Thursday, September 2, 2010 “Cool Websites and Tools [September 1st]” plus 9 more “Cool Websites and Tools [September 1st]” plus 9 more

Link to

Cool Websites and Tools [September 1st]

Posted: 01 Sep 2010 08:31 PM PDT

Check out some of the latest MakeUseOf discoveries. All listed websites are FREE (or come with a decent free account option). No trials or buy-to-use craplets. For more cool websites and web app reviews subscribe to MakeUseOf Directory.

List Your Website Here!


YouTube Music – Are you a YouTube fan who constantly checks out the video hosting site for new music? If yes, then YouTube just did you a favor: they revamped their music page to add some great features. It started with YouTube's “Shows” and “Movies” page and now YouTube has transformed its “Music” page as well. Read more: YouTube Music: Easily Discover New Music Videos On YouTube


iPhone Signature Creator – Most people create a signature that is automatically pasted at the bottom of all outgoing emails. iOS-running device owners, however, cannot make use of automatic HTML signatures because it is not a built-in feature. Thankfully "iPhone Signature Creator" is there to solve this problem. Read more: iPhone Signature Creator: HTML EMail Signature Generator For iPhone



FaceToFind -With 500 million users, Facebook has also become one of the largest video sharing portals on the web. FaceToFind is a tool that lets you search for Facebook videos without any hassle. You can search videos using keywords, watch them in full screen and post comments on the video like YouTube. Read more: FaceToFind: Search, Watch & Save Facebook Videos Onto Your Computer



1HrMail – Want to send a quick note to Grandma but don't want to run to the post office? 1HRMail is a new service that lets you send letters online. The app lets you write a letter online and once you submit, they print it, then mail it out to your specified address within 1 hour. You can write the contents of the letter using a built-in rich text editor and even insert images and signatures. Read more: 1HRMail: Send Letters Online.



Daileez – Most people use their social networking accounts to keep their friends updated. While making new updates is easy, finding past updates is not. For that you need a diary. Most online diaries do not have much visual appeal. But with Daileez you get a feature-rich visually brilliant virtual diary. Read more: Daileez: Keep A Free Visual Diary Online.


List Your Website Here!

These are just half of the websites that we discovered in the last couple of days. If you want us to send you daily round-ups of all cool websites we come across, leave your email here. Or follow us via RSS feed.

Follow MakeUseOf on Twitter. Includes cool extras.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

CONGRATS: zozi New Zealand Trip Giveaway Winner Selected

Posted: 01 Sep 2010 06:30 PM PDT

Yes, we know. The giveaway has been over for quite a while now. We tried hard to push through the red tape and good news — we’ve finally selected a winner to go on this fabulous trip.

Congratulations, Dan Splawn from Boncarbo, CO. (up in the mountains).

For his plus one, Dan will be taking his beautiful wife to New Zealand. Well Dan, we hope that you and your wife will have a great time tasting fantastic wine, eating fabulous food and enjoying the view. Remember to take lots of photos to show off to other MakeUseOf readers!

If you’re just tuning in, zozi is has just been launched nationally across the US and to celebrate, they’re giving away $500,000 in free activities! We’re not kidding — take a look at their website. A whole load of activities are now available for free. Choose from whitewater rafting to yoga to whale watching.

Got Questions? Ask Them Now FREE on MakeUseOf Answers!



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Getting Things Done With Nirvana Private Beta [500 Invites!]

Posted: 01 Sep 2010 04:31 PM PDT

getting things doneGetting things done, or GTD, is a popular category of web application software. We have covered many GTD programs in the past and they each have their own little pros and cons. I am going to introduce you to another one called Nirvana (@nirvanahq on Twitter) and go over some of the things that make this particular product unique and useful.

Before we start, I should mention that Nirvana is currently in private beta. However, Christiane over at Nirvana has kindly offered us beta invites for 500 lucky readers!

