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Web Design::Standards

Guidlines for Building Maintainable Websites
A List Apart: for people who make websites



Registry Tips!


To avoid viruses launched automatically by viewing HTML messages, is there a way to view all messages as text?
Normally Outlook views all messages in the format in which they were sent in. And there is no feature that will allow changing the default viewing format.
Microsoft KB document Q307594 outlines instructions for changing viewing format to text only.
Enable the "Read as Plain Text" Feature
WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.
To enable the "Read as Plain Text" feature, you must make the following additions to the system registry:
Click Start and then click Run. In the Open box, type regedit.
Navigate to the following registry key:
On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWord Value.
With the new Dword selected, type ReadAsPlain.
Double-click to open the new value. In the Value Data box, type 1 and then click OK.
NOTE: "Read As Plain Text" is turned on and the BodyFormat property is locked at 1. (Help says it's read/write.) Any attempt to set it to another value will result in an error.
Click OK and then close the registry.


Usable Web
Usable Web
1317 links about web usability


Keeping up with a topic
From: Helllllp! I Can't Keep Upppppp!
The most frequent complaint I hear from researchers is that they can't keep up with the new sites that appear on the Internet every day. That's one reason they read ResearchBuzz, they say. And I get asked often, "How do you learn about all these new sites?" This article is my attempt to let you in on the secrets of finding new sites. Yes, there are some cool newsletters to subscribe to, but there are also some site monitoring tricks you can use and even a couple of bookmarked Yahoo searches that'll keep you up and humming with all kinds of new stuff.
1) Sites to See -- To get new sites, monitor sites.
My favorite site to monitor for new sites is Yahoo. Did you know that you can search Yahoo for new sites added within a certain time period? Absolutely! Check out . You'll be able to search Yahoo for sites added within the last day, three days, week, month, three months, six months, or four years. If you're interested in parrots, for example, do a one-day query for "parrot" (always use singular; a search for "parrot" will also find "parrots") and then bookmark the result. You can check the link every day or use an link-monitoring service to track changes to it. How often it changes depends how common the word is.
(Are you interested in lots of different new sites? Check out Yahoo! What's New; . Links to new sites added in the last week are on the right side of the page.)
You can look for new sites added to search engines, too. Tracerlock ( ) will monitor AltaVista for new indexed sites containing the keywords. (Be sure to use very specific keywords or otherwise you'll get a lot of unnecessary junk.) It'll e-mail reports to you every day, so there's no link to monitor. On the other hand, you're limited in the number of search words you can check, and it'll only mail you the first ten results (another reason to use very specific keywords.)

And if search engines, why not Usenet? Google Groups' advanced search ( ) allows you to restrict your search to specific dates or -- and this is more useful for our purposes -- different time periods. For example, you could restrict your search to posts made in the last week or the last month.

Pick a time period (last week is better for more general searches) and use a keyword along with the phrase "new site." For example, if you're interested in parrots, query +parrot +"new site" (you don't have to use the + marks.) To narrow down your search, you can limit your query to certain newsgroup types. For example, if you're interested in the Ruby programming language, you could do a search for +Ruby +"new site" and restrict your search to comp* newsgroups (that is to say, newsgroups in the comp* hierarchy.) You will get some clinkers this way, but this is also a good way to find some gems.

2) Sites to See -- Read Your Press Releases
Companies that can afford it often use press releases to get the news out about their sites. The two main press release wires are PR Newswire and BusinessWire.

PR Newswire has a full list of their most recent releases at , and BusinessWire has a list of their most recent releases at , but I don't recommend using this method to review press releases unless you have a lot of interests and a lot of free time (tons of press releases go out every day!)

Instead, use a search engine to filter the press releases for you. Northern Light's News Search -- -- allows you to search press release wires only and sort the results by date. The snag with this method is that it's hard to come up with good keywords. "new site" won't do it; some press releases will say "new Internet site," some will say "new Web site," and still others will say "redesigned site."

