|Search Engines that Rock|
|I fell in love with Google the moment I discovered it. Even before I read that Web Usability guru Jakob Nielsen is on the Board of Directors.|
Humans really do do it better!
I'm not ordinarily big on category-type search engines. But dmoz.org, the Open Directory Project, is a human-edited directory of the web that's organized extremely well, and I've found it useful many times.
Software: good value for money
Note: Don't be misled, I'm not praising these products because they're cheap (or because I am!); I'm praising them because they have all been a pleasure to use, offered free evaluation and have exceeded my expectations.
How often do you find something like that?
Arachnophilia 4, an amazing piece of software distributed as CareWare, has been my favorite HTML editor for some time. It's still distributed, but is no longer supported or updated because it has been replaced by the platform-independent, java-based version, Arachnophilia 5.
Now I'm really torn. On the one hand, Arachnophilia 4 has some features I really love: it's right at home in a Windows OS (easily supporting some Windows Explorer file open actions, text drag and drop, split-window and minimized child doc windows), search and replace window - not a toolbar - which easily supports multi-line search strings (a feature I use heavily), internal browser preview, and a handy ASCII character codes list, to name a few.
On the other hand, Arachnophilia 5 now offers several features I've been yearning for: a show/hide option for the user toolbars as a group, regular expression support in the search and replace (have I wished for that once or twice!), improved syntax coloring, beautify and compress HTML selections not just the entire page, and indent or outdent blocks of code. Also, I can respect the author's impulse to loosen, in whatever way he can, Microsoft's stranglehold on the software industry's ability to innovate and compete.
Both versions offer: a great table wizard, right-click wizards to ease updating graphics links and color attributes, RTF to HTML conversion, strip HTML, assemble text lines, and maximal opportunity for the user to customize the interface and the shortcuts - all features I wouldn't easily live without. So although I can no longer choose a favorite, it's only because both options are so good.
|forté agent||One of the things I took away from my years reading Usenet (What's Usenet?) is an abiding affection for Forté Agent - the text-based workhorse of Newsreaders and Email clients. It's robust, easily configured, supports regular expressions in it's filters and doesn't fall for the worms miscreants keep writing for MS Outlook. All this for $29.00 - free if you choose Free Agent and can live without the email client.|
|graphic workshop professional||
I use this program every time I boot up. If it did nothing else, Graphic Workshop Pro would be worth its price for its ability to display virtually every image type in thumbnails and maintain a searchable keyword database. But it does much more than that - check out the rest of its features.
It's stable, it loads quickly, it doesn't hair up other apps or stick it's fingers into the nether regions of your OS, you can try it for free and it costs only forty bucks to register. Why are you still here ?
Another great little piece of software: Powermarks. If your bookmark files have gotten as large as mine and you despair of finding the bookmark you know you saved in one of these damn folders, somewhere... Do yourself a favor: try Powermarks. Locate your bookmarks by keyword using an instant search, access them from multiple computers, and use them with different browsers. You'll love it!
Did I have angst about back-ups until I found GRBackPro.
The way I see it, the problem with most backup systems is they depend upon some proprietary
method of file compression which leaves you completely dependent upon them and their product to access
whatever backups you produce with it. Until the end of time...
GRBackPro, on the other hand, uses pkzip compression, so I can sleep at night knowing that if every copy this software were to evaporate into thin air one night, I could still unzip my data. It's also highly configurable, will back up to almost any media, including CD-RW (if you have packet-writing software) and has a simple - not simplistic - user interface.
The personal license is only $59.00, another low-cost gem.
HyperSnap-DX is a nifty image-capture and editing package for a great price. Check it out!
|f-prot antivirus||I know F-Prot Antivirus isn't made by one of those two big guys in virus protection that you've probably heard of. But you might find F-Prot is easier to configure, doesn't noticeably drain your PC's resources or unleash a deluge of marketing emails and costs less than the offerings of those big guys, too. Download the trial version and see for yourself.|
|dmitry's design lab||A terribly useful series of articles on Design Principles Dmitry's Design Lab - Graphic Web Design Using Fonts, Photography, Animation and HTML - WebReference.com.|
|design for designers||A good source of articles on a variety of topics: Web Page Design for Designers. I found Web Page Color Scheming Using Your Photos particulalrly interesting.|
|web pages that suck||The theory behind Web Pages That Suck is that you can learn good design by looking at bad design. I'm sceptical, but it's a good start, and plenty amusing to boot.|
A series of Web Design and Usability articles.
Alertbox: Jakob Nielsen's Column on Web Usability.
|css zen garden||An impressive demonstration of the possibilities of CSS-based design and a must-see source of inspiration.|
|web developer's virtual library||I never have the time to read as much as I'd like at The Web Developer's Virtual Library.|
|dynamic drive||Looking for a great all-round DHTML resource? I really like Dynamic Drive.|
|html entity set||I can never remember an entity when I need it, like this one - ° (°), or this one - é (é). Thank goodness the the HTML Entity Set page - keep that bookmark handy!|
|greeked text||An indispensible resource for laying out web pages - greeked text is nonsense language used as a placeholder for visualization without the distraction of actual content.|
|lynda.com||lynda.com is the online home of Lynda Weinman, author of the H·O·T (Hands on Training) series of books and a great resource. I especially recommend the Inspiration and Tips pages. And, although the Web-Safe palette has become something of a quaint notion, the Color article is still worth a read.|
|devguru||A comprehensive, yet well indexed, resource for web developers. I'm not sure what I do without DevGuru.|
|4guys fromrolla||Their motto is "When you think ASP, think 4GuysFromRolla" and you know, I do! If you don't find an article that interests you, be sure to check out APSFAQs.com.|
|house of style||First stop when I have a question about Cascading Style Sheets.|
|Web Graphics / PhotoShop Tips|
I'm not sure what it is; you might just have to visit The OZONE and see for yourself.
|absolute cross||Absolute Cross PhotoShop Tutorials plus other web development and graphics resources, too.|
|aq art & design||
I'd call this the most boffo PhotoShop artist on the web. You gotta have a recent version of
Flash to get this site, but pleez, O pleez do not let that stop you!
