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February 19, 2010

16 Useful Web Apps You Need to Bookmark

This original article from Maximum PC covered 30 apps that were essential. We currently use 10 of their suggestions so we thought about cutting down their list from 30 suggestions over six pages* into a condensed 16 item list:

ScreenToaster
Allows you to capture a video of what you are doing on your computer. Use it to make tutorials, make instructional videos, or just to build presentations and video podcasts.

OpenTable

We like to take our clients out for all of the wonderful work they provide us. We use OpenTable to quickly and easily make reservations online. OpenTable can also suggest nearby times, or other similar restaurants with open seats.

Readitlater
“Like TiVo for your blogroll”, Readitlater allow you to queue up articles to read later. Almost as awesome as…

Amazon Wish List
Go to any online store, and when you see something you want, click the “Add to Wish List” button in your Bookmark Toolbar. A great way to manage holiday shopping and vendor appreciation gifts ;)

ConvertCenter
This webapp does pretty much everything else when it comes to unit conversion. With hundreds of units to choose from, even the strangest conversion can be done in a flash.

Google Wave

Communicate and collaborate in real time! Google Waves are great for collaborating on articles and presentations.

PDFescape
Upload a PDF file, then easily write on it wherever you want. This allows you to easily fill out any form, even if they’re not in an editable PDF form…and IT’S FREE!!!

SpeedTest
Invaluable tool in providing a quantifiable measure of your connection speed. Speed Test shows you ping readings and download speeds.

Vuvox
Many Windows users haven’t been able to use iPhoto or MobileMe to create web collages of their photographs. Enter Vuvox. Vuvox allows users to crop and rotate their pictures and embed their collage into any webpage.

Lovely Charts
Create simple charts and diagrams in a flash and then export your diagram to JPG or PNG, with a basic account (free).

Aviary
A simplified alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop, Aviary not only allows you edit basic images but it also allows you to edit audio, vectors, and even color palettes.

YouSendIt
We use One Time Download to send/receive large files here, but if you need to send a file to somebody that’s too big for your office’s email server, look into YouSendIt. You can upload a file up to 100 MB for free (up to 2 GB with a paid account), then email a link to that file to the intended recipient.

Newsmap.jp
If you find browsing CSS readers tedious and boring, check out Newsmap’s colorful treemap. Newsmap arranges stories into squares with more important stories getting the biggest squares. bigger the square is, the more important the story.

Floorplanner
We use this app to arrange furniture, but you could design a single house with vibrant 2D and 3D models.

Pandora
Create radio stations based on their favorite artists, and generates playlists comprised of similar sounding artists. It’s the easiest way to find new artists.

Simplenote
We use it everyday! Simplenote replaces the Notes app on your iPhone and syncs to a desktop app that allows to access your notes from anywhere.

My fervent apologies to Maximum PC for not sending our readership over to read six pages of links, but hey, we’ve got things to do ;)

January 11, 2010

33 Best Typography Effect Photoshop Tutorials

Photoshop’s text and layer tools can be used to create some really awesome Typography’s. We’ve put together a list of 33 of the best Typography tutorials we could find to help you stay up to date on the latest trends and techniques. You’ll find some really cool grunge and glass styles, learn how some of the best designers create their unique effects.

read more

December 21, 2009

BASIC and beautiful…

As my family will attest, back in the early 1980′s, I did a lot of programming in front of my monochrome Apple ][. Regrettably I did not spend much time watching Night Rider or the Dukes of Hazzard. I say ‘regrettably’ because if I HAD spent time watching those shows, I’d at least have some retro-television-references to drop comedically in conversation.

Instead, I have a working knowledge of BASIC programming…which is a lot like saying having a working knowledge of top-loading, Betamax players.

Oh well, one thing I do get to enjoy is seeing my old friends “HTAB,”"GOSUB” and “STRING$” again.

Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground) from Stewdio on Vimeo.

I have a strong desire to put on my Docksiders, crank up Axel F and finish the programming masterwork I left on my Verbatim 5.25″.

>sigh<

Good times…

October 19, 2009

A Parable: Minding Your Own Business

I was walking past the mental hospital the other day, and some of the patients were out in the yard shouting, ’13….13….13.’

The fence was too high to see over, but I saw a little gap in the planks, so I looked through to see what was going on…..

When I did, someone poked me in the eye with a stick!

Then they all started shouting ’14….14….14′

October 11, 2009

45 Outstanding Free Vintage Fonts

Harness the power of the antique and make your graphics pop with one of these vintage-inspired fonts, which have returned to the spotlight both in print and online. From the Wild West and Victoriana to the Avant Garde and Calligraphy, there are plenty of styles to choose from.

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September 30, 2009

I am going to eat and I don’t care who you are

mouse2.jpg

Sometimes I feel like that mouse, as I am sure most of us do, but there is a good lesson in this photograph. A lesson that Heather and I learned almost 10 years ago during a chance encounter at a balloon fair. We have told this story so many times however it is always worth repeating.

At the turn of the century (a term I’m surprised we don’t use more) Heather and I attended the yearly Festival of Balloons held in Cook Park in Tigard, Oregon. As stated on their website “The hot air balloons are definitely the featured attraction of the festival, but … it’s MORE than balloons!” How true that was.

