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!
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
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...
Price: around $149 (part of Front Page Bonus Pack)
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
By: Kristoffer Henriksson
Price: Freeware for individuals, $30 for commercial users
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.
Nice little telnet client. Also supports dialup to BBS and Unix
systems. Just in case you need it, this program does Japanese!
SOFTWARE RESOURCE LINKS
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.
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.