The best idea for less-common search terms might be to simply use that term without any modifiers. You'll get some inappropriate results, but it shouldn't be hard to pick out the good stuff. Northern Light allows you to save news searches as "search alerts," e-mailing you when there are new results in your news search.

(Some readers might be asking, "Can you save search alerts on Northern Light's regular search engine searches?" Yes. "So why not use those to track new sites, too?" That's fine, though you may find yourself getting too much overlap between the AltaVista searches and the Northern Light searches. If that happens, ditch the less useful one -- the idea is to keep you informed of new sites, not drown you in information!)

2) Sites to See -- Newsletters
Obviously you know all about newsletters to keep up with new sites, since you read ResearchBuzz. But there are other sites that provide good resource overviews. You may find others you like -- these are a few of my favorites.

Librarian's Index to the Internet --
New additions to a selection of Internet resources maintained by a group of librarians. Weekly newsletter available. Good stuff, well annotated.

Neat New Stuff on the Net -- .
Weekly site reviews by Marylaine Block. The annotations vary in length, but she always manages to come up with a gem or two I've never heard of.

The Scout Report -- .
Weekly report of resources more academically-oriented. Thorough annotations and explanation of resources. Really great stuff.

Don't try to keep up with every last site added to the Internet. You can't do that. Nobody can do that. The best you can do is try to keep up with interesting new offerings in your field. This article should get you off to a great start.

Blogging Ecosystem



From Joe's Tips - Win98
Windows 98, Windows 95 troubleshooting tips
These are a few tips I gathered while trying to find answers to numerous problems I've had with Windows. It was frustrating looking for all this stuff so I thought I'd put some of them on a web page and maybe help somebody out. When I get a chance, I'll add some more. Some of these tips involve editing the registry. It's always a good idea to back up the registry, anyway. Especially when you're messing with it. Consider yourself warned. If you get some help here, that's great. If not, what the heck, you learned something anyway.

Cleanup Add/Remove Programs
If you installed a Windows program and deleted it in Explorer, the Add/Remove listing in Control Panel is still there. To remove it, do this:
Start/Run/Regedit. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Uninstall. Delete the program. This will delete it from the list. It won't delete the actual program.

To disable CD autoplay:
Start/Settings/Control Panel/System/Device Manager, select your CDrom, choose properties and uncheck "Auto Insert Notification".

If you don't use User Profiles and don't want the Windows Logon screen to appear at startup:
When the logon screen comes up, enter your user name but don't enter a password. The next box will ask to reaffirm, tell it okay. If you already have a password entered, go to Start/Settings/Control Panel/Passwords/Change Windows Password. Put your password in the old box and leave the others blank.

If you DO use User Profiles but don't want the last user listed in the Windows logon screen:
Start/Run/Regedit. Go to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Winlogon. In the right pane you should see "DontDisplayLastUserName". A value of "0" means last user will NOT be cleared. Change the "0" to "1" to clear last user at logon.

If your files open with the wrong programs:
In Explorer, highlight the file. Hold down the Shift key and right click the file. Choose "Open With" from the menu. Make sure you check the save box.

To change Windows Explorer's font and icon size:
Right click the desktop. Choose Properties/Appearance. In the Item box select Icon. Make your changes.

To make a copy of a floppy:
Right click the floppy icon in My Computer. Select "Copy Disk". Follow on screen instructions.

To bypass the Recycle bin when deleting files:
Hold the Shift key down while dragging to the recycle bin or deleting from a menu. CAUTION, once you do this, that file's gone forever.

If Defrag won't Run:
Delete everything in Internet Explorer's "Temporary Internet Files" folder and Netscape's cache folder. Empty the Recycle bin, too. I also delete the contents of my temp folder. (Usually C:\Windows\Temp).

If the computer locks up when you disconnect from the Internet:
Start/Settings/Control Panel/Network. Double click TCP/IP, WINS Configuration tab and make sure "Disable WINS Resolution" is marked. If that doesn't work, go to C:\Windows\System folder and rename "Vnbt.386". Restart the computer.

