Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 34 other subscribers

Archive for the ‘Internet Tips’ Category

PostHeaderIcon A few good WordPress tutorials

I run WordPress on half a dozen blogs. None of them get a lot of traffic, but they allow me to post about things I’m interested in, as well as keep in contact with certain people.

Here are a some links to some good tutorials to do various things with WordPress.

PostHeaderIcon Free online OCR

I haven’t managed to go paperless yet, but I do try to keep as little paper around as I can. I scan a lot of things to PDF and save them in Google Documents. Whenever I do that, I like to have the text in the documents searchable. If all I do is scan a page, and the image becomes the PDF, then there is no text to search. However, if you use Optical Character Recognition (OCR), you can turn the picture into text.  This is also very handy when you do not want to have to retype something entirely.

There is a web site at that lets you upload an image, and it will find the text for you. This doesn’t really help with PDFs (as you aren’t actually putting the text back in the PDF), but if you are looking to avoid retyping something, this is a good place to start.

PostHeaderIcon Bookmarklets

What’s a bookmarklet? Well, the home page describes them in this way:

Bookmarklets are simple tools that extend the surf and search capabilities of Firefox and Explorer web browsers.

Bookmarklets are free.

Bookmarklets allow you to:

* Modify the way you see someone else’s webpage.
* Extract data from a webpage.
* Search more quickly, and in ways not possible with a search engine.
* Navigate in new ways.

…and more. Over 150 bookmarklets are available.

Bookmarklets work on all platforms (Windows, Macintosh, Unix,…)

You do not have to download or install software to use Bookmarklets.

In the past I’ve used bookmarklets that have let me download YouTube videos, modify a New York Times article link so that I didn’t need to be logged in, and test a new Google search page before it was “live”. Essentially they are just little bits of javascript code that let you do something on a web page. Check out the web site for a listing of what they have available.

PostHeaderIcon Finding images of a specific size

I always tease my wife if she’s typing something up. She spends 5 minutes doing the typing and an hour on Google Images looking for good clipart to go with what she is typing. I’m sure many of you are the same. I recently heard about a “hidden” feature of Google Images that might help. It let’s you search for specific sizes of images. For a while now there has been a drop down list where you could choose between small, medium, large, and extra large. Well, along with your search term, if you put in imagesize:1024×768 (or whatever size you want, you’ll only see results of that size. This is particularly useful for finding desktop wallpaper.

For instance, doing a search for…

imagesize:1024×768 Niagara Falls

…brings up hundreds of pictures of Niagara Falls that are that size.


Along with 1024×758, other common desktop wallpaper image sizes are 1680×1050 (widescreen), 1440×900 (laptop widescreen), 1280×1024, and 800×600. Also, icons are generally 32×32 or 64×64. Unfortunately, clipart could be any size, but you might try a small/medium size of 400×400 or 400×300 and see what you get.

PostHeaderIcon KeepVid: Download and save any video from Youtube, Dailymotion, Metacafe, iFilm and more!


Last night I wanted to download a YouTube video. I don’t have any utilities on my computer that will do this. My normal option is to use Zamzar. The one problem with this, is that sometimes it takes a while to get the email notifying you that the download/converstion is done. While I was waiting, I did a simple Google search, and found KeepVid. This is a site that lets you enter a URL at any of the big video sites, and it will then provide you with a link to download the video. I did this and had the video downloaded before Zamzar got back to me. For the video I wanted, I was provided with two links… one for an FLV file, and the other for an MP4 video.

PostHeaderIcon Can’t Open Your E-Mailbox? Good Luck

From the New York Times:

Logging on to Gmail or other e-mail service has become a routine of daily life, completed without a thought. What would you do, however, if you woke up tomorrow, plugged in your user name and password as you always do, but then received an unfamiliar message: “User name and password do not match”?

If you’re a Gmail user, what you’ll want to do after a few more unsuccessful, increasingly frantic attempts is to speak with a Google customer support representative, post haste. But that’s not an option. Google doesn’t offer a toll-free number and a live person to resolve the ordinary user’s problems.

Discussion forums abound with tales of woe from Gmail customers who have found themselves locked out of their account for days or even weeks.

PostHeaderIcon 22 Tips to Do Everything Faster had an article about how to do things faster on your computer:

22 smarter, more efficient ways to make short work of common tech tasks–from reinstalling Windows to crushing spyware to setting up a Web site.

PostHeaderIcon Protect Your Child’s Privacy Online

security4web has a nice list of suggestions to protect your child online (follow the link to read the entire 19-point list):

  • Be aware of cyberspace threats! Learn about all risks children may face while surfing on the Internet and start educating them on how to protect themselves online.
  • Talk to your children about dangers they can encounter as long as they are online. Do not be reluctant to subjects such as sexuality, pornography or pedophiles. Do not consider them taboo.
  • Make sure your children know that not everything they read on the Internet is true and accurate.

PostHeaderIcon – A collection of uncomplicated, powerful network tools

I heard about from Chris

The best way to learn about the tools is to visit the site and try them. The reason why we came across the site is that we were trying to determine what sites were on a web server (to determine how loaded or overloaded the server is). The tool is the “Reverse IP Domain Check”. For instance, I did a search on my domain, and found that the IP address of my server ( has 177 different sites hosted (seems excessive to me!).

PostHeaderIcon Google’s Services Converge in the New iGoogle

Google Operating System has a great post about a new layout to iGoogle, the customizable Google portal:

The new version of iGoogle, currently available for a small number of randomly-selected users and for developers, will bring together all the Google services in a single fluid interface. At some point, iGoogle was a part of an initiative called Fusion that allowed users to combine content from across the web. The next major iteration of iGoogle goes further and it lets you actually access the full content, monitor the updates and share them with your friends.

I followed the instructions at the end of that post to use the new interface, and I love the new look!