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AJAX Tips and Tricks Domains Internet Tools

The Best Online Domain Name Availability Checker Tool (AJAX)

As if there’s an offline one to check whether a domain is available or not. 😉

Psychic Whois is it.

psychicwhois: domain availability checker

It’s the best domain availability checking tool I know so far. AJAX powered, it instantly checks whether a domain is available for registration after you have typed the primary part by listing all 6 popular TLDs: .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info and .us and the name’s availability for each of them. Not only that, it suggests keyword combinations based from what others have searched and queried.

If you need to search for 100s of domains  at one time, bulk domains search tool is what you need.

Categories
Internet Tools Programming Tips & Insights

Free Online Skills Test for Freelance Web Developers and Programmers: PHP, MySQL, (X)HTML, CSS, JavaScript and More

Hire The Best There are plenty of freelancing jobs sites and outsourcing interactive platforms between service providers and clients now. Elance is probably the most renowned online freelance jobs brokerage firm. Why? Google tells me. 😉

Elance has the largest bunch of backlinks according to Google via query “link:elance.com”, over 2,400 as of now, the most prominent in the industry with the second being less than 1,000.

All the free skills tests Elance offers

Elance decided to offer all of the tests on 245 different subjects and professions free for all registered members on Feb. 9. I spent a whole night doing all the tests, failing a few: did MySQL (SQL can be very professional and demanding with real problems) and got a 52; did Internet Security and got a 58 – sucks doesn’t it. The good part is that though I have never deemed myself as a Linux professional but got a 78 test score for it, I guess it’s just I have so many websites myself to maintain and practiced a hell lot on SSH. 🙂

Displayed below is my list of scores for the 5 skills I chose for exhibit to the clients, all about web development and internet marketing of course: XHTML 1.0, CSS 2.0, SEO, PHP5 and AJAX – currently hot technologies and skills in demand.

elance free skills test

Each of the test

Each of the knowledge or skill test consists of 40 multiple / single choices questions with 40 minutes for you to work them out. I spent 20 – 30 minutes on average on each of them. I think this may depend on how much you are familiar with or skilled in that area.

After signing up as a free member, you can take the skill tests as many times as you want but there’s a 14-day interval between retakes so choose your answers carefully.

Hire The Best
Complete list of available programming & web development skills tests

Active Directory
ADO.NET 2003
Adobe Flex Builder 2
Advanced Java
Advanced Php
Antispam and Antivirus
ASP 3.0
ASP.NET 2003
ASP.NET with SQL Server
Checkpoint Security
CISCO
Cocoa programming for Mac OS X 10.5
ColdFusion MX 7
COM
Computer Skills
Computer Technician
Data Modelling
Data Structures
Data Warehousing
DB2 Admin
DB2 Programming
Delphi 6
Developer 2000
DHTML
Digital Signal Processing
DOS
Dot Net Fundamentals
Dot Net Nuke
Drupal5
Embedded System
Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) 2.0
Facebook Open Platform Development
Fiber Optics
Firewall Concepts
Game Programming Concepts
Google Android Programming
Internet Security
iPhone
J2ME
Java
JDBC 2.1
JSharp 2003
JSP 2.0
Kernel Programming (Solaris 2.x internals)
LAMP
Lean Certification
Mac OS X 10.5
Microsoft Access 2000
Microsoft Access 2003
Microsoft Access 2007
Microsoft Excel 2003
Microsoft Excel 2007
Microsoft Office Live Web Design
Microsoft OutLook 2007
Microsoft PowerPoint 2003
Microsoft PowerPoint 2007
Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007
Microsoft SQL Server 2000
Microsoft SQL Server 2005
Microsoft Visio 2007
Microsoft Word 2003
Microsoft Word 2007
MySQL
Networking Concepts
Networking Design Infrastructure (Win)
Networking Infrastructure (Win)
Networking Server 2003
Networking XP
OOPS Concepts
OpenGL Programming
OpenSocial
Oracle 10g
Oracle 9i Administration
Oracle Database 10g
Oracle Forms 9i
Oracle PL/Sql 10g
Oracle PL/SQL 9i
Oracle SQL 9i
osCommerce v2.2
Paypal Integration
Perl 5
PHP4
Power Builder
Programming with C
Programming with C#
Programming with C++
Python 2.x
QuickBooks Pro 2008
Redhat Linux 9.0 Admin
Redhat Linux 9.0 General
Ruby on Rails
SOAP 1.2
Software Testing
Solaris 10 U4
SQL
System Analysis
System Programming
TCP/IP
Total Quality Management Certification
Unix
Unix Shell Script
VB.NET 2003
Virtual Private Network
Visual Basic 6
Visual Studio
VLSI
Voice Over IP
Web Services
Wi Fi
Wimax Technology
Windows NT
Windows Vista Administration
Windows XP
Wireless Electronics
WordPress
3ds Max 8.0
3ds Max 9
Adobe After Effects 7.0
Adobe Fireworks CS3
Adobe Flash CS3
Adobe FrameMaker 8
Adobe Illustrator CS3
Adobe InCopy CS3
Adobe InDesign CS3
Adobe Photoshop CS2
Adobe Photoshop CS3
Adobe Premiere
AutoCad 2007
Corel Ventura 10
CorelDraw X3
Digital Imaging
Dreamweaver CS3
FrontPage 2000
JavaScript 1.3
Joomla 1.5
Macromedia Director MX 2004
Macromedia FreeHand MX
Maya 7.0
PageMaker 7.0
Principles of Web Graphics Design
Quark XPress 7.0
Time Management

