How to use DIVs instead of Tables (2 Column CSS)

If you’re interested in using DIV tags instead of Tables, here’s how you can easily make a two column setup that looks like tables but uses DIV tags instead. I went ahead and put some inline CSS instead of linking to an external stylesheet. First I’ll show the code, then I’ll show a live example of how it will look by adding some colors, and then In case my text gets all messed up, I will add a screenshot of my HTML and CSS that I used to make the two column table (DIV code with CSS).

Here’s the code I’m using:

<div style="margin:auto;text-align:middle;width:100%;">
<div style="zoom:1;">
<div>
<div align="center" style="float:left;width:50%;">left column</div>
<div align="center" style="float:right;width:50%;">right column</div>
</div>
</div>
</div>

Below is an example, followed by a screenshot of the code:

left column div tag with css
right column div tag with css

 

DIV tags instead of tables

This is the code you can use to make a two column table using DIV tags instead of the Table, TR, TD tags.

How to get Free Online Storage

There are two great cloud storage companies right now. Dropbox and SygarSync. They offer free and paid accounts. What they do is back up certain folders online and also you can sync and share them across your computers. On top of that you can share folders with other users and even people that don’t have an account through a special link. Here’s some more details about the services.


Online Storage and Cost:

Dropbox:
2GB – FREE
50GB – $9.99/month or $99.99/year
100GB – $19.99/month or $199.99/year

SugarSync:
5GB – FREE
30GB – $4.99/month or $49.99/year
60GB – $9.99/month or $99.99/year
100GB – $14.99/month or $149.99/year
250GB – $24.99/month or $249.99/year

Referrals and Storage Expansion:

The Dropbox free account starts with 2GB of storage and allows for expansion. The first is a bonus 256MB for completing “tasks” such as installing the program. You have to complete 5 of 7 potential tasks to get your bonus storage. You can also refer friends for 256MB and you’ll both get 256MB added to your accounts and you can do this up to 32 times giving you a maximum of 8GB giving you a possible total of 10.25GB of free storage.  If you’re a student you can convert your account to the student account. The benefit is you’ll get 512MB of storage for every referral instead of 256MB and this gives you a possible 18.25GB of free storage (but the person you refer will only get 256MB extra).

The SugarSync free account starts 5GB and allows for expansion. There are tasks you can complete to gain extra storage, 256mb each time. But referrals are worth more… giving you an extra 512mb of space per referral. You can do this up to 20 times for a maximum of 10GB of bonus storage. This means that it’s possible have 15.5GB of free storage with SugarSync.

SugarSync Mega Bonus! Now this is cool! If you refer a person and they end up purchasing a plan you’ll both get an extra 10GB of free storage added to your account. So if you were to buy the 30GB account and you were referred, you’ll be getting 40GB for $4.99 a month which is half the price of the Dropbox 50GB plan.

Cloud Storage Features:

Dropbox is simple. All files are synced through a Dropbox folder and it can be placed where ever you want on your computer (or you can put it on an external drive). The Dropbox folder contains two folders. One is Public and one is Photos. Anything placed in these folders can be viewed by the public. The Photos folder will create a nice online gallery for viewing. Dropbox also has a Lan Sync feature so if you’re using two computers on the same network (home network for example) it will transfer files over the Lan as it’s updating the cloud instead of uploading then downloading files. SugarSync doesn’t have this yet.

SugarSync let’s you choose what folders you want to sync instead of forcing you to use just one.They also have a Dropbox style folder called the Magic Briefcase that cannot be moved. You can also auto sync your mobile device if you want to. You can also autosync photos from your phone and once you take a photo it’s immediately uploaded to your account and can be viewed on other computers and even the web.

Ease of Use:

Dropbox is very easy. Just install it and you’re ready to go. The iPhone app is simple too. It works on just about any OS.

SugarSync has more features so it takes longer to figure out. But after about 10 minutes you’ll be glad you invested the time. The mobile app isn’t as simple as Dropbox because of subfolders etc, but it’s good. This works on just about any OS too.

So there’s the breakdown. One thing worth noting is you can install and use both services at the same time if you want. Click here to learn more about Dropbox and Click here to learn more about SygarSync.

How to setup free CDN to make your WordPress Blog Faster!

CDN stands for “content delivery network” and the purpose of using one is to improve the overall speed of your site by improving your blog performance by decreasing server load and optimizing your website making things load faster. With a faster loading website it can help you achieve a better search engine ranking as well as make your readers happy because most people want to see what they’re looking for RIGHT NOW!

