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Slowing Down Movies in Quicktime

Just a quick post today.. Awhile ago I was putting together some video screencasts, and needed a way to “slow-down” the video to play certain sections at half-speed. After much trial and fiddling, here are the steps that actually worked to produce a saved copy of the movie (not just run the slow motion effect on the live movie). Read more »

30+ Online Drawing Tools

Here are some great online drawing tools for those who like to draw and work online at the same time. Way back in 2006, online drawing tools were few and far between, especially anything with collaborative functionality for multi-user action. Back then, the choices were basically Groupboard and LiTha-Paint. But the scene is much improved, with some amazing single- and multi-user drawing tools available for getting creative and having fun. Here’s a round-up of our favorites.. Read more »

Switching from Firefox to Chrome

I’ve used Firefox as my main browser for years. I’ve always known it to be fast and functional, but for some reason after version 3 or 4, things started getting not so good. For example, each major upgrade leaves me with fewer compatible extensions. And if you don’t remember to disable the auto-updates option, you may be stuck with your favorite extensions not working. I lost some great add-on functionality for the Fx4 -> Fx5 update, but continued using Firefox almost by force of habit. Read more »

Switching from PC to Mac

I finally made the switch from PC to Mac. My previous machine was an old Sony Vaio purchased in 2005. It was top of the line then, and actually worked great until about a year ago, when it inevitably began dying a slow, complicated death. The time to finally buy a new computer was fast approaching.. Read more »

Lessons Learned after 5 Years of Blogging

This Fall, I celebrate five years of blogging. I have written tons of web development stuff at Perishable Press, lots of helpful WordPress stuff at Digging into WordPress, some creative/artistic stuff at Dead Letter Art, jQuery stuff at jQuery Mix, and some business-related web-design stuff at Monzilla Media. Plus a bunch of interviews, guest posts, and other blogging projects. So yeah, lots of blogging and writing during the past five years. And they just flew by. Despite what the haters may say, there are some tangible benefits to blogging. As I write, I continue to learn a great deal – […] Read more »

A Few Steps Back

I have been doing some non-design-related work recently and have not been saturated with anything even computer-related for the past several weeks. Mostly I have been just enjoying life, but also drawing quite a bit and going around taking photos of old, decrepit homesteads and factories. Needless to say, it’s been a much-needed respite from the usual crunch and grind. Taking a few steps back like this from the Web — even for such a short period of time — is remarkably refreshing, and has given me time to contemplate all this web-stuff that keeps us all so busy. When […] Read more »

New Year Reminder

Just a reminder to stay focused on what you are doing as the New Year unfolds. The world has been overflowing with opportunity and creativity like never before. But most of it is profit-driven regurgitation and mass-marketing of empty hype and latest trends. Stay away from the garbage and keep your mind focused on your goals. Distractions may snag your attention for a moment, but you’ve got to catch yourself as soon as possible and realize that you’re wasting valuable time unless you’re doing what you truly want to be doing. Read more »

Stupid Twitter Tricks

Might as well face it, Twitter is here to stay. Not that it’s all that bad, just used to be a lot more laid-back and enjoyable. These days it seems to have been taken over by the lowest common-denominator, mostly high-school twits or useless commercial propaganda. Even so, I still enjoy tweeting the occasional profound thought once in awhile, and even like to play around with various types of “advanced” Twitter functionality. You know, cool stuff like including “Tweet This!” links with short URLs, showing off my number of Twitter followers, displaying the number of tweets for each post, and even […] Read more »

How to Protect Your Site Against Content Thieves

Stolen content is the bane of every blogger who provides a publicly available RSS feed. By delivering your content via feed, you make it easy for scrapers to assimilate and re-purpose your material on their crap Adsense sites. It’s bad enough that someone would re-post your entire feed without credit, but to use it for cheap money-making schemes is about as pathetic as it gets. If you’re lucky, the bastards may leave all the links intact, so at least you will get a few back-links (if you have been linking internally) and get notified of the stolen content as well […] Read more »

Find a Diamond in the Rough

Getting the best possible web hosting is for obvious reasons something that all website owners aim to do. However, you might know what type of web hosting you are looking to get but still do not know what provider to partner up with. Many of the web hosting top lists you find on the web today look the same as they all take the same things into account. These guides usually take into account similar factors and cost usually is weighted highly. While many people do simply look for the cheapest host with decent reviews, there are others who seek […] Read more »

Associate Any File with Notepad in Five Seconds

In my article, Associate Extensionless Files with Notepad, I explain how to navigate the labyrinthine maze of Windows dialogue menus to assign Microsoft’s Notepad text editor as the opening application for files without extensions. In this post, I’ll show you how to associate any file type with any program (including Notepad) in less than five seconds. Ready? Don’t blink, you’ll miss it.. ;) Modify any file extension association in five seconds Open the Windows command prompt and enter the following command: assoc .extension=fileType It’s that easy. What is happening here? Let’s break it down, just for fun: assoc — Windows file-association […] Read more »

Just Nod if You Can Hear Me

I have always heard it said that it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. When the grocery clerk sarcastically tells you to “have a nice day,” you probably understand it to mean just the opposite, and that the person couldn’t care less about you or your day. Conversely, when your fellow employee jokingly tells you to “go to hell,” you probably take the comment in stride and assume that it was intended to be a friendly and perhaps humorous exchange based on mutual camaraderie. Read more »

How to Take DVD/Video Screenshots on Windows

Taking screenshots of DVD, MPEG, AVI, and other video on Windows machines requires a couple of extra steps. A normal screenshot is easy enough to capture by pressing the “Print Screen” button on your keyboard. To capture a screenshot of video display, however, you need to disable hardware acceleration to make it work. To do this on Windows machines, go to your Desktop properties and click on the Settings tab. Click on the Advanced button and then on the Troubleshooting tab. Slide the Hardware Acceleration to “None” and then capture and process your screenshot as normal. Once you are finished […] Read more »

5-Minute PNG Image Optimization

A great way to improve the performance of your site is to optimize the size of your images. Smaller image sizes require less bandwidth, disk space and load time, and ultimately improve visitor experience. In this article, I share my effective 5-minute technique for optimizing PNG images. This is a two-step, lossless optimization process that removes as much extraneous data as possible without sacrificing any image quality whatsoever. It’s fast, free, and highly effective. Read more »

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