Week Link Wednesday #15 – a Day Late & a Dollar Short

Week Link Wednesday Well, another week almost done! Nothing special planned for the Easter weekend – just hanging out with my family – which is my favorite thing to do. So let’s get down to business:

Do you ever need an old version of software but can find it anymore? I’ve run into that issue a few times and discovered that the site OldVersion.com is indespensible. They’ve got tons of different versions of many, many programs from media players and graphics to security and utilities.

Next up is a bit of nerd humor: XKCD – the self described “…webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.” The site contains adult language so it is not suitable for kids. Here’s a sample: Continue reading

Top 5 Best Royalty Free Photograpy Sites – Captain Tangent’s Week Link Wednesday #14

Commercial Quality and Royalty Free at openphoto!

Commercial Quality and Royalty Free at openphoto!

This week, I want to point out some really good royalty free stock photography and texture sites. Free as in no registration or subscription fees. Free as in free beer in fact. Not much banter this week, sorry – let’s just get right to the list. Shall we?

Number 5: Easy Elements Paper Textures has a nice small collection of high resolution paper textures and card stock – a great place to get elements for those “scrappy” layouts

Number 4: The Library of Congress’ photostream on flickr with over 5000 photos to chose from, mostly vintage, you are likely to find something interesting for that unique design.

Number 3: The openphoto Project has tens of thousands of quality images with various licensing models in place, depending on the contributor. With categories like Macro, Nature, Landscapes, Colors, and more, whether you design web sites, print materials, UI’s, or desktop themes, you’re sure to find just the right shot on openphoto. Continue reading

Captain Tangent’s Week Link Wednesday #13

Week Link WednesdayIt’s time again for another installment of Week Link Wednesday. It’s really the first installment of Week Link Wednesday, since the post used to be on Friday – Friday now features “Free Font Friday“. This change of days occurred mainly for the opportunity to use alliteration twice weekly. As a rule, alliteration almost always annoys.

So, once again, I’ve scoured my imense and ever-dynamic bookmark collection to bring you a few tidbits of the internet that you may not have been aware of. StumbleUpon is better suited to charting previously unknown-to-you parts of the web, but the tangential banter and stellar wit (not to mention the driest of sarcasm) is only available here. Continue reading

Captain Tangent’s Friday link post for 12/28/07

Week Link WednesdayAfter a brief hiatus, Captain Tangent is back with more useful/less links for your clicking pleasure.

This week, I want to start with a dilemma (one of several) of the web developer: None of my clients want their site to look like other sites that I’ve done – go figure. Nice looking color schemes are one aspect of this and there are several tools to assist. Online, there is the ColorSchemer. This is probably my favorite tool for color schemes. Just enter a hex or an RGB color value, and your off and running. For you Linux users out there, there is a package called Agave. They say that it is for the Gnome desktop, but it works just fine on my KDE desktop as well – obviously, you’ll need to have the Gnome libraries installed. Just look for Agave in your favorite package manager.

Every now and again, while browsing the internet, I come across a clever 404 error. Some are funny, some are scary, and some are just plain stupid. The good people at the 404 Research Lab have done a bang-up job of finding some of the more entertaining and unique errors. Yeah! A whole site dedicated to not finding what your looking for – now that’s geeky!

Everyone wants ajax these days – it looks great and can significantly enhance the usability of your web-based applications. Now there is no point in reinventing the wheel every time you need a feature or some sort of functionality for your apps. Head over to mini ajax for loads of code and ajax “applets”.

Finally, a shout to Wayne over at fsckin w/ linux – congrats on the success of your site – may it continue into the new year! I have traffic envy. Have a look at Wayne’s article Top Linux Headlines of 2007 – A Year In Review . It’s a brief article with links to some of the more interesting stories from the Linux world from this past year.

Captain Tangent’s Friday link post for 08/24/07 – with sneak peek bonus

The links that bind.Once again, we arrive at the Friday link love – or lack thereof, post. In addition to some links for sites that I found interesting or just plain found again in my vast hierarchically structured collection of bookmarks, I wanted to give a sneak peek into what is coming up on rackIT. Next week, we’ll be interviewing the good folks at KDE to see what’s new and nifty about KDE 4.0. We also introduce our series from the FLOSS Front Lines where we’ll meet the people that are in the trenches of the Free Software movement and what they are doing to propagate the benefits of Free Software and Open Source development. The series includes a brand new interview (exclusively on rackIT) with Free Software Foundation/GNU founder Richard M. Stallman. There’s your peek, now on with the links!

