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Jun 24 2001____________________________________________________________
C o v e r Y o u r A S P . c o m
Welcome to the latest newsletter!
After four weeks with a 31k dial-up connection ISP's are now
throwing their services upon me. My DSL application failed
for unspecified reasons, but now miraculously I received a
letter offering it to me: "it's now available in your area".
But after a lot of soul-searching,I'm sticking with cable,
which will be installed this week. I've heard all the
arguments about cable being a shared resource that gets worse
as your neighbors subscribe, but I'm not fooled that easily.
Even with DSL you're at the mercy of the ISP - no matter what
the service you'll always be sharing a line at some point.
Isn't the Internet one big shared line?
Anyway, fiber-optics sound more impressive!
A W O R D F R O M M Y S P O N S O R S
IP*Works! V5 ASP Edition includes 30 components, optimized
for Active Server Page programming. The standard IP*Works!
components are all included, HTTP, FTP, SMTP, POP, IMAP,
REXEC etc. Also included are new, higher level components
such as WebUpload, WebForm, FileMailer, TraceRoute, and
The package includes sample ASP pages demonstrating how to
access Web Services such as Yahoo Stock Quotes and UPS
T H E D I A R Y
The events of the last week
- So many have asked recently where to get the download from
that I've added it to the navigation bar at the top of
every page. The Bookmark function got moved to the footer.
- In a flash of inspiration today I thought of a way to make
the site "appear" to be quicker. The problem started when I
started showing banners served from the ASP Alliance Ad
Consortium of which I'm a member. Because they were served
still took the same time to render, they appeared much
slower. This is because the table's don't render until they
a width/height attribute. Hey Presto - the tables can now
render immediately, without waiting for the image to download!
- This is very impressive, and a lot of fun... Powers of Ten.
Thanks to Clint Lewis for the link to Science, Optics and
You in his angryCoder column this morning.
- Thanks to Paul Hanly who wrote to me today pointing out
that because the download is more than a month old, no diary
entries are shown! So I've updated the download to include
all the latest diary entries, and refreshed all the code.
- Nothing to do with ASP, but today I consider myself "the
luckiest man man man on the face of the Earth", as Lou
Gehrig would say.
My wife got tired of spending $100 to get her hair
highlighted, so she bought a $10 hair coloring kit and then
made me apply it. Can you spell S-T-R-E-S-S? Luckily after
the second application (it was CYA orange after the first
one) it turned out fine, but let me tell you: even if they
beg DON'T ever do it.
- Motto: Don't program at 2am. Repeat as often as necessary.
I just trashed my database, and will have to restore it from
backups tomorrow and merge them in. Sorry for the
inconvenience if you were a witness...or heaven-forbid were
lost in the scramble.
- Please remember that even though the feedback page says that
your email address is optional, you must supply it if you
want an answer from me!
Sounds obvious, but today I'd typed a reply and sent it before
I noticed the return email address was empty. "George", having
problems with running the downloaded site under IE 6, can you
- I took a quick visit over to MaximumASP yesterday after their
new ad (top right) appeared. Yeah, I know they're an
advertiser, but their web site is truly one of the best
designed, prettiest sites I've seen since GotDotNet. The Cool
Focus gadgets they use look cool too.
Anyway I'm feeling inspired to do a complete re-design...
R E C O M M E N D T H E S I T E !
Please recommend my site to your colleagues
Two new articles this time:
"Submitting data to a form with IP*Works! WebForm"
ASPRSS has a subscription service that automatically submits
articles to all the ASP directories out there. See how I
submit the data to their forms using the IP*Works! WebForm
"IFRAME's...and IE 5.5"
Sometimes IFRAME's can solve a big problem, but their
interaction with IE 5.5 is something you need to know about -
it's totally bizarre!
H E R O O F T H E W E E K !