Hire The Best Like many others, as a web developer and marketer myself, I started by providing freelancing services while gradually building up my own online portfolio. Don’t need to rely on the work for a living now, but it doesn’t hurt to accept 1 or 2 freelance projects from time to time to know more people and to broaden your social network business wise upon a generous client.

Categories
Hosting Tips & Deals Internet Tools

Free Reverse Domain & IP Tool for Other Websites or Domains on the Same Server

Privacy policy? You don’t have privacy anyway.

Well that’s just a saying about how you can never be private on Internet as it’s always possible to digg out who you are in real life by bits and pieces you left about yourself everywhere on the Web.

Reverse domain tool comes handy when you want to know what other websites / domains the server / IP hosts. Because majority of the websites there are in shared hosting plans. Even for dedicated or VPS dudes who have their own unique IP, it’d still need them to host their other domains on the same IP and web server.

Interested in what other websites or domains a man has? If you know just one of his domain or site, you can literally get the others that he own by a single click here: http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/web-sites-on-web-server/

Categories
HTTP Tips & Tutorials Internet Tools

Free Online Visual Trace Route Tool

Trace route (command) is a common network diagnostic tool to debug network problems or check how data is passed through the whole network through all different kinds of computers, routers and such. A visual trace route tool, however, draws the data passage in illustrative diagrams or on a map for visionary perception graphically.

You Get Signal just offers the kind of free tracer route we need. It’s a trace router that traces and records all the IP a TCP packet is travelling on the Internet, mapping it on Google map while also printing the locations (IP) the packet of data has been through on the right.

visual trace router

One of the interesting things this free routing tracer tool offers is that it gives the total distance the data has travelled in miles.

Visit the tool: http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/visual-tracert/

Categories
Internet Tools Social Networking

Use twitter in Windows active desktop to post anytime!

Windows active desktop is a feature that allows you to embed a browser window (viewport) on your actual desktop. Instead of a window form, it’s accessible anytime on the desktop yet never takes up any task bar spaces.

Windows XP users can activate active desktop following these procedures. Basically you just right click on the desktop and select Properties to open Display Properties. Go with Desktop tab, click Customize Desktop and select Web tab in the dialog form.

Create a channel for Twitter by clicking New. Type in http://twitter.com/home for Location and click OK.

It starts to synchronize for this new web item. After a few seconds you should be good to go. Just make sure Twitter / Home is checked for display.

You may notice that there’s a nicely embedded browser window of http://twitter.com/home on your desktop now. Move it around and place it somewhere handy after resizing it a little bit to fit the screen.

Isn’t that great! You can start posting twits from there from now on or if you can’t chances are you haven’t logged in yet.

Categories
Internet Tools Web Applications & Online Software

Blogger, WordPress and Movable Type Compared

Updated: Comparison table updated by the announcement of MT4.

Okay, before it all begins, I’d like to do a small playful research that would give us some preliminary knowledge. According to Google, up to the time this comparison post is being compiled, we have,

  • “powered by Blogger” – 30,800,000 results!
  • “powered by WordPress” – 71,800,000 results!
  • “powered by Movable Type” – 1,220,000 results!

So, WordPress is undoubtedly the most popular among the three. Done, let’s proceed.

Blogger is my virgin choice for a blog platform, later abandoned though, for its annoying way of scrambling HTML markup. But don’t – it’s just my personal obsession to keep everything in control. Anyway. Used it for quite a while before switching to WordPress that I have, as you can see, installed for Kavoir Magazine, and Movable Type for one of my Chinese blogs. They are all awesome. Here I’m going to compare the 3 platforms as far as I know them. Hope this would be of some use to those who just started in blogging and confused by an excessive bunch of options.

Blogger

Website: http://www.blogger.com
Sign up: http://www.blogger.com/signup.g
Free Hosting: http://www.blogspot.com/

Blogger rocks at its simplicity. It’s awfully easy to use, good for novice bloggers, and has a few advanced functionalities that WordPress and Movable Type holds proud of stripped away. Another reason for its popularity is that it supposedly gets quicker to be indexed by Google because Google owns it.

