Geeks On Tour Newsletter    Subscribe to this Newsletter        March 17 , 2008
username: gotnews password: cactus

 

The winter season is coming to a close. We'll be headed east in about a week. Our plan is to spend a couple months in our home territory of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Then we will be 'rally-hopping' for most of the summer in Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and perhaps Vermont.

As always, you can keep track of us by watching our blog at: www.geeksontour.blogspot.com.

In this newsletter

  • Article #1 is about Blogs and Permalinks.
  • Article #2 is about Google maps to display your travels.
  • Article #3 for beginners; kilobytes, megabytes and gigabytes

If you know someone you think would be interested in this newsletter, please forward it to them. If you have any requests for future articles, please send us an email.


What are Blog Permalinks?

If you have a blog made with Blogger.com or if you read others' blogs, it can be very helpful to understand how it is structured. Let's use the Geeks On Tour blog as an example. Whenever I create a blog post, that post is actually an entry in a database maintained on Blogger's servers. Each post in the database is displayed on the web in 3 different ways.

  1. When you go to www.geeksontour.blogspot.com you are taken to a page that displays the 10 most recent posts all on one web page. Other blogs you visit might display a different number of posts - I have mine set to display 10.
  2. Each post is also included on a page for all posts in that month. This is all done automatically by Blogger. It's called the archives. I have mine set to archive monthly. So, if you click on the archives for August 2007, you will see all the posts created during that month.
  3. Each post is also a page all of it's own. The link to that individual post page is called a 'Permalink' because it is permanently linked to that one post page. Anytime you click on a permalink, you will be taken to that individual post page. So, for example, http://geeksontour.blogspot.com/2005/04/zion.html is the permanent link to a single post about our visit to Zion National Park in April of 2005. There are two places in my blog that link to the 'permanent link.' The first is the title of each post located at the beginning, the second is the date of each post located at the end.

Where they hide the permalinksSo, why is this important to know? I think it is very helpful to be able to direct people to particular entries in your blog. For example, if I want you to see my video of kayak diving, I don't have to tell you how to navigate my 5 year blog, I can link you directly to the single post. I have to find the post myself ... usually with the search feature at the top of the blog ... then I click on the title. That takes me to the individual page of the post. I can now copy the address (URL) from the address bar and use that for the link. The address for this post is http://geeksontour.blogspot.com/2007/06/mother-ocean-kayak-diving.html

I can also link to any given month in the archives. For example, May 2005 was a particularly full month. I create the link by finding the month in the archives and clicking on it - then I copy that URL from the address bar to make my link. This URL looks like: http://geeksontour.blogspot.com/2005_05_01_archive.html

The longer your blog goes on, the more you will want to refer back to previous posts. If you don't know how to make a link in your blog, check out my blogger video tutorials, specifically the one on making links. You will also need to know how to copy and paste. You'll find that tutorial on the Computer Essentials page.

Using Google Maps to display your travels

Google map embedded in a blog postGoogle amazes me every day. Right now it's the Google Maps that I find fascinating. Not Google Earth .. Google Maps. They work together, but they are different. Google Earth requires some software downloaded onto your computer as well as access to the Internet. Google maps is strictly web-based. With Google Maps you can create custom maps, then you can embed them in your blog.

You must have a Google account. If you have a gmail account, you're all set. (If not, watch 'Get a Gmail Account.') Go to www.maps.google.com, make sure you're signed in, then click on the tab for 'My Maps.' Watch this Google video to get an overview of personalized maps.

Once you're on 'My Maps' first be sure you're viewing the United States, or whatever area you're going to be using. Now click on the link to 'Create New Map'. You should now see some tools appear.

Map tools when in Edit mode on Google mapsThe line draw tool is great for putting your route on the map. And the placemark tool can mark your points of interest. Both the lines and the placemarks are attached to 'information balloons' which can contain text, links, photos and videos. Just click on an existing mark - you must be in Edit mode on the map - and a balloon pops up where you can type a description. If you click on the option for 'Rich Text' you now have tools to add fancy stuff like links and pictures.

Information balloon attached to a placemarkI think this is a great place to put links to individual posts from your blog. Using the technique you just learned in the previous article, find the permalink for the blog post that relates to a place mark. Make it a link using the link tool. It works just like links in Blogger.

What a great interactive map this makes. Your readers can see exactly where you've been. If they want to know more, they can click on the placemark and follow the link to your blog post.

When you have the map you want, you can embed it into a blog post by clicking on 'Link to this page.' You will have 2 choices: Paste link in email OR Paste HTML to embed in website. To put it in your blog, you want the second choice. Copy that code and paste it into your blog - making sure to use Blogger's HTML view. To see a completed sample, check out my Blog post.

To watch videos that show you how to do this, I've added

Both of these will require you to enter a username and password. For newsletter subscribers, enter :
Username: gotnews
Password: cactus


Beginner Tips: Kilobytes, Megabytes and Gigabytes

How many pictures will fit on a CD? We had that exact question in our seminar today. I figured it's a good place to review KB, MB, GB - that's shorthand for KiloBytes, MegaBytes, and GigaBytes. It's actually very easy if we don't get too detailed about it. So here's the basics:

  • 1 KB = the smallest sized file you will ever see on your computer. It's about 1,000 bytes. 1,024 to be exact.
  • 1,000 KB = 1 MegaByte or MB (1,024 to be exact)
  • 1,000,000 KB = 1 GigaByte or GB

File SizesA typical CD holds 700 MegaBytes - that would be 700,000 KB. To the right is a list of some files on my computer - I've blurred the names because they're not important. Look at the file sizes shown. They're all using the KB measurement. At the far right, I've converted the KB to MB and GB. All the files outlined in green would fit on that 700 MB disk. But the one file outlined in red will not fit.

The pictures I take average about 3 Megabytes each. Therefore, I can fit about 230 photos on one CD. If you take your photos at a lower resolution, they may only be 1 MB each. In that case, you could fit about 700 photos on that same CD.

One DVD can hold 4.7 GB of data. If I wanted to copy that red file above to a disk, I could use a DVD - if I have a DVD burner.

Disk sizeSo, how much can your computer's disk hold? You can find out by clicking on Start / My Computer, then right-click on the disk drive you want to check - usually C: - and choose Properties. You should see a diagram that looks something like this image. It tells us that the drive's capacity is 91.6 GB. That would be 91,600,000 MB right? How many CD's would it take to equal that? hmmmm - get out the calculator: 91,600,000/700,000 = 130. Now ... how many DVDs would it take? Email me to see if you got the right answer! The blue in the diagram means used space and the pink is free space. You want to keep at least 20% free. The computer needs that for working space.

Don't you feel good now that you know how to calculate disk space? Go give yourself a treat!

That's all for now. Thanks for reading. Your next issue will be in 2-3 weeks. Any questions, please email us. If you like this newsletter, please forward it on to your friends! If you received this issue forwarded by a friend you can subscribe to get your own copy delivered to your in box. To see the archives of past newsletters, go to www.geeksontour.com/newsletters.

Chris Guld
www.GeeksOnTour.com