Top 10 Reasons to Use a Blog to Publish Your Ezine

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Blog to Publish Your Ezine

by: Denise Wakeman

Blogs are the hottest thing going these days when it comes to marketing on the Internet. A blog is a delivery medium. Here are 10 reasons why you should deliver your ezine articles via a blog.

1. A blog is web based so you can update and post new articles anywhere, anytime. Itกs a dynamic medium that can be updated on a momentกs notice.

2. Subscribers can subscribe to your RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed and have your content delivered straight to their desktop. This delivery system bypasses spam filters and readers get exactly the content they want.

3. No web site to mess with. Itกs very inexpensive way to set up a web presence for your ezine. There are several sites where you can set up a free blog and others are very reasonably priced for the massive exposure you can get.

4. You can set up links for ads and your affiliate programs in side columns so you don’t have to include them in your ezine format.

5. You can set up a subscription form and send emails to your subscribers when new content is added.

6. Blogs link to other blogs which helps you create a viral marketing system and increases your exposure in search engines. Search engines LOVE text based, fresh content that is highly focused (key word rich).

7. You can use your ezine blog to become a trusted expert for your subscribers, by filtering content for them so they don’t have to visit hundreds of web sites.

8. You have an instant archive of all your articles. When you post an article, a new page and permalink is created. People can share that link with others and be sent directly to the article being referenced.

9. Readers can comment on your articles, which creates rapport and trust between you and your subscriber. Comments also add rich content to your site and again, helps your ranking in the search engines.

10. The bottom line is this: using a blog can help you attract more visitors who become subscribers and then eventually become clients.

For an ezine publisher, a blog compliments and can significantly ease the delivery of your ezine content. Essentially, like any web site, you have to promote it and encourage people to add your site to their RSS feed (thatกs another subject) or subscribe for updates through a subscription form. Thatกs why I put a subscribe form on my site – subscribers and get updates in anyway they want. You still need to submit to search engines and directories to drive traffic. If you already have an ezine subscriber database, my advice would be to post everything on the blog and then send a weekly email, or whatever your normal publishing schedule is, informing your subscribers when new content is posted.

Marketing is done in a conversational way and via the links on your blog. Announcements can be posted on the blog and to oneกs list. I see the blog and ezine database as complimentary…working together to increase your exposure and make it easier for people to get your information and build relationships.

About The Author

Denise Wakeman is Chief Implementor of Next Level Partnership, a company dedicated to partnering with you to take your business to the next level. Denise has nearly 20 years experience in small business administration and management. She has specific experience in leveraging Internet marketing systems to create awareness, build customer loyalty and increase the bottom line. Visit Deniseกs blog at http://www.biztipsblog.com to get tips and tactics for taking your business to the next level.

Denise@NextLevelPartnership.com

This article was posted on November 07, 2004

by Denise Wakeman

Tips to Protect Your Downloads or Products

Tips to Protect Your Downloads or Products

by: Radhika Venkata

1. Upload robots.txt file in to your root directory and include the folder name where you set your downloads.

More information on how to set robots.txt: http://www.webmasterscentral.com/wp/se/robotstxt.shtml

2. Set the permission of the download folder to 711 OR upload an index file to that folder. This makes that folder web inaccessible.

For example create a folder named ‘testก. Usually by default it will be chmoded to 755 or 777. Put some files like test.htm, test1.htm.

Now you type the URL of the folder yourdomain.com/test/

What will you see? You will see the folder /test with its files in it. Now upload an index file or chmod the folder to 711. Now access the URL. You will see index file or permission denied error.

3. Name the download folders something like กCDf54eSก. Not like กdownloadsก or กproductsก etc.

4. If your customer downloads your product once and don’t need or don’t have to access to your folder then you can set his access to expire for certain days.

For this you need a cgi script that controls your members access based on days, ip address or number of accesses. http://www.scripts4webmasters.com/ipppro/index.html This script also protects your thankyou.html pages and expires them after certain time.

5. If you have a membership site and you need to stop password abuse or sharing you can use scripts like:

http://www.scripts4webmasters.com/macpro.shtml

http://www.monstersubmit.com/sentry/

6. Protect your download links: Like if you keep …domain.com/downloads/product.zip, everybody knows the download URL. You can use cgi scripts that discloses the download path. http://www.cgiscripting.com/downloader.shtml

7. If you use If you are selling ebooks, you can use password protection to your ebooks. Once your ebook is protected, after your buyer downloads it, you can send it to him to open the ebook.

Some ebook compilers with this password protection features:

http://www.ebookeditpro.com/

http://www.ebookcreator.com/

About The Author

Radhika Venkata Subscribe to กEbookBiz Magazineก which is completely focused on ebook business and Internet Marketing. Receive FREE Ebooks with Resale rights every month!

http://www.ebooksworld.com/freetosell.shtml

Webmaster Resources: List Your product, ezine or web site free! http://www.webmasterscentral.com/

This article was posted on November 14, 2003

by Radhika Venkata

Make Online Auctions a Home Business

Make Online Auctions a Home Business

by: John Lynch

Everyone is aware of online auctions nowadays. We all know someone who has bought or sold something on an Ebay online auction site. But how many people know that this hobby can be turned into a profitable business?

The fact is online auctions are a new kind of home based business created by the Internet with no capital investment and no risk.

An online auctions business has the following advantages:

No startup costs.

No financial risk.

Work whenever you choose.

Targeted customers brought to you by auction sites such as Ebay.

No technical skills required.

Startup in 5 minutes.

How do I start an online auctions business?

First, if you are not familiar with the process of buying and selling, you need to understand how auctions operate. By far the biggest online auction site is Ebay (http://www.ebay.com), boasting millions of users worldwide.

