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Volume 1 - Issue 29 10-27-06

 

For those who would like to read this in HTML format, this issue of Boomer eZine is posted on the Boomer eZine website at http://www.boomer-ezine.com/V1I29_102706.htm and on the Boomer eZine Blog at http://boomer-ezine.blogspot.com.

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1.    Authors Comments

2.    Q&A, Comments and Suggestions (Video)

3.    Copyright

4.    Snag It

5.    Rentacoder.com

 

 

Author's Comments

 

Linda and I had a great visit with our son, Travis and his wife, Linda Lee.  It was a great weekend.

 

I came back to a hard week at work.  Lots to do and not enough time to do it all.  I am glad it’s Friday.  Tomorrow my welder friend and I are working on the hunting car again.  We will finish it someday????

 

Q&A, Comments and Suggestions (Video)

 

From Ana: In your article about backing up files, you indicate we can use Mozy.com up to 2.0GB of files. How do I determine how much space my files are taking up, and how do I determine how much space my computer even has?

Also, does online backup mean if this computer

crashes, I can access my files online from either a

new computer or this one cleaned up, and recopy

everything to the desktop/hard drive?

 

Ana, great questions.

 

Let’s look at how to tell how much disc you may have to back up.  I am assuming that you are running windows.  If you go into Windows Explorer (Right click on the Start button on the lower left of your screen and the select Explore on the dropdown box) and go to My Documents where I am assuming most of your files are located, right click on the My Documents icon and select Properties from the dropdown box.  Click the General Tab and you will see how much space is in My Documents.  If you have additional files in other locations right click on them and follow the same procedure to add up all the space your back up will need.

 

Note:  Mozy will run on your computer and analyze your hard drive and let you know ahead of the backup how much space you will need.  

As far as how much space is in your computer….To determine how much disc storage you have, use Windows Explorer, highlight the hard drive disc letter (usually C: but not always).  Right click the icon for the drive and select Properties.  You will see how much disc space you have used and how much is available and what the total combined space you have on your drive.  

If you want to know how much RAM (random access memory) your computer has, click Start and then select Control Panel.  On the control panel select System.  The main System page will display your operating system, the processor speed and how much RAM is in your computer.  

See video for the above explanation at  

 http://www.boomer-ezine.com/Videos/V1I29Video/Click-to-Play.html.  

Question:  If you back up with Mozy, you can download and recreate all the files on any computer.  The dialog box for Mozy has a button “Restore Files” and this will download the files from the online storage to the hard drive you specify.  

Mozy limits how many restores per month are allowed since it is a back up site and not a file sharing site.  

Author’s Note: I check Mozy each day and it has backed up all changed files sometime during the night.  Mozy tells me the last time the files were backed up and it is usually only a few hours ago.  Once you get past the initial backup, the incremental backups are painless.  

If you have anything for this section or you have a suggestion for a topic for an article, please go to http://www.boomer-ezine.com/Suggestion_Form1.htm and give us your input.  With your input we can improve the Boomer Video eZine.  

Copyrights

 

A couple of weeks ago, Sue asked for an article about copyrights.  Well, Sue, here it is.

 

The basis for copyright law in the USA is found in the United States Constitution in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 as follows:  

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.  

The first copyright law was the Copyright Act of 1790.  We are currently operating under the Copyright of 1976 as amended.

 

Copyrights have a term of the life of the author plus 70 years.  We Boomers can thank Sonny Bono (Sonny and Cher ) for this.  The Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998—alternatively known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act set the current term of copyrights.

 

When you write original content, it is copyrighted even if you do not specify “Copyright” or use the “circle C”  copyright symbol.

 

However, it is best to declare your works are copyrighted.  The proper way to do this is “Copyright (Date of first Creation) ( Name of author).

 

The best way to approach using any information that you have not created yourself is to consider that it is copyrighted.

 

To copyright an item, you must establish a dated record of some type when you first created the item so you can prove the date of the copyright if someone challenges you.  The earliest date will get the copyright.  Before computers, a technique was to write the piece and have it notarized or witnessed.  Another technique was to enclose the item in an envelope and mail it to yourself.  The postmark established the date.

 

Now we have computers that record the date of file creation for anything we record on them.  This date becomes the date of the copyright.

 

All you have to do to copyright something is to create it and follow the previously specified procedure by specifying “Copyright (Date of first Creation) ( Name of author)”  Use of the copyright symbol is not required.  The following procedure is for MS Word:  To insert the copyright symbol, click Insert on the tool bar, Click Symbol on the dropdown and you will be presented a table of all kinds of symbols.  Highlight the “circle C” and click the Insert button  and the will appear where your cursor is located.  You will have to click on the Close button to close the Symbol box.

 

There, that was easy.  Now start creating content on which you can proudly hang that “circle C”.

 

Snag It

 

Last week, we discussed how to do a screen print of what you were viewing on the screen.  This is a quick and dirty way of printing the screen.  However, it is included in your operating system so there is no additional cost for the feature.

 

A better way (costs $39.95) is to use the software package, Snag It.  This is a very handy package that has many more features than the screen print.  You need to evaluate what you need for your particular requirements.

 

Snag It is from Techsmith, the same company that makes Camtasia.  Some of the neat features of Snag It are it will capture the entire window, not just the part of the window that is visible on the screen.  When you tell Snag It to capture, it will start at the top of the window and scroll down to the bottom during the capture.

