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Cool Stuff
Useful Resources for Webmasters
Gallery of Web-Safe Palette Sites

Cool Stuff

This is a collection of stuff that I keep telling people about.  I wish there were more people like this, more companies like this, more inventions and things like this, more work like this. Just to temper my gushing, I'm going to add one criticism to the end of each of these.  By the way, I will NEVER add anything to this list for the asking. I don't do link exchanges, period. I get too many such requests, I routinely delete them.

Ashleigh Brilliant - Aphorisms galore, witty and singular.  Get a collection of his postcards and use them for years. They're a real treat for people to find among their junk mail. Check out his daily pot-shot.  Daily. (Sorry I have no criticisms.  He's gotta be inhumanly wonderful.) - Besides gut-busting funny, there's some kind of extreme wisdom to this guy. By being so virulently anti-schmaltz he ends up being schmaltzy, in a way. (The only thing about poster humor is that it's funny the first three times you see it but not so much the next three hundred.  So it either has to go on public display, or -- he needs a more ephemeral media, post cards for example that you can send to buddies -- and he does have that.) - 2.2 cents a minute, no connect charge. Use them up in 90 days or they expire though. How can this deal be so much better than anything else I see advertised and no one knows about it. Now I talk long hours to great friends and don't get punished. My wife talks to her family and we don't have to fight about how long.  Now rechargeable, which is great, because I have the PIN memorized and it just flies off my fingers. No really, I don't make a CENT off telling you this. (One card, think it was USA 1.9, advertises no connect fee but it does have one. They're no good for outbound fax calls, for some reason. I use a Wal-mart phone card with no connect fee for sending faxes.) - I used to tell everyone about Who can deny having your own free inbound fax number is a great deal? For years I did tell everyone about them. Two catches with the first time you exceed 20 pages in a month (not faxes, pages) you either have to start paying $13 a month or your "free" number is cancelled and given out to fax-spammers. The MaxEmail folks are the ones who invented the technology anyway. They offer a much saner deal: $15 a year and you get outbound fax (a few cents a minute surcharge, of course). These fax numbers are all 815 area code, Chicago area, but who cares. Most of my faxers are going to be long distance anyway. 30-day trial. (Something about the ergonomics of their site is cumbersome and dizzying but I can't put my finger on it.)

osCommerce - Open Source shopping cart and e-commerce engine. I may grouse at the connected services (credit card gateway) or the contribution documentation, but whoo boy is this a good thing. And everyone I've met who's installed it loves it. (Yes you have to know PHP to install and maintain this thing, but that's not the critique. The code would read a lot easier if it nested better. Specifically, it should treat "?>" as a begin and "<?php" as an end in many circumstances.)

Weather Underground - How cool is a weather station that lets amateurs contribute?  See weather webcams and a broad array of weather stations contributed by ordinary people with their own automated weather station.  Oh and the maps and forecasts and data are extraordinarily complete and useful. (The rain-cloud icon I keep thinking is a sweating cloud -- it makes me feel like a hot humid day is coming.) - Technology for an extremely useful purpose. See your web site (or any web site) in all kinds of Unless you have a dozen computers you can dedicate to all kinds of combinations of browser version and operating system, you have got to use these guys. (The monthly charges really should stop when you stop using it, and start up again when you start again. Automatically, transparently. If they did I'd be subtly more likely to revive usage when the inspiration strikes.)

Google - Wow.

Runners up:,,,,,,

Useful Resources for Webmasters

Color Matters Color Matters, the dual meaning of the name resonates well with the multiplicity of resources at this site for wielding the awesome power of color.  The physics, psychology, and the practical considerations faced by designers of all stripe (interior, graphics, web) are penetrated in refreshingly vigorous detail by prolific author Jill Morton (Color Voodoo series).  Now this is a site with content.  Example: gamma test for your monitor.
Web Enthusiasts Association of Victoria A prolific stream of productive information for web designers, the Newsletter for the Web Enthusiasts Association of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Elated Web ToolboxThere's something about an aesthetically crafted toolbox that makes one want to get up a little earlier and work with a little more spirit and care.  So it is with the Elated Web Toolbox.
ZuberlinksBethany Brilbeys thoroughness and economy have combined with her aesthetic good taste to show what must be a record-breaking quantity of useful links on a single page in Zuberlinks.
Website Tips for Designers Shirley Kaiser, has lovingly arranged a harmonious and diverse set of web smarts and links in Website Tips for Designers that are worth exploring.  I found quite a few very interesting places I'd never heard of.  This is one fascinatingly eclectic and prolific person.  She's a crack web designer and concert pianist (audio samples from her CD, Journey Within).
A List Apart, for people who make websites.Mr. Jeffrey Zeldman's A List Apart mailing list and informative web site.  This man is not shy about color and uses it extremely effectively.  He is a trained professional.  Do not try this at home.   He is a master visual and verbal craftsman, entertaining and inspiring in his prolific spirited examples.
PageResource.Com PageResource.Com.  A Web Development Tutorial & Information Site.  No-nonsense, not laden with ostentatious graphics, content-dense.
IgniteIgnite, an optimization and composition JPG and GIF workshop for the PC.  (Mac version in the works.)  Extends the web-safe palette to 1331 colours with strategically invisible dithering.  Also helps with animation, splitting images and reassembling with HTML tables, multi-environment previews.
Sizzling HTML JalfreziSizzling HTML Jalfrezi, Richard Rutter's extraordinary, lovingly crafted reference on HTML and all its baggage.  Appears to be very popular judging from the traffic it ends up conveying to the VisiBone Color Lab.
Web Page Design for Designers, Joe Gillespie's font (pun intended) of graphical tactical detail and aesthetic inspiration.  At once an array of tools and explanations for the graphic artist-cum-webmaster, and, perhaps unintentionally, a garden of gorgeous example for the hypertechnical.
HTML WizardsHTML Wizards is a well-organized site of resources for webmasters.
The Web Developer's Virtual Library The original Web Developer's Virtual Library.   Crisp and gorgeous site full of resources to make your site crisp and gorgeous.   Suggest clicking on their index link right away.
GoldWaveGoldWave is a fantastic audio workshop, as well as a real paragon of shareware.  I've used it in two commercial projects and itch for more.   Great front-end for RealPublisher, to tame those unruly WAV files.  Samples audio right off an audio CD.
LView ProI've used LView a lot to capture screen images and put them up on the web — many on this very page!  It's got a lot of image editing tools as well.  Another tribute to the shareware way.
JPEG WizardJPEG Wizard™   GREAT site for compressing your jpegs for free online.  (They sell the tools too.)   Just upload your .jpg or .jpeg file and they'll show it back to you in three stages of compression — just pick the one with tolerable loss of quality.  Often, there's no difference I can see.
RBLogo10.gif (6938 bytes)This site lives up to its boasting.  The horn o' plenty for webmasters!  Just like a handyman at the hardware store, you'll want to visit often during your next web improvement project.
webreference.gif (1096 bytes)The Webmaster's Reference Library.  Includes a great article on web color palettes, Optimizing Web Graphics.
The HTML Writers GuildThe HTML Writer's Guild.  Tremendous resource.  Good sitemap and well-organized Useful URL's.