However, this is the tip of the iceberg. Other popular auction sites include:

Yahoo Auctions http://www.auctions.yahoo.com

uBid http://www.ubid.com

OnSale http://www.onsale.com

QXL http://www.qxl.com

Start off by buying an item yourself to get the feel of how it is done. This will give you an overall insight into the process of registering with the auction site, bidding, paying for your goods and the delivery arrangements.

Don’t Feel Forced to Buy

As a buyer you should not feel pressured into buying something that you know is overpriced because you think it is the last item. There are many online auctions and there is a good chance that you will come across the same item at another site.

Leave Your Bid Late

Experienced online buyers will leave their bids until the last few minutes before an auction closes to prevent the price being driven up too high.

Use Automated Bids

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time waiting for an auction to close, you can use an automated bidding service such as eSnipe (http://www.esnipe.com). You can open a free account and type in the auction number and the amount you want to bid. ESnipe can then place a lastminute bid for you just before the close of the auction. If you win the bid, you pay eSnipe a small fee and if you lose you pay nothing.

Search for Misspelt Items

Savvy buyers know that many items listed for sale at Ebay are misspelt. You can use this to your advantage by searching for wrongly spelt items. You will have far less competition as most people search for correctly spelt items.

Once you have bought something and paid for it, you will know how the auction process works from the buyerกs point of view. This is vital as it will give added insight into how you can provide good customer service when you set up your own business.

So now that you have bought and paid for an item on an online auction, you are ready to sell something yourself as a first step to setting up an online business.

At this point, most people look around their own homes to rid themselves of some unwanted items for which they have no use. This is a good way to get started. When you list your item on auction sites, make sure you provide a photograph. This will grab the attention of the buyers.

Description of Goods

A good description of your กfor saleก items is essential. Give all relevant details including technical specifications and dimensions where necessary.

Guaranteed Refund

Give a guaranteed refund to potential buyers to reassure them of your integrity. Most buyers and sellers on the Internet are honest but there are a few rogues, and buyers like to be reassured.

Positive Feedback

Getting positive feedback from your previous customers is the best way to prove you are trustworthy. Always request feedback politely after a successful sale.

Reserve Price

Set a reserve price to ensure that your goods do not sell for less than you want. Make it reasonable. If you set it too high, you will not receive any bids.

Payment Options

The more payment options you offer your buyers, the more likely you will be to make a sale. Ebay auctions offer the online payment transfer system Pay Pal (www.paypal.com) which is free to set up. Credit cards also offer security and are popular.

If you intend to set up an online auctions business, it is best to specialise in a niche which is a little out of the ordinary. Thereby facing less competition and guaranteeing your profitability.

Setting up an online auctions business can become a reality for anyone who is prepared to do the necessary research and put in the effort. The enormous interest in auction sites created by the success of Ebay has provided huge numbers of targeted visitors ready to part with their cash for a great variety of goods.

(C) John Lynch 2003

About The Author

(C) John Lynch 2003

Visit http://www.merchantaccountservice.com/auction_ebay.html for a Free auctions course on how to start a successful online auctions business from home.

This article was posted on October 24, 2003

by John Lynch

7 Steps To Test Prices and Convert More Sales

7 Steps To Test Prices and Convert More Sales

by: Charles Kangethe

Hereกs a really simple way… to customise your product offer from the headline to the prices in order to suit local tastes.

We all know people do business with people they กknow and trustก. So how can you convince shoppers half way across the world that you are reliable and someone they should do business with ?

What I am about to show you will make your business กLocal to the Localsก, wherever in the World they might be.

Step #1 What Is A Split Test

Split testing is a vital task for any Online Business.

By testing different headlines, captions, graphics, copy and prices you can gradually point your business towards better conversion rates.

A basic split test adheres to these guidelines.

1) You start with a base sales page This is called the กControlก

2) Set up a new page for each component you want to test.

For instance set up a new page where everything is the same as กControlก except the Headline. Test various components such as price, ad copy and bonuses, each with its own page.

3) Using software, set the test criteria in terms of how long you want the test to run or alternatively set the number of visitors you want to visit each page.

During the test the Ad tracker will record the statistics, and you can tell which page converted the most.

For future tests, that page can then become กControlก as you change another component.

Step #2 A Shortcoming Of Many Split Tests.

Your Online Business has a big advantage over local Bricks and Mortar businesses.

Your marketplace is Global.

However, this is also a weakness.

Despite the shrinking of the World, depending on what you sell, people still feel more comfortable doing business with กLocalก companies.

Until now…

If you could tell which specific region converted best for your product offer, you could concentrate your offers there instead of wasting advertising money trying to capture a huge unresponsive Global Market.

Step #3 Breakdown Your Marketplace Into Regions.

Decide the level to which you want to breakdown your global market place.

Depending on your knowledge of the World and the type of product you sell, you may want to target sales at a country level.

For more specific products you may feel a regional approach within each country is best.

Finally for some offers you may want to target people in specific named cities within a region in a country.

Once you have decided on your breakdown you need to set up your sales pages.

Step #4 Set Up Test Pages

If you have decided to track sales at the lowest level, then you will need a page for the country, the region and the city in addition to กControlก

For each regional page, change your product offer so that it appeals to the people of that region.

Do this by use of text and graphics that appeal to :

Local Language

Local Arts

Local Cultural references

Local Historical references

Local Geographical references

Local Social, political and economic references

The aim is to build an impression in the visitors mind that your business is กLocalก to them.

Step # 5 Redirect Traffic To The Relevant Local Page

Now that youกve set up the regional pages, you must redirect people from that country, region or city to the relevant กLocalก page when they visit your site.

You want visitors from your Local region to be redirected to the correct Local page rather than กControlก. Redirecting traffic is as simple as applying JavaScript code to your กControlก page In Relevant Resources, below, I tell you where to get these scripts for F’reE.

Your visitor IP addresses are cross referenced against a database by the script so they are directed to the right page.

On their relevant กLocalก page your visitors can order at discount Prices or with different bonuses that you set up.

