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  • Explanation of the “Email Account” area options of the Windows control panel

    No comments March 1st, 2013 3305

    This article will discuss the options available when you add or edit an email account. We will review each option one-by-one to give you a better understanding of the available options on the screen below.

    Continue reading “Explanation of the “Email Account” area options of the Windows control panel” »

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  • Blogging In a Nutshell – Part 3

    No comments August 10th, 2010 2077

    In Part 1 and Part 2 of this Blogging in a Nutshell series, we talked about types of content to create, when to post and how to start driving traffic to your content. While self-promotion of your content is perfectly acceptable, users are skeptical of someone promoting their own content. You have done a ton of work up until now to create, schedule and syndicate your content, isn’t it time the users started to promote your content too?

    Fostering Discussion

    The easiest part of blogging is creating content: you are the expert in your field, you are the mastermind behind your company’s products and services, all you have to do is write about what you already know. A more difficult task is driving traffic to your website, gaining popularity without your blog having an established reputation. The most difficult task is providing enough foundation for your users to start a discussion among themselves about your content.

    Many journalists start out writing  or blogging wanting to change the world, tell a story, broadcast their ideas or opinions to a massive audience, or demonstrate something that they personally deem worthy. Many editors and publishers are focused on driving revenue from their magazine or blog. Getting users to return to your website to read or browse your content is the third major challenge in maintaining a blog. What was once a proximity-based discussion around newspapers and magazine articles can now happen between a greater sized audience without the discussion being limited people’s physical location. However, there must be a balance between making a point, driving revenue and fostering discussion.

    Your content is your point: talk about your products and services, their benefit to your customers, their potential benefit to your prospects, how industry-related technology or government-sponsored legislature supports or challenges your company.

    Your revenue is from your website and in generating leads: readers of your content may be presented with ads once they arrive on your website, opportunities to be sold on products or services presented by you or affiliates, viewers of your blog can be considered warm leads, readers of your blog can be considered hot leads, some viewers may even contact you directly – as a content owner or company representative – to learn more information about your company.

    Your discussion can be brought on by many things: your content drives readers to think critically about something, your content provokes readers into a reaction (positive or negative), your content is shared on an individual level from your blog to a reader’s network (social, email or otherwise), the more interesting or provocative something is the more readers you’ll get to participate.

    It is acceptable for users to have negative reaction to your content provided they participate in discussion explaining why. Typically a negative review of a product or service gets around to other people faster than a positive review. If readers are presented with an opportunity to express their reaction, talk through it and discuss their point of view with other readers, your discussion – albeit initially negative – has been accomplished. Remember, (however) that every second is a deadline: what is important content now, is important now, not a week from now. A user has the ability to dismiss your content without any consequence to them, find an alternate source or blog to read about – at which time your point, revenue and discussion are lost to that user. If your goal is fostering discussion or provoking reactions, timely quality content is a good means to start discussion.

    If you missed previous parts, you can always go back to Part 1 and Part 2.

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  • Blogging In a Nutshell – Part 2

    No comments August 8th, 2010 2310

    Last article we explored different types of content to create and how to schedule when blog posts go out. If you missed our little introduction, jump back a few days to learn about forming original content for your blog.

    Driving Traffic

    In business you know that if you have a good product you can create a brand, business, store front – the whole nine – around your product. Buzz is created by your store’s physical location and buzz around your product by word of mouth from passer-byes or customers. It is far more difficult to attain reputation or recognition by passer-byes without a physical location. An example of a passer-by on the internet would be someone who uses a search engine and finds upon your blog – even if by mistake -they read some of your content and have an opinion about it. Whether they share their opinion on your blog, another means online (sharing on social networks) or discuss it offline, all methods create some level of attention around your content.

    Similar to traditional media: distribution or syndication is the top communication channel to generate traffic to your blog. There are several ways to go about attaining syndication or distribution. First and foremost, know that Associated Press is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, content provider in the world. (They are a non-profit co-op and depending on the size of your organization and network, they will require a fee to add your content to their regular postings and provide you with access to their content and photos.) While not a requirement to be syndicated by AP, if your content is relevant for them, it won’t hurt your chances of driving traffic.