Getting Things Done (GTD)

A brief summary of Getting Things Done is appropriate here. GTD is a productivity philosophy created by David Allen which basically says that in order to maximize your productivity, you need to empty your mind of the tasks on hand and focus on one task a a time.

GTD apps do this by doing a “brain dump” of everything on your mind, giving you the peace of mind that you won’t forget anything yet allow you to work on one project at a time. In today’s fast paced, multitasking world many people (including myself) have found this to be a refreshing take on things, allowing us to “get things done” in the most efficient way possible.

What Is Nirvana?

getting things done

We have previously covered lots of GTD apps so I wanted to focus on what makes Nirvana different rather than a list of features, most of which are similar to other task applications.

The one thing that sets Nirvana apart from other GTD apps is its strict adherence to the basic tenets of Getting Things Done. Many apps I’ve seen have gone feature crazy and the end result is an overbloated, complicated mess of a task manager. Toodledo has been my go-to app for managing my ever growing task list, and it has been great to me. However I think Nirvana’s brilliance is in its simplicity.

You can enter tasks by themselves, or group them into Projects. The tasks entries are fairly straight forward, with the following options available:

getting things done

  • Scheduled For
  • Due Date
  • Effort (Time)
  • Energy

Tasks and projects can also be broken down into Areas, such as home, work or school; allowing you to separate these areas and use Nirvana for each particular focus area of your life.

productivity software

Another important tenet of GTD are “ticklers.” In an old office setting these were folders which you would put things that were due for that particular day – 43 folders of them (12 for months, 31 for days). In Nirvana, this is accomplished by email ticklers.

On each day, you can be reminded of what tasks you have scheduled or due on that day. This is handy for remembering to pay bills, or tasks that have been given due dates by your superiors. These are set up in the account settings, where you can also find a specific email address you can use to send tasks to from anywhere.


productivity software

Many apps now have iPhone and/or Android applications to complement their web offerings and I think this is an important aspect of keeping in tune what you need to get done. Often I do my best thinking when I am in the car and it is essential to be able to get my thoughts down into my task manager.

Nirvana is no different. Instead of going the ‘App’ route, they actually have created a compelling mobile website which is customized to your platform. When using this on my iPhone, the web app is responsive and feels like a native app, which impressed me the most. Transitions are intact and everything feels very fluid.

An iPhone native app is planned for the future, and I would be keen to try this out as well.

The Future

The future also looks very bright for Nirvana. Nirvana is a startup based in Montreal and their team is very accessible if you have feature suggestions or bug inquiries. They have a list of things they are actively working on, which includes a developer API, feeds and an improved import/export. One feature I see lacking, and this may actually be a plus, is the lack of any type of group organization or task management. For some I see this as a benefit, however if you are looking for a group task manager it would be best to use another GTD style app.

productivity software

On to the beta invites! Use the code ‘makeuseofgtd‘ in the New Account Signup box to receive your invitation instantly. When you enter your email on the first page, they will confirm your email address and continue with the signup process.

Let us know how you find Nirvana, we found this app to be refreshing in its simplicity and design and hope you find it useful as well.

Hey Facebookers, make sure to check out MakeUseOf page on Facebook. Over 24,000 fans already!



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Create A Professional DJ Party Mix With OTS Turntables

Posted: 01 Sep 2010 02:31 PM PDT

download a virtual dj studioWhether you’re trying to create a mix of audio tracks to burn to CD as a gift for someone, or you want to put together a cool stream of awesome songs with professional DJ fading, scratches and other effects, it isn’t always easy to find high quality DJ mixing software for free.

Jeffry described how you can put together a party iTunes playlist with DJ Song Lists, and Angelina reviewed a couple of cool free apps that you can use to mix up tunes. All of these apps are great, but they don’t provide that DJ look and feel – wouldn’t it be cool to download a virtual DJ studio you can run on your laptop that gives you a couple of turntables and lets you perform realtime effects on the music as it plays?

