You want great gaming graphics and super smooth 3D play? Don't want to spend a couple grand on a gaming PC? Look no further. This is your lucky day! We did the research for you and put together this list of parts all available at NewEgg.com at rick bottom prices. One order and about a week later you'll be gaming at today's highest speeds!


Antec Three Hundred Black Computer Case

We start with a great solid case. This Antec Three Hundred Black Computer Case will set you back $59.95 but will be the backbone for your speedy gaming PC.
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor

Next we add the brains of the operation to the shopping list. You don't want to skimp out on the CPU so we shot for the best in the "value range". Intel Core 2 Duo is still dominating the CPU wars and this Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor is a great value at less than $165.00.

ASUS Radeon HD 4850 EAH4850 TOP/HTDI/512M Video CardNext up we need a GPU. With gaming systems, the graphical processing demand is usually high. Most gamers are looking to push their gaming experience to higher resolutions with higher screen refresh rates. All this takes a solid graphics card to handle today's hot 3D gaming titles. The ASUS Radeon HD 4850 512MB Video Card gets you into the 4800 series Radeon GPUs at a reasonable price at just under $150.

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB 3.5
We opted for a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive to fulfill your storage needs. Hard drives are cheap and at 13 cents per gigabyte you can't go wrong with this hard drive.


MSI P45 Neo3-FR ATX Intel Motherboard

You got to have something to plug all these goodies into right! The motherboard is the backbone of any PC build. This is where you can spend money and need to plan on what you will upgrade in the future. We went for an MSI P45 Neo3-FR ATX Intel Motherboard. It won't break the bank but has most all of the bells and whistles of the best boards out there. $109.99
SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223F

We like Samsung DVD drives for their ultra reliability. Nothing worse than having to deal with a bad DVD drive that doesn't like a particular format of DVDs. The
SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223F is great taking advantage of SATA bus speeds.

Antec Neo Power 500 500W Power Supply

Everyone repeat after me... "Don't skimp on a power supply!" Believe me, the last thing you want to deal with is a starved CPU and motherboard. Today's PC components need power and this SLI Antec Neo Power 500 500W Power Supply will serve you well. $89.99

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Desktop Memory
Finally, throw in as much RAM as you can afford. Our budget brings us to this 2GB kit from Corasir. CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Desktop Memory is reputable and trusted by most over-clockers as some of the most robust chips you can buy. This kit is $40 but many have seen $10 and $20 rebates floating around. Google it and see if you get lucky.

There you have it! For a grand total of $704.88 (at time of this posting) you have a killer gaming PC. Okay you penny pincher, now go buy your kids a nice Christmas gift!

Merry Christmas to all!

Magic Jack is The Cheapest Phone Service

Posted by Dan Ponjican | 10:15 AM | | 0 comments »

We purchased a Magic Jack on a tip from a fellow tech blogger a few months ago. We were admittedly skeptical being that the only advertisements and marketing we saw of this product was on late night infomercials. The product claims to be a small, USB device that turns any computer with an available USB port and a broad band internet connection into a portal for ultra-low cost phone service.

The device is very simple. Slightly larger than a standard thumb drive with a standard phone jack on the other end. It really couldn't get any simpler than this. The software is embedded on the flash device and installs once the USB device is recognized. It will map two drives on your PC. You will be prompted the first time installing to setup your account and choose a new phone number. There are growing their list of available area codes and region exchange codes everyday. We found our local area code and were able to pick a number from a list of several dozen.

Once installed, you can operate your new Magic Jack phone one of two ways. A softphone software automatically installed, allows you to place and recieve calls from your computer using your PC's audio device (you will need a microphone and speakers). This works well with a decent headset with a microphone and is great for those extended calls with tech support.



The other method is to plug any standard phone into the analog jack and operate the phone as you normally would. We had a cordless phone set that broadcasts from the base to three handsets. This is an ideal setup for this type of phone service. You don't have to worry about re-wiring your house to push the phone signal from your outside phone company line to this new Magic Jack phone service. This allowed us to plug the master base station into the Magic Jack by the computer and place two other slave handsets throughout the office (or house).

