Saturday, March 29, 2008

ImageReady dont save as GIF

go to the (on a Mac, not sure about a pc) Window menu and choose Optimize.

In the Optimize pane make sure the format is set to gif.

Then make sure you choose "Save Otimized As" from the file window and that you have chosen what you would like from the Format pop up window.

Hope this helps...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Alexandra's Mobile [Ad]itude - We obsess about user experience

In my last post, some of you expressed concern that intrusive and oversized advertisements on a small screen could result in a poor mobile user experience. You asked how we strike the delicate balance between ensuring a good user experience while providing effective advertising. At Google, we care very deeply about this balance and we're constantly striving to make sure that you have the best experience possible. In this post, I'll tell you more about some of the things we're doing to try to achieve this.

At the core of striking this balance is working hard to improve ad quality. The more relevant the ads, the fewer ads there need to be. In fact, when you go to on your phone and do a search, we now return no more than two text ads per query. These ads can appear above or below the organic search results and most take up just two lines of text on larger mobile screens. And while a single ad may appear at the top or bottom of a mobile content page, a double ad unit can only appear at the bottom of a page. Watch the video below to learn more about ad size and placement.

Of course, we also want to make sure our advertisers have a good experience with Google mobile ads. Fewer ads per page can be beneficial for an advertiser because there is less clutter on each page and each ad gets more visibility. More importantly, showing relevant ads and maintaining a good user experience results in better click-through rates and return on investment.

I hope this addresses some of your questions. Thanks so much for your comments on my last post and keep submitting more questions. This is your opportunity to guide the direction of this series!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Print Folder Contents in Text File

Open a command prompt. Change directory with the cd command to get into the directory you want to read. Then type this command.

dir /a >c:\dirlist.txt

The "dir" command will read the current directory.
the "/a" tells "dir" to read all files in the folder, even hidden or system files.

Then the ">" (greater-than sign) tells "dir" to redirect its output to the filename following.

"dirlist.txt" is the name of the file that will receive the directory listing.

I use this simple technique often to get a listing of files in some folder or another.

[If using the CD command to change to a specific directory is not to your liking, you can just insert the path to the subject folder in the command line, like this:

dir /a "C:\Program Files\xorb\" > C:\dirlist.txt
This will list all the files in the \xorb\ folder.]

Friday, March 21, 2008

Google Maps now native on more phones: Do UIQ? We do.

As a mobile user, you choose a carrier, subscription plan, platform and handset model (think of it as a flavour) that suits your fancy. And with mobile applications becoming more and more important in your everyday wireless experience, you want to be sure that the apps you know and love will run beautifully on the phone you finally decide to call your own.

That's why we've just released a "native" UIQ version of our Google Maps for mobile client application. Native applications are optimized for the platform on which they're built, meaning they run fast and feel right. UIQ is an open mobile software platform that supports rich user interfaces like touch- and full-screen. Now that Google Maps for mobile runs natively on UIQ for Symbian OS, you can get the full benefit of handy features like My Location on a wider range of phones.

You can already get Google Maps for mobile clients custom-built for Palm, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, iPhone, and Symbian S60, in addition to the widely-used Java version of the application. Now, this list includes the following UIQ handsets (version 3.0 and up): new Sony Ericsson phones with touch screens -- P1, W960i, W950, M600 or P990 -- and the Motorola Z8. And new UIQ phones are coming out all the time; look for the soon-to-be-released Sony Ericsson G700 and G900, as well as the Motorola Z10.

Supporting so many platforms means only one thing: whatever gold-plated, diamond-encrusted or mint-scented handset you choose, a zippy mobile mapping experience is never more than a download away. Just visit from your phone's web browser, and we'll get you sorted.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fast is better than slow

A few weeks ago, we launched a plug-in for Symbian devices that put a Google search shortcut onto the phone's home screen. This shortcut reduces the time it takes for you to get answers from Google by eliminating the initial search steps (e.g. finding the browser application, opening it, and navigating to before entering your query). The same plug-in has been available for BlackBerry devices since last December. Today, we're making this available for Windows Mobile devices too.

