Serve on King Day

On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday hundreds volunteered a day of service to honor his message and memory. How did you serve on this day? Grassroots.org provides a free service to non-profit organizations to obtain free valuable technologies and resources to increase their efficiency and productivity. Web and graphic designers can volunteer design services to assist these non-profits.

Designers can browse through an extensive list of organization-created web design applications to learn more about each nonprofit and their website needs and goals. When you find one that as they say on their site “strikes your fancy” then you contact them directly.

If you are still looking for an opportunity to share your skills through some sort of community service, please check them out. I volunteer for a project at least once or twice a year depending on the complexity of the projects I take on.

This is also a great way for new designers  to not only fill their portfolio but to do something that fills their heart at the same time. Volunteer today!

http://volunteer.grassroots.org/

I'm a proud member of grassroots.org

Icenium: A cloud-based development platform for hybrid iOS and Android apps

I’ve been a long time user of Telerik controls, and have always depended on them to make my development project easier. Image my surprise one day when I went to their site to download my latest version of ASP.NET AJAX controls to see an advertisement for a product called Icenium.

Icenium is a cloud-based development platform that allows Web developers to build hybrid applications that can be installed natively for Android and iOS and distributed through their respective app stores. By combining the convenience of a modern development environment with the power and flexibility of the cloud, Icenium enables you to build hybrid mobile apps across multiple platforms. Integrated support for Apache Cordova enables you to build compelling applications that take advantage of the device capabilities, using nothing more than HTML5, CSS and JavaScript.

Icenium consists of different types of apps: Graphite, Mist and Ion. Icenium Graphite is the Windows installed development tool that you install on your Windows-based computer. Icenium Mist is the multi-platform, browser-based development tool that you can access from anywhere through your browser. Icenium Ion is a mobile browser testing tool that is installed on the iPhones you want to test your mobile app — it’s used in lieu of having to register devices with Apple to be part of your provisioning profile.

Within Icenium you can use mobile UI frameworks like Kendo UI Mobile or jQuery Mobile to build apps that align with each individual platform they run on. During the development of your mobile app you can use the Icenium Device Simulator to experience how your application will look and feel in real-time across multiple device platforms and form factors, including smartphones and tablets. The device simulator is available in both Icenium Graphite and Icenium Mist.

Check out your changes as you make them—instantly—on all your mobile devices. Using Icenium LiveSync you can see changes made in real-time in the integrated device simulator and across all connected devices without having to recompile.

Icenium LiveSync provides a connection to your app as its running on one or more physical devices—iPhone, iPads, iPods, Android phone and tablets, and the Kindle Fire—and enables you to see changes made in real-time without having to recompile. This real-time iterative approach is nearly identical to the development approach used by millions of web developers who work in a code editor and a browser, seeing their changes as they make them.

The huge selling point for me on Icenium is that you don’t need a MAC to build a mobile app that runs on the iOS device. Using Apache Cordova, a.k.a. PhoneGap, in order to apply certificates and provision profiles you have to use a MAC. Icenium has this built into their interface. Through their system youcreating Apple provision and certificate within your Windows-based system.

Icenium is totally free until May 1, 2013 if you create an account now.

http://www.icenium.com

Can you really make money with affiliate programs?

I’ve been in this business for over a decade and one thing that has stayed consistent is the opportunities for web publishers to make money with affiliate programs. Just about every website you go to nowadays has some sort of affiliate/reseller/partnership program.

But can you really make money? And is the amount of money you might bring in really worth it? Well I intend to find out. Starting at the beginning of 2011 I’m going to perform an experiment with affiliate program opportunities to assess just how someone can make a living on their income from affiliate programs, like the author of ‘How to Make Money With Affiliate Programs’ published on the 2createawebsite.com website.

From the research I’ve done so far, the key to really making money is coming up with a good affiliate plan. You can’t just sign-up for every affiliate program you see and place links all over your site all “willy-nilly”. There has to be a strategy.

I like the affiliate strategy documented on WhyDoWeWork.com website. It emphases the following tactics:

  • Browsing through many possibilities – There are so many affiliate programs out there as I indicated earlier that it could make your head swim. Find the ones that either is the focus of your blog or website, or perhaps you are a subject matter expert in.
  • Create a landing page – I like this one! Most of us simply place the banner or link that the website provides and we’re done. We don’t put much effort into. But as web designers and developers we have a unique opportunity to give more focus to these affiliate products or services. This also gives you an change to enhance the SEO to this page, thus increasing your traffic.
  • Capture emails for future sales – I never thought about this one. Just because your promoting someone else’s product these are still your customers. Keep them up-to-date with new services, products and/or information.

