I came across a great post from Digital Inspiration on how to find free books for the Amazon Kindle e-book reader. In this post, the author covers a variety of sites that you can visit to find free books and how to find free content on Amazon.com. All in all, it’s a well-researched post and worthy of a read, even if you don’t have a Kindle and you just like free books.
As an avid Mac software user, I occasionally come across low-cost bundles of Mac applications such as MacHeist and the MacUpdate Promo Bundle. Unfortunately, these come along just a few times a year and do not always have the exact applications that I want. Then, along comes One Finger Discount. This site has, as of this writing, 117 Mac software developers with hundreds of applications available with a 20% discount off of their listed prices. Of course, they do not have every Mac developer and application on the site, but they are adding new ones regularly and if you can find the app that you want, it is a great discount. I’m personally looking at buying MarsEdit from Red Sweater Software to aid with blogging with this discount. Check it out the site and enjoy the savings.
It has been awhile since we have posted our favorite links from around the Internet so here are three links that we just couldn’t help sharing.
This is a nice roundup of image editing tools that are web-based and run from within your browser. These tools can do everything from resizing images to adding special effects, all free of charge and with no downloads. My favorites of these five are Adobe Photoshop Express and Sumo Paint.
As someone who has dabbled in e-Commerce site design, this article really hit home. Well worth checking out.
We occasionally get a little too caught up in shiny new apps for the Mac and fail to pay attention to the all-important Mac utilities that keep our Macs running smooth. This is great list, and they are all free.
I used to think that a 500GB hard drive in my video production iMac was plenty. Now, not so much. I recently checked and saw that I had less than 100GB free and began to search for what was on my machine that was hogging up all that space. I quickly realized that it was going to be very tedious to click through a bunch of folders and files in order to try and find them. I instead went looking on the Internet for an app for that and guess what? There is an app for that.
GrandPerspective is an app that is designed to scour your hard drive or specific folders and provides you with a graphical representation of your files. As you can see in the screenshot, it shows your files as rectangular shapes. The larger the rectangle, the bigger the file. You can click on the rectangle and at the bottom of the window, the file size, location and name are displayed. You can then click on the Reveal button and a Finder window opens where that file resides. You can then choose to delete the file from the Finder window or if you are confident that you do no want this file on your Mac, you can hit the Delete button from within GrandPerspective.
I was quickly able to locate over 125GB of files that I did not need on the machine and now I have plenty of space for future use. GrandPerspective is a free, open-source application and can be found here for download.
In a word, no. Not yet anyway. I have been playing with desktop versions of Linux for several years now and have really enjoyed watching this operating system grow. Several of the distributions have even begun showing up on mainstream PCs, coming pre-installed by major manufacturers like Dell and Lenovo. They are becoming more polished with each iteration and have matched or even surpassed both Windows and Mac OSX in the “eye candy” department. For example, the latest version of Linux Mint 7 is downright gorgeous.
Unfortunately, looks aren’t everything when it comes to a mainstream desktop OS that can be used by the masses. Continue reading this post…
As a video and audio editor, there are many times where it would be great to have just the right sound to fill in that awkward silence or to make just that right impression for a client. The Freesound Project is an online database of free user-submitted sound files in a variety of formats. I came across this site while listening to an audio fiction podcast called The Metamor City Podcast. This podcast is an excellent work of audio fiction that utilizes great sound effects to accent the overall listening experience. At the end of each episode, the author, Chris Lester, notes that the sounds were provided by the Freesound Project.
Continue reading this post…
If you are like me, something will happen during my day and I am reminded of ?that? song. You know the one. The one that get?s stuck in your head and you just can?t get it out and the only cure to get rid of it is to hear it but you don?t have it on your iPod?. This happens to me quite often and I am usually stuck since what I most like to listen to is either pop music from the 80?s or early 90?s alternative. These are not what you most commonly find on local FM radio. It was while on a quest to find a particular song by 80?s pop group, Haircut 100, that I discovered Grooveshark.
Grooveshark is a music streaming site that allows you to search its database of millions of songs for ?that? song. Upon navigating to the site, you are greeted by a Search box and here is where you can enter the song title or artist that you are interested in. Results come back almost instantly and with one more mouse click, you can be listening to the song that has been running non-stop in your head since you saw that commercial on TV. The site allows you to setup a music queue of tracks that you want to hear along with showing you what others are listening too who also like your song. There are tons of other features so go check it out and clear your head.
