Splash of Style...Macs, Photography, Design, and other Passions

Configuring a Linksys Router

April 13, 2007 by debbie T | ComputersInternetWeb DesignWirelessWordPress

(updated 2008-11-9)

My friend Jenn is having a tough time properly configuring her Linksys wireless router, so I told her I would write a tutorial. (waving to Jenn!) Hopefully this will help her, and anyone else in need. I suggest printing this tutorial to follow along easier.

First off, let me state that I am not a security expert, so please take everything in this tutorial with a grain of salt. ;) My router is a Linksys WRT54G wireless router, and I am using Comcast for broadband internet access. If someone is using DSL or a different router model, then settings might be slightly different.

For lots more information on wireless security, I recommend the podcast “Security Now” with Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte. Along with the audio podcast, there are also text transcripts for each show. For specific wifi discussion, locate podcasts from 2005 – episodes 10 through 13.

Let’s get started

Read the Rest of the Article

The New Icon Buffet

April 13, 2007 by debbie T | Art and GraphicsInternetWeb DesignWeb Development

A few of weeks ago, I noticed that Icon Buffet relaunched their icon sharing community.

See: Firewheel Design – how to build a community with icons

I have been a member of Icon Buffet for a little over a year; I can’t say that I have used many of their icons, but it is fun to collect and share.

Observations (Good and Bad):

Bottom line, I like the new and improved Icon Buffet. So, if you are an Icon Buffet member, make sure to drop by my profile page and add me as your friend. If anyone needs any icon deliveries, I have 300+ stamps, and would love to share! Or better yet, register using my referral link, and I get extra points!

Related Web Links:

Get Naked – 2007

April 4, 2007 by debbie T | CSSWeb Design

Well it’s that time of year again, when all daring designers decide to get naked and show off their true form.

Tomorrow marks the Second Annual CSS Naked Day. Remove your CSS style sheets, IF YOU DARE! baahaahaa.


Since I am using WordPress, it is easy to remove the CSS file link. I saved a copy of my theme’s “header.php” file, added the text explanation of why my site is so plain, and deleted the link to my style sheet file.

What Good is an AOL Email Account?

August 3, 2006 by debbie T | InternetWeb Development

Since I heard the news that AOL opened up their “gated garden” for all to use, I didn’t think I cared.

But after reading a post by Chris on the Wise Women mailing list, I realized that opening an AOL email account would be great for testing purposes.

So off I went to sign up. By the way, they ask for a lot of personal information that really isn’t necessary! I lied for most of it, since it really isn’t any of their business what my true birthday and phone number are. But I am sure I will now start to get crappy AOL snail mail at my P.O. Box.

Okay, so on to my first test. I headed to one of my web sites, and signed up for the updates list. Everything went smoothly, so I checked the AOL mail inbox for my reply-confirmation email. Nothing. I hit the new mail button several times, but nope, nothing new.

Then I checked the Spam folder…and what a surprise (insert sarcasm here), there was my confirmation email!

I hit the “Not Spam” button and the email moved to my inbox; I clicked on the link in the email to finalize the subscription confirmation.

I guess all is well, oh except for the realization that any AOL visitors trying to subscribe to my updates mailing list won’t actually be able to subscribe unless they are savvy enough to know to check in their spam folder. big SIGH!

The problem, as I see it, is the spam folder isn’t like the inbox folder; you don’t get an unread mail count (at least not by default) so the user has no clue if anything new arrived in the spam folder.

Anyone want to join me as I chant “I hate AOL, I hate AOL, I hate AOL”

Related Links:


Transform code to characters for html display

July 20, 2006 by debbie T | InternetWeb Development

One of my CSS cohorts in crime wrote a quick and easy app to transform code to characters for html display

So instead of hand coding all the < and > special characters, type the code into her form, and it converts to html automatically.

Thanks Gail!

CSS Child & Adjacent Sibling Selectors

July 18, 2006 by debbie T | CSS

[This is an advanced CSS tutorial. To learn the basics of XHTML and CSS, please view my Web Design Made Simple tutorials.]

It started out with an email discussion with friends, and worked its way into a detailed experiment to grasp how CSS child and adjacent sibling selectors worked. (Important Note: some advanced selectors do not work in IE version 6 or below.)

### CSS Children

What is a CSS child? It is a direct descendant of an element.

<p>This is <em>fun</em></p>

* The p tag is a child of the div tag
* The em is a child of the p element
* The em is a descendant, but not a child of the div tag

### CSS Adjacent Siblings

What is a CSS adjacent sibling? It is an element that follows right after another, as long as they both have the same parent.

<p>This is fun</p>
<p>This is challenging too</p>

* The h1 and both p elements are children of the div element.
* The h1 and both paragraphs are siblings, but only the h1 and the first paragraph are adjacent siblings.
* Both paragraphs are adjacent siblings.

Now that we have the definitions out of the way, how do the selectors work?

### CSS Descended Selectors

If you want to define a style for a descendant of an element, you would create a CSS rule with two selectors separated by a space.

div em {color:blue;}

The above CSS code would display all em text as blue as long as it was nested somewhere inside a div element.

