Archive for the ‘Web Tools’ Category

Copyright-free image archives

You inevitably need images for something, a new design or a blog post, and while the web is full of photos, most of them aren’t for reuse or only in limited ways. This is a collection of places to find copyright-free imagery you can use however you need.

  1. The British Library’s Flickr collection

    The British Library’s Flickr collection

  2. The New York Public Library’s Digital Collections

    The New York Public Library’s Digital Collections

  3. pixabay

    pixabay

  4. Photos Public Domain

    Photos Public Domain

  5. SplitShire

    SplitShire

  6. freerange

    freerange

  7. PD Photo

    PD Photo

  8. free stock photography

    free stock photography

  9. Gratisography

    Gratisography

  10. PDPics.com - Public Domain Pictures

    PDPics.com – Public Domain Pictures

Check Your Privacy Settings

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Would you like to view or change the privacy/security settings for your online device or service, but don’t know where to find them? Here’s your one-stop shop for easy instructions to update privacy settings wherever and however you go online.

New Old Stock

Sepia image of sailboats

There are numerous archives of vintage photos but combing through them to find good ones can be take a lot of time.  New Old Stock is a tumblr of large photos (copyright and beer- free) for easier browsing.

How to test responsive designs for free | Webdesigner Depot

Screenshot of Creative Librarian on an iMac, iPad, Macbook, and iPhone.

Screenshot of Creative Librarian using Am I Responsive.

Stop resizing that browser, you’re gonna wear it out! How many times have you heard that one? Well okay, maybe not so many times, but if you develop responsive design web sites, you know what I’m talking about: with every DOM or CSS edit you’re dragging that browser edge back and forth, testing your changes and looking for anything broken.

Ultimately, most of this effort is an attempt to emulate the screen size of different devices.

So what is a developer to do? Thankfully, there is a growing number of browser-based tools available that emulate the screen sizes of a wide variety of devices. Different tools come with different feature sets and varying levels of utility, of course. We’ll look at several of them here.

A very useful list of services for fast side-by-side comparisons at different sizes. Am I Responsive is particularly nice in that it works with localhost so you can use it on projects still in development.

MonstaFTP: FTP-Client as Cloud-App

monsta_logo

Trying to work on a website when you’re switching computers every couple of hours can be a pain.

MonstaFTP is open-source FTP software for the browser. You already use an FTP client to update files if you use Dreamweaver. This is just the part that uploads files in a format you can install on your webserver and use from any modern web browser (Chrome works best).

It only works on Unix servers which lets out a lot of academic libraries with Windows-focused IT departments but for the lucky ones it can be a real time and stress saver.

Copy

A blue and orange origami crane on a black background.

Copy.com is one of the multitude of free cloud document storage services with a couple of key differences.

  1. It’s very well designed to to be simple and easy to use.
  2. It was built with the intention that you would use it for collaboration so there are file-sharing options missing in other services.
  3. You start with 15GB of storage for free compared to the 5GB offered elsewhere.

I’ve been using it for a couple of months and have been very happy with the service and the interfaces. While the website is nice, Dropbox-like software is available for Windows, Mac and Linux as well as IOS (iPhone) and Android where it creates a folder on your computer that links directly to their servers.

If you want to give it a try, you can use this invite link and we both get 5 additional gigabytes.

Google Reader Alternatives

rssRSS feeds have been a big part of my strategy for information management for years. I’ve liked Google Reader for most of that time because I could check it anywhere, particularly once there were applications that could log into Reader and sync with it.

But now Google is closing Reader down on July 1st and many of us are scrambling to find a usable replacement. I’ve collected a list of the closest free contenders with notes.

Web-Based Services

The Old Reader
The Old Reader is a clone of Google Reader from before they stripped out most of the social functionality.
InoReader
Based on screenshots and a list of features, InoReader also looks like a duplicate of Google Reader.
g2reader
g2reader is an improved version of Google Reader with many of the same features and a nicer interface. There are no apps yet but an Android one is on the way.
SyndiFeed
SyndiFeed has a very screenshot but unfortunately doesn’t actually describe the service on the website.
newsvibe
newsvibe is a minimalist feed reader that doesn’t have any social media features.
Skimr
Skimr is very different but might be a better option depending on how you use feeds. It’s very simple with no unread numbers so it becomes a place where you can bookmark websites and check for updates whenever instead of watching them obsessively for changes.
FeedReader
FeedReader has both a web service and a Windows client with powerful options.
Feedly
Feedly is the service I’ve chosen. It has an attractive web interface as well as mobile apps and my feed reader software of choice, Reeder plans to support it for feed syncing. They’ve put a lot of work into it recently, adding a one-step transfer from Google Reader, syncing across devices, and adding support for If This Then That. The IFTTT connection gives me back the one feature I’ve been missing from Reeder, the ability to bookmark posts on my Pinboard and Evernote accounts.

Desktop Software

There was a time before Google Reader when people read their feeds in software on their computers. I never used one of those because I used multiple computers (now multiple devices) and you had to duplicate actions in each piece of software.

NetNewsWire (Mac only)
NetNewsWire was one of the more popular pieces of software and they have released a beta of a new version. This coming version will have IOS apps and sync between all three. You can download the beta and preorder for half price if you like it.
RSSOwl (Mac & PC)
RSSOwl is open-source and works on both Macs and PCs with several powerful features.

Whatever you decide to do, the first step is to download your subscription list (or OPML file) from the Google Reader settings. Here are step-by-step instructions and a reminder that some services, like Feedly, log into Google Reader to get your subscriptions so import won’t work in them after July 1st. So export your information now and if any of the services appeal to you, go ahead and try them.