I’m currently using Speedy Mirror one one of my sites. They used to offer a ton of bandwidth (50 GB) at no charge, but now they offer a free 5GB of bandwidth for free and this month I have about 1GB left. Need more? you can join the paid service. I use this in conjunction with the WordPress plugin W3 Total Cache. Instead of write a tutorial on how to set up the CND with the wordpress caching pluign, just visit freshtutorial.com for step by step instructions and screenshots.

With Speedy Mirror, your content is spontaneously duplicated to our servers, which are based in many different areas around the world. Your users will automatically download from the nearest mirror, so they will experience higher download speeds. Your bandwidth will be precisely calculated and you will pay only for the gigabytes transferred by our network.

Another free option is CloudFlare which is a CDN and I’m now using it for this website. They offer premium paid services as well. Basically all a user has to do is change their name server records and your site should be online even if your server goes offline. You can only modify your name servers settings if you own your own domain name. You will have to switch your name servers to CloudFlare to get their protection and CDN services. Doing a dig or checking whois would reflect CloudFlare’s name servers. I don’t understand why you’d pay for the service yet unless they limit the number of domains you can have in your account. You can see a list of the worldwide servers here, also for sites using Cloudflare it means site loading times should be very quick even if you’re connecting across the world using a VPN. They also have a WordPress plugin.

Cloudflare and W3 Total Cache WordPress Settings

CloudFlare uses a CDN-like infrastructure to deliver the best in performance to your site. The faster page load times will keep your visitors online longer and our caching mechanism will save you CPU and bandwidth resources.

Read about CDN benefits here. And Cloudflare funding: $22 Million +

CDN Server Locations Worldwide International

In the event that your server is unavailable, visitors should still be able to access your site because CloudFlare serves the visitor a page from its cache.

 October 5th Update:

I’ve been using this service for about 10 days now and I’m happy with it. Here are some stats from the control panel. I notice my sites run faster and I have saved some bandwidth.

Cloudflare Stats Free CDN Service

What is Cloudflare? It’s a free CDN! So far 349,899 requests saved by CloudFlare 572,858 total requests. 7.7 GB bandwidth saved by CloudFlare 12.6 GB total bandwidth

Cloudflare CDN Bot and Threat Control Panel

Help prevent hackers and spammers and malicious threats from slamming your site with junk!

How to setup Notepad++ in an awesome way

I used to be a hardcore UltraEdit user, but come on… $60 for a text editor… without free lifetime upgrades… paying up to $30 for an upgrade? What a rip off! So let me introduce one of the best FREE text editors out there today and it’s called Notepad++ (aka Notepad Plus Plus). Previous versions used to not be so user friendly for me and I decided to dish out the cash for UltraEdit. But today, compared to their older versions, the program has really improved in the most amazing ways! They’ve added plugin support for Spell Check automatically as well as FTP connection possibilities. This is great because I edit server files and wow is it a pain to download a the ‘temp’ file, edit, click to overwrite the server file, click click click click. OMG! So the built in NppFTP plugin is great and resolves my FTP editing headache.

The main problem I’ve had in the past with Notepad++ was getting the spell checker to work. If you’re having problems with this then maybe you’re not installing all the programs that are needed. Yes, I admit it, I did this a year ago when I installed the program. But in reality it’s as easy as 1-2-3! Here’s how.

  1. Install Notepad++
  2. Install ASpell “Full Installer” under “Binaries” (this is what some people forget to do)
  3. Install ASpell in your language under “Precompiled dictionaries” = DONE!

Restart Notepad++ and now everything should be working correctly for your spell checker. Now for the settings, the best site I found that describes every setting option of ‘Notepad Plus Plus’ in detail is this site right here! Check it out if you have questions, it’s totally sweet. Now here are some screen shots of options I changed to turn my basic Notepad++ into Extremely Awesome Notepad++ with an extra +! To edit your Notepad++ preferences you need to go to Settings > Preferences. If the images aren’t good enough, click each one for the full the full screenshot I took.

Notepad++ Default Open Directory

I like to choose the default directory where I will open text files and the default save directory.

