Tag: How To

  • A Simple and Effective Backup Strategy for Mac OS X

    Disk is inexpensive compared to the value of your time and data. My personal backup configuration consists of three types of backups. The following combination has proven itself over the last several years and I recommend it. It includes 1) A full disk clone, 2) an incremental backup, and 3) an online backup service. This […]

  • No Frills SSL Certificates are Inexpensive and Useful

    SSL De Facto for Securing Connections SSL, short for Secure Socket Layer, is a cryptographic protocol for securing network traffic that is the de facto mechanism for securing transactions on the web and many other protocols including email (SMTP/IMAP/POP), IM (Jabber/XMPP), VoIP (SIP), and SSL-based VPNs. The topic of SSL certificates is a bit arcane, […]

  • How to Email a Complete Web Page From Any Browser

    Email is still one of the most convenient ways to quickly share links to friends and colleagues. Unfortunately, there are two major problems. First many people’s browsers are not configured to work correctly with their email client, especially for webmail. Second, many browsers only support emailing a link to the web page and not the […]

  • iPhone Screenshot and Photo Smart Album Hack

    I take a lot of screenshots when I research products, both on the desktop and on the iPhone, so having some way to automate organizing my collection is important. The problem is that screenshots images taken with the iPhone have no EXIF metadata. This means there is no straightforward way to produce a list of […]

  • Preparing Your Site for the iPad

    The Apple iPad does an excellent job of displaying most web sites. However, there are a few obstacles you may want to avoid. There are also a few customizations that will make your site look even better on the iPad. I will summarize the most important issues you should start to plan for and the […]

  • Why Does My Text Look Funny? Adventures in Character Set Encodings

    Character set encoding Character encoding is the low-level representation of the letters, numbers, and symbols we see in our daily interactions with computers. Common encodings for documents in English are ISO-8859-1 (a superset of ASCII), UTF-8 (an 8 bit Unicode character encoding), and Windows-1252. There are a great number of character set encodings in use […]

  • Simple Package Tracking with TrackMyShipments

    The web-based interfaces offered by the shipping services allow you to schedule shipments, manage billing, store addresses, and track packages online. Some third-party services offer simplified interfaces and allow you to track shipments from multiple shipping carriers at once. Still, the process of entering multiple tracking numbers into multiple services can be cumbersome. I prefer […]

  • Validating Email Address in Web Forms – The Hazards of Complexity

    Validating data in web forms reduces the likelihood of inadvertent submission of data that is incorrectly formatted, inconsistent, or incomplete. It is often useful to validate email addresses, especially if the addresses are going to be used for receipts or other types of follow up. Validation (and basic bounds checking) can also reduce the chance […]

  • Using a Plus to Simplify International Dialing

    When I travel out of the country, I usually test out new VoIP services both for calling back to the states and receiving calls while I am traveling. I consistently find that while the rates for VoIP services are very attractive, the user experience and flexibility is often lacking when I traveling, particularly with limited […]

  • A Better Way to Share Links in Email

    I regularly share links with friends and colleagues. I use several social bookmarking services, but the vast majority I share via email. Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer have a function to create a new message with an email link. The main disadvantage of sending links using the built-in browser methods is that the links they […]