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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Google Pages: Websites for Free

Google Pages are a fairly new service Google is offering now. You can create a Website, in addition to your blog, with a few advantages that your blog won't let you do. Things like upload files that Blogger won't do. Like my icon file that those of you with IE may now see, instead of the Big G in blue on white or the Big B in white on orange.

Those who used Firefox probably already saw that I had an icon that distinguishes which tab was my blog at a glance. Big deal. Well, now that I have a Website I can store files on, I actually got my icon file to upload, and have it linked as my favicon, as I was trying to do on my last post but couldn't. I don't know how long it will allow it, but for now if you use the image upload button and pick a file that isn't an image, it happily uploads it. I had one file it wouldn't work on, that was an image, a png file. The thing is it let me upload my ico file, and let me upload 2 vbs files, as well as a wsf file. The layouts aren't many, and the styles aren't nearly as plentiful as blogger makes available. The html isn't very flexible like you would desire for a webpage, and you can't yet create your own. There's the inability to alter the CSS also. But the ability to upload files... ahhh.

I still need to see whether I can upload js files, which would be really nice. That could make up for the the deficiency in the CSS, and add the ability to add other elements to the page. I still need to read the documentation on how they are getting around the JavaScript restrictions. Its not that they don't let you, it just isn't there apparently. Yet.

If you want your own, while you're logged into your Google account go to It should be pretty apparent how to create your new website, just agree to the Terms of Service, and it highlights the button. You can make four or five different sites. Each site can have as many pages as you can create I believe, and there is a size limit of 100 megs, not too shabby for free. Isn't my personal icon just something that looks cool, because virtually no one has them on their blogs? Well, Jillie has hers, and we put one on Mona's, but Mona's still doesn't show up in IE (we'll take care of it later) meanwhile mine does. :)

Oh, I have the scripts that if anyone has the need for, there. I have quite a few Administration scripts that I may upload to share, but I need to go through each one to make certain there is no domain names, machine names, account names, etc in them, and edit them and confirm their operation before I do.
My Website's address.



At Sunday, August 19, 2007 at 12:21:00 AM EDT, Blogger S E E Quine $visitorIP said...

` WANT... WEBSITE... Digital orgy in brain!

At Sunday, August 19, 2007 at 12:47:00 AM EDT, Blogger Charles $visitorIP said...

S E E Quine,
Can I get that on DVD? Did you try it?

At Sunday, August 19, 2007 at 12:11:00 PM EDT, Blogger $visitorIP said...

Ah yes, good old Google Pages. Got my first site ( still the only one ) there :)

It's pretty cool but like you said, it's got some shortcomings, like no customizable templates unlike Blogger. And also, the lack of folders is pretty irritating.

BTW, have you taken a look at Google Apps? It's pretty awesome. In effect, you're getting free hosting and email from Google. It offers the GMail, Google Pages, Calendar and others, all customized to be available at your domain name.

For example, I've got a Google Pages site at It's pretty neat, especially since it's free :D And domain names don't cost that much, so this is a very good solution for people like me who want to try out stuff but can't really afford ( nor want to spend on ) a complete web-hosting service.

At Sunday, August 19, 2007 at 12:36:00 PM EDT, Blogger $visitorIP said...

Oh, btw, Charles, I forgot to mention earlier, your files on Google Pages sites aren't very private. Google automatically generates a sitemap for you, called, unsuprisingly, sitemap.xml. You can't control what is listed in this file.

Check out this post for more, including a link to gadget that uses the sitemap.xml file to display all your uploaded files!

Also, if you want to upload your code and scripts as open source, you might want to check out Google Code.

At Sunday, August 19, 2007 at 12:36:00 PM EDT, Blogger Charles $visitorIP said...

I've looked at the Google Apps before, but I wasn't attracted for my own ignorant reasons, I suppose. But Thanks for letting others know. I know you have a Google Page, since that's how I found out about them. From you. You just didn't know it yet, now you do. :D I'm sorry I didn't give you your due credit. :(

I see great potential uses apart from the intended purposes. I'm thinking, now I have somewhere I can put js files, and they should be available whenever google or blogger is available. Of course there's my favicon, which is now functional for both my website and blog, from IE even. The URLs are so much simpler too, no huge incomprehensible alphanumeric paths, just the website URL with a slash and the file name. WooHoo!

Thanks Bud. Let's get the word out.

At Sunday, August 19, 2007 at 12:38:00 PM EDT, Blogger Charles $visitorIP said...

A pretty good description of getting your own site up can be found Here.

At Sunday, August 19, 2007 at 1:32:00 PM EDT, Blogger Charles $visitorIP said...

