Archive | December, 2008

How to Make Working with PDFs Better

So what needs to be done to make the PDF format better?  Here are a few of my opinions, and some tools and services to make those requests come true.

Better PDF Editing Abilities

Need an easy way to edit PDF files without the expensive PDF editor?  In the past, I have told you about creating PDFs via Open Office.   However, what if you could convert those PDFs to Word doc files to edit instead?  Pickup the Free PDF to Word Converter for Windows to get the job done.

Better PDF Browser Support

How about better PDF support for the browser?  PDF files are notorious for crashing your modern web browser.  So with that said, what tool can you use to make the experience better?  A browser add-on named PDF Download.  It’s features include:

  • Convert Web pages to PDF. (NEW) Convert any Web pages to great looking PDF files, and then save, share, print or archive them.
  • View PDF as HTML. View the contents of PDF files faster and eliminate browser problems by instantly converting any Web-based PDF to a browser-friendly HTML Web page.
  • Control PDF files in Firefox. Stop crashes and get the upper hand on Web-based PDF files by automating and controlling how your Firefox or Flock browsers deal with them.

PDF Download works with Firefox 2 & 3, Flock 1, and Internet Explorer 7 & 8 (beta) web browsers.

Better Printing Abilities to the PDF Format

Now this one isn’t really PDF’s problem, however I do have a solution.  If you are wanting to cut down on the paper you use, printing to the PDF format can save you some cash in the long run as well as conserve that printing paper.  All you need to do is grab PrimoPDF for Windows.  It will add the ability for you choose “Print as PDF” from any print screen.  All you have to do is select it as the printer of your choice.

So what other things bug you about PDF files, or have you found any other solutions to your PDF powered problems?  It might not be the best standard in the world, however it can come in handy from time to time.

Bubble Wrap Wallpaper

It has been a while since I shared my wallpaper of choice with you all – and this time I do have a good one.  How could you say, “No!” to wallpaper that looks like bubble wrap?

Bubble Wrap Wallpaper

That’s right – you can’t.  It is just so perfect, yet so simple.  The only thing you have to worry about now is keeping people from touching your screen.

You know you feel the urge to pop some bubbles too!

Pick up this wallpaper for yourself at many different screen resolutions at Mandolux.

Better Way to Serve a PDF

Easier PDF Viewing Online for Free!

For some reason, PDFs remain a popular file format.  Created back in 1993 by Adobe Systems, PDF (the Portable Document Format) makes it easy to share a document with text, specific fonts, 2-D vector graphics and images.  Instead of downloading the PDF to view (as most of us do) I want to introduce you to a new way of dealing with these files without the need of any download.

PDFMeNot.com is a free Online PDF viewer. All you do is give them the URL to the PDF in question, and they will make it viewable for you using their online tools.  They also allow for you to upload a PDF too.

If you like the service, you might be intersted in the fact that you can use it in a number of different ways too.  From Firefox extensions to bookmarklets, they have many ways you can take advantage of the service.

The easiest way to use it would be to include “http://pdfmenot.com/view/” before your PDF link.  As an example, try this link out:

http://pdfmenot.com/view/http://www.webhostingshow.com/includes/HostingGuideEbook.pdf

So add PDFMeNot into your web developer’s toolkit.  This is one of those services that you might not need everyday, but you will be happy to have it when you do need it.

Merry Christmas from Mitchelaneous

Santa Love the Web Hosting ShowChristmas has even made it’s way over to Mitchelaneous.com – and who would have guessed I’d pass up the chance to call it Mitch-mas.   :-D

For all of you I have two very special presents – a couple of my other side projects you may or may not know that much about.  I wanted to take a minute or two of your time so that you could check them out, and if you like them as much as you like Mitchelaneous – feel free to subscribe there too.  Merry Christmas!

The Web Hosting Show

The Web Hosting Show is my weekly podcast on and about the wacky world of web hosting.  From news, to help and even some shopping tips – I like to help people get the most out of their hosting accounts – while having a little fun along the way.

My Favorite Web Hosting Show Posts of the Year:

You can subscribe to WebHostingShow.com for free by plugging the RSS feed into your favorite news reader of choice.  Here are a few subscription buttons to help you in that process:

Add to Google Reader or Homepage Add to netvibes Add to Pageflakes Subscribe in Bloglines

Firefox Facts

Firefox Facts is my daily blog about all things relating to Firefox.  It started out as an e-book project, but has expanded by leaps and bounds since then.  Find reviews for useful extensions, great looking Firefox themes and a whole lot more.  I even toss in an occasional roundup of the best tools for this, that and the other.  If you use Firefox, you need to subscribe.

My Favorite Firefox Facts Posts of the Year:

You can subscribe to FirefoxFacts.com for free by plugging the RSS feed into your favorite news reader of choice.  Here are a few subscription buttons to help you in that process:

Add to Google Reader or Homepage Add to netvibes Add to Pageflakes Subscribe in Bloglines

Thanks to all my visitors and free RSS feed subscribers for keeping this rambling side project of mine fun to do.  This November was the 5 year anniversary of Mitchelaneous.com, and hopefully we will have many more years to come.

