Wednesday, June 28, 2006

If Microsoft designed the iPod

My first video blog using and wanted to test it using a video that contains humor. Hah!I still think it's hilarious not to mention realistic.

I think I will be adding CSS and Photoshop tutorials in the future. I just hope will be as reliable as Google in terms of service or my video blogs will go awry if Youtube goes down the tube :)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Useful Plug-in and Web Developer Resources

I'm using Mozilla Firefox because of it's extensibility. With plug-ins and/or extensions you have got more than a browser.

Recently I tried using StumbleUpon extension for Firefox and signed up for a free account while making choices on what subjects I want. I got really excited when I tried using it on the subject of Arts. It was really awesome! The quality of websites that it lets you browse are really good. In fact, I had to stop myself browsing the sites it featured because I might spend the whole day using the extension!

The next day I used it for browsing the subject of Web Development so I can use the plugin for searching ways to help me at work. And help it did. So many websites out there that can help me in my work and StumbleUpon had done the dirty work (ok, the contributors did!)

StumbleUpon helps you discover great websites.With a single click, you can find and share cool sites matched to your interests. Download it now!

More on web development, I believe I have ranted upon a month or two before because they are giving away css positioned web design templates and they are really good. And now I have found another resource similar to this - Ruthsarian Layouts - Check it out as they have more templates than Mollio and they have tested it in a variety of browsers and have enough documentation so you can edit the designs.

Be forewarned that you as the developer should try to make the template better by editing it and adding some enhancements. It's a mark of a good designer, take something good and make it special. That's what creativity is for.

  1. Free CSS/HTML template roundup (found at Ruthsarian Layouts - 6 good-looking, free CSS page layout templates, complete with colors, headings, etc; Bluerobot Layout Reservoir - 2 and 3-column page skeleton CSS layouts; Glish CSS Layout techniques - Two, 3 and 4 column skeleton CSS layouts; The Layout-o-matic - enter page width, number of columns, and padding and it generates CSS and HTML skeleton layout; Little Boxes - various box layout CSS stylesheets; Open Source Web Design - various complete page templates free for use; Web Builders’ Toolkit - more links to template resources.

  2. With , you can create two distinct styles of rollover button, using CSS and just one image. The difference here is that you can optionally allow some background space above your image in which to place CSS- controlled rollover text.

  3. - using some very simple PHP and CSS you can create intelligent menus that are easy to use and maintain

  4. Text Generators: (16 languages), , , .

  5. : Smart tips, tools, tricks, news and facts, tools and services.

  6. - you’re "stuck" on figuring out the perfect address for your web site? Search for expired or dropped web site domain names by keyword.

  7. : code snippets and proof of concepts - the links should help get you started on building your own functions with XMLHttpRequest.

  8. by Mark Boulton

  9. @ 456bereastreet

  10. : "...input elements should be organized in logical groups so that your brain can process the form layout in chunks of related fields."

  11. - Christoph Paper

  12. & : Combo Tester and Web Color Gallery allow web developers to see how different color combinations work together on the screen.

  13. Metallic Colours, Pastel Colours, 2x Colours, Skin Tones

  14. enables you to create 24-bit color schemes online - beyond the so-called safe palette. (IE 5.5 or higher)

  15. : 1 in 12 people have some sort of color deficiency. When you're designing for the web, this means that 1 in 12 people might not be able to see your site. That's alot of people. This tool helps you simulate the appearance of our site's colors for people with different color visions.

  16. : 12 color chromatic wheel similar to the theoretical chromatic circle. Find and simulate the harmony of your web interface.

  17. - "a site for playing with colors" contains 19655 colors and 6387 schemes.

  18. - there is a form at the bottom of this page that lets you choose any URL you want to extract colors from. The colors you see are from the site that referred you to this page.

