This page includes links to online resources and tools that I use. I’ve also decided to add blogs and authors that I love and find inspiring here. It’s a work in progress that I’ll be adding entrys to as often as time allows and as I think of them.
Online Searches and Data Bases
This interactive zip code lookup website is one of my favorite because it’s so simple to use. You just enter an address into the white box at the top center of the page and you’re immediately taken to the location on Google maps, where the zip code you’re seeking is also displayed.
Open Public Records is a great site that has accumulated public record searches for all US states. Many people don’t realize the vast volume of information that is available to the general public via our local and state governments. You can search for things like court and arrest records, birth and marraige records, and virtually anything else that the government records.
The records that are available vary a lot by state, which is probably mandated by what various states make available for online publication. In the screenshots below I show a little about the site’s history as well as what type of records are available in the District of Columbia. I chose the District of Columbia because it offers one of the longer lists of available public records.
Online Photo Tools
The is my favorite tool for resizing and optimizing photos and images for many different purposes. Most often I use it for reducing the file size of graphics that I create for my websites. When images have large file sizes it makes webpage loading times longer than most people have the patience to wait for!
I love this free tool because it’s got a lot of user flexibility built into it. So I can decide which method of optimization I want and how much I want to reduce the file size by, which is expressed as a percentage. Because many of my graphics are screenshots which include a lot of text, I need to have the text remain readable, which can be a challenge when optimizing images for purposes of speed of page loading.
When I’m just reducing the file size of pure images which don’t include text, I use another great tool shown next.
I love TinyPNG for its simplicity and ease of use. The one thing it doesn’t offer is the user control that the above tool offers. However, TinyPNG does offer batch uploading of photos (so does Online Photo Resizer,) and their method for optimizing images is excellent! So, while I don’t use this tool as often for images with text, in the example I show below I did reduce this screeenshot of TinyPNG’s homepage using TinyPNG’s tool and the text has remained quite legible while the file size was reduced by almost 50%!