These links are to things that struck our collective fancy and which we'd like to share with our visitors.
EMail Protector -- Stephen Ostermiller is the author of an awesome contact form to thwart SPAMers and e-mail address harvesters. His contact form is a reasonably safe way to let real visitors to your web site contact you while at the same time keeping your email address private from the nasty robots that prowl the Internet. Stephen also makes a whole bunch of clever applications — our web site builders and programmers heartily recommend him to you.
Finnish Lessons -- Pasi Sahlburg is a Finnish education guru. In this just published book (late 2011 by Teachers College Press, Columbia University, New York, USA) he dives into exactly what it was that Finland did to bootstrap their education system from an afterthought to the leading system in the world. Packed with attributed statistics it encourages the reader to knowledgably develop their own ideas for improving education — from enhancing their own child's experience to more abstract goals like helping to shape local and national school policies that work.
Vischeck -- Look through the other guy's eyes. This clever Stanford University site lets you look at your images (like the ones we use) as though your vision has three different kinds of color deficits.
W3C Markup Validation Service -- Thank these guys and your English teacher if you can read this. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) maintains the HTML standards so you can view this page with one of the excellent non-Microsoft® browsers. We've cranked nearly every page of our site through their excellent test suite to be sure you don't have any trouble. The service is free and rarely down. Kudos to a standards setting group that really makes a contribution (perhaps the egos in the closed caption groups will take a hint!).
Nellie McKay -- Is the music choice for the edgier crowd around here. She's aptly described as "Doris Day meets Eminem." At 19 years old she dropped out of music school and landed a Columbia Records contract. Not bad -- and great to listen to when you're slinging code and swilling coffee at 3AM...
How to Fix a Sanyo VPC XACTI camera -- It's a handy solid-state camera that takes everything from stills to HD video. But apparently the iris (sketched here) tends to get stuck and the image goes black and stays that way. Our boss conned one of our engineers into fixing his camera. Here's the blow-by-blow narrative in case a non-engineer at home wants to try the repair.
Merriam Webster Online -- Without which this site would have misused a lot more words!
DZSoft -- A Ukrainian who makes the Perl Editor we like because it is simple, straight-forward and actually works well without being a straight-jacket. As a bonus, Alexander seems to have a good grip on the realities of building and maintaining a web site.
EGR Control Valve -- Into classic Detroit big iron V8 engines? So is Win. Find out his solution when he discovers that the EGR control valve for his 1985 ElCamino isn't made any more. His alternative uses rugged industrial components to retain the factory pollution control on his new 350 Chevy engine.
Digital Tech Services -- Now this link is downright self-serving - but wacky enough to be included here. We have a strategic partnership with these guys to make opera palatable. So they use our front-end software and hardware to run huge (18 feet long!) signs above the stage so spouses have something to do instead of sleep. The signs and the libretto displayed on them are called "supertitles" or "surtitles" -- kind of captioning on steroids. Over the years Dave Latham has taught us a great deal about stage craft, scotch drinking and theater life. So we think you'll like him too.
Bradley Bleeker --Artist and illustrator extraordinaire. His work graces many of the pages on this site. His remarkable range goes from contemporary fantasy comics and cutting edge video game graphics to corporate art like ours. He's also a pleasure to work with (but never call him before noon!)
Cheney WECO Controller -- We undertook to repurpose a Cheney Liberty Lift II Stair Chair as a simple electric moving carriage. Here are our notes while figuring out how the PCB 04795, Assembly 04794 controller is wired in and how it can be made to operate.
How Many Sisters? -- Food for the soul too. More than once we've unwound to this creative Finnish trio. Sung mostly in English, the music is hard to classify. Because they sing many jazz standards "Jazz" is as good a classification as anything. Here's the perfect gift that you won't find in just any record shop.