Firewall & Port BasicsWritten by Ron Merts
Continued from page 1
The answer is sort of. Picture a computer firewall in terms of its namesake. A firewall in construction terms is a specially insulated wall between office suites or apartments, which prevents fires in one suite from spreading to next suite. But sometimes builders want water or electrical conduits to pass through firewall. That's easy enough—they just poke a hole through wall, run their conduit through, and insulate around it. Computer firewalls let you do just that. They let you open specific ports while keeping other ports sealed off.
Gaming through ICF So when do you need to open ports? Believe it or not, when you want to play client-server games like Return to Castle Wolfenstein or Call of Duty on a distant server, you don't have to open any ports. That's because firewalls block data coming in, but not going out. When your PC sends handshake data out to server, a connection is established, and once that connection is fired up, it allows your game to communicate through firewall.
However, when you wish to host a multiplayer session or play a peer-to-peer game like Age of Empires, you do have to do a little footwork. In case of starting a server, your PC does not initiate a connection. When you start up a game and choose to host a server, it just sits there and waits for other computers to connect to it. When ICF is in place, those other computers can't connect. In fact, they can't even see that your PC is hosting a server. You'll have to open one or more ports to allow other players to connect to your server. Such is also case with peer-to-peer games, in which each participant has to connect to everyone else's computer. Thankfully, most games use a client-server implementation.
To open ports in your ICF firewall: 1) Click Start, click My Network Places, and under Network Tasks, click View network connections. 2) Right-click connection that you use for Internet, and then click Properties. 3) On Advanced tab, click Settings, and then click Add. In Description of service box type a name for port you're opening. For example, "Halo Server." 4) In Name or IP address of computer hosting this service on your network box, type 127.0.0.1. 5) In both External Port and Internal Port boxes, type port number you want to open. 6) Click either TCP or UDP, and then click OK. If you're unsure, repeat process for both protocols.
If you choose to make things easier, you can opt to turn off ICF when hosting a game and turn in it back on when you're done. However, this leaves your computer vulnerable while your PC is acting as game server.
Which ports do you open? Different games use different ports and some use TCP, some use UDP, and some use both. You can often find out which ports are used by a given game by consulting game's documentation, its Readme file, or by visiting its Web site and checking FAQ pages. Some games make port information readily accessible, and for others, it's hard to come by. You might try visiting a game's Usenet group or message boards at its official site or fan sites and posing question: which ports do I open to host a server? In some cases, you'll not only have to open ports for game's own needs, but also to meet needs of its matchmaker service, so that your server can be listed in other players' server browsers.
Be sure to close affected ports when you're not hosting a gaming server to keep your connection secure. That sounds like a lot of footwork, but it's worth it to keep your computer safe.
For more information check out http://www.tornadocomputers.com
CIO/Sr. Vice President of Tornado Computers, Inc. in Oklahoma City, OK.
Web Designing TipsWritten by Pawan Bangar
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•All It Takes Is A Droplet :
Want to optimize several images with same settings? Create a "droplet "and save time. Open optimize palette in Image Ready with your image open. Set optimization to what you want-file type (JPG, GIF or PNG), quality (low, medium, high), lousiness, dither and so on while previewing result in "optimized" tab of main in Optimize palette. This creates what is called a "droplet" that contains your optimization settings. Save this droplet anywhere you want, say on your desktop.
Now drag folder containing images to be optimized onto this droplet. All images in folder will get optimized way you specified. This may take a while depending on number and size of images in folder. You can also drop images one at a time onto droplet.
•Precise Hot Spots :
Want to link different parts of an image to various URLs? You can do this by slicing image and assigning links to relevant slices, but disadvantage of this is lack of precision: slice is necessarily rectangular. Also, slices are pieces of image.
Say you're working on a Web page for children about different parts of ancient castles. You would like parts-dungeons; moat, guard towers, and so on-to have precise rollovers and links so that information is conveyed correctly. Rather than slices such an images and allot links, use image maps, select polygon Image Map tool in Image Ready and outline part you want to talk about precisely . Even circular image maps work fairly well in some areas. You can adjust points of map edge after finishing shape, too .in image map palette, you can specify URL to link to along with ALT text. To preview your work, save Optimized as a HTML file and check it in a browser.
•Optimize Your Web Graphics Easily :
Despite cable Internet connections and high-speed modems, Web graphics are still limited speed-wise. The sites that load fastest and work most efficient have well-optimized graphics .GIF images are generally good for line drawings and illustrations while JPG ones are best suited for photographs. Besides file format, there are various factor that affect optimized image like ‘lousiness'-the amount of data in image that you're willing to sacrifice for smaller file size-the number of colors you need minimum, whether you can have dithering or not, so on .
In Photoshop, to try out different optimization settings, click Save for Web . A window opens up showing current image along with various options and menus on right . in image window itself, you can see two tabs: 2-up tab to see two versions-the original and optimized-for comparison along with time needed to load image according to various modem speeds . The 4-upshows you 3 versions against original. These previews are useful and convenient, rather than having to manually save image repeatedly in different ways and comparing each of them.
•Making A Banner Ad:
We're all familiar with banner ads that we see all over Web: a strip with an image and text that changes into another and another conveying some information. Clicking on this ad takes you to site that company is advertising for. You don't have to use GIF Builder or any other graphics software to animate such an ad. You can make it easily using Front Page. Select Insert-Web component-banner ad manger. In window that opens, specify size of ad, transition effect, number of seconds to display each image, URL to link ad to and add images you've prepared. That's it.
This feature could also be used you want to share a few photographs coiled also be used when you want to share a few photographs or images but don't want images to be save-able on cline's side; right-click will not work on these images. Although images may be found in cache, at least they won't be able to be copied directly.
Best Regards, Pawan Bangar, Technical Director, Birbals, (Hbirbals,Seobirbals,Ebirbals,Ibirbals) #1047,Sector 42-b, Chandigarh. Cell:+91-98153-52253 email: www.ebirbals.com www.birbals.com www.hbirbals.com www.seobirbals.com