Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Another Free Music Resource: MusicLinkhttp://www.musiclink.fm
MusicLink: Listen To Complete Albums Before Buyingthis tip on MusicLink from the folks at make use of dot com
You love a particular song in an album but you don’t want to spend money on it just yet. There are sites that let you preview all the songs in an album for 20-30 seconds but thats hardly enough to make a buying decision. Meet MusicLink, a tool that lets you listen to complete albums before you make a decision to buy it.
Powered by GrooveShark and Amazon , MusicLink makes it easy to search for albums based on album name or artist’s name. A widget then displays all the tracks included in that particular album and lets you listen to them without any interruptions or commercials. Once you are satisfied, just click on the Amazon link to purchase the album.
You can also browse through albums that other users listen to the most.
- Listen to complete albums online before you buy.
- Powered by GrooveShark.
- Browse through most popular or random albums.
- No registration required.
Visit MusicLink @ www.musiclink.fm
Friday, October 8, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Graphic Design Resources this item courtesy of the folks at getstartED
friends of ED offers you a selection of the best resources on and off the web for professional designers, DV creators and innovators. Some of these are tiny independent sites, some are huge media groups - but they all have something that has made them indispensable to us at one time or another.
Let us know if you'd like us to consider a site for inclusion - the only criteria is that the site offers something of genuine value to friends of ED readers.
- Australia INFront – Global design news from an Australian perspective.
- computerlove – Another design portal, but with focus on networking for creative professionals.
- Design Is Kinky – Australian-based news site and portal. Continues to lead the way in cutting-edge design information with regular articles and interviews, and one of the news editors is New Masters contributor Karen Ingram .
- Digital Refueler – Providing constant inspiration and resources to creative designers around the globe. Including links to Stock Photography, Free Fonts, Royalty Free Stock Photography, Font Foundries, Flash Resources
- Female Persuasion – News and portfolio showcase site for women designers working in photography, illustration, and digital design.
- K10k – The original designer's lunchbox. Plenty of news, links, and tasty new design samples from this revamped portal.
- Lounge72 – Design portal for visual amusement set up by Kai Hauser and Antonio Vasile, Stuttgart. Good news feed and their PDF calendar features some great artists.
- netdiver – A digit culture portal with distinctive high quality editorial from new media pioneer Carole Guevin. Featured designer portfolios and examples are carefully selected and always of exceptional standards. Also check out the powagirrrls section promoting women designers.
- Newstoday – General news site on digital design and technology.
- pixelsurgeon – One of foED's favourite sites with in-depth reviews on the latest design trends, movies, music, and books. Biased towards digital design, their daily news blog is a must for designers.
- Stereo Typography – Online site aggregating news feeds from most major online design portals.
- BD4D – UK-based site By Designers For Designers was set up as a collective for digital designers to meet up offline, network with each other, and discuss what they do and love: creativity. It has grown into a global community with regular BD4D meetings now taking place worldwide.
- DiGiT Expo and Conference – Brings together global and local designers working in the fields of new media.
- HOW Design Conference – Annual creativity, business and technology conference for graphic designers. Now in its 14th year, the HOW conference features learning and networking with industry experts and international peers.
- allmaple – Online magazine promoting excellence in Canadian digital art and design.
- Communication Arts – Communication Arts Network, publishers of Communication Arts magazine, focusing on professional topics in current design trends. As well as technical information, there are columns on business, advertising, legal aspects, and theory of graphic design.
- Computer Arts – This leading UK-based print magazine continues to provide high quality news, product reviews, and tutorials for digital designers working in Flash, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, 3D, and digital video.
- Design Graphics – Australian-based print magazine offering a wide range of news, resources, and tutorials on digital publishing for print and the web.
- Digit Mag – Great print magazine with news, reviews, and tips in the world of digital media.
- PRINT – America's leading graphic design magazine. Features examples of global design excellence by illustrators, photographers, type designers, as well as designers working with digital media.
- SHIFT – Longstanding Japanese e-zine full of high quality digital design content.
- Tartart Magazine – Great free PDF design mag created by New Master of Photoshop Marin Musa.
- thedesigner – UK-based free PDF magazine with global contributors.
- counterspace – Very interesting site dedicated to typography and its history.
- Favourite Website Awards – FWA is a great place to see some inspirational web design work, particularly focused towards high impact websites using Flash.
- MediaInspiration – Site showcases, technology and book reviews, and more inspirational weblinks than you can shake a stick at.
- Moluv – Plenty of carefully selected websites to inspire you.
