NOTE: this process is obsolete, from what I can gather it was only supported in MSIE6, and possibly MSIE7.

Use of this tag will disable the Image Toolbar (normally accessed via right-click) within MSIE. Typically it is enabled whenever an image larger than 130×130 is displayed.

Add the following to the <head> section of your webpage(s):
<meta http-equiv="imagetoolbar" content="false" />

Alternately, you COULD use some proprietary MSIE attributes on the <img /> tag.
<img src="..." galleryimg="false" />

Even when you use the META tag to disable this feature for all images, you can explicitly re-enable it with the following proprietary tag…
<img src="..." galleryimg="true" />


NOTE: this is an obsolete practice, and should be removed unless you plan to support beta versions of MSIE6.

The story behind this tag is one of virtue. Microsoft, as they do TOO often, added a ‘feature’ in beta versions of Windows XP (MSIE 6.0) that enabled the browser itself to analyze the content on a given page, and insert links to other websites. This was "e;spun" as being good the the visitors of your website, because they could be exposed to related products or services. Unfortunately, the webmaster and site owners had no say in what content was being linked or to where… which could be a competitor!

This tag was added as a method to prevent these "Smart Tags" from operating on websites… in the end, Microsoft did not leave this feature (enabled?) in the released version of Internet Explorer 6!

BTW, there are some JavaScript libraries today that offer similar functionality, but they are not related to this tag.

Add the following to the <head> section of your webpage(s):
<meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE" />



To build on my recent post on ‘geoURL’, there’s also another system available known as GeoTags. Adding your site to their list is also trivial…

1. The “hardest” step – find your Latitude and Longitude, several sites like Google Maps make this simple if you don’t have access to a GPS reciever…

2. Add the following to the <head> section of your page(s):
<meta name="geo.position" content="41.937891;-88.142111" />
<meta name="geo.placename" content="Carol Stream" />
<meta name="geo.region" content="US-IL" />

NOTE: The above entries are my own, yours should be different.

3. After you’ve uploaded the change, submit your site at the following URL:

FYI, It appears that they’ve also worked out a way to define your location in an RSS Feed… more on that later!

Blood Donation

As I’ve often done in the past, I gave blood recently. Since I’ve lived in the Chicago area, I’ve always done so at LifeSource Blood Centers. This time, however I was introduced to a new device/method this time. As I’m RH Type A+ (being pretty common in the US), it was recommended that I donate ‘red cells’ instead of just whole blood.

Other than taking only a few extra minutes, here’s how it’s different….

After the usual bureaucratic process and paperwork involved in giving blood, they hook you up to a machine called ALYX that runs the process.

It may sound complex, but the process is really simple…
1. A unit of whole blood is taken from you.
2. The blood is then separated into plasma and red blood cells.
3. The plasma is mixed with ‘room temperature’ saline solution.
4. The plasma/saline is returned to your body. (room temperature seems a little ‘cold’ when it returns).
5. Steps 1-4 repeat several times.
6. Remaining ‘whole’ blood, and plasma is returned to your body.
7. Done!

My first experience doing this was a pleasure, the worst part of all being the ‘stick’ they did in my finger to test my hemoglobin, which hurt like hell even hours later!

Added benefits of this process…
1. You actually give ‘twice’ the blood you would if you just gave whole blood. As such, you only visit half as often (16 weeks vs. 8, I think!)
2. With the addition of ‘saline’ to your body, you are slightly more hydrated when you leave.

I recommend that you all “save a life” by giving blood!

Ego searching – skotfred

So, here’s a little more about me… feel free to network with me if you’d like…

Direct linked to my profile:

Indirectly linked:

I’ll add more links as I become aware of them.


I was looking through the WordPress admin screens, and found that it ‘pings’ each time you update/add an article.

So, being the curious sort, I looked into this and found that it’s really and open input to update your Blog listing in several search engines.

