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November 2010

QiSoftware Business Blogging

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ARIN Offers an API

The American Registry For Internet Numbers [ARIN] recently updated their site. Last evening, while updating the WiredPages IP Lookup Interface to reflect their site changes- I noticed they [ARIN] now offer an API.

New IP Lookup Interface I have been working on, this afternoon.

Read more about ARIN on WikiPedia.

I am going to keep the interface I currently use on WiredPages in place-- however may add this version to the QiSoftware Solutions Catalog.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Clickable BackGround Images-- CodeTrick

Insofar as the web, I would classify myself-- more a web developer than web designer. The difference? I develop code/tools/interfaces that provide some functionality-- rather than putting a lot of effort into graphical design.

Of course, my roots-- as related to programming started long before the web came into being-- so I also develop programs that are non-web related. I also have quite a bit of experience with Graphical User Interfaces [GUI] which should not be confused with what I am defining as "web design".

A lot of my program web related efforts are demonstrated in WiredPages.

That said, I do all of my own site designs including all areas of qisoftware.com and hosting-q.com. You may even notice a lot of the areas look very similar with the exception of color palettes or logo graphics.

That's why-- with all the blog reading I have done over the last year-- I have noticed a habit I have picked up. I click the main graphic to return to the site's home page, something you cannot do with most of qisoftware.com or hosting-q.com pages. Why? Probably because I do not do enough web design work.

So this was one fix I wanted to implement for my end of year "like Spock" enhancements. Do you watch the original Star Trek series? One segment had the crew living in a "speed of light" time dimension. When the segment's issues were resolved-- Spock told the Captain he would be remaining in "speed of light" time-- to make fixes to the engines and other operations onboard the ship. That's where I derive the term-- "Like Spock".

The first thing I realized with my sites? The main graphic on most of the pages are background images set in a css file. How does one go about making these images clickable? A little research provided this clever answer:

<body style="background-image:url('mybackgroundimage.png'); background-repeat:no-repeat;background-position:left top;">

<script language="JavaScript">
function whatever() {
....
}
</script>

<div style="position:absolute;left:0;top:0;z-index:9999; background-color:transparent;width:350px;height:250px;" onclick ="whatever()"> </div>

Maybe this is par for the course for web designers-- or maybe you have another solution. I like this one.. I did want something in which I would only need to update the related css file-- however, will accept that I have to insert something similar in all the pages where I want the main logo clickable and returns my visitor to the home page.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weather Tool Enhancements-- 5 Day Outlook

Added new features to the World Weather Tool maintained on WiredPages. Now, you can quickly review the extended [5 day] weather forecast in your region-- without leaving the page.

Illustrated below-- the new interface with an additional button -- "Extended Forecast". The new button is a toggle button and you use it to switch to the mode [i.e., current or extended forecast] showing on the button.

The 10 Day Extended Forecast link is now located near the bottom [right] of the tool-- however, works in the same manner it did before.

Clicking on the "Extended Forecast" button will change the look and available features of the tool-- as shown below:

The buttons labeled "Today", "1", etc., when in Extended Forecast mode-- enable navigation through the next five days [including the current day] of summary weather information.

The following shows-- the brief extended weather forecast for Thanksgiving in Washington. I clicked the button labeled "4". It is Monday [today]-- and Thanksgiving is 4 days away-- [counting today].

I am still testing the new enhancements-- but feel I have found most of the bugs. The overall look of the widget is still the same-- however, behind the scenes there were quite a few changes. Please bear with me while I continue to beta test.

The interface utilizes Java Applet & Servlet technology. Also required-- a relationship with the Weather Channel to access their xml data.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Searching iTunes Music

I have developed an iTunes Music Search interface that will be installed on the WiredPages Arts & Entertainment page.

I am still testing, however have integrated a version in this blog post to demonstrate.

The interface utilizes Java Servlet technology. Also required-- an affiliate relationship with iTunes to access the Search API Apple/iTunes offers.

Development Cost? Depends on the custom features that are requested. Somewhere between $25.00 -- for something similar to the one I am demonstrating here, to an upper limit of about $250.00. I am only providing search results for music-- but of course there were many other options.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Domain For Sale...

