Monday, June 20, 2011 “DOWNLOAD: 50 Cool Uses For Live CDs” plus 5 more “DOWNLOAD: 50 Cool Uses For Live CDs” plus 5 more

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DOWNLOAD: 50 Cool Uses For Live CDs

Posted: 20 Jun 2011 06:31 AM PDT

It is perhaps the most useful tool in any geek’s toolkit, but do you realize all the things live CDs can help you with? If not, it’s time to read “50 Cool Uses For Live CDs”. This guide outlines just a few of the many uses live CDs can offer, and is a great resource for live CD beginners and enthusiasts alike.

There are two ways you can use this manual. The first, of course, is to read it from cover to cover. You’ll learn a lot about live CDs and what they can accomplish.

The other way to read this book is to explore the table of contents and look for any tips you might not know already. You’re bound to learn something new, regardless of how experienced you are. Either way, there’s a lot to find out here, so check it out.

DOWNLOAD 50 Cool Uses for Live CDs
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Read now on Scribd

In this manual you’ll learn about:

  • Using a computer with a busted operating system.
  • Continuing to work on a seemingly broken computer.
  • Recovering and editing your data.
  • Finding Windows passwords.
  • Cloning your entire hard drive.
  • Bypassing snooping employees or parents.
  • Editing your computer’s partitions.
  • Setting up temporary servers.

DOWNLOAD 50 Cool Uses for Live CDs
Having trouble downloading? Right-click the link, then click "Save As…"

Read now on Scribd

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Cool Websites and Tools [June 19th]

Posted: 19 Jun 2011 08:31 PM PDT

Check out some of the latest MakeUseOf discoveries. Most of the listed websites are FREE or come with a decent free account option. If you want to have similar cool website round-ups delivered to your daily email, subscribe here.

Add Your Website Here!


MuzeIt – Sometimes you want to share only certain parts of songs because of their relevance to particular situations. Doing so by downloading songs and then editing them is a lengthy process. A faster alternative is offered by MuzeIt, a free to use web service that lets you search for songs on YouTube and then cut parts out of them. Read more: MuzeIt: Cut A Part Of A Songs & Share With Friends


Grim Tweeper – is an online tool that helps you clean up your Twitter follow list by helping you unfollow tweeps easily. But unlike other such tools, it doesn't offer a mass-unfollow feature. Instead, it'll show you the profiles one by one and let you unfollow or keep them in your follow list. Read more: Grim Tweeper: Unfollow Users On Twitter Users One By One



Make A Thumbnail – Sharing thumbnails of your images can be a useful way to share large images without revealing all of their details. If you are looking for an app that lets you create such image thumbnails, you should pay a visit to Make A Thumbnail, a free to use website that produces thumbnails for images stored on your computer. Read more: Make A Thumbnail: Create Various Sized Thumbnails Of Your Photos



World’s Biggest PacMan – Pac-Man is one of those games that people cannot get enough of. If you think you have exceptional Pac-Man skills, you can try them out on World's Biggest Pac-Man, a collection of many user-created Pac-Man levels that you can play. You can view the site stats in the right pane. Clicking on a game map initiates the Pac-Man game. Read more: Worlds Biggest Pac Man: Huge Collection Of PacMan Maps To Play Pac-Man On



CraigsEasy – Sites like Craigslist and Kijiji are great sources for classified advertisements, but the fact that you have to click a number of times before you can see the attached images for a listing, is annoying. CraigsEasy solves this problem by letting you view all the listings by included images. To use, add a small button from CraigsEasy to your bookmark bar. Read more: CraigsEasy: Browse Craigslist With Pictures


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.

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Thank You To MakeUseOf Friends!

Posted: 19 Jun 2011 07:31 PM PDT

It’s time to say thanks to our friends who, once in a while, tip us great articles, help out on projects and in some cases offer their services at discounted prices. Thank you, guys!

    [1] ShrinkTheWeb – Website Screenshot Thumbnail Service

    Ever wanted to add website screenshots to your website? ShrinkTheWeb is one of the best services for that, both in terms of performance and pricing. The free account gets you a whopping 250,000 impressions. See it in action in our daily Cool Websites and Tools series.


    [2] LapDawg “" Hands-free Laptop Stands

    Hands free laptop stand
    The hands free laptop stand holds your laptop or books in any position you want with it’s unique 360 degree rotating joints. Perfect for holding them in bed while lying down. Made from anodized aluminum with a beautiful black matte finish.