If I really wanted to hide the files, I would never put them up. I'm one of those people that feel that the only security that is a sure thing, is no connection. I trust that between the things I've implemented on my home system, is enough to encourage those who would attempt to hack me to move on to easier or greener pastures. I don't by any means believe that if someone were determined especially if they had resources greater than mine, that I could stop them. I have the enough sense (I hope) that there should be no reason to attempt it. Its not as if I have any highly sensitive information, most of what I have created is available elsewhere, in some form or other. I don't have hacking tools, so there is no reason for the two ends of the spectrum to come after my stuff.

At Sunday, August 19, 2007 at 2:08:00 PM EDT, Blogger $visitorIP said...

There's no credit due to me Charles, but thank you all the same :)

And I think you hit the nail on the head; the only way to be absolutely safe and secure, is not to put stuff up on the net at all.

Why I wanted to point out the sitemap thing was because when I found the gadget, I tried it out by checking out a friend's site on Google Pages. And I came across a few files of his that I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want the general public to see. And they definitely aren't linked to on any of his pages. I think he's just using the space offered as a kind of storage, which makes sense. I would do the same thing. Except not now, now that I've found out it's that simple to see files. And this guy is not dumb or ignorant about computers, in fact, he was one of the smartest guys in my class at college!

But this is a pretty good example of how lay-people or even semi-power-users, like myself, are in the dark about how our data, which we are under the impression is safe, is being used and exposed!

At Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 1:04:00 PM EDT, Blogger Ankan Banerjee $visitorIP said...

Thanks for letting me know. I thought it is as safe as e-mail storage. Is email safe? or can it be also accessed by someone else ??

At Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 10:07:00 PM EDT, Blogger $visitorIP said...

@ankan: Well, like Charles said, only 100% offline == 100% safe. If you're using any services on the Net, your information could potentially be stolen.

That said, most of the big players do their bit to keep your data safe. And they all have a privacy policy they're supposed to follow. So unless it's a mistake the user makes, like giving out his username/ password or keeping it something really simple or falling for a phishing attack, your email is safe. But keep in mind:

* Some webmail implementations are quite as good as they seem. For example, Indiatimes Email, allows the user to click the 'Back' button of the browser to go back and see the webmail pages he/ she was viewing earlier. Even after logging out! So if you were to leave your browser open on a public computer, the next person could simply click the back button and see the contents of your inbox/ other folders and the emails that you'd opened! I'd mailed them about this bug but it still seems to be present. Maybe they're concentrating on rolling out that new system they're talking about.

* On a public computer, at the library or office or a cybercafe, always clear the browser's cache and cookies and other offline content before your leave.

* I read this in an article somewhere; try and keep a separate dummy webmail account for use at a cybercafe; those places generally have unsavoury programs like keyloggers and viruses, so your username/ password could be logged.

If you must use one of your regular accounts, change the password on a safe computer ( read home ) as soon as you get the chance.

Some of these may seem overly paranoid, but once you take stock of how much you depend on your primary email ids and how much sensitive information passes through them in the form of emails, you'll see how it'll affect you if your account was hacked and lost, even if only by some kid out looking for some fun.

At Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 10:42:00 PM EDT, Blogger Charles $visitorIP said...

NGAC & Ankan,
I used to know a guy who loved the quote from Sherlock Holmes, "What one man can conceive, another man can perceive." Since all crypto is based upon mathematics, and mathematics being solvable, then it seems that any crypto should be solvable. The best that can be done is to make the time it takes to solve it long enough to make the clear text uselessly dated. Don't put it out there, if it should never be known by others.

At Friday, August 24, 2007 at 12:13:00 PM EDT, Blogger ankan $visitorIP said...

Thanks a lot NGAC and Charls for clearing my doubts.

@charls: The quote was "What one man can invent, other can discover" :D

I still have some faith on the crypto algorithms (esp. the 256 bit AES provided by 7-zip), but you are right... it will be solved some time (maybe soon.. maybe within 5 years).

So I agree the best way to protect private data is never to put it online.

I have deleted my private data from googlepages now, but I am sure it is still present somewhere cached in some google server :(

And I have no idea how much private data is present in my e-mail accounts... I better change my password...haven't changed them in last 5 years.

At Friday, August 24, 2007 at 12:46:00 PM EDT, Blogger Charles $visitorIP said...

OK, its been about 9 years since I've seen him, so my memory isn't precise on the quote. You know it, so your warning is already in your mind.

At Sunday, September 9, 2007 at 3:53:00 PM EDT, Blogger Palm Springs Savant $visitorIP said...

wow, thanks for the tip, I had no idea

At Sunday, September 9, 2007 at 4:39:00 PM EDT, Blogger Charles $visitorIP said...

I'm always willing to help where I can.

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