- styleboost – Sweet and lovely links since 2001 says this site. So true.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Microsoft FixIt: Quick, Microsoft Automated Fixes For Windows Systems
Excerpted from my daily feeds this item from the folks at make use of dot com
Windows systems break. A lot. It’s the nature of a platform that supports a wide variety 0f hardware, not to mention including 20-plus years of reverse compatibility. But that doesn’t make it any less painful to deal with Windows crashing.
Enter Microsoft FixIt, an easy-to-use program that aims to be an automated IT guy.Using the program is easy: just download and install it. Your system will be scanned, and FixIt will provide you with a list of problems common on computers like yours. If any of the problems shown are ones you’re having, all you need to solve your issue is to click.
Of course, professional IT guys need not worry about being replaced by this tool anytime soon: it doesn’t address any and all problems. But it does address quite a few, so if you’ve got a problem you just can’t seem to solve FixIt is worth checking out. You’ll be amazed how quickly this tool can deal with the problems it knows how to. Microsoft says new solutions will be added to the program regularly, so if it doesn’t solve your issue now it just might later.
- Easily solve problems with Microsoft Windows.
- List of potential issues catered to your hardware and software.
- Easy-to-use tech support direct from Microsoft.
Check out Microsoft FixIt @ microsoft
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Inogolo: Find Out Correct Name Pronunciations Excerpted from my daily feeds this item from the folks at make use of dot com
Have you ever come across names you did not know how to pronounce? Take “Winningham” for instance; should you pronounce the “ham” separately or join it with the “g” and have “winnin-ghum”? Having a name spelled like that confuses a lot of people. Similarly there are many English names with confusing spellings that do not reveal their correct pronunciation. For all such names, Inogolo helps us out.
Inogolo is a free website that takes any English word (names of people and places) and shows us what their correct pronunciation is. After we search for a name, a breakdown of its syllables is presented to us; this clarifies the pronunciation.
Inogolo’s library contains an impressive number of names; but if your searched name is not included, the name is added in the list of words to be added to the library.
This tool can be helpful particularly for people whose first language is something other than English. But as I indicated earlier, native English speakers will benefit from Inogolo as well.
- Reveals pronunciation of names of people and places (in English).
- Presents the pronunciation breakdown as mini-words instead of phonetic symbols which makes them easier to recognize and pronounce.
- Similar tools: TheNameEngine, HowToSayThatName and PronounceNames.
Visit Inogolo @ www.inogolo.com
Saturday, May 15, 2010
filed under: misc hacks
We frequently receive inquiries from eager readers asking how they can best get started in electronics and computer projects. Countless great books have been written on these subjects, and of course now there’s our answers.hackaday.comsite. But there’s a difference between being “book smart” and being “street smart.” What are the terms that you really need to know to get ahead in this field? We’ve collected a few of our favorites here.
Have any terms or definitions to add? Leave a note in the comments!
Antimony: n. A chemical element frequently used in electronics. Explodes on contact with money.
Bandwidth: n. A measurement inversely proportional to the cumulative physical fitness of a musical ensemble.
Butterworth filter: n. A kitchen utensil for removing the crystalized bits from maple syrup.
Duty cycle: n. A washing machine setting thats particularly effective for getting skid marks out of underwear.
ELF binary: n. A program that mysteriously appears on your computer while you’re asleep.
Ferret chloride: n. A foul-smelling chemical solution used for etching printed circuit boards really really quickly.
Flux: n. Expletive that usually follows soldering iron mishaps. See Hertz.
Hertz: v. What a soldering iron does when you touch the wrong end. See flux.
Hysteresis: n. The state of panic when one’s circuit does not work as planned.
N-type semiconductor: n. The “n-type” sticker adds 5 horsepower.
Negative feedback: n. Something one should attempt to minimize on eBay.
Noise: n. That so-called “music” you kids listen to these days. Get off my lawn!
Open source: n. Wounds that have not been properly cleaned and dressed.
Passive-aggressive component: n. A electronic part (e.g. resistor, capacitor, etc.) that suddenly decides to burn, stab or explode in your face.
PWMED! v. To have kicked someones ass with subtly-shaded LEDs.
Rectifier: n. A tool for lodging things into one’s backside. Two rectifiers back-to-back form a butt connector.
Resistance: n. Futile. You will be assimilated.
RMS: n. A feature of better quality voltmeters; makes them into raving proponents of open-source software.
Square wave: n. A secret greeting used by nerds.