The control panel is clean and straightforward, templates are freshly baked and can be rearranged in a drag’n’drop manner. If you prefer hosting the blog archives with BlogSpot rather than storing them to your own FTP server or web space, you don’t have to worry about the code at all. Either no need to install anything before starting to blog, you just concentrate on the writing. Multiple authors are also supported.

A narrow top banner with search is arbitrary for advanced templates capabilities, though.

Cost: None
Launch Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Technical Presumption: None

WordPress

Website: http://wordpress.org/
Download: http://wordpress.org/download/
Free Hosting: http://wordpress.com/

Mostly used as a lightweight CMS(Content Management System), WordPress is the favorite dish of millions of tech geeks. Its open source nature has made the app a huge community world wide. Hundreds of thousands of people passionately contribute to the platform, building a major library of themes and plugins that greatly enhance and publicize the software. Almost all web hosting companies now strive to provide WordPress in one click installs because a considerable part of customers now rely on WordPress for online blogging.

In terms of features, WordPress is more sophisticated than Blogger, therefore expectedly a little harder to maintain, requiring some knowledge of web developing. But it’s still easy to install, taking no more than 3 steps in the browser. Moreover, multiple blogs are available through a derivation, WordPress MU (Multi-User), which you can download here.

Choosing WordPress is simply choosing a community, not just a platform like Blogger.

Cost: None
Launch Time: 10-15 minutes
Technical Presumption: Some

Movable Type

Website: http://www.movabletype.com/
Download: http://www.movabletype.com/download.html

Movable Type, on the other hand, as a typical commercially powered and supported blogging platform backed by Six Apart, catering to enterprise needs, emerged itself quite early. Serious businesses, enterprises, and professionals tend to impress their audience with the maturity and stability of Movable Type. A single user license for non-commercial use can be acquired free, though.

Movable Type has inherent support for multiple blogs, mutiple authors, plugins, templates, widgets and tags. Trackbacks, which has now been one of the technological standards of every blog platform, is incepted by Movable Type, too. One of the major differences Movable Type has with WordPress is, that WordPress relies on PHP to serve blog entries while Movable Type outputs static web pages every time the author posts a new entry or build the site manually. Moreover, modules in Movable Type templates, as a means of content function, well facilitate customization.

Paid licenses is the reason why Movable Type appears not so popular as the other 2 in the research above, which really doesn’t mean much. IT IS, a very admirable blogging platform.

Cost: None with Single User Personal License
Launch Time: 30 minutes or more
Technical Presumption: Some+

A Simple Sum-up

Functionality Blogger WordPress Movable Type
Comments Yes Yes Yes
Trackbacks Yes (Backlinks) Yes Yes
Categories No Yes Yes
Tags Yes (Labels) Yes Yes
Pings Yes Yes Yes
Feed RSS / Atom RSS / Atom RSS / Atom
Widgets Yes Yes Yes
Search Yes Yes Yes
Plug-in/Add-on No Yes Yes
tdemes/Templates Yes (Exclusive) Yes Yes
Edit templates online Yes Yes Yes
Number of blogs Unlimited 1 Varies with licenses
Non-blog pages No Yes Yes (Version 4)
Visitor registration/login Yes Yes Yes
User levels Yes Yes Yes
IP/User/URL banning No Yes Yes
Multiple autdors Yes Yes Yes
Image uploading Yes Yes Yes
File uploading No Yes Yes
Save witdout posting Yes Yes Yes
Private post No Yes Yes

Other Excellent Blog Engines / Platforms

  1. Textpattern : Another PHP blog engine that’s easy to install, featuring lots of saucy plugins and templates.
  2. TypePad : Paid professional blog service.
  3. Drupal : An open source content management system (CMS) that can be used as personal blog system.
  4. ExpressionEngine : Another CMS able to power personal blogging.
  5. VOX : An integrated publishing console intended for hypermedia communication, where you can fully explore the possibility of text posts, photos, videos, audio and more in one. It’s free.
  6. LiveJournal : A community of independent bloggers.
  7. Flickr : Well, most of us might not agree that this is a blog system. Why not? It’s picture logging, isn’t it?

More Opinions

  1. Movable Type vs. WordPress, My Opinion, a professional and comprensive analysis of the 2 platforms by BusinessLogs.
  2. Comparison of WordPress and TypePad by Emily Robbins who has used both extensively for over a year.
  3. Choosing a Blog Platform from Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger.net which gives no review but urges bloggers to define their own goals choosing a blogging system. You may also enjoy his Blogging for Beginners.
  4. Blog software comparison chart at Online Journal Review presents a comprensive comparison of technical capabilities among 8 different platforms.
  5. Are you using the right blogging tool? by Susannah Gardner. Missing quite some famous blog softwares.
  6. Blogging Cheatsheets, PDFs that map out the interfaces of major popular blogging platforms Blogger, TypePad, WordPress and Movable Type. Assembled and created by Andy Wibbels.