Backup Notepad Plus Plus Default Directory

I like to select my default directory to open and save files. I like to setup a backup option and I choose a folder for backups. This way I never lose any changes I made in the past. I select Verbose backup because it's basically unlimited files by backing up the file with filename.txt.DATE_TIMESTAMP.bak

Setting default encoding to UTF-8 instead of ANSI

If you're typing in non-English languages (Let's say... Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc) then you need to use UTF-8 instead of the ANSI setting. There are two ways you can do this. You can make this your default setting or you can choose your encoding on a file by file basis.

Encoding a text file to display foreign languages

But if you have ANSI as your default encoding option because you only work with other languages and characters from time to time, that's not a problem. Here's the simple solution! If you want to display other languages other than English (Thai, Chinese, etc) you can convert an open or existing text file from ANSI to UTF-8 and you'll then be able to insert or type the other languages and characters.

But what about sorting? I often need to sort text in my text editor however it’s not a default option in Notepad++. Here’s how to get that done as well as remove duplicate lines.

Click method: Plugins > Plugin Manager > Show Plugin Manager
(Explained in detail method: Go to the menu. Click “Plugins” then click “Plugin Manager” then click “Show Plugin Manager“)
Next, under “Available” look for “TextFX” and check the box, then click “install”. Restart Notepad++ and you’ll now see TextFX in the menu.

After the blood, sweat, and tears from all of this hard work… here’s how to finally sort text in Notepad++. (Make sure to select all text in the actual open text file that you want sorted and modified!)

To only sort text

  1. Click TextFX
  2. Click TextFX Tools
  3. Click +Sort ascending

To sort and remove duplicate lines

  1. Click TextFX
  2. Click TextFX Tools
  3. Click (or make sure it’s already checked) +Sort ascendning
  4. Click to select “+Sort outputs only UNIQUE (at columns) Lines”
    ** This way duplicates will be removed and it’ll be sorted ascending.
    ** Now click “Sort lines case…” whatever option you want.

After you click that “Sort lines case sensitive…” or “Sort lines case insensitive…”  You’ll then sort and remove duplicates in you Notepad Plus Plus open file. Here’s the screenshot of the settings after you have installed the TextFX Plugin.

Sort and Remove Duplicates in Notepad Plus Plus

Step by step instructions how to sort text ascending while removing duplicatates in Notepad++

With your sorted text you’ll should be happy with the results and happiness results in a improved living environment. So thanks for doing your part to improve the world!

How to secure your Facebook

Here’s a quick way to enable secure browsing on Facebook. If you don’t already do this, now is the time! Secure Browsing (https) is an opt-in security feature. When you turn this feature on, your activity on Facebook becomes encrypted, making it harder for anyone else to access your Facebook information without your permission.

To turn on Secure Browsing (https), navigate to your Account Settings page. Click the “Change” link next to Account Security, check the box under “Secure Browsing (https)” and then click the “Save” button.

Facebook Secure Browsing Session

Help protect your account with secure browsing (https). To always view facebook over a secure connection and help prevent hackers from accessing your info over public networks, turn on Secure Browsing now!

You will also see an option to receive emails when a new device accesses your Facebook account. These notifications are called Login Notifications.

When you turn on secure browsing, any other active Facebook web sessions will be terminated. This means that if you are logged into Facebook on another web browser, you will have to re-enter your login information.

Sexy Eva Mendes Campari HD Wallpaper

When things are unsecure, make sure to tie up the loose ends so you're thoroughly protected!

Also remember that if you’re trying to view third party applications (like Zynga Poker) you might get a message saying you need to switch to regular http mode. You will see this error message because the third party app you are trying to access does not support secure browsing (https). If you would like to use this app, simply click “continue.” Facebook will temporary turn off secure browsing (https) while you use the app and automatically turn it back on for you when you are done.

Do you want to know more about secure browsing? Visit the Facebook help page.

How to fix WordPress Updates (FTP Connection Information)

When I upgrade WordPress to a new version (here’s a link to the screenshot) or update WordPress plugins (here’s a link to the screenshot) I’m always asked for my FTP “Connection Information” which gets really annoying. I solved the problem easily, but there are a few other solutions that might work for you that I documented below.

Solution 1: Add FTP Info to wp-config (this worked for me!)

  • FTP into your host.
  • Navigate to your root folder of your domain
  • Edit the wp-config.php file
  • Towards the end of the file (before the ?>) add your FTP info like this (screenshot here):
    /** Lets me update without entering FTP info. */
    define(‘FTP_HOST’, ‘host’);
    define(‘FTP_USER’, ‘user’);
    define(‘FTP_PASS’, ‘pass’);
  • Change host to your FTP hostname. Change user to your FTP Username. Change pass to your FTP Password.
  • Save file, and now it should work.
  • I then physically moved my wp-config.php file up one folder so it can’t be accessed through the web. If you’re worried about wp-config vulnerabilities and wordpress security, then read this codex page to learn about hardening your wordpress installation.

