Saturday, January 31, 2009

MediaFire

Free file hosting made easy

In writing “Web Bytes Blog 2008” eBook, I needed a company to store this file so Web Bytes readers will have access to it. I started to research which company offered a free service and after checking several companies, I decided on MediaFire’s free hosting service for our eBook. It allows the secure storage of your files online for easy access from any computer with Internet access and unlimited up and downloads. You can use this venue to share files by giving the link to your friends and colleagues to access the files. Additionally, you can do this without having to worry about disk space for all this file sharing and having to email the actual file. MediaFire has been included in PC Magazine’s “Top 100 Classic Web Sites” and “Top 100 Undiscovered Web Sites” of 2008 (see links below).

The free features include:
• Unlimited storage –
You can organize this storage by creating folders…an unlimited number and also subfolders. This organization allows for easy sharing of files and images in one place

Up to 100 MB per file

• Unlimited uploads –
There is a multi-file uploader so you can upload one or as many files as you want at a time. MediaFire supports any file that complies fully with their “Acceptable Use Policy” and “Terms of Service”

Unlimited downloads

• Image galleries –
Folders also double as image galleries for sharing photos or graphic designs, again in one place and an entire event can be placed in a zip file

No sign up required - Better to sign up in case you need to track one of your files. Registering only requires an email address and password

No software to install

• Files can be private or public, you decide.
Also, you can set passwords for your sensitive files

File sharing is easy. Entire folders of files and images can be shared via email through embedded links, as well as through instant messenger, on MySpace, Facebook (I shared mine here), blogs (as in Web Bytes) or forums (such as 48days.net)

Support Center – There is a support center for submitting questions if the answers cannot be found in the knowledge base area

A FAQ section

The files uploaded to MediaFire, such as eBooks can be sold. However, since MediaFire is not in business of accepting payments for merchandise a third-party collector would be necessary to collect payments from your customers. MediaFire has a recommended company among the FAQ section if you care to explore this option further.

There is a new upgrade to the basic MediaFire account called MediaPro which is a paid for service. MediaPro allows for ad-free browsing and downloads, direct links to files, up to 2GB per file, etc. If you are interested in this service, please visit the site at http://www.mediafire.com/ where you can explore in more detail the features and decide which plan is right for you base on needs.

As always, submit your questions and comments and let’s have fun learning together.

Links
Top 100 Undiscovered Web Sites
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2327432,00.asp

100 Top Classic Web Sites
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2328649,00.asp

Web Apps
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2175099,00.asp



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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Google's Chrome Update

I wrote a post on Google’s Chrome on December 23, 2008 and as promised, I have been using Chrome on and off since then. What I like about Chrome is that it loads very faster, matter of fact, much faster than Internet Explorer or Firefox (the two other browsers I have loaded on my computers). My only peeve at this point with Chrome is that it does not have a toolbar like the other two I am using. I don’t know if I find this a deficit in the creation of the browser due to habit or what. However, every time I reach to click on features accustomed to, I remind myself that Chrome is bare bones, a true browser, accounting for its speed. 

With this said, there is a work around for some features that can be used in the meantime which involves creating a bookmark and copying code into the URL field. This code is available for a number of functions at http://www.chromeplugins.org/google/chrome-tips-tricks/google-toolbar-chrome-50.html

Until a toolbar is available for Chrome, Firefox will continue to be my browser of choice. However, I will continue to check for updates on this as I like the swiftness of accessing the Web and will update you also as soon as I get the info. If you have used Chrome and can give us more input or your perspective, please do so. We will be happy to hear from you.

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

AvaByGrace

PS: Just a brief note to apologize for not posting often recently. I have been working on a project which has taken quite a bit of my time, but I will soon get back into the swing of things here on Web Bytes. 

Thank you for your continue support!



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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

GoalsOnTrack New Release

Last month I wrote about GoalsOnTrack, a free web-based application created by Vancouver IT Services to do just what the name implies -- keep your goals on track (http://webbytesblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/goalsontrack.html). Since then a new version was launched and if you visited the site previously you’ll see the newer version has a sleek looking user interface. In corresponding with the founder of GoalsOnTrack, Harry Che, he mentioned the many improvements and new features with this new release.

I went through the application tabs and found the following changes:
Dashboard – Shows the “Stats Today” (Hours worked, tasks scheduled, task completed and how on track you are with the to-do list), “My Tasks” (Can select today, this week, 2 weeks etc to display tasks) and “My Goals” (List the number of goals and the category it was placed in).

Goals - Shows the active goals -- here is where you would upload an inspiring picture to motivate you while working on your goals or select one available on the site. The tasks to accomplish each goal are written under the goal it pertains to and a status bar with the percentage of completion is displayed to the right of the task. The right hand panel of the page shows “Views” and “Categories” vertically aligned. Views allow you to see your active goals, accomplished goals and goals that are on the back burner. Categories show the total goals and a category breakdown with the number of goals in each category. Previously, Categories were on the Goals and Tasks combined page.