Paul Hanly is easily this weeks Hero. After discovering the
site I have a constant stream of very insightful suggestions
and tips. Some more follow in the feedback section, but
here's one that could be fun to play with:
"Some users who are hobbiests may wish to use PWS on a port
other than 80 in combination with a domain name from
http://www.dns2go.com so they can show off their ASP pages
to friends without having to buy hosting which caters for
ASP and Access or SQL.
The port on PWS can be changed:
1. First Stop PWS or at RUN type C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\inetsrv\pws.exe /stop
[If PWS is running it the change may not take effect]
2. At a DOS prompt type the following
[Location of mdutil.exe] C:\mdutil.exe SET W3SVC/1/Serverbindings ":8080:"
3. Start PWS or at RUN type C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\inetsrv\inetinfo.exe -e w3svc
4. In webbrowser type http://localhost:8080 to verify change
to port 8080
5. You may or may not have to restart your computer for the \
change to take affect.
(This is from Harley on the microsoft.public.win98.pws4
Some of the ramifications are:
1. the PWS website button doesn't work
2. the PWS publish button doesn't work
3. relative URLs seem not to work because they are based on
http://localhost rather than on http://localhost:8080
To fix the relative urls I changed line 180 in init.asp to:
sBaseServer += ':8080/' + sURLOffset [ i ];
by inserting the :8080 in front of the /.
This stuff might be a bit sensitive because one reason that
people may wish to change their port on pws to other than 80
is because their ISP has it blocked and they may wish to
check their terms of service to ensure that they aren't
When registering for dns2go they would use the new port
number on the registration form if they are advised that
port 80 is blocked when they try to register using port 80.
If they try using port 80 and don't get the message it is
blocked then they probably don't need to change the port.
You can probably express all this a lot better than I can
if you decide to use it. [No I can't! James]
No need for reply or acknowledgement. [Too late! James]
Just sent for what it's worth as an appreciation of the
Thanks again Paul.
N E E D A N A S P I S P ?
Use mine. You won't find a nicer bunch of guys.
Cheap, efficient and extremely helpful.
I was a little sad to hear that the first site to publish an
article of mine, "way back" in June 2000, is looking for a
new owner. ASPcode.com was the first site I found that
accepted links to articles - I remember being very excited
by the idea!
At the time my articles were written on my home page at
http://ShawThing.com/ and I was getting 20 visitors a day.
Publishing at ASPcode.com immediately made it jump to a
dizzying 200 visitors and 1,000 page views a day!
A recent talk with Editor Chris Duke revealed the sad news:
"We are overwhelmed with other projects and are interested
in pursuing the sale of the site.".
So, if anyone is interested in taking over the (IMHO) very
cool site, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
(But be sensible! Please don't contact them unless you are
F E E D B A C K
Have something to say? Please share!
"I donít know whether Microsoft is to blame or not, but
with IE6 build 2479 your siteís fonts are way too small.
Probably just a Microbug, but I thought you might want to
Luckily I've stayed away from IE6 so far. I've heard nothing
but bad things, so I'm not even going to install it. Thanks
for sending me the screen capture Andreas - it has certainly
rendered my site incorrectly in a number of ways.
"I downloaded your excellent site but I have difficulties
running it. The first page opens ok, but when I try most of
the front page links, they don't open and finally I receive
the message "too many users connected" - which of course is
not true. Do you have any ideas?"
[George didn't include his email, so I never got answers
to my questions below...]
What does happen when you click a link? nothing? which ones
The site is set up by default to run from
http://localhost/cya - is that where you run it? If not look
at http://coveryourasp.com/downloadconfig.asp and
http://coveryourasp.com/basehref.asp to change the arrays at
the bottom of include/config.asp
"Hi James, Thanks for the acknowledgement re the diary.
A suggestion if I may.
On http://www.coveryourasp.com/PWS.asp I suggest you put a
link to troubleshooting under the heading re Installing from
Windows 98 CD so that people can fix the problem at the start
as if they keep getting the error messages they may never
progress far enough in the site to get to the troubleshooting
I assume that (tens of) thousands of win98 cd's have the same
problem, so amy as well fix it up front."
