Sunday, January 22, 2012

Part 3 Coming Soon...

Hey guys, just wanted to leave a post to let you know that I'm still here. I've been sick, and swamped with school work, essays, and a few club events at the University, so I've been swamped with so many other things taking priority, but I should get the most recent post up by the end of next week.

Sorry to keep you all waiting.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Putting Two and Two Together (part 2)

Continuing from where I left off (and some of you guys are already ahead of me, maybe seeing what I'm about to put in here next) leads me into the introduction of CSS3 Buttons. The CSS3 Button has the text over the button, and it is not an image. The text on this button can be searched for, and the button can be modified, and scaled to your desires based on the generator. I just did a quick Google search for a few CSS3 Button generators, and I came up with quite a few results. You can use these generators to generate the raw code for these unique, yet powerful buttons to help reduce the strain of bandwidth to the users accessing your website, and to boost your website in a search engine's results.

Here is what you do: You locate one of these websites by performing a simple search. From there, you can design the button. You can alter the text, give it a shadow, make it glassy, make the button larger, etc. These tools make it incredibly easy to design some very high speed buttons to give your website the flashy, and upbeat appearance that you'll want.

After you design your button, you will be given two different segments of code. One will be for adding the object of a button to your webpage in the form of HTML source, the other will be the styling for the button. You can put the styling either in a main.css file, or in the specific page itself. What's great about the styles is if you have a list of buttons, you can use the same styling code and apply it to all of the buttons. These websites are very straight forward, and very easy to use for the average (or even newbie) web-developer.

Stay tuned for part 3, when I introduce the Color Scheme Designer.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Putting Two and Two Together (part 1)

Hey, guys. I'd just like to give you all a brief tutorial on making some awesome buttons for your website, but first, lets go over a little bit of background.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when doing this:
1) Keep images to a minimum.
2) Use text on your website.
3) Avoid image maps.

Keeping images to a minimum helps clean up your website, giving it a more tidy appearance. Using CSS buttons instead of images actually helps load time. If you go into paint to make a button, a small JPEG file needs to be rendered on the screen, where you could have one line of code to say "background: #000;" instead. When you break down the load time of your website, you want it to run as efficiently as possible. I've been in locations trying to look for things on my phone, and the 3G sucked. It took forever for certain websites to load up, so you'll have to keep in mind that not everyone is running on high speed.

Using text on your website optimizes it for search engines. If you have a really cool image instead of a cool CSS button, then chances are it won't be found as often. It's better to have both. The image for its appeal, and the text and tags for it to be found by search engines.

Image maps are great, but they're getting outdated... An image map allows you to take one image, and partition it, or split it into separate links. This is a great shortcut. Instead of using two separate images, you can use one... But will that really optimize your website? Image maps aren't the best for search engines either. There are some times where you must use an image map, but if you can go without it, try to.

Stay tuned for part two!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's About To Get Real!

I'm about to snap into a slim jim! I had someone trying to attack my computer last night. Keyword: Trying. They didn't get far because of all of the protection I have up and running. Which brings the question: What protection do YOU have? I'm going to recommend a few pieces of software--ones I personally use, all based on my experience of using computers for you guys to consider using to keep your computer safe from attacks, malware, trojans, viruses, and the like.

The first thing that detected my attack last night was the firewall, when a certain program was requesting to use the internet. It's not so often that this happens... Usually it's just Adobe or Java trying to update. I had no idea what the program was, but it looked legit. I ran a scan on its location, and Malware Bytes said it was a Trojan seeking access to the internet from my computer. A Trojan is a piece of software designed with the intent of harming your computer. The difference between a Trojan and a Virus is that a Trojan can give a computer hacker remote access to your computer. When this program was trying to access the internet, the hacker could have been receiving very personal or valuable information from me, watching my keystrokes, watching my screen, monitoring my running processes, or even using my internet browser as a proxy to cloak themselves.

The first one is Malware This is an Anti-Spyware and Anti-Virus piece of software that is FREE to use. It is HIGH performance, easy to use, and highly effective, able to eliminate the most powerful of viruses. It is useful to run one this program at minimum once per week, maximum once per month. Run it while you sleep. It's free and effective.

The next program that I use is Zone Alarm Pro A firewall allows you to regulate what goes in, and what comes out of your computer. There is a FREE version of this, but the pro version, you have to pay for. Your firewall is one of your first lines of defense against attacks. It detects when programs are logging your keystrokes (which for the most part is okay when you are opening a file), but in other cases if you're entering in credit card information on your browser, and Zone Alarm freaks out... It's about to get real.

The final piece of software that I use to protect myself is PeerBlock is another FREE piece of software that blocks known "bad" computers from accessing your computer, and visa-verse. These "bad" computers are all regulated by the internet community, and the list gets updated frequently. This piece of software has its ups and downs though: Some of the security on websites is so thick, like banking websites, they need to BE SURE that YOU ARE YOU. Therefore, they're requesting too much information from your computer, that some of the lists restrict these types of sites, and you'll have to disable PeerBlock in order to be able to access them. Disabling PeerBlock is nothing more than the click of a mouse button.

Three small, but powerful programs to constantly keep running in the background should give enough protection against most attacks, PeerBlock being the most optional because of its limitations when browsing the internet. How well protected are you? What kind of software do you run?