Technical Support

How to Publish a Kindle eBook

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So, you’ve written a book?  Congratulations.  Whether it’s the work of years or simply your latest entry, it was almost certainly a difficult and demanding project that it would be great to get some recognition for.  Sure, you can go through the traditional routes and send out your manuscript to the publishing houses in hopes that you get a bite, but should you be looking for another route, whether due to rejection, disinterest, or simple distaste for involving yourself with those companies, Amazon’s DTP(Digital Publishing Platform) for the Kindle might be right for you.  Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Create an Account

One of the advantages to going with the Kindle for your digital platform is that any Amazon.com account should basically be good for this already.  Simply head to the DTP Log-in screen and enter your usual information.  If this is your first time playing with the DTP service, you’ll be asked for some basic publishing-specific settings such as tax information and preferred payment method.  It’s pretty straightforward and you should have little trouble.

Step 2: Format your eBook

Presumably you’ve already taken the time to do any sort of content editing you’d like to do.  Dwelling on the details of that would turn this post into a book of its own, as I’m sure you’re aware.  What is important, however, is making sure you’re setting things up properly to be accessible on the Kindle platform.  The supported file formats at the moment are:

Unencrypted Mobipocket(.mobi and .prc)

This is pretty much the ideal, if you can do it, since it is the format that the Kindle-specific file format is derived from.

Unzipped EPUB

These should actually make the conversion very cleanly in most cases.  It is basically the current generation of the old Mobipocket format(yes, I know I’m oversimplifying) and can be brought back to that earlier iteration in eBook formatting pretty easily.  If you’re hoping to get your book set up for more than just the Kindle, you’ll likely be using this format anyway, at some point.

Plain Text

Obviously not much you can do wrong in this one, though it is a bit limiting.

Microsoft Word .doc File

Definitely usable, but with some complications.  Avoid anything like headers or footers.  No page numbers(remember that the Kindle reflows the text to respond to size adjustments and such).  For the same reason, don’t bother playing with Margins or anything.  Also, for whatever reason, Amazon recommends you add in images using the “Insert” command rather than copy/paste for best results.  Something to keep in mind.

*IMPORTANT* Don’t mistake this for the new .docx file format.  That is a different and wholly incompatible thing.

Adobe PDF

This is the poorest option, by all accounts, but it will still work after a fashion.  There is simply too little formatting information in your average PDF to hope to get much of anything besides the bare text and most minimal formatting out of Amazon’s conversion process.  You might actually be better off finding a third party utility to break down your PDF into something that can be played with in MS Word or a similar program that can be converted into a more useful format.

Zipped HTML

There are a number of specific things to be aware of in using an HTML document for your Kindle book.  While this is the most finely controllable method for formatting your book, by most accounts, it is also complicated and requires great attention to detail.  In most cases, until and unless you have extensive experience using this sort of an eBook format, you might be better off using something else.

To be honest, speaking from personal experience, the best thing you can do to get something ready for publication is to take what you have finished, convert it to either .mobi or HTML, and send it to your Kindle to see how it works.  Flipping through on the device itself will save you a world of trouble in case something goes wrong.

Step 3: Upload Your Book

They’ve made this part really simple.  Assuming you are still logged into the DTP system, you will see a button that says “Add a New Title”.  Click on it and enter all the information it asks for.  You’ll need to provide not only your book file and a description of the work to sell it with, but also any important publication data, an assurance that you have a right to publish the book, a decision about whether or not to enable DRM, and a cover/product image.  The product image is important, since it is what will appear on the product page in the Kindle store.

You will then be prompted for information on countries where you hold the rights to your work, and to select a pricing/royalty option.  You can choose from either 35% royalties, in which case you get to set your price in stone, or 70% royalties, which means that Amazon has a lot more say over how much your book is going to be costing if they decide they need to price match or anything like that and that they deduct a small delivery fee based on file size for each sale.  Either way, you set your price(s) in the little box below that area and you’re done.

Step 4: Promote it

Let’s face it, getting the book on the Kindle marketplace is the easiest part of things.  The hard part, aside from the writing itself, comes next!  Now you’ve got to spread the word.  Many recent authors have had luck with creating a public presence for themselves through creative use of blogging, web promotion, and plain old word of mouth.  Whichever method you choose, you’ve got a good start going already.  Good luck!

