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Screen Resolution

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                    THE INTERNET TUTOR
                      July 20, 2006

This week...
- Webmaster Tip: Screen Resolution
- Surfin' the Web: YouThink!
- Software Spotlight: 1000 Questions for Couples
- The Oddball Wall: Who Said It?
- Computer Tip: Print Files Without Opening Them
Here's a joke my little grandson told me.
Little Johnny was in class and the teacher told him to look out 
the window and see if he see the trees. Johnny did, and said he 
could. The teacher asked him if he could see the grass. Johnny 
said yes. The teacher asked him if he could see the clouds. 
Johnny again said yes.
Then the teacher asked him if he could see God. Johnny looked, 
but answered no. The teacher said, "that's because there is no 
Just then little Julie asked Johnny if he saw the teacher. Johnny 
said yes. Julie asked him if he saw the teachers shoes. Johnny 
said yes. Then Julie asked him if he saw the teachers brain. 
Johnny said no.
Julie said, "that's because he doesn't have one."

Ahhh... My Hard Drive Just Crashed... 

These are words none of us ever want to scream. But it 
happened to me. Unfortunately I learned the hard way and 
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thought it was hard to do and that you needed to buy add-
itional hardware. And then the worst part was restoring 
from your backup.

Well I found the perfect product and the BEST part is you 
can get it for just the cost of s&h... $5.99. It retails 
for $39.99, but we know how important your data is to you 
and wanted to give everyone the chance to own this CDRom 
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WEBMASTER TIP - Screen Resolution
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: What screen resolution should design our sites for?
Simon Says: Below is a chart of the most common screen resolutions 
of 160,000 unique visitors to my web site about a year ago. These 
stats closely resembled the stats I'd seen from other sources with 
an even larger sampling, so I think they were fairly reliable then. 
Now, the percentages have probably grown for higher resolutions 
and gone down for lower resolutions since that has been a trend for 
several years.
Resolution    Users
1024 x 768    55.3%
800 x 600     25.9%
1280 x 1024   13.4%
1152 x 864    3.1%
640 x 480     0.6%
All Others    1.5%

The numbers don't quite add up to 100% because of rounding. If you 
add it up, 97.7% of the visitors to my site had a screen resolution 
of 800 x 600 or higher. You still hear a lot of talk about designing 
for a 640 x 480 resolution so a large segment of your visitors won't 
have to scroll sideways. I hardly think approximately 1/2 of one 
percent is a large segment. 
If you're using a fixed width design, if you design it for an 800 x
600 resolution your site will look good for almost 98% of your
visitors. If you design it for a 640 x 480 resolution, your web page
is only going to fill about half the screen for the majority of your
visitors, and the higher the resolution, the sillier that looks. You
decide if that wise, but I gave up on designing for 640 x 480 years
When it comes to designing a site that optimizes the screen real
estate for everyone, including the 640 x 480 group, you would have 
to use liquid design, which is a design that expands and contracts 
to fit the resolution of the computer displaying the site. While 
that sounds like a great idea, it's not as easy to do as it sounds 
and have it look as good as you'd like.
One of the problems with designing to use the maximum real estate on
all computers while having no horizontal scroll bars, is that at very
high resolutions the lines of text can be so long it makes paragraphs
of text difficult to read. If you divide page into columns to
compensate for that, at the lowest resolution the columns can be so
narrow it can look just plain dumb.
Some advocate coding all the content into a table that uses a
percentage of the page width, but what does that gain you if you're
trying to maximize a design for 640 x 480? Using a percentage only
cuts down the available space where space is already lacking!
My preference is to not use liquid design, which flies in the face 
of some purists, but what have they done for me lately? Nothing that 
I'm aware of, so nuts to them! ;-)
This brings us back to using a fixed width design. I do have a smart
twist to the fixed width design. The twist is to have the main page
content fit in the first 600 pixels so those at a low resolution can
read the entire main page body without scrolling horizontally, then
place a smaller column on the right hand side where you can include a
narrow column of content such as adverting, newsletter sign-up forms,
etc. Low resolution users would have to scroll sideways to see the
side column, but not to read the main content. To my way of thinking,
this compromise is the most intelligent design that will work
reasonably well for all resolutions.
One final note on screen resolution, if you do like I do and design
for a fixed width, say 800 x 600 for example, that doesn't mean you
have 800 pixels of horizontal space to work with. Remember, the scroll
bar takes up about 22 pixels, so plan on keeping your horizontal width
about 30 pixels less to be safe.
That's the solution to the resolution confusion.


