The Darwinian Evolution of Photoshop

September 19th, 2010

A cool infographic from Tech King about the evolution of Photoshop

The Darwinian Evolution of Photoshop

Infographic: The Darwinian Evolution of Photoshop by Tech King

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useful tools: namechecklist

August 3rd, 2010

NameChecklistWe all know how time consuming picking the perfect name for a new site is.  There are plenty of tools out there to let you check if a domain is available.  But, namechecklist.com goes well beyond that.  Sure, it does the standard domain check.  It also checks the major social media sites for your username availability.  And, it checks your name as a search term in Google, Yahoo, Flickr, and YouTube.

This image doesn’t show it, but it also provides links to the registration pages for all the sites, or if your name isn’t available to the site that uses your name. 

The only drawback I’ve found is the domain registration links.  The company who made this site, Inventis, is from Belgium.  So, the domain registration pages they take you to are in Dutch. 

This is definitely a tool I’ll be using to track down that next perfect name.

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Things I Never

July 16th, 2010

www.thingsinever.comWe released a new site this week to showcase all the funny things parents say and do.

Things I Never is dedicated to all the hilarious and strange things we find ourselves saying and doing as parents.

It’s for all the times we said something and thought, “I never thought I’d have to say that.” For all the times we did something and thought, “I never thought I’d have to do that.”

Turns out you have to. Weird, huh?

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Useful Tools: Support Details

June 28th, 2010

supportdetails.comWe’ve all been faced with the user who tells us a site is “broken” and when you try to reproduce the problem everything looks great. 

 Now we’ve got www.supportdetails.com to the rescue.  With one click, the user can answer all the important questions about their configuration.     You can see what operating system and web browser they are using, if they have Javascript or cookies turned off, and what resolution they’re running at.

On the site, the user can choose to export the report to CSV or PDF.  But, more importantly they can send the report to your email.  You can even pre-populate the form with the correct email, so all the user has to do is hit “Send Details”.   All it takes is a simple query string:  http://www.supportdetails.com/?sender_name=Jessica&sender=email@sender.com&recipient=email@recipient.com.

It’s so nice to have a simple answer to the “How do I check that?” question.

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Useful Tools: Launchlist

June 17th, 2010

An intriguing new site launched this week.  Launchlist.net is a simple, straight forward one page site that doesn’t try to be more than it is. 

It’s a nicely done checklist of things you should think about before you launch.  You can mark items on the list as done or not.  Or you can mark them not applicable.  You can also add comments to each of the item.  There is even the ability to add your own items to the list.  Finally, there is a link to send you and any other recipients you’d like a report on your progress to launch.

One of the especially nice features is a link to the W3C validation pages, to check your site’s HTML, CSS, and links.

There are some shortcomings.  I’d like to be able to save my checklist for later.  And, the emailed report could use some refinement.  But, overall, a useful tool.

 

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Google Font API

May 20th, 2010

Yesterday Google announced the release of 18 fonts and an interface that allows them to be used for live text on websites. Using them is incredibly easy. You simply link to the style sheet hosted by Google and then the font is available to use in your css font stack.

For example, the fonts I used in this post use the following stylesheet call and classes:

<head>
  <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"
      href="http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Tangerine|OFL+Sorts+Mill+Goudy+TT|Lobster" >
  <style>
    .tangerine {
      font-family: 'Tangerine', serif;
      font-size: 48px;
    }
    .goudy {
      font-size: 16px;
      font-family: 'OFL Sorts Mill Goudy TT', arial, serif;
    }
    .lobster {
      font-size: 16px;
      font-family: 'Lobster', arial, serif;
    }
  </style>
</head>

This is something that could have been achieved before with @font-face, but the Google solution gives you some distinct benefits:

  • No licensing issues – all the fonts are open source licensed.
  • Since multiple sites will use these fonts, they’ll be cached on the user’s systems and your sites will get the caching advantages.
  • Bandwidth savings since the files are hosted by Google.

There are huge advantages of this system over using images for fonts:

  • The text is search-able.
  • The text is accessible.
  • You can apply CSS3 and HTML5 styling to the text (when you get there).
  • The text is update-able by CMS users.

But, there are some downsides:

  • An extra HTTP request to load the extra CSS file.
  • Most browsers (except Firefox) render the rest of the page and display a blank space until the web font has loaded.  Firefox displays the text in a default font until the web font is loaded.
The WebFont loader is JavaScript code to control cross-browser display of the fonts for a more consistent user experience. You can use it to make all the browsers behave like Firefox, for example.

 

Have fun and use responsibly – unlike the font mash-up I did in this post

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