Enter OTS Turntables, a very cool, free DJ app that not only gives you the ability to create a playlist of music with professional fading and effects, but it lets you have a little fun with the music as it plays, rotating the turntable for that track and scratching it up a bit – or performing a variety of other effects that would keep the party fluid and high-energy.

Your Own DJ Turntables

The best part of this application is the awesome design. The skin makes it feel like you’ve got your own personal mixing board right in front of you – complete with two turntables, an equalizer, processor, digital effects and much more. It offers the level of mixing features that you’d only expect with paid software.

download a virtual dj studio

The bottom of the window is where you load in all of your tracks in the order that you would want them to play. They won’t necessarily play automatically unless you enable the Auto DJ feature. Otherwise, you can drag any of the tracks in this window onto one of the two turntables. Then, you can play one or both of those tracks, adding effects as they play if you want to.

virtual dj studio

You can load in tracks from anywhere, whether it’s a folder or an audio CD. Once you’ve loaded the track onto your turntable, you can use any of the effects on the turntable to alter just that track, while the other turntable remains unaffected by those changes. These include changing the pitch, tempo or the direction of play (yes, you can play the track in reverse at high speed if you want to).

In the center of the turntables, you’ll find the volume controls where you can perform any form of fading that you like.

virtual dj studio

When you click on the “FX” button under the turntable, you’ll find different ways that you can alter the playback of that track. Most of the effects are different scratch techniques that you can record and then utilize for any track that you’re playing.

virtual dj studio

When you click on the devices that make up your DJ mixer board, a pop-up window opens so that you can modify your overall output sound however you like. Another cool feature of OTS Turntables is the fact that there are preset settings for different “themes” you may be looking for.

For example, click on “Bass Boost” and the Equalizer automatically configures to maximize the low frequency end of the range for each channel.

free mix dj studio

The same goes for the “Dynamics Processor,” where you can alter each of the settings to get just the sound that you’re looking for. Or click on one of the theme buttons at the bottom, such as DJ, Lounge or Party – and the settings all adjust to the levels that you need.

Best of all, you aren’t tied down to performing your amazing feats of special music effects during the party itself. If you want to perform your magic and record it for the fun later, you can do so by clicking on the program icon in the upper right corner and clicking on “Output Configuration.”

download a virtual dj studio

Here, you can set up any output device that you may want to feed your music to (such as an amp or some other hardware), or you can feed the entire mix that you’re creating to an output wave file, which you can then burn to an audio CD, or convert to an MP3 and post it online (just be careful with copyrights!).

Overall, OTS Turntables is one of the most functional and high quality free DJ mixing apps that I’ve seen yet. So download a virtual DJ studio for yourself, give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Image Credit: Jannes Glas



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Hot Tech Deals [Sep 1st]

Posted: 01 Sep 2010 01:15 PM PDT

If you’re in the market for a new computer, laptop, mobile phone, games and other accessories; don’t waste your time searching online. We’ve taken the liberty of locating the best tech deals and unifying them into a single post for your convenience.

For more fresh hot deals, visit our Hot Tech Deals page, which is constantly updated.

Keep reading to find out today’s Hot Tech Deals.

  1. TODAY ONLY Cavalry 2TB USB 2.0 & eSATA External Hard Drive $99.99AR Free Shipping via code 24HRSALE91H
  2. EXPIRING Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB Internal SATA Hard Drive $39.99 Free Shipping via code EMCYWNT34
  3. $75 off any Optiplex Desktop priced $229+ via code Optiplex$299&up$75
  4. $75 off any Latitude Laptop $399+ via code Latitude$399&up$75
  5. $30 off any 19, 20 or 22″ Monitors via code $30offSelectMonitors
  6. Additional $75 off Dell PowerEdge T410 Servers List Price $1429+ via code 74PKGQD1FXQRF5
  7. 25% off ANY Dell Mobile or Fixed Precision Workstation $1999+ via code RNH5GKVC7SRS4?
  8. Additional $50 Off All Dell PowerEdge T110 Servers With List Price Over $849 via code 80ML5WMBN5L949
  9. TODAY ONLY OCZ Diesel 8GB USB Flash Drive $17.99 Free Shipping via code 24HRSALE91F
  10. TODAY ONLY Samsung P2770HD 27in Hybrid LCD HDTV & Monitor (HD Tuner) $349.99 via code 24HRSALE91B
  11. Panasonic SDR-SW21 Standard Def 10x Waterproof Camera $229.99 Free Shipping via code