Service quality was at first poor. We found the audio to be very low volume. After playing with the volume on the handsets we got it barely acceptable. Later we discovered there was a setting on the softphone software that controls the volume by clicking on the small "Menu" button. This brought the handset volume up dramatically.

Overall, this is a great alternative to home phone service and certainly your cable companies VOIP service. Most VOIP phone services will still run your between $20 - $30 / month. At less than $20 a year, the value is obvious. We found this to be a great solution to making international calls as well. Take the device with you when you travel internationally, and plus it in to a computer with high-speed internet and you can make calls as if you were still in the USA.

HTC Dream T-Mobile G1

Posted by Dan Ponjican | 8:02 AM | | 0 comments »

T-Mobile has entered the competition in a partnership with Google with their new touch screen phone. The first thing to note about it is unlike any of its competitors it has both a slide out keyboard and a touch screen. Both seem to function well. The keys are adequately spaced apart and have a great feel. Although the touch screen doesn’t measure up as well as Apple’s iPhone, it still gets the job done. The G1 uses an open source OS, which Google hopes will get developers to create software for the phone. It will feature applications similar to iPhone with Android’s market.

The phone features WiFi, a full html browser, and GPS functionality. It has one-click contextual search, which lets you search for anything simply by typing in something with the keyboard.
The phone comes with a 3.2 mega pixel camera that takes still images, but not videos. It also doesn’t have a headphone jack, if you want to listen to music you will have to get an additional adapter that plugs into the USB port. It comes with a 1 gig memory card that can be upgraded to an 8 gig, or even higher down the road.

This phone will be available in US retail stores October 22, 2008 for $179 with a contract.

Rating 5/5

Sony's E Reader

Posted by Dan Ponjican | 8:00 PM | | 0 comments »

Sony's new E-Reader is a lightweight, very slim device will hold and display books for you to read. The case is made of an aluminum-like material, and feels very nice to hold for what could be hours. At only 0.3 inches thick it is much smaller than any book you would carry around and most likely weighs less than a paperback. It comes with a leather cover adding a nice touch of style.

It features E-ink display which makes it very easy to read (similarly to a real book) and is touted to be better for your eyes than a computer screen. However there is no backlight so you're stuck reading with some sort of light on.

Book titles are purchased on your computer and transferred to your E-Reader via USB cable. Titles are easy to search for and the device syncs the books you buy similar to an iPod does with iTunes. Sony has 20,000 titles to choose from, but you can find an additional 170,000 on Amazon.

The downsides are that there is a noticeable lag when navigating menus. Also the price… $270 may seem a little steep when you factor in also that books can cost up to $20 themselves.

It's a very nice gadget though, if you have the money.

Rating: 4/5

Cell Phone Battery Meters

Posted by Dan and Christie Ponjican | 1:54 PM | | 0 comments »

I was talking on my cell phone the other night, when my battery died. I plugged my phone in for about 10 minutes, certainly not long enough for all of the "bars" to reappear... I unplugged it, however, and began using it again as if my battery were completely recharged, only to watch it die again within minutes of my next call.

You may have noticed that your mobile phone seems to spend an awful lot of time with its battery gauge saying it's full, or at least almost full. Once you get to the half-full mark, the battery seems to die very quickly.

This phenomenon isn't as obvious with today's low-power-consumption phones, but it is still pretty hard to find a phone that doesn't do it.

Some say, it's a marketing scam... Here's why that's true: Battery meters are controlled by software, and software is controlled by human beings.

Everyone knows that a battery that stays full for a long time makes a phone look good. When your phone appears to have a good bit of battery life left, you're more likely to use it. People who think their phone is about to die will make fewer or shorter calls and that is no good for the phone company.

This is one more illustration of the curse of a good marketing agent. Both phone makers and cellular service providers want you to think that your phone is still pretty much full of charge even if it's almost half empty. (DansData.com)

iPhone Nano

Posted by Dan Ponjican | 1:39 PM | | 0 comments »

Just in time for the holidays...

According to http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1041006/Apple-launch-iPhone-nano-time-Christmas.html?ITO=1490
the iPhone Nano is expected to be in stores in time for the holidays.

