Best Web 2.0 Web Sites

Real World Software Development has a comprehensive list of web 2.0 web sites including bookmarking sites, social communities, email, image and video sharing, and the list is getting longer.

One application that has been omitted from all the lists I’ve seen so far is Outlook Web Access from Microsoft. Sure, it needs a Microsoft Exchange server to run on, but it was one of the first web applications to use xmlhttprequest a long long time before the words Ajax and Web 2.0 were ever invented. Plus it still is an excellent web based email system.

uTorrent vs Azureus

Weighing in at a tiny 171K, uTorrent packs an incredible amount of functionality compared to Azureus which comes to 14.8Mb, and thats not even including the plugins and Java runtime.

There is an add-on for Firefox that integrates uTorrent’s Web Interface (which needs to be downloaded separately) into the Firefox sidebar to display upload and download speeds. You can download torrents by simply dragging the .torrent link on to the sidebar.

Fix for StatTraq Calendar bugs

The StatTraq plugin for WordPress has a bug where the Year and Month time periods are not displayed correctly. Here is a fix for the problem.

Download Extract calendar.php from the file and copy it into your \wp-stattraq folder, replacing the file that already exists there.

Now when you check your StatTraq statistics, you will be able to select time periods by Year or Month correctly.

Add StatTraq to your WordPress Dashboard

StatTraq is one of the better statistics for WordPress blogs. Unfortunately Randy Peterman is no longer maintaining it, but Adsworth have patched a version which will run under WordPress v1.5 and 2.0 as well as fixing a couple of bugs.

I often forget the url to view my StatTraq statistics so I wanted to add a link to it in the WordPress Dashboard page. UrbanGiraffe shows one method of adding a link as a menu item. I adapted this slightly to add the link as a submenu under the Dashboard, along with a link to Webalizer which comes with my webhosting service.

To add the links, edit wp-admin\menu.php and add the following lines right after the $menu[45]=… line.

// Add StatTraq to Dashboard submenu
$submenu['index.php'][5] = array(__('Dashboard'), 'read', 'index.php');
$submenu['index.php'][10] = array(__('StatTraq'), 'read', '../wp-stattraq/statistics.php');
$submenu['index.php'][15] = array(__('Webalizer'), 'edit_posts', '../webalizer/');

2008/1/6 Update – A Better Menu
The above solution works to some extent, but your changes to the menu.php file disappear every time you upgrade WordPress. A much more satisfactory method is to create your own plugin. Add the following to a file called my_menu.php and save it in your wp-content/plugins folder. Enable your new My Menus plugin then you should find a brand new set of links to your statistics pages under your Dashboard.

Plugin Name: My Menus 
Plugin URI: 
Description: Add your own items to the WordPress menus 
Author: D. Mortell 
Author URI: 

add_action('admin_menu', 'mymenu_add_page'); 

function mymenu_add_page() 
   # Add sub-menus to the "Dashboard" page. 
   add_submenu_page('index.php', 'StatTraq', 'StatTraq', 1, '../wp-stattraq/statistics.php'); 
   add_submenu_page('index.php', 'Webalizer', 'Webalizer', 1, '../webalizer/'); 

How to Draw Female Superheros

“How To Draw: Heroic Anatomy” is the first book of the Wizard How To Draw series on drawing superheroes. Following are some snippets from the section on drawing female superheros.

As everything, it starts with the basics, i.e. proportions. Notice how she stands with her hips cocked a little and the leg thrust forward?

Also notice in the direct torso comparison below, how the male one is ramrod straight, but she curves and leans just a little bit in the same pose? You should also compare the Superheroic proportions to the manga female styles.


How to draw Superheroes

Ratcreature posted an article about drawing comic superheros containing a couple of scanned chapters from a book called How to Draw Comic Superheros available from Amazon. The quality of the book looks excellent and makes me want to start sharpening pencils…. now if only I could draw.

Here are some clips from the first book of the Wizard How To Draw series on “How To Draw: Heroic Anatomy”.

First the male superhero and getting his proportions right.

Compare and contrast the chapters on “Superheroic Men” and “Superheroic Women”. For the male superhero it is all about more or less ridiculously enlarged muscles as we learn:

Female superheroes don’t have it that easy, they need to worry about tilting their shoulder, nipple and pubic lines attractively at all times, not to mention legs, breast size, eye make-up and hair.


The Washington Post describes one technique that e-gold is using to reduce the likelihood of phishing. It involves displaying images reading “THIS IS A FRAUDULENT WEB SITE” when the image is linked to by any site not included in a whitelist of sites permitted to use those images.

While this method is not infallible, anything that online companies can do to reduce the prossibility of unaware users falling for a phishing link is a Good Thing.

Other prevention techniques mentioned by the commentors to the article include entering your username first, then displaying an image you previously uploaded before asking for your password, and asking you a security question if you appear to be using a different computer than usual.

Users can also install tools that provide warnings about suspicious sites. Netcraft Toolbar, CallingID and even Internet Explorer 7.0 can help reduce the chance of your confidential information getting into the wrong hands.

Unattended MS-Office Installation

The Definitive How-to guide for preparing an unattended installer for Office 2003

Note that previous Office versions recommended installing from an administrative install point, however from Office 2003 Microsoft now recommends using the Office Local Cache for deployment. Although this takes up an additional 290MB of local disk space and you cannot slipstream patches to the source, it will save a lot of time and headaches later if you manage a lot of desktop and laptop computers. See here

Since slipstreaming is no longer recommended, you can use a batch file to add hotfixes

Alternatively, you can build a slipstreamed All-In-One (5 Office CDs compressed into one 600MB CD) which uses local cache by following the instructions at Note that you should read the whole thread before starting this project as there are a few corrections in later posts.

There are links to a utility that helps make an AIO CD here

If you want to install Office 2003 at T-12, you need an AutoIt script to click Ignore to skip the error message from Dr Watson. Get the script here

There is a detailed guide on slipstreaming service packs and hotfixes into Office 2003 at

Download the latest service packs and hotfixes from Office 2003 Administrative Updates

Keep your Office installation up to date by visiting the Microsoft Office Update site at

You can also install the Office Update Installation Engine using the method at

If you need to install Multilanguage User Interfaces to your Office installations, theres a great guide here but note that Office 2003 MUI packs are available only for volume license customers.

To reinstall a PC or migrate to a new PC you can copy users Office settings using the Office Save My Settings Wizard described here

Reduce the size of your Office 2003 installation source with Office Shrinker. The installation source with just Word and Excel can be reduced to under 40MB

Keep up to date with Microsofts Office Admin Update Center

If you ever get an unattended Office 2003 CD completed, make it look professional by printing CD labels for it from




WYSIWYG Blog Editors

Trying w.bloggar for the first time. Its a Windows application, there doesn’t appear to be a Mac or Linux version available. After installation, when you run it you enter the hostname, username and password information for adding posts to your blog, then you type away. You can add more accounts from the File menu if you have two or more blogs you want to post to. It is compatible with over 30 different blog tools, so your likely to be able to use it with whatever one you’re using.
The default font size was a little small to read, but you can increase the font size from the Tools, Options, Code Editor window.
I clicked on Post and checked my blog, no sign of the post. I eventually realized it was saved as a draft, and I found it under Manage, Post in the admin tool. Clicking Publish sent it to the front page.
Use the Post & Publish button if you’re confident your post is fit to publish.
Categories are downloaded from your site.

Its not a WYSIWYG editor, the HTML code appears as you type. There is a quick preview however.