Now so far if this sounds like a full-time job…well yeah I agree. But if it pays full-time money then it will definitely be worth it.

As I move forward into my Internet experiment I’ll keep my readers informed of my progress and any tips I pick up as I go. If you’re like me, you make recommendation all the time to your clients about products and services, why not get paid for it.

Here are some more resources you might find interesting about making money with affiliate programs, and stay up-to-date with my future posts related to my affiliate venture by subscribing to my RSS feed.

Use our calculators to help improve your site revenue

Share your experience or tips about making money with affiliate programs with us.

Web Designers Success Guide: how to profit from freelance web design (FREE e-book)

Download  of “Web Designers Success Guide: how to profit from freelance web design” by Kevin Airgrid.

Description of the ebook from their site:

Web Designer’s Success Guide is the definitive guide to starting your own freelance Web design business. The author, Kevin Airgid, grossed over $100,000 USD a year developing sites for various national level clients. In this book he gives designers step-by-step instructions on how to achieve the following:

  • Transition from full-time to self-employment
  • Freelance on the side to make additional income
  • Find new clients and keep them coming back for more
  • Market your freelance business
  • Manage your projects professionally
  • Price your services appropriately

Book Website: http://www.airgid.com/book/

Call a Function or Subroutine with its string name using the Invoke method

Found this tidbit of information that has proven to make my scripts more efficient and figured I’d share.

While the CallByName() function, which allows you to call a function or subroutine using the subroutine or function name stored as a string value, still works in VB. NET, you do have another option. You can use the Invoke() method of the MethodInfo class. This class is a member of the System.Reflection namespace and it provides access to a method′s metadata. Consider the following subroutine:

Public Sub CallMe(ByVal arg1 As _
String, ByVal arg2 As String)
   'do something
End Sub

To call this subroutine using the Invoke method, you can use code similar to the following:

Dim SubName As String = "CallMe"
Dim arguments() As String = _
   {"Hello ", "world."}
Dim PageType As Type = Me.GetType()
Dim MyMethod As System. _
   Reflection.MethodInfo = _
   PageType.GetMethod(SubName)
MyMethod.Invoke(Me, arguments)

The GetMethod() method obtains information about the CallMe() function and the Invoke() method calls it using the argument list. This is an excellent tool to help you streamline your code if you have several different functions, but you won′t know which one to call until runtime. For example, if you have a new edit and delete routine for updating database records, instead of using an If..Then or Case statement to call the right method, just link the name of each method to the user′s requested action.

Shouldn’t you be working?

Although the subject matter of this flash game is not computer related, I thought we all deserved a nice humor break after a long day of programming. I think you’ll find this very funny.



Visual Studio Debugging Issue

For application development for .NET, my tool of choice is MS Visual Studio. Every once in while lately I’ve run into an issue that frustrates the heck out of me. I will be coding my app, make a breakpoint where I’d like to start watching the performance of the application, and click the green debug arrow. My application will execute and not stop at my break points. I couldn’t figure out what was going on, I tried even on some occasions restarting VS hoping it was just a gliche.

I learned that there is an issue or conflict with using IE8 as your debugging browser — which is what I use. It appears that if you have opened multiple instances of IE8 and you attempt to debug your project, you will more than likely encounter this issue where the VS debugger just will not stop and ignores your break points. How rude! Apparently IE8 has a feature called “Loosely-Coupled Internet Explorer” (LCIE) which results in IE running across multiple processes. Older versions of VS Debugger can get confused by this and cannot figure out how to attach to the correct process. (I guess that explains why it happens mostly in VS 2005.)

Well I might have open browsers because I’m searching for a solution or resource to assist with the project, so closing out all my instances of IE8 may not be the most convenient thing.

I found this quick fix to solve the problem. You’ll need to disable the process growth feature of LCIE.

  1. Open RegEdit
  2. Browse to HKEY_LOCALMACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> Microsoft -> Internet Explorer -> Main
  3. Right-click on Main and select to add a new DWORD value, and name it TabProcGrowth
  4. Click on TabProcGrowth and make sure the Value data is equal to 0, and click OK.

Now your VS Debugger should work just fine. Feel free … open as many instances of IE8 as your heart’s content! Happy Debugging!

Read more about LCIE – http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/beta/readiness/developers-existing.aspx#lcie

Original solution found at: http://weblogs.asp.net/abdullaabdelhaq/archive/2009/06/01/VS-Debug-Problem-with-IE8.aspx