### CSS Child Selectors

If you only wanted to define a child, then the greater than special character is used.

div>em {color:blue;}

The above CSS rule would format em text only if it was located directly in the div element. Any em text nested in a paragraph or heading would not display blue.

### CSS Adjacent Selectors

To define a CSS adjacent selector, the plus sign is used.

h1+p {color:blue;}

The above CSS code will format the first paragraph after any h1 headings as blue.

h1+p+p {color:blue;}

The above CSS code will format the second paragraph after any h1 headings as blue.

### Experiment

The best way to understand CSS is to experiment with it; if you are intimidated to experiment with your own file at first, but if you would like to see an example, I am sharing my child.html file. View source to see the embedded CSS and detailed notes.

Have fun!


July 16, 2006 by debbie T | CSSInternetWeb DevelopmentWordPressXHTML

I love cheat sheets! Found a great resource at Tech Cheat Sheets.

Besides various cheatsheets for php, css, and html, you can also find WordPress Themes and Microformats cheatsheets.

I just used their easy submit form to send the URL for the Expression Engine Quick Reference cheat sheet.

An Easy Way to Remember CSS Comments

June 12, 2006 by debbie T | CSS

The syntax for a css comment is somewhat difficult to remember. I know I always had trouble until I thought of an easy way to remember.

Think of a game of tennis

/* tennis anyone */

The rackets are on the outside with the tennis balls inside. Don’t forget to add a space in before and after your css comment text.

For more CSS Basics, as well as xhtml tutorials, check out my Web Designs Made Simple web site.

Cron Jobs & Backing Up Database Data

June 7, 2006 by debbie T | Content ManagementLinux CornerWeb Development

I have been backing up my mySQL databases manually through phpMyAdmin, and although it is an simple, straightforward way to backup, I really wanted to find a more reliable, automated backup system for my database data.

After a remind on an email list, I decided to learn a little more about Cron Jobs. First I googled “cron job backup database” and found an interesting script for backing up WordPress.

WordPress backup with Cron

From that page, I also found a more robust MySQL backup script:

AutoMySQLBackup from SourceForge.net

I read the basic instructions, then downloaded the .sh file. I thought the file was fairly easy to configure; make sure to scroll down the page for detailed instructions.

It looked like a simple enough process, but I did have a little trouble. My Notes:

* I uploaded the .sh file in a new directory above my public web files. Important! Make sure that you do not upload this file to your public_html directory, as it is possible that the file could be accessed there.
* I changed the .sh file permissions to 755.
* I created a new directory where the backed up database files will be saved. Make sure that the directory is referenced correctly in the .sh file. This is where I kept having trouble, so I finally set an absolute path to the backup directory.
* Set permissions to 755 for backup directory.
* I checked in my /etc directory, and did not find a daily cron folder, so I experimented with my own cron job. In my hosting account’s cpanel, at the bottom category “Advanced Tools”, choose Cron Jobs.
* Choose the “Standard” button for a wizard-like set-up.
* Type in a valid email address. If there is an error in the script, it is very helpful to receive an email notice.
* Type the path to the .sh file in the “Command to run” text box.
./directory/automysqlbackup.sh.2.5 – change directory to your specific name. Also, make sure to include the exact file name. If you are using a version of the script different than “2.5″ you must reference the specific file name, or rename the file to “automysqlbackup.sh”
* To test the script, I suggest a temporary setting of every 5 or 10 minutes. It will keep running while you troubleshoot the errors. Once the script runs successfully, remember to change the setting back to “0″
* Once you receive an email showing the completed process, open the backup directory. There should be newly created directories for daily, weekly and monthly. Inside the daily directory, look for individual database sub-folders, with compressed .sql files.
* Regularly download the database compressed files. I plan on downloading my weekly files.
* If it is ever needed, the .sh file also includes instructions for restoring your database.

This looks like a really useful script, and it will make my backups so much simpler and less time consuming!

Update: This morning, I received an email letting me know that the 3AM backup was successful; I checked the backup folder on my hosting account, and found a backup file for Thursday.

Don’t Forget to Use CSS Background-color

June 7, 2006 by debbie T | CSSWeb DesignWeb Development

I recently altered my Firefox preferences to display a custom peach color background. Initially the purpose was to ensure that my designs were displaying their CSS background colors properly.

Since that time, I have noticed other web pages were displaying my custom background instead of what the designers thought they had designed.

All it takes is a simple background declaration in the CSS file and this problem can be fixed.

body {background: #fff;}

So many designers either forget or take for granted that their default browser background color (usually white) will be the same default color for all their visitors. No so!

To change the settings in Firefox to display a custom background

* Choose Firefox Preferences>Content>Color
* Change the background color swatch to any color but white.
* Check the box next to “Allow pages to choose their own colors”

set custom background color in firefox

I couldn’t find a preference setting for Safari, but for Opera users, choose Preferences>Web Pages.

You will be amazed at how many web sites will now display your custom background color. I have started a list of high profile pages:

* http://www.google.com/analytics/
* Adobe Events
* Sears.com
* Ebay Reviews
* Domain Tools
* Boagworld – I wrote to the designers concerning their omission.
* Backbone Technology