"The product will be launched in the UK at up to £150 for pay-as-you-go customers by O2, the mobile phone group owned by Spain's Telefonica. 'This will be a big one,' said an industry source." "The iPhone 3G has been the fastest-selling phone ever in the U.K., but it is too expensive to be a realistic proposition in the pay-as-you-go market," the source told the newspaper. "However, a cut down version, with the candy bar shape of iPod Nano music players, would be a huge hit as a Christmas gift."

Picture Here... (attached)

"Based on the photos, the new Nano has a vertical display with a click wheel.
The Nano 4G will get the same screen treatment as the iPhone and the iPod Touch."

The new phone will cost less than $300 and will feature controller wheels instead of touch screens.

Happy shopping!

The New LG Dare

Posted by Dan Ponjican | 8:54 PM | | 0 comments »

First impressions say that this is LG's attempt to compete with the iPhone, and that is basically what it is. The major differences are that rather than Apple's software, you get the familiar VCast features. The Dare is also a little lighter (3.76oz. vs. 4.7oz) than the iPhone, and a little smaller (4.1"H x 2.2"W vs. 4.5"H x 2.4"W).

It comes with a 3 inch touchscreen that will recognize handwriting, but it doesn't come with a stylus so you will have to use your finger. The screen is a little smaller than iPhone, but that's expected on a smaller phone. It does however take up nearly the entire phone, and yet there are still call buttons for you to use. Since this is the phone's main feature you would expect it to perform as well or better than Apple, but sadly it does not. If you have never experienced iPhone's touchscreen you would think that it works fine, and it is by far than any LG out there to date, but they simply can't compare to Apple's streamless, easy to use touchscreen.

The LG Dare does come with Stereo Bluetooth, and allows you to access full html web browsing, but it lacks the applications that come with the iPhone.

The camera on the LG Dare is a 3.2 mexapixel that can also record digital movies at 640x480 resolution. It also comes with a LED flash that does work quite nicely (although it will make your pictures a bit blueish), which makes it considerably better than iPhone's 2 mexapixel camera without flash.

The battery on the Dare will last about 360 hours on standby, and 280 minutes while talking. The iPhone surprisingly lasts longer while making calls, or listening to music, but does not last as long on standby.

The LG Dare will run you $199 with a contract.

Final opinion, if you want better call quality and a more reliable network the LG Dare is the superior phone, but the iPhone delivers a totally different experience that seems more of a lifestyle with its Apps.

We get a lot of requests for updates on our sub $500 home built desktop PC builds. This certainly seems to be the sweet spot for entry level PCs. Sure you can click on that Dell ad that advertises a $499 special on a Vista Desktop but have you ever notices how the price magically ends up at $700+ after you add all the stuff you consider essential components? Yeah, us too!

Here is the answer... build one yourself! Never done one before? Don't sweat it, it is a lot easier than you might think. Read our "E6550 Vista Overclock PC Build" that has detailed pictures and instructions on how to assemble your desktop PC. You can do it... we can help! (Oh wait... didn't I just rip that off?)


CPU
The Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 is an excellent value at less than $130! It runs at a conservative 2.2Ghz with very low per consumption (you overclockers know what I'm getting at here). Plenty of brunt for your basic Vista PC.

Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 2.2GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor


Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 2.2GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor


Motherboard
We choose the GIGABYTE GA-G31M-S2L for GYGABYTE's outstanding performance/value reputation. This MB will give you expandability and the flexibility to expand later on if you find the need. It's a great value at about $60.

GIGABYTE GA-G31M-S2L Micro ATX Intel Motherboard


GIGABYTE GA-G31M-S2L Micro ATX Intel Motherboard


Memory
This is one area that you do not want to skimp too much. Hence we went with tried and true CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) modules. These are bullet-proof and will give you years of reliable service! $47.50 - $10 mail in rebate. For our purposes today, $37.50.


