Get free stuff for Web design

If you are a Web designer with large budget to back your project, you can call up whatever resources you require to get the gig done.
Professional photographers and models to create great looking images? Book ’em.
HTML and CSS experts to creating great looking layouts. No Problems?
Professional copy writers to write the “Great Australian Content”. Order a dozen.

For the rest of us, we work on a shoe strings. We need all the help you can get. IBM (yep Big Blue themselves) has an article entitled Get free stuff for Web design. It covers all sorts of free Web resources, as well as warnings against some stuff that might seem free, but may not be.

Some of the great resources covered, Creative Commons (CC), as a source of licenses used by people who offer free stuff.

CSS instruction and examples, the most famous of which would have to be CSS Zen Garden.

Several sites are covered that offer royalty-free graphics. One project that you should pay attention to is the Open Clip Art Library, a collection of contributed, down-loadable clip art.

Design tools are covered such as’s Color Scheme Generator. It’s great for those of with challenged colour taste.

Have a look at the article. It might save you a lot of stress.

Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20060724


And here we are again, bright eyed bushy tailed (unlike last week).

There are a few of you out there who and a tad bandwidth challenged, so here is a bit specially for you. These disturbingly funny conversations allegedly took place between air traffic controllers and pilots around the world. They are very funny but sadly the authenticity of these alleged conversations cannot be guaranteed.
Here is the first couple

Tower: “Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o’clock, 6 miles!” Delta 351: “Give us another hint! We have digital watches!”

“TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 Degrees.” “Centre, we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?” “Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?”

From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue: “I’m f…ing bored!” Ground Traffic Control: “Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!” Unknown aircraft: “I said I was f…ing bored, not f…ing stupid!”
The rest can be found at
Continue reading “Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20060724″


Following the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia on Boxing Day in 2004, the open source community of Sri Lanka got together to develop a disaster management system in three weeks, spearheaded by the Lanka Software Foundation, a FOSS R&D non-profit organization in Sri Lanka, with contributions from about 80 volunteer developers.

Sahana is the resulting application, a secure Web portal that provides applications for coordination and collaboration in the aftermath of disasters. Applications include finding missing people, connecting organizations, reporting on the distribution of aid and services, matching donations to requests, tracking temporary shelters, and, overall, providing transparency and visibility to groups working in a disaster. Key features include GIS, biometrics, PDA support, and availability in the form of a live CD. It’s been used during Pakistan earthquake and in the Philippines mud slides, Sahana was used to manage and track organizations, people, and camps.

It has been featured recently as Project of the Month for June 2006

It is aimed at Disaster administrators, government organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGO), disaster victims and is actually used only during disasters or while preparing for one.

Free and open source is all about voluntary work, and in a disaster there are lot of IT experts wanting to assist, so to my mind it makes sense that a disaster management system should be free and open source.

Tourist Remover

OK this made me laugh, don’t get me wrong, it appears to work and I having been a traveller I know what it’s like trying to get a photo of “just the view” and not the view AND the other 200 people walking in front of you. So the ability to remove moving objects such as tourists or passing cars from your photos would be a VERY good thing.

There are the usual gotcha’s. Like you need to take multiple photo’s of the same scene and it helps if the clouds don’t roll over head and change the lighting.

What the program does is blend the pics into a single composite photo without any interfering elements (that would be the aforementioned 200 people).

Head over to Tourist Remover and have a look.

It’s web based ( no installation) and it’s free. Cant do better than that.

Creating a Smaller Virtual PC

With Microsoft making the Virtual PC free, the next hurdle is how to maybe thin down some of the infamous “bloat”

When you’re running a Virtual Machine, you don’t always need all the Windows excesses. You just want to test the program and get out. Jeff Atwood has a great tutorial at his blog Coding Horror called Creating Smaller Virtual Machines

Here is some of the hype…

I’ve become obsessed with producing the smallest possible Windows XP Virtual PC image. It’s quite a challenge, because a default XP install can eat up well over a gigabyte. Once you factor in the swapfile and other overhead, you’re generally talking about around 2-4 gigabytes for relatively simple configurations.

My best result so far, however, is a 758 megabyte virtual machine image of a clean, fully patched Windows XP install. Not bad. And here’s how I did it.

The tutorial is aimed at Microsoft Virtual PC, but it’s probably applicable to other virtualisation solutions as well.

Squish This

I just found this great 3 part article on Compressors by Rip Rowan called Squish This!.

If you have ever wondered about audio compressors and why recent CD’s sound the way they do read this. Here is the hype…

The most challenging tools for newcomers to the recording scene to understand are dynamics processors: compressors, expanders, noise gates and limiters. We are all familiar with tools like EQ, reverbs, choruses, flangers — even if we don’t know exactly how they work exactly we might understand what kinds of sounds they produce. Compressors are completely different animals because they work on the musical dynamics and their effects can range from undetectable to utterly bad.

A great read with a wonderful explanation of how to use the compressor plugins available in Sound Forge.