Since it is a festival, Heather and I opted to stop off and grab an elephant ear. For those regional guests, and elephant ear is just another name for beaver tails, whales tails, tiger ears, pizza frita, frying saucers, buñuelos or any of the other 600 names this food has. It is simply “fried dough” covered in powdered sugar or some other condiment. To make a long story short, we were in line, and had paid, for our ‘anti-health-food’ when a simple error took place. An error which essentially stopped the production of these fine confections for the better part of an hour.

Fried dough is made by deep-frying a portion of risen yeast dough at approximately 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) in a large heavy skillet or deep fryer. The actual cooking time should realistically be around 1 or two minutes which is why they sell these things in the 1000′s at events like these.


The Great Elephant Ear vs. Funnel Cake Debate Rages On

What stopped production at the balloon fair was due to one of the young employees operating the booth noticed the fryer was running low on oil and opted to pour another two gallons of into the fryer all at once. Sending the temperature from a sweltering 375 degrees to some unknown temperature. I say ‘unknown temperature’ as the temperature gauge on the vat was not functioning and the person who set up the booth was long gone for the night had taken the knowledge of setting the temperature with him.

For 45 minutes the kids attempted to get the temperature calibrated to the proper temperature. There were several grotesque anomalies coming from the fryer. Some underdone and frightfully inedible while others were so brittle that they would shatter as if they were blasted with freon and hit with a hammer. The kids in charge of the booth were noticeably panicked trying get this situation under control and many of the patrons offered their services to help. The three person booth was soon full of kids, dads and other goodnicks trying to ascertain how to get the temperature leveled again.

Heather and I were in line watching all of this for 45 minutes. In that time, the outside temperature had also dropped about 10 degrees. The balloons were gone and there was nothing stopping the winds from running across the field at full force and pummeling our exposed parts. There was hunger, confusion and misery everywhere you looked.

Heather and I had already paid for the food and while it may have been a little less than $10 out of our pocket, we wanted those damn elephant ears! We had been here since everything went south and wanted a solution or a conclusion to the event. We began talking back and forth over our options as to what to do and came to the conclusion that someone at the booth should just say “Sorry everyone, we are having some difficulty. If you want to go, we can refund your money to those who no longer wish to wait.”

But that announcement never came.

As we began to talk over our disappointment, something happened that changed both Heather and my perceptions and confidence forever. I know that it may sound grandiose and ridiculous to say, but we have both referenced this moment time and again if we are ever at this type of impasse.

As Heather and I became colder, we were becoming angrier that someone wasn’t doing the right thing and giving us a choice to get our money back and we were openly speaking about it. That was when a girl came up from behind us and said in a stern, matter-of-fact manner, “If you want something, you have to ask for it!”

She then passed the two of us, went to the counter where the crowd was standing staring into a pot of maybe-hot, maybe-cold oil and stated again in a matter-of-fact tone, “These two have been waiting in line for an hour and they want their money back.” At which point the kid running the booth gave the girl the money and she walked it back over to us, looked at us both and said, “You gotta ask.”

This was all so amazing, enlightening and humbling at the same time. After seeing 10 story balloons rise up into the atmosphere, what that girl did was the most awe inspiring event of the day for us. We talked about it all the way home and even for the majority of the next day.

Ever since that day Heather and I continue to lean on that one girl’s education. We’ve also learned that it is not the world, lack of luck, education or money that prevents someone from reaching their goals. Your life is about you, and no one else. You must not only condition yourself to be open and willing to receive what you want but you must also ASK FOR IT!

You need to ask for what you want with total passion, intention and belief. Don’t complain or be a victim. Be positive, optimistic and full of enthusiasm and joy.

Think about that mouse from the first image, he’s not only got meat to eat, but a big spotted friend to hang out with and keep his enemies at bay ;)

September 28, 2009

If you want to sing out, sing out

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
‘Cause there’s a million things to be
You know that there are

And if you want to live high, live high
And if you want to live low, live low
‘Cause there’s a million ways to go
You know that there are

Chorus:
You can do what you want
The opportunity’s on
And if you find a new way
You can do it today
You can make it all true
And you can make it undo
you see ah ah ah
its easy ah ah ah
You only need to know

Well if you want to say yes, say yes
And if you want to say no, say no
‘Cause there’s a million ways to go
You know that there are

And if you want to be me, be me
And if you want to be you, be you
‘Cause there’s a million things to do
You know that there are

Chorus

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
‘Cause there’s a million things to be
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are

September 21, 2009

Attempting a vocal reboot

Here at Bauer Graphics labratories we are constantly working on confounding the Internet technology at our disposal. Our most recent findings have shown us that we can update this site via the most peculiar, and cumbersome, method. We will be testing this new technology this week.

If this works out, we will share exactly how we’ve managed to do what we’ve done to our readership.

As always, all of the work at Bauer Graphics Internet Labratories is highly roundabout and convoluted and should not be duplicated by people wanting to have a social life.

Well be keeping everyone posted on our process this week :D

August 17, 2009

An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
– Jef Mallett

August 2, 2009

Is this where the phrase ‘outside of the box’ came from?

“Our ideas, like orange-plants, spread out in proportion to the size of the box which imprisons the roots.”

- Edward Bulwer Lytton

If it is, then I have been listening to this phrase wrong for years. I always thought it meant ‘outside of the way we currently think’ when it might just mean ‘outside of the possibility of your comprehension, short root’.

Either way, I like this quote a lot.