If you do this right, your กLocalก business pages can outperform the conversion rates you get on กControlก.

Step # 6 A Few Words Of Caution

Use the tactics in this article to make Local offers that are of big relevance to locals in specific, chosen areas of your Global market.

However, when people realise that you are giving discounts to กLocal area Xก, they may try and find a way to get the discount even if they are not in กLocal area Xก.

Theft and fraud online are a price all direct marketers have to bear from time to time.

There are two pieces of advice I can give you :

1) Make it difficult for opportunists to read your JavaScript by hiding it in a .js file

2) Make your กLocalก offer one where you are better off with a sale than without. In other words do not give the product away for F’reE. That way you will always make some money on the offer.

Step #7 Become Local To The Locals

Develop your knowledge of the World and with your product range you can rapidly target small markets rather than the universal Global Internet market.

This can do wonders for your conversion rates.

Relevant Resources

* Split Testing Software

Pro Analyzer from http://www.proanalyzer.com/ DynaTracker from http://www.dynatracker.com/ AdTrackz from http://www.adtrackz.com/

* GeoBytes

Get your Javascript for redirecting your visitors according to location from here http://www.geobytes.com/

More Information and Software For Ad Tracking http://profits.cc/tracking.html?16oct

Conclusion

Good marketers split test.

Take this a step further and test your market in terms of location.

Be กLocal to the Localsก and see your conversion rates rise.

(c) 2004 Charles Kangethe

About The Author

Charles Kangethe of http://www.simplyeasier.com is a leading new wave Netpreneur and a published author from England. The กSimply Easierก brand name is your guarantee of high value, quality Marketing Products, Services and Resources.

charles@simplyeasier.com

This article was posted on April 08, 2004

by Charles Kangethe

Goal Setting for your Home Business.

Goal Setting for your Home Business.

by: Ian Hugh Canaway

The ability to set goals and effectively motivate yourself to achieve them in home business are two essential skills that you cannot afford to overlook.

To try and start a business without goals could be compared to throwing a baseball pitch, blindfolded in the dark. What would be your chance of getting your pitch on target? Never mind getting a strikeout. Unless you are very lucky it is unlikely that you will have any success without properly setting out goals.

If when you start your home business, in what ever field it maybe, if you have no goals and aim at nothing, is it not unlikely that you will hit nothing and achieve nothing?

To set effective goals there are a few things you need to know about yourself which will affect how you set your goals. You are affected by, the environment in which you live, your experience and knowledge, your attitude and dreams and visions for the future.

When you set your goals you need to decide what you want and when you want to achieve each goal. You should spend time writing down your goals and display them in a prominent position where you will see them daily to remind yourself to stay motivated and focused. Cross off your goals once they’ve been achieved, adding new ones to ensure your business keeps growing.

ขDon’t set your Goals to low. If you don’t need much, you won’t become muchข. Jim Rohn

I’m sure you will have come across the SMART analogy, with regards to goal setting. It contains the most important concepts to consider and adhere to when setting your goals.

Goals should be; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time related.

For example it would be unwise to set a goal of making $10,000 in a week, it’s just not a realistic goal for the average person, unless you have a lot of experience and knowledge in your field or receive help from someone who has these attributes. When you failed to reach this goal your motivation would suffer and you might start doubting your decision to start your home business.

Ok let’s set some goals, firstly, though I want you to write a list of all the things you want; whether it is a new car, watch, house, sofa, to send your kids through college or a successful home business, write them all down and say why you want it. When I did this I had a list the length of my arm and I’m still working through it 3 years on. By doing this it will help focus your mind and motivate yourself to succeed.

Now set your goals, they need to be SMART and you need to set both short term and long term goals. One of the best techniques I use is to set 6 goals before I go to bed for the next day and prioritise them. All successful people set goals and prioritise them in order of importance. Remember your time is your most important asset; you simply cannot afford to waste it.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle –

By making goal setting a habit there is no reason why you cannot achieve excellence.

About The Author

Ian Canaway is the owner of http://www.asuccesfullhomebusiness4u.com and is dedicated to helping you save time and money by providing the highest quality proven tools & opportunities and information for growing a successful homebased online business.

This article was posted on August 17, 2004

by Ian Hugh Canaway

When Your Office Is Home

When Your Office Is Home

by: Jenna Glatzer

Itกs easy to get obsessed. Really, it is. With work, with the almighty dollar, with achieving and building your business.
When your office is home, there is no clock to punch, no rush hour drive to get as far away from the madness as possible. No, when you work from home, itกs all up to you. You can work as little or as much as you like. Unfortunately, most homeworkers fall into the two extremes: those who don’t work enough, and those who work too much.
The ones who don’t work enough get caught up in the กhomeก aspect of the home office. Something is always calling them away: a crying baby, the laundry, a trip to the convenience store, a pot on the stove, daytime TV shows. They give in to temptation and never truly put in an honest dayกs work. Then they come to me and ask how in the world Iกm so productive.
Itกs because I fall into the other extreme category. Im a fulltime writer, and I get caught up in the กofficeก aspect of the home office. It gets simple to see each minute as a potential dollar, and each day as a new possibility to sell the novel, write the next bestseller, break into the almighty national magazine market.
Know that when you are selfemployed, you won’t have anyone looming over your desk to keep you on track. Sure, that may sound delicious, but do some real selfassessing: can you handle it?
If no one tells you when and how to work, will you have the discipline necessary to earn a living? Will you ever start your work? Will you ever stop?
When you get hooked into the cycle of never truly leaving officemode, the point of working from home gets diminished. Sure, you may work in your pajamas, but you wind up putting in more hours than you would have at a day job, and you forget to enjoy the perks of being selfemployed.
The single cure for either extreme mode is the same: set goals and meet them. If you’re not getting enough work done, set an attainable goal (write a new press release before noon, or make five cold calls before the end of the day), and keep to it, no matter how you have to juggle your life around it. If you’re working too much, set that same goal and then STOP. Write those releases, or make those calls, and then get up from that chair, stretch, and do something that doesn’t involve work in any manner.
I once read something that has stuck with me (pardon me for not knowing the attribution): At the end of your life, will you regret not putting in more overtime?
As for me, Iกll be embarrassed to die until Iกve achieved a lifestyle with a better balance: One that involves more family and fun time, and less time logged in my computer chair.
Sanity breaks are so important, and if you’re going to freelance fulltime, you have to set limits. You have to take days off, rediscover your significant otherกs birthmarks, and just plain enjoy life. Otherwise, why are you working? Remember what it is youre working toward and why you chose to work at home.
If you’re like me, you may work better with a written schedule. On this schedule, write down both your work responsibilities and your กplayก responsibilities. Mine sometimes looks like this:
9:0012:00: Work on new article for XYZ Magazine.
12:001:00 Lunch break.
1:005:00 Write query and send it to 5 new markets.
5:006:00: Cook dinner.
6:007:00 Dinner.
7:008:00 Exercise.
…and so on.
I keep a daily schedule book that has room for me to write down all of my ‘to doก list each day. If you lose track of time, you may want to set an alarm clock to remind you when itกs time to quit, or you may try setting your computer to กdefragmentation modeก at a particular time each day (your กquitting timeก).
Commit to becoming less extreme. Working from home is a wonderful thing… in moderation.