CORSAIR 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Memory


CORSAIR 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Memory

Graphics Card
We wanted to utililze the powerful PCIE x16 graphics bus on our GIGABYTE motherboard so we choose this solid performer keeping in mind that we are building a "budget" PC and not a high-end gaming unit. The BIOSTAR V8402GL26 GeForce 8400 GS 256MB is a good fit with DirectX 10 support. This will allow you to use Vista's aero interface. $30

BIOSTAR GeForce 8400 GS V8402GL26 Video Card


BIOSTAR GeForce 8400 GS V8402GL26 Video Card


Hard Drive
Storage is getting cheap and with SATA controllers, the Seagate Barracuda 250GB SATA Hard Drive should serve well as your storage device. $55

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB 3.5


Optical Drive
No Blue Ray for you! Perhaps later on when you are ready to upgrade this box, but for now a standard LITE-ON SATA DVD±R DVD Burner will do the trick. $24

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS120-04


LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS120-04


Case & Power Supply
I'm a big fan of Cooler Master cases. Everytime I've used them, I have been impressed with the build quality. You will appreciate this as you build and service your PC. The COOLER MASTER Elite RC-330-KKR1 comes with a 350 watt power supply which should be sufficient for what we are using. $55


COOLER MASTER Elite RC-330-KKR1 Black Computer Case


COOLER MASTER Elite RC-330-KKR1 Black Computer Case


Finally, add the Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 32-bit English 1pk for System Builders DSP OEI DVD and your legal!

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 32-bit English 1pk for System Builders DSP OEI DVD


Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 32-bit English 1pk for System Builders DSP OEI DVD

Our total with software is $500.50.

Wi-Fi home networking can now be environmentally friendly with the introduction of D-Link’s Xtreme NT line of wireless routers. This new green initiative adds eco-friendly features that have the potential of reducing the devices’ power consumption by 40% without sacrificing performance.

The new features reduce power usage by automatically detecting link status and network cable length then adjusting the power accordingly. The new routers, which connect through network cables, will also feature Wi-Fi scheduling which allows customers to program Wi-Fi radio signals that can be turned on and off to further save energy consumption. Although this aspect may not be original, D-Link has allowed this feature to be easier than competitive models and also provides a user-selectable radio shutdown option that is adjustable by day and start/end times.

These routers include:
• D-Link Xtreme N Gigabit Router (DIR-655)
• D-Link Xtreme N Duo Media Router (DIR-855)
• D-Link Xtreme N Gaming Router (DGL-4500)

These products are RoHS and WEEE-compliant. This means they are officially certified and safe from hazardous materials and made of recycled materials to be disposed of properly-also eco-friendly! Furthermore, the routers support IPv6. Prices range from $150-$350.

Rumors are starting to circulate quicker about the new Blackberry "Touch". The official model number is the BlackBerry 9500. One glance at the layout of this sleek new phone quickly reveals the intended competition for the incredibly popular iPhone.

The strong point of the iPhone has always been it's bright and high-resolution screen making it best of class amongst multimedia smartphones. The Blackberry 9500's touchscreen is a bit higher res than the iPhone's (360x480 to 320x480) making it a very strong competitor.

It will be running OS 4.7.0 (the Bold runs 4.6). As we inch closer to the September release date expect to hear a lot more details on this exciting phone!

What's an .HTACCESS file?

Posted by Dan Ponjican | 8:53 AM | | 3 comments »

Recently, I was forced to do a ton of research as a result of an unruly website I was working on. The problem turned out to be a small tidbit in the .htaccess file. Such a minor detail caused hours of delay in the project. I thought I would share all the details I compiled for your reference.

A .htaccess file is a file that works on Apache and other NCSA-compliant webservers. The name is actually a bit of a misnomer due to the fact that hyper-text access is only a small function of what it's capabilities are.

The .htaccess file affects the directory it is located in and all directories below it on the directory tree unless there is a .htaccess file contained within a directory, in which case it will take priority for that directory and all directories located below it in tree. Thus if a .htaccess file is contained within the root directory it will affect all directories on the webserver.

The basics are as follows. The .htaccess file is an ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange), these files are most easily generated through notepad or anything that can type in simple text format. One of the most common questions about .htaccess files are what to name them, unfortunately they can have no name, and the extension (although uncommon) really is 8 characters long.

