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Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional


    Find the favicon
       2 December 2012       

Somehow it has taken me a long time to twig out how to do this easily. As you may have realised, I like to include site favicons with links to external websites. Now developers are meant to put their favicons in the main route of their webpages BUT of course many do not. When the favicon is not in its expected place, I spend a happy time playing the well known Christmas party game 'Find the Favicon' by trying to find where it has been hidden. For this I have been using, Chris Pederick's web developer. to have a good snoop around and to find the location of images amongst other things.

It's obvious from the Firefox page that it manages to find them and to display them at the start of it's website tab. So you would expect that this would be a good place to look for them without going on a website treasure hunt. NOT SO! But if you left click on the address bar icon you get this helpful message, AND a click box:

dialog box

So go ahead and click it!
then you get:


Now click on media

and there are the links!

To prove it here is the link to Chris Pederick's website, [with favicon!]


AND what is more, his is in the right place.

BUT what about when it's not in the right place you ask as on the notepad++ site.
Firefox tells us about the media on this site like this:


look through the list and there it is lurking in /assets/images/favicon.ico
Not where it is supposed to be at all.


This is the html that makes it happen:

<img src="http://chrispederick.com/favicon.ico" width="16" height="16" border="0" alt="" />
<a class="link colorexternallink" target="_blank" href="http://chrispederick.com/">chrispederick</a>

Once you know where to find the favicon that is.

To display html in an html document

Just in case you were wondering, to display html in an html document, you need to replace html reserved characters with their character entities.
For example, you can't use the html tag symbols < and > instead you have to use their entity representation which is just their decimal unicode number proceded by &# and followed by ;
< is coded as &#60; and > as &#62;

You can either use the unicode number or the entity name.
The ampersand & can be coded as &#38; or &amp;
The less than tag < and can be coded as &lt; or &#60;

Links for this post [with favicons]

 Online Unicode Character Map, does what it says on the tin.
 w3schools, where to go when you need to know
 Notepad++, can't praise this enough, THE choice if you are looking for an editor.
 FamFamFam, where Notepad++ sourced their buttons
 chrispederick website, source for web developer

    Active Server Pages
       April 2012       

I have been wanting to use some sort of Server Side Scripting on the website for some time now but my motley collection of old computers have conspired to prevent me. When the dog ate my computer it gave me the opportunity to upgrade and that has made it possible to build a local webserver so I can test my code before uploading it.

This post is to share asp resources I have found useful and give me a quick access point to them. Also a few observations about Windows 7 which was bundled with the new PC and a quick look at browsers used by visitors to the website.

asp resources

To learn something new about web development, my usual first recourse is to see what is to be found at  w3schools. They have a good section on asp, including how to set it up on various platforms.

My only problem was that even following the !instructions! I was still struggling to get it to work. So I had a bit of a rummage on the internet and found what I felt was the clearest description of what to do. This site includes the two final steps, omitted in most descriptions, of setting default documents and parent paths.

Trouble was that although it was clear that my webserver was working, it wouldn't work with any of my scripts. Then the penny dropped. asp script needs to be in an .asp file [not a .html one].

I mention this in the hope it will stop you from feeling as foolish as I did. My other little problem was that I seemed to revert to an earlier existence and kept naming them as .asm files despite not having written an assembler file in two decades.

"Now that we found .asp, what we goin' to do with it?"

When I first started learning html, I kept looking for the file handling functions. Now I've got them! I've re-cast the whole website into .asp files with .html overlays for the menu bars. Already, this has saved a lot of effort and means I can change the lot from one location. This has enabled me to split some of the bigger files without incurring increased maintenance costs.

There are lots of other things I want to do but need to continue testing the site a bit more before I start on them.

Windows 7

I'm not what you might call a Microsoft 'windows fan' but I think that version 7 is their best yet. In fact, I might have updated my laptop earlier if I could have found one without Vista as part of the package.

Having said that, the instability of windows explorer is not acceptable, it keeps on crashing. I've tried just about every remedy suggested on the web to no avail. I note Microsoft's weasel words that 'one should find which piece of third party software is causing the problem and then re-install it.' Well I only have three pieces of 'third party' software running: Norton360, Seagate Dashboard and Notepad++. I have re-installed the last two, to no avail. I know Microsoft dislikes other vendor's virus checkers so I suppose I should re-install Norton too. Windows Explorer is so bad that it is un-usable so I've replaced it with a freeware package called ExplorerXP. Of course any application that has a sailing boat  for its icon has to be OK with me. The most noticeable thing about it is how much faster it does things than the Microsoft product.

I used to use Oxford University Physics Department's on-line Unicode Character Map. Unfortunately, their website has been sanitised by the marketing department and this is no longer available. The replacement that I now use is Online Unicode Character Map.