    [3] Walyou “" Cool Gadgets for Geeks

    new cool gadgets
    Walyou is a fun blog covering all sorts of new cool gadgets and other stuff every geek is likely to find entertaining. Everything from world’s largest Gunny Bears to E-hookah gadgets. Make sure to check them out.


    [4] TrueKolor – Affordable Quality Logo and Banner Design

    If you’re looking for a cheap, original and quality logo or banner, check out TrueKolor. We often contact these guys when we need a logo or a banner made, some of the stuff they did for us listed on their portfolio page. Highly recommended.


    [5] Sendible – The easiest way to market your brand online

    We’re strong believers of the service Sendible provides — we use it on a daily basis and it has never failed us! Sendible is an online marketing service to promote, grow and track brands through the use of social media, email and SMS messaging. It has the ability to post to multiple services at once, schedule social network updates and analyse their success. We love it!


Thank you, guys!

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Facebook Vs Twitter: Which Is Best? [MakeUseOf Poll]

Posted: 19 Jun 2011 03:30 PM PDT

Last week we entered the world of design nerds and asked which font was your favourite for standard web text. Pulling ahead from the rest of the pack was Verdana, now clearly a favourite with MakeUseOf readers.

With a total of 308 votes, readers were divided as follows: 17% love using Verdana; 15% love the Arial family of fonts; 9% prefer Helvetica; 9% don’t care as long as it’s Sans Serif; 8% love Calibri; 7% use Georgia; 6% use Tahoma; 5% like Times New Roman; 3% love the Lucida family; 3% don’t care as long as it’s Serif; 3% actually voted for Comic Sans, but we hope they were joking; and 2% love Garamond. All other fonts gained less than 2% of the votes each.

Full results and this week’s poll after the jump.

It seems that MakeUseOf readers are quite partial to using a Sans Serif font for standard web text.

This week’s poll question is: Facebook Vs Twitter: Which Is Best?

Yes, when deciding which method of communication to use it’s all about using the right tool for the job, thinking of which network of people is best for the message and all that. But put all those thoughts aside and just choose which tool you like best: Facebook or Twitter?

Of course, you’ve got to have some reason as to why you chose the one you did. Which did you choose – Facebook or Twitter? Why? Where do you have the best conversations? Which one’s easier to use? Which one annoys you most?


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10 Free MP3 Albums: Crossing the Decades [Sound Sunday June 19th]

Posted: 19 Jun 2011 12:30 PM PDT

Chill with Sound Sunday!

This Sunday we will musically cross the decades. From 80s pop, via timeless folk and 90s style space rock, to present day folk, indie pop, ambient and electronic music. Endless variety packed into only 10 albums.

As there are many ‘name your price’ downloads in this edition, I should probably mention once more that you can enter a price of $0, which in fact makes the album free! However, if you do enjoy a piece, please consider making a donation. It promotes original music, the sound of which is not dictated by large record labels and the mainstream.

Furthermore, if you have any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to post your feedback in the comments or email me [tina at makeuseof dot com]. Thank you!

Duran Duran – Thank You (live album)

Genre: new wave, pop, rock

free music download

Over the past couple of weeks, Duran Duran had to cancel several gigs of their European Tour due to an illness of lead singer Simon Le Bon. To make up for the disappointments and to thank their fans for the continued support, the band has now released a live recording of their performance in Rome at RDS radio on May 12th.

Download Thank You one track at a time from Duran Duran’s Homepage.

Josh Garrels – Love & War & The Sea In Between

Genre: folk, neo-soul

Per his Facebook profile, Josh Garrels is a recording artist, music engineer, and label owner from Portland Oregon. But above all, he is a mightily talented singer&songwriter, with a mesmerizing voice framing enchanting songs. As his blog reveals, it was a divine inspiration to offer this album for free for an entire year. Donations welcome!

Love & War & The Sea In Between is a free download from Bandcamp.

The Boxing Lesson – Songs In the Key of C

Genre: indie, space rock, classic rock, experimental

From their Facebook Biography: “The Boxing Lesson is a shape shifting American band based in Austin, Texas. (…) Haunting vocals and moody melodies are punctuated by mesmerizing guitars, droney beats and expressive electronica. The Boxing Lesson plays “space” rock that can transport the listener to another dimension and calls upon classic influences such as Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Brian Eno & The Cure.

Songs In The Key of C is a free download from Bandcamp.

