Free eBook on best performing Ad placements for Chitika and AdSense untis

Get Chitika PremiumChitika, the search targeted advertisement network is offering a free guide (eBook) for making the most out of Chitika Premium and AdSense.

The book analyzes various medium to large websites and provides valuable suggestions for optimal  & harmonious placement of Chitika and AdSense advertisement blocks on your website leading to greater revenues.

Also provided are tips for customizing the Chitika ads (color palettes, fonts etc.) through code as well as heatmaps of high CTR (Click-Through-Rate) locations.

You can download this free eBook from here.

For those who haven’t tried out Chitika yet, Chitika Premium ads are displayed only to visitors coming to your site from search engine results pages. In contrast with the contextual AdSense ads that depend upon your site’s content, these ads are relevant only to the searched keywords. For example, if you searched for “technology” on any of the major search engines and landed on a post in this site, here’s what you’ll see…

selfmademinds-chitika

On this site, Chitika Premium ads are displayed immediately following a post’s content. However, the target segment is visitors from the US. Hence to see these ads in action, you’ll have to visit this live demonstration link. Alternatively, they can also be viewed by appending a #chitikatest=keyword(s) at the end of any post’s URL.

Get Chitika PremiumIf you’re interested in serving Chitika Premium ads on your website, you can do so by signing up as a publisher with them.

Your last chance to help Firefox set a new Guiness World Record

Firefox 3For those who didn’t know, the guys at Mozilla are reaching out for a new Guinness World Record for the most downloaded software in a span of 24 hours – with the support of it’s million plus fan base.

The software which will strive for this record is the all new Firefox 3 (with more than 15,000 improvements), which is being launched on the 17th of June, 2008, i.e. tomorrow. This day has been named the Download Day and the guys at Mozilla want to see the download counter shooting through the roof, far surpassing the 2 million plus downloads of Firefox 2.

In the wake of this launch, quite a few authors have updated their extensions to work smoothly with this new release (for example, Google Toolbar). That’ll ensure that you aren’t left stranded with just the browser minus all the enhanced functionality.

If you’re a fanatical Firefox follower (like me), make sure you drop by the Firefox 3 Headquarters and pledge yourself for the download. They’ve got this cool interactive flash-based World Map there, displaying the number of pledges on a per country basis.

AllBootDisks: Your ultimate resource (direct downloads) for Windows boot disks

AllBootDisks LogoI can’t live for long without re-installing my Windows. It stems out of this habit of downloading all the junk in the world and trying them out. Of course, this is quite necessary for me to be able to write decent reviews of the various cool tools that I keep mentioning every so often. The end result is that my system bogs down to a crawling pace at an exponential rate due to all the residual junk. Besides, I love the feel of a freshly installed copy of Windows. So there…

On some of these re-installation phases I’ve come up against hard brick walls, namely, scratched installation disks rendering them unbootable. Or at times I’ve rendered my hard-drive unbootable while trying to do (and learn) some low-level editing of the MBR (Master Boot Record) which was further compounded by that unbootable Windows installer disk. Whatever be the case, one always needs to be able to access the Windows partition to backup certain crucial configuration files and data prior to the clean install. Trust me, there’s always a need for that. And having access to the boot partition is quite necessary for this.

That is where AllBootDisks come in handy. If you’re in dire need of a Windows boot disk, this is the perfect place to look for one. They’ve got ready-to-download-and-burn ISO images of all possible versions & variations of Windows starting from WIndows 95 and even for MS-DOS. Windows 98, 2000, ME, NT, XP Home, XP Pro – to name a few. All you need is access to a friend’s computer with a CD burner and a net connection. You’ll have your boot CD up and running in a jiffy.

So, now you know where to look for if you’re suffering from booting horrors. Simply chant AllBootDisks.

How to create a Web 2.0 style Arrow using Inkscape

Ever come across those neat graphics of directional arrows and wished you could have them on your site? They can be used for anything from grabbing attention to indicating download links.

Look no further. Here is a step-by-step tutorial that should get you on track, and enable you to create custom graphical arrows.

The tutorial is based on Inkscape, which is an open source vector graphics editor. But that doesn’t mean that the creation process is limited to Inkscape only. You should be able to follow this simple tutorial with other vector graphics editors too.