    The simplest ways to distribute your content are easy, cost effective and steps you should take any way to help build your brand (even if you do not write a blog). First, create a dynamic sitemap; most blogging platforms will do this for you. WordPress, for example, has a series of plug-ins available to automatically (and dynamically) publish a sitemap that can be consumed by Google (and other major search providers). Next, claim your blog on syndication sites like Technorati and Google Blog Search, it’s simple to set up an account and both services will pull your posts daily (or by an interval you can set) so your newest content will always be syndicated. Lastly, any social networks (anywhere) that exist to support your company, blog, content or articles approach them about referencing your material, or post quality comments to their content linking back to your material. While link exchanging is seen as a careless method to generate search engine optimization value, having related content will help readers genuinely interested in a topic to find your blog.

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  • Facebook: Adding the ‘Like’ Button

    No comments August 6th, 2010 2572
    So at some point I will give a general ‘why social media and why you should care’ story, but let’s not waste time with that now. Let’s get right into the thick of things. Have a WordPress blog or WordPress-powered website? Want to add a ‘like’ button? Ok, let’s get down to business. The first thing you’ll want to do is change the namespace of your HTML document. Get into the header.php file of your theme. Typically located in /wp-content/themes/[themename]/header.php – You’ll find these lines of code right at the top of this file. We want to change the attributes of the HTML tag.
    
    <?php
    /**
     *
     * @package WordPress
     * @subpackage DeptofAwesome
     */
    ?>
    <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" <?php language_attributes(); ?> >
    We’ll want to change the xmlns (XML Name Space) of our HTML document. Note that changing the header.php file will update all pages that use this include file will be affected. We want to add the Open Graph protocol and the Facebook protocol like this:
    <?php
    /**
     *
     * @package WordPress
     * @subpackage DeptofAwesome
     */
    ?>
    <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"
         xmlns:og="http://opengraphprotocol.org/schema/"
         xmlns:fb="http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml"
         <?php language_attributes(); ?> >
    Adding the following code attributes to your <html> tag allows for Open Graph and Facebook objects to work on your site:
    
    xmlns:og="http://opengraphprotocol.org/schema/"
    xmlns:fb="http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml"
    
    Now to add the ‘Like’ button to your posts. The button is based on a page’s URL. If you have a blog that’s showing multiple posts, we just have to define the button to pull the URL for each post. A simple and standard button code looks like this:
    <?php
    /**
     *
     */
    ?>
    
    <fb:like href="yourlinkhere" show_faces="false"
         width="300" font="arial"></fb:like>
    
    There are additional configuration options, little tweaks to the button to try and match the motif of your design, but we’re just keeping things simple for now. You’ll want to now go into your main index template found in /wp-content/themes/[themename]/index.php – there’s a tag that’ll have a class of id named ‘postmetadata’ that we care about. In this example, the post meta data (tags, links, comment count, etc) are all contained in a custom function called ‘othergoodness’ – which we can ignore for now. Add your ‘Like’ button code within the tag labeled ‘postmetadata’ and immediately after all other functions are called (you can change placement later). It should look something like this:
    
    <p class="postmetadata">
      <?php othergoodness(); ?>
      <fb:like href="<?php the_permalink() ?>" layout="standard"
         show_faces="false" width="450" action="like" colorscheme"dark"
         style="padding-top:10px;"></fb:like>
    </p>
    
    Note there are a few extra parameters for this example, just trying to show a little more detail and how you can control some display elements.