Read more: http://blogkindle.com/2010/11/how-to-publish-a-kindle-ebook/

November 23rd, 2010 by matthew

25 Worst Passwords of 2011

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You’ve got locks on your doors and maybe even an alarm system guarding your home. But all that stands between criminals and your bank account information is the word “password.” Sound familiar? “Password,” “123456” and, weirdly, “monkey” are among the 25 worst passwords of the year, according to SplashData, a private company that sells security services and password software.

SplashData compiled its list — released Monday — from files containing millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers.

And despite all the fancy technology available to hackers, when it comes to breaking and entering, they’ll still go for the low-hanging fruit, starting with easy passwords like these.

Here’s a tip for creating a more secure password: Make it eight characters or more, and use multiple types of characters — upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols.

Anyways, without much ado, here’s the compiled list of the 25 worst passwords of 2011:

1. password
2. 123456
3.12345678
4. qwerty
5. abc123
6. monkey
7. 1234567
8. letmein
9. trustno1
10. dragon
11. baseball
12. 111111
13. iloveyou
14. master
15. sunshine
16. ashley
17. bailey
18. passw0rd
19. shadow
20. 123123
21. 654321
22. superman
23. qazwsx
24. michael
25. football
Twilight
twilight

How to Use Aero Flip 3D and Alt-Tab in Windows 7

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Aero Flip 3D was first introduced in Vista. With Aero Flip 3D, you can quickly preview all of your open windows (for example, open files, folders, documents and programs) without accessing the taskbar. It displays your open windows in a visually pleasing stack.

To use Flip 3D, click and hold the Windows button together with the tab key. As you hold the windows button press the tab key to rotate the stack. This will move the windows in a queue so you can see all of your windows in sequence. Once you see the window that you want to view, release the windows button. The window when you release the windows button will be the active window.
Alt-Tab on the other hand will show the opened windows too, but in a different visual presentation. Instead of a 3D stack, it displays the each of the windows’ thumbnails. On Windows XP, Alt-Tab displays the icons of the programs instead of thumbnails. You can switch between windows by continually pressing Tab while holding Alt.

You can also move around by using the arrow keys instead of the Tab key.
Note: Flip 3D is part of the Aero experience. If your computer does not support Aero, or if you are using a theme other than a Windows 7 Aero theme, you can view the open programs and windows on your computer by pressing Alt+Tab.
If you find the traditional Alt-Tab method to be boring, the Flip 3D method is a good alternative. The only downside is that you need to have a hardware that supports Aero.

Post courtesy of: http://www.online-tech-tips.com/windows-7/aero-flip-3d-and-alt-tab-in-windows-7/

OpenDNS Internet Filter Router Setup – It’s That Easy

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 A little while back a bunch of Rabbis from around the globe organized an Internet “Asifah,” or gathering of like-minded individuals on using the internet more safely. The biggest thing they said was to install an internet filter at home. And no, Brita filters don’t count 🙂

However, there are many filters to choose from. There are browser-side, client-side (Desktop), ISP-side, and router-side. Possibly the most robust yet intimidating filter to use is a router-side filter.

Well, good news! You don’t need to pay too much money for an router-side filter, and I’m here to tell you that it’s easy and fun to set up.

Note: Router-side filters work best when you have a dedicated IP. This is because router-side filters call websites that matches up a manually-defined IP address. If you have a “dynamic IP,” which is common with DSL connections, then a router-side filter may not be for you as you will need to update the IP address on OpenDNS’s website every other day. Check with your internet service provider (ISP) on which type of IP address you have before proceeding further.

Anyhoos, here’s how to set it up via OpenDNS:

1. Go to OpenDNS.com

The first step to recovery is visiting the darn site!

2. Click the orange button that says “for home.”

3. Click the “Parental Controls” option.

You don’t need to click the “Premium Service.”

4. Click the OpenDNS Home (Free) tab on the left side.

The signup is free and quick.

5. Click “Add/Manage Networks.”

6. Note: the “Free” service will limit your access to only 1 network.

This is fine for most normal home configurations. If you need more, just register more email addresses and sign up with those!

7. Router Setup – Choose the router that you own

8. Router Type Setup

Look at your router, see the model number, and choose the router type that you own on the website.

9. Change The Settings of Your Router

Configure it so that it matches what’s on the screen. For nerds, there are 2 nameserver IP addresses to use for all configurations:

  • 208.67.222.222
  • 208.67.220.220

10. Login to your router

This may be the most intimidating part. You need to know
a) Your router IP Address. You can figure it out by going to Start/Run, then type “cmd.” Once the command screen pops up, type in “ipconfig.” There will be 4 numbers. Your router IP is usually the “AAA.BBB.CCC.1”.
b) Your router username. Usually it’s Admin unless somebody changed it.
c) Your router password. This you need to know. Otherwise you may need to reset your router to its original settings and start from scratch.