Creating the file is somewhat tricky because programs like Windows Operating System will not allow you to have a file with no name and only an extension. In order to get around this what you must do is name the file whatever you would like and after it has been uploaded to the server rename it to .htaccess. At this point however the file will become invisible to browsers and ftp clients (although it can still be navigated to and the contents of it viewed), this is due to the fact that any file with a period at the beginning of it's name is considered a hidden file.

When uploading the .htaccess file it is very important to make sure that you upload it as ASCII and not as binary. Also when it has been uploaded there are a few precautions you take to prevent it from being read by a browser, one is to CHMOD it's permissions to 644 (or RW-R--R--). The other's will be covered later on in more detail. Due to the nature of the information stored in the .htaccess file it is usually of the utmost importance to keep it secure.
When creating a .htaccess file for the first time there is one quick note to keep in mind, this is that most commands are typically meant to be placed on one line, so if you are using a text editor which has the word wrap feature it may be in your best interest to turn it off as this can input syntax that Apache does not understand and will cause your scripts to fail. Also note that .htaccess files will not work on a NT or Windows platform, there are various other methods of accomplishing the tasks that .htaccess provides, but none that are bundled together in such a nice little package.

.htaccess files are not globally accepted. Due to the fact that they can be used for security that can become very serious security holes. Due to this some webhosting companies have either limited the use of .htaccess or removed it all together. Before you take the time to create a .htaccess file or series of them you should always know what you can and cannot do.

Custom Error Pages / Request Pages
There are various client requests and error pages that can happen when someone is navigating a website. A brief list of them is as follows;

200 - Okay
201 - Created
202 - Accepted
203 - Non-Authorative Information
204 - No Content
205 - Reset Content
206 - Partial Content
400 - Bad Request
401 - Authorization Required
402 - Payment Required
403 - Forbidden
404 - Not Found
405 - Method Not Allowed
406 - Not Acceptable
407 - Proxy Authentication Required
408 - Request Timed Out
409 - Conflicting Request
410 - Gone
411 - Content Length Required
412 - Precondition Failed
413 - Request Entity Too Long
414 - Request URI Too Long
415 - Unsupported Media Type
On this list I have included some good and some bad things that custom pages could be set up for in a .htaccess file. For instance if you set up a customer page for the 200 request everytime someone successfully typed in a URL or accessed your website and it was successfully bringing up a page then it would refresh to the page you specified in the .htaccess file, as soon as it was successfully brought up it would then redirect back to the page specified in the .htaccess file, and so on infinitely. This would be an example of a bad way to use this feature. However, if you were to set it up for error 404 then when someone typed in an incorrect url or a link to a page has become outdated then someone could be redirected to a nice professional looking page which could also be useful and provide links back to your mainpage or to a help section within your website.

The coding used to within a .htaccess file to redirect upon the completion of a request or error is as follows (and only goes on a single line);
ErrorDocument code /directory/filename.ext
For instance this could look like;
ErrorDocument 404 /errors/404.html
This would redirect anyone who got a 404 error on my website to a folder called errors and then to a file named 404.html.

You also have the ability to add html to the .htaccess file for these, for instance you could add;
ErrorDocument 404 " The page you are requesting is not here, please use your back button to return.

Notice that there are quotation marks before the html code but not at the end of it. This is as it should be for the Apache to read it correctly. Also make sure that it is all on one line so turn off your wordwrap when inputting it.

Password Protecting Folders
In order to password protect any directory you will require two files, .htaccess file and a .htpasswd file. The naming convention is identical to the .htaccess file.
Within the .htpasswd you will need to put in the username and password (although the password must be encrypted) you would like to use, for instance, if we use the username of username and the password of password it would look like this.
username:66yGQHg8KA7jw
In order to encrypt a password you can go to http://www.earthlink.net/cgi-bin/pwgenerator.pl or do a search on google for password encryptor.

For security purposes it is recommended that you do not place your .htpasswd file in a directory that is not web accessible, rather try and place it above your root www directory. And also make sure that you upload the .htpasswd file as ASCII instead of binary.