If you're a Windows Mobile user, browse to on your device to download the plug-in and start searching faster than ever. Once you do, we think you'll find it so much faster and easier that you'll start conducting more mobile web searches than you ever had before. How do we know this? Well, when we look at the combined usage numbers for BlackBerry and Symbian versions of this plug-in, we see that users are able to get Google search results up to 40 percent faster. And, BlackBerry and Symbian users with the plug-in installed search 20 percent more than those without it.

We saw something similar after we launched an updated interface for Gmail on the iPhone during MacWorld earlier this year. Lots of iPhone users tried the new interface (hence the bump in Gmail pageviews between January and February), but they didn't stick around like we hoped they would. Over the course of the next few weeks, we made some tweaks to drastically improve the speed of the product, and Gmail pageviews on the iPhone not only stabilized, but began to rise, as the graph below shows:
This link between increased usage and a faster user experience -- be it search or mobile Gmail -- reinforces something we at Google have known for a long time: Fast is better than slow. With mobile applications, we're seeing that fast is much better than slow. Although this may seem pretty intuitive, it's always nice to see new data backing this up. Moving forward, we'll continue to focus on bringing you the fastest and most compelling mobile experiences that we can. So stay tuned!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Warning: I am able to write to the configuration file

Q: What should i do to set the right user permission ???

Warning: I am able to write to the configuration file: c:/phpdev/www/catalog/includes/configure.php. This is a potential security risk - please set the right user permissions on this file.

A: you need to chmod the configure.php file to 644

If you're using Windows as your test server and you get this error... just do the following:
Right click on 'includes/configure.php'

Select 'Properties' (A new box will appear...)

Select/Tick 'Read-only'

Click 'Ok'

(Don't forget to do this for both your 'catalog' and 'admin' directories.

You will probably need to set catalog/includes/configure.php to 444 as I had this problem when my server was updated to new security levels.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fast tip: one-click access to Google mobile applications on your phone

I've heard it said that user interfaces are measured in "hurts." Here at Google we like things to be as painless as possible. That's why we're happy to share a little-known feature of many phones that allows you to launch your favorite app (hopefully Google Maps!) with the press of a button.

Buried in the settings menu of many phones is the option to configure "convenience keys" (or "sidekeys," or "shortcuts," depending on the device). Convenience keys let you configure a physical key, usually on the side of your phone, to instantly launch whatever application you choose. For instance, here are some instructions for how to configure a BlackBerry, Blackjack, and Nokia N95 for one-click access to Google Maps for mobile:

BlackBerry 8800: Go to Options->Screen/Keyboard->Convenience Key -> select 'Google Maps'
Samsung BlackJack: Select 'Settings' icon ->More ->Key settings ->Side key settings ->Select 'Google Maps'
Nokia N95: Press the 'Menu' button ->Tools ->Settings ->Personalization ->Standby mode ->Shortcuts ->Left/Right selection key -> Select 'Google Maps'

In the video below Steve Lee and I show you how to set up these quick access keys. Be sure to catch our death-defying duel at the end of the video, where one of us bites the dust while the other hurls obscure movie references.

Finally, if you use shortcut keys on other phones please submit a comment below so that others can give them a try.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

What is Favicon and How to Create it

Some time back, I had an email from a visitor asking me how I managed to have's icon displayed next to my URL in his browser's location bar. In fact, had he checked carefully, he would also have noticed that the icon is also used in his "Favorites" menu.
Internet Explorer ("IE") 5.0 and above has a facility where, if someone bookmarks your website (ie puts it in their "Favorites" menu), it associates a particular icon with your website in the bookmark. It tries to obtain that icon by first requesting for "favicon.ico" from the directory of your web page. If it cannot find such a file, it will try to obtain it from the root directory of your website, failing which, it will simply use a default icon for the bookmark.

