May 272013

This is a new post that isn’t going to exist for very long. I will delete it as soon as I solve a few little problems that are plaguing me.

For one thing, I’d like to have my Featured Content image fill the whole space, and I’d like the text to appear superimposed over the image, in a slightly translucent text box. I’m actually copying that look from the Suffusion site, so I know it can be done!


Download: Starting With Charting

May 262013

While I’m putting the final touches on the next “real” article, here’s a link to a great resource:

50 Totally Free Lessons in Graphic Design Theory

The article is a series of selected links to other websites, organized into categories:

  • Typography
  • Grid-based design
  • Color theory
  • Design theory
  • User interface & usability

The list was put together in 2009, but the information is still relevant; good design is good design! I haven’t worked my way through the whole list yet, but the ones I’ve read so far have been excellent.


May 102013
Image source:

An anti-virus program is one of the very first things you should install on a new computer. You may think you’re covered because your computer had [Big Name Anti-Virus] pre-loaded when you bought it. But look carefully: you’ll probably find that what you have is a 30- or 60-day trial version. At the end of that trial period the program will stop updating itself unless you pay a subscription fee.

If you don’t subscribe, you’ll still be protected against the catalog of threats that were current in the last update, but you won’t be protected against anything new — and new threats come along all the time!

Avast! logo
Avast! is an excellent, free alternative to those big-name commercial anti-virus programs. If you’re paying for one of those, you should switch. If you’re NOT paying for one of those (and you haven’t chosen anything else), you especially need this!

Avast! will protect your computer from viruses and spyware while you browse the web and use email.

There are other free anti-virus alternatives, too, but this is the one I’ve used on all my computers for almost 10 years, so this is the one I recommend.

Download Avast! here:

Oct 112012

Try it: Color Hex Color Codes

This site is a fantastic resource for anyone planning or producing a website.  Not only does it report hex codes for any color on the color wheel, but it suggests contrasting or complementary color families to use with your target color.

Color-picker at

It also produces CSS or HTML code for implementing the color, and shows samples of the color in use, as a foreground, background, text, border, etc.

It’s utterly simple to use, and a great tool for any visual designer.


Now there’s an Android app for that. It’s a simple little tool with three RGB sliders. As you adjust those, it displays the HTML hex code for the color. The app doesn’t have all the extras, like the complementary colors and samples of the color in use, but it’s handy to use as an external reference when you don’t want to leave the window you’re working in.

Aug 102012

Well, here we go! It’s the launch of For Your Wordification — a new resource to soothe the little irritants that come with using computers in our daily lives.

Potential topics include:

  • Windows secrets that nobody tells you: navigation, shortcuts, and more
  • Tips and how-tos for Microsoft Office products and other common programs
  • Things you never knew your plain-vanilla software could do
  • Reviews and recommendations for mobile/cloud apps and services
  • Straightforward analogies for complex technology concepts

You also have the opportunity to submit ideas — questions to be answered, or problems to be solved. (You can do this anonymously, so don’t worry if you think a question is too silly!)

Have a look around, and please let me know what you’d like to see here to make it useful for you!