Archive for category Bookmarks

Face Transformations

Another great link from my good friend Dan, who seems to have way too much time on his hands to be able to find cool sites such as this one…
The St Andrew’s Face Morpher is a site which enables you to upload a shot of your face (or anyone else), set a few data points, such as the location of eyes and mouth, and transform the face into over a dozen different styles. The Java applet works amazingly well, producing some of the funniest, and in some cases almost eerily accurate, transformations of one’s face that you’ll be able to find anywhere… Definitely worth a look.

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Promising New Webmail Application

Just noticed this new webmail application called Hula. Here’s a excerpt from their project site:

Hula is a calendar and mail server whose goal is to be fun and easy to use, while scaling effortlessly from small groups to large organizations with thousands of members.
Hula is an open source project led by Novell

I’ve been using Squirrelmail for years now whenever I had the need to install any type of Webmail functionality. It has great features, it’s proven, and it’s actively maintained. The interface/GUI on the other hand has always seemed unsexy to me though. Hula actually looks very nice. It also seems to have some calendaring features as well as an integrated address book. While I haven’t installed it or even used it, it does look promising as an alternative to Squirrelmail…

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The CSS Cheat Sheet

Came across this CSS Cheat Sheet ( tonight while looking up some information to edit my stylesheets. I know my friend Scott will be VERY interested in this, unless he turns around at work and says “Time Machine!”, our code-word for situations when one of us already knew about the information in question.

This site also has a few other Cheat Sheets for web developers, such as a MySQL Cheat Sheet, a PHP Cheat Sheet, an RGB Hex Color Chart, and a personal favorite of mine, the mod_rewrite Cheat Sheet.

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Patient Cats

Came across another one of those “Why didn’t I think of that!” kind of sites…
You’ll understand; just go to

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Star Wars Episode 4 – in ASCII!

I’m not sure exactly what to think about this; is this an incredible feat of programming patience, or the creation of a developer with absolutely no social life? See for yourself; fire up a command line in either Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, or whatever you love to use. Type the following:


Enjoy the show!

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More Fun With GMail

GMail LogoMy friend Dan approached me at work today relating a story he had read on someone’s blog regarding some interesting GMail tips. The one he brought up was how you could take your GMail address and ‘append’ additional words to the account name. For example, if you had a GMail account of ‘’, you could give out an email address of ‘’ when buying something from Amazon. Now, if Amazon emailed you, you would get the email like you normally would. You could filter on the appended ‘+amazon’ to automatically move the email into a folder, but more importantly, if you were to receive an email at that ‘address’ from anyone else, you would instantly know that Amazon had given/sold your address and to whom. This would be a quick way to determine who’s selling your information off to spammers…

The GMail Tips website also has lots of other interesting tips/ideas to try out with your GMail account. The tip above was taken from their GMail Tip #5.

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Building a NAS Using Old Hardware

I have a bunch of extra computer equipment just sitting around, including computers, hard-drives, etc. Well, I had a lot more before cleaning out our garage recently, but that’s a different story :-). While listening to one of my many podcasts, I heard the mention of a ‘software-based’ NAS that someone could use with old hardware.
Take a look at NASLite from Server Elements. They offer some streamlined distributions which are free to download, as well as paid versions with more features.
Basically, you grab an old computer, even an old 486, stick some hard-drives in it and boot from the floppy. A couple minutes later, after less than a minute of configuration, you have network attached storage. All your drives are now shares on your network, accessible by any other computers. Instant file-server, low maintenance. Beautiful!

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Build your Own Safety Signs

Warning SignI was reading through my regular list of blogs this morning when I came across a small image of an hilariously funny safety sign. I happened to move my mouse pointer over the image and noticed it was actually a link somewhere. One click later, I was at this wonderful site with lots of evil potential.

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Incredible file compression using rzip

While reading through some newsfeeds today, I came across a small comment by someone trying to compress a 700Mb mbox file full of spam emails. He said he was able to compress it down to 70Mb using a small utility called “rzip”. That’s quite a nice compression ratio, even beating out “bzip” which I thought was an awesome compressor. This is from the “rzip” site:

rzip is a compression program, similar in functionality to gzip or bzip2, but able to take advantage long distance redundencies in files, which can sometimes allow rzip to produce much better compression ratios than other programs. The original idea behind rzip is described in my PhD thesis (see, but the implementation in this version is considerably improved from the original implementation. The new version is much faster and also produces a better compression ratio.

The utility can be found at

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Creating a bootable Fedora DVD from CD ISOs

Since Fedora Core 2 will now be a 4-CD set, I decided to look into creating a DVD out of the CD’s in order to avoid having to carry around 4 CD’s in my laptop bag. Found my answer on the Fedora-Test_list today. A small script called “mkdvd” written by Chris Adams. His script can be found at

*Update* Another possible solution, while not as elegant, can be found at

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What will I do without SamSpade.Org?

Many times a week, sometimes many times a day, I rely on being able to do some quick informational type lookups on one or more IP’s. Be it trying to find out who owns a particular server or what link between me and the box is causing me connection issues. Over the years, I have relied heavily on for all my IP related tools. It’s a great site, with all the tools I need to get all the information I’m looking for. The added benefit is that it’s not on my network, so the results provided give me an external view of the issue, as well as providing some level of anonymity.

SamSpade has been overloaded recently; not sure what’s going on, but during some periods of time, the site is barely accessible. This has led me to look at some alternative for those times when Sam is down. That’s when I came across

At first glance, it doesn’t look like much, but they do provide two of the tools I use the most; WHOIS and Traceroute. But here’s where things are different. You are given the choice of running your Traceroute from over a hundred sites scattered across the globe. This is great to see if an issue is a result of a down box somewhere, or a bad router.

While SamSpade still has a few extra nice tools (such as the anonymous URL browser and URL decrypter), Geektools adds that extra level of accessibility for those times when Sam isn’t available…


My current online RSS reader of choice

I’ve been using for about 2 weeks now and I must say, I’m addicted to it. Previously, my reader of choice was PocketFeed on my PocketPC. It’s a great app, but the current development effort is EXTREMELY slow, with a small, incremental release once every 6-9 months if you’re lucky. It also restricts me to a PDA only solution for all my RSS reading. Now with Bloglines, I have a full web-based interface for reading/tracking all my feeds of interest, as well as a ‘mobile’ version, which is perfectly designed for my PDA. I get the best of both worlds! And with OPML support, I can easily move my ‘feed list’ around to/from any machine I want, if I need to at all…

Bloglines sure makes my life easier…

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