Last December, I registered "professional-pros.com" thinking I would move the ProfessionalProfiles service-- to its own domain. It is currently a sub-domain on hosting-q.com. As the name indicates-- the service provides classified listings of professionals and their background information.

The renewal date is fast approaching and I have decided to sell the domain. I am an enom domain reseller and that is where I registered the domain. The $10.00 fee to renew for another year, is not too much of a problem-- and I am hoping to sell the domain within the coming year. If I find a buyer, I will "push" the domain registration to the new owner-- via enom.

According to the Network Solutions Domain Assessment Tool, the current estimated value of "professional-pros.com" is:

The following whois data shows the domain "professional-pros.com"-- is registered under my name and QiSoftware/Hosting-Q.

If I am unable to sell the domain-- I probably will not renew in December 2011, however, I might change my mind [again] and move ProfessionalProfiles to its own domain-- as was the original plan.

If you are interested in this domain-- contact me at thomas@qisoftware.com or use this Contact-- form.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

WiredPages Advertising Rates

WiredPages Image Banner Ads

Image ads for WiredPages have the following restrictions:

Along the right side, next to the main menu [specified area shown in the image on the left, showing Apple Store ad] -- Images must be 120px or less in width and 240px or less in height.

The rate is $49.95 per month.

Along the bottom of sidebar [specified area shown in the image on the right, where the Apple ad is located]-- Images must be 234px or less in width and 300px or less in height.

The rate is also $49.95 per month. $500.00 per year.

All ads are subject to prior approval and no other banner ad space is available on WiredPages. Text links and small image ad space is available in the WiredPages Business Directory.

These rates apply to the following WiredPages:
Home
Real Estate
Employment
Business
Government
Style & Events
Media
Sports
Shopping
Health & Medicine
Charities
Library
Arts & Entertainment
Dining & Travel
Reference
Technology

WiredPages Text Ads

Textual link ads are $9.95 per month/$100.00 per year-- and must relate to the content on the page where the link is to be placed.

If you would like to run an ad on WiredPages-- email wiredpages@qisoftware.com, call 443.393.6650 or use the form below.



To run ads on any of the QiSoftware blogs-- see the respective Blogads link.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Using USDA Nutrition Data...

When I was researching for the development of the Nutrition interface I maintain on the WiredPages Health & Medicine [lower right] I considered setting up my own online MySQL database which would allow for the extraction of nutrition information for specified foods. How? The USDA offers a nutrition database for download-- see here.

Here is the opening form that is presented when you open the USDA database in Microsoft Access.

So why did I choose the FatSecret API as opposed to my own database-- using the USDA's offerings? Primarily-- resources. I do not think a dedicated server is required for the database-- but I do feel a dedicated domain is warranted for this type of online tool-- and as many of you are aware-- WiredPages is only one area of the QiSoftware site and the Health & Medicine page, only one of sixteen main pages of the news service.

That said-- fitness trainers, health enthusiasts and others with online offerings that want to provide quick search nutrition information-- may find the USDA's offering helpful.

What can QiSoftware do? Convert the USDA MS Access database to a MySQL database for use online and build a user interface that your site's visitors will find handy.

Contact-- QiSoftware for more information.

Friday, November 05, 2010

WordPress Support

While perusing Freelancer gigs, I came across a project in which the client wanted a WordPress site to allow for movie reviews. He wanted to be able to play both YouTube and Vimeo trailers so this meant incorporating API hooks for both services and one additional WordPress plugin-- which probably meant some modification to the plugin to insure it worked. Very few WordPress plugins work straight out of the box for all platforms and browsers.

I went through some of the WordPress themes I have collected over the years and came up with several possibilities for the template base.

I also went through my Coral Gallery Clipart book- to see what if any images I could use with the selected theme.

The project had a budget of $250 and only 5-6 days to complete. Given I have looked at the YouTube API but not Vimeo's I was a little concerned with the time constraint. By the time I decided to bid-- the project was already frozen-- meaning the client had already accepted someone else's bid and awaiting the response.

I did not get this project-- however would love to help setup your WordPress site. Contact me for more information. Hosting-Q-- the web hosting service for QiSoftware-- also offers WordPress blog hosting.



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