    Our link, defined by the href attribute, utilizes the permanent link for that particular post. So on a page of 3 posts, each post has unique meta data and a unique link associated with it, we are piggy-backing on that predefined info by calling the_permalink() function for our link.
    You’ll also want to add the like button to your single-post and page templates. You can use the same code snippet from your main index template on both of those pages. I recommend you place the code near your comments-template declaration. If you have comments turned off within WordPress, still add your like button near where the comments would be. In our example, the single post page, typically found at /wp-content/themes/[themename]/single.php becomes:
    
    <fb:like href="<?php the_permalink() ?>" layout="standard"
         show_faces="false" width="450" action="like" colorscheme"dark"
         style="padding-top:10px;"></fb:like>
         <?php comments_template(); ?>
    
    Adding the button to a page will work the same way. Find your page template and drop the same code. Page template is typically at /wp-content/themes/[themename]/page.php – and you can place it just before the comments template again. I add it after any admin-specific functionality that’d be relevant to post content to keep interaction elements (likes, comments, etc) separate when visually editing the front-end of the site.
    
    <?php edit_post_link('Edit this entry.','<p>','</p>'); ?>
    <fb:like href="<?php the_permalink() ?>" layout="standard"
         show_faces="false" width="450" action="like" colorscheme"dark"
         style="padding-top:10px;"></fb:like>
         <?php comments_template(); ?>
    
    And that’s pretty much it, now the Facebook ‘Like’ button will be on all of your relevant pages and posts. The ‘fb:like’ tag works like any other ‘a’ tag where you can add it to just about anything.
    The key to everything with the like button is the URL. What we learned here was how to just go in, drop some open graph and FBML code to dynamically pull the URL per-post or per-page so you don’t have to worry about it. On static sites, naturally you’ll have to add the button to every page with the appropriate URL. There are other methods to add meta data and social interaction to pages and posts, but we can cover that at a later date.
    Due to goofy glitches, I cannot add the code within this post (hence the images) I have, however, put together each snippet into a text file, which you can grab here. Use the code at your own risk, etc – feel free to post comments or questions here or in the forums if you get stuck.
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  • How To: Configure Your Domain with Windows Live Hotmail

    No comments April 30th, 2010 5307

    Windows Live Admin Center (changed from Windows Live Custom Domains in November 2007) is a service provided by Windows Live. It enables users with domain names to change their domain MX record (Mail Server) so that they can enjoy the full features of Windows Live Hotmail on their personalized domain.
    Email accounts provided by Admin Center are Windows Live IDs and you can use them to sign into MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger and all other Windows Live ID enabled services.

    One Windows Live ID can be set as the administrator and using that ID new accounts can be created, and old ones can be deleted or edited on that domain. The administrator may also choose to allow anyone to create his or her own account in the domain via a link on the domain’s web site. Administrators can choose from a web-based or Windows-based application to manage all aspects of their domain accounts.
    Users with Admin Center accounts can check their emails using Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Mail, and Outlook.
    (Source: Wikipedia)

    This tutorial will show you step by step How to Configure your own domain with Windows Live Admin Center.

    Prerequisites:
    – You’ll need an ASPnix Hosting Account to be able to configure domains via Control Panel
    – To use ASPnix DNS, please make sure your domain is pointing to
    ns1.aspnix.com
    ns2.aspnix.com
    ns3.aspnix.com (optional, recommended for non-US clients)

    Step 1

    Go to Windows Live Admin Center site and sign in with your Windows Live ID.

    Click “Get Started”

    Step 2

    Provide your domain name and click Continue

    Step 3

    Review settings and Accept Agreement

    Step 4

    You will see a page similar to this below. You will work with “MX Server” under Mail Setup category.

