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Tools of the Trade  

Welcome to BigNoseBird.Com's Tools of the Trade Page. The first thing you will notice is that there are not a few thousand choices here. We have tried (and continue to try) hundreds of different freeware and shareware programs over the years. Here are the programs that we feel are superior.

In fact, if you see a program listed on this page you can be assured you can also see it on our desktops. If you decide you like any of these fine programs, drop the author an e-mail, especially on the freeware programs. It is their only reward in life. ;->

MAPTHIS 1.31: Essential Utility for Creating Image Maps

This freeware program was recently discontinued by its creators and is being replaced by Live Image, a $29.95 program. They are continuing to make MAPTHIS available, but will not be providing further enhancements. If you want to use image maps in your pages- (both client and server side) MAPTHIS is a must. Download the self-extracting installation program to a temp directory, and it will install with a double click!

IMG2HTML: The only easy way to create IMG tags

Until I found this little gem I had to go into my graphics program and write down the file dimensions, etc... Now I just select my graphic image using a typical Win-95 dialog box, and I have an instant and complete IMG tag ready to copy to the clipboard!!! I can even enter in my ALT text. Download this file to a temp directory and unzip it to the directory of your choice.

RGB to HEX Color Converter: The best way to get those F0AE00's!

A very nice and useful program from the One Eyed Hobo. This utility will allow you to find the HEX (those screwy six digit/letter things that you use with BGCOLOR) value for a color. Just push the sliders until you get the color you want. My favorite feature is the Random function. Just keep clicking until you find a color you like. Download the file, unzip to a temp directory and run the setup program.

INTERNET EXPLORER: It's just as good as Netscape & Free

It is a browser and lots of people are using it. Do not neglect a large part of your audience. Check your pages with IE, even if you are a diehard Netscape user.

NETSCAPE: It's just as good as Internet Explorer & free

It is a browser and most people are using it. Do not neglect a large part of your audience. Check your pages with Netscape, even if you are a diehard Internet Explorer user.

WEBSTER2: Powerful, yet easy graphics editor

Quite often, I am challenged by some software company or another to check out their product. Given the way things usually go, I tend to be the skeptic. Well, guess what? I actually found a graphics editor that I fell in love with at first sight. Keeping in mind that I am graphically challenged, I prefer to work with graphics using sprites. Sprites are basically images within the image. This way you can move pieces around, as you would in a desktop publishing program.

The program uses a rather intuitive interface, and is designed specifically for creating web artwork. A real timesaver is the export feature. This allows you to save your work in formats such as JPG and GIF. All of the necessary options are right there along with a preview of what the saved image will look like- with sizes! This saves me two steps compared to my present method of creating graphics. Also of interest, it does animated GIFs, and there is an add-on package for doing 3D graphics.

PAINT SHOP PRO: Excellent Shareware Graphics Program

This is an excellent program for those who are used to dealing more with programs such as Adobe, but don't have Adobe bucks to spend! I find that it works well in conjuction with Microsoft Image Explorer. I find its main strength is it can work with almost any file including WMFs. This really helps in altering those CD's full of stock clipart to create something original.

MICROSOFT IMAGE COMPOSER: Great graphics program, but...
  • By: Microsoft
  • Price: around $149 (part of Front Page Bonus Pack)
  • Available at your local software store
  • For more information

Okay, so I downloaded the beta version, it expired and was no longer available for free. I realized that I could not live without it, so I actually purchased Front Page with Bonus Pack just so I could have it. This program does everything a graphics program should. It even supports Adobe plugins! Be sure to not install Front Page, unless you know what you want to use it for. Look, at this price it beats Adobe Photoshop. If you are used to Microsoft Publisher, it will take you about 10 minutes to figure out this program.

FTPEdit: A very cool tool

This really is a neat little program for Win-95. It allows you to browse for a file on your site, edit it and save the changes. This can be a real time saver when you need to make a quick change and don't feel like downloading the file, editing, and then uploading it. For those of us that are used to using TELNET, this is ideal for times when connections are slow. Please take the time to read the excellent instructions on their home page.

WS-FTP LE: An excellent FTP client

Excellent FTP client. Work on files offline using your PC and upload them to your site. Does directory structures and all! Very easy to use. Complete with editor and unix commands.

TERA TERM PRO 2.0: Telnet Client

Nice little telnet client. Also supports dialup to BBS and Unix systems. Just in case you need it, this program does Japanese!

NONAGSNONAGS This is where I do my shopping! Nonags is a site that presents REAL FREEWARE for downloading. The software and services are broken up into about fifty catagories. The main page lists recent additions by day. I should mention that I have never gotten a virus at this site. If you are using Windows-95, this is a must-bookmark URL.

SecureTTY: SSH (secure shell) client

In these days of people trying to find all sorts of ways into your system, SSH (Secure SHell) provides you with a way to telnet into your system without providing any snooper readable information- such as passwords and logins.

This great package also can handle file transfers via the 'R' commands. Version 3 can be integrated with their other product- Absolute FTP to encrypt FTP login and password information.

TTSSH: An SSH Extension to Teraterm

This is a freeware extension to Teraterm Pro that allows for SSH connects using a freeware telnet emulation program. Not a bad deal at all.

US Citizens, please note that this package is probably not legal for use in the United States as it most likely violates RSA's patent. This patent will be expiring September 20, 2000.

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