1ED: n. Acronym for 1337-emitting diode (pronounced leet, not one-three-three-seven). Any light (but almost invariably a blue LED) on or within a computer that exists solely for posturing and conveys no diagnostic or status information.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Don’t Text Me: Auto Reply Text Messages While You Are Busy
Whenever we are signed into our instant messaging client and are busy with some other program or task, we set our instant messaging status as “busy” to indicate that we should not be disturbed. Until now there was no equivalent feature for cellphone users. But “Don’t Text Me” changes that.
Don’t Text Me is a nifty application for iDevices (iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad) that, after getting a tap from you, sends your contacts a auto reply text messages telling them that you are busy
(driving, in a meeting, in class, or out for dinner) and should not be disturbed with text messages at the moment.
Users who are easily distracted by text messages (drivers in particular) will find this tool very helpful. You can also control whom not to send the “busy” message to by sending it to a group of contacts rather than our entire phonebook.
iPod and iPad users can use Don’t Text Me because it uses WiFi. Messages are to contacts in the U.S. only.
- Reduces the chance of you being disturbed by text messages.
- Has more than one message option to choose from i.e. multiple messages can be set to be sent later.
- Users can specify which group of contacts to send the message to.
- In addition to iPhone, it works on iPod Touch and iPad as well.
Download Don’t Text Me iPhone app from iTunes App Store
Monday, May 10, 2010
7 Things That Are Easier To Do In Ubuntu Than In Windows
When the average computer user hears aboutUbuntu or Linux, the word “difficult” comes to mind. This is understandable: learning a new operating system is never without its challenges, and in many ways Ubuntu is far from perfect. I’d like to say that using Ubuntu is actually easier and better than using Windows.
This doesn’t mean you’ll experience it that way if you’ve used Windows for a long time: at a certain your habits begin to feel like conventional wisdom, and any system that doesn’t match your current habits will seem difficult.
If you’re a MakeUseOf reader, however, you’re undoubtedly a fan of free software. Most of the very best free software is open source. If you’re a Windows user who primarily uses free software, Ubuntu’s going to feel more comfortable to you than Windows once you get used to it. And once you do get used to it, you’ll realize that in some ways Ubuntu is simply better than Windows in terms of ease of use.
Don’t believe me? Here are some examples.
Finding & Installing Software
There’s a misconception out there that installing software on Ubuntu, or any Linux platform, requires a PhD in Computer Science. Nothing could be further than the truth; in fact, I’d argue installing software on Ubuntu is a great deal easier than installing software on Windows.
Let’s examine the typical installation scenario for Windows users. Pretend there’s a person named Sally, and that Sally wants to install VLC Media Player. Sally Googles the name of the program, finds a webpage related to it, browses that page until she finds a download for Windows before finally downloading an executable file.
Assuming Sally is pretty tech-savvy, she verifies that the site she downloaded from is a proper place; if not, it could come from anywhere and be infected with any number of spyware, trojans and/or AOL toolbars. Once the file has finished downloading, Sally double-clicks the executable she just downloaded, tells Windows it’s okay to install the program, then follows the series of prompts and clicks “next” several times.
Now let’s pretend Sally is an Ubuntu user. To install VLC, all she needs to do is click “Applications,” then “Ubuntu Software Center” then search for “VLC“, double-click VLC and click the “Install” button at the bottom of the description. She’ll enter her password and then Ubuntu will download and install VLC for you, letting Sally know when it’s done.
Best of all: because the software is all coming from one place, and not some random website, you know with complete certainty that the file doesn’t include any spyware or trojans.
In my opinion, Ubuntu’s method of installing software is far simpler than Windows when compared side by side. The main reason people new to Ubuntu have trouble installing software is because they try to apply the Windows method to Ubuntu, searching the web for programs to download instead of consulting the Ubuntu Software Center first. Packages found online could indeed be very hard to install, but considering the Ubuntu Software Center gives you access to thousands of programs there’s very little reason to ever bother with it.
When I first install a computer, there are certain things I want installed right away: codecs for all my music and movies, Flash for my web browser, Java, and something capable of opening RAR files. On Windows, ensuring I have all of these things means going through the process above for all software mentioned individually. On Ubuntu, all I need to do is install a single package: Ubuntu Restricted Extras. To install Ubuntu Restricted Extras I simply open up the Ubuntu Software Center, search for “Restricted” and find the package.
Click the install button, and with that simple step my computer is pretty much ready to go.
It should be added that on Windows systems I usually have to install a PDF Reader and a photo editor before I can really use the system, but Ubuntu comes with a PDF called Evince Reader and a photo editor called The Gimp by default.
