Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

Reviews – DZS Video Gallery WordPress Plugin

Monday, May 14th, 2012

I purchased DZS Video Gallery plugin for WordPress because of its flexible ability to rotate videos and could not find suitable alternatives in area.

It cost just $15 (one site only) so the price was okay, but it was fairly difficult to configure it as a newbie non-coder.  Because I was experiencing the very same problems (blank video screen, no navigation, etc.)  faced by numerous other purchasers (, and what seems like a lack of support from the seller, I was ready to throw in the towel after couple of hours.

But, as I said before, I could not find suitable alternatives so I decided to give it another try before asking Envato (marketplace administrator) to issue me a refund.


* WordPress 3.3.1 (self-hosted – NOT part of WordPress.COM)

* Studiopress Genesis Framework (v.1.8.1) with Magazine theme (v.2.0)

* WordPress plugins:

  • Akismet
  • Contact Form 7
  • Dynamic Content Gallery (
  • DVZ Video Gallery
  • Google Analytics and XML sitemaps
  • Sociable
  • Social Media Widget


For the purposes of testing DZS Video Gallery plugin, I created a short Youtube playlist containing 4 videos. Following the author’s instructions, I grabbed the youtube playlist ID and other information and entered into the plugin but no matter which configuration I tried, I was simply getting a black screen in my web page.


#1 – I knew some problems can arise when there is a conflict between plugins.   I figured if there was a conflict, it would have been between the Dynamic Content Gallery and DZS Video Gallery due to javascript resources.  Thankfully, Dynamic Content Gallery plugin came with 2 Javascript Framework methods:  Mootools (default) and jQuery.

My DCG was defaulting to Mootools, so I changed it to jQuery and I saw immediately that DZS video screen was displaying some navigation controls.  Good sign.  I then proceeded to instruct DZS to let Flash Handle Feeds (The very last field before IMPORT – choose “on”) and voila, my video was up and running.

DZS Video Gallery Plugin Review - How to Make It Work 1


DZS Video Gallery Plugin Review - How to Make It Work 2


DZS Video Gallery Plugin Review - How to Make It Work 3


DZS Video Gallery Plugin Review - How to Make It Work 1


DZS Video Gallery Plugin Review - How to Make It Work 5


DZS Video Gallery Plugin Review - How to Make It Work 5


#2 – The second problem I faced was after inserting a logo to my screen.  When I clicked on it, a new browser opened up and went to  The author was kind enough to state that I needed to change the URL in the field name called LogoLink located in the gallery.xml file (path:  dzs video gallery –> deploy –> gallery.xml).  Just make sure to change the value to your destination URL for all 4 gallery XML files (gallery.xml, gallery2.xml, gallery3.xml, and gallery4.xml).  If you have cPanel, you can use it’s online editor.  Otherwise, grab a free Notepad++ to make changes and use an FTP client like Filezilla to ftp over new files.

DZS Video Gallery plugin - logoLink value change


As a newbie, this plugin was not easy to configure but if offers functions that other free plugins do not offer at the present time. Do I recommend it?  Yes,  but make sure to bring plenty of patience!

BTW, the plugin still does not rotate videos.

How to Create a favicon.ico using Adobe CS5 Fireworks

Friday, May 11th, 2012

I have been using Adobe since the Macromedia days and I find it difficult to believe that Adobe has yet to build in the capability to export image files as favicon.ico.

If you google it, you can see lots and lots of dated pages, with the last legit post from John Dunn ing (  Really?

To boot, can you really trust some piece of code you need to download from a third party site?

I guess you can use CS5 Photoshop, but there is no reason why CS5 Fireworks shouldn’t be able to do it.

Rather than banging my head against the wall, just create a PNG image that is 16 x 16  pixels, then use this link ( to convert and download it.

Problem solved.  Next!!

Do You Hate Spammers?

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

I don’t know about you but junk mails coming from spammers is out of control.  Akismet, Postini and others do a good job of filtering out spams but all of these fine apps are reactionary tools.

What I need or want is an infrastructure based solution that will prevent spammers from sending out their junk mails in the first place.  Enter “Project Honey Pot”.  According to PHP:

Project Honey Pot is the first and only distributed system for identifying spammers and the spambots they use to scrape addresses from your website. Using the Project Honey Pot system you can install addresses that are custom-tagged to the time and IP address of a visitor to your site. If one of these addresses begins receiving email we not only can tell that the messages are spam, but also the exact moment when the address was harvested and the IP address that gathered it.