Tasks – The tasks to support your goals are listed here and you can also add additional tasks, bringing goals closer to reality. The page retains the tasks accomplished today, next week, etc. under “My Tasks” in the right hand panel –you can conveniently view all tasks by due date under “My Tasks” and show goals by the same categories as seen on the Goals page.

Journal – Appears to be the same as the previous version.

Progress Report – Shows where you stand in completing your goals visually. There is a status bar showing due dates and the percentage of the goal completed. Additionally, there is a graph for each goal showing a period of time specified from the “Periods” section in the right hand panel on the horizontal axis and the percentage of the goal completed on the vertical axis. This is another visual presentation of what was accomplished in a fixed period of time.

Time Usage – This shows where the time was spent on each goal in a pie chart presentation (Time spent on goals (hours) and Time usage by goal category) so it is easy to visualize how your time is being allocated in relation to the importance of the goal and the deadlines to be met. This feature can aid in managing your time. The right hand panel shows the period of time in a variety of options – all time, today, this week etc.

I used the new release yesterday to set up a goal with all the tasks necessary to accomplish this goal and found it easy to use. I like the addition of the pie chart as an analysis tool, visually showing where the majority of your time is being spent. Visit the GoalsOnTrack blog to see the fixes to the new release, past updates, to find out what’s new and subscribe to the RSS feed to be notified of future post at its link below. Harry and his staff are diligently working on providing a superb product so let’s show some interest and support. If this software has been of help to you pass it on or if you know of others who would benefit from its use, share this info and links with them.

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

AvaByGrace

Links:
GoalsOnTrack Website
http://www.goalsontrack.com/

GoalsOnTrack Blog
http://goalsontrack.wordpress.com/



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Monday, January 12, 2009

Tib Bit

The Difference between HTTP and HTTPS

One of my sisters in Christ thought it would be a good idea to post the difference between HTTP and HTTPS so I decided to do just that (thanks Toni).

HTTP stands for hyper text transfer protocol which is a protocol web browsers used to communicate and share information with each other…relay the information you typed into the address bar or the uniform resource locator (URL).

HTTPS is similar except the ‘S’ which makes the communication secure for sharing confidential information with a secured server and a few other technical aspects such as ports, transport layers, good encryption, man-in-the-middle attacks, etc. that would make this Tid Bit boring if I go into detail. The data is encrypted for transmission and then decrypted once it arrives at the designated server. Those interested in more technical knowledge can visit the links listed at the end of this post. Notice these links are unsecured as they start with http:// and there is no reason for them to be secured as they are only providing known information. The majority of HTTPS we normally use would be on log in pages…check your email provider sign in page and see what is listed in the URL. Others are stores online checkout pages, online banking, online trading…you get the idea…where data needs to be secured HTTPS is used. If you are providing confidential information and HTTPS is not in the URL you may want to rethink your decision before proceeding.

Additionally, some browsers display a locked yellow padlock in the browser frame, usually in the status bar in the lower right hand corner. If you double-click the padlock there is information about the site and you can click on the View Certificate button to view the digital certificate. An open padlock indicates an unsecured page. The presence or absence of a closed or opened padlock does not guarantee the page is secured. Users should pay close attention to the URL when sharing sensitive and confidential information. Make sure you are where you intended to be.

As always, submit your comments and questions and let’s have fun learning together.

More technical information:
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-difference-between-http-and-https.htm
http://www.articlesbase.com/internet-articles/what-is-the-difference-between-http-and-https-72618.html
http://webopedia.com/TERM/H/HTTP.html
http://webopedia.com/TERM/S/SSL.html



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Monday, January 5, 2009

Tid Bit

A Little Trivia

First up for the New Year is a little trivia and it was taken from this week’s PC World’s brief of the week which was published today. The topic is the Internet’s 100 oldest dot-coms and I thought it would be interesting to us.

Symbolics.com is said to be the oldest commercial dot-com domain and is still on the Internet. It was registered on March 15, 1985 according to this article by J R Raphael dated December 21, 2008. I visited the site and it appears to be like a flyer for the company with a few links within a long paragraph leading to the products (static pages)…a good indication of how things were done when the Internet first became widely available to the general public.

Other notables:
xerox.com: January 9, 1986
hp.com: March 3, 1986
ibm.com: March 19, 1986
sun.com: March 19, 1986
intel.com: March 25, 1986
adobe.com: November 17, 1986
apple.com: February 19, 1987
cisco.com: May 14, 1987

For the full list of 100 oldest dot-com domains see link below
http://www.pcworld.com/article/155743-2/the_internets_100_oldest_dotcom_domains.html

I am open to suggestions for topics to blog about for the New Year so please submit your topics.

As always, let’s have fun learning together.

In His Service,
Ava


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