The Effect of Multiple JavaScript Files on Page Load Time

One of the problems that you may encounter when you add new features to your site is that you run the risk of slowing down the page load time. Before adding anything to your site, there are a couple of things you should check out. Even if you aren’t considering adding anything, you may want to take a look, just to see what’s what.

First, take a look at Web Site Optimization. In the interest of disclosure, this is a client of mine for Movable Type Consulting, so I’m not a completely unbiased observer. But the site is a good one. You can use their free web site analysis tool to see how long it takes your page to load. A quick look tells you how long it takes the items on your page to load – HTML, images, scripts, styles and the like. What’s even better is that you get a good look at how long it will take not just on your high-speed connection, but how long it might take on a slower connection as well, and some basic tips to speed things up. I’ll talk about that more in a minute.

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Using Your Alltel Bluetooth Phone as a Modem

If you should happen to have connected your Alltel phone using Bluetooth – be it an LG 8600 like I used or something else – then of course the next question is how you go about using the phone as a modem. Of course if you have reliable broadband, then this isn’t a typical need, but it’s still nice to know how to do it, or if it’s even possible.

I did some reading on the subject, and it seems that there is no complete guide to this – perhaps because Alltel doesn’t want you to know how to do it or just because there isn’t a lot of call for it. When I called them, the only answer I got was that I could purchase a data card and a data plan for ~$60 per month. For a backup to a service that doesn’t even cost that, it’s not really feasible. So I decided to do some exploring. The good news it that it seems to work and the speed is good. The bad news is that the connection isn’t great and the unknown is what it will cost.

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Connect Your LG 8600 to Your PC via Bluetooth

Now that I had picked up a Belkin Bluetooth adapter for myself, it was really easy to get it hooked up to my PC. Just plug it into the USB port and i was ready to go. Unfortunately I needed something that I could connect to before it would be of any use to me. Being a bit of a collector of gadgets, I don’t always think things through when I purchase them – it just seems like a good idea at the time, so I decide to do so.

Luckily, when playing with my phone, I remembered that it had Bluetooth. So I enabled it, and a whole lot of nothing happened. The two just sat there like the proverbial bumps on logs. It turns out that more needs to happen before you can do anything useful. But it’s actually not hard to make the two talk. You just need to know a few things that will allow a little back-and-forth action between the phone and the PC.

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Finding Deals at CompUSA Doesn't Get Any Easier

CompUSA continues to go out of business, and it seems that they are going to be at it for a while longer. The signs on the corner say that the discounts have reached 20-40%, and if you step inside, you’ll see that some of the shelves are now bare, but there is still a lot of merchandise left. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll see that even though the discounts aren’t going down very quickly, the real reason that the merchandise isn’t moving appears to be because the prices on the items left are actually going up.

That’s right, the product left on the shelves is actually being marked up while the discounts are ever-so-slowly drifting down. Not too long ago, networking equipment was at the 10% discount level. One item in particular – a Belkin Bluetooth adapter that was recently $29.99 has now been marked up to $39.99. So you could have had it for about $27 ($29.99 * .9) or now you can get it for about $32 ($39.99 * .8). Sweet.

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Automated PuTTY Session to a Cisco Router via VBScript

Because of my recent communication issues with a cable telecommunications provider who just can’t seem to get things right, I’ve had to log into my router a number of times to reset the line. And in case you’re wondering, it’s because I use a Cisco router at home, rather than the standard Linksys fare. It provides a better connection – provided the line itself is working. Unfortunately, if the line goes down, it doesn’t do quite as good as job as recovering, which is odd, since it’s a lot more expensive.

So it means that I need to log into the router and shutdown the line and reset it anytime the line goes down – which over the last week and a half has been several times a day. This isn’t a difficult process, but it is a pain. Either I have to load up a serial session or a telnet one, and then type four commands. Like I said, it’s not hard, but it is tedious. In fact, it’s really tedious. So I decided to come up with a solution.

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Where Have All the Good Sports Gone?

I understand that the NFL playoffs are in full swing, and this weekend was pretty good, as far as that goes. The Colts lost, as did the Cowboys, and though the Packers and the Patriots won, Brett Favre looked like a kid in the snow. It was a reasonably enjoyable weekend for watching football, all in all. Much better than the mess that was the college football season that finally came to an end. Maybe they will enact a playoff system when the current BCS deals expire.