I like to look at which browsers have been used by visitors to my site. I was horrified to find that last month at least two of you used Internet Explorer 2, come on you two! I'm rather keen to take out some of the .css kludges I have had to put in for IE users. They make my css non-standards compliant so I don't like them. I'm beginning to think that if I do this to enable your old browser to view the site, you will never update it. So I'm thinking I might just be doing you a favour if I take it off. Please contact the complaints department if you don't like that idea.

You can get  Firefox, free from this link.

Other popular browsers used by cribbit.net visitors:

 Apple's safari

I had thought that finally Microsoft had an Internet Explorer version that actually worked in IE v6. Now I have just found that putting an innocent comment in the first line of a .asp file causes IE6 to load my side bars wrongly. Best advice to all is to ditch IE altogether.

Some useful links

 A list apart, using alternate stylesheets.
 Code fixer, asp tutorials.
 Set up asp in windows 7
 Online Unicode Character Map, what it says on the tin.
 Filezilla, excellent ftp programme.
 ExplorerXP, a file manager that works.
 Notepad++, can't praise this enough, THE choice if you are looking for an editor.

html resources

September 2007
I've been trying to teach myself html for the past few years. What follows are details of resources I have found useful.

First, a few confessions, on the whole I like to use tools that are simple, not packed with helpful features and that enable me to see what I am doing.

My experience is that one starts off with a nice functional little program that does the job and then it gets prettified, features are added and before you know it is overblown and cumbersome. I know this because I used to write programs myself and I used to call this crime 'rampant featuritis'. Poor old Microsoft has a terminal case of this I am afraid and I'm beginning to find Firefox going the same way.

As I'm using Windows, I like programs that conform to Windows protocols, and if it conforms to Wordstar ones as well I'm well pleased.

I've written most of this website with a shareware editor  Notepad++ which fulfills my rather modest requirements and keeps its rampant features out of sight but available.

I know I am old fashioned, but I do like a book, I find them portable, they soon become familiar and they know to open at the section where you are having trouble.

My first book was:

 HTML Dog: The Best Practice Guide to XHTML and CSS, published by New Riders. This has lots of examples and an easy going style.

and my second:

 CSS the missing manual by David Sawyer, published by O'Reilly. Clear and helpful descriptions and examples on using CSS.

Of course I have used internet resources, I find these particularly useful when I can articulate what I want to know and then I just  Google it up. I was mad keen on electronics when I was a boy and I made a rule then which still holds good to-day. That was not to use any 'potted' solution until I was sure I understood how it worked. This was especially useful later when I was learning C. C programmers are notorious for showing off their condensation skills when something a bit longer would be easier to understand. As far as I could see, the compiler produced the same .obj code whatever the layout of the source, so why not make it legible?.

A site that I keep coming back to is  w3schools, this site has excellent tutorials on a wide range of topics, html, CSS, javascript, .ASP etc. There are loads of examples and a great little on-line 'try-it' editor where you can see what happens when you alter bits of code.

It also has a  color picker utility which I think is marvellous! So much so that we now have rampant coloritis as well as rampant featuritis on this site.

Also useful is The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) tutorial and the original specifications.

The thing I found most difficult when I started doing html was not knowing whether what I had written was correct or not. It was all very well throwing my efforts at the browser to see if it worked but the browser was on to idiots like me and was very tolerant of dodgy code. This was good of it but this wasn't to my benefit when it came to writing robust code. In other words, I was missing the compiler. Then I discovered the  The W3C Markup Validation Service. All my files have been validated and I try to keep the validation current, though sometimes forget. This has helped me enormously in developing the website and in understanding how to write the code.

They also do a  .css validator too but I can't claim compliance as I am using the zoom: 1; hack to enable IE to view my site better.

Before I discovered the validator, I used  tidy.exe. This also was helpful in finding faults but I'm afraid I dislike the indented code it produces PLUS its propensity to fold markup to upper case so I don't use this anymore.

Now a list of websites I have found useful, there are so many to choose from but these are some I have used.

 The W3C Markup Validation Service
 .css validator
 w3schools, like NY, NY so good you have to say it twice!
 Dave Raggett's, the originator of tidy.exe, this is his html tutorial.
 writing scrips.
 JavaScript tutorial from The Computer Technology Documentation Project.
 CSS information and tutorial.
 Mozilla's developers center.
 chrispederick, a useful web developer toolbar that checks out the validity of .css files and much more, this is how I found the favicons of the websites on this page which don't conform to the default location.
 Internet Explorer tester, has a go at checking compatabilty with different versions of IE.
 Online Unicode Character Map very useful this, it converts anything you throw at it into unicode characters.
 Meyerweb.com useful stuff, especially about .css.
 A list apart, using alternate stylesheets.
 Digital web magazine useful site, this reference is about switching style sheets.
 The JavaScript source using JavaScript to switch style sheets.
 DevX.com Lots of tips, this one is about passing arguments to JavaScript functions.
 JavaScript about writing cookies.
 Dev Articles this one is about user controlled style sheets.
 Setting up an XP server with IIS.
 Dynamic Drive, handy on-line image to favicon converter.
 Webhost-4-life This is where this website is hosted. I pay for this service as the freebies are full of annoying advertising.
 Cribbit.net Just checking mine is in the right place!