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

Do you like MakeUseOf articles? Don’t forget to share our articles with others! It’s really important to us.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

20 Strange & Interesting Facts About Microsoft, Google & Apple

Posted: 01 Sep 2010 12:31 PM PDT

strange interesting factsIf you have to pick three companies that take up most of your mindspace, I am sure you would plonk for The Big Three – Apple, Microsoft, and Google.

No three companies can be more different, but they affect our lives in the same way.

Microsoft, the oldest of the three, has the iron grip on desktop computing. Apple, next born, is about personal style thanks to iconic products like the Mac and the iPod. Google, the youngest, but arguably the most vivacious of the lot, has a finger in any pie that has to do with the internet (and beyond).

But how well do we know these three that are with us 24×7?

Every great company has a story behind its legend. Strange and interesting facts and anecdotes about behemoths such as these demonstrate that it's not always about bits, bytes, multi-billion dollar revenues and lawsuits.

Interesting Facts About Google

strange interesting facts

“We came up with the notion that not all web pages are created equal. People are – but not web pages.” – Sergey Brin

  • The well known 'Don't be evil' is actually an informal motto of Google. It is a reference to their corporate philosophy which says that you can make money without being evil. It was coined by Paul Buchheit, the man behind Gmail.
  • Sergey Brin and Larry Page didn't know too much about HTML. That's why the first homepage had a very bare bones design. The simple design caused people to just sit there looking at the screen during initial tests. Test users were actually waiting for the “rest of the page to load”. To solve that particular problem the Google Copyright message was added as a line as an end of page marker.
  • strange and interesting facts

  • Just so you know: 'to google' became a verb in 2006 when both Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary as well as the Oxford English Dictionary recognized it. It of course means – to use the Google search engine to obtain information on the Internet.
  • Users can search for content in 35 non-English languages, including Chinese, Greek, Icelandic, Hebrew, Hungarian and Estonian. To date, no requests have been received from beyond the earth’s orbit, but Google has a Klingon interface if they decide to make contact one day.
  • strange and interesting facts

  • When Larry Page and Sergey Brin assembled their first server to test the PageRank code, they housed ten 4 Gigabyte HDD in a cabinet made of Lego bricks.
  • strange and interesting facts

  • Google's core search engine ranking system is called PageRank. Each page is assigned a rank that determines its ranking in the search engine results. But the term is not taken from its function; it's actually named after Google co-founder Larry Page. In the early days it was called BackRub.
  • How much energy does a single Google Search take up? Google says it's about 1KJ (Kilo Joules). In green terms, it's approximately equal to .2g of CO2 emitted per search. See it compared against everyday activities.
  • facts about google

    Interesting Facts About Microsoft

    facts about google

    "If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good." – Bill Gates

  • The first Operation System Microsoft coded was Xenix, which was a version of UNIX under a different name. But it was MS-DOS made for IBM PCs that gave it a foothold in the software market.
  • facts about google

  • Bill Gates wrote a class scheduling program for his school. He tweaked the program's code so that he was placed in classes with mostly female students.
  • Microsoft fashioned the use of code names for under-development software and systems. For instance, Windows 7 was 'Vienna'. Wikipedia has a complete list.
  • Did you know that you can't create a folder named 'con' in Windows?
  • The first Windows virus was called Winver 1.4.
  • The name of its search engine 'Bing' has its origins in Bingo. Just like the game, it was meant to suggest that something looked for has been found or realized. 'Bang' was also proposed because it was memorable, short, and easy to spell. Finally, Bing was chosen for the same reasons.
  • Ironically, Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit is one of the largest developers of Macintosh software outside of Apple Inc. Also, Microsoft Office for Mac was introduced for Macintosh in 1989, a year before Office was released for Windows.
  • Interesting Facts About Apple