Great, attractive fonts are awesome. A well chosen font can make a huge difference in how your message is expressed. Unfortunately, big name fonts can be expensive, very expensive. For a small business owner who dabbles in graphic design, these fonts just are not an option. To that end, we are always on the lookout for free fonts that satisfy our needs for quality and attractiveness. Over the last few months, I have come across a number of free fonts that were highlighted on different design blogs and each one seemed to come from the same site, DaFont.com.
Continue reading this post…
We are always on the lookout for really nice looking fonts, especially those that are free. Whether for print or web design, you can never have too many fonts. Well, perhaps 2,348 different fonts maybe a little much but I digress. The other day, I stumbled across this post on Hongkiat.com and was stunned by how great these fonts looked. I quickly downloaded a few to my Mac and even used one on my redesign of Mumbo Jumbo Online, the site for my business. Most, if not all, of these fonts have versions for both PC and Mac users and they are all completely free. Enjoy!
That’s right! Microsoft has a replacement for its much maligned Windows Vista. The retail version of Windows 7, as it is presently called, is not yet available. But indications are that it will be officially released in the October 2009 time frame.
In preparation for its release, Microsoft has been making “Beta” (unfinished) versions available. In January, Beta version 7000 was made available on the internet for anyone to download and use. In May version 7100 Release Candidate 1 (i.e., nearly complete) was made available, incorporating a number of changes and fixes from the 7000 release. Why was Microsoft doing this? At least two reasons come to mind: (1) Involve as many people as possible in testing the new OS and reporting back likes/dislikes and problems (so called “bugs”). (2) To build as much positive buzz and interest as possible in the coming final version. Continue reading this post…
Just a quick post letting you know that version 3.5 of our favorite web browser has gone final and has been released to the public. You can get the update by going here or by navigating to the Help menu within Firefox and clicking on “Check for Updates.” It will find an update and allow you to download and install from within the browser. On the surface, the browser looks and acts very similar. The big feature updates include faster browsing performance, faster startup, the addition of a private browsing mode and location awareness for sites that support that. It is still available for Windows, Mac and Linux and most of the existing extensions and themes should work with the update. I did find one of my favorite extensions, No Squint, did not work but I am sure that an update will be forthcoming soon.
For a nice writeup on Firefox 3.5, read this article at PCMag.com.
As fellas that have spent years dabbling in graphic design, both in print and on the web, we often run across fonts that we just don’t recognize. We may be asked to replicate a logo design or we may just really like how a certain font looks that we saw in a magazine. Rather than scrolling through our fonts folder which is loaded with thousands of fonts, we instead turn to WhattheFont.com. This is a free online service that will let you upload an image that it will analyze and give you some possible font matches. You may not use this service on a daily basis, but when you need it, this site will save you tons of time. Here’s how it works: Continue reading this post…
I love my Amazon Kindle. I am also a frugal sort of guy and I prefer not to pay Amazon prices for their books. As a result, I have become pretty good at finding ways to get good, free content on there to read. I found a great site called Feedbooks.com. According to their site:
Feedbooks is home to thousands of e-books that are in the public domain or have been released with Creative Commons licenses. You can easily find such classics as War & Peace
and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
If you want something a little more modern, they have books that have been released for free by authors such as geek hero Cory Doctorow. It’s a great way to be introduced to new and old content without having to pay for it. Continue reading this post…
About 3 months ago, I got my first iPod. I know, I know, its about time. I have always been a bit of a contrarian when it comes to my technology and I avoided the iPod because EVERYONE had an iPod. However, we found a 1st-generation iPod Touch 8GB at a local pawn shop for only $99 and that was just too good a deal to pass up so we bought it. For those who don’t know, the iPod Touch is basically an iPhone without the phone functionality. It sports the same touch screen interface and can use Wi-Fi to access the Internet. After using it for awhile now, I can honestly say that this little device has changed my life. Continue reading this post…
Using new applications is part of what makes computers fun. However, finding good, new software to solve everyday problems is not always easy. That’s where a website called AlternativeTo comes into play. The purpose of the site is to help users to find low cost, free or open source alternatives to popular and expensive programs like Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office. To use the site, you can search for any software application by name or tag term and if it is in the database, a variety of alternatives will display. The site lists apps for Windows, Linux, Mac and even online applications and allows users to submit new programs and to click on the ones that they like, adding to its popularity on the site.
According to the AlternativeTo website:
“AlternativeTo is a new approach to finding good software. Tell us what application you want to replace and we give you suggestions on great alternatives! Instead of listing thousands of more or less crappy applications in a category, we make each application into a category. Think of it like forever evolving blog posts about good alternatives to the software that you’re not satisfied with. And the “blog posts” are generated by you through suggestions, comments and votes.”
This site is very useful for finding good alternatives and to opening my eyes to new software that is out there.