  19. : CSS Border Test, Colourway, Colourband, Colourband Text, Colour Increments, Internet Explorer Scrollbars, RGB Converter, DOCTYPEs

  20. Patterns: , , , .

  21. All You Need For Accessibility - Tutorials, Tools, Books, Validators, etc: part 1, part 2

  22. : combines the Overture keyword selector tool with tools for Keyword Analysis, Keyword Thesaurus, Keyword Lateralus (for lateral thinking ideas for keywords) and even a tool to check keywords and site rankings according to Google. (via

  23. is an all in one tool to check the number of pages that link to you in AlltheWeb, AltaVista, Google, HotBot, MSN Search, and Yahoo!, as well as check for your site's presence in DMOZ and Zeal.

  24. : Link Popularity Check, SE Saturation-Index Check, Keyword Verification Check, Meta Tags Optimization, SEO - Optimization Articles, Unbranded SEO Tools

  25. : Link Popularity, SE Saturation, Keyword Position / SERP, Google PageRank, Bulk Google PageRank, Google PageRank: Indexed Pages, Alexa Rank, Bulk Alexa Rank

  26. : an overview of German, European and international search engines, search engines news etc.

  27. : Designlinks - German Link Ressource; das deutsche Design & Web design Verzeichnis.

  28. : a directory includes 1616 sites in categories Web design, Flash, Tools online, Media, Editor web, Developers etc.

  29. will lead you down the yellow brick road of standards-based web design.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Worry free living

As I attended the Sunday service at Alabang New Life Ministry last sunday, We were in for a big surprise (and miracle, if I may say so). The guest speaker/pastor was Ray-An Fuentes, the famous singer way back in the 1980's. He has been spreading God's word in Canada and other countries for 18 years.

How is this topic related to design? Well all aspects of your life will improve when you hear him speak, not just your design sense,guaranteed

His topic was "Keys for a worry free living". He quoted the scripture from Matthew 6:19 -34. And explain it, he did. And more. This was the best explanation of those verses I have ever heard, and I have read these verses more than once.
After the service, I approached him and thanked him, and adding that if ever he needs some help in building or maintaining his website, just give me a call or an email. If some of you who are reading this blog needs help in your church's website, email me at All my services for the Lord is free, to help spread the good news.

And for the last 5 days I have never felt so peaceful in the long run, Ray-An has definitely done God's work through him. God Bless Ray-An.

here is Matthew 6:19-34

6:19 “Don’t lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal;
6:20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume,and where thieves don’t break through and steal;
6:21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
6:22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light.
6:23 But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
6:24“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and Mammon.
6:25 Therefore, I tell you, don’t be anxious for your life: what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor yet for your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
6:26 See the birds of the sky, that they don’t sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns. Your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you much more value than they?
6:27 “Which of you, by being anxious, can add one moment to his lifespan?
6:28 Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin,
6:29 yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these.
6:30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, won’t he much more clothe you, you of little faith?
6:31 “Therefore don’t be anxious, saying, ‘What will we eat?’, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘With what will we be clothed?’
6:32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, for your heavenly Father knows that you need all thesethings.
6:33 But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well.
6:34 Therefore don’t be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day’s own evil is sufficient.

Keep that video!

Ever liked a video in youtube? Well, most of us do. And we want to keep some of them to show it to our friends (think cool factor).

I have and mp4 player and recently I discovered how to keep those flv video format from you tube and transfer it to my portable video player to watch during my daily commute. Here's how;

  1. Go to and search for your video, get the (url)link of that page

  2. Go to - read the instructions there and download that video

  3. Download the free encoder (and flv player, if you want)to convert your video in the format that your player can read at

There are other ways to do it, but by far, this is the easiest way for me, no mess, no fuss. Enjoy your video!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Recap - National Webmasters’ Interface on Accessible ICT for Persons with Disabilities

This is the summary of the National Webmasters’ Interface on Accessible ICT for Persons with Disabilities, a conference I attended last May 15-18 at Mango Park Hotel, Cebu City. The recap is written by Ms. Nelia De Jesus, Chief, Technical Cooperation Center of NCWDP or National Council for the welfare of disabled persons.