    “We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.” – Steve Jobs (on Mac OS X’s Aqua user interface)

  • Fortune magazine named Apple as the most admired company in the United States in 2008; and in the world in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
  • The original Apple logo had Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. It was replaced by the one we are more familiar with. To differentiate the silhouette of the apple from a cherry, the 'bite' was put in.
  • 'Macintosh' is in fact a variety of apple. It also was the first commercially successful personal computer that resembles the ones we use today. It was the first ones to have a graphical user interfaces (GUI) and mouse instead of command line interfaces.
  • Apple also made one of the first consumer digital cameras. The Apple QuickTake, launched in 1994 was discontinued in 1997. The camera could shoot and store eight photos at 640×480 resolution, 32 photos at 320×240 resolutions, or a mixture of both sizes.
  • Apple had a third founder besides Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Ronald Wayne had a 10% stake in the company. He forfeited his share to the new company for a total of $2,300. All three partners worked at Atari before they started Apple. Ronald Wayne drew the first Apple logo, wrote the three men’s original partnership agreement and wrote the Apple I manual. He has never owned an Apple product.
  • strange interesting facts

  • The flag bearer for Apple Inc, the Macintosh, wasn't the brainchild of the two Steve's. Jef Raskin an expert in human-computer interaction started and inspired the Apple Macintosh line. He also coined the name.
  • There are enough strange interesting facts to fill up entire bookshelves on these three companies. Tell us the ones you know.

    Do you like MakeUseOf articles? Don’t forget to share our articles with others! It’s really important to us.



    Similar MakeUseOf Articles

    6 Little Known Ways To Enable & Add More Word Processing Power [Mac]

    Posted: 01 Sep 2010 11:31 AM PDT

    word processing for macIt’s no doubt that modern technologies have shifted our method of exchanging information away from the oral tradition and closer to the written tradition. It seems that the lives of today’s internet generation revolves around text; starting from the SMS’s, Tweets, status updates, emails, blogs, to office works and term papers. These text creating businesses require us to have some sort of word processing ability in our devices.

    Even though the term “word processor” is almost identical to Microsoft Word, it is not the one and only tool. If you use Mac, there are many alternatives to a word processor that you can use. You can even improve your word processing life without having to modify the word processor application itself by enabling and adding more power to it.

    Here are some little known word processing tips that you can try out on your Mac.

    Quick Tips

    1. Quick Access To Dictionary

    If you are using Cocoa-based applications to compile your words into sentences, you have the privilege to quick access the Dictionary.

    Every time you have to check out the meaning of your words, just hover your mouse pointer above the word and hit “Command + Control + D” (or hit the shortcut directly after you type the word). The word will be highlighted and the definition will pop up in a small dictionary window below it.

    word processing for mac

    Click the “Dictionary” button at the bottom of the window to get more options, such as finding similar words in the Thesaurus or accessing the definition using other installed dictionaries.

    word processing tips

    Clicking “More…” will launch the Dictionary app featuring your highlighted word.

    2. Quick Help With Word Spelling

    I use this method whenever I have doubt about the spelling of the word that I’m using. Move the cursor to the part of the word that you want to check out and hit the “Esc” button. A list of words with similar spelling will pop up. Use the up and down arrow button to select the word and “Enter” to use it. Or hit “Esc” one more time to go back to your writing.

    word processing tips

    3. Automatic Word Replacement

    Snow Leopard comes with a decent text replacement feature which, I personally think, is underused by most Mac users. You can use this feature to save time in typing words or sentences that you often use.

    For example, I created a rule in “System Preferences – Language & Text – Text” to substitute the word “Jeff” with “Jeffry Thurana“.

    word processing tips

    Now, every time I want to type my full name, all I have to do is type “Jeff” and hit “Enter“.

    mac word processing

    And the short word will automatically be replaced by the substitute.

    mac word processing

    You can use this feature to help you replace a code like “addr” with your full mailing address, or “greet” with a longer greeting, or other texting uses. Be creative.