About The Author

JENNA GLATZER is the author of Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer and several other books. Visit her at www.jennaglatzer.com and pick up a free editorsก cheat sheet! She is also the editor of www.absolutewrite.com, the most popular online magazine for writers.
Copyright 2004 Jenna Glatzer. All rights reserved.
This article may be freely reprinted as long as my bio and copyright are included.

This article was posted on July 31, 2004

by Jenna Glatzer

The ONE Thing YOU Should Focus On Right Now

The ONE Thing YOU Should Focus On Right Now

by: Lynn Terry

Let me just start out by saying that I cant tell you what that กone thingก is. It is for you to choose, and for you to do.

Thereกs a lot of talk out there among the กexpertsก about how to get rich, how to become successful, how to do this or how to do that. Itกs very easy to get distracted, and even easier to become overwhelmed. กInformation Overloadก, they call it.

The truth is, there are A LOT of viable business ideas out there. There are MANY ways to become successful or wealthy. There is TONS of potential in online marketing. And thereกs still PLENTY of room for you to step in and claim your fortune.

The question is: What are you going to do?

You could:

write a book or an ebook

promote affiliate programs via PPC

sell products on eBay

create & optimize contentrich sites in niche markets

build an empire of minisites

become a public speaker

be a web designer, copywriter or VA

That list could go on and on… and on. What I see all too often is that many people try to do ‘the whole listก. Or at least several at once. And that can be okay if your focus is one and the same in all things that you are doing. Or it can be disastrous. A recipe for failure.

Maybe you can relate to this scenario: You set out to do something, and it takes longer to earn the amount you had hoped for… and then you see another option. You try it out, it does pretty well, so you put some time and energy into it. Something happens rules change, markets fluctuate, algorithms change and you’re moved two steps back. You’re introduced with something new, more stable, and you focus on that instead.

This is a familiar story. If you haven’t experienced it yourself youกve certainly heard about someone who has. And theyกll tell you that the business idea they started out with originally was a failure, or that there was กno m0ney in itก or ‘too much competitionก.

Youกve probably heard that you shouldn’t have all of your eggs in one basket. That you should create 10 microniche websites that earn $1,000/month instead of one larger website that will earn you $10,000/month. In less than one hour of surfing the กnet, you might be told to do this, do that, promote x and build z. All of it sounds good. All of it could work. Try to do all of it at once and you’re going to be in trouble.

The key is to have a FOCUS.

Choose one thing and do it WELL. For example, if you have a contentrich website, you can also offer an ebook on the same topic. You can capitalize on affiliate sales, or Adsense clickthroughกs. You can build a highly targeted 0ptin mailing list. You can incorporate an กupsellก and backend sales into your shopping cart. You can set up your own affiliate program.

Basically, you want to build on the foundation you already have and make it stronger, make it bigger… make it more profitable! Sure you can implement all of these new methods and strategies that you learn. But don’t set out to do something completely NEW when you have already invested the time and energy into a project you haven’t yet completed. Instead, focus on making it the BEST.

Once it is running smooth on its own, and completely automated, you may want to build another or focus on something entirely different. But if you’re trying to build on 10 things at once, or find yourself working in entirely too many directions… itกs time to take stock, go back to the foundation, and decide how you can best finish building on that original idea of yours.

And thatกs it. Thatกs the ONE thing that YOU should be focusing on right now.

About The Author

The author, Lynn Terry, offers a free brainstorming resource for those that want to turn websites that cost money into websites that make money. Join Lynnกs interactive newsletter & discussion forum where you can Learn Internet Marketing, free: http://www.SelfStartersWeeklyTips.com.

This article was posted on February 17

by Lynn Terry

Plug and Play Resource Allocation

Plug and Play Resource Allocation

by: Stephen Bucaro

Your computer has many devices connected to it. Your key board is a device. Your mouse is a device. Your modem is a device. Even a port, like a USB port, is a device. You can add a device to your computer by installing it into an expansion connector on the the motherboard of the computer. In order to operate, resources need to be allocated to the device.

One of the most important resources a device needs is an Interrupt Request (IRQ) line. An IRQ signals the processor that the device needs attention. For example, each time you press a key on your keyboard, an IRQ is sent to let the processor know that the keyboard needs attention. A device also needs to be allocated a set of memory addresses where commands can be sent to it and it can send responses.

Many devices need to be allocated an area of memory to store data and/or a Direct Memory Access (DMA) channel. A DMA channel allows a device to create a data stream directly between it and the computers memory without passing through the processor.

