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Publication: Internet Tutor
CSS Basics

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                    THE INTERNET TUTOR
                     January 11, 2007
To see more issues like this visit: Internet Tutor Archives

This week...
- Webmaster Tip: CSS Basics
- Surfin' the Web: The Concert Vault
- Software Spotlight: CSS Master
- The Oddball Wall: Today in History
- Computer Tip: Spyware
Some friends of ours were trying to teach their young son a 
Christmas song last month but it went a little unexpectedly. 
The first line in Hark! The Herald Angels Sing is, of course, 
"Hark, the herald angels sing"  ...but not necessarily when 
it comes out of the mouth of a 4-year-old. Instead, the first 
time he tried it, it came out, "Hark, the hairy angels sing."
Maybe you had to be there, but the video was pretty funny.

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Note: In code examples I add a period after each left arrow
bracket so the code can be viewed in all e-mail programs. If 
you copy and paste, be sure to remove the periods or it won't 
Question: You often give snippets of CSS in your tutorials. 
That's great for those that just want code to use, but it 
doesn't help much for those of us that want to understand it. 
How about a tutorial on what CSS is in the first place?
Simon Says: You got it! Although there isn't space to go into 
great detail, I can give you a rundown on the basics.

CSS, short for Cascading Style Sheets, are rules that control 
the display of a web page. These rules are created by you, 
the webmaster, but you must use the correct syntax for the 
browser to understand the rules you create. HTML defines the 
structure or layout of a page, and CSS defines how the HTML 
elements look.
So what does a rule look like? A basic rule consists of three 
parts, a selector, a property, and a value. The syntax is 
like this:
 selector {property: value;}

The "selector" identifies which HTML element you want to 
create a rule for. The selector can be any HTML element, 
such as: <.body>, <.div>,
or <.p> tags, for example.
The rule declaration tells the browser what to do with the 
selector. The declaration consists of two parts, the property 
and the value.
- The "property" identifies which part of the HTML element 
the rule should be applied to. The property is comparable to 
an HTML attribute.

- The "value" of the property works the same as the value of 
an HTML attribute; it tells the browser what affect to apply 
to the property of the chosen selector. For example, this 
 body {font-family: Verdana;}
...tells the browser that in the body (the selector) of the 
document, it should render text using the font-family (the 
property) of Verdana (the value). So the body is the selector, 
the font-family is the property, and Verdana is the value in 
that rule.
The rule declaration is always enclosed in { curly braces }.

The property is separated from the value by a : (colon), and 
a ; (semicolon) signals the end of the rule.
Since this is an important subject in web design, I'll 
continue this tutorial in the basics of CSS in the next few 
issues to give you a better understanding. Stay tuned!
PS - For those that prefer an easy way to create CSS code 
and don't want to learn all the nuts and bolts, I've arranged 
for a 15% discount for you on CSS Master. See today's Software 
Spotlight for details.

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SURFIN' THE WEB - The Concert Vault
The Concert Vault bills itself as the world's greatest 
collection of vintage concert recordings. Whether it is or 
not doesn't really matter. What does matter is that you can 
listen to vintage rock and country concert tracks.
Registration is required, but it's free. The only real knock 
I have about this site is that when you click the Vault Radio 
link to listen to the music, it only shows four songs. You 
have to click an arrow to scroll the list, one song at a time. 
There seems to be no way to search for songs or artists, and 
no other to access the available concert tracks to quickly 
find something you want to listen to. While that's a major 
drawback to this site, you can't complain too much when it's 

            GopherCentral's Question of the Week: 
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CSS Master's easy, fill-in-the-blanks approach makes it dirt 
simple for even novice webmasters to quickly create the 
wonderful kind of style sheets needed to take a web site 
beyond plain HTML to just plain cool. You can create a style 
sheet in minutes using CSS Master. I use it myself because 
it saves times and I don't have to try to remember all the 
correct syntax.
Very fairly priced at just $13.00, you can even get 15% off 
of that already low price if you order by January 15th. To 
get the discount, use coupon code: tutor
...when you order. If you've never used a coupon code before, 
it's very simple. You place your order as usual, and on the 
page where you fill in the details just enter "tutor" into 
the form field that asks for a coupon code. The 15% discount 
will automatically be applied. 
Note: I do not provide support for the featured software. 
Contact the software vendor for support. No warranty is 
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featured software.

