Lots of tech tools, check-this-out articles, and other useful stuff!


"50 Best Websites 2013"   TIME magazine's annual list
"3 Best Places to Sell your Own Gadgets"   Consumer Reports
"Google + is Walking Dead"  Tech Crunch
"Is Google + Really Walking Dead"   Forbes

Blog Hosts

Blogger   use your Gmail account to login and create a blog
Tumblr   a microblogging and social networking website which is owned by Yahoo!
Wordpress   is used to create both blogs and websites

Digital Photos

Photo Editing Software Free Downloads

GIMP is recommended by PCMagazine and Digital Trends.  There is a learning curve, but hey, you get the software free and they provide tutorials, so invest a little bit of yourself because the added skills will be    worth the time.   is recommended by Digital Trends; it includes tutorials.
Picasa   has a free version, sufficient for most of us, and is recommended by Digital Trends and myself.

Photo Editing Sites

You upload your picture to their site and do your editing.

Pixlr   This site is a lot like the Adobe Photoshop software you can purchase.
iPiccy   is similar to Microsoft Paint.   use their online editing tool, the Express Editor
Photoshop Express Editor Tutorial   a youtube video
Fotor    Go figure...there's a GIMP ad on Fotor's page. There must be a digital relationship here.

Professional Photo Editing Services

eCards   "free greetings for the planet"   ecards are free; they are the type that you insert the faces of you and your friends in.

Email Providers

Gmail   a part of the Google empire.  You will find that you need a Gmail account for many other sites onlinewhich you may not have even known were Google (i.e. Blogger and YouTube), so you might as well give in and sign up today.
Outlook   a part of the Microsoft empire, formerly known Hotmail, click on "Sign up now"
Zilla Mail   provides safe email for kids.  They can only receive emails from contacts.
Zoho Mail   for businesses, up to 25 users free

File Conversion
Convert Files   you upload your file for conversion
Handbrake   an open source video transcoder which you download
NCH Software   convert many file types, even VHS or old vinyl record!  Download what you need.

RealPlayer   use the free version to convert audio and video files to different formats. They just introduced RP Cloud, so I haven't had a chance yet to see if this changes the free version.


It's time for a break from all this learning.....

Online Sheet Music offers thousands of songs for piano, guitar, vocal, and more. Click their logo on the right.  They also offer free music.    If you're old enough to remember playing King's Quest, Police Quest, and Space Quest, you can now play them on the Internet thanks to Martin Kool!

School Tube has several Schoolhouse Rock videos on their site.  If you are old like me, you will treasure going back in time while you watch these.  The videos aired on ABC in the 1970s and 80s.  You can also find more Schoolhouse Rock videos on YouTube like "I'm just a Bill."

Sporcle   "mentally stimulating diversions," a fun and educational game site for adults (and kids).  I am not one to spend time on games, but this site --- I love!!!


free sources for photos and clipart

British Library   public domain images from 17th to 19th century books

Creative Commons   here you will also find sounds and clipart. some items are not public domain but are licensed through Creative Commons. That means you may use them as stipulated but give proper attribution.  Here are "Best Practices for Attribution."

Every Stock Photo   complete a free registration and you're in!

Flickr   remember to follow the original owner's restrictions and give attribution.

Historical Images   Library of Congress' photostream at Flickr

Textures   register to see all photos, great for graphic designing!

Unsplash   no search box here. Register and you can use photos freely. They add ten new images every ten days. If you have time to browse, this is a great site.  You could save all the selections you think you will use in the future.

Viintage   public domain graphics(yes, there are two "i's")  I found beautiful Valentine and Christmas greetings which I will distribute to friends and family.

Wikimedia   put the letters "PD" before your search term to limit your results to public domain images

Legal Information Sites

States often have online self-help law centers, so do a search for one online.   ask legal questions and get "general legal and business analysis" answers from an online community of 150,000 attorneys.  I used it and got a response in seven minutes!  Their mission is to "help you make smarter, more confident legal decisions."

Best Law Firms   as ranked by U.S. News & World Report

FindLaw   from Thomson Reuters, find a local lawyer and information on laws

Guide to Law Online   from the Library of Congress

Legal Dictionary and Encyclopedia   from the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School

Legal Documents and Forms   also from the Legal Information Institute

NOLO   They sell lots of books and software, but they also present free legal information online.

Public Domain Materials

Creative Commons   license to share your creative works, find works by others to use
Incompetech   Kevin MacLeod's music collection of many genres are free to use with examples on how to give credit
Wikimedia Commons   many media formats, free

RSS Feed Readers

Bloglines   customizable dashboard and exclusive widgets; my reader of choice.