One of the most important structures in a computer is the system bus located on the motherbord. The processor, chipset, memory, and expansion slot devices communicate over the bus. Early PCs used a bus called Industry Standard Architecture (ISA). When you installed an expansion card into the ISA bus, you had to set IRQs and other resources with jumpers and/or DIP switches on the card. ISA devices cannot share resources, each ISA device must have its own IRQ.

You can have more than one ISA device configured for the same IRQ, as long as only one of the device drivers is loaded at any one time; otherwise, youกll get an IRQ conflict.

Since a computer has only a limited amount of resources, the number of devices that a computer could support is limited. One of the most limited resources is IRQ lines. A PC has only 16 IRQs. Common devices such as the keyboard, mouse, floppy drive, and hard drive use a standard set of resources.

Standard IRQ aassignments

IRQ DEVICE

0 System Timer

1 Keyboard

2 IRQ Controller 2

3 COM2

4 COM1

5 LPT2

6 Floppy Drive

7 LPT1

8 RealTime Clock

9 ACPI

10 unallocated

11 IRQ Holder

12 Mouse

13 Math Coprocessor

14 Primary IDE

15 Secondary IDE

In 1993, Microsoft and Intel developed Plug and Play (PnP) to solve this problem. One of the main structures supporting PnP is the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) bus. Along with a PCI bus, the computers BIOS, operating system, and hardware devices must be PnP compliant. One of the key features of PnP is that when installing a PCI card, you do not need to use jumpers of DIP switches to set the IRQ or I/O address for the card, the PCI bus controller does this for you.

The Windows 2000/XP operating system component responsible for PnP is the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI). ACPI allows devices to be controlled by the operating system to perform power management. ACPI may put a device in a power saving state such as Standby, Suspend or Off. ACPI also allows dynamic handling of events like the addition or removal of a USB device.

During the boot process, the BIOS builds a table to record which IRQs have been used by legacy ISA devices and then assigns the unused ones to the PCI bus controller. The PCI bus controller, which is part of the motherboard chip set, manages the PCI bus and the expansion slots.

Each PCI device communicates its resource requirements to ACPI. Based on the resource requests that each device makes, ACPI assigns resources such as IRQs, I/O addresses, and memory locations, and DMA channels. ACPI can reconfigure resource assignments when needed, for example, when a device is added to the system.

The PCI bus overcomes the limitation in available IRQกs with a feature called กPCI steeringก. PCI steering makes it possible for several devices to use the same IRQ. PCI steering allocates an IRQ called the กIRQ Holderก for PCI steering. The PCI controller steers that IRQ to its own interrupt systems on the PCI bus. These interrupts are called A, B, C, D, and so on to avoid confusion with the numbered system IRQs. One interrupt is assigned to each PCI expansion slot.

To see which IRQ has been assigned to the IRQ Holder for PCI steering, open the Control Panel กSystemก utility. In the กSystem Propertiesก dialog box, select the กHardwareก tab and click on the กDevice Manager…ก button. In Device Managerกs กViewก menu select ‘resources by typeก, then open the กInterrupt request IRQก branch.

pcirq.bmp

Note that Windows 2000 uses IRQ 9 for PCI Steering, so never set a device to IRQ 9.

PnP resource allocation removes the need to use jumpers of DIP switches to set the IRQ and other resources for devices. But PnP involves a complex interaction between the computers BIOS, chipset, PCI bus, operating system, and PnP devices.

Copyright(C)2004 Bucaro TecHelp.

Permission is granted for the below article to forward, reprint, distribute, use for ezine, newsletter, website, offer as free bonus or part of a product for sale as long as no changes are made and the byline, copyright, and the resource box below is included.

About The Author

Stephen Bucaro

To learn how to maintain your computer and use it more effectively to design a Web site and make money on the Web visit bucarotechelp.com. To subscribe to Bucaro TecHelp Newsletter visit http://bucarotechelp.com/search/000800.asp.

This article was posted on December 21, 2004

by Stephen Bucaro

PHP and Cookies; a Good Mix!

PHP and Cookies; a Good Mix!

by: Dennis Pallett

Introduction

Cookies have long been used in PHP scripts, and are a very useful function. But what exactly are cookies? Maybe you have used then, but you still don’t know exactly what they are. Or you are completely new to cookies? It doesn’t matter, because in this tutorial I will show you exactly what cookies are, and what they are used for.

Cookies in a nutshell

Cookies are small pieces of information that is stored on the computer of your visitors. Each browser handles it differently, but most simply store the information in a small text file. Internet Explorer has a special folder, which can be found in your C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. You can delete all your cookies, by going to the Options and กClearing Cookiesก or deleting them by hand. I don’t recommend this though.

Almost every website uses cookies. If you go to Amazon.com, you will get several cookies. The same goes for CNN.com. Even Google uses cookies! They are extremely useful for (temporarily) storing information. For example, if you have a login system for your visitors, you could save their userid and password (very heavily encrypted!) so they are automatically logged in the next time they visit your website.

Or you could remember their last visit, and highlight everything that is new. And thatกs just the beginning.

Using Cookies

Using cookies in PHP is extremely easy. In fact, there is nothing to it, because of PHPกs inbuilt setcookie() function (http://php.net/setcookie). Have a look at the documentation, and then try the following example:

<?php

// Set a cookie

// Cookie name: name

// Cookie value: Dennis Pallett

// Cookie expire: in 24 hours

setcookie (กnameก, กDennis Pallettก, time() + (60*60*24));

?>

If you run the code above, then a cookie will be set. Thatกs all. The cookie name and value are pretty obvious. The cookie expire is when the cookie expires, or goes away. Simply use the time() function (http://php.net/time) and add the number of seconds you want to have the cookie available to it. In the example I added 60*60*24=86400 seconds, or 24 hours.