That would be a good idea - I'd never thought of actually
helping people *not* get the problem in advance!
"First, thanks for all the information available at your
site. I have inherited an environment I am not very familiar
with, and the more reading and REAL examples I can find,
the better I can do my job.
Second, a minor nit. I originally found your site because I
was looking for a way to validate email addresses. Your page
came up and I tested a few addresses that I had and found
that a trailing blank (e.g. "email@example.com ") will
throw off your test - this is a valid DNS entry and email
Thanks again for the info!"
First I replied:
Thanks for the tip - I'll make sure they're trimmed first!
Actually John, now I've investigated, I'm not sure I will
change it. My ValidateEmail.asp page calls a function in
utils/email.asp called GetEmailRating and accepts a single
Having leading or trailing spaces causes the syntax check
to fail, and I'm not convinced that's wrong. Well, let's
be honest, I think that's right, and I'm sure you do too.
However, readers should be protected from typos and
copy/paste errors that may leave stray spaces. In fact my
code copes with it perfectly in "real" use.
My feedback form (and every other real use of email) calls
the higher level function IsValidEmail, and this function
accepts multiple addresses separated by ;: and you guessed
So if you pass " firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com ; : firstname.lastname@example.org" into
IsValidEmail or SendEmail they will split the string into
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with no spaces and work
Does this make sense? If anything, I may change
ValidateEmail.asp (the only page that fails) so that it
trims the form inputs first.
"You might want to check the syntax of your ROBOTS.TXT
file at http://www.tardis.ed.ac.uk/~sxw/robots/check/
I've just discovered how to make one myself (after being
bombarded with emails by my new 404.asp page, damn
spiders), and I found this syntax checker -- Maybe it's
out of date for current agents, but its good to be
backward compatible, no?"
Excellent resource Conan, thanks. I found 2 or 3 "errors"
and even if they didn't cause any real problems it's always
handy to know the rules!
"Hi James, I was wondering when you were going to publish
the article on how you used paypal to upgrade membership.
I am interested in using the code on my site and hope to
set up a subscription (members only) area."
Actually, paypal still don't support an automatic way of
doing it. I've bugged them for months, but they are a little
PayPal has a serious flaw, in that anyone can grab the html
of my webaccept button, modify the payment amount and submit
it. Although that'll show up in the confirmation email I get,
they don't pass the information onto the "Thanks" page.
There is also no way of knowing if PayPal even called the
Thanks page, or if a customer called it directly!
So, the end result is that you cannot do anything "automatic"
in the Thanks page of a real site trying to sell goods.
For my new site, I've had to go to a manual process. See
http://ASPRSS.com/MemberUpgrade.asp - and once I get an
email saying they've paid I hop onto the database and
upgrade the membership.
A W O R D F R O M M Y S P O N S O R S
Get FREE sample code, online utilities, and articles at
Add intelligence to your ASP applications! Look up Whois
records, check email addresses, do DNS lookups, find network
problems with Ping and Traceroute, and more.
H A V E I H E L P E D Y O U ?
If I've helped you, help me help others!
===> now with new ways to say thanks! <===
BTW, did you know that I've now been doing this for a year?
I didn't realize until I spoke to ASPcode, and that reminded
when I first posted my first article - June 2000. Man, a lot
has happened since then.
To celebrate, and to reward anyone who's read this far, I
pulled my finger out this weekend and completely changed the
look of the site! As I write this I haven't uploaded it yet,
but it'll be up sometime on Monday. Surprisingly it's only
taken 5 hours so far, including making the graphics.
Hope you like it. ;-)
Thanks Guys! Speak to you in two weeks.
885 Woodstock Road, Suite 430, #108
Roswell, GA 30075-2247, U.S.A.
S U B S C R I P T I O N S
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