    Step 5

    Now we need to add MX Server record into your Domain’s DNS
    a. Login to Hosting Control Panel at http://cp.aspnix.com
    b. Navigate to Domains > choose your
    c. Click DNS Zone Editor

    Step 6

    a. Click Add button to Add “MX Server” Record
    b. Choose MX Record and click Next

    Step 7

    You will need to enter 3 records: “Host Name”, “MX Server”, “Priority”

    a. Enter @ sign into Host Name. This will create a record with just your domain.
    For example, “testdomainsite.com”. If you enter “testdomainsite.com” into host name, DNS will create
    incorrect record and it will look like this: “testdomainsite.com.testdomainsite.com”, to avoid this
    just enter an @ sign.

    b. Copy and Paste your MX Server from page on Step 4
    NOTE: Make sure to put a period “.” at the end of the MX Server record.

    c. Set Priority to “10” and click Save

    Step 8

    Back to Windows Live Admin page and click Refresh

    If Step 7 was added correctly you will see that your Domain is now Active

    Step 9

    Your Domain is now added to Windows Live Admin and it’s time to create an Email Account

    Click “Member Accounts”

    Step 10

    Click “Add” to add new account

    Step 11

    Once you created new account you will see confirmation

    Step 12

    Your Domain has been configured and you should be able to login at http://mail.live.com

    Optional Step 13

    If you want to use your own domain to login such as http://mail.testdomainsite.com

    a. On the left click “Custom Addresses”
    b. Click Add, Enter “Mail”
    c. Similar to Step 5, In DNS Zone Editor in Hosting Control Panel Add CNAME Record “Mail” pointing to “go.domains.live.com”

     

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  • How To: Backup IIS7 ApplicationHost.config and Settings

    1 comment April 26th, 2010 2283

    Internet Information Services 7 (IIS7) doesn’t use metabase-like file from IIS6. Instead the settings and configuration are stored in schema files and applicationHost.config files.

    Since the configuration files are different, the old IIS6 tools will not be able to backup IIS7 settings.

    This is the new script that you can use to backup your IIS7 web servers.

    1. Using notepad or any text editor create a file backupiis7.cmd

    2. Insert the following code and save the file:

    @echo off
    cls
    
    pushd "%WinDir%\System32\inetsrv"
    
    echo.| date | find /i "current">datetime1.tmp
    echo.| time | find /i "current">datetime2.tmp
    
    for /f "tokens=1,2,3,4,5,6" %%i in (datetime1.tmp) do (
      echo %%n>datetime1.tmp
    )
    for /f "tokens=1,2,3,4,5,6" %%i in (datetime2.tmp) do (
      echo %%m>datetime2.tmp
    )
    for /f "delims=/ tokens=1,2,3" %%i in (datetime1.tmp) do (
      set TMPDATETIME=%%k%%i%%j
    )
    for /f "delims=:. tokens=1,2,3,4" %%i in (datetime2.tmp) do (
      set TMPDATETIME=D%TMPDATETIME%T%%i%%j%%k%%l
    )
    
    appcmd add backups %TMPDATETIME%
    
    del datetime1.tmp
    del datetime2.tmp
    
    set TMPDATETIME=
    
    popd
    echo.

    3. The IIS7 configuration will be backed up at the following path:

    C:\Windows\System32\inetsrv\backup

    NOTE: you can also use Task Scheduler to automate backups.

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  • How To: Create a Self-signed SSL Certificate for II6

    No comments April 26th, 2010 2183

    Self-signed certificate

    Self-Signed Certificate History (from Wikipedia)

    In cryptography and computer security, a self-signed certificate is an identity certificate that is signed by its own creator. That is, the person that created the certificate also signed off on its legitimacy.

    In typical public key infrastructure (PKI) arrangements, that a particular public key certificate is valid (i.e., contains correct information) if attested by a digital signature from a certificate authority (CA). Users, or their software on their behalf, check that the private key used to sign some certificate matches the public key in the CA’s certificate. Since CA certificates are often signed by other, “higher ranking,” CAs, there must necessarily be a highest CA, which provides the ultimate in attestation authority in that particular PKI scheme.

    Obviously, the highest-ranking CA’s certificate can’t be attested by some other higher CA (there being none), and so that certificate can only be “self-signed.” Such certificates are also termed root certificates. Clearly, the lack of mistakes or corruption in the issuance of such certificates is critical to the operation of its associated PKI; they should be, and generally are, issued with great care.