What A Mess I’ve Made – selftitled

Genre: alternative, acoustic

What A Mess I’ve Made is the acoustic band project and selftitled album of Javan from New York. In his own words: “I love music. If there’s at least one person who hears any of these songs and finds some sort of positive use in them, whether it be a relation to lyrics of some sort, a decent time listening/singing along or just some background shit to past the time, then, thank you. I’m happy.” Judging by how much I enjoyed the album, he must be happy!

What A Mess I’ve Made is a name your price download from Bandcamp.

Dine Alone Records – Dine Alone & Friends Summer 2011 Sampler

Genre: mixed, indie, folk, pop, rock

Dine Alone & Friends Summer Sampler by Dine Alone Records

Dine Alone Records is the Toronto, Canada based record label of bands like Alexisonfire, The Civil Wars, and Tokyo Police Club. They currently have a #1 record in Canada with City and Colour’s new album Little Hell. The label has released this sampler to help you kick start your summer.

Dine Alone & Friends Summer 2011 Sampler is a free download from Dine Alone Records.

Jus Like Music Records – Untold Songs: Remixes EP1

Genre: dubstep, electronica, neo-soul, hip hop

From the Bandcamp page: “Remixes EP1 was the FREE precursor to the Untold Songs: Volume One 23-track compilation that has been released in conjunction with Amnesty International. Silkie, Quest, Jett Lets and 10Sumo agreed to remix three artists who feature on the full release in order to help raise awareness for our project and fantastic cause. These remixes are free and the full compilation is just a mere £5, the majority of which will go directly to Amnesty International to support their “Stop Violence Against Women” campaign, so we’d really appreciate it if, after grabbing these free remixes, you’d purchase the full compilation. You wont be disappointed!

Untold Songs: Remixes EP1 is a free download from Bandcamp.

Bugseed & Ill.Sugi – Flipping Formats Beattape

Genre: beats, jazz, soul, instrumental, hip hop

Bugseed and Ill.Sugi are beatmakers from Japan. This beattape was a collaboration recorded in one night at Ill.Sugi’s home in Kanagawa. Bugseed was previously featured on Sound Sunday with his Bohemian Beatnik LP.

Flipping Formats Beattape is a name your price download from Bandcamp.

R/D – Liquid Heart Keeper

Genre: indie, electronica, space funk, knock & roll, instrumental

From his The Design Disorder (record label) profile: “RD is a Sound Designer, Music Producer, DJ and Label owner. He gained notoriety in the late 90′s as the Founder of the Experimental Liquor Museum (E.L.M.); a Los Angeles based collective of DJ’s that spear-headed the local experimental music scene with their renowned underground electro parties. RD has released music on 1320 Records (US), TouchinÕ Bass (UK), Colony Productions (UK) and his own label; The Designed Disorder (US). Although he is best known for his unique brand of glitched-out electro, in recent years his sound has slowed in tempo, morphing into futuristic funk with an all-out hip-hop core, devastating sub-lines and tweaked melodies that combine to rock crowds and tickle brains.” R/D is currently touring the US.

Liquid Heart Keeper is a free download from R/D’s Homepage.

Uncertain – Grief: Silence in Five Movements

Genre: experimental, ambient, avant-garde, electronica, acoustic

From Uncertain’s Facebook Biography: “Uncertain is a sound project which was started from Indio, California in the Winter of 2007 by Florian-Ayala Fauna, who is the sole member of the project aside from the occasional guest collaborator. (…) Their work seeks to collect, arrange, dissect, create, disfigure, beautify, set fire to, seed, and manipulate delicate, fragile sounds that vary from the organic to the unearthly. (…) Uncertain's aural arrangements are made to reflect and penetrate into the innermost self and being, whether those be in a state of ongoing despair or dancing in amniotic, sanguine beauty.” The present album was recorded in memory of Peter Christopherson.

Grief: Silence in Five Movements is a name your price download from Bandcamp.

Tangram – The Long Walk

Genre: ambient, downtempo, electronica, instrumental

Tangram aka Peter Fabok has become a star of Sound Sunday, with this being his seventh album featured. The present album provides the soundtrack for a meditative walk from the city, through the desert, across the mountain, and into the forest.

The Long Walk is a name your price download from Bandcamp.

New to Sound Sunday? Past editions of Sound Sunday are available here.

Feel free to get in touch with me [tina at makeuseof dot com] to share free material, suggestions, and feedback or simply add your comments below.

Follow MakeUseOf on Twitter. Includes cool extras.