 OC's PC Problem Pages.  Network2computers.
Two of my friend Harry Chester's websites. I remember Harry returning from a National Computer show wearing a freebie baseball cap with the legend 'bullshit deflector' emblazoned on its extended cap peak. He still wears it as you can tell from his sites, straight-forward, without hype and full of good information.

I'm always pleased to get suggestions for other useful sites, so please e-mail me if you have found something I have missed and should know about. I'll add it here.
You can e-mail me at:

Mysterious poems for a mysterious purpose

At one time I used to teach electronics and computer technology. One of my courses was popular with the computer hackers as it delved a little too deeply into the operating system and how to do things without the supervision of Microsoft. I had also written a student registration and attendance monitoring programme which was a popular target for them on which to practice their new craft. I went to some trouble to make this secure and to cause dismay and confusion, the poems below were used to generate the staff passwords.

I first came across the poem about St. Eulalia at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and I've always rather liked it. The gory details of her story can be found at this website. Catholic Forum

It is not the gruesome details of the Saint's demise that I like, although it does remind me of the episode in Bergman's Seventh Seal of the girl burned at the stake, but the lines:

"Here, where clear, bright marble illuminates the gracious halls, are both visitors and natives."

Now I have lived in Colwyn Bay, Stratford-upon-Avon, London and now Oxford. When you walk the streets of these places you do indeed encounter both visitors and natives and the contrast is always interesting. In Stratford you would see the natives scurrying around on their Zimmer frames or with their shopping trolleys, completely oblivious to the Japanese tourists with their complicated cameras and pre-occupation with the ersatz manifestations of the bard. I doubt that there is such a thing as a native in London.

David Munroe was a presenter on Radio 3 who died young, I used to enjoy his programme for young people, 'Pied Piper'.

I'm not going to divulge the method by which the passwords are generated by this definition block but the text was chosen to remind those who would wish to hack my program that there is a fate awaiting them which is DEATH!!! One could also say that perhaps choosing a variable name like "password" may or may not be a red herring.

char title[]={
"The tomb of St. Eulalia by Peter Racine Fricker"
"Translation of the final section of the latin"
"Hymnus in Honorem Passionis Eulaliae Beatissimae Martyris"

char password[]={
"No place more deserves this tomb than the famous town of"       //55
"Vettonia, whose beautiful walls are greedily washed by the"    //113
"green, swirling waters of the remarkable river Ana. Here,"      //170
"where clear, bright marble illuminates the gracious halls, are" //232
"both visitors and natives. The relics and ashes are preserved"  //293
"in the bosom of this holy ground. "                             //327

char ev2[]={
"The bright roof above glows red with gilded ceilings and"        //55
"precious stones, as if a rosy meadow was alive with red"
"flowers.   Pick purple violets and red crocuses.   The kindly"
"winter does not lack these.   The thawing ice releases the "
"fields so that we may heap baskets of flowers."
char ev3[]={
"Offer your gifts from this leafy foliage, maidens and youths!"
"I will carry woven garlands in the middle of the dance;   my"
"dancing feet poor, withered, yet none-the-less fruitful.  It is"
"our delight thus to reverence the bones and the alter placed"
"over them.   Seated at God's right-hand and propitiated with"
"those who sing, she cherishes her people"

char death[]={
"Keep your nasty little hacking fingers out of this program"
char munro[]={
"Death has deprived me of my dearest friend"
"My dearest friend is dead and laid in grave,"
"In grave he rests until the world shall end, "
"The world shall end, as end must must all things have."
"All things must  have an end that nature wrought,"
"That nature wrought, must unto dust be brought"
"Death has deprived me of my dearest friend"				};

Apprentice training

There was a time when I used to be somewhat involved in apprentice training. This included direct delivery at Newham College and through collaborative working with other training providers. Working with collaborative partners can be difficult unless strong monitoring and control procedures are in place. I wrote some html scripts to help pull together the various strands needed to manage and monitor collaborative provision.

That was several years ago, but I notice from my site statistics, that people are still accessing these pages. This is a bit of a worry as many of the regulations that the system was developed to conform to will have changed by now. The overall systems probably remain sound but users need to be aware of the dangers of using out of date data.

This note is to give a simple route to the collaborative provision website from here. To warn users of its danger and suggest that if they would like it updating or changing they should contact me to see if this is worth doing.