National Webmasters’ Interface on Accessible ICT for Persons with Disabilities “Empowering Persons with Disabilities through ICT” Mango Park Hotel, Cebu City May 15-18, 2006

The impact of the three Workshops (Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) jointly launched by DSWD, NCWDP and CICT greatly inspired participating agencies to come up with “disabled-friendly” websites as a tool to generate IT-related work opportunities with and for persons with disabilities.

The increasing IT-related jobs brought in by western countries’ outsourcing trends have opened up opportunities for many Filipinos, those with disabilities included. Medical transcriptions, call centers, data conversion and others continue to boom and the disability sector wants a part of the actions.

To adequately equip the sector, the government aims to make all its programs open to them through full web accessibility and usability supported by all members.

The National Webmasters’ Interface Workshop on Accessible ICT for PWDs held on May 16-18, 2006 at Mango Park Hotel, Cebu City was participated in by 60 webmasters and advocates from Government Organizations, Non-governmental organizations, academe and organizations of persons with disabilities from the three cluster groups (Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) with the theme “Empowering Persons with Disabilities through ICT”. It aims to facilitate sharing of experiences and contributions of participants in promoting accessible ICT for PWDs and assess the impact of the Luzon Visayas and Mindanao Workshop, formulate national standards, guidelines and policies on website accessibility among others. No less than Mr. Leo N. Valdes has given this project his full technical support as the main person.

Prior to Day 1, Mr. Leo N. Valdes, Managing Director of Vision Office, Canada gave the group a crash course on HTML. He also shared with them some basic skills/techniques on how to develop accessible ICT for the PWD sector. Expectation setting followed the HTML crash course. The participants expectations were summarized as follows: come up with a dynamic network of accessible ICT for all, new techniques on website accessibility and technology transfer to their respective agencies. The workshop objectives and mechanics were presented and were found to be meeting the expectations of the participants. To draw positive working relationship among participants, they went through a familiarization activity using the sign language.

For Day 1, the workshop was officially opened through a prayer VTR in sign language entitled “The Warrior is a Child” led by Mr. Ervin R. Reyes, a hearing impaired person from the Manila Christian Computer Institute for the Deaf (MCCID). Representatives delivered opening messages from the Regional Committee for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (RCWDP), National Computer Center-Communication on Information and Communications Technology (NCC-CICT) and the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP). Executive Director Catalina L. Fermin shared the message of Secretary Esperanza I. Cabral, which recognized the computer technology as an opportunity for better employment of persons with disabilities. Likewise, Director Fermin challenged all the participants to take effective steps to develop accessible ICT for PWDs. In behalf of Mayor Tommy Osmeña, Mr. Conrado Ordesta III welcomed all the participants in Cebu City and expressed his gratefulness to the organizers in choosing Cebu as the venue of the activity. Further, Ms. Belen Yntig represented Regional Director Ernesto Beltran of Technical, Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Chairperson of the Regional Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (RCWDP). Mr. Beltran sent his message of assurance that TESDA Field Office VII would continuously support all the undertakings towards the attainment of the workshop goals and would remain a strong partner of the RCWDP.

APCD Project Director Ms. Kannita Kamolwat shared with the participants their heartfelt thanks to the organizers for inviting them to the workshop. She assured everybody that their organization will join hands with the organizers in this endeavor by sending expert resource persons in the persons of Mr. Hisao Chiba and Mr. Raksak Chairanjuansakun to future activities of the group.

In the plenary Mr, Chiba and Mr. Raksak of APCD discussed the current web accessibility situation in the Asia and the Pacific. They also answered questions on strategies and support being undertaken in Thailand in the field of education and accessible environment. On the issue of the effectiveness of push (legislation) and pull (incentives) strategies, they both agreed that the approach varies from one country to another considering cultural and economic differences.

In the afternoon, Mr. Rey Mendoza, of the University of Sto. Tomas discussed some tips and techniques using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) followed by presentation of Mr. Chiba and Mr. Raksak about the benefits and advantages of Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) in creating Digital Talking Books. Lastly, Ms. Grace Amberong also shared to the body that her group developed an accessible Content Management System based on the Manila ICT design recommendations which can be used by anyone in developing an accessible website.