On the other hand, the favicon.ico file is available, the icon will also be displayed beside your website name in the "Favorites" menu, the location bar in IE, and if the user opens up the "Favorites" folder, it will be the icon used for the link to your site.
Opera and Firefox ( Get Firefox with Google Toolbar ) also have the ability to use the favicon.ico file. In fact, Firefox also accepts the file in other graphics formats, such as the PNG format. These browsers display the "favicon.ico" in the location bar of the browser (the part that shows your website's address or URL). Safari, both the Mac OS X and the Windows versions, also loads the favicon.ico file into the address bar if available.
Software Requirements
If you have an Windows icon editor (which you may already have if you have purchased a programming language development system for Windows), you're all set.
All is not lost, however, if you do not have the above. Simply pop over to's Free Resource Editors and Icon Editors page at and get yourself one. That page lists a few free icon editors and resource editors. Just choose any of the icon editors that strikes your fancy and download it. Alternatively, you can also download one of the other packages that contain a resource editor. Resource editors are tools that programmers use to create and edit Windows "resources" like icons, cursors (ie, mouse pointers), menus, dialog boxes, etc. For our purpose here, you will only need to use the icon editor portion of such resource editors.
How to Create a "Favicon.ico" File
1. Create an image 16X16 pixels in size. Yes, it is really small and you can't really draw much in it. You should also restrict yourself to the standard Windows 16 colours, although I suspect that 256 colours will work fine.
If you like, you can also create a 32X32 pixel icon, which will be scaled to size for the Favorites menu and the location bar. You can even put both 16X16 and 32X32 pixel icons into the same icon file. Windows will use the former for its menus and the latter when the user opens up a folder that is set to display large icons. It's probably not really necessary to do this if you can't be bothered.
2. Save the image as an ICO file (named "favicon.ico", of course).
3. Upload it to your website. You don't need to upload one to every directory of your site if you don't want to waste space - simply put it in your root directory and the web browsers that support favicons will apparently locate it eventually. You can also upload it into your images directory, but you will need to modify your web pages if you do. See later in this article for more information on this.
Help! My Web Host Doesn't Allow ICO Files!
If your hosting company does not allow files with the .ICO extension to be uploaded, you might try to work around it by uploading it (in binary mode) with some other extension (like GIF). Once it's on your site, rename it using your FTP program to the correct extension.
Helping the Browser Locate the favicon.ico file
If you have placed your favicon.ico file in a location other than the current web directory (relative to your web page) or the root directory, you have to help your visitors' browser locate the favicon file by specifying it with a tag like the following in the head section of your web page.

link rel="shortcut icon" href="/favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon" /
You should replace "/favicon.ico" in the above example with the actual location of your favicon.ico file, for example, "/images/favicon.ico" if you have placed it in your "/images/" directory.
This step is optional if you have put your "favicon.ico" file in the standard locations, that is, in the same directory as the web page or in the root directory of your website. Otherwise you will need to modify all your existing web pages to take advantage of the "favicon.ico" facility.
How Many People are Bookmarking My Website?
This "favicon.ico" used to have an interesting side-effect. The side-effect applied whether or not you bothered to put a special "favicon.ico" on your site. You used to be able to find out the number of IE 5 users who bookmarked your site by simply counting the requests for "favicon.ico" in your web server logs, since IE 5 only asked for the favicon.ico file when a site was placed into the "Favorites" menu. From the number of favicon.ico requests, you could estimate the total number of people who bookmark your site by applying this formula: number of IE 5 bookmarks divided by the fraction of your visitors using IE 5.
For example, if two-thirds of your visitors use IE 5+, and you get 100 requests for the icon, simply divide 100 by two-thirds to get 150. This was by no means an accurate measure - it did not take into account numerous factors; but at least it was able to give you a hint of how useful people find your site.
However, this side effect is no longer relevant today. All the major browsers, Firefox (and its derivatives like Netscape, Seamonkey, etc), Opera and Safari load the favicon.ico to display in your visitors' web address bar whether they put your site in their favourites (or bookmarks) or not. I merely mention this "side-effect" in case you have heard from webmasters of old about the bookmarking issue, so that you won't deceive yourself when you see the large number of "favicon.ico" requests in your web logs: those requests do not mean much anymore.
Miscellaneous Matters
If you are testing your favicon file in Internet Explorer, and find that you're seeing an old version of your favicon.ico file, you probably need to empty your browser's cache (and possibly restart the browser). Internet Explorer caches the favicon.ico file in the "Temporary Internet Files" folder, so if you don't empty the cache, you'll probably continue to see your old version and not the new version that you've created. Incidentally, this also means that if your visitors empty their cache, their copy of the favicon.ico file that was associated with the bookmark of your site will also be lost.
In addition, you should note that IE's implementation of favicon support is not particularly robust. There will be times it displays the favicon for your site, and other times when it won't. Don't be too bothered about this. If you need to test that you implemented your favicon correctly, test it in the other browsers. If it works there, then it's probably done correctly. From experience, whether a site's favicon shows up in IE or not depends on so many variables that it's best regarded as a random occurrence. This applies both to you and your site's visitors, so there's no point obsessing over it.
The "favicon.ico" facility is by no means essential to your website's operation. In fact, few people even notice its existence, and its really too small to put anything useful in it. However, creating one can save your site some bandwidth if you have created a custom 404 File Not Found error file - that file will be sent by your web server everytime there is a request for a nonexistent "favicon.ico" file. Perhaps more importantly, creating such an icon adds to the professionalism of your site, marking you as a web designer who attends to detail.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Shifting Google Gears to mobile