11. Once logged in, modify the settings.

Enter the IP addresses of the DNS servers, as per the instructions in step 9

12. Filter Categories and Individual Domains

Even after all that, you need to be responsible by filtering categories. Enter individual domains to add and remove as filters are generally far from perfect.

13. Assuming everything works, you should have a blocked page with Ads.

This is another limitation with the Free service. Web Ads! It doesn’t bother me, personally. As long as it does the job.

14. Enjoy visiting certain sites with certain Ads not showing up.

Great! Now you can do your illegal activity without feeling guilty!

Comments

Admittedly, nothing is perfect. Here’s why:

a. What if your IP Address is one that always changes, like an internet service that runs on DSL? Well, OpenDNS has a desktop tool for you to use to update your IP Address!
b. I’ve personally experienced bugs in the router both ways: When it blocks most sites whether I want to visit them or not, and when it blocks nothing.

Filter Yourself

The best internet filter is yourself. You alone can morally dictate what’s good to go onto and what’s not, and can likely do a much better job than a piece of machinery.
c. I know, the internet community will likely rail me on technicalities for not suggesting server side filters, or a better paid service. Technical shmechnical!

Remove All Hyperlinks in Microsoft Word or Excel

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Word

1. CTRL+A and then CTRL+SHIFT+F9

2. Credit to http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/1323/remove-all-hyperlinks-in-word-or-excel/

Go to “Insert” > “Module” and in the pop-up window copy:


Sub RemoveHyperlinks()
Dim oField As Field
For Each oField In ActiveDocument.Fields
If oField.Type = wdFieldHyperlink Then
oField.Unlink
End If
Next
Set oField = Nothing
End Sub

Then click “File” > Close and return to Microsoft Word

You can now run the Macro in Word by going to:

Tools > Macro > Macro and then Run “RemoveAllHyperlinks”

Excel

You can do the same in an Excel Document:

Hit [ALT]+[F11] to open the Visual Basic Editor

Go to “Insert” > “Module” and in the pop-up window copy:

Sub RemoveHyperlinks()
'Remove all hyperlinks from the active sheet
ActiveSheet.Hyperlinks.Delete
End Sub

Then click “File” > Close and return to Microsoft Excel

You can now run the Macro in Excel by going to:

Tools > Macro > Macro and then Run “RemoveAllHyperlinks”, this will delete all URLS on the selected worksheet.

How to Bypass Facebook Automated Approval System

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Try it out:

If you would like want to change “Rafael” then Facebook blocks it… here’s what to do:

1. Change it to “Raf” “Rafa” or whatever with R at begining
2. Then add 1 by 1… like “Rafae”
3. Again, “Rafael”
6. That’s it! I hope this helps you.

WARNING: If you change your name more than 5 times FB won’t allow you to change your name ever again. It’s a limit that a LOT of people don’t like!

Removing All Hyperlinks in Excel

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Removing a bunch of hyperlinks can be tedious. Imagine the time you have to spend right-clicking on each of those links and selecting ‘remove hyperlink’ on the context menu. Of course it would just take two clicks, but what if you are to remove a hundred of them or perhaps 1000 hyperlinks? I’m sure that would be enough to scrape out the paint of your right-mouse button.

Below are some simple techniques you can use in order to remove single to multiple hyperlinks on a page:

Removing just one hyperlink

1. Right-Click on the cell and select Remove Hyperlink from the context menu.

Removing hyperlinks using the cell format

1. Select the cells having hyperlinks. You can use CTRL+LEFT CLICK to randomly select a cell.

2. On the menu click on Edit. Hover your mouse to the option Clear and select Fomats. Please note that the cell is still clickable to remove the hyperlink completely you have to select Clear->All.

Remove Excel hyperlinks on selected cells the better way

1. Type in any text or number in a blank cell

2. Right-click and select Copy on the context menu.

3. While pressing CTRL, select each cell with the hyperlink you wish to be removed

4. On the Edit menu, select Paste Special.

5. Under Operation, click Multiply and then click OK.

6. If you are using Office 2007, you may need to click or change the cell format to Normal found at the Styles Group Toolbar.

Removing Excel hyperlinks using a macro

Assuming you know excel programming you could create a macro to automatically remove the hyperlinks.