To manually submit, you can fill in and submit the form available at

They also have a Blog of their own at


GeoURL is a location-to-URL reverse directory. This will allow you to find URLs by their proximity to a given location. Adding your site to their database requires minimal work.

1. The “hardest” step – find your Latitude and Longitude, several sites like Google Maps make this simple if you don’t have access to a GPS reciever…

2. Add the following to the <head> section of your pages:
<meta name="ICBM" content="XXX.XXXXX, XXX.XXXXX" />
<meta name="DC.title" content="THE NAME OF YOUR SITE" />

3. After you’ve uploaded the change, submit your site at the following URL:

For more info:

Why .PNG?

Many of you may be questioning why my examples always use PNG images, and not GIF or JPEG…. the answer is really simple, PNG is better suited to most usage of images on the Internet. It’s well supported by most modern browsers and allows for smaller images of higher quality than is available with GIF.

Additionally, PNG offers advanced features such as GAMA correction and Alpha Transparency.

Previously there were several patents that restricted the use of GIF online, JPG has similar restrictions that are occasionally disputed. PNG has always been an open standard and as such isn’t encumbered by any legal issues.

Here’s the simple rules that I generally apply…
1. JPG / JPEG = Photo quality images.
2. GIF = Animated Images
3. PNG = Static (non-photo) Images


Adding ‘drop shadows’ to your HTML INPUT fields with CSS

Eventually there comes a time when either you, or your client(s) want you to make your HTML <form>’s sexier… one of the simplest approaches you can take is the addition of a ‘drop-shadow’ to the ‘text’ entry box. One new image and some simple CSS and you’re done!

For the purposes of this article, lets use the image i have here (INPUT white background).

Now for the CSS….
If you’re doing this inline it’ll cause you less trouble if you have a large site and only want this in a few locations.
<input type="text" style="background:#fff url(/images/input_white.png);" value="" />

Now… if you want to put this in an external CSS file you could add a ‘class’ or ‘id’ to this &input> tag, as follows…
<style type="text/css">
input#shadowclass { background:#fff url(/images/input_white.png); }
input.shadowid { background:#fff url(/images/input_white.png); }
<input type="text" class="shadowclass" name="x1" value="" />
<input type="text" id="shadowid" name="x2" value="" />

NOTE: There are better ways to do the above, but i showed the above to make the implementation obvious.

Now, we can stick the above in an external CSS and use some more specificity to prevent other problems that we’ll elaborate on…

If you assign the CSS to the <input> tag itself, you’ll get the undesired background on your CHECKBOX, RADIO, and SUBMIT input types.
The fix… either use a ‘class’ for the cases where you want to apply this style… alternately, apply a ‘class’ for the cases that you don’t want this style.
Future (not well supported currently)… use the ‘type’ in you CSS definition, like so..
input[type='text'] { background:#fff url(/images/input_white.png); }
NOTE: there’s a method in MSIE to use the ‘expression’ concept in your CSS, but i advocate ‘standards’ here, so we won’t delve any further into that topic other than to say it ‘exists’!

So here’s our final approach/recommendation for ‘current’ browsers (in our designs)… you’ll get the shadow ONLY on ‘text’ and ‘password’ input fields and not on the others…

<style type="text/css">
input { background:#fff url(/images/input_white.png); }
input#noshadow { background:transparent; }
<input type="text" name="x" value="" />
<input type="password" name="p" value="" />
<input type="radio" class="noshadow" name="r" value="" />
<input type="checkbox" class="noshadow" name="c" value="" />
<input type="submit" class="noshadow" name="s" value="" />

WARNING: the background image we use in the example above is only 200px wide, if your text field is larger than that you’ll need to account for it in some way! (otherwise you’ll get a tiled background or run out of ‘shadow’)

More advice…

  1. You can also apply this technique to <textarea> using a similar approach!
  2. This may also be a useful way to indicate ‘errors’, ‘required fields’ or ‘passwords’ in a Rich UI.