Gallery of Web-Safe Palette Sites

Shamelessly immodest intentions of this gallery: there are probably hundreds of marvelously unique and wonderfully interesting arrangements of the 216 web-safe colors.  Some are shown here.  Only one is complete and symmetrical and grouped by hue.  VisiBone arrangements shown last.

Troy Brophry's dissection of the 216-color cubeTroy Brophy's article on ZDNet, A New Look at the 216-Color Palette.
Janet Erbach's Color TreeJanet Erbach's HTML "practice" Color Tree as she calls it looks a lot like Color Spelunking to me.  Joltingly original, visually captivating, and numbingly tedious works like this can only be labors of love.   Escaping flatland in true Edward Tuftian spirit.   My hat's off to ya.
Tom Venetianer's Color Cube perspectivesRGB color along the brightness axisWebling's café, Tom Venetianer's article on Netscape's Color Cube revealed, has moved on (somewhere).   Had some excellent graphical depictions of the three dimensional RGB universe.
Palette ManPalette Man's PalettePalette Man has a hip, gorgeous color-picking site built with Table and JavaScript ingenuity.  You can see several colors and codes and text and background combinations at once.  On the right is a close-up of his palette table.  Brought to you by "E-vertising" agency Clear Ink
Yale8bit_displays_50.gif (9588 bytes) Part of Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton's phenomenal Yale C/AIM Web Style Guide.
outer_cube1.gif (14068 bytes) outer_cube2.gif (9450 bytes) Richard Bondi's vivid and eminently practical "Outer Cube" swatch palette for Adobe Photoshop.  Among many other things, he's the graphics designer of CineVille fame.  See his article "A Better Color Safe Palette For Photoshop 4".
wprg_ex_4.gif (8433 bytes)Just an excerpt of the massive gorgeous color palette displayed at the Web Publishing Resource Guide.  This page is titled "The Official 216 Browser-Safe Colours".  (And where did they go?!?  Thanks to alert poster owner Kathleen B. for pointing out these folks have moved on.  And thanks to friend Shirley K. for finding the new home for "216 Cross-Platform Browser-Safe Colour Hexadecimal Chart" at the
cgrid666_2.gif (7573 bytes)This is the best portrayal of the 3D "color cube" I've seen.  Jutta Degener invented this perspective to slake her own insatiable thirst to understand the mysteries of dithering, or rather, its avoidance.  She originally applied it to the 5x5x5 color set used on some Unix browsers.  It appears at her site Netscape The Dithering.

The visual technique was adopted by Rick Levine at Sun Microsystems and modified to represent the now more widely used 6x6x6 color set.   A similar figure appears in his famous TECHNOTE on Netscape Color Tables.

netcolpc.gif (16542 bytes)Victor Engel's Browser Safe Palette (BSP), aka No Dither Netscape Color Palette -- has a very nice clickable map.
nhue_quartered.gif (31069 bytes)Lynda Weinman has written books on this subject.  She has a very useful arrangement of all 216 colors by hue with the HTML and RGB color codes.
RobertHess_2.gif (6892 bytes)The Safety Palette Color Picker by Robert Hess of Microsoft.  He has an article on the Safety Palette, and an online color picker.   On the left is a screenshot of his redition of the palette, which is made using HTML table backgrounds.
color_cube_colors.gif (6650 bytes) The 256, oops, 216 colors of Netscape, by Bob Cunningham, with thanks to David Siegel


216_browser_clut.gif (6438 bytes)Geoff Baysinger's article, Consistent Color on ALL browsers -- 10 easy steps, Understanding effects, tradeoffs, and testing so the 216 colors of the web work for you.  At left is what he calls the "Browser CLUT" (Color Look-Up Table).
Webmaster's Color LabVisiBone Color Lab.  Discover your next great color scheme by clicking on a series of color chips.  See the colors next to each other, along with their codes (HTML, RGB, CMYK, VACC) and all text / background combinations.
Webmaster's Palette PosterWebmaster's Palette Poster. All 216 web-safe colors are arranged symmetrically by hue.  Both hex HTML and decimal RGB color codes are embossed on each color chip.


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