Category: Internet

20 great free online file storage services

Please Digg this if you find it useful. A few years ago, I posted a long list of free online file sharing services. If you haven’t used a sharing service to transport large files from one computer/location to another, you’re missing out. It’s a whole lot cheaper, and most times, faster than burning CDs or lugging around an external hard drive. It’s also a little more secure than just tossing your document onto a “who knows how reliable” USB keydrive. Rather than post an exhaustive list of services, I decided this time to focus on 20 of the better services I’ve come across. I have tried every one on this list and found the experience satisfactory to excellent. As for me, I prefer two of these. MediaFire is fast and reliable. With its rather low 100MB file size limit, you might be turned off. But the simple site layout, speed and reliability, make MediaFire a gem. They make it as simple as it can possibly get to share your files. I also like the fact that they’ve been around for a long time. For files that are larger than 100MB (and that I don’t want to bother splitting up), I use File Dropper. It’s another simple to use site that I’ve had great luck with. Though the speed isn’t quite as good as MediaFire, it’s still better than most I’ve tried. And the large file size limit makes it perfect for transferring large video files when a DVD burner isn’t available. Keep in mind that the File Size Limit listed for each service is NOT the total storage space allotted, it’s just the limit of each individual file you can upload. Most services offer anywhere between 2GB to unlimited. Also keep in mind that free online storage services rely on advertising to pay the bills. When the ad clicks dry up, the service goes away. Many of these sites, such as MediaFire, have been in business for a long time. But many of the sites on my original list didn’t last long. The moral of the story, don’t rely on these “free” sites for important backups. They’re for temporary storage and transfer use only. Megashares File Size Limit: 10GB* (with Custom Uploader, 1.5GB without) Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited* (see FAQ for explanation) URL: http://www.megashares.com File Dropper File Size Limit: 5GB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Forever (deleted only if there is no download activity) URL: http://www.filedropper.com TransferBigFiles File Size Limit: 1GB Download Limit: 20 Downloads File Life: 5 Days* (see FAQ for more details) URL: http://www.transferbigfiles.com SnapDrive File Size Limit: 500MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited URL: http://www.snapdrive.net/ Driveway File Size Limit: 500MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: 90 Days (deleted only if there is no download activity in 90 days) URL: http://www.driveway.com zUpload File Size Limit: 500MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: 30 Days (Deleted only if there is no download activity in 30 days) URL: http://www.zupload.com Spread-It File Size Limit: 500MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: 14 Days URL: http://www.spread-it.com SendSpace File Size Limit: 300MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited (Deleted only if there is no download activity in 9 days) URL: http://www.sendspace.com RapidUpload File Size Limit: 300MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: 30 Days (Deleted only if there is no download activity in 30 days) URL: http://www.rapidupload.com FileFactory File Size Limit: 300MB Download Limit: Unknown* (per user download limit per 24 hours) File Life: Unknown URL: http://www.filefactory.com MegaUpload File Size Limit: 250MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited (Deleted only if there is no download activity in 90 days) URL: http://www.megaupload.com divShare File Size Limit: 200MB Download Limit: 50GB per month File Life: Unlimited URL: http://www.divshare.com Media Fire File Size Limit: 100MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited URL: http://www.mediafire.com MiHD File Size Limit: 100MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited (deleted 30 days after last download) URL: http://mihd.net/ Easy Share File Size Limit: 100MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited (deleted 30 days after last download) URL: http://www.easy-share.com 4Shared File Size Limit: 100MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited (deleted 30 days after last download) URL: http://www.4shared.com QuickSharIt File Size Limit: 100MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: Unlimited* (see FAQ for more details) URL: http://www.quickshareit.com/ Uploading File Size Limit: 100MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: 30 Days (Deleted only if there is no download activity in 30 days) URL: http://www.uploading.com Bigupload File Size Limit: 50MB Download Limit: Unlimited File Life: 30 Days (Deleted only if there is no download activity in 30 days) URL: http://www.bigupload.com FileDen File Size Limit: 50MB Download Limit: 5GB per month File Life: Unknown URL: http://www.fileden.com Please Digg this if you found it useful.

Using Google wildcard feature to answer questions

It seems like every other day Google releases something new, or you learn something about the #1 search engine that you didn’t know about before. Today, I hope to have something for you in the latter category. It seems like every other day Google releases something new, or you learn something about the #1 search engine that you didn’t know about before. Today, I hope to have something for you in the latter category. Google offers fill-in-the-blank searching (also known as wildcards), in it’s search engine. You can ask simple questions in your search and use an asterisk to indicate the “answer” you’re looking for. For example, in the screenshot below, I’m searching for the name of the CEO of Apple. As you can see, I worded my question simply and used the asterisk in the proper location. In the screenshot above, you can see that I got the answer to my question. The feature works quite well, though it may take a time or two to figure out the best way to ask the question. Sometimes simply re-wording the question can bring about completely different answers.

Cool site for package designers

Package design is a niche in our industry that gets little attention, even though it’s probably one of the coolest things to design and looks great in a portfolio. There are few resources dedicated to it, so when I came across The Dieline, I knew I wanted to share it with you. The site offers inspirational samples and articles about great package design, as well as design studio spotlights.