1. Start Visual Basic Editor. Alternatively you can press ALT-F11 to start the editor.

2. Double click the workbook you are using on the Project Explorer.

3. Type the following text:

Sub RemoveHyperlinks()

ActiveSheet.Hyperlinks.Delete

End Sub

4. Save your work.

5. Run your macro by pressing ALT-F8 or using the menu by Tools->Macro->Macros

6. Select the macro you have made, it should have the name ‘RemoveHyperlinks’.

Removing the Default Hyperlink Option

The most efficient way to remove them is by actually avoiding them in the first place. Now you don’t need to follow those hard and confusing steps above anymore. You can prevent Excel from formatting URLs and network links by removing its AutoFormat function at the AutoCorrect dialog box.

Unfortunately, if you are using Office 2003 or lower, i can’t give you the exact steps but the AutoCorrect is at Tools on the main menu bar. I just don’t remember where to go from there. If you are using Office 2000, there is no way we could prevent URLs from being formatted.

Post courtesy of: http://www.tildemark.com/removing-multiple-hyperlinks-in-excel/

XML-Sitemaps: ‘Sitemap file is not writable’ error

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Problem: I have just purchased the xml-sitemaps for my sites, but I am trying to get my html sitemap to be in the root of my directory, but right now I get the error message: “Sitemap file is not writable:” … etc.

Does anyone know how I can get the sitemap to not show the message and allow me to create my sitemaps in peace?

Solution: CHMOD the Data folder recursively to “666,” refresh the page, then chmod it to “777” and re-refresh the page again. It works!

Other XML Sitemap Tools

For another free sitemap generator you may can use DupliChecker’s free XML sitemap generator, available here.

HTTP Error 500 Internal Server Error

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Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) is an application-level protocol that is used to transfer data on the World Wide Web. It works on the request-response model i.e. a client, typically a web browser, makes a request to a server, which is hosting the web application, responds to the client with relevant details.

The first line of the response contains a status code and description. HTTP Error 500 Internal server error is one such error or status message that the server sends when it is unable to retrieve the page or perform an activity that the browser has requested.

Open System Interconnection

Open system interconnection well known as OSI was created by the International Organization of
Standardization (ISO) to define common networking standards and protocols to enable interoperability
between network devices and software. The OSI model for networking comprises 7 layers – physical,
data link, network, transport, session, presentation and application.

Set of Tasks

Each layer has a defined set of tasks that is performed on data packets in order to facilitate data transfer
in the network. Users have access to the application layer via software applications like browsers that
implement the relevant protocol, which in the case of a web browser is the HTTP protocol.

HTTP Language

The HTTP language is quite uncomplicated and uses requests like GET and POST to retrieve information from a server. The server attempts to locate the address, and if it finds the page, it sends data back, and else it will pick one of the standard error codes that it finds suitable, and send it back to the client. The message is simply trapped at the browser and displayed for the viewer.

Categories of Error Messages

Status or error messages are categorized under 5 types. The status codes are typically numeric, and 3 digit long. Codes under 1xx (eg. 100, 101) are informational, i.e. requests have been received and continuing process. 2xx status codes indicate that the requests have been processed successfully. 3xx indicate redirection and that the client is expected to take additional action to complete the request.

4xx codes are error codes – eg. 404 Not found. 5xx is a server error which means the server is unable to proceed with a valid request. Error number 500 is thrown, when the application realizes that the problem is at the server, but is unable to identify the exact reason for its failure.

Such errors are usually logged at the server, and the Web site administrators analyze them to understand what went wrong. Most often, the error 500 is encountered when scripts are malformed or improper, or ini files are found to be missing. Other reasons are the website could be shut down or restarted, authorization credentials at the server are improper, and configurations of the application are
invalid.

Administrator’s intervention

All these issues require the intervention of the administrator of the website, and nothing much can be done by a user or viewer of the website. The best solution would be to intimate the web master of the problem. If the application has failed while in the middle of an online purchase, it would be advisable to recheck the status of the purchase before attempting it once again.

Excel Macro – Get and Extract Hyperlink URL Address From Link

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This has personally worked like a charm for me.

Try this user-defined function:

=ShowAddress(A1)

Where A1 is the cell with the hyperlink in it. Here is the Macro function code:


Public Function ShowAddress(rng As Range) As String
If rng.Cells.Count > 1 Then
ShowAddress = CVErr(xlErrValue)
Else
ShowAddress = rng.Hyperlinks.Item(1).Address
End If
End Function

Note: With Excel 2007 and 2010 you first need to save a document as “.xlsm” to enable macros!