Tag Archives: Useful Site

Should you sit through the credits? Check MovieStinger

You’ve made it to the end of the movie and the credits start to roll. Your soda is empty, your pop corn bag is mostly empty (it’s cold and you’re out of soda) and you probably really need to use the restroom.

Hang on a second… there might be still be more movie. Should you leave?

Worry no more, MovieStinger has the info you need, and it’s in a handy mobile phone friendly format (if you visit from your phone).

image image

New releases will tend to show on the first page, but if a movie isn’t shown (or if you’re watching an oldie) you can also browse their database by genre or title.

You also don’t need to worry about MovieStinger spoiling the surprise either, it just tells you if there are extras or not. Note: if you want to know exactly what to expect, you can click on an entry to get the full details, but where’s the fun in that?

Turn your handwriting into a true type font, for free!

Want a vanity font to go with your vanity plates and vanity domains? You can do it without having to learn post script or hiring a typography expert. Just hop on over to http://www.fontcapture.com.

The process is simple: print out their form, write out the alphabet, scan the form back in and upload to their server. Your font is available pretty much instantly. Best part: it’s free (we’ve already established I’m cheap).


How long does it take you to write 127 letters?

It’s dirt cheap and spike-through-the-head easy. It’s not, however, failsafe. Here’s some stuff to keep in mind:

  • If you have crappy handwriting, this isn’t going to make it look any better
  • You’ll probably be much happier with the results if you use your favorite image editor to line up letters vertically and horizontally
  • Consistent width on the letters will also pay dividends (my “y”s are skewed, making the spacing look bad)


If you take the time to line up all your letters your font will be much nicer

It honestly is easy, I made the first draft of my font in less than 10 minutes. If you want a quality font, however, you will want to tweak the letter size and alignment to make them consistent and aligned. For me that was another 30 minute investment.

And, no… this ain’t one of them crappy bit-mapped fonts. The clever folks at fontcapture.com turn your handwriting into a true type font, so you can blow it up to 120 points if you want:


Clickey for biggie

To be clear, you should not scan letters from your friends and create a font to impersonate them. That would be wrong Steve.

A great site for the color blind web developer

I’ve built my share of web pages.  I can do the layout.  I can do the CSS, HTML, etc.  I always have problems picking a color scheme.  I’ve now found a site to help me out with that part of the process.


If you aren’t a natural at picking colors and/or were not professionally trained as an artist, you may find getting a set of colors which complement each other is difficult.  I usually use a set of colors from a design book or copy a pretty web.  If, however, I need a specific color… I’m SOL.


Enter ColorBlender.com.  This site is a variation on a tool which has been floating around the net in open source for a while (see “A little history lesson” below).  What I like about this particular implementation is it has a slick interface combined with the ability to export the color blends as a Photoshop Color Tables (great for all the pixel-pushers out there).


Here’s how it works:



  1. Either start with a color in mind our use their blending sliders to construct a color (I decided to go with a nice, bright blue for this run)

  2. If you like your blend, you’re done!

  3. If you’d like to tweak the blend, click the “Direct Edit” radio button then adjust individual colors on your palette using the same sliders from step 1.

That’s really about it, go forth and create.  If you do end up using this on a web site, please let me know, I’d like to provide a link to your creation from this post so others can see how this tool can be applied to web design.





A little history lesson


The original tool was called ColorMatch 5K and was entered by Kim Jensen into a 2001 web competition which required the tools submitted be less than 5, 120 bytes.  Due to the size requirements, ColorMatch 5K was limited and didn’t have a ton of cross-browser compatibility, so many sites took up the code and improved upon it.  ColorBlender.com is my favorite, a quick search could help you to find yours.

A tip for smugmug users – timeline

When I made the choice between smugmug and Phanfare one thing I found I missed was the ability to filter my pictures by year taken.  To my delight, smugmug added this feature shortly after I joined.  The feature is currently hidden and considered beta, but it works quite well – the only bug I’ve found is it got confused about a picture I stamped as being taken in 1959 (seems they weren’t expecting dates that old… shocker).


If you want a nifty timeline on your smugmug page, here’s how to do it:



  1. Go to http://yoursmugmugname.smugmug.com/?showGoodies=1 (be sure to adjust the URL for your member name)
    This will take you to your homepage with the phototimeline module visible

  2. Click the “show” link

  3. Very important: click the “date taken” link
    If you don’t do this all your pictures in the timeline will be shown by date uploaded (which won’t be very interesting unless you’ve been a smugmug member for multiple years)

That’s it, now you have a nifty timeline on your homepage.