Google Calculator

November 11, 2004 on 5:27 am | In General, Random Feature Sites, Utilities and Programs | No Comments

Google has a calculator built into it’s search engine. I never knew that. If you type “meters in mile” for example, it will give you the answer. You can also type typical math problems such as (2*4)+9 and the answer will appear.

You can also ask it to return definitions. Type “define: google” for example, and you get the answer. It appears as though a “:” is mandatory to see the results in the “definition” format.

Because I use firefox browser I always have the google seach bar on my browser … so I doubt I will “reach” for start/programs/accessories/calculator much in the future … and I never did reach for the dictionary, just ask my teachers.

On-line Utility to Split Images

October 30, 2004 on 3:34 am | In General, Utilities and Programs, Web Design | No Comments

This is a very neat on-line utility for splitting images. It will build the mouseovers even. It will only work with proportional images needing splitting, but if you only do one every once in a while it might work well for you.

Favicon Builder

October 30, 2004 on 3:32 am | In General, Utilities and Programs, Web Design | No Comments

This little on-line utility will help you build a favicon. You can build one manually if you wish using irfanview and your image editor, but if you don’t need a lot of control, give this a try.

Find a Missing Font

October 27, 2004 on 12:59 am | In General, Random Feature Sites, Utilities and Programs, Web Design | No Comments

Find a missing font by answering a few questions. The bigger the sample you have, the more likely you are to find what you are looking for. Hint, if you don’t know say you don’t.

Introducing sIFR: Headlines in Nice Fonts

October 23, 2004 on 9:35 pm | In General, Utilities and Programs, Web Design | No Comments

I am considering adding Mike Davidson to my personal list of web/html heros. He has something called sIFR (flash replacement of text so a nicer anti-aliased font can be used). Or as he puts it: Introducing sIFR, The Healthy Alternative to Browser Text.

I think I will try playing with this. If I understand it right, and I have to admit it is presented in a way that makes it a little hard for us slow people to follow, you have your text, use his engine to export your text, and it is embedded as a swf file.

Picasa: how much does it cost?

September 3, 2004 on 9:08 pm | In General, Utilities and Programs | No Comments

I love Google. At the bottom of a recent Google search up pops a promo for Picasa. It said:

You can find any image you want on the Web. How about on your own computer?
Albums. Editing. Printing. Sharing.
Try Picasa, Google’s new photo organizer.
Free Download!

Now I have to tell you, it looked good when I hit the product features page.

Continue reading Picasa: how much does it cost?…

Do the sight impaired like your website?

July 16, 2004 on 5:21 pm | In General, HTML, Utilities and Programs | No Comments

The world has millions of sight impaired people, Australia has at least 300,000, and other countries have an order of magnitude more.

Should they be discriminated against by web designers? Most countries have laws that give an emphatic NO! In fact, there have been court cases where companies have been sued for not providing for the disabled.

So, how does an ordinary “sighted” web designer discover if their proud works are suitable for those with vision impairments?
Up till now, you just had to follow disability guidelines and hope that was enough.

Continue reading Do the sight impaired like your website?…

Scintilla and SciTE

July 6, 2004 on 8:41 am | In Utilities and Programs | No Comments

SciTE Text Editor is a very nice text editor for syntax highlighting in many languages.



Rename files with this utility

April 30, 2004 on 3:58 am | In Utilities and Programs | No Comments

This is a great little Rename Files Utility that I have used on occaision. It allows you to preview the damage you are about to do before inflicting it. It is compatible with Windows 95/98/2000/XP.

The Regex Coach – interactive regular expressions

April 15, 2004 on 10:32 pm | In Utilities and Programs | No Comments

Now this looks like a nice utility! The The Regex Coach will help you see the effect of a proposed regex (Regular Expression) match using a perl compatible engine. I am going to give this a try. What do you use for this purpose? Leave a comment on what you use.

I have always struggled with formulating regex expressions. I get them in theory, I usually understand when I look at one someone else wrote, but when I need to draft one it is always a bit of guess work and fiddling. This will make that fiddling much faster, and the interactive explainations provided may in fact help me better understand the outcomes so I will fiddle less and less. I can hope can’t I?

Resize and Rotate Images On-line with this Utility

April 7, 2004 on 12:31 pm | In Utilities and Programs | No Comments is a nice little on-line utility you can use to change your images, reduce size, rotate, etc. It seemed to work very well in my tests. It was written by a friend of a prior student of mine, but I resisted any impulse to check out the html coding :-)

Mark-up Plain Text to Valid XHTML

March 22, 2004 on 10:03 am | In HTML, Utilities and Programs | No Comments

How many times did someone send you a word document complete with numbered paragraphs and ask you to convert to (x)html? It happens to me all the time. Next time I am going to try this on-line as it worked very well on a demo. Daring Fireball: Markdown Web Dingus.

You can also get a markdown perl script here if you want to run it locally or on your site. It appears to be an open source project … but then there is a $50 license fee for commercial work. I don’t quite understand how the two go together. If you do, please leave a comment.

Browser Header Checker

March 21, 2004 on 2:06 am | In Utilities and Programs | No Comments

Browser Header Checker is a nice little site to check your browser header string, remote address and other browser variables. Very handy.

Color Eye Dropper Nice for Grabbing Quick Color

March 18, 2004 on 4:07 am | In Utilities and Programs | No Comments

I often am looking at something on my computer and think, now that is a nice color … what is it. In the past I most often look either at the coding (if it is CSS for example) or save the image locally and then look using my photo/image editing software. So today I said ENOUGH! I went looking for a free dropper and found one that I like: Color Picker Eye Dropper. It has many options like which color format to show/use, copy and paste to the clipboard or a color dialog, etc. Very nice.