If you have looked at the documentation, you probably noticed there are additional arguments. As the documentation says, the path is to limit a cookie to a specific path on your web server. This is often used when you run multiple instances of the same script in separate directories. You can safely omit this argument when it doesn’t matter if the cookie is available sitewide.

There is also the domain argument. This can be used to limit the cookie to a specific subdomain, e.g. test.example.com. You can also safely ignore this argument, or set it to .example.com (note the beginning period, this is essential!).

Finally, there is also the secure argument. This argument is only used for cookies that are sent over a secure HTTPS connection (SSL). Just ignore this argument, unless you’re working with a secure connection.

One thing that should be mentioned is that cookies must be set, before you display any HTML/text. Itกs probably best if you turn on output buffering by putting ob_start() (http://php.net/ob_start) at the top of your page.

Now that you have set a cookie, you probably want to retrieve the value as well. After all, that is the whole point of using cookies. Thankfully, as PHP is ever so easy, you can retrieve the same way as you retrieve a GET value. See the following example to retrieve the value of the previous example:

<?php

echo กYour name is ก . $_COOKIE[กnameก];

?>

This should print "Your name is Dennis Pallett". Thereกs nothing more to it. Itกs just that easy!

Finally, one thing you probably want to do as well is remove cookies. This is as easy as setting them. Simply change the value of the cookie to FALSE, and change the expire date to 3000 seconds. See the following example:

<?php

setcookie (กnameก, FALSE, time()1000);

?>

Checking if cookies are enabled

Before you start using cookies, you must make sure your visitor has cookies enabled. This can be done with a simply PHP checking script. Unfortunately, the PHP page needs to reload to check for cookies. But this can be done very transparently, and your visitor should hardly notice anything.

The following example will first set a test cookie, then reload the page, and finally check whether cookies are enabled.

<?php

error_reporting (E_ALL ^ E_WARNING ^ E_NOTICE);

// Check if cookie has been set or not

if ($_GET[กsetก] != กyesก) {

// Set cookie

setcookie (‘testก, ‘testก, time() + 60);

// Reload page

header ("Location: checkcookies.php?set=yes");

} else {

// Check if cookie exists

if (!empty($_COOKIE[‘testก])) {

echo "Cookies are enabled on your browser";

} else {

echo "Cookies are <b>NOT</b> enabled on your browser";

}

}

?>

Run the code above, and see what the output is. Check if cookies are enabled in your browser. If they’re not enabled, then you can enable them by going to your browserกs options. Unfortunately, this is different from each browser, so I can’t give you exact instructions. But Google can.

Storing Arrays

One feature of cookies that is often missed in articles is the ability to story arrays. Cookies can be used to store multidimensional arrays, which can be extremely useful to store data.

Consider the following code;

<?php

setcookie ("name[first]", "Dennis", time() + (60*60*24));

setcookie ("name[last]", "Pallett", time() + (60*60*24));

?>

You can then display these two cookies using the following code:

<?php

echo "First Name: " . $_COOKIE[กnameก][กfirstก];

echo "<br />Last Name: " . $_COOKIE[กnameก][กlastก];

?>

The cookie กnameก is an array, and has multiple values. You can even go deeper and have multidimensional arrays, e.g. $_COOKIE[กnameก][‘testก][กsomethingก][กvalueก]. You could store whole arrays of data in cookies. But beware that you don’t store too much data, there are certain size limits to cookies.

In Conclusion…

Cookies are really versatile, and can be used for a lot of different purposes. Many websites use cookies, and cookies can really make your website more personalized. Using cookies in PHP isn’t hard at all, and you should be able to use them without any difficulty.

Before actively using cookies in your website, you must check whether the visitor has enabled them in their browser. If they don’t have cookies enabled, you must either redirect to a noncookies version of your website, or you can make sure your website also works without cookies.

You can download a sample script at http://www.phpit.net/demo/php%20and%20cookies/logger.zip, where cookies are used in a (somewhat) practical way. In this example, there is a logging module, called log.php and a display module, called history.php. Basically, you include the log.php in other PHP pages, and then you can view history.php to lookup all the pages you have viewed and how often. The example uses arrays, and stores them in cookies.

The examples in this article can be downloaded at http://www.phpit.net/demo/php%20and%20cookies/examples.zip.

If you have a really unique practical way of using cookies, please let me know at dennis [AT] nocertainty [DOT] com. Iกd really like to hear about interesting ways of using cookies.

About The Author

Dennis Pallett is a young tech writer, with much experience in ASP, PHP and other web technologies. He enjoys writing, and has written several articles and tutorials. To find more of his work, look at his websites at http://www.phpit.net, http://www.aspit.net and http://www.ezfaqs.com

This article was posted on December 06, 2004

by Dennis Pallett

Shopping Carts For The Weary

Shopping Carts For The Weary

by: T. Oก Donnell

To choose the means whereby we put our products on the worldwideweb, we proceed by a process of elimination.

The chief criteria for judging a shopping cart is the number of credit card processors and shipping services it supports, and the number of people that support *it*.

Why? Because credit card processors and shipping services mutate all the time, and thus your cart will require updating. Which service works today may go out of business tomorrow, and leave you with the orders piling up.

Other important criteria are how easy it is to set up, and add products, and how easy it is for the customer to use.

(May I say parenthetically that I was introduced to Perl programming unwillingly by an early version of one of the carts below; it had a bug, and I had to learn some Perl to fix it. A shopkeeper should not have to learn bricklaying in order to open his store, therefore a bit of research is time well spent. )

When you set up your shop test it using a wide variety of the oldest and buggiest browsers you can find. If your web store works under them you’re home and dry.

So, having taken all the above into consideration, what are the options?

Having gone though twentyplus different sub $500 shopping cart software solutions, I now present, in order of preference, the cheapest, simplest, and most effective solutions:

1. Oscommerce (free) http://www.oscommerce.com

A very good, fullfeatured, cart. Uses Php and MySQL. Not easy to set up for a กnewbieก. Cookies are used to track the order. If you have PhpMyAdmin installed in your web account, itกs easier. Requires a customer to register before they can make a purchase. Supports a wide range of creditcard processors and shipping services.

