HashOut: 2007/02/28
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StatCounter adds facility to label IP addresses

Did you notice the new "[Label IP Address]" next to the IP address in your "Recent Visitor Activity", "Recent Pageload Activity", "Visitor Paths" and the "Recent Visitor Map" reports? According to StatCounter this new feature lets you name IP addresses so that you can:

  1. Identify click fraudsters
  2. See when "the competition" has visited your site
  3. Identify recurring visitors
  4. See just how many times your mom has been admiring your site...

Screenshot of the new StatCounter Add New IP Address Label Form
Apart from that you might have your own idea of using this feature to your benefit which you can share here.

But wait... most of us use dynamic IP addresses. So how is this going to help?

For those of you who don't yet know what's StatCounter... It is a free invisible web tracker, hit counter and real-time detailed web stats provider that lets you analyse and monitor visitors to your website in real-time by inserting a piece of code on your web page(s).
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Profiling & Calibrating CRT and LCD monitors

Yesterday I discussed the importance of profiling computer monitors in order to get optimum printing results. Today let us look at the ways to get your CRT and LCD monitors profiled and calibrated.

The simplest way to profile your monitor is using Photoshop. If you are using Photoshop version 5.0 and above it comes packaged along with Adobe Gamma which can profile your computer monitor. However this isn't the best solution as it is too subjective and prone to user error.

The scientific way to get your monitor profiled is using a monitor-profiling package and a spyder - a tiny device that when attached to your screen works with the software to calibrate and profile your monitor. It produces objective settings for black point, white point and gamma as well as color balance. These packages are available for around US $300 and can save you a lot of time and money in producing accurate, reliably consistent prints.

How they work?

The spyder is plugged into a USB port and the software is installed and run. The software then asks to attach the spyder to the screen (or hold it in place). Once it is in place the program then proceeds to flash a series of colors for several minutes. The spyder reads these colors and informs the software of what it's seeing. The program then calibrates your monitor and creates a Profile based on this information. This profile is simply a text file which describes how your monitor displays various colors.

What to look for when buying a monitor-profiling package?

Before you set out to buy a monitor-profiling package, read this "open letter to monitor profiling software manufacturers" by Ethan Hansen which will help you get the right monitor-profiling package suitable for your job.

Is there anything more that needs to be done after calibrating and profiling my monitor?

Once you have calibrated and profiled your monitor, you need to set up Photoshop to work properly. Computer Darkroom has some must read comprehensive tutorials by Ian Lyons that will help you get all the settings right in Photoshop 5, 6, 7 and CS (a.k.a. version 8).
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Reading on the Move

Are you an avid reader, a technology buff or a travel freak? Would you like to carry 80 book titles along with you wherever you travel? If yes, Sony Reader Portable Reader System is all you need.

Sony Reader with the optional leather coverThis handheld device is the size and weight of a paperback and sports a revolutionary screen that makes the text and graphics look as sharp as on a printed page and is not backlit, thus avoiding screen flicker and eye strain. One can even read in bright sunlight. With battery life equivalent to roughly 7,500 continuous page turns, readers can potentially devour multiple bestsellers such as “Marley & Me” by John Grogan, “I Feel Bad About my Neck” by Nora Ephron, “Ricochet” by Sandra Brown and “War and Peace” without having to recharge.

Not intended to replace traditional books, but to supplement them, the Sony Reader allows people to take a library of books and other reading material with them wherever they go.

Sony has agreements with a number of major publishing companies to provide more than 10,000 eBook titles for download to the Reader from its CONNECT online eBook store.

In addition to ebooks the Reader can also store and display PDF, RTF, text and JPEG files. You can also download via your PC selected RSS feeds from blogs and news sites free-of-charge. Feeds from popular sites such as Salon, Slate, Huffington Post, engadget and Gizmodo among others are available right from the start.

Sony Reader is available at sonystyle.com. More information about Sony Reader is available at www.sony.com/reader
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