    One caveat though, this feature (and the others mentioned above) will not work for every app. Just a few selected ones, mostly Mac’s own native apps.

    Using Services

    Another way to empower your writing process is by using Services. We’ve discussed Services briefly before and I think this is the perfect power-up solution.

    Go to “System Preferences – Keyboard – Keyboard Shortcuts” and select “Services“. You will see tons of available services which came along with Mac OS X or added later by other applications, and you can easily enable/disable the ones that you need.

    Another power that you can get from Services is the ability to assign shortcuts to the services to save time executing them.

    For word processing, you will want to go to the “Text” section and take your pick.

    mac word processing

    But if you feel that the available text related Services are not sufficient, you can add more third-party services built specifically to enhance your writing process. Here are some gems that I found:

    4. Print Selection

    This service will allow you to print selected text. Just highlight part of your document, right click (or go to App menu and select “Services“), and choose “Print Selection

    07 Print Selection.jpg

    Please note that installing this service will require you to log out and log back in before you can use it.

    05a Log Out Install Service.jpg

    5. CalcService

    This unique service will give you the ability to calculate numbers directly from your writing. Very handy to do a quick calculation.

    Be sure to enable the service from the System Preferences by ticking the box next to it, and don’t forget to assign a shortcut to it.

    08a Calculate.jpg

    Then select the calculation and choose the services from the app menu, or simply hit the shortcut.

    08b Calculate.jpg

    There’s no installation needed for the service, you just need to copy the service file to ~/Library/Services. (But you still need to log out and log back in to activate it).

    06 Copy Services.jpg

    6. WordService

    This service comes from the same developer as the CalcService, and it will give you more power than you can imagine, such as: Inserting Long Date And Time, Changing Sentence Case, Shift Left, Shift Right, showing the document Statistic, etc. You have the complete list on the ReadMe document included in the downloaded package.

    09b WordService - Statistic.jpg

    Again, don’t forget to activate the services (and assign the shortcut) that you need from the System Preferences.

    word processing for mac

    Do you have your own tips and tricks to power up your writing process? If so, why not share them using the comments below?

    Image credit: Keith Williamson

    Follow MakeUseOf on Twitter. Includes cool extras.



    Similar MakeUseOf Articles

    The Top Learning Resources To Be A Better Freelance Writer

    Posted: 01 Sep 2010 10:30 AM PDT

    freelance writerWhile computers and other forms of technology have replaced many manual labor jobs, that's not the case in the field of writing. The daily proliferation of websites demands good and consistent content produced by freelance writers, designers, technicians and other web content providers.

    If you're interested in pursuing work in freelance writing, there are a number of resourceful websites that provide real world tips and strategies. These are not job sites per sé; they are places to go to learn about the what it takes to develop and maintain a career as a freelance writer.

    Freelance Folder

    freelance writer

    One of the freelance writing sites at the top of my RSS feed is Freelance Folder. This site is not just for freelance writers, but it frequently runs freelance writing related articles each week. Its staff consists of writers, bloggers and designers whose recent subjects have included, “How to Use Twitter to Find More Freelance Work“, “Three Things Your Customers Wont Tell You … Unless you Ask“, “How to Stop Scrambling for Clients and Get Steady Stream of Paying Gigs.” The site also includes a free members forum of over 500 members.

