Thursday, December 30, 2004

Designing a delete confirmation system

There are two ways to accidentally delete something, hitting the wrong key accidentally, and mistakenly thinking you are deleting the correct item. To avoid the first problem of accidentally hitting a key most systems require that you hit two keys in order to delete something. For instance in MS windows to delete a file you commomly hit the delete key and then are prompted with a confirm dialog. On a Mac they cleverly combine a two key combination (Command + delete) to delete a file. This avoids having to use a confirm dialog but is initially very frustrating for users that don't know the combination. Yahoo's mail interface also makes you hit two keys, first you have to select a checkbox from the list of emails, and then you click a delete button. All of these systems require that you do two actions to minimize the odds of accidentally deleting an item.

The other scenario is that you mistakenly think you should delete something and later realize it was a mistake. In this case a confirmation is unlikely to do any good since you may not realize your mistake till you need the file later. In that case all the systems mentioned have a "trash" system where you can retreive deleted items for days or weeks after they are deleted.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Adware continues to be a problem for everyone I know. Spybot and Ad Aware seem to be getting out of date. There is a new free that removes lots of stuff called CW Shredder. Also, it's becoming hard to google for these things and know that you are getting the right link. I suggest choosing a reputable site like or

Saturday, July 17, 2004

my web server has gone down twice in the last few days. i set up a little program to check it once an hour to make sure it is up.

Monday, June 21, 2004


In the world of web advertising CPM stands for price/cost per thousand impressions. I guess the M is the Roman numeral.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Things to try when your linux web server is running slow...
-try to ssh in, and run w or top. check for run away processes.
-run a tracert to see where the problem is.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Today I found out it's important to put action tags in forms even if you are submitting to the same page. Most browsers work without the action tag, but AOL browser on the Mac fails.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Search Engine Optimization tip. Use Javascript links on your unimportant pages so that you don't dilute your PageRank.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Here is what I have learned about SSL certificates for a web server. You generate a CSR (certificate signing request), and a private key on your box. You send the CSR to the CA (certificate authority) and they send you a Certificate. You are supposed to be careful to guard your private key. It is the key to validating your identity.

When generating the key you have to choose the key length. Generally your choices are 512, 1024, and 2048. 1024 bits are the most popular ones in use for commercial transactions. Most respectable sites use 128 bit encryption.

Certificates are only good for a certain amount of time, usually a year. CA usually charge between $50 and $800. Verisign and Thawte are the two most respected CAs.
You can view a sites certificate details in IE by double clicking the lock icon in lower right corner on status bar. In IE, you can view the CA's that your browser trusts by going to Tools->Internet Options -> Content (tab) -> Certificates -> Trusted Root Certification Authorities.

Consider buying the certificate from the ISP you use. I bought mine from another source and when I had problems the CA didn't support installation, and my ISP blamed the CA's certificate. In the end I used my ISP and the Plesk interface made it relatively simple.

Monday, May 10, 2004

I have been doing research on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
here is a tutorial and the link is optimized for search engines: Free search engine optimization tutorial
google guidelines
article on slashdot about (SEO) contest

Thursday, May 06, 2004

I am using redhat 9 on my web server. Since Redhat is dropping support for up2date I decided to install yum. I downloaded to my server through lynx and then installed it as well as some dependent packages. The command to run yum manually is:
# yum update

checks for updates
# yum check-update

Fedora Legacy Project Anouncements

I also started using ftp over ssh.
Linux Security FAQ

Monday, May 03, 2004

Today I got a business license. It was only $8.50 for Jefferson County, AL. I needed it to open a business bank account. Since the business is an LLC, and I am not the sole owner, I have to turn in vouchers every month for occupational tax. Also i have to remember to renew it in October. In October the amount wil be based on the previous year's reciepts.

I also applied online for an EIN, which is a social security number for a business.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

On my Linux box I use the last command to check to make sure no one has logged on. I noticed that the log was cleared on the first of the month and found out that it is reset based on parameters in this config file... /etc/logrotate.conf

Friday, February 20, 2004

When you import files into sql server 2000 the file needs to be named the same as the table. The wizzard never asks you which table.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

I recently needed to come up with a good domain and came up with some tips for choosing a good domain name:
The key is to get something simple.
1) get a .com. No remembers all the other domains.
2) Domain name should be short. Ideally it should be a single word with around six characters. (think ebay, yahoo, amazon)
3) It should be easy to spell and unambiguous. Don't use "the" at the start or hyphens. (imho would be a bad name)
4) Most real words are taken, so consider making up a word (think google, napster, blogger).
blogger is an interesting one because it is presumably a "contraction" for web logger.
This creates a unique brand and it avoids having to possibly buy the domain.

- register typical misspelling, probable typos and other domains (like .net, .org, etc)
For instance owns (notice 3 o's)
-also consider registering domains that people might mistakenly associate with your name.
For instance also owns

You can always break the rules. For instance, I think is a good name because it is funny and easy to remember even though it's not short.