This point is perhaps less relevant for users of Windows 7, which offers pretty good driver management through Windows Update, but it needs to be said that managing drivers on Ubuntu is a breeze. Since Ubuntu is upgraded every 6 months, if you use the latest version you probably won’t need to install a single driver to use your computer. If you do, it will be because the drivers you need are proprietary and as such cannot be included with Ubuntu for legal reasons.
Don’t worry, though: Ubuntu comes with a built-in program for downloading such proprietary drivers for your system. The first time your computer boots Ubuntu, it will inform you of any drivers you need, and install them for you with the click of a button.
I fix Windows PCs professionally, and wish XP had a similar feature. If my client has his or her driver CD it’s not too bad, but if not I’ve little recourse but to download the drivers the annoying Windows way, as described in the “Installing Software” section.
Using The Menu
While we’re talking about installing software on Windows compared to Ubuntu I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out my Windows pet peeve. When I install a program on Windows, it is added to the Start Menu. Where is the program added? In a folder named for the company that made the software.
This is infuriating to me, because knowing which program made the software doesn’t tell me what the program in question does. There are so many sub-menus that I frequently don’t know where to begin. Compare this mess to Ubuntu’s menu, which arranges programs by what they do:
Only five sub-menus, and all with a certain logic to them.
To be fair, the Start menu in Vista/Windows 7 is a little better than this in that I can search for a program. This means I can avoid ever looking at the terrible menu ever again. But this seems more like working around the issue instead of repairing it.
Changing Your Theme
Changing your color scheme on Windows is easy, but if you want to customize beyond changing the palette some work is in order. I use a custom theme on my Windows XP system, but installing it was anything but easy. I needed to hack a certain DLL to achieve this, something I should probably highlight in a future tutorial.
I’ll never need to write a tutorial explaining how to do this on Ubuntu, however, because it’s dead simple. Just click “System,” then “Preferences,” then “Appearance.” You’ll be shown a number of quality themes, and switching to any one is as easy as clicking it. If these themes aren’t enough for you, head over to Gnome-Look and find something that suits you. Installing the theme is as simple as dragging the downloaded package to your “Appearance” window.
I should make a confession here: I’ve never attempted to do this in Windows 7. By the looks of Karl’s article about the top 5 Windows 7 themes, customization is now Ubuntu-like in Windows 7. Good to hear!
When it comes to updates, Windows is a jungle. Adobe, Apple, Google and many more companies will all install their own update managers to your computer, most of which will bother you every time you boot your computer asking you to update various products.
On Ubuntu, there is only one update manager. This means keeping all your software up to date is simple, and that you don’t have 30,000 programs bothering you every time you boot your machine.
Sharing Your Wireless Connection Via Ethernet
Recently I wrote an article about sharing your wireless connection in Ubuntu. Since then I’ve switched the computer on my desk to Windows, and I cannot for the life of me figure out a way to achieve the same thing. Maybe you commenters can help me out, but every configuration I’ve used to share my wireless Internet connection via Ethernet in Windows resulted in my wireless not working anymore.
So I’m going to go ahead and say this is easier to do in Ubuntu, half because it’s true and half because I think this will cause one of you guys to recommend a Windows method that works for me.
In many ways, Ubuntu is easier to use than Windows. Does this mean Ubuntu is superior to Windows? Of course not, and I wouldn’t suggest so. You should use whatever operating system works best for you.
All I wanted to do was challenge the conception that Windows is easier to use in every aspect. Ubuntu has become easier to use every year, and I think even inspired a few of the changes in Windows 7 (I’d love to see a Windows 7 ad in which a Linux developer claims Windows 7 was his idea, because unlike the people in those silly advertisements the Linux developer would probably be right.) This isn’t a bad thing: competition makes everything better. Whenever new improvements are introduced to the operating system market, eventually everyone wins.
Please also note that most of the things described here are true of other Linux distributions as well, and the only reason I left these distributions out is that saying “before you install Linux you must choose from the thousands of distributions out there” hardly helps the argument that Linux is easy to use. For the vast majority of new Linux users Ubuntu is an excellent starting point, and that’s why I’m highlighting it here.
What do you guys think? Do these things sound easier to do on Ubuntu than Windows to you? Can you think of anything else easier in one operating system than another? We have a comments section, so comment!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
10 Simple Google Search Tricks
You can narrow your searches using this operator. For example, if you’re looking for information about American Idol but don’t want anything about Simon Cowell, you could try: “american idol” -cowel