    The Savvy Freelancer

    freelance writer websites

    If you're fairly new to freelance writing, you'll definitely want to start with Alexis Rodrigo's The Savvy Freelancer. Her 31 Days to Start a Freelance Business (Or Make a Better One) rivals many books on the subject. Reading through her series of blog entries will provide lots of ideas for getting started in the field. She covers a range of topics from how to assess your skills, how to track your income and expenses, to how to monitor your freelance progress. This is the type of information that many people pay for.


    freelance writer websites

    One of the most commented upon websites for writers is, which currently has over 124,000 subscribers. Copyblogger provides a daily stream of posts about generating traffic, links, and subscribers for your own websites. Its popular articles include, "Five Grammatical Errors that Make You Look Dumb," “20 Warning Signs That Your Content Sucks,” “How Twitter Makes You a Better Writer“, and “Ten Timeless Persuasive Writing Techniques.” It's another site with a wealth of information about writing and marketing, much of which you find in a book.

    The Renegade Writer

    freelance writer

    One the most popular books on freelance writing is The Renegade Writer. The authors, Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell, have a companion website of the same name that they started back in 2006. Fomichelli and Burrell are prolific writers featured in many leading magazines in the U.S. Recent topics on their site include, “What Should I Put on My Website if I Have No Clips?“, “How Long a Query Should Be!“, and “How to Develop Multiple Streams of Income.” These authors are known for busting many myths about freelance writing and what it takes to make it big in the field.

    The Freelance Writing Jobs Network

    freelance writer websites

    The Freelance Writing Jobs Network is a networking site for freelance writers, featuring tips on interviewing skills for writing stories, “10 Popular Article Writing Questions,” and "12 Things to Do BEFORE Applying for a Freelance Writing Job." It includes other categories for tips on running a freelance writing business, job hunting, a grammar guide, and a daily list of job leads. The Freelance Writing Jobs Network is maintained by its chief editor, Susan Guelius who has nearly 20 years of experience in both marketing and writing fields.

    Other noteworthy freelance writing sites include Free Writing Center maintained by MUO's Promotion and SEO editor, Ryan Dube; Laura Spencer's Writing Thoughts; and a new site started early this year, simply called FreelanceWriting, maintained by Monika Mundell.

    If you are freelance writer, let me know what sites I overlooked.

    Image credit: Annette + Powerbook + Teh Interwebz by r3v || cls

    Do you like MakeUseOf articles? Don’t forget to share our articles with others! It’s really important to us.



    Similar MakeUseOf Articles

    KeePassX: Secure Password Management For Linux & OS X

    Posted: 01 Sep 2010 09:31 AM PDT

    password management linuxWeb apps are fantastic. They’re cross platform, accessible anywhere and fast.

    There’s one problem, however: passwords. If you use a lot of different web apps you need to manage many different usernames and passwords.

    This is the exact reason Dave recommended using KeePass to secure your online accounts. This simple program creates an encrypted database where you can store your passwords, but KeePass downloads offered are Windows-only.

    Enter KeePassX, a version of KeePass – secure password management for Linux and Mac OS X.


    KeePassX is very similar to KeePass; the interface is virtually identical. When you first open the program, you’ll be asked to create a new database or to load an existing one:

    password management linux

    Creating a new account means picking a password for that account. As this password will be used to protect all of your other ones, I suggest that it be a secure password you can remember easily.

    password management software

    Once you’ve opened or created a database you’ll see the main interface, where you can create new entries. You can also create folders, a great way to sort your various kinds of passwords.

    Creating a new entry is easy:

    password management software

    As you can see, this can even be used to generate a secure password – very useful if you’re setting up new accounts. Find more information about KeePass, which is almost identical to KeePassX, in Dave’s article on KeePass.


    Installing KeePassX is really easy if you’re using Ubuntu: just click here to install the “keepassx” package from the repositories. Users of other Linux distributions should search their package managers for the program, or perhaps find instructions here.

    password management linux

    Mac users should download the binary package found here for quick Mac-style installation. You know the drill: download the package, drag the program to “Applications” and then drag it to the dock. Simple in its complexity.

    Why Use KeePassX?

    You could simplify things by using the same password many different times, but this is not without security risks: anyone who finds one of your passwords is likely to guess the rest of them, and quickly. It’s far better then to have many different passwords.

    That many passwords can be hard to memorize, however. Some solve this problem with a password document, typically on their computer’s desktop or taped to their desk. This isn’t exactly secure either.