To participate in Project Honey Pot, webmasters need only install the Project Honey Pot software somewhere on their website. We handle the rest — automatically distributing addresses and receiving the mail they generate. As a result, we anticipate installing Project Honey Pot should not increase the traffic or load to your website.

Now, I had some potential privacy issues in the beginning but not anymore.  Someone named Stanislav (link here) summed it up perfectly:

PHP most certainly will know that have you queried http:BL for each and every IP address you query. But that does not mean they will know those are the visitors to your web site because they do not know why you have looked up an IP address.

And they will not know where the query originated from, the way DNS lookup works. You query your DNS server, which in turn queries the root DNS server for .org, which then queries the DNS server for By the time your query reaches PHP servers, they do not know where the query came from. They do know which specific IP you were looking up with your key. But they do not know it started at your web site.

Also, your DNS server will then cache the result of that query for some time, an hour or so. Any additional queries during that hour (or so) will not hit PHP servers. So, even if a visitor to your web site goes to several web pages (or if you are querying for each image and things like that), PHP will only know that you made one single query about that IP address. But they will not know whether it was your web server doing the querying, or maybe you just manually checking up some random IP address from your home.

So, all they know is what IP addresses you have looked up. But they do not know why you looked them up.

Not much of a privacy concern then (as J.Yard2 pointed out, them looking up your IP reveals their intention to visit your web site to their own ISP, which is potentially more threatening). There is one security concern I can think of, though: Any one of those intermediate DNS servers between your web site (or home) and PHP can use their logs to steal your private key.

Best of all, this application is FREE so why not try it out and help out the internet community?

Monitoring applications on your desktop or laptop

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Ever wondered which program has a particular file or directory open? Now you can find out. Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded.

The Process Explorer display consists of two sub-windows. The top window always shows a list of the currently active processes, including the names of their owning accounts, whereas the information displayed in the bottom window depends on the mode that Process Explorer is in: if it is in handle mode you’ll see the handles that the process selected in the top window has opened; if Process Explorer is in DLL mode you’ll see the DLLs and memory-mapped files that the process has loaded. Process Explorer also has a powerful search capability that will quickly show you which processes have particular handles opened or DLLs loaded.

The unique capabilities of Process Explorer make it useful for tracking down DLL-version problems or handle leaks, and provide insight into the way Windows and applications work.

Best of all, it is FREE from Microsoft.

Download the executable here (

Review of Vehicle Charger – Motorola Vehicle Power Adapter micro-USB Rapid Rate Charger

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Because my wife and I own Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic Touch and LG Optimus, I opted to go with Motorola version which provides extra amperage (up to 950mA) and ordered 2 chargers (one for each vehicle).

I ordered mine on Jan 12, 2012 and received 2 plastic packages marked PVN1616 (SKU 76049201772) which looked like they were part of bulk packaging.  Packaging inside indicated it was SPN5400A (P/N 11222-0817337). 

The label on the charger itself had a model # CHR-0291 and was able to find related documents from Motorola (Declaration of Conformity – if the link is broken, click on the archive CHR-0291_DoC_EU_RevA; Regulatory Guide, if the link is broken, click on the archive 13818101a).

Based on additional information found on the “cigarette lighter” connector side, words ENTRDA and SALIDA make me believe that this particular unit I received was made for the Spanish market (ENTRADA means INPUT and SALIDA means OUTPUT)

The charger itself had a small hologram sticker on the micro USB connector end (molded boot connected to the cable for durability).

On the cigarette light end, it had an attractive “M” hologram logo that lighted up when plugged into a power source.  Some vendor touted this feature as a map reading light, but considering where it would be positioned in most cars, I find that hard to believe.

In addition, the coiled cable was nice and thick, shielding any interference from the radio.

I had no problem charging either the Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic Touch or LG Optimus while using Sprint Navigation and some light email downloads.

Overall I am very satisfied with the quality and construction of this particular unit.  I highly suggest you stay away from car chargers that have separate charging unit and cable as they tend to loosen up quite easily over a short period of time.

I will be writing up additional product reviews related to Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic Touch soon.  If you are in a hurry and just want accessories that work, check out the list here

BTW, if you like to tinker around and build yourself an USB voltage tester, checkout this article at


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