  1. Still using that clunky GUI text editor? Real men (and women) use the CLI and a good editor like VI. Have a look at Mastering the VI editor for tips on VI – it’s my editor of choice from the CLI.
  2. Did you know (I really hope you do) that you can edit text files in Emacs? Well, yeah- it is a text editor – with syntax highlighting – but it also doubles as an email/news/rss client, a file comparator (you know, like diff), a file manager, a complete integrated development environment, and, the icing on the cake, you can play tetris and several other games in Emacs. Have a look at the guided tour of Emacs for the scoop. BTW the aforementioned founder of the Free Software Foundation and GNU also happens to be the hack behind Emacs. It’s been in continuous development by the very same for over 30 years now – yes, 30 years. It’s probably pretty solid code by now! Richard Stallman also wrote the GNU C compiler, and quite a few other widely used programs.
  3. If you need high quality, royalty free stock photography, look no further than the morguefile. I’m not sure how many pictures are there, but I rarely can’t find what I’m looking for. The vast majority of it is high quality and professional. Most of the pics you see around rackIT come from the site – we’ve even done some print pieces of which the high res versions – available gratis, zipped and ready for download – reproduce quite nicely. You don’t even need an account to view or download the entire site.
  4. While most of try to avoid getting an STD, heres one you won’t mind catching. This STD is a Live Linux Distro loaded with security tools for your enjoyment and security auditing pleasure – in fact, that’s the st in STD – security tools distribution. It’s chock full of forensics applications, encryption tools, packet sniffers, firewalls, honeypots, Intrusion Detection Systems, wireless tools, password tools, etcetera and so on – many, many (many) tools – it’s even has virus removal stuff – that makes this one STD that you won’t have to go to the clinic to kill!
  5. Speaking of killing stuff, if you run your own apache web server, you can stop bad bots in their tracks. evolt has a good article about how you can do just that. Speaking of apache admin, if you are sick of folks stealing your measly bandwidth by linking to your graphics, not only can you stop external image linking, you can let people know that the images are coming from your site. Tom Sherman’s article at jotsheet explains the technique as implemented through .htaccess, but you can add the same code (more-or-less) to your httpd.conf file and get server-wide results. If you don’t like either howto, go straight to the source and read about both of these techniques from the mod_rewrite docs on the apache website (the link is for apache22). Go GUI-less and edit that httpd.conf in VI – it’ll really makes you feel like you know what your doing – well, unless you don’t use VI, then you’ll just feel stupid and frustrated.

So, there’s your tangentinated links and a few made up words to boot. We’ll see what’s in the link bag again next week. Don’t forget to stop by this coming week for our interview with Wade Olson of KDE who tells us about all the nifty new features we can look forward to in KDE 4.0 – Cheers!

Captain Tangent’s Friday link post for 08/17/07

The links that bind.In the tradition of great bloggers everywhere, I present the first installment of the Friday link love post, although, it doesn’t really qualify as “love” because many of the links are not to other blogs, unless I run across something that I particularly thought appropriate. So, on with it:

  1. Feed your inner sysadmin with The Unix Review. Shell Scripts, Forensics, Tool Reviews, and a particularly nerdy Regular Expression column. The content is a bit stale but still; loads of good information for noobs’ and not-so-noobs’ alike.
  2. You won’t find Muad’Dib and Gurney Hallack looking for worm sign, but you will see all kinds of honeynet, firewall, virus, and, yes, worm sign at ARAKIS, a site run by CERT Polska. BTW: I do know that the Arrakis of Paul Atreides is spelled differently, but who could resist such a reference?
  3. Since I’m on the subject, an excellent glossary for all things Dune is available for the clicking. The rest of Paul Baker’s dunemessiah.com site is pretty good as well. – Captain Tangent strikes again!
  4. RRDTool or the Round Robin Data Tool makes for some pretty interesting data graphing potential. Programs like smokeping and some of the graphs at ARAKIS are generated using this very flexible and highly customizable GPL package. If anything, check the gallery for all kinds of nifty ideas; from environmental monitoring to Season’s Greeting’s – Ho, Ho, Ho!
  5. We all like Free Software and Open Source because of the quality and principals behind the development. How about a free education? MIT – that’s the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – offers the MIT OpenCourseWare program that allows you to audit (that is take for no grade or credit), hundreds of courses from, well, MIT. Topics like; Prototyping Avionics, Technology, Law, and the Working Environment, Fourier Analysis – Theory and Applications, Statistical Thermodynamics of Complex Liquids, and less practical courses like Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager, and Competitive Decision-Making and Negotiation are there for the taking.
  6. Enough with the trivial topics: get fragged on *nix and Windows alike in OpenArena. An open source (GPL) Quake III Arena clone. You can play with yourself (the game), with AI, and with real people over LAN and WAN. Watch out for Vlad though – he’s a pretty tough character!

Check back next week as I continue to unearth forgotten treasures from my bookmarks. We will certainly discover the reason that some of them were forgotten!