When a program freezes your computer:
Hit the Ctrl, Alt, and Delete keys at the same time. This brings up a box listing all your currently running programs. The offending program should be listed as "not responding". Click "End Task" to close it. Sometimes this won't work and there's nothing you can do but reset.

To see all details in Windows Explorer:
Left click the rightside panel, hit Ctrl and the (+) sign on the number pad on the right side of the keyboard.

If your floppy drive hunts a nonexistent disk when Windows opens:
Start/Run/Regedit. Do a Find for "a:". Delete the value. Continue the search with the F3 key, deleting as you go. I seem to have this problem whenever I run an executable from the floppy.

If your Help files quit working:
Get "wow32.dll" from the Windows install disk and reinstall it in C:/Windows/System.

When you're in the mood for some new icons:
Before you surf the net, check out these libraries on your hard drive. Moricons.dll, Pifmgr.dll, Progman.exe, Shell32.dll and (if you have Plus!) Cool.dll.

If Windows setup can't find your install files: SETUP PATH
Start/Run/Regedit. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup. Change the path.

If your Taskbar ends up in some screwy spot on the desktop:
Drag it where you want with the left mouse button. It looks like it won't move, but it will.

To move a window with the keyboard (if you can't reach it with the mouse)
Alt + space for the system menu on the window
M to select move
Arrow keys to move the window
Enter to end.

To restart Windows without rebooting (faster)
Hold down the Shift key while clicking yes on the restart dialog. Or, if you use User Profiles, just click "Log on as another user".

Here are the places Windows uses to load Startup programs:
load= and run= in "Win.ini";
[386Enh] section of "System.ini";
C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp;
Registry keys: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run or RunServices.

To open Windows Explorer to My Computer (no folders expanded)
Right click your desktop or Start Menu Windows Explorer shortcut, choose Properties, click the Shortcut tab. Put this line in your shortcut target window: C:\WINDOWS\EXPLORER.EXE ,/n,/e,/select,C:\ or, in Windows 2000: %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe ,/n,/e,/select,C:\

To change drive letters for your removable drives (CD, Zip, etc.) do this:
Right click "My Computer", choose Properties, click the "Device Manager" tab, click on the + by "Disk Drives", double click the drive you want to change, click Settings, type in the Start and End letter you want to use for this drive. (They're usually the same)

To edit Win95/98's registration name or number
Start/Run/Regedit, go to:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion. Look for "ProductId", this is the registration number, or "Registered Owner". Make your changes. I've included a link above to a handy little app that makes this job easy.

To turn off the modem sounds (when the slider bar doesn't work):
Right click "My Computer", choose Properties/Device Manager, click the (+) sign by Modems, highlight your modem, select Properties/Connection/Advanced. Type "M0" (that's a ZERO) in the extra settings box.

Reinstall with Windows 95 Companion CD:
(1) copy all CD files onto your harddrive
(2) copy dossetup.bin, oemsetup.bin, oemsetup.exe, setup.exe, setup.txt, suhelper.bin, and winsetup.bin to the same directory (#1 above), from any version of Windows95.
(3) run setup from the directory you chose in #1, above.
FYI: setup.exe was intentionally omitted from the CD to prevent users from installing OSR2 on another system. The CD should only be used for adding and/or removing OS components. Yes, I think the "Companion" concept is a ripoff, too.

To free up memory in DOS:
(1) Add these lines to "config.sys":
Then when adding a device to config, use "DEVICEHIGH=". When adding to autoexec.bat, use "LOADHIGH=". This should give you 600k or so if you're not using drivespace.
(2) In the [386Enh] section of 'System.ini', add 'LocalLoadHigh=1'
(3) If you are not using DoubleSpace or DriveSpace, delete 'drvspace.bin' and 'dblspace.bin' from the C:\ and C:\Windows directories.
This will free additional DOS memory and speed system startup.