Solution 2: FS_METHOD (this did not work for me unfortunately)

Edit: I already went with Solution 1. But if you want to try this Solution 2, make sure to read ktgeak’s useful comment at the bottom of this post.

Add this into your wp-config.php file towards the end of the file (before the ?>) and then save the file. Then it magically… could… work…

/** Lets me update without entering FTP info. */
define(‘FS_METHOD’, ‘direct’);

I found this solution here but it didn’t work for me – I ran into the problem of files and folders not being able to be created or deleted due to permission issues (Could not delete  /blah/blah/blah/). The easiest way to get around the issue is by turning PHP Safe Mode Off. So I did that but it still didn’t work. The next idea would be to CHMOD all folders and files to 777 but then that’s a real pain to do to plugins and all folders and files for a direct WordPress version upgrade. And I’m hesitant of having everything 777 and lazy to do specific files.

For those that want to know what the FS_METHOD does, here you go (from the editing wp-config wordpress page):

FS_METHOD forces the filesystem method. It should only be “direct”, “ssh”, “ftpext”, or “ftpsockets”. Generally, You should only change this if you are experiencing update problems, If you change it, and it doesnt help change it back/remove it, Under most circumstances, setting it to ‘ftpsockets’ will work if the automatically chosen method does not.

  • (Primary Preference) “direct” forces it to use Direct File I/O requests from within PHP, this is fraught with opening up security issues on poorly configured hosts, This is chosen automatically when appropriate.
  • (Secondary Preference) “ssh2” is to force the usage of the SSH PHP Extension if installed
  • (3rd Preference) “ftpext” is to force the usage of the FTP PHP Extension for FTP Access, and finally
  • (4th Preference) “ftpsockets” utilises the PHP Sockets Class for FTP Access.

Solution 2: Run wordpress as same user as apache user (I did not try this)

Seems very possible after speaking with my web hosting company! Read about this solution here.

Many hosting companies will run your apache instance using your user account, and all of your files will be owned by the same account. In those cases, you will probably not have the issue described here.

If your hosting company is running apache as a system user, and your files are owned by your own account, your only option may be to enter your FTP credentials here and allow WordPress to use FTP.

I spoke with my hosting company and they suggested I should consider using them to upgrade blogs for me using their scripts instead of doing this via an automatic update via the admin page. I’ll probably end up doing this since it’s a managed hosting solution anyway and then I won’t have to worry about updates.

They then said if I still want to do the upgrade from the admin page, they  can change the ownership of all the files from the current one to the apache user. But adding new plugins manually or installing new domains and wordpress installs, sounds like a lot of work to have them change the file ownership all the time.

If you have a better solution to this problem please post it in the comments section.

How to Move Google Voice from one Google Account to Another

Google recently turned the Google Apps (for domains) accounts into a regular accounts. Oh man, what a headache. What does this mean? You can only log into one account at the same time. This has been causing some problems because many things like Google Voice are saved on the @gmail.com account versus the @domain.com account. I think it’s a good idea to transfer things over to the App account since that’s easiest for me to use (but too bad Google+ Plus doesn’t work for @domain accounts yet).

The Google Voice Transfer Solution

Use this form to request your Google Voice number be transferred from one Google Account to another (e.g. [email protected] to [email protected]).
link

Please follow the instructions EXACTLY AS THEY APPEAR, because if you do not enter your information correctly, it could result in wrongfully deleting all of your subscriber information, like your call history, text messages, and voicemails, for which Google cannot be responsible and which will be irreversible. Please be EXTREMELY CAREFUL about clearly identifying which Google Account you would like your Voice account moved from (original) and to (destination account).