Step 1

Use the Rectangle Tool Rectangle Tool icon to draw a rectangle.

Rectangular base for the arrow.

Step 2

Using the same tool, you will need to draw a square – a perfect square that is a little bit wider than the first rectangle.

Square above the Rectangle

HintInstead of fighting with the Rectangle Tool in order to get the perfect square, hold down the [Ctrl] button while drawing the square. The length and height will snap to the same size.

Step 3

Next task is to rotate the square through 45 degrees. With the Select Tool Select Tool icon click on the square twice. The selection will change to rotation and skewing mode.

Skew and Rotation mode

Hold down the [Ctrl] key and use the corner rotate icon to rotate the square in chunks of 15 degrees. Holding down the [Ctrl] keys lets you make snapped rotations. If you do not use the [Ctrl] key, the rotation is free form and through an arbitrary degree.

Sqaure rotated through 45 degrees

Step 4

Convert the rotated square to a path, by selecting Path > Object To Path.

Convert the Square to a Path

Use the Edit Node Tool Edit Node Tool icon and select the rotated square shape. Then select the lower node and delete it.

Symmetric Triangle

This will give you a symmetric Triangle.

Step 5

Select both the shapes, and choose Align and Distribute Objects Align & Distribute Objects icon option. Next, Center Align them both over the Vertical Axis Center Align over Vertical Axis icon .

Selected Square and Triangle

Select only the triangle and move it down over the rectangle.

Triangle moved over the Rectangle

Select both the shapes and perform a Union operation. This can be done by either pressing down [Ctrl] and [+] keys or through Path > Union. What you have now is a basic arrow shape.

Basic Arrow Shape

You can apply several vector effects to this and customize it according to your needs. For example, give the arrow shape a fill color, and a darker outline color. Then copy the shape, place it below the first, move it a bit, and turn on the blur. This gives you a fancy shadow effect.

Arrow filled with colours and with a shadow

Here’s a short video showing you how to do that.

Or you can also go on to give it a nice glossy look.

Glossy Arrow

This uses the same basic shape to give a solid fill color, and a copy to give the gradient of dark to light from top to bottom. Another copy of the same arrow, combined with a free form shape transformation gives that glossy look on the side.

Here is an example of how you can use the illustration for your website …

Download Link using the Arrow

Let me know how useful this has been, and also if you would like to learn something else.

Happy vectoring!


Vyoma aka K. Mahesh Bhat dabbles in vector art as a hobby and runs his own arts and graphics design blog titled KalaaLog. This is his first appearance as a guest blogger at Chaos Laboratory.

Firefox OpenSearch Plug-in Samples for a wide variety of sites

OpenSearch LogoFollowing the tutorial(s) I posted on creating OpenSearch plug-ins for Firefox that can search Invision Power Board based forums & WordPress blogs, I received quite a few requests for help in creating such plug-ins for a wide variety of blogs/CMS/sites.

To make the job easier for all of you, I decided to create a couple of sample plug-ins, which I’ll list here as zip files. The zip will contain…

  • An XML file – which contains the actual plug-in code
  • A sample HTML file, which shows how to display a plug-in installation link on your site, as well as how to enable auto-discovery of the same by Firefox & IE7

Simply go through those files and replace the appropriate fields. In most cases, all you’ll need to modify is the actual URL to your site and the Author details. While setting up the plug-in at your site, feel free to put your name as the author’s name in it. No credits are required 🙂

I’ll try to cover as much ground as possible and update this list frequently. At the moment, the list isn’t so “wide” as I claimed in the title 😀 and if you don’t find a suitable plug-in here, check back at a later point of time, or just drop me a line at:

My email address

To start with, I’ll list the plug-ins I’ve received the maximum number of requests for…

Plug-ins List

Content Management Systems

  1. Mambo CMS based Sites
  2. Joomla CMS based Sites

Bulletin Board Systems

  1. Invision Power Board based Forums

Blog Softwares

  1. WordPress based Blogs

Miscellaneous Sites

  1. iPodNova Torrent Search
  2. BlogSpot based Blogs
  3. PsyDB – Psychedelic Trance Database