To change the Win95/98 startup logo:
Open your picture in a graphics program. (Paint or whatever) Resize or crop it to 640x480 in 256 colors and save it as a bitmap. Then squeeze it to 320x400. (I know it looks funny, but it'll work) The finished file MUST be exactly 126k in size. Rename it "logo.sys" and copy it to your root directory.

To change the default search engine in IE4:
Changing the default search engine was easy in IE3. It's a hassle in IE4 but you can do it. Start\Run\Regedit, work your way down to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main. Right click "Search Bar", choose "Modify" and change the address. Do the same with "Search Page".

To make a shortcut to Device Manager:
If you constantly find yourself right clicking My Computer to get to Device Manager, (I'm always screwing something up) right click the desktop, choose New/Shortcut, put this line in the dialogue box and leave it on your desktop or add it to the start menu: CONTROL SYSDM.CPL,,1

If your hardware is running in "compatibility mode":
Windows probably put a NOIDE entry into this registry key, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\VDX\IOS and you must remove it. This entry is put there any time Win95 can't load 32-bit drivers, and after it's in there you can't load Windows drivers on boot-up until it's gone. Search the Registry for NOIDE. When found, delete it. Then right-click My Computer, select Properties/Device Manager. Under Hard Disk controllers, select your IDE controller and delete it. Reboot. Windows should now rediscover your hardware and let you install drivers.

To put Notepad in the rightclick menu of all files:
Copy the following lines:
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\ open]
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\ open\command]
@="Notepad.exe %1"
Paste them in Notepad, save as "Note.reg" Doubleclick the saved file to merge in the registry. Very handy.

To save your Netscape bookmarks as IE favorites (or vice-versa):
Download "Favtool", a little MS freeware app. It's on Microsoft's site , but they seem to move it around. Use the link above if you like.

If IE5 doesn't ask if you'd like to disconnect after closing your browser:
Go to Tools/Internet Options/Connections/Settings/Advanced, ensure that
'Disconnect when connection may no longer be needed' is checked.
If that doesn't work, try this: Start/Run/regedit. Go to:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER|Software|Microsoft|Windows|Current Version|Internet Settings
Change value '00 00 00 00' to '01 00 00 00'

If your internet apps won't launch DUN (and your DUN settings don't help):
Start/Run/regedit. Go to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ System\CurrentControlSet\Services\RemoteAccess
and check the values in the right panel for these two items (if they are listed):
NoLogon and Remote Connection.
If either or both have a value of '01 00 00 00' (make sure DUN is not connected),
change them to read '00 00 00 00'

If you lose your 95/98 product key and can't reinstall:
Go to 'Start/Run/Regedit'. Drill down to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion.
Look for 'ProductKey' in the right pane. That's your number.

Cascading Control Panel in your Start menu:
1. Copy the following line:
Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}
2. Right-click Open the Start button.
3. Create a New Folder and paste the line above.


E-Mail :: Spam


Send spam to for possible investigation

Web :: Design :: MetaTags

How to use Meta Tags

Outlook :: Command Line Switches

From MS article: Q296192
The Microsoft Outlook Help file contains an entry that lists command-line switches, which you can use to start Outlook in a specific mode or with a specific form. This article lists additional command-line switches that are not included in the Outlook Help file.
Example, if you want to use the /Cleanreminders switch, the command-line should read as follows:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Outlook.exe." /Cleanreminders
NOTE: The full path needs to be in quotation marks to preserve long filenames.

Cleans and regenerates free/busy information.

Cleans and regenerates reminders.

Restores default views.

Restores missing folders for the default delivery location.

Resets the language of the default folders to the language of the Outlook client.

Rebuilds the Outlook Bar.

Turns off the Preview pane at startup.

Deletes all Schedule+ data (free/busy, permissions, and .cal file) from the server.

Starts Outlook without extensions, preview pane, or toolbar customization.

Activates an existing Outlook window.