Ever use a mobile web application and suddenly lose your cell connection? That's happened to me many times. If you've shared my pain, you'll be excited to know that we've launched Google Gears for mobile, which lets users access Gears-enabled mobile web apps offline. Initially available for Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices, mobile web app developers have already started integrating Gears for mobile into their online services.

Take Zoho and Buxfer, for example: Zoho is a powerful suite of web-based productivity applications, while Buxfer is an innovative personal finance web application that helps you track your money. With Google Gears for mobile integrated into mobile Zoho and Buxfer, you can now access these web applications even when your phone is disconnected from the mobile web. Stuck on a plane? No problem — you can still read your docs on your mobile with Zoho Writer Mobile offline. Want to buy that new plasma TV, but can't remember how much is in your account? Check your balance with Buxfer's mobile web application, even if there is no cell phone signal. Try them out on your Windows Mobile 6 device by going to or

When you first access mobile Buxfer or Zoho Writer on your Windows Mobile device and go offline, you will be asked to install Google Gears for mobile. Once installed, Gears sits happily on your phone helping you stay connected to your data -- even when you lose your network connection.

If you're a developer who's interested in creating mobile web applications using Google Gears for mobile you can find out more information on our developer site. Finally, if you're not a Windows Mobile user, stay tuned -- we're working to roll out Google Gears for other platforms with capable web browsers, including Android.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Credit Transfer Service From SAWA

The Credit Transfer Service will permit SAWA customers to recharge their accounts by simply transferring credit from any other SAWA customer line via SMS .
The transfer mobile to mobile service will make life easier for SAWA customers; it will allow people to "borrow" credit from friends when they are not capable of recharging through the physical scratched cards.
SAWA customers with enough credit will be authorized to transfer credit value only to SAWA customers.

Service Setup :
First Step : In order to benefit from this service , you must first activate it , and this is done by sending a SMS to 1500 containing the following :
( * 122 * the last four digits of your mobile number * the new PIN you desire # )
Second step : In order to use this service you must send a SMS containing the following :
( * 133 * the SAWA number you wish to transfer to * the amount you wish to transfer * your PIN # )
  • SR 500 maximum credit transfer per day
  • SR 100 maximum credit transfer per transactions
  • SR 10 minimum credit transfer per transactions

Joomla: PHP register_globals setting

Quote from article of: VR Junkyard Posted under Joomla

This is tutorial for joomla problem, cause usually when you just installed joomla, some of you may get this notice:
PHP register_globals setting is `ON` instead of `OFF`

What to do? this is an easy step by step to fix that problem:

- make .htaccess file in your Joomla site’s root and add this lines:

# Offers protection during hack attacks by NOT disclosing error
# messages, server paths, et cetera, and turns off your globals.
php_flag display_errors off
php_flag register_globals off

- make “php.ini” in your Joomla site’s root and add this lines:

register_globals = Off
magic_quotes_gpc = On

- open your globals.php file, and change the line:

define( 'RG_EMULATION', 1 )


define( 'RG_EMULATION', 0 )

now, your register globals is OFF!