AQ Art & Design.
|the font pool||For whatever reason, some of us just aren't happy unless we have 20 varieties of Swiss on hand, and I'm not talking cheese. That's what The Font Pool is for.|
|Movies, TV and other Fun|
|pixar||Yes, it's true, I'm a groupie for a bunch of computer animators and software engineers. Whatever Pixar Animation Studios produces, I expect I'll watch!|
|rupaul's blog||Dishy, chatty and fun: the quintessential celebrity blog.|
|wavesite.com||Wavesite.com: Movie sounds galore, in a searchable database.|
|bowienet||David Bowie's little corner of the web.|
|stuart davis||Music, other stuff.|
|arlo guthrie||You there, yah YOU, sittin' there on the Group W bench...|
|adrian paul||The official site of Adrian Paul, TV's Highlander.|
|cinefex magazine||Cinefex Magazine: a must-read for people who are fascinated in the means behind the movie magic.|
|christopher reeve paralysis foundation||Sure, Christopher Reeve was a movie star, but his website has a little more serious purpose than most celebrity sites. The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation funds medical research to treat paraplysis due to spinal cord injury and provides grants to improve the lives of people living with such disabilities.|
|Science, Philosophy and Environment|
|the cousteau society||Home of an old, old friend. Give your Water Planet a break; help out! The Cousteau Society|
|pharyngula||Pharyngula is where PZ Myers, one of my favorite godless liberals, blogs about science and mixes in a little social commentary.|
|the panda's thumb||The Panda's Thumb, where patrons gather discuss evolutionary theory, critique the claims of the anti-evolution movement, defend the integrity of both science and science education, and share good conversation.|
|f.a.b.n.aq.||Frequently Asked But Never Answered Questions - some questions creationists never seem to want to answer.|
|evolution vs. creationism, reality vs. mythology||Plain talk in support of good sense.|
|one side can be wrong||Why not "teach the controversy"? Only because it would destroy science education in America.|
|csicop online||CSICOP On-line: Encouraging the critical investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims from a responsible, scientific point of view.|
|national center for science education||National Center for Science Education: NCSE is a nonprofit, tax-exempt membership organization working to defend the teaching of evolution against sectarian attack.|
|alabama's slice of pi||
An April Fool for the scientifically literate:
Alabama's Slice of Pi
|the debunker's domain||Read very far into The Debunker's Domain, by Robert Sheaffer and you risk finding something outrageous. I think the site is a lovely example of what the web should be all about: the free exchange of ideas.|
|the war on faith||It's called The War on Faith, which says it all.|
|daily kos||The Daily Kos is sensible and progressive. Worth a look. Here are a couple good ones:|
|the left coaster||The Left Coaster, for unparalleled greatness. Stay up all night reading the archives; I did. Recommended reading: The Left Coaster in the first place,|
|i blame the patriarchy||Let Twisty guide you:|
Pandagon is as close as I come to
a daily read (or an addiction.) I actually read, and like, the comments as well.
Here are a few greatest hits:
|gibson research corporation||I've found a lot of food for thought and learned something too, from grc.com. Start with Shields Up!! internet security testing for Windows and see if that dooesn't lead to some interesting reading.|
|reading email headers||Reading Email Headers - a useful skill.|
|write unmaintainable code||This humorous essay on How to Write Unmaintainable Code is hilarious - sad that some readers apparently need to be told it's a joke up front.|
|death to spam||Defending your Inbox and filling the spammers' lists with monkey dandruff. That's right, "monkey dandruff". You'll have to read it to know what that means.|
|Dogs Dogs Dogs|
|american dog owners assn||The American Dog Owners Association has been advocating for sensible, breed-neutral public policy and legislation since 1970. Members include owners of all breeds, but fanciers of pit bull types, Dobermans, Rottweillers and other breeds frequently singled out in law in particular will find the ADOA a welcome ally.|
|Shop 'til You Drop|
It's not weird to own over a dozen cell phone covers, is it?
I mean, you need something to coordinate with every outfit and pair of shoes, right? Try CutePCS.com for their great selection, low prices, quick service. Shopping with them is always a satisfying experience.
|newport news||They hardly need me to shill for them, I know, but I've been so pleased with the low prices and selection, particularly, doG love 'em, for the jeans in MY size! Shop online at Newport News, you'll thank me.|
|northen sun merchandising||Shoppping for progressives - Northern Sun.|
|ambivalent muse||My friend Amy, though tragically less inclined to rant than I am makes some of her thoughts public over at Ambivalent Muse, "A blog about many things." I'd recommend taking a look!|
|heartless bitches international||Heartless Bitches International, telling it like it is since 2001 (maybe before.)|
|things my girlfriend and i have argued about||Things My Girlfriend and I have Argued About - pretty hilarious stuff.|
|cap'n wacky's unfortunate valentine's cards||Laugh 'til you can't breathe... I did. Cap'n Wacky's Unfortunate Valentine's Cards.|
|peter pan - randy constan||Yeah, I said the web was for the free exchange of ideas, but it's really great for something else, too: quirky personal home pages. This Peter Pan fan is a favorite of mine.|
|perpetual bubblewrap||This is the my favorite page; I visit often. Waste vital minutes! Check out the Perpetual Bubblewrap - a fab stress reliever!|
|a REAL magic trick||Have a look; it's a A REAL Magic trick: An elegant illusion, perhaps you will unlock its secret faster than I did.|