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|              *** THE BIGNOSEBIRD.COM NEWSLETTER ***                  |
|        Placed at your virtual door in beautiful plain text           |
|         Be sure to stop by http://bignosebird.com/ today!            |
|      Everything You Need to Create and Maintain Great Websites       |
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|  May 13, 1999                                              Issue #1  |
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                             GREETINGS!

As promised, here is the BigNoseBird.Com Newsletter.  Also as 
promised, expect it to be low volume.

This past week saw BigNoseBird.Com turn two years old. It seems
like such a short time since that first day I posted the site to
the major search engines, sat back and watched the first four 
visitors stumble in. Now two years later, BNB averages about 
four-thousand visitors per day. The site has grown from fifteen
pages to over two-hundred and fifteen, with over twenty-thousand
pages and more than one-thousand scripts downloaded daily.

If it has been nothing else, it has been a great deal of fun.
I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for their support,
suggestions, criticism, and friendship.

                 **----------------------------**
                THE FAVICON.ICO TRICK FOR MSIE 5.0

A while back I noticed in my error logs a lot of requests for
a file called "favicon.ico". I noticed that it only occured with
Microsoft IE 5.0. At first glance I thought it might be some
strangeness on the part of the browser. So, I made up a little
icon with the likeness of our favorite bird, stuck it in my main
HTML directory, and got a copy of MSIE 5. When I visited the 
site, magically the icon appeared in the address line next to
the URL- as well as on the bookmarks page.

If you don't have an icon editor, IconForge by Cursor Arts, Inc.
Stop by http://www.cursorarts.com/ca_if.html to pick up your
copy.

Make a small graphic, save it as "favicon.ico" and FTP it up
to your main HTML directory. Your error log will be smaller and
your readers will see your icon instead of the "web page icon".

                 **----------------------------**
       UNDERSTANDING THE INTERNET (FROM AOL'S PERSPECTIVE)

Christine brought an interesting URL to my attention last week:

              http://webmaster.info.aol.com/

A lot of webmasters either don't like AOL for whatever reason,
or are totally confused on why ten different IP addresses from
AOL attack at once to grab one page and it's associated images.

The truth is simple. AOL has about 18 Million subscribers. As
a presenter of content, you should at least try to make things
so they work for as large an audience as possible. This site 
provides some rather interesting information about AOL's workings,
as well as statistics on how many of their subscribers are using
what browsers! This is site is worthwhile reading.

                 **----------------------------**
                 NEW IN THE CGI SCRIPT DEPARTMENT

This newsletter was sent with the new NoMoDoMo mailing list management
script. Just as one should when possible make their pages usable by
as many people as possible, one should also make their scripts run
on as many servers as possible. As of now, the following original
BNB scripts will run on both Unix and Windows servers:

     BNBFORM:   E-mail/File Form Handler
     BNBBOOK:   Guest Book
     NOMODOMO:  Mailing List and Subscription Manager
     BNB CARD:  Virtual Card Script
     BIRDCAST:  Site Recommendation Script

I have also made the scripts a bit easier to install and added
features as requested by our readers. It might be working since
I have been getting fewer "Help, I am pulling my hair out!" letters.

To my Mac Server friends, I extend my apologies for not having the
resources to develop for that environment as well.

                   CGI BUGS (WHO? US? BUGS?)

If you downloaded an early copy of NoMoDoMo, and are trying to 
to use sendmail instead of SMTP, and no mail is being sent, go
down to about line 736 and change anything that says "SENDMAIL"
to "SEND_MAIL". 

                 **----------------------------**
                       SERVER SIDE INCLUDES

I would love to see more people stopping by the Server Side Include
Tutorials, 

                  http://bignosebird.com/ssi.shtml

Sort of like a mail merge letter for the web server, SSI allows you
to create web pages that consist of more than one file. This can be
an absolute lifesaver when you have information that appears on 
every page on your site- such as navigation buttons or even simple
page headers and footers. Ever have to make a change on 200 pages 
in less than 10 seconds? This is the way to do it.

                 **----------------------------**
                          GRAPHICS TIPS

I notice a lot of people use the wrong graphic type for a given job,
such as converting photographs to GIF format, or banners to JPEG. If
you need some information on working with graphics, stop by 

   http://bignosebird.com/losewait.shtml  and
   http://bignosebird.com/photos.shtml

Issues covered include: scanners, graphic formats, and photo 
composition.

                 **----------------------------**
                    RECENT SITE REORGANIZATION

It is funny how things can grow on you, and I mean GROW. One day I
happened to run the site's home page through an analyser, (check 
out http://www2.imagiware.com/RxHTML/index_noframes.html Dr. HTML
Analyzer. Single page at a time checking is free!) and I realized
that the home page had sort of gotten out of control. The Site
Guide is now located at http://bignosebird.com/siteguide.shtml and
the home page once again loads quickly.

We have the Xavatoria Search Engine installed on the site. Try it
out. You can pretty much get any search result back in a matter of
seconds. If you like the script you can download it from BNB, or
get it at http://www.xav.com/

                 **----------------------------**
                          SCRIPT SECURITY

Another item of interest lately has been security and CGI scripts.
I have heard from a lot of people of late that have had their
various (NON-BNB!) scripts attacked. Annoying things like racking
up thousands of banner pulls and click-throughs. I have been providing 
some assistance in showing folks how to insert code to prevent most
attacks. Once I have the information organized, it will be posted.

In the meantime, you can find some useful information at 

   http://bignosebird.com/security.shtml  and
   http://bignosebird.com/apache/a11.shtml  

The Apache page shows you a few tricks including how to prevent
people from calling your scripts from off-site. The MAJOR source
of DNS (Denial of Service) attacks.

                 **----------------------------**
                         SHAMELESS BEGGING

Okay, no pride here! If you see someplace that you feel that 
BigNoseBird.Com should be listed, you have my permission to 
handle the submission. BNB's popularity is due almost completely
to word of mouth recommendations, and any assistance you could
provide if you feel BNB worthy would be greatly appreciated.

                 **----------------------------**
                            COMING SOON

Tutorials on a variety of subjects including Building Your Own
Webserver to a comprehensive section on Tables are in the works.
Of course, script refinements will continue. Expect a pickup
window version of the card script, as well as preview pages
added to most of the other form based scripts.

As always, your suggestions for material are always welcome. 

                 **----------------------------**
                          REALLYBIG NETWORK

Looking for cool stuff and information for your sites? The 
REALLYBIG network consists of:

    http://reallybig.com/default.shtml  Over 3000 Web Master Resources
    http://dynamicdrive.com/            JavaScript & DHTML Resource
    http://fontpool.com/                Over 1000 Searchable Fonts
    http://bignosebird.com/             Yours truly!

We are a linked group of lunatics that really enjoy what we do!

                 **----------------------------**
                             SPONSORS

When I started BNB two years ago I swore up and down that BNB would
never become commercialized. I succumbed. Why? Economics. When you
have a fairly quiet site you can be placed on a virtual host along
with lots of other sites. Once you start pushing about 10GB per
month, well.... The Bird currently consumes over 30GB per month of
bandwidth, and handles about 140,000 file requests per day. Oh,
all this CGI and SSI stuff is sort of a resource hog.  I had to
buy a real server, and stick it in a great web hotel, and of course
start paying a lot more than $30 per month in hosting fees.

Personally, I did not think our first sponsors would be Microsoft,
Verisign, and I-Syndicate. Please be sure to visit our sponsors
when you get a chance!

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