Nonetheless, major league sports are, well, tired. It’s a bunch of overpriced athletes who get out there and play a game that, for the most part, they don’t seem to be interested in playing. To make matters worse, most of us are so busy sitting on our couches that we can’t even pretend to live our lives through them. Where are the dreams of growing up to be Johnny Unitas or some other big-league ball-player? I’m sure there are a few, and I’m sure that more than one kid wants to make it big, but it’s to land a rich contract or endorsement deal, not to be the hero on Sunday afternoons (or whenever). Where are the real sports?

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Do You Value Your Time or Your Money?

The other day as I was in the grocery store, I was struck by the absurdity of just how far one woman was going in her pursuit to get a discount on a package of hot dogs. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m all for scoring a discount and all, especially when it involves little to no effort, and even more so when we’re talking about lots and lots of money. The greater the reward for the least amount of effort, the more exciting the prospect.

But in this case, there apparently was an ad in the weekly circular that said something to the effect of Beef Franks on Sale. Now if you ask anyone – especially my wife – if I am a stickler for language, I am. When it comes down to what someone says or what someone meant, I will almost always side with what someone says, because after all, that is what they said. I have no way of knowing what they meant. We even have our own little joke about it, saying that I have a condition – which may or may not be true.

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Do You Write for You, Your Readers or Google?

I mentioned last week that some of the most successful posts (at least in terms of popularity) were written when I simply wrote, rather than ones that I felt I had to write. Just yesterday, Darren Rowse talked about thinking like a blogger – in other words, not struggling to come up with posts, but actually changing your mindset so that you begin to get into that process of creating content.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I have to say that there are definitely times when I wonder who I’m writing to when I create entries. Way back when I wrote The Angler Fish (the eleventh entry ever!), I had no idea that it would end up well-ranked at Google. I just wrote, because I had a question that I needed answered, and I wanted to be able to find the answer later. There are other times, when I will put something together that is more of a tutorial. This may be for my own memory, but it is also for others to learn too. Finally, I will sometimes find myself writing for Google. Invariably, the last sort of post ends up being something that no one wants to read and Google will never index well.

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CompUSA Can't Even Go Out of Business Correctly

With the announcement that TigerDirect parent Systemax is acquiring the CompUSA brand, trademarks, e-commerce business and as many as 16 stores from my least-favorite retailer. The sixteen stores are located in the Florida and Texas in the United States and in Puerto Rico, apparently a hotbed of CompUSA action. TigerDirect currently operates 11 retail stores in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Ontario (Canada) and of course their website, tigerdirect.com. The cost of the deal is about $30 million, depending on the precise locations that are acquired (I guess that hasn’t quite been decided yet).

What amazes me is that the remaining locations are worth anything at all. We have made a couple of stops by the CompUSA location on Independence Boulevard here in Charlotte, because I can almost always find something that I can use at a good price, and I am simply amazed at the lack of good pricing, even several weeks into the store closing sale. Usually when someone goes out of business, they try and actually make money from the process. It is of course possible that they are not paying rent, and are planning to stiff the leaseholder when they ask for payment, but I’d think that the cost of the cavernous building would outweigh whatever miniscule amount they might be scraping from withholding the good deals from the merchandise.

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Using Bulk Rename Utility to Rename Files

It isn’t often that I have to rename a ton of files. Usually I find that it is just faster to rename the three or four (or ten) files that need renaming than it is to figure out how I can do it by writing a batch file – it just isn’t worth taking the time to dig up all the arcane commands that I’ve managed to forget over the years and make it happen. But then there are the times when I have dozens upon dozens of files. Or hundreds. In fact, just the other day I needed to rename upwards of 450 files. Doing those one at a time was daunting, to say the least, and maybe it was going to be worth figuring out the batch file after all. Then it happens that Windows doesn’t do regular expressions very well, and it looked like I would be renaming them all by hand.

Then I found Bulk Rename Utility. This relatively small (less than 1MB) download comes feature-packed with just about everything you might need to rename a whole bunch of files. In fact, it will probably come with more than you need. It certainly could do everything that I needed and then some.

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