    It’s for this reason that a program like KeePass or KeePassX is desirable. You can access your passwords from a safe, encrypted database stored on your computer. KeePassX offers a way to do this on Mac and Linux, and can even open certain KeePass files (though not all KeePass files; read the KeePassX FAQ for more information).

    You could use software like Xmarks to store your passwords; it’s a cloud-based solution that syncs your browser. This service also saves passwords in your browser’s settings, meaning that anyone with access to your browser has all of your passwords. KeePassX, on the other hand, is always encrypted.

    I use KeePassX to store a great deal of my personal passwords, and I love it. Does it look useful to you? Do you have another alternative for Linux and OS X password syncing? Let me know in the comments below!

    Hey Facebookers, make sure to check out MakeUseOf page on Facebook. Over 24,000 fans already!



    Similar MakeUseOf Articles

    6 Best Blogs To Follow If You Are A Web Designer

    Posted: 01 Sep 2010 08:31 AM PDT

    web designerIf you are a web designer, chances are there is always something interesting to be found. Whether you are looking for some creative inspiration, trying to stay up on the current trends, or are seeking the latest buttons, textures, or graphics, you can find them. If you simply want to sharpen your skills – or learn new ones – you can do that as well.

    Fortunately, there is no lack of resources in this regard. Actually, you could probably make the case that there is too much information in this space, causing you to miss the best tips, tricks, and how-to’s at times.

    In this article, I am going to cover some of the blogs on the Web for web designers. Whether you are into web design and development or not, there is a little something useful for everyone on this list.

    Smashing Magazine

    web designer

    First up on the list is Smashing Magazine. They cover everything about graphics, inspiration, coding, and design. As an insanely popular blog, they have an endless supply of resources about Wordpress, CSS, Photoshop, and design elements like wallpapers, icons, and photos. If you only check out one website on this list, make it this one.

    Webdesigner Depot

    Webdesigner Depot is a well-designed blog that takes more of real-life into account through their blog posts. Some of their most popular posts are about things like airline logos, comics, snowboards, and architecture. It’s certainly a good place to go for design ideas, but they do also cover vector icons and things of that nature.

    Web Design Ledger

    WDL is another blog that incorporates all the aspects of web design. They cover lists of things like logos and popular templates, as well as coding with HTML5 and textures. Like a lot of the blogs on this list, they are part of the Smashing Network, which explains why they have such good content and therefore a large readership.

    Think Vitamin

    Think Vitamin is one of my personal favorites. They focus more on the coding aspect of web design than the artsy part of it. They have some great articles and video tutorials on HTML, CSS, Ruby on Rails, jQuery, etc. You can learn a lot about marketing and business from this site, but mainly about the design and development process as a whole.

    Six Revisions

    Six Revisions contains “useful information for web developers and designers”. This blog details everything from web design tools and tips to project management and web standards. I love how comprehensive they are with their guides and choice of topics. They will tell you what you are doing wrong in their posts, as well as help you do it right.


    web designer

    Onextrapixel rounds up this list. Their topics include inspiration, design, development, tutorials, freebies, CSS, Wordpress, articles, and resources. They put out large lists of how to do things in their posts and as you can see, they cover a wide range of topics.


    As I stated above, there is a lot of great information out there for web designers, developers, and anyone looking to get creative. The blogs listed here – while being some of the most-read and top subscribed-to on the Web – made my list because of the useful information they provide.

    My list might look completely different from yours, but when I log onto my Google Reader account each day, these are the blogs whose stories I click on most often. If you’re looking for more blogs of this nature, by all means search for them (See: Smashing Network). As I said, there’s something for everybody.

    What do you think of the list? Did I forget your favorite design blog? Leave your thoughts, ideas, and comments below. If you found this article useful, share it with your friends/followers!

    NEW: Download MakeUseOf iPhone App. FREE!



    Similar MakeUseOf Articles

    No comments:

    Post a Comment