From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      Tourbus -- 8 July 03 -- Attachment Warning / Validators

TODAY'S TOURBUS STOP(S): Attachment Warning / Validators

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, now available in both original and lemon scents.

TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors. Please take a moment to visit today's sponsors and thank them for keeping our little bus of Internet happiness on the road week after week.

On with the show ...

>From the "Ounce of Prevention" Department

With almost 100,000 people on our little bus of Internet happiness, and who knows how many others on redirects, my Tourbus posts are cluttering up squillions of email inboxes around the globe. That's cool, I guess, but it is also potentially dangerous.

You probably know that there are a lot of computer viruses out there that try to send themselves to everyone in your email program's address book. What you may not know is that many newer viruses also spoof the From: line of these virus-infected emails.

Let me explain. If your computer is infected with one of these newer viruses, the virus will redistribute itself to everyone in your address book but the From: line won't be your email address. Instead, the virus will scan the emails hanging around in your email inbox and use one of THOSE addresses as the From: line.

Tricky, huh? How can you protect yourself from these nasty, new viruses? Easy. Practice safe surf! For a list of the five things you should do to your PC or Mac each week to keep it running in tip top shape, take a look at .

And, if you EVER receive an email from either or that has ANY sort of file attached to it, DON'T OPEN THAT ATTACHMENT. It's a virus! The email ISN'T from Bob or me, it's from a virus program that is faking the From: line by using an address -- *MY* address -- that it found in the infected computer's inbox.

In fact, a good rule of thumb that most computer gurus follow is to NEVER open ANY email attachment regardless of who sent it. I've followed this rule since 1992 and I am proud to say that my computer has never been infected with an email virus, despite the fact that I routinely receive over 1,000 emails a day.

[On a related subject, did you see the story about one of Trend Micro's security products inadvertently blocking all incoming emails containing the letter P? Talk about the PERFECT spam killer! I have GOT to get me a copy of this program! You can find the complete story at] :P

Web Validators

How can you tell if your Web pages are well written, if the code you used to mark up the pages passes muster? Well, one way is to run your Web pages through an HTML validator, a tool that scours your pages for common coding errors. One of the best, free, online HTML validators is .

Just key in the URL of the page you want to check, or click on the "Browse" button to validate a page stored on your computer, and you're off to the races. And if your pages happen to meet the standards set by [father of the Web] Tim Berners-Lee and the folks at the World Wide Web Consortium, you'll even get a logo you can slap on one of your pages: .

[Literally thousands of other excellent HTML validators are out there. Some are stand-alone products, some plug into Dreamweaver or Frontpage, and some are simply accessible online. If you're interested in exploring this field a little further, I suggest visiting and]

Of course, validating your pages' code is just the first step. Most good Web designers also check their pages' accessibility, ensuring that their pages can be used by everyone. The 800 pound gorilla in accessibility validation is WatchFire's Bobby at

If your pages pass Bobby's approval [which is QUITE difficult], you're rewarded with yet another logo: .

Well, as long as we're dishing out the logos, I have one more for you: .

Back in March we talked about a book written by Andy King that shows you how to speed up your Web pages [see for that post]. Andy, in an attempt to generate some more book sales, has come up with a pretty nifty "Speed Up The Web" campaign. If you're as big a fan of "Web Site Optimization" as I am, check it out.

As for me, though, I think I'm going to skip all of these and just put the following icon on all my Web pages instead: . :P

That's it for today. Have a safe and happy weekend, and we'll talk again soon. :)

           .~~~.  ))
 (\__/)  .'     )  ))       Patrick Douglas Crispen
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The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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