Color Blender – Nice On-Line Utility to Pick Color Gradients

March 8, 2004 on 5:53 pm | In Utilities and Programs | No Comments

One of the hardest things for those of us with limited color skills (or is it artistic skills?) is to get a nice set of colors for a site. We have many places we look when we want to find coordinating colors for example. However, one that I really like is this one that allows you to see a gradient of colors between two selected colors.

Color Blender

We also have a color tool on our site that we like to use. It isn’t our original work, however, we recently were able to make it partially functional in Firefox/Mozilla browsers, whereas it was not as originally written. The sliders aren’t draggable in Firefox/Mozilla. However you can click on the colored squares.

Web Save Color Slider at

Make PDF files from your files

March 7, 2004 on 2:19 am | In Utilities and Programs | 1 Comment

I sometimes have documents submitted to me with a request to make them into pdf (portable document format) files so that they will display in Adobes free Acrobat Reader program. I have never had enough demand for this to justify buying the full blown Acrobat program. In the past I often use Corel WordPerfect (because it will save as a pdf), or used a screenshot and saved using a presentation program I sometimes use. None of these solutions did the job in all circumstances …

I recently happened onto this site: and it seemed to do a very good job of converting my document on-line. I simply waited for it to convert, and then right clicked on the resulting link and choose save link to disk. Problem solved.

It supports all of these file formats:

Supported file formats:

Generic Formats
Adobe PDF
Adobe PostScript
Encapsulated PostScript (EPS)

Microsoft Publisher documents

Word Processing Formats
Microsoft RTF
Microsoft Word for PC v2
Microsoft Word for PC v3
Microsoft Word for PC v4
Microsoft Word for PC v5.5
Microsoft Word for Macintosh v4
Microsoft Word for Macintosh v5
Microsoft Word for Macintosh v6
Microsoft Word for Macintosh v98
Microsoft Word for Windows v2.x
Microsoft Word for Windows v6.0
Microsoft Word for Windows 95
Microsoft Word for Windows 97
Microsoft Word for Windows 2000
Microsoft Works v1.0
Microsoft Works v2.0
Microsoft Works v3.0
Microsoft Works v4.0
Microsoft Windows Write v1.0
Microsoft Windows Write v2.0
Microsoft Windows Write v3.0
WordPerfect v5.x
WordPerfect v6
WordPerfect v7
WordPerfect v8
WordPerfect v9/2000
WordPerfect for Macintosh v2
WordPerfect for Macintosh v3

Spreadsheet Formats
Corel QuattroPro v7
Corel QuattroPro v8
Lotus 1-2-3 v2
Lotus 1-2-3 v3
Lotus 1-2-3 v4
Lotus 1-2-3 v5
Lotus 1-2-3 96
Lotus 1-2-3 97
Lotus 1-2-3 R9
Microsoft Excel v3
Microsoft Excel v4
Microsoft Excel v5
Microsoft Excel v6
Microsoft Excel 97
Microsoft Excel 2000/XP
Microsoft Excel for Mac 98
Microsoft Works Spreadsheet v1.0
Microsoft Works Spreadsheet v2.0
Microsoft Works Spreadsheet v3.0
Microsoft Works Spreadsheet v4.0
Presentation Formats
Lotus Freelance 1.0-2.1
Microsoft PowerPoint 4.0
Microsoft PowerPoint 95
Microsoft PowerPoint 97
Microsoft PowerPoint 2000/XP
Microsoft PowerPoint for Macintosh 98

Graphic Formats
AVS - AVS X image file
BMP - MS Windows Bitmap image file
BMP - OS/2 Bitmap
DCX - ZSoft IBM PC multi-page Paintbrush file
DIB - MS Windows Device Independent Bitmap
DPX - Digital Moving Picture Exchange
FAX - Group 3 FAX encoding
FITS - Flexible Image Transport System
FPX - FlashPix Format
GIF - CompuServe graphics interchange format
GIF87 - CompuServe graphics interchange format ver 87
ICO - MS Windows Icons
ICO - OS/2 Icons
IPTC - Newswire profile
JBIG - Joint Bi-level Image experts Group file interchange format
JP2 - JPEG-2000 JP2 File Format Syntax
JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group JFIF format
JPG - Joint Photographic Experts Group JFIF format
MIFF - Magick image file format
MNG - Multiple-image Network Graphics
MPC - Magick Persistent Cache image file format
MTV - MTV Raytracing image format
OTB - On-the-air Bitmap
PBM - Portable Bitmap
PCD - Kodak PhotoCD - Base/16, Base/4 and Base only
PCDS - Kodak PhotoCD - Base/16, Base/4 and Base only
PCT - MacIntosh PICT
PCX - PC PaintBrush
PGM - Portable GrayMap
PICT - Apple Macintosh QuickDraw/PICT file
PNG - Portable Network Graphics
PNM - Portable Any Bitmap
PPM - Portable PixelMap
PSD - Adobe Photoshop
P7 - Xv's visual schnauzer format
RAS - Raster Sun Microsystems
RGBA - Raw red, green, blue, and matte samples
SGI - Irix RGB image file
SUN - Raster SunMicrosystems
TGA - TrueVision Targa
TIFF - Tagged Interchange File Format
VICAR - V.I.C.A.R. Image file format
VID - Visual Image Directory
VIFF - Khoros Visualization image file
WMF - Windows Meta File
XBM - X Windows system bitmap, black and white only
XPM - X Windows system pixmap file (color)
XWD - X Windows system window dump file (color)

Let me know how it goes if you give it a try.

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