PRINCETON, NJ - A clinical study at UCLA confirms that a
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You think about the world.
You care about the world.
You are ready to act to make it a better place but need to learn 
more about the issues at stake -- this is where YouThink! comes 
into play.
Whether you want to learn more about conflict, education, health, 
the environment, free trade or other global issues, YouThink! is 
a good place to start.

          GopherCentral's Question of the Week
Do you support the Israeli military invasion of Lebanon?
 Please share your opinion, visit: The Question of the Week

SOFTWARE SPOTLIGHT - 1000 Questions for Couples

The quality of our lives has a direct parallel to of the quality 
of our relationships. One of our most important relationships is 
that with our spouse or significant other. Yet, according to the 
CDC, 43% of first time marriages end in divorce or separation 
within 15 years.
Marriage doesn't have to be the crap shoot most people turn it 
into. The trouble is prospective couples is that fail to ask each 
other the right questions. If they did, they'd know each other 
better than 99% of all other couples.
1000 Questions for Couples contains the crucial questions you must
know the answer to if you want to go into a marriage with a better
than average chance of happiness and success. Over 700 of the
questions can help married couples strengthen their relationship.
Why gamble with your future? Get it right the first time, or next 
time if you're divorced, or in your current relationship and create 
the future you deserve.
Note: I do not provide support for the featured software. Contact 
the software vendor for support. No warranty is made or implied as 
to the usefulness or appropriateness of featured software.


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We haven't had a Who Said It? quotation quiz in quite a while. 
It's time to feature that again before one complaint turns into 
two! Seriously, who said the following...
1) I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I 
have ended up where I intended to be.
a. Douglas Adams   b. Woody Allen   c. Brooke Shields
2) We are what we repeatedly do.
a. Benjamin Franklin   b. Sigmund Freud   c. Aristotle
3) Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence 
on society.
a. Lily Tomlin   b. Mark Twain   c. Will Rogers
4) Middle age is when you've met so many people that every new 
person you meet reminds you of someone else.
a. Ronald Reagan   b. Ogden Nash   c. William Safire
5) Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish.
a. Albert Einstein   b. Billy Graham   c. Abraham Lincoln
6) There's only one way to have a happy marriage...and as soon 
as I learn what it is I'll get married again.
a. Sophia Loren   b. Donald Trump   c. Clint Eastwood
7) Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach 
you to keep your mouth shut.
a. Benny Hill   b. Ernest Hemingway   c. George W. Bush
8) Good advice is something a man gives when he is too old to set 
a bad example.
a. La Rouchefoucauld   b. George Burns   c. Opray Winfrey
And now for one that's sure to fool you...
9) Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools 
a. Oscar Wilde   b. Homer Simpson   c. Dale Carnegie
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) a. Douglas Adams
2) c. Aristotle
3) b. Mark Twain
4) b. Ogden Nash
5) a. Albert Einstein
6) c. Clint Eastwood
7) b. Ernest Hemingway
8) a. La Rouchefoucauld
9) c. Dale Carnegie

COMPUTER TIPS - Print Files Without Opening Them
If you have a file you need to print you might not have to open 
it to print it. Try right-clicking the file and see if there is 
a Print option on the pop-up menu. If there is, click it and see 
if the file prints. You can print files without opening them 
from Windows Explorer or from within many other programs this 
way. Not all file types are supported though, so if the Print 
option isn't there then you can't print it this way. This is a 
handy trick to print files when you no longer have the software 
needed to view the file.
If the above method didn't work, you can look for another program 
to open the file with. On Windows 98 hold down the Shift key and 
right-click the file. In addition to the normal right-click pop-up 
menu, a new command will be there...Open With. Windows XP users 
don't have to hold down the shift key to use the Open With command, 
it's already there on right-click.
The Open With command allows you to select the program you want to 
try to open the file with from a list of programs. I'd deselect the 
option that asks if you always want to use the program you select 
to open the file type you're trying to open. Since you don't know 
if the program will open it, there's no reason to create the file 
association to always open that type of file with that program.
For a text based file you might try using Notepad, Wordpad, Word, 
or another text program. For a graphic file select Paint or another 
graphics program if you have one.
If that fails and you no longer have the program to open it with, 
your options are to reinstall a program that read the file, or 
email it to a friend that can open it and ask him or her to print 
it and mail it to you.
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 Heda Bejar: The fragrance
always remains in the hand that gives the rose.
Have an interesting day, Simon

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


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