Don’t design a dead-end Web site – it’s all about the content

When I look at a lot of Web sites these days, two things jumps out at me. First, many sites look absolutely stunning. Beautiful mastheads, delicious AJAX everywhere, blinky, swooshing Flash and Web 2.0-style graphics adorn tons of Web sites. Competing with these gorgeous Web sites requires not only great graphic design skills, but you’ve got to be a coding genius as well. The second thing that I notice right away is that many of these sites contain little if any useful, informative content. Opinion blogs are everywhere, virtually anyone who can type has a blog, but finding great content is just getting harder and harder. It almost appears that many of these sites’ purpose is simply to show off the fact that they know how to code. Now I’m not trying to stand on my high-horse and look down on anyone’s efforts… (more…)

Stuff on the Web

Who owns what? With all the Yahoo! takeover talk going around, I went about to find out just how many things would get screwed up if Microsoft ended up buying Yahoo!. Amy Webb has a nifty PDF chart to break down who owns what toys in the Web sandbox. Who is your Internet neighbor? For those on shared hosting plans such as HostMonster Dreamhost or iPower, myIPneighbors IP search is a great way to find out if your Web site is packed into a crowded host with hundreds of other sites, and just who those neighboring sites are. DIY digital photography Digital camera lovers, here’s a little DIY fun for the weekend. It’s a video tutorial of how to make an image stabilizer to reduce camera shake. All you need is some string, a bolt and a washer (or some other small weight). Electric Photoshop Add some electrifying energy beams to your subject with this great Photoshop tutorial at Luxa.org. Free online Faxing Every once in a great while you may find yourself needing to send a quick Fax, you remember those, right? If you don’t have a fax machine, you’ll have to run down to the nearest copy shop and pay for it… or, you can just use FaxZero. FaxZero will allow you to send a paper fax from your PDF or text document to any fax number in the U.S. or Canada for free (of course, they add an advertisement on the cover sheet).

Create your Web site Favicon easily

Love them or hate them, Favicons are a visual business card for your Web site in other people’s bookmark bar. Creating them requires the use of an image editor and an application that can save files as a Windows icon (.ico file). Virtually anyone can find an image editor to design their own favicon, but saving them as an .ico file isn’t always so easy to find. I decided to skip the part about finding an app to save The Graphic Mac favicon as an .ico file and instead used GenFavicon, a simple Web site who’s only purpose is to generate Favicons for you simply. You link to, or upload the graphic you wish to use as a Favicon, crop it with the handy cropping tool, choose which size you wish to output the file as (most browsers use a 16×16 pixel icon in the location bar), then wait a few seconds for your Favicon to become available. It’s that simple. You can download your file as either an .ico Favicon or a .gif file.

The entire Macworld Keynote in 60 seconds

We all love Steve Jobs’ keynote speech at MacWorld. It’s the highlight of the week, and is usually filled with ooohs and ahhhhs. At least, it was in the past. The last few years have been iPod/iPhone heavy and quite frankly I just don’t have 90 minutes to watch the thing. So when I came across this video at Maholo, I was extatic that I could catch the entire 90-minute speech in 60 seconds. Here it is:

Use Textorizor to combine text & graphics for a stunning image effects

Sometimes the image you’re using in your latest design layout just isn’t interesting enough and using Photoshop filters just isn’t cutting it. Enter Textorizor, a creative way to combine text and your image to create a unique look for your next design piece. While Textorizor is actually just code that needs to be compiled, there is a simple Web interface available for the non-code-geeks among us. There are actually two versions of Textorizor available, the sample above uses Textorizor 2. As you can see, the original image (inset) is used along with user input text to create the appearance of a text image. You could re-create the effect of Textorizor 2 in Photoshop using blend modes, but this just seems so much easier! And Textorizor 1 would just require a lot more mork.

Top ten Web design mistakes… year after year

Jakob Nielsen’s survey results of the Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005 is an old article, but proves to me to be an interesting read. While it may seem pretty straight forward, these were the same mistakes that are mentioned year after year. And yet designers continue to make them. The oldies continue to be goodies – or rather, baddies – in the list of design stupidities that irked users the most in 2005. Each of the following is discussed in various amounts of detail at the site:

  1. Legibility Problems
  2. Non-Standard Links
  3. Flash
  4. Content That’s Not Written for the Web
  5. Bad Search
  6. Browser Incompatibility
  7. Cumbersome Forms
  8. No Contact Information
  9. Frozen Layouts
  10. Inadequate Photo Enlargement

I believe the problem is that there are too many people who got a cheap PC and a copy of (Insert cheap consumer-based Web design program name here – GoLive and Dreamweaver don’t count) and now believe they’re “designers.” But the problem also lays squarely on the head of true designers who over-design their sites. We’re so worried about “how it looks” that we forget that someone else (who usually doesn’t care how it looks) is actually trying to read it! I don’t 100% agree with each statement in the top 10, but all are completely valid and you SHOULD pay attention to them because it can make or break your site.