It may take up to a week to process this request. Google will contact you if we need further information or to update you on your status. There are a few things you should be aware of if you wish to re-upgrade to a different Google Account:

  • Your call history and voicemails since the upgrade will not transfer over upon re-upgrading
  • The settings changes you’ve made will not transfer over upon re-upgrading
  • You can only re-upgrade once
  • The re-upgrade process may take up a week
  • Do not make any international calls or buy international call credit until the re-upgrade process has been completed

Google Voice App

If you’re having other issues with your Google Voice account (SMS, Google Voice on Sprint, etc) you can visit this page to find some solutions.
http://www.google.com/support/voice/bin/static.py?page=known_issues.cs

How to use a VPN (to protect your privacy and unblock sites)

I’m not sure if you’ve heard about the Internet Snooping bill that was passed by congress recently (PCFIPA of 2011) which was a incorrectly labeled bill. If you’re a U.S. resident, your privacy is at risk big time! ISPs now have to keep all records about you and your online presence for a year so police can review them at any time. Your name, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and dynamic IP addresses have to be stored. You can see more about it in these scary articles:

So here comes the VPN Company Service to save the day! They offer a limited free VPN download (connects to Miami only) as well as an unlimited premium VPN service which is a paid service but worth it and offers unlimited bandwidth, unlimited speeds, and access to all servers. A lot of people might not know what I’m talking about so the rest of this article I’ll talk more in depth about what type of service this is and why a person should use it.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. A VPN turns your accessible/loggable public network to a private single stream network. Basically it makes one, and only one, secure encryption to the VPN server, and then your traffic goes through the encrypted tunnel. The ISP and the local authorities only see that you’ve made one connection and can’t see other online activity and this prevents the ISP spying on you. Also VPN services don’t fall under this new bill because they are not an ISP. Just remember though… just because it makes things more secure and anonymous, you can not and should not perform illegal actions while using one (credit card fraud, identity theft, hacking, etc).

VPN Tunnel

What if hackers could penetrate the ISP company and steal all of the customer data? That’s something to think about!

In a nutshell, using a VPN service like VPNCompany is easy. 1) Download 2) Install 3) Connect.

A VPN can be used any time such as when you visit different countries, if you’re on wifi hotspots or at the local coffee shop, or even if you’re at home. Some countries provide security over the internet and block or censor sites you can visit. It works on your computer as well as your smartphone, like Android or iPhone (also on the iPad, and iPod Touch). When I travel I often use 3G from my iPhone as my main source of internet on the road so this works perfect for me.

Why do you need a VPN?

  • You download torrents and use P2P networks (if so, do not connect to a USA server. Connect to an international server location. You’ll need to become a VPNCompany premium customer to do this).
  • You don’t want your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to be able to monitor and control your online activities
  • You want a more simple and secure solution instead of using a proxy.
  • You currently live in a country censors your internet by blocking sites.
  • You live outisde of the USA but you want to watch Hulu, other free online network TV, unblock skype, or even us BBC iPlayer.
  • You frequently use wifi hotspots and don’t want hackers packet sniffing.
  • You want extra privacy, security, and a one click simple solution.
  • You travel and your online banking, and even Paypal, limit your account access because you’re coming from an out of country originating IP. Connect to a US server and these problems are solved.
VPNCompany – Most Popular and Recommended VPN Service

In order to use a VPN you must sign up for a VPN provider and install their software on your computer or follow their sometimes confusing instructions. Usually VPN companies offer PPTP or Open VPN style encryption. But get this… with VPNCompany you download their software that works on Windows and iOS which let’s you choose at any time… what country you want to connect to… and if you want to connect to OpenVPN or PPTP.

UPDATE OCTOBER 19, 2011 – – – I use the PPTP connection on my iPhone. The default setup connects to the Miami server, but you can change to a server closer to your location by finding the latest listings in the online documentation.

After installing a VPN on your computer, you will be able to use it and be secure all the time without revealing your true IP address. It’s safe and keep you away from attackers, hackers, ISP snoops, and other harmful elements on the web that wants to access your private personal data.

I suggest considering VPNCompany as your VPN provider. The features are great and they’re always one step ahead of the competition making all VPN users happy. I’ve been using them for over a year now and I have no complaints. They are always adding new servers and improving their software. Their customer support is quick to answer and so far it seems like they listen to their customers, because I’ve seen some new features in the latest software that I wanted added (although I didn’t contact them about this, others must have).

Newbie Note: You cannot use VPN without an ISP. They work in tango. Have an internet connection then use it with your VPN.

Like I said, the software is always being improved. As of October 4th 2011 the latest update v2.4.10 for Windows OS rocks with these new features:

  1. There’s now an application style menu bar with menus added
  2. You can check your account status at any time through the menu.
  3. VPNCompany Premium users now have a wide selection of ports they can connect through. (coming soon for mac users).
  4. Fixes – status checks & remembered settings.