Now you must add the code to the .htaccess file which will be located within the directory you would like to password protect;
AuthUserFile /home/users/web/b2278/ph.dprouse/.htpasswd
AuthGroupFile /dev/null
AuthName EnterPassword
AuthType Basic
require user username
The AuthUserFile line deals with the absolute location (not the web location) of the .htpasswd file, there is no set standard for this so always make sure you double check with your webhost provider.

The AuthName line is arbitrary, it can say whatever you would like to put in there within reason (no spaces).

The AuthType is basic because we are using a HTTP login.
The final line is require user and then the customer's username, this is setup as though each user has their own seperate directory they can have access to, if you have multiple users that would like to access the same directory you change the last line to read;
require valid-user
Enabling SSI Through .htaccess
Many webhosts do not allow SSI access, this is due to the fact that there are many SSI hacks out there and it is a large vulnerability. There is a way to allow it, although you should always contact your host and make sure that this is permitted as it can be a breach of your terms of service.
The following lines must be added to your .htaccess file;
AddType text/x-server-parsed-html htm html
The AddType line adds a MIME type to the text category and the extension is .shtml. This allows them to be seen on the server, even though most hosts do allow this it is always better to add it to the code to make sure.

The AddHandler line makes sure that all .shtml files are server-parsed for server side commands.

If you do not feel like renaming all of your .html files to .shtml you can add this line between the first and second lines above;
AddHandler server-parsed .html
This line is not overly recommended as it will cause the server to parse every file with the .html file extension. This adds extra load time to every page you have as well as extra server strain, if you are worried about load time it is always better to only use the .shtml files.

If you are planning on using the .shtml extension and would like to use SSI on your index page you must add another line of code into your .htaccess file;
DirectoryIndex index.shtml index.html
This line of code will allow your index file to be index.shtml and if it does not find one it will automatically check for a index.html.

Blocking Users By IP Address
If you were to need to block someone or a group of people from accessing your website it would be as simple as adding the following lines of code to your .htaccess file;
order allow,deny
deny from xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
deny from xxx.xxx.xxx
allow from all
The first line sets the order of steps, the first step is to allow, then to deny.
The second line is the first line of denials, there can be as many as you require. This line will prevent anyone from IP address xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx from entering this directory (or website).
The third line will block everyone from an IP range, anyone at xxx.xxx.xxx.??? will be blocked, such as xxx.xxx.xxx.1, xxx.xxx.xxx.2 ... xxx.xxx.xxx.255.

The last line will allow everyone else to enter, however, if you chose to prevent everyone you could set this line to read;
deny from all
You may also allow or deny by domain name, such as;
deny from .purehost.com
This will prevent all users from this domain to be blocked, it also includes all sub-domains (such as username.purehost.com).

Changing Your Default Directory
If you have a problem setting your homepage to index.html you may want to look into using this piece of code in you .htaccess file;
DirectoryIndex filename.ext
What this will make happen is when someone accesses your website they will be directed to the filename listed instead of the typical index.html file. You can also setup priorities on this too, if you were to list multiple files it would check for the first one and if unable to find it, it would then move on to the second one and so forth.

For example;
DirectoryIndex danny.html index.pl home.php index.html
This would first check for the daniscool.html file and if unable to find it check for the index.pl file and if unable to locate it check for the home.php file and if unable to find it check for the index.html file. Once it has exhausted all of these then it would display a 404 error (hopefully you have already set up a custom one using your .htaccess file).

.htaccess Redirects
Although redirects can be coded through many different means, such as http-equiv, javascript, or any type of dynamic scripting it is typically more efficient to do it through a .htaccess file. The reason being that the coding for all your redirects can be done through a single file instead of having to add code to multiple files. This can save time, which ultimately can mean the difference between someone coming to your site and finding broken links or not seeing updated information.

htaccess uses redirect to look for any request for a specific page (or a non-specific location, though this can cause infinite loops) and if it finds that request, it forwards it to a new page you have specified:
Redirect /folder1/file1.html http://site.com/folder2/file2.html
Notice there are three separate yet required parts to this line of code. The first part is the Redirect command, this informs the browser that when a specific file or folder is accessed the browser is going to be redirected to a new location. The second part is the address of the file or folder you want to redirect from relative to your root directory. The third and final step is to indicate the file or folder that you want to redirect to, this should be indicated by the complete path to it.

