From our friends in Redmond:
The Office HTML Filter is a tool you can use to remove Office-specific markup tags embedded in Office 2000 documents saved as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). When you create an HTML document in Office 2000, Office-specific markup tags are embedded in it. These tags help "round-trip" the document for editing purposes. For example, if you create the document in Word 2000 and save it as HTML, the code embedded in the document allows you to re-open the document in Word 2000 and use the same features you originally used to create the page.
Once you have completed editing an HTML document in Word 2000 or Excel 2000, you can use the Office HTML Filter to remove the Office-specific markup tags from the final copy of the HTML document. By removing the tags, you reduce the size of the document, which in turn reduces both the amount of space used on Web servers as well as the time it takes to download the page. For additional information about the benefits and disadvantages of removing the Office-specific markup tags, read Use Office HTML Filter to Create Web Pages that Download Faster.
Download the HTML filter. Basic instructions:
To filter a document in Word
- Open the document you want to filter.
- On the File menu, point to Export To and then click Compact HTML.
To create a cascading style sheet (.css) in Word
- Open the document on which you want to base the style sheet.
- On the File menu, point to Export To, and then click CSS Stylesheet.
To copy text from a Word document as HTML
- In Word, open the document you want to copy text from and select the text you want to copy.
- On the Edit menu, click Copy as HTML.
To filter single or multiple Excel 2000 or Word 2000 HTML files
On the Start menu, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Office Tools, and then point to Microsoft Office HTML Filter 2.0. Read Use Office HTML Filter to Create Web Pages that Download Faster for additional information about using the Office HTML Filter in Word. For more in-depth information about using the Office HTML Filter 2.0, read Using Office HTML Filter at the Command Prompt, Using Office HTML Filter to Remove Office-specific Markup, and Using Office HTML Filter to Save Space on Web Servers.
I picked up a 1 GB iPod Shuffle almost on a whim this weekend. Lord knows I love my 20 GB model to death, but it's a little too heavy for a shirt pocket or for exercising, it's expensive enough that I worry about dropping it or losing it, and the battery life isn't really that great. (Yes, I know I'm spoiled. Don't blame me--blame Steve Jobs and his army of engineering nerds toiling under the watchful eyes of their designer overlords.) Enter the Shuffle.
I had no idea I'd love it as much as I do. Light as a feather, drop-proof (all Flash memory--no moving parts), not exactly cheap--but a good sight cheaper than the 20 GB, and 12 long hours of battery life = digital music nirvana. Then factor in 1) the absence of any chargers or other crap to lug around (it charges when it's plugged into a USB drive on an iTunes equipped computer), and 2) the 330+ songs I was able to cram onto mine, and I am truly in love. It's pathetic.
My only mod has been to etch cross-hatchings in the on-off switch to make it easier to slide. It's a little too slick as is and required too much pressure to toggle. Otherwise, the damn thing is perfect.
UPDATE: iPodLounge has a great Shuffle tutorial. Best tip: "When listening to a playlist in shuffle mode, press Play three times quickly to re-randomize the play order."
Blogtricks offers a number of interesting little add-on services for bloggers. The most useful one (and the only one I've actually tried) is their Link Feedback service, which allows you to create an automated list of websites referring visitors to your site.
It's easy to set up--in Typepad, just take the script from their "linkbuilder" and use it to create a new item in a "link" Typelist that has been configured to read notes as text. And your Blogtricks account is free--if you want to pay $10/year, you can opt not to have their little ad displayed at the bottom of your list of referrers.
A nice feature is the ability to exclude certain referring domains--for example, you can exclude search engines, so that your list only displays traffic from actual links on other sites, rather than traffic from search results. (Helpful when you get a lot of random traffic from people searching on, say, your uncommon last name.)
I used it for a few days and really liked the convenience of seeing referrers right on my home page, but I didn't pony up for a paid account, and loading the ad from their server was really slowing down my site. It's worth $10/year for the ad-free service, but they currently only accept PayPal, and I don't have a PayPal account.