Link is Here to Save my Desktop

The Legend of Zelda and Christmas always seem to go together for me.  Think it has to do with the fact that the most memorable Christmas I have is when I got The Legend of Zelda: a Link to the Past for Christmas as a kid.  So what better way to celebrate that special tingly feeling the game series gives me than to do another custom icon creation.

Link Desktop Icon in Action

+ Download the Link Desktop Icon! (.zip)

Hope you enjoy both of these very special icons.  The icons are compatible with the following sizes:  256 x 256, 128 x 128, 64 x 64, 48 x 48, 32 x 32, 24 x 24, 16 x 16.  It is also in both .ico and .png format.

Also, hope you all have a very Merry Christmas Eve – and don’t forget to check out some of my other custom icon creations I have done in the past too.

Mitch in Print During 2008

This year, I set a new record for myself – I made it into print four times!  Now in this digital era, that might not seem like much.  Heck, it might even be a step backwards.  However, holding a magazine with an article you have written inside it still something that gets me all excited.

Here are all the issues of Ping! Zine that I have made an appearance in this year:

+ Download Issue 26 of Ping! Zine (.pdf)

+ Download Issue 27 of Ping! Zine (.pdf)

+ Download Issue 28 of Ping! Zine (.pdf)

+ Download Issue 30 of Ping! Zine (.pdf)

Hopefully they’ll have me back next year too.  If you have never heard of Ping! Zine before, it is a web hosting magazine for web hosting professionals and fans.  One of the two biggest out there in the hosting industry to date.

10 Tools to Turn Firefox into WordPress’s Little Helper

Firefox and WordPress.  Seems like these two fan favorites should mesh together as well as peanut butter and jelly, however – finding add-ons for Firefox to help you with your installed version of WordPress (or your WordPress.com blog) is not an easy task.  So let me take the pain away this holiday season and share with you 10 awesome tools that will turn Firefox into WordPress’s little helper.

  1. Screen grab to WordPress! – This addons ads to Screen Grab! by allowing screen captures to be uploaded to WordPress (2.5+) blogs
  2. One-Click Installer for WP – Install plugins or themes on your self-hosted WordPress blogs with a single click (needs the related WP plugin to work; not intended for WordPress.com) .
  3. WordPress.com Sidebar – Get quick access to your wordpress.com account from your browser sidebar.
  4. MMD WordPress.com Extension – This extension adds a tiny statusbar panel that shows you your blog hit count for your WordPress.com blog.
  5. Blog This in Windows Live Writer – Adds a button to Firefox which starts a new Windows Live Writer blog post prepopulated with content and title from the current web page. Blog the whole page, or just selected snippets.
  6. WordPress Helper – The Firefox extension WordPress Helper helps you working with WordPress by providing useful help and tools.
  7. WordPress Post – This extension lets you post the text you select in your browser directly to your WordPress blog.
  8. easyComment-a-Blog – Filling out Blog Comment Forms automatically with ease.
  9. Deepest Sender – Deepest Sender is a client that will allow you to post to blogs from directly within Firefox. It is primarily a LiveJournal client, although it supports Blogger (GData) and WordPress (metaWeblog) too.
  10. DashBlog – lets you quickly collect videos, images, text/quotes, songs and screen-captures from any web page and publish them to your blog (word press, blogger/blogspot, tumblr) and/or twitter.

Know of another good one that didn’t make the list?  Let me know about it!

Super Mario’s Boo Desktop Icon

Who doesn’t love a good scare?

One of the most easily recognizable characters from the Super Mario franchise would be our good buddy Boo.  So, how can you make your desktop less boring and more like one of the many ghost houses you may find across the Mushroom Kingdom?

Free Boo Desktop Icon

+ Download the Free Boo Desktop Icon! (.zip)

Download this free Boo icon, I made just for you.  The icons are compatible with the following sizes:  256 x 256, 128 x 128, 64 x 64, 48 x 48, 32 x 32, 24 x 24, 16 x 16.  It is also in both .ico and .png format.

Let me know if you enjoy, and I might have to roll out a few more before Christmas.

Nice and Easy Forum Setup with bbPress

Quick and Easy Forums

Via a request I got via e-mail I recently posted a tutorial for Lunarpages on how to install bbPress onto your run-of-the-mill Linux-based hosting account.  I have to say, I had never used bbPress before till then, and I like it a lot.

For those of you who may not recognize the name, bbPress comes from the creators of WordPress.  As they make note of via their web site, “bbPress is focused on web standards, ease of use, ease of integration, and speed. We’re focused on keeping things as small and light as possible while still allowing for great add on features through our extensive plugin system.”  Think of it as WordPress for forums – but a little less popular than WordPress is today.

You have plugins and themes there too, so you can customize the forums as much or as little as you like.  Personally, I kind of liked them how they were via the default install. I am sure though I’d want to add something eventually though, so nice to know the option is there.

bbPress - forum softwareIf you want to try out the back end and front end demos, head over to OpenSourceCMS.com.  They have a working demo of both up for you to tinker with and see if you like it or not.  Those who have used WordPress before will be greated with a very familiar interface.  You can download bbPress or get more information at bbPress.org.

More Great Content! Bonus -  be sure to check out our other free forum script reviews! More Great Content!