As with most .htaccess commands all three sections of this are seperated by a single space but located on one line. This command will often be used if there are massive changes to a website, for instance you have created an entire new site, which is located in a separate folder. You would use the redirect command and specify the old folder and then specify the new folder.

Hiding Your .htaccess
Because your .htaccess file can often contain information that is very pertinent to your website or information that can be potentially a security risk it is always better to limit access to it as much as possible. If you have set incorrect permissions or if your server is not as secure as it could be, a browser has the potential to view an htaccess file through a standard web interface and thus compromise your site/server. This, of course, would be a bad thing. However, it is possible to prevent an htaccess file from being viewed in this manner:
order allow,deny
deny from all
The first line specifies that the file named .htaccess is having this rule applied to it. You could use this for other purposes as well if you get creative enough. If you use this in your htaccess file, a person trying to see that file would get returned (under most server configurations) a 403 error code. You can also set permissions for your htaccess file via CHMOD, which would also prevent this from happening, as an added measure of security: 644 or RW-R--R--.

Adding MIME Types
IF you are using a file extension that is not set on the servers, which can be a common occurrence with MP3 or even SWF files, you can specify what type of file it is by adding this line of code to your .htaccess file;
AddType application/x-shockwave-flash swf
AddType is specifying that you are adding a MIME type. The application string is the actual parameter of the MIME you are adding, and the final little bit is the default extension for the MIME type you just added, in our example this is swf for ShockWave File.
If you need to find the application string of the file you are adding most of them are located at filext.com. Also, if you want to have a file who’s extension is specified on the server to open with something and you would rather have that downloaded (for instance .xml) you can specify the application string as;
application/octet-stream
Preventing Hot Linking
Hot linking refers to someone outside of your website using the path to one of the images on your website. This is considered very rude for two major reasons; the first is that you may have spent many hours working on a particular image and do not want it used by someone else, and the second is that everytime someone accesses that other person’s page it uses your bandwidth. If the site were to have many visitors it could end up that your website actually goes down to bandwidth over usage.

Using .htaccess, you can disallow hot linking on your server, so those attempting to link to an image or CSS file on your site, for example, is either blocked (failed request, such as a broken image) or served a different content (for example a different picture) .

Here's how to disable hot linking of certain file types on your site, the case below takes into account images, JavaScript (js) and CSS (css) files on your site. Simply add the below code to your .htaccess file, and upload the file either to your root directory, or a particular subdirectory to localize the effect to just one section of your site;
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?domain.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg|js|css)$ - [F]
Be sure to replace "domain.com" with your own. The above code creates a failed request when hot linking of the specified file types occurs. In the case of images, a broken image is shown instead.

You can set up your .htaccess file to actually serve up different content when hot linking occurs. This is more commonly done with images, such as serving up an alternate image in place of the hot linked one. The code for this is;
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?domain.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg)$ http://www.domain.com/alternatepicture.gif [R,L]

Digital Wi-Fi Cameras

Posted by Dan Ponjican | 8:28 AM | | 0 comments »

First we had to get over the whole film thing after a nation of baby boomers had been raised on Kodak, Polaroid, and 35mm film cameras of various shapes and sizes. We were all use to the idea of sending in our film for developing and waiting for our pictures to come back.





Coolpix P80 Digital Camera (Black) - New!
Then along came digital cameras and the world was taken by storm with this cool new technology. Suddenly you could take a picture and see the results immediately. At first these cameras were slow and not such great quality but still kind of cool. Then things heated up and now we have fantastic digital cameras of all sizes and shapes that can take wonderful images which can be shared instantly with your family, or the rest of the world for that matter.

Now comes the latest in technology integration. WiFi and digital cameras. No need to even plug your camera memory card into a computer, or a printer at all. Now you can buy a digital camera that transmits the images via wireless technology. Yes, that is right, a wireless connection for your image uploads.

Now, you may be among those in the population that have not even gotten their hands around the whole digital image sharing thing yet. This promising new technology may lead us to a world of fewer cables to plug in, quicker transfer of our images, and in the case of events in the world, the ability to share images of news almost instantly.

