Category Archives: Internet

Web Reading Experience is Terrible

If you take a look at the reading experience from a web page, you will see why attention deficit disorder (ADD) is so widespread these days.

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Email Settings for Popular Email Services

I often need to look up information to setup my mail clients such as POP3, IMAP, or SMTP servers and ports. Today, I decided to create a spreadsheet with these information which should help me and others. Feel free to edit the spreadsheet to include other services such as comcast, verizon, …

Here is the URL to the spreadsheet:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=ppKEQlXDfvVE8saT2p8MIEQ

Reduce Distraction While Reading of Web Pages

Have you been to a web page full of ads that leave no room for contents? I bet you have. Here is an example:

Just to experiment, I printed the web page above to a PDF file, then view that file using Tofu, an OS X file viewing utility and the result is like day and night:

 

I got fed up with this high noise-to-contents ratio and have been seeking for ways to  bring sanity back to reading web pages. One of the way to deal with this situation is to use the print view. Many web sites has a print view, normally a text link that says something along the lines of “print,” “print this article,” or “printer-friendly view.” These are your friends.

The print views offer a few advantages:

  • They often pack more contents into the same screen area.
  • They are free of ads, or carry only a minimal amount
  • Some websites show white text on black background, which makes it a little hard to read for me. The print view usually show black text on white background–much easier to read in my opinion.
The following two pictures show an example of print view. While the print view might not pack more contents, it is less distracted. Here is the normal view:

white text on black background

And here is the print view:

Print view

 Here is another example, the normal view:
Normal view
And here is the print view:
print view

Have a way to reduce distractions from the web pages? I would like to hear from you.

How to Post Source Code in WordPress

If you are hosting your blog on wordpress.com and would like to post your source code, WordPress has a treat for you. Check out this Java code sniffet:


for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++)
    print("Line number %d\n", i);
[/sourcecode]

If you are interested, check out this WordPress FAQ page. WordPress claims to support Python, but I have tried and the syntax-highlighting feature does not work.

Another alternative is to use the Code Colorizer which I have described in my previous post. The Code Colorizer supports a number of languages, but Python is not one of them. If you know a solution for Python, please post a comment here.

E-Mail Icon Generator

Have you ever wanted to put your email on your blog or website, but were affraid that spamers can haverst it using their script? If that is the case, check out the E-Mail Icon Generator, a free service that generates email icon for you. The service includes icons for popular domains such as Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, Comcast, Earthlink, and more. Here is an example:

Creating the icon is fast, so give it a try.
Link

Google Page Creator

Google Page Creator (GPC) is a free service from Google that enable the users to create web pages using online tools. However, at this point, the service is flaky: I keep losing my changes due to disconnection problem. I will revisit this service after a couple of weeks; at that time, I hope the quality of service should be improved.

Adding photos and links to a page is easy. A photo can reside on the web (you supply the URL) or on your local machine (GPC will upload it). While a link to email or URL works, link to a local file shows some problems. I tried to link to a local .pdf file and GPC automatically upload it and made the link works–OK so far. When I try to link to a local .html file, GPC uploads and created the link just fine; but when I tested the link, it only shows the first line of the file.

I like GPC for creating pages that is free of clusters and ads (they might introduces ads later, but I hope they will be text ads per Google’s tradition).

2006-02-28 Update
Since yesterday, the service is more consistent. Today, I did not even notice the “disconnected” problem. I am not surprise because I expect the inconsistency in quality of service during the beta period. The more I use GPC, the more I appreciate its professionally designed templates. These templates are simple, elegant, aesthetic, and easy to read.

BubbleShare.com: a quick photo album

I discovered BubbleShare by accident. It allows a person to upload photos online and share the album via email. Furthermore, we can also add the album to our blog such as the example below. I like BubbleShare for not having to register to use the service, just supply an email for notification when the upload is finished. Furthermore, we can add audio commentary to each photo, up to 30 seconds per photo.



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BubbleShareAdd to my blog