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May 25, 2005
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Ask Tourang a technical question

Blogging

By now most of you should know what a weblog is and the difference between a weblog and a web page or a website. If you don't, don't worry, here is a short summary:

Back in mid 1990s when the idea of home pages and persoanl websites got popular, many people started creating their websites by either learning HTML coding or asking a friend to do it for them. This was all fine and dandy until it was time to update the website and the friend was either too busy or nowhere to be found.

Basically, updating a website is not as easy as it seems. You would have to find the right file to update, modify it and then upload the file to a server where your site resides. It's not an easy task, especially if you are not familiar with web programming.

Hence a few years ago the idea of weblogs came about. You can think of it as your personal website that you can easily update without having to know any programming. In a way it can work as your personal diary where you can write your daily thoughts and click Update or Post for your articles to magically appear on your website. Additionally, it does not overwrite your previous posts so you can go back to the archives and revisit your previous writings (a heaven for writers).

There are also facilities for your readers to comment on them. There are many companies that offer this service free of charge like blogger.com. All you have to do is to register and create a weblog account for yourself.

A few years agao, as this idea became popular within the Iranian educational communities, some people like Mr. Hossein Derakhshan provided instructions on how to configure your computer so that you could type your weblogs in Farsi. This requires a bit of work.

Then came Persianblog.com. This service is free and it's entirely in Persian and therefore it does not require any special configurations. You can register your name and start typing your articles in Farsi. Typing in Farsi at first seems like an impossible task but after a few weeks of typing you will get to the point where you can type just as fast as you type in English.

Happy weblogging,

Tourang
Ask me a technical question

Google's satellite maps

A few weeks ago I wrote about Keyhole where satellite images of any place on Earth can be displayed.

Now Google has come up with a nice feature to their map where the satellite images of the location you are looking for is displayed along with directions.

This service is free. Simply go to maps.google.com and click on "satellite" on the top right hand corner.

You can the enter any address in the search box and see the images from the location. Try it with your home address. You can then move around and watch the whole city from up above.

Tourang
Ask me a technical question

Web page counters

In response to a question from JJ:

There are several types of services on the web which provide web page counters:

Hosted Free
These counters (hosted meaning that you just link to their sites). These are free but usually you don't get much support. For example [Bravenet] and [Nedstat]

Hosted Pay
Same technology as free counters, but you get a bit more technical support. They are very inexpensive.

Application
You will have to install these counters on your own servers. These are usually in the form of CGI counters installed on your servers.

I personally don't have much experience with paid subscriptions to counters as I have always used free ones.

Tourang
Ask me a technical question

Persian word processors

In response to a question from Shafapour:

One of the best and oldest Persian word processors is called Zarnegar. Normally I have seen people order and buy it from inside Iran. It's much cheaper that way.

There are also other Persian word processors like Namehnegar. You can refer to Iranian bookstores online (especially the ones in Los Angeles) or search on the net to order a copy.

I highly suggest that you upgrade your operating system from Windows 98 to Windows 2000 or XP. Many of the current software don't work too well with older operating systems.

Good luck,

Tourang
Ask me a technical question

Email your computer questions (all kinds of questions are welcome -- even personal ones, not!) 

About Tourang Birangi
-- Bachelor of Science, 1984, Electrical and Electronic Engineering
-- Worked for 6 years, developing and designing process control circuit boards in Denver, Colorado.
-- 5 years of firmware development with Motorola microprocessors.
-- Master of Science, 1995, Computer and Information Sciences, Cleveland State University
-- 15 years of software design and development, architecture, object oriented programming (including close to 10 years of C, C++, Java). J2EE design and development on both Windows and Linux operating systems. Experience with Websphere, JBoss, Weblogic application servers.
-- Recent work with C# and .Net.

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