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THE ODDBALL WALL - Today in History
A lot of things happened on this day in history, but nothing 
that I want to build an entire quiz around. So, today I'm 
doing something different and will feature nine trivia 
questions about nine different things that all happened on 
this day. The topics are vary widely, so you'll have to be 
on top of your game to score well.

1) On this day in 1998, what team beat the San Francisco 49ers 
to win the NFC Championship?
a. Carolina Panthers   b. Tampa Bay Buccaneers   c. Green Bay 
2) On this day in 1997, what entertainer won the 23rd Annual 
People's Choice Award?
a. Bill Cosby   b. Tom Hanks   c. Garth Brooks

3) On this day in 1984, the highest scoring game in the 
history of the NBA was played. The Denver Nuggets scored 163 
points while the losing team scored 155 points. Who was the 
losing team?
a. Chicago Bulls   b. San Antonio Spurs   c. Seattle Seahawks
4) On this day in 1978, for the first time in history three 
spacecraft linked up together in space. What country accom-
plished this feat? 
a. United States   b. Russia   c. Japan

5) On this day in 1973, which event in sports occurred?
a. The American League adopts the designated hitter rule in 
b. The NFL adopts the "in the grasp" rule to protect quarter-
c. The NBA adopts the 3-point line.
6) On this day in 1969, the song "Hooked on a Feeling" peaked 
at #5 on the Billboard Record Charts. Who sang that song?
a. The 5th Dimension   b. Peter, Paul, and Mary   c. BJ Thomas

7) On this day in 1966, "Daktari" premiered on CBS. What was 
this program about?
a. Cowboy shoot 'em up   b. African adventures   c. Amazon 
tribal life 
8) On this day in 1787, Titania & Oberon, moons of Uranus, 
were discovered. This same astronomer also discovered Uranus 
itself, two moons of Saturn, and infrared radiation. Who was 
this famous astronomer and music composer?
a. William Herschel   b. Johannes Kepler   c. Tycho Brahe
And now for one that's sure to blow your top...

9) On this day in 1693, this volcano in Sicily erupted...
again. It is the largest active volcano in Europe, and is 
one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It's one of 
only 16 volcanoes designated as a "decade volcano" for its 
history of large, destructive eruptions and proximity to 
populated areas. What's the name of this super-volcano? 
a. Mt. Vesuvius   b. Krakatoa   c. Mt. Etna

Answers below, here's the scoring:
9 correct: Perfection!
7-8 correct: Outstanding
5-6 correct: Very Good
2-4 correct: Fairly Fair
0-1 correct: Turn the TV off
1) c. Green Bay Packers
2) a. Bill Cosby
3) b. San Antonio Spurs (the Seahawks play football, did I 
4) b. Russia (Soyuz 27 linked with Salyut 6 & Soyuz 26)
5) a. American League adopts designated hitter rule in MLB.
6) c. BJ Thomas
7) b. African adventure series
8) a. William Herschel
9) c. Mt. Etna


A great many Internet users have spyware on their computers 
and don't even know it. Spyware usually infests a computer 
secretly when you install certain freeware programs. Don't 
think it won't happen to you unless you never use freeware, 
because there are well over 2,000 software programs that 
have secret spyware in them. Here's a pretty good list of 
spyware programs:
Besides the ethical issues, spyware is bad if for no other 
reason than it slows your computer down. When my daughter 
complained her computer had slowed down enough to become 
an annoyance just use, I found she had over 100 spyware 
programs on it!

Getting rid of spyware is no easy task if you try to do it 
manually, but it's a fairly simple process if you use soft-
ware utilities made just to locate and remove spyware on 
your system. These programs can also help prevent reinfec-
Two of my favorite programs to remove spyware are Ad-aware 
and Spybot. You can download regular updates just like 
with antivirus programs and get rid of the spyware on your 
computer. Best of all, both of these programs are free.
Ad-aware: http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/
Spybot: http://www.safer-networking.org/

Warning! These are the programs I use because they work well. 
Be careful in choosing anti-spyware programs because some are 
fakes that either install spyware or nag you to buy upgrades.
Disclaimer: Advice in this column is presented as informational 
and is true to the best of my knowledge. Any decisions to follow 
this advice is your responsibility. Your computer, your choice. 

Until next week, ponder these words of Stephen Vincent Benet: 
Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day 
by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.
Have an interesting day, Simon

Questions? Comments? Email me at: tutor@gophercentral.com

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