TimYang.com ::: The Geek Blog

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Monday January 10

Harry Connick, Jr. with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra

Harry Connick Jr will be in town next month. I would almost kill to see him play in a concert hall as well-tuned as the KLCC Philharomic Theatre. But the tickets are RM300.


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Typical Malaysian reactions to tsunami

On the images of wrecked homes and destroyed land.

"Cool. Just like out of Day After Tomorrow."

On the hourly appeals for donations on TV.

"Wow. Look at all that destruction and death. Isn't it so annoying to see it over and over again?"

On the appeals from Malaysian politicans for donations.

"His lips are saying we should help out those poor hungry people. His eyes are saying KA-CHING."

Oh wait, that's not the typical Malaysian reaction. That's just the typically sensitive Tim Yang reaction.

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Chinese dinner on Jalan Alor

I went for a Chinese dinner on the famous Jalan Alor hawker street with the group from Alloexpat last night.

Thank god I didn't say anything too stupid. I always worry I'll say something stupid (don't you?). Especially this time since I didn't have the "I was drunk" defense.

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Sunday January 09

When to use safe palettes

Some good advice on working with gifs. When to dither and when not to dither.


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CSS references and tools

A great askmefi discussion with loads of online CSS references and tools.


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This is a site that runs a watch-for-change script for urls that you submit then notifies you of any change. I use it for news sites that update only occasionally and don't have RSS feeds. Like oreilly.com, for example. I'd use RSS feed scraper services, but I don't trust them. They're not terribly sophisticated yet.


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Saturday January 08


Audioblog.com is the powerful and easy-to-use audio (and video!) publishing service that puts your voice in your weblog or online journal.

It's USD4.95 per month.


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color combinations

Here's a sample list of colour combinations in palettes. For someone with little colour sense such as myself (but I know what I like), this is really useful. It goes into my tools bookmarks.


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XHTML Semantic Validator

The validators currently check either your markup or your CSS. This one checks your markup in relation to your CSS and makes recommendations as well as outputs an optimised CSS file. I can live without the optimised file, but I really like the recommendations.


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This website makes a lot of sense. A free dating service for bloggers. But there is one ironic thing about this service: they don't link back to your blog in your profile. Yup. Bloggerdate, but without the blogs.


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Button Maker

A superior 80x15 button maker to Kalsey's button maker. It allows images to be inserted into the design wiith some flexibility on positioning of the images.


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CSS Image Text Wrap Tutorial

How to achieve the text wrapping effect in websites like they have in magazines. Frankly, it seems to be too much trouble to go through. And it only works with static content, not dynamically-generated content.

Basically you create multiple and measured div blocks on the side of the column which you want to wrap the text around. You have to measure every single edge and be accurate with it and create a div just for that.

The only good news is that it maintains the shape well even when you increase or decrease text size in browsers.


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Anyone need an Orkut invitation? i just joined.

BTW, it's true what they say. Orkut is stuffed with Brazilians. Every bloody thing is in Portuguese, so much so that half the communities have a "Please speak English" clause in their descriptions.

Jezus. Even the Malaysian community got invaded by Portuguese-speaking Brazilians.

A close second is the Pakistani/Bangladeshi crowd. I'm certain the word Orkut must feature in the Koran somehow...

Incidentally, they have Filepile group there. Woohoo. I feel so l33t.

But Orkut is having massive server problems right now. I keep getting logged out or I reach a dead page. It took me half an hour to join 10 communities ... and then another half to unjoin them when I realised I had to read either Portuguese, Hindi or Tamil.

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Friday January 07

Real Web Project Management

This is a really must-have book, especially if you work in a team.

Issues covered include:

* The Web project manager--definitions and responsibilities
* The project team--assembling and tips for effective collaborative communication
* The project--defining and planning, plus managing change in any type of environment
* The Workflow--processes and analysis
* The design and build phases--managing and quality control
* The delivery of a completed project


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Table-less Layout in Dreamweaver Using the CSS Box Model

A tutorial on how to use Dreamweaver to make tablefree websites. Wonder why this article is so under-quoted...


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Thursday January 06

Google SandBox Effect Revealed

Here's the reason why sites rank completely differently after the first few weeks of going live. In the first few weeks, they were initially placed in the Google 'sandbox'.