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The Next Steps On The Road To Becoming A CSS Jedi Master

Posted: 19 Jun 2011 10:31 AM PDT

learn cssCSS is absolutely one of the most important technologies around on the Internet today, and while most people admit to knowing a little HTML, we are generally clueless about CSS.

Last time I introduced you to the absolute beginner steps required to learning how to style websites with CSS. Today I’d like to continue to examine some basic points, take a look at how powerful FireBug is, show you how to do CSS rollover effects, and point you in the right direction for where to go next.

The Box Model

One of the key concepts behind CSS is the box model that surrounds every HTML element on the page. Last time I introduced you to a fantastic utility called Firebug and the built-in Chrome equivalent. If you’ve got installed already and had a chance to play with it, you should have noticed that hovering over any element in HTML source view in the bottom left highlights a box around the element on the page view at the top. That highlight is the box model.

learn css

One of the first mistakes any CSS learner will make is to confuse and use MARGIN and PADDING interchangeably. Check out the following diagram from w3 Schools, and notice they are very different properties.

It’s also interesting to note that the border property takes up actual space and therefore affects positioning. MARGIN determines space around the border of an element. PADDING determines the space inside the border. Only padding has background properties applied to it.

css learning

More FireBug Magic

Not only does Firebug allow you to view the precise hierarchy in which properties have been chosen from conflicting selectors, it also allows you to both edit and disable CSS rules, live on the page. Each CSS rule in the right hand side will have a checkbox next to it. You can uncheck this to simply turn off that rule.

More useful though, is the ability to edit these rules. Double-click to adjust the values or property name, or you can even add new rules by double clicking on the blank space. It’s an amazingly powerful tool to debug small changes to the CSS without having to save and refresh each time, but bear in mind the changes aren’t saved – so only adjust a few at a time before transferring them to the main CSS file.

css learning

Another useful feature of these development tools is showing the exact CSS file and line number the rules originate from. I find this especially useful for WordPress sites when plugins will often import their own stylesheet, or when a theme consists of more than one stylesheet.

:hover Rollover Effects

One of the first things anyone wants to do with their site is add flashy rollovers. In the past, rollovers effects (elements or links that change when you hover over them) were achieved using basic javascript. With CSS you can apply :hover effects to any element, not just links – but since users expect something to be clickable when it changes under their mouse, it’s best if you only use it in the site interface for links or when javascript is also involved to invoke some kind of action.

To apply hover effects to something, use the same selector as the main element but simply add :hover to the end of it.

a { color: black;} a:hover {color:red;}

Hover is one of a range of pseudo-selectors available to you in CSS. Although CSS version 3 has introduced many more, you can read about the most widely supported ones at w3 Schools.

Some of my favorites are :


This is used to create “dropcap” effects on just the first letter in a paragraph.


This targets only the first occurrence of something, useful if you are creating | (bars) between links using only CSS, but need to avoid duplicating one at the start or end of the list of links.

What’s That Property? Cheat Sheets & Predictive Editors

Of course, you can’t be expected to know all the properties you can play with in CSS – that’s why I keep some cheat sheets on my wall for when I’m drawing a blank. The best I’ve found are from

css learning

Another helpful way of ensuring you use the correct property names is to use a CSS editor or text-editor that recognizes CSS code and predicts the property name as you type. My personal tool of choice is CSS Edit ($40) on the Mac – please let us know in the comments if you use any free alternatives that you recommend.

learn css

Further Reading

This has only been a very brief introduction to CSS, but I hope it’s given you a good grounding. You might also want to go check out my CSS3 Cool Tricks article too, and here are some of my personal bookmarks for developing CSS skills:

  • Tizag have a long tutorial that gives you a good understanding of all the basic properties, and takes a very hands-on approach to learning. They’ve been around a long time and it’s the site that I initially learnt MySQL and PHP from too. Fantastic resource.
  • CSS-Tricks is made by one very talented individual and the site itself is a testament to the fantastic power of CSS. Some of the tutorials are quite high level, but it’s a great motivational site for me.
  • W3-Schools can be your ultimate reference for CSS properties, where you go to look something up rather than learn in a tutorial style.
  • Smashing Magazine is another inspirational site for me, and they regularly publish in-depth tutorials on not only CSS, but the whole length and breadth of the design process.

CSS is surprisingly fun compared to HTML or other programming, so I hope you find a spark within you – the web could certainly use a few more good designers. Comments, suggestions and more links welcome, or ask specific CSS questions in the tech support section of the site.

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