we would have to allow the visitors some place to do with their search. Blogspot has a gadget that will allow the visitor, or anyone, perform a search. So we can get rid of this functionality here.

2. The Sign-in Link - This allows you to log into Google services and also the blog (if you are the owner of the blog). If we remove this link, we can still logon to blogspot from their URL http://www.blogspot.com. Alternatively, we can place a Login link in one of the gadgets that we can add. So removing this feature will not affect the visitors.

3. The Customize Link - This link is to take us to the backend of the blog directly to the Layout section. If we remove this option, we can still get to the back-end after we log in to the blogspot. So removing this feature will not affect the visitors.

4. The Follow Link - This link allows someone to follow our blog. Alternatively we can setup the Follow Gadget. So removing this link also doesn't affect visitors much.

5. The Share Link - This link allows sharing of the blog into twitter, facebook and Google Reader. If we remove this link, we can add up the share gadget and the functionality remains the same.

6. The Report Abuse Link - I would never want anyone visiting my blog to use this option. So I do not need it. What about you? I think you would want to get rid of that too!

7. The Next Blog Link - This is a link that will take the visitor to a randomly selected blog away from my blog. So I don’t want to use it. I think you too would agree.

8. The Sign-out Link - Clicking this link logs me out of the Google Services. If you are mostly working on public computers you would not like to get rid of this option. So the alternate is to place this link in one of the gadgets. Remember we can use the same gadget for Login and Logout links.

Requirements if NavBar Is Removed
Now that we have understood the functionality of the NavBar, we have the following needs that we plan to have on the blog -
a. Login / Sign-in Link
b. Logout/ Sign-out Link
c. Follow Gadget - if not already on the blog
d. Search Gadget

Adding the Gadgets

and Sign-out Links
Move the mouse pointer over to the Sign-Out link on the NavBar. Right Click and select Copy (IE) or Copy Link Location (Mozilla, Firefox)

1. Move to the Page Elements section in the Layout of the backend of your blog.
2. Click Add Gadget in any area where you want the links to be.
3. Add the HTML/JavaScript Gadget.
4. The Code Editor opens
To add the Sign-In link
5. Type the following code
<a href="http://www.blogspot.com/">Sign-in</a>
6. To add the Sign-Out link
<a href="PasteTheCopiedCode">Sign-out</a>
Replace the PasteTheCopiedCode with the content that got copied earlier

Once done, you can add the Gadgets for Follow and Search.

With all this information, we can now remove the NavBar. So get to the HTML Editor in the backend of your blog and move to the line just before.

/* Variable definitions */

Place the following code above that line
#navbar, #navbar-iframe {
height: 0px;
visibility: hidden;
display: none;

Click Preview button below the editor and confirm that the NavBar is removed. Now you can save the template.

In case you have missed out find my eariler posts here - Part I, Part II.

In the post on Monday I would be telling you how to add images before the Post Title, Date of Posts and Other things to add glamour to your blog. Till then happy experimenting and learning.

Understanding Blogger Templates (or Themes) - Part II

Hope that you have understood the basics and have taken the backup of your template. Now we are ready to go.

1. The Code in the Editor can be categorized into three distinct segments -
a. Declarations section
The declarations section is the place where the blogger templates (or Themes) declares the variables that it allows you to customize at a later stage.
b. CSS Section
The CSS section contains the code that is related to the appearance of your blog in terms of colors, fonts, font sizes, the images that make up the blog look good. It does not, however, decide what images you put on your posts.
c. HTML Section
The HTML Section contains code that assembles and puts up everything that you see on the page. It does the integration part.

Note: As of now, CSS and HTML do not work with variables. So what Blogspot does is that it uses some server side programming that translates these codes into something relevant and something that your browser can understand. I am not going into details of how and what this is all about but, I would like you to make a note of this that CSS and HTML (as of now) DO NOT support the use of variables. I mention this just because you would be searching for HTML or CSS content on some other places for reference and you would find the same.

Lets start understanding from the start -
The few lines at the top are used to provide information aboutthe version of XML and XHTML or HTML that are being used in the HTML code of the page that is being created.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>

This is the declaration that tells the Blogspot interpreter about the version of XML that is being used in the template or theme.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"

This is the document definition and this tells about the Document Type Definition. It also specifies that the Strict XHTML Version 1.0 is in use. This definition, in short, tells and determines the rules that are to be followed during implementation of the HTML Tags.

<head expr:dir='data:blog.languageDirection' xmlns='http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml' xmlns:b='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/b' xmlns:data='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/data' xmlns:expr='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/expr'>

This opens the <html> tag within which all the code for the template and generated html page must reside. It also contains some variables that are used by the blogspot backend during generating the content on your blog. This is closed at the end of the template using the code </html>.

The <head> element of the HTML code follows next. This element contains the variable declarations and the CSS code that together are used by the HTML code in the succeeding <body> tag.

<b:include data="blog" name="all-head-content">

This code is used by blogspot to include all the meta-tags and other links that are essential for the web page to be generated.

In the <head> section of your code, you'll need to have a pair of <b:skin> </b:skin> tags. The CSS style declarations will go in between those tags, along with the variable names that make your design work with the Fonts and Colors page.

Source: Google

Note: The skin is a blogspot word and requirement. It is not an X/HTML or CSS specification. So it must exist in the template and we are to place our declarations of variables and CSS inside this element.

The term CDATA, meaning character data, is used for distinct, but related purposes in the markup languages SGML and XML. The term indicates that a certain portion of the document is general character data, rather than non-character data or character data with a more specific, limited structure. In an XML document or external parsed entity, a CDATA section is a section of element content that is marked for the parser to interpret as only character data, not markup. A CDATA section is merely an alternative syntax for expressing character data; there is no semantic difference between character data that manifests as a CDATA section and character data that manifests as in the usual syntax in which "<" and "&" would be represented by "<" and "&", respectively.


The Variables Section:
This section defines several varables. Some the values in these variables can be set using the Fonts and Colors page in the Layouts of the Blogspot Control Panel. Following is an explanation of the statement to declare varaiables

<variable name="mainBgColor" description="Main Background Color" type="color" default="#fff" value="#ffffff">

In the above code:
Variable states that a variable is being declared.
name states the name of the variable that is being created.
description specifies the detailed description for the Variable. This descirption is displayed in the Fonts And Colors Page for this variable.
type indicates the type of value this variable can hold. It can be - color, font, automatic.
specifies the default value that this variable should contain.
value specifies the currently set value.

Based on the above example of code and the information that is provided, we can expect that the Main Background Color is stored in a variable named mainBgColor. This variable can contain values that will correspond to some color. The default value for this value as set in the template is White (fff is the hexadecimal code for White) and the current value too is set to White.

Hey, this post is getting too Technical! Let me give you a break and during this time find out some information that would help you to understand the CSS section that I will be discussing tomorrow.

The next post will dicuss the CSS and then I will give you some tips on adding your own Header Image and Removing the Navbar.

Happy Learning.

Those who missed out the first part of the series can find it here

Spread the Word