Feedly   on TIME's "50 Best Websites of 2013"

Good News   they assemble news feeds and you add your own.

atom feeds


Google Alerts

Social Media

"FB Tip:  Muzzle Oversharing Friends with a Custom Friends List
"Stunning Truths Your Facebook Likes Reveal About You"   Huffington Post video
"The Role of Hashtags in Social Media and Search"

Facebook   love it or hate it, here it is
Google+   login to your Google account and set yourself up with Google +
LinkedIn    great for networking and career building
This is My Jam   let your friends know what you're listening to
Twitter   microblog with a maximum of 140 characters (tweet)
YouTube   use your Gmail login to create an account. Upload your own videos.

Software Downloads

Audacity   open source software for audio recording and editing.  Here is a wiki filled with Audacity tutorials.
CNET   downloads for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Androids

Open Office   a free, open-source suite from Apache which is similar to and compatible with Microsoft      Office. Modules include a word processor, spreadsheet, database, and math, presentation and drawing programs.

Technology Information Sources

cnet   product reviews, tech news, and software downloads
Consumer Reports   check out the index of electronics
Digital Trends   tech news and product reviews
GeekWire   dispatches from the digital frontier
PCMag   reviews, news and downloads
TechCrunch   tech news
TechRadar   tech news and product reviews
TWiT.TV   tech news
The Wirecutter   reviews on top technologies and not limited to electronics. TIME magazine calls it a "smart, reliable buying guide."  Currently their homepage displays a review of the best umbrella. (It's the     EuroSCHIRM Light Trek umbrella by the way)
Wired   monthly magazine reporting on technology trends and how they affect business and society


CiteULike   one of many bibliographic management tools

DuckDuckGo   the search engine that doesn't track you!  I like the look of their page - easy on the eyes.  I also like their description feature up top which allows a good understanding of the site you are about to click.  Read more.

Translation Tools

Google Translate

iTranslate works well and is fun to play with --  not that I want to expand into discussion of mobile apps, but I will branch out this one time. 

MS Word has a translator. I've used it in the 2007 and 2010 versions. I found it worked best when I copied and pasted one sentence at a time from my document to the translation box. Then I would paste their translation into a new word document I opened. When I tried to translate a paragraph at a time, it produced a poor result.  I was translating from English to Spanish. I then took my Spanish document to a volunteer for polishing. I was trying to save the volunteer time by doing some of the translation work. She said my translation tool worked better than most she had seen.

URL Shorteners

UnTiny   find out the original URL before it was shrunk

Useful Sites

BBB   Better Business Bureau
Consumer Reports   a trusted resource for years; your public library probably subscribes!
Directory of Open Access Journals
Librarians' Internet Index   great site for finding info on most any topic
Lifehacker     a little bit of everything, time spent on this site is a good investment

Vehicle Information:
Carfax   enter the VIN or license plate number for your used vehicle (or one you're considering buying) to find out that vehicle's history concerning accidents, repairs, title info., odometer reading, and recalls.

Kelley Blue Book   find out what a new or used car is worth (note:  one insurance adjuster I spoke to said in his experience with insurance claims and car dealers, KBB is quoting too high.  he stated that NADA is widely used in the industry by both adjusters and car dealers.)

NADA    new and used car price guides for consumers

Video Internet/Phone Calls

ooVoo   free internet calls
Skype   now offers even group calls free on Windows, OSX and xBox one

Web Apps

Office Online   Microsoft Office brings you the most used features so you can collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, notebooks, and presentations.

Website Hosts/Domain Name Sources

Purchase a domain name.  Create a website for free, or upgrade to a premium site with these hosts.

Doodlekit   good for small businesses   I use these guys for my domain purchase and email forwarding.  Their support staff are wonderful and quick.  You can purchase a domain name for as little as $15/year.
Squarespace   the one I use, excellent support, great user community with answers
Weebly    great for setting up a small site, but you have to purchase if you want to use video.

Review of the10 most popular website builders complete with step-by-step tutorials, thanks to Robert Mening

Website Tools

Backlink Checker   find out who is linking to your site
Copy and Paste Special Characters   not on your keyboard
Domain Tools   determine who owns a website
WooRank   type in your domain name to see all sorts of data about it.

Wiki Hosts

PB Works   contains no ads on your wiki site, easy to learn
Wikimatrix   select the wiki hosts you wish to compare and decide which serves your needs best
Wikispaces   top recommendation (for a free host )by PC Magazine