Bad point: Technical support is limited to the Oscommerce forums, which are not helpful to newbies. You may need to pay a few bucks to an expert via a freelance site like Scriptlance.com, if you run into difficulties.

Also, it may be a while before an update is available to a payment module. These are done by unpaid enthusiasts.

Good point: Oscommerce is supported by thousands of unpaid enthusiasts; this means updates do eventually arrive, and itกs less likely to go out of business, unlike a commercial cart.

2. Xcart (commercial) http://www.xcart.com

Similar to Oscommerce. Commercial. Requires a customer to register before they can make a purchase. Lots of features and addons. Supports a wide range of creditcard processors and shipping services. Has an affiliate program addon, and lets others sell products though your cart.

3. Dansie Cart (commercial) http://www.dansie.net

A well specified cart. Supports a wide range of creditcard processors and shipping services.

Bad point: Apparently the Perl code is obscured, to make it harder to copy, which is annoying if you want to customise it.

3. Interchange (free) http://www.icdevgroup.org

A version of the old Akopia / Minivend carts. Complex product with lots of files and a lot of setting up to do. A complete solution, and includes the option of third party creditcard realtime order processing. Encrypts orders.

4. Agora (free) http://www.agoracart.com

A WebStore/Commerce.cgi hybrid.

5. The Commission Cart (commercial) http://www.siteinteractive.com

A cgibased shopping cart which also functions as an affiliate program. Other webmasters earn commissions by signing up and linking to your site.

6. ShopFactory (commercial) http://www.shopfactory.Com

Has a nice little wizardbased setup. If you have a lot of items in your shop, this is an option worth checking out.

This is a very valuable feature. A person whoกs set up cgi scripts before will get the most out of this. Supports a wide range of creditcard processors and shipping services.

Bad points: Itกs ugly, awkward, and uses JavaScript too much.

7. WebGenie Shopping Cart Pro (commercial) http://www.webgenie.com

A simple, wizardbased option. Uses Javascript a bit, but the main work is done by cgi scripts. It saves the credit card information on your server.

Itกs for someone who hasn’t set up a cgiscript before. Expensive for what you get, but it works. Option to buy it on hirepurchase.

8. Actinic Catalog (commercial) http://www.actinic.co.uk

Most suitable if you have lots of items in your store. Itกs a กwizardกbased PC program; you type in your information, and the program sets up the store.

You should set up the default store asis, then customise it later.

Supports a wide range of creditcard processors and shipping services.

A little complicated for an internet newbie; thereกs quite a lot in it.

9. Order Maven (commercial) http://www.briggsoft.com

A clever little program. Itกs a standalone Windows executable, which the customer downloads. The customer starts it up, chooses the product, enters their details, and sends off their order like an email, with the credit card details encrypted. It costs $29.00 at the time of writing. No secure server or order page needed; itกs all done on the customerกs pc at their leisure.

You need to customise it, naturally. This isn’t hard. Make sure you write your mail server URL into the code.

For the customer, the order module is a 160kb download. Not too bad at all.

11. Selena Solกs Web Store (free) http://www.extropia.com

The mama of them all; the first internet shopping cart of note. Allows orders to be encrypted via PGP if you have PGP installed on your server. Very complex for an ecommerce newbie.

12. PerlShop (free) http://www.perlshop.org

PerlShop is a simple shop to set up. One of the first shopping carts.

NOTE: Try to avoid carts that use cookies and javascript only, or that tie you into only one secure server and creditcard processor.

Also avoid webbased services that you lease only.

Having read the above you should have eliminated quite a few programs from your shopping list. They either won’t work properly with all browsers, or they won’t encrypt your order, or they want to tie you into their manufacturersก secure order system at $40+ per month.

Another option is to get a bespoke system set up for you by a specialist company. These cost thousands of dollars. Aren’t you glad you read this far?

About The Author

T. Oก Donnell (http://www.tigertom.com/webdesignerlondon.shtml) is an ecommerce and web site design consultant in London, UK.

COPYRIGHT: You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. You must publish the article AS IS. Do not modify, alter or edit it.

You are allowed to format the layout of the article for proper display in your website or ezine, so long as the text, hyperlinks and paragraph breaks are not changed or deleted. If presented in a HTML document, any hyperlinks present must be active, clickable, and go direct to the websites they represent i.e. no redirects.

Notifying the author is not required, but doing so is appreciated, at http://www.tigertom.com/contact.htm.

This article was posted on April 16

by T. Oก Donnell

Intro to the Traffic Exchanges

Intro to the Traffic Exchanges

by: Brennan Howe

Even if youกve been marketing on the internet for only a very short time youกve no doubt come accross ‘traffic exchangesก. The number of exchanges out there is staggering, so if you need to know what these things are all about read on.

A traffic exchange is a system where in return for veiwing the websites of others you will get credits for hits to your own sites. There are several different types of exchanges:

The กsurf exchangeก or กstart page exchangeก: The names are synonimous and they are by far the most predominant type of trafic exchange. The user is required to veiw a web page in their browser for a set amount of time before clicking to earn credit and move on.

กAuto surfingก: Like above but the pages change and credit is received without user interaction.

Popup exchanges: With these the web page will กpopupก at set intervals or or events. You will need to view the window for a set time before closing and receiving credit. These will usualy require a small program to be downloaded and run on the users computer.

Now that you know what they are you need to know what they’re made of. These are the things you will need to consider when comparing the different exchanges.

The กsurf ratioก is how many pages youกll veiw before one of yours is displayed. These can be from 1:1 to 5:1 but are usualy somwhere in between. Many sites will also give bonus credits or run promotions for credits. Some will also give credit for sending traffic to your referal page. All of these will combine to determine how many credits you actualy get for surfing.