Barry Schwarz of the SEORoundTable calls this the "sandbox effect," meaning that new sites are placed in a sandbox (where they can all play nicely away from the real sites). He recently reported a means of showing a site's pre-sandbox results.

"We have found that by adding seven exclusion parameters to the search query, the pre-sandbox results are displayed."

Google 'sandbox' effect

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META Tag Analyzer

Ok, we know metatags are pretty useless in most search engines except MSN and Lycos. So we still use them anyway. But what happens when your metatags don't correspond with your actual content? Google won't pick up the right keywords and won't index your site for those keywords. Missed opportunities will be had.

Enter the metatag analyzer which tests your title and compares your metatags with your content and gives you a rating and some advice. Awfully useful to run your site through it when you are done.


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Trigger words makes users dig into a site

Here's an interesting quote on user experience.

"...a web page can do only one of two things: either it contains the content the user wants or it contains the links to get them to the content they want. If a page doesn't follow this rule, then the users stop clicking..."

Trigger words is what makes users dig in to a site - words that contain the essential elements that provide the motivation to continue with the site.

So you have to be really careful to understand what words will trigger a user and place them prominently.


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Business Blog Consultants list

A good list of business blog consultants.


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Google library project breakdown

An interesting breakdown of how fast Google will be scanning 15 million books for the Google Library project.


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This is a totally radical meta search engine. I have never been more impressed!

It takes results from both Yahoo and Google for any search term you enter and for each result it shows you it what position it is on Yahoo compared to Google.

It also counts how many overlaps there are. I tried 10 queries today and I never had more than 4 overlaps. I can also show what I missed in Yahoo that was not on Google!

Did I mention there's also a Firefox searchbar for jux2? I am definitely going to wear this one out.


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An Overview of CSS in Dreamweaver MX

An excellent article about how Dreamweaver supports CSS and how designers can take advantage of it with the Dreamweaver interface.


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Wednesday January 05

Buzz Marketing with Blogs For Dummies

This new book by Susannah Garder (who has written books on Dreamweaver and does not have a blog) is coming to your bookshop on March 14, 2005.

Oh yea oh yea. The end of the world is nigh!


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Search engine myths and truths

There's no such thing as a permanent top position. New pages with unique content are added to the Web all the time. Old pages are deleted or updated. How pages and sites link to each other also changes. Search engine indexes constantly evolve. Therefore, position will always fluctuate.


Some of the best search engine agents will only review about 40K of data per page, including images and ALL coding. So be on the lookout, prioritize your information, and know that not all content on the page will or can be seen and indexed.


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Search engine positioning by press release

An interesting discussion on searchengine watch on how the pick-up of a few statements by online news outlets can propel a site to Google's top 10 results for a search term for a few weeks. This is based on Google's voracious appetite for news and its preferential treatment of news media that feature on Google News.


Anecdotal evidence of the use of PRWeb.com for this purpose.

How to optimize a press release for search engines.

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A gravatar, or globally recognized avatar, is quite simply an 80×80 pixel avatar image that follows you from weblog to weblog appearing beside your name when you comment on gravatar enabled sites. Avatars help identify your posts on web forums, so why not on weblogs?

I couldn't wait to try this out. But the site seems broken somehow. I applied for an account several hours ago, but I have yet to receive the confirmation email.


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Wireframe Yourself

An extremely good article on introducing wireframing for websites. It explains what it is, why it is important, what are its advantages, what problems it resolves in the website creation process, how to do it and what its goals are.


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Installing PHP5 on OS10.3

I just successfully installed PHP5 on my Mac. Now I can run PHP softwares. Next I have to figure out how to install MySQL too.

It's simple: you just download the package installer from here and run it. Then open up a PHP file residing in the Sites folder in your user folder with the URL in your web browser.

I was unsuccessful at first because the instructions did not mention a critical step. I cleared this up with the author of the package installer.

You have to go to the System Preferences, click on Sharing and turn on Personal Web Sharing.

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Monday January 03

Surfers in Cherating headed out

And Amelia with her baby (and waitress) at her restaurant.

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Export to Gallery iphoto plugin

Download, install, re-start your iphoto and you can start exporting your photos to Gallery immediately.


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Hack yourself

Hack yourself is a really nice essay about self improvement. Good reading to start the new year. But the design of the site makes the text completely unreadable.


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