Here's the script that was generated for my account, including a number of blocked domains. Note the hard break in that line between "google.fr" and "search.msn.com" to get it to display properly here:
document.write('\074scr' + 'ipt src="http://svc.blogtricks.com/referrer' +
%2Csearch.msn.com%2Cgoogle.co.nz%2Cgoogle.it%2Cgoogle.be%2Cgoogle.pl' + '\046maxlen=40' + '\046maxwordlen=40' +
'\046action=combo\046referrer=' + escape(document.referrer) +
'">\074/sc' + 'ript>');
In their own words, Audioscrobbler...
...builds a profile of your musical taste using a plugin for your media player (Winamp, iTunes, XMMS etc..). Plugins send the name of every song you play to the Audioscrobbler server, which updates your musical profile with the new song. Every person with a plugin has their own page on this site which shows their listening statistics. The system automatically matches you to people with a similar music taste, and generates personalised recommendations.
I just started using it, so my profile's pretty skimpy at the moment--but I'm just going to let iTunes shuffle my 2,226 song "Alt, Punk, Pop & Rock" playlist for a few days on end and see what happens. Check out my Audioscrobbler page to watch my profile evolve. Once I get over 100 songs in my profile, Audioscrobble promises to find users with similar tastes and put them in my "neighborhood," so I can look over their profiles
Also cool--and requiring no registration--is their Explore Music feature. Type in the name of a band to see a list of associated bands (determined by the frequency with which Audioscrobbler users listen to both.) For example, here are the top 25 bands on today's list for Interpol (based on results from 60,107 people):
Audioscrobbler doesn't make this explicit, but I'm interpreting the chart as saying that 100% of the people who listen to Wilco and the White Stripes also listen to Wilco, 74% of the people who listen to the Fiery Furnaces also listen to Interpol, etc. In contrast to this data, when I go to Interpol's page on Amazon right now, the list of "similar artists" is:
None of which are in the Audioscrobbler list above, or even in the
complete list of 100 bands Audioscrobbler associates with Interpol. Hmmm. We'll see if anything useful or interesting comes out of this, but it's sure seems kewl.
Why can't I find a (free) site search tool that works? The Technorati searchlet that I installed recently on my day blog isn't working any more--it only searches the entire web and ignores instructions to search just my site. Not helpful. So I've put the Google search box back (TypePad makes it easy.) But it's an imperfect solution at best. It's not updated all that often (at least for a little ol' site like mine), so it excludes terms from recent posts. And it includes terms from my sidebars, so you get a lot of false positives when searching for someone in my blogroll, for example. PicoSearch had its own problems, so at this point I'm out of ideas.
I just dropped PicoSearch from my day site and substituted the Technorati Searchlet. Much better. Far superior search results, and no need to manually index the pages (so presumably no maximum page number.) I wasn't able to get it to work for this site--perhaps because it branches off from my primary TypePad account, perhaps because it's not a public blog--but I'm happy for now.
When I initially set up the PicoSearch box, I had to tweak it considerably to get a fit I was happy with. Just in case I ever want to restore it, here's the code that worked well (at least visually) for the sidebar:
<!-- Begin PicoSearch Query Box -->
<P><FORM METHOD="POST" ACTION="http://www.picosearch.com/cgi-bin/ts.pl">
<INPUT TYPE="HIDDEN" NAME="index" VALUE="232131">
<TABLE BGCOLOR="WHITE" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 BORDER=0><TR><TD>
<TABLE BGCOLOR="WHITE" CELLSPACING=2 CELLPADDING=0 BORDER=0>
<TR><TD colspan=2><INPUT TYPE="TEXT" NAME="query" VALUE="" SIZE="20"></TD></TR>
&type=all" TARGET="_blank"><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="http://www.picosearch.com/picosmall.gif" ALT="PicoSearch"></A></TD>
<TD><nobr><INPUT TYPE="SUBMIT" VALUE="Go >>>" name="SEARCH"></nobr></TD></TR>
<TR><TD colspan=2 ALIGN=LEFT><FONT SIZE=-2><A HREF="http://www.picosearch.com/cgi-bin/ts.pl?index=232131&help=help">
<!-- End PicoSearch Query Box -->