Day 02 started with a prayer by Ms. Mila Maquiling and recapitulation by Mr. Ariel Nengasca of Day 1 activities. Formal Working Group Discussion started with the break-up of the participants into two groups to discuss:

  1. Philippine Accessible Design Recommendations and

  2. Promoting Accessibility to GOs, NGOs, Educational Institutions and Business.

In the afternoon, each group selected a leader to present discussion outcomes. For Group 1 (Philippine Accessible Design Recommendations) it made a rough draft of proposed coding standards considering various standards such that of the National Computer Center and the UN-ASPA to be reviewed by a Technical Working Group composed of ICT experts to be identified by the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons.

On the other hand, Group 2 presented the advantages and benefits of an accessible website such as cleaner codes result to lesser utilization of bandwidth which translates to savings and an accessible website attracts high traffic and wider audience that would eventually results to sales increase. They also made some recommendations on how to promote accessible ICT in the country. They are the following:

  1. The need for legislation (push approach), to ensure compliance to the set guidelines or standards

  2. Provision of incentives (pull approach) to complying agencies

  3. Design a seal of accessibility that could be downloaded and attached to the website

  4. Integrate ICT accessibility in the IT curriculum from primary to tertiary education

  5. Form a network/ association of web developers committed to website accessibility to serve as an advocacy group

  6. Require bidders of government transactions to secure an accessibility certification from the CICT-NCC

  7. Conduct a summit of ICT Champions to look into accessible ICT.

  8. Organize a team of webmasters from the Luzon Visayas and Mindanao Workshops to serve as Resource Persons and trainers of web accessibility.

In the afternoon, Ms. Mercy Nicolas of the National Computer Center presented to the group the APEC Digital Opportunity Center Project and encouraged everyone to join it. After which, participants and organizers went to a field visit to Nova Foundation’s data conversion project in partnership with Ynfinite-Datacon. Participants interviewed 8 deaf encoders regarding their job and corporate experiences in the company, then the group proceeded to MICS department of the Cebu Mayor’s Office where they were oriented on their facilities and on how supportive the Mayor to other disability programs.

After dinner, participants had their socialization and team building activities where everyone participated actively and had fun bonding.

The third and last day was opened by a prayer from the representative of the host team followed by recapitulation of the 2nd day. Then, Mr. Noli Agcaoili, President of the Nova Foundation shared their Foundation’s projects and services in providing employment opportunities for Persons With Disabilities and encouraged everyone to study medical transcription, which is very much in demand nowadays. Right after the open forum, selected participants shared with the group what they have learned about the workshop and how they can help promote accessible ICT for PWDs.

APCD Team composed of Ms. Kamolwat together with Mr. Chiba and Mr. Raksak thanked the organizers of the workshop and expressed their appreciation of the government’s nationwide efforts to push for accessible ICT. They have learned a lot from the resource persons and experiences of the participants and they look forward to the success of its implementation. Participants also thanked everyone for the new techniques and situationers from Mr. Valdes and organizers, respectively.

During the closing ceremony, Mr. Valdez thanked all the stakeholders, participants and partners who attended the workshop and gave two phrases to be remembered by all. First is that “attitude” is the real disability and “Its not what life deals to you but its how you deal with life.” On the other hand, Director Romo of the DSWD – Field Office VII also thanked also all the participants especially the global expertise of the resource person. He also discussed the various projects of the Department supportive of Persons With Disabilities and committed to propose to include ADVOCACY on Accessible ICT in the agenda of the next meeting of the Interregional Committee on Social Development in Region VII. Lastly, Director Alicia S. Bonoan of the Social Technology Bureau expressed her gratitude to all the participants of the workshop. On behalf of DSWD, she was very happy with the outcomes of the activity. She was very pleased to tell the group that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) would never stop its commitment to help bolster economic independence of the disadvantaged sector of our society, especially Persons With Disabilities. She committed that the DSWD will always be a partner in promoting accessible ICT for PWDs, which is considered one of their human rights.