How to preview websites in Internet Explorer 6 on Vista with IE6 Emulator

Posted by Paul@outside5.com on Dec 23, 2008 in Development, How To, Testing

We are often asked how we test our sites in IE6 and earlier on our Vista x64 development machines as it is not possible to install IE6 - even as a standalone browser - on Vista.

We did - for a while -rely on various sites (Netrenderer for example) to take a snapshot of pages under construction.  While this allowed us to view a page in IE6, we were unable to “use” the site to check for those oh-so-frequent IE6 CSS bugs.

The best method of testing in older browsers on older operating systems is to run a browser on that operating system, but having several machines purely for testing is expensive and takes more space that we would like.

Having a dual boot machine is an option, but switching between operating systems gets to be time consuming and frustrating.

Our weapon of choice for testing is Windows Virtual PC. Virtual PC for windows allow you to run a windowed version of Windows 98, NT Workstation, 2000, XP, Vista,  NT Server, 2000 Server, Server 2003, Server 2008 and even OS/2 with various configurations.  This means full testing in IE6 on an XP machine, through a Vista machine.

You can download the Virtual PC from Microsoft here.

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Facebook user translations backfire?

Posted by Paul@outside5.com on Dec 16, 2008 in Digital, Social Media Marketing

This morning while looking around Facebook for some help on Pages we saw a strange (and not too helpful) message.

From http://www.new.facebook.com/help.php we chose ‘Pages’ from the ‘Ads and Business Solutions’ section, then - as our problem was not listed - we saw a link in the right column which we clicked that said ‘To get more information about Pages, ask other users your own question‘.

The page we landed on can be seen below, prompting us to ask our question by saying

If you don’t know the answer of Pages, then I can’t be bothered to tell you. Google it.

The Facebook Message (click for full page)

The Facebook Message (click for full page)

Looking into the other possible translations listed, it seems that

If you don’t know the answer of {category_title}, then I can’t be bothered to tell you. Google it.

was chosen over

What is your question about {category_title}?

It seems the people have spoken.

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Serious Security Flaws found in Internet Explorer

Posted by Paul@outside5.com on Dec 16, 2008 in Security, Technology

The BBC News website this morning announced that a flaw in Microsoft Internet Explorer leaves a way for criminals to take control of people’s computers and steal their passwords according to internet experts.

They go on to say that Microsoft is investigating and will prepare an emergency patch to plug the hole, but at Outside5 we have always recommended alternative browsers such as Firefox.

There have been attacks detected against IE7 (the most widely used version of Internet Explorer), but Microsoft are warning that other versions may also contain the same vulnerability.

Antivirus software maker Trend Micro say that as many as 10,000 sites have been compromised by criminals since last week to take advantage of the flaw, mainly serving up programs that steal computer game passwords.  On Monday they went on to say that the flaw could be “adopted by more financially motivated criminals”

Original story here.

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Making Search Social with Google SearchWiki

Posted by Paul@outside5.com on Dec 15, 2008 in Digital, How To, SEO

Google are now allowing users to annotate their search results and make their comments public as well as rearranging thesearch results.

First, a quick search for Outside5 Blog returns our blog:

Google Search Result

Google Search Result

Clicking the speech bubble icon oppens a text box to add comments

Google Search Result with Text Box

Google Search Result with Text Box

Adding our comment and pressing “Make a Public Comment” shows our comment on the SERP.

Google Search Result with Public Comment

Google Search Result with Public Comment

Clicking the up arrow will move that result to the top of your results, and the cross icon will remove the item from your results.

The Google Blog says that this function will not affect the google rankings for anyone other than yourself when signed in to your iGoogle account.

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Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the Wii Remote

Posted by Paul@outside5.com on Dec 5, 2008 in Gaming, Technology

I have seen some pretty cool things in my time, but none anywhere close to this.  This could be the future of gaming, and it seems the future is here now.

