Scott Hanselman's blog has a great list of power tools. It looks like most of them are for Windows only, but if you are a Windows user it is a very useful list.
[Note: to install the following programs on Ubuntu, make sure that you have the Universe repository enabled. You can either use the terminal, or Synaptic. For more information on how to install software on Ubuntu, see this article. Generally you can just type the following in the terminal: sudo apt-get install program.]
If you have a code snippet that you want to convert to HTML for posting on the web, you can use Vim, or one of the Vim derivatives such as gVim or Cream.
Just put Vim into normal mode. Generally, that means pressing the ESC key. Then type the following command:
I found an interesting list of web design links at devlisting.com.
I found an interesting article on why Linux doesn't need defragmenting. To summarize, Windows puts files next to each other which means that when you modify a file, it often fragments. Linux file systems leave space between the files, reducing the change of fragmentation.
Check out the article because it does a great job of explaining it.
There are many good CSS editors for Linux. Basically, all you really need is a text editor that will perform syntax highlighting on CSS files. Some of the programs below are just simple text editors, while some offer additional features.
There are a lot of useful option on the Firefox right-click context menu. If you have a lot of Firefox extensions installed, maybe the context menu is getting unwieldy. Here is a screenshot of part of my overgrown context menu:
If you look at the menu options, you can see that many options have a letter underlined. Once you open the context menu by right-clicking, you can just push a letter to execute one of the menu options.
For example, I have a Firefox extension installed called UndoCloseTab. If takes a long time to right-click and then search through that long context menu to find the option for UndoCloseTab. Instead I just just right-click and immediately push the letter u on the keyboard. My last closed tab will then open. If I want to open a link in a new window instead of a new tab, I just right-click on the link and immediately push the w key. (Sometimes opening a web page in a new window instead of a new tab helps you save your place if you have a few dozen tabs open.)
If you learn some of the letter shortcuts for the Firefox right-click context menu it will speed up your browsing.
Some tips I will cover in future posts are:
This tutorial will show you how to install Drupal, and how to build a cool AJAX photo gallery, in this case using Brazilian bikini models. Click on the photo below for a sample. When you click on the bikini photo below, it will load a larger version of the image from the server with AJAX, without reloading the entire web page.
(All bikini photos in this tutorial used with the permission of Microkitten. Scroll down to the bottom of this page for the Brazilian Bikini photo gallery with AJAX.)
I often bring my laptop to the local cafe to use the free wireless Internet access. Lately I've been carrying around some Ruby on Rails books with me, including the Pragmatic Programmers Rails Recipes.
I often get strange comments about the Rails Recipes book while sitting in the cafe. One person — an employee of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service — walked up to me and asked me if I was a hunter. Wikipedia has this to say about rails:
"The family Rallidae is a large group of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots, and gallinules."
I guess people hunt rails for food, but a little more research leads me to believe that they aren't very tasty:
"I confess to having hunted these critters in my earlier years and after having eaten a few I asked myself that quest as well. Rails taste nasty even naster tha teal. I could not be convinced otherwise, they are worse than beets and liver."
On another occasion at the cafe an engineer asked me if my book Rails Recipes had something to do with trains.