Freelance Web Design Resources

I came across this page today, a fantastic collection of resources that is an absolute must read for any freelance web designer, amateur or veteran.

Resources include such things as tools for invoicing clients, managing your finances and accounts, payment gateways, where to find work, time and project management tools, fonts and CSS styles, stock photography and icons and so on,

PlayOnLinux Project

I came across this project today, it’s based off Wine but makes the whole process a lot more straight forward, and allows the user to easily exploit some of Wine’s more complicated features with more ease. It is, of course, open source, and uses the Bash and Python languages, making it distribution-independent.

A good idea for Linux and gaming enthusiasts, have a look at it over at

10 Handy Linux Commands

Quickly Find a PID

pgrep looks through the currently running processes and lists the process IDs which matches the selection criteria to stdout.

pgrep ssh

This will list all PIDs associated with the ssh process.

Execute The Last Command


This will execute the last command you used on the command line.

Execute The Last Command Starting With…

If you want to execute a command from history starting with the letter S you can use:


This will execute the last command used on the command line that started with s.

Repeatedly Run a Command and Display the Output

watch runs a command repeatedly, displaying its output. This allows you to watch the program output change over time. By default, the program is run every 2 seconds. watch is very similar to tail.

watch -d ls -l

This will watch the current directory for any file changes and highlight the change when it occurs.

Save Quickly in VI/VIM

If you’re in a hurry, you can save and quit the file you’re editing in vi by exiting insert mode, holding shift, and hitting z twice.

Quickly Log Out of a Terminal

You can quickly log out of a terminal session by using: CTRL+D

Navigate to the Last Directory

cd - will take you to the last directory you were in.

Make Parent Directories the Smart Way

mkdir -p /home/danny/make/all/of/these/directories/ will create all directories as needed even if they do not exist. Why waste time doing something like: mkdir make ; cd make ; mkdir all ; cd all ; mkdir of ; cd of… you get the point. Use mkdir -p!

Delete an Entire Line

If you’ve just typed a long string of commands that you don’t need to enter anymore, delete the entire line by using: CTRL+U.

Set the Time stamp of a File

touch -c -t 0801010800 filename.c will show the time stamp as 2008-01-01 8:00. The format is (YYMMDDhhmm).

Ubuntu 8.04 - Hardy Heron

The long anticipated Ubuntu 8.04 - Hardy Heron was released last week, this is the new LTS (Long Term Service) release of Ubuntu featuring a 3 year support cycle for desktop users. I was quick to install my copy, starting with an upgrade from 7.10 that took about an hour, only to find many problems and a few things which had broken… Not to worry though, a quick reformat later and I was ready to go!

I have to say, it runs like a dream. All the hardware on my IBM ThinkPad T41 worked right out of the box, including wireless support, which is in my experience is normally a pain to try and overcome. Unfortunately (for some, at least), Hardy Heron only ships with the infamous Firefox 3.0 beta 5, a version of Firefox which I am currently avoiding due to the lack of compatibility with many of the plugins I use.

There are a bunch of other improvements that one will notice right off the mark, mainly small graphical changes and make the layout and interface for the user a bit simpler and easier to navigate, as well as shipping with the standard open source applications (OpenOffice, Pidgin, GIMP and so on). I recommend giving it a shot, moreover because its an LTS release too.

Current users can upgrade running

update-manager -d

from terminal, and new users (or those wanting a fresh install) can obviously pick up a copy over at

Let’s Crash IE

This is an old one, but I came accross it again today and thought I would mention it. It’s a great demonstration of how terrible Internet Explorer is as a browser, purely by the fact that inserting the following fragment of code:

<script> for (x in document.write) { document.write(x); } </script>

into a webpage is enough to put IE into an infinite loop, which results in it crashing out. I’m actually quite tempted to embed it into this very website, and every other website in which I have access to the source code…

Toshiba Abandons HD-DVD

Good news for Playstation 3 owners, the (format) war is over, Toshiba are planning to cease all production and manufacturing of HD-DVD hardware and software, NHK have reported.

The move is aparantly going to cost Toshiba hundreds of millions of dollars in losses to stop production and leave the HD player market, although the announcement really couldn’t be avoided after Walmart had decided to stop retailing HD-DVD devices and focus purely on Blue-Ray.

Toshiba will still be selling their current stockpile of devices to stores for the time being, but have no intentions of investing further research in the technology.

Remembering Mismatched Domains

Those of you who use Mozilla Firefox to access a website that has either a shared or a poorly designed SSL certificate, or Mozilla Thunderbird to check more than one email account from the same server, will have experienced the Domain Name Mismatch error. This error is generated when the SSL Certificate for the domain does not match the URL you have provided for the mail server.

I found this to be a huge pain, and I finally stumbled accross this excellent little plugin for Firefox and Thunderbird

Using this plugin, you will still be prompt with the error, but gives you the option of telling Firefox and Thunderbird to no longer prompt you again for that domain.

Mini Java RCON Tool

I’ve quickly thrown together a small Java RCON Tool for sending remote commands to Source-based games from the Steam collection called JavRecon. It’s written purely in java, and isn’t anything particularly fancy but quite handy none the less.

You can download it here.

I am also working on another tool over at Sourceforge called JRcon, it works off the same idea but it is intended to be a lot more sophisticated and have a lot more options. Why you say? Simple, its platform independant, hopefully it’ll be another small step forward in removing the shackles of Windows from the gaming world.

Linux From Scratch

Linux From Scratch is a project that allows you to create your own fully customized Linux system following step-by-step guides entirely from source.

Why you ask? The idea is to provide users with a better understanding of the internal workings of the Linux OS, it allows you to create a distribution that contains only what you need, without all the extra applications and packages that you’ll never use, and allows you edit and adjust every single aspect of your system before you’ve even installed it onto your own machine.

You can find the project here, its a must for any Linux enthusiast with some time to spare…

Microsoft Secretly Installs Updates

If your a Windows user, you may want to have a look through your System Logs. It turns out that, even if one has configured their system otherwise, Microsoft still automatically downloads and installs updates.

Nate Clinton, Microsoft’s Windows Update Program Manager, is now attempting to justify this. He claims that the updates being made are only updating the update client, which is (apparently) necessary as some of the updates were not being detecting by the old client. This very action does go against Microsoft’s own policy of allowing Windows users to retain full control of their machines, which is just another blow to a company which has a history of privacy issues.

This is just another item added to the list of reasons not to use Microsoft products…