Opens new window in "folder" mode (Outlook Bar and Folder List off).

Shows MAPI Profiles dialog box regardless of the options setting on the Tools menu.

Loads specified profile. (If your profile contains a space, Outlook may treat it as an invalid profile name when using this switch. Work around this by wrapping the profile name in quotes.)

Loads specified shortcuts file (.fav file).

/f Opens .

Prints . Same as /f except is associated with the print verb instead of open.

Used to open a .msg file as an OLE embedding. Standard OLE command-line argument.

Creates a new item of the specified message class (Outlook forms or any other valid MAPI form).

/a path:\
Opens a new e-mail message with the specified file attached.



Save settings. From:
The Save My Settings Wizard

Outlook::File Description

Under profile directory\application data\microsoft\outlook...
*.FAV = Outlook Bar settings
*.SRS = send/receive group settings
*.NK2 = nickname-resolution files
OUTLPRNT = Print customizations
OUTCMD.DAT= toolbar customizations
VIEWS.DAT=custom system file views


VBS function: RegWrite
How to write registry key from VBS


Resource on scripting to manipulate registry.
Registry Scripting


Regular Expressions::Removing HTML

ASPN : Rx Cookbook
From: - a site containing excellent examples of useful regular expressions

When writing CGI scripts which suck in textual content from users (such as discussion threads, for example), it's often useful to be able to detect and/or remove HTML tags in user-submitted content. This regular expression, documented in perlfaq6, is relatively effective at getting rid of HTML:
while(<>) {

Web Design::Perl::Input Validation

Writing secure forms & scripts. Prevent your script from getting hacked!
ASPN : Rx Cookbook : Removing dangerous characters from CGI forms
When you write a CGI script, you should be conscious of the content of any user-supplied data your script processes. Malicious users can insert special control characters into form data to cause various nasty things to happen inside your server.

One simple way to "sanitize" user data is to filter out any characters in the data which are not within a set of allowed characters, as this example shows.
$_ = $user_data = $ENV{'QUERY_STRING'}; # Get the data
print "$user_data\n";
$OK_CHARS='-a-zA-Z0-9_.@'; # A restrictive list, which
# should be modified to match
# an appropriate RFC, for example.
$user_data = $_;
print "$user_data\n";

This example came from CERT® Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon
University (

Regular Expressions :: Perl :: Web Design

I haven't tried this RegEx but it could be useful to get the URL's from a block a text.
Finding URLs in text -- the COMPLETE way
This is a huge regex. Check the link.

Outlook :: Data Store

From MS article Q232323
In Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, a database (also referred to as a "store") is made up of two files, an .edb file and an .stm file. For example:
Mailbox Store = Priv1.edb Priv1.stm
The .stm file houses Internet content message streams as defined in Request for Comments (RFC 822), and the .edb file contains messages that are in MAPI format (Rich Text Format).
More Information
When an Internet mail message comes into the Exchange 2000 information store, the body of the message is saved in the .stm file, and the header information (From, To, Cc, Time Sent, and so on) is converted to Rich Text Format (RTF), and then stored in the .edb file.

MAPI-based e-mail clients (such as Microsoft Outlook 98 and Microsoft Outlook 2000) only see the header in MAPI format, and other properties of the messages are converted to MAPI as needed. Any request for a MAPI property not already available causes the information store to call the IMail content conversion engine to furnish it.

For example, if a MAPI client reads an Internet mail message (and does not make any changes to the message), conversion is performed only on the properties needed by the MAPI client.

If a MAPI client edits an Internet mail message, a full conversion (from Internet message stream format to MAPI) is performed on that particular mail message. In other words, the entire message (both header and body) are converted into a MAPI mail message. At that point, the entire message is converted to MAPI format and stored in the .edb file.

This process also works in the opposite direction; messages originating from MAPI clients have their outbound message properties converted. In other words, if a MAPI client sends a message to a recipient on the Internet, it causes a full conversion from MAPI to Internet message stream format.