Imagine cities that implement widespread WiFi access and photographers with WiFi cameras capturing images of news and other special events. They could transmit those images right away and let the world see them.

Here is how it works:
Nikon has released two models of digital cameras that are WiFi enabled. The idea is to be able to transmit your pictures straight from the camera to your computer or printer through a wireless adaptor. You bring up the images to transfer, hit “go”, and they get sent through the air to your printer. The Coolpix P-series will be in the $200-$550 range in pricing and the adaptor is extra.





KODAK EASYSHARE V1003 Zoom Digital Camera / Cosmic Blue / Refurbished
They are competing with Kodak which released its own version of the WiFi camera in their Easy Share line of cameras this year. Kodak has already gone to making it easy to share photos by transmitting them at so called "wireless hot spots", usually cafes or stores where wireless access is sold or given away to customers. These efforts by the leading camera makers seem aimed at adding value to their already impressive digital technology.

Digital cameras continue to be hot sellers despite what some in the industry thought would be a slowing of sales this year. Many had predicted that cell phone cameras would slow digital camera sales, but this is not happening.

If you are a leading edge gadget buyer and have a wireless mindset then you may want to be first on the block to get one of these Wi-Fi digital cameras.

Digital SLR or Point & Shoot?

Posted by Dan Ponjican | 2:10 PM | | 0 comments »





EOS Rebel XSI Digital Camera Black Body
Digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras are excellent cameras that produce clearer, sharper and more colorful images than most point and shoot digital cameras available. With prices falling rapidly, they are now more affordable then ever. With the price gap between an entry model digital SLR camera and the most expensive compact digital camera narrowing; the question is… do I spend the extra money and get a Digital SLR camera? or save a few hundred dollars and purchase the best digital compact camera.

Well, it really depends on your budget; however if you do spend the extra money, here's what you get:
In addition to the price falls in the Digital SLR models, the performance on these cameras has increased year on year with the latest Digital SLR cameras being quicker and faster than ever before. They have improved to such an extent that power up or start-up time is near instantaneous with virtually no lag time. “Lag time is the time between you pressing the shutter release button and the camera actually taking the shot”. This delay can vary quite a bit between different camera models and it is one of the biggest drawbacks compared to a compact digital camera. The latest digital SLR cameras have virtually no lag times and react in the same way as conventional film cameras, even in burst mode. Compact digital cameras are catching up; however the difference is still significant. A lag time of ~0.5 seconds can result in you missing the heartbeat of the moment and hence that potential great picture.





Powershot SD1100 IS Digital Camera - Silver

Digital SLR camera also has a larger sensor versus a smaller sensor in a compact digital camera. This equates to higher sensitivity and less noise and results in the camera taking clearer pictures in low light. (They also have better autofocus speed in low light as well). A measure of sensitivity in a digital camera is ISO and a typical ISO range for a Digital SLR camera varies from ISO 100 – 1600 with the latter being more sensitive. The ISO range for a compact digital camera varies from ISO 50 – 400. In summary, the higher the ISO rating, the greater the sensitivity and the better the photo can be taken in low light.

The Digital SLR cameras have a much longer battery life due to the limited use of the LCD screen. Please note, that as the LCD screen is only used for viewing the image, the battery life of a digital SLR can allow up to 2000 shots per charge in some cameras compared to 500 for a good point and shoot digital camera.

Digital SLR cameras also allow you to interchange lens such as adding a zoom or macro lens when required.

On the negative side of a Digital SLR camera; they are usually larger and heavier than compact digital cameras, the image cannot be previewed on the LCD screen prior taking the picture. If you really require the image to be viewed on the LCD prior to taking the picture, there are third party manufacturers that produce LCD screens that attaches to the viewfinder and allow the scene to be view just like a compact digital camera. The other drawback is the inability to take videos and finally, lenses are expensive with the majority costing more than the camera itself.
Although compact digital cameras cannot compete on features with a Digital SLR camera, they are great value, have the ability to take videos and are portable. If you have decided to purchase a Digital SLR camera I recommend you visit other websites which has Information on Digital Camera and compare the features. If you are still undecided, purchase both.