    In a web of trust certificate scheme there is no central CA, and so identity certificates for each user can be self-signed. In this case, however, it has additional signatures from other users which are evaluated to determine whether a certificate should be accepted as correct. So, if users Bob, Carol, and Edward have signed Alice’s certificate, user David may decide to trust that the public key in the certificate is Alice’s (all these worthies having agreed by their signatures on that claim). But, if only user Bob has signed, David might (based on his knowledge of Bob) decide to take additional steps in evaluating Alice’s certificate. On the other hand, Edward’s signature alone on the certificate may by itself be enough for David to trust that he has Alice’s public key (Edward being known to David to be a reliably careful and trustworthy person). There is of course, a potentially difficult regression here, as how can David know that Bob, Carol, Ted, or Edward have signed any certificate at all unless he knows their public keys (which of course came to him in some sort of certificate)? In the case of a small group of users who know one another in advance and can meet in person (e.g., a family), users can sign one another’s certificates when they meet as a group, but this solution does not scale to larger settings. This problem is solved by fiat in X.509 PKI schemes as one believes (i.e., trusts) the root certificate by definition.[dubious – discuss] The problem of trusting certificates is real in both approaches, but less easily lost track of by users in a Web of Trust scheme.

    How To Create a Self-signed SSL Certificate for II6 (Windows Server 2003)

    This tutorial explains step by step how to create a Self-signed SSL Certificate on Windows Server 2003. There are many ways to do it. This is the way I do it and suggest to others as one of the easiest, reliable and straight forward solution to install a Self-signed SSL Certificate on IIS6.

    Prerequisites

    To get started you need to have a general knowledge about Windows Server Administration and IIS6. Obviously, to continue with the tutorial you need an installed Windows Server 2003 and IIS6 configured on the server. Also, make sure the server is configured with the right IP Address and has an Internet Connection.

    1. Open a browser of your choice and download IIS6.0 Resource Kit Tools from official
    Microsoft Downloads website.

    2. Once downloaded click Run to Install the Application

    3. Agree with the EULA

    4. Select Custom Setup Type

    5. Choose Destination folder for the files or use the default option

    6. You can uncheck all the Tools and leave only SelfSSL 1.0

    7. Click again Next to install the Tools

    8. Once installed, click Start > All Programs > IIS Resources > SelfSSL > Run SelfSSL Tool

    9. Before you can proceed further you need to find the Website ID that you want to assign the SSL.
    a. Open IIS
    b. Navigate to Web Sites
    c. Look for Identifier number of your web site
    d. If you want to assign SSL to “Default Web Site” ID would be 1

    10. Now run the following command in the Command Prompt:

    selfssl /N:CN=www.aspnix.com /K:2048 /V:365 /S:1 /T

    a. replace www.aspnix.com with your domain
    b. /K: is the key size – 2048 is recommended
    c. /V: days of validity – 365 is recommended
    d. /S: number for your web site identifier in IIS
    e. /T makes the certificated trusted

    11. Once you run the command confirm it with Y then press ENTER:
    Do you want to replace the SSL settings for site 1 (Y/N)? Y

    12. If successful you will see this message:
    The self signed certificate was successfully assigned to site 1.

    13. Your Self-signed SSL has been installed. You can verify it by going IIS > Web Sites > Default Web Site (or any site you assigned it to), right click > Properties > Directory Security > View Certificate

    Congratulations! You have just successfully installed a Self-signed SSL Certificate!

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  • How To: Burn ISO on Windows 7 for FREE

    3 comments April 26th, 2010 1994

    It’s very simple but most people don’t know that it’s possible to burn a CD or DVD ISO file using Windows Explorer on Windows 7 for FREE without any 3rd party software.

    1. To get started navigate using Windows Explorer to the ISO image file that you want to burn to DVD.

    2. Double click on the ISO image file or right click it and choose “Burn disk image”
    (make sure you have inserted empty CD/DVD disk)

    3. Click burn to start the burning process

    Once the disk is burned you can now install software using your CD/DVD. Enjoy!

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