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Fatboy Slims Weapon of Choice video

Posted by Paul@outside5.com on Dec 5, 2008 in Inside Our Minds


I just remembered how much I love the Weapon of Choice video directed by Spike Jonze and featuring Christopher Walken. It is right up there in my top 5 music videos of all time.

If you have not seen it, you can see it on youtube.

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The Future of Digital. Questions to ask ourselves

Posted by Paul@outside5.com on Dec 5, 2008 in Digital, Marketing, Social Media Marketing
  • Will we be using mobile more than computers?
  • Will there be a one repository for all your information and documents etc, that you can access from any portal (phone / mobile / games console)
  • Open IDs - How can an open ID be trusted – Why hasn’t this been done already?
  • Will we still be buying things with our credit cards? Or with our mobile phones (one simple way around this now is the addition of tags to your phone) – In 2013 will these already be embedded into the phone?
  • Will privacy exist in 2013?  Will people care, the new generation that have been brought up on PCs and digital that currently don’t care for privacy.  Will this change as they get older?
  • The love of a multi profiles. Business Profile / Friends Profile / Family Profile – they are all very different.  How can a marketer talk to different people with different personas successfully?
  • In 2013 the workplace will be a very different place, skillsets will need to change and people will have needed to adapt to the changing face of digital.
  • What will the financial crisis have on the digital future?
  • How should marketers invest in the economic downturn?  Concentrate on more direct response, or invest in building communities and engaging consumers?
  • How will we be reacting against technology in 2013? Too much invasion?  Will we pay money not to be connected?  Rebel against any technology that thinks or controls you?  Will there be information overload?

Questions from Digital Futures, Crystal Balls

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Google Friend Connect Live

Posted by Paul@outside5.com on Dec 5, 2008 in Marketing, Social Media Marketing

Our Google Friend Connect Widget is now live on this blog (above categories on the sidebar) and on our main Outside5 homepage and boy are we looking forward to having a good old play with it tomorrow morning.

Why not add us as a friend by clicking the Follow button to the right?  Let’s get social and see what this new Social Marketing tool can do, and how we can use it and what effect it can have on Social Media and Marketing!

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Google Friend Connect - The New Social Marketing Tool from Google

Posted by Paul@outside5.com on Dec 4, 2008 in Marketing, Social Media Marketing

Google are now accepting registrations for the preview release of Google Friend Connect, the new Social Marketing Tool from Google.

Google Friend Connect allows you to copy and paste a customisable widget into your website or blog to alow users to post comments, make friends with other users, share media and other social tasks. They can even utilise other social networks and contact lists to invite others to join as a Friend of your website.

All this and you can sign in using either a Google, OpenID, AIM or Yahoo account.

We have signed up for an account and will update our blog when we have any further news or a working example on outside5.com.

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What are SEO Friendly URLs and why are they so important

Posted by Paul@outside5.com on Dec 2, 2008 in SEO

OK, we have had a couple of emails following on from our post about how to use SEO friendly urls in Wordpress on windows server using isapi rewrite asking what SEO Friendly URLs are and why they are important.

What it means

SEO Friendly URLs are simply URLs that contain keywords related to the page content.

Example 1

For example, the URL for this page is http://blog.outside5.com/2008/12/what-are-seo-friendly-urls-and-why-are-they-so-important/.

the domain

followed by the year and the month of the post

followed by the title of the post with all spaces replaced with hyphens

The original URL for this page would have been http://blog.outside5.com/?p=39 which as you can see says nothing about what a search engine should expect to see on the page, but our new SEO friendly URL contains all the relevant keywords for the page.

Real Life Business Example

A page URL using category identifiers like www.myshop.com/products.cfm?cat=29&subcat=11 may link to your mens (category 29) long sleeved t-shirts (sub category 11), but it doesn’t tell Google what the page is about; there are no keywords.  It is possible to rewrite the URLs to read www.myshop.com/mens/long-sleeved-t-shirts.

If you have a website or online store that is not performing well with Google, get in touch with us to discuss what we can do to help you out.


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