You can also get credit for refering others to the exchanges. You will receive a percentage of the credits earned by the referal, usual this will go several levels deep.

You will allways be required to view the pages for a set amount of time. This varies between exchanges and usualy ranges between 10 and 30 seconds. For surf exchanges you will need to click to procede. Often the spot to click will change or you will need to click a certain number or symbol this is to help insure that a script or the like isn’t being used to cheat the system. If an exchange doesn’t have some kind of anticheat system itกs probably being cheated.

There is often the option of joining the traffic exchanges as a paid member. The benefits of this could be a number of monthly credits, better surf ratio, more referal credits and other special offers. And of course if you dont like surfing, credits are usualy offered for sale by the traffic exchanges.

These are the things you will need to look at when comparing traffic exchanges. There are hundreds out there with new ideas based on these principals appearing every day. Below are a few of my favorite traffic exchanges. Each uses a different system for you to compare.

http://www.hitpulse.com/jsp/index.jsp?ref=brennan

http://www.ts25.com/index.jsp?ref=brennan

http://www.trafficswarm.com/go.cgi?261610

http://www.milliondollartraffic.com/index.cgi?affid=14538

For more marketing tips and opportunities check out my website and sign up for a free downloadable marketing ecourse http://www.opportunity4all.net

Copyright 2004 Brennan Howe

www.opportunity4all.net

About The Author

Copyright 2004 Brennan Howe

www.opportunity4all.net

This article was posted on November 22, 2004

by Brennan Howe

Webmaster or Web Slave? Time Saving Tips for Cyber

Webmaster or Web Slave? Time Saving Tips for Cyberpreneurs

by: Marty Foley

Time is money in your online business, just as in the offline business world.

Problem is, the typical Internet entrepreneur is in a race against time: Often snowed under with many things to do, trying to achieve maximum results (income) within the precious, very limited time available.

Especially if you’re holding down a fulltime job while trying to launch or expand your Internet business in your spare hours, youกve got precious little time to waste.

If care isn’t exercised in the way we spend time online, our personal and family life can suffer, not to mention bad financial consequences.

To add to that pressure, family members may resent the amount of time spent on our venture, versus the limited income it may initially earn.

As the author of an audio program on time management, Iกm going to share with you some proven time management tips, which have been adapted to running a business online. I can’t promise you more than 24 hours in your day, but Iกll share practical tips to help you work smarter and more profitably online instead of longer or harder.

Two primary keys to making the most of the time we spend online are:

A) Being selective, and

B) Staying focused.

We must be SELECTIVE, because there are an infinite number of things we can spend our online time on, which will not yield productive results.

We must stay FOCUSED, because any of an infinite number of things can easily distract us from getting more important things done.

That brings us to the first step of effective online time management…

1) Set Goals

If you don’t know what your final destination is, how can you ever take action toward getting there? Hence, the need to set goals.

The goals you set for your online business will vary, based on which stage you’re at and which direction you want to go from there. It helps to write your goals down and periodically review them. Many feel that this better enables your subconscious mind to help you work toward your goals.

2) Keep and Use a Prioritized ToDo List

Keeping lists may seem simplistic, but the most productive topachievers are typically methodical users of ToDo lists.

Be sure to rank each task on your ToDo lists by priority, such as high, medium or low. As you tackle the items on your list, always tackle the highest priority tasks first, and those of lower priority as time allows. Obviously, your highest priority tasks will correspond with the achievement of your highest priority goals.

Iกve found that a 3ring binder kept near my computer is a good place for organizing ToDo lists, project notes, and other frequently used online information, within easy fingertip reach.

Once your goals are set, youกll know exactly where you’re going (and what to stay focused on), and when you use a prioritized ToDo list, youกll have a stepbystep plan for reaching your destination.

3) Exercise SelfDiscipline

The best time management system in the world is worthless if we don’t exercise selfdiscipline.

Itกs so easy to log on to the Net, just planning to กcheck your email,ก and before you know it, get distracted by other things and end up spending much more time on things we hadn’t planned, and wonder where the time went.

I know, I know: Itกs easier said than done, but exercising selfdiscipline will help us stay focused and avoid wasting time or getting distracted on less important activities. If you can stay focused on the most important tasks (which youกve identified by setting goals and prioritizing your ToDo list), youกll see greater results from your time and effort.

4) Automate Where Possible

I have written much more on this topic than the limited space in this article allows, but let me mention a few tools that aren’t new to online marketers, but whose timesaving value is often overlooked:

*Autoresponders

Autoresponders are very useful tools for automatically filling your prospectsก requests for information on your products and services, nonstop, 24 hrs of every day of the year.

*Email Filters

The กfiltersก feature of good email programs such as Pegasus and Eudora Pro make the automation of many email activities a snap. If you’re not using them, you don’t know what you’re missing.

~ Pegasus: http://www.pmail.com/

~ Eudora Pro: http://www.eudora.com

5) Periodically Analyze Your Business

In our quest for more value from the time we spend in our online businesses, it helps to stand back and periodically analyze which activities have been working and which haven’t.

From there, we can give more attention to expanding whatกs been working, and tweak, change, or eliminate what hasn’t. We can thus progressively see more profitable results from the time spent online.

Conclusion

If you want to get maximum benefit from the limited time you have to accomplish things in your online business, or any other area of life, you must manage your time well.

When you do, youกll achieve more, and youกll look back on your work with the satisfaction of knowing that you got the most important things done, instead of looking back with regret.

As Benjamin Franklin said: กDost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for thatกs the stuff life is made of.ก

About The Author

Marty Foley is a successful home business owner and the founder of http://ProfitInfo.com/. His Internet marketing techniques and resources have helped set the standard in ecommerce, and have often been imitated by other famous Internet marketers. They can truly help you succeed online: http://ProfitInfo.com/

MFoley@ProfitInfo.com

This article was posted on August 3, 2002

by Marty Foley