 

As soon as the capture is complete, the captured data is presented in an edit screen where you can save the entire image, or cut out a particular piece to save or to print.  The editor has other editing tools for editing the capture.

 

We purchased Snag It in a package deal when we purchased Camtasia ($20.00 extra).  I have already used it several times.  I used it to capture and print the keyword table for the Google Adwords campaign that we are setting up to promote the Boomer Guru videos.  If I had used screen print, I would get a lot of the page that I did not need.  With Snag It I cut out the table and printed it.

 

I also used it to prepare a shot for the video that we are producing on how to remotely access your Window XP computer for no additional cost (other than the cost of the XP operating system).

 

This is not for everyone, but for some it will be a very handy tool to have.  You can check it out at http://www.techsmith.com/snagit.asp.  There is a 30 day free trial if you want to play with it to see if it might help you.

 

Rentacoder

 

This is a really cool site.  I have used eLance.com for several projects, but I had never used Rentacoder.com.  (For previous Boomer eZine article about eLance go to http://www.boomer-ezine.com/V1I6_052006.htm.

 

It is more difficult to register on Rentacoder than on eLance.  Apparently, Rentacoder has been burned by credit card fraud so you must take additional steps to validate your card for payment.  I signed up and went though the validation process which consisted of the usual completion of the sign up form, setting up your credit card as the payment method, scanning or faxing both sides of the card to Rentacoder, and then receiving a phone call from Rentacoder validating the card.  This all was handled quickly and efficiently.

 

I had a project on which I needed help and in my opinion, the project should not cost more than $25.00 USD.  The minimum project on eLance is $100.00 so I opted to try Rentacoder.  I was pleasantly surprised.

 

Let’s talk about the scope of the Rentacoder project.  The Internet allows you to pass parameters from one web page to another in the URL.  If you see a URL containing a question mark (?) followed by characters, the information after the question mark is the parameter data.  An example is

 

http://www.boomer-guru.com/form1.htm?video=BGV6100602

 

This link is to the form on Boomer Guru where the viewer is sent at the end of any BG video. The form asks the viewer for suggestions for improvement on the video.  Since this is a general purpose form for all videos, the form needs to know which video the viewer just watched. 

The video number is passed as a parameter after the question mark (?).  In this case it is ?value=BGV6100602.  I passed the parameter to the form with no difficulty, but I did not know the Java code to put it in the input form to send to the ASK database.  I needed professional help so I turned to Rentacoder.

 

From the time that I made the decision to use Rentacoder until I had the finished code was an elapsed time of five hours at a cost of $5.00 USD.

 

The job was posted as follows:

 

Java Script for ASK form

 

I need a script written to take the parameter passed to a web page in the URL and put it in the value= field for a hidden field in a form.

The webpage is located at http://www.boomer-guru.com/form1.htm?video=BGV61006062. This link includes a test parameter.

I downloaded code to the site to extract the parameter, but I do not know how to put the parameter in the value field so it can be passed to the database.

The location in the HTML where the data needs to be placed is indicated by Video_Number_Goes_Here.

Please bid on this job. Thanks.

Platform:
Running Windows XP.

Job requires Java script programming within a web page.

Deliverables:
All deliverables must be uploaded to Rent A Coder before the deadline(s) for this project...with no exceptions. If this contract makes it impossible for a competent person to do this, then do not start this project...but instead alert Rent A Coder of an un-arbitratable, illegal project.

1) Complete and fully-functional working program(s) in executable form as well as complete source code of all work done.


2) Deliverables must be in ready-to-run condition, as follows (depending on the nature of the deliverables):   For web sites or other server-side deliverables intended to only ever exist in one place in the Buyer's environment--

Provide me with the code. I will install it on the web page and upload it to test. I will notify you when the code is installed on the web page so you can verify it is installed correctly. I will have to access the secure database to determine if the code worked.

3) All deliverables will be considered "work made for hire" under U.S. Copyright law. Buyer will receive exclusive and complete copyrights to all work purchased. (No GPL, GNU, 3rd party components, etc. unless all copyright ramifications are explained AND AGREED TO by the buyer on the site per the coder's Seller Legal Agreement).  

End of Job Posting.  

I received several bids in the $25.00 range without any additional communication.  The winning bid was a young man from India who went to the web page on which I needed the help.  He copied that web page to his website, modified it to include the features that I wanted, and then sent me an email with the link to the modified page on his website asking if that was what I was trying to accomplish.

 I was able to test the code and use View Source on the page to see his technique.  He was smart not to totally complete the job since that is against Rentacoder rules and a dishonest buyer could just copy his code and not pay him.  

He still had not bid on the job.  I replied that he had created what I was seeking.  He then entered a bid of $5.00 which I accepted.

 I left him very good feedback and we are both happy.  I will definitely use Rentacoder again for help with the technical details that are beyond my capability (and there are a lot of them).

I recommend that you consider Rentacoder for any project on which you need help.  There are many capable programmers available through the Internet who can help you at a very reasonable price.

 I recommend that you check out Rentacoder at

 http://www.rentacoder.com/RentACoder/Default.asp?txtFromURL=AId_6288648ther important tool for the entrepreneur’s tool box. issue for this week.  Until next week, stay tuned.

 

John and Linda Howe

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