The Age Of Free

Why do we pay so much for so little?

In this day of the Internet and information overload, it’s often because we don’t take the time to educate ourselves regarding what is available.

For example: why would you pay $750 for a Photo Editing program when you can get a free program & free training that does maybe 85% of the things done by the big boy? Do you get that? You are not paying for a program that does it 15% better, at the most it has 15% more ‘bells and whistles’. 

On the pages of this blog you will find links and information on totally FREE tools, training, etc. etc. that I have ferreted out for my own use and to share with you. There are no affiliate links, no referral fees, and no favoritism – just stuff I like that I think you might like too. 

Do yourself a favor and Subscribe in the box on the top right and you will never miss a single post.


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Smartphones Take Over The World

I got my first smartphone about 2 months ago, and a new world of possibilities opened up! I’m no Luddite (look it up – on your phone!) but I also didn’t want to be the guy walking into things because he has his nose in his phone.

And frankly I understand how people can do that. I have been ‘addicted’ to my laptop and the web for a long time, and this is like having it all with you wherever you go. Of course with the phone it is not programs, its “apps” short for applications – which are of course very user friendly programs.

The thing about apps is there is one out there, often free, that will do almost anything you could possibly want it to. Having been in the Travel industry for 25 years things that makes getting around easier have always drawn me – if you are the same way you must check out this great article:

Top 10 iPhone Apps For Every Traveler

This is on the useful site Social Positives: Social Media and Technology Blog, which is abounding with great info. And I must mention that I learned about this blog via StumbleUpon one of my favorite sources.

Now I must make a final comment. I have an Android phone. This article talks about iPhone Apps…..but there are almost always equivalent apps for both operating systems, some are now being developed that work cross-platform. The possibilities seem endless!

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Posted in Knowledge Is King, Peace is spelled: ORGANIZE, Stoopid Computer | Leave a comment

Free E-Books?

Ebooks are the big thing since Kindle, Nook, MS Reader, & others came on the scene.

And most of us know that all the old classics are available out there for free. But what about new releases or recent titles by popular authors? I just learned that there is a site out there that will notify you when the big publishers put out a short term FREE option on some of there popular titles.

Here is a great article about BookBub from the Book Insider:

Check it out then get on over to choose the types of reading that you like best and start browsing. It is that easy! Now, you should be aware that they also sell low priced ebooks there too, but get them emailing you when all the big guys offer the freebies.

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Most Useful Websites On The Web

70 of the Most Useful Websites on the Internet

by Johnny Webber

1. — Find something random to watch on Netflix.
2. — Find somewhere to drink a pint in the sun.
3. — Upload your gifs.
4. — Convert documents.
5. — Download all the free software you want at the same time.
6. — Speed read the web one word at a time.
7. — Find out which applications you should remove from your computer.
8. — Find places to go in public that are not crowded.
9. — Practice your touch typing.
10. — Get old versions of software.
11. — Find out how readable text is.
12. — Have emails sent when you die.
13. — Budget your money.
14. — Plan your route with the best lodging and attractions.
15. — A search engine that is not following you.
16. — Maps out possible apartments/homes that fit your criteria.
17. — Another great source for finding your next home.
18. — Make any webpage print friendly.
19. — Print precisely what you want from any webpage.
20. — Write a note to someone that will self-destruct after they read it.
21. — A network of people giving away free stuff in their towns.
22. — Crash on someone’s couch anywhere in the world.
23. — Search for recipes based on the ingredients you have.
24. — A search engine for finding people.
25. — Evaluates various charities.
26. — Popular news headlines.
27. — Listen to radio channels across the nation.
28. — Link aggregator.
29. — A computational knowledge engine.
30. — Follow satellites and constellations.
31. — Figure out you I.P. address.
32. — Improve reading speed and comprehension.
33. — Listen to white noise.
34. — Tracks prices for any product.
35. — An interactive periodic table.
36. — Find coupons for just about anything.
37. — Search all of craigslist with one search.
38. — Peek in on somebody’s computer screen.
39. — Find out the best way to glue this to that.
40. — Find out what your website is missing, how you can improve it, and how to make Google recognize it better.
41. — Draw on maps then share them with friends.
42. — Video email.
43. — Online rhyming dictionary.
44. — Design your dream home.
45. — An easy way to send big files.
46. — A place to paste text.
47. — Make it sound like you are hard at work.
48. — Backup your sensitive document online.
49. — Find out where the best seats are on your plane flight.
50. — Find out which websites store data about you, and tell them to unlist your info.
51. — Compare two foods..
52. — Find local gas prices.
53. — Plan out your sleep schedule better.
54. — Find out when certain fruits are ripe .
55. — Talk out your problems with others, or help others yourself.
56. — Swap books with others.
57. — Plan out your meals better.
58. — A graphical look at the weather.
59. — Various network tools.
60. — The best place to buy things online.
61. — Correct grammar and check for plagiarism.
62. — Send yourself a wake-up call.
63. — Plan out your next PC build.
64. — Talk to an actual person instead of a machine when you call customer service.
65. — Find out how long it takes websites to load.
66. — Find nutrition information on various foods.
67. — A database of PDF manuals for various products.
68. — Create meal plans to meet your nutrition targets.
69. — Lock yourself out of time wasting websites.
70. — Research what it is like to work with certain companies.

Next, read 15 books to teach you a new skill.

  • June 19, 2014

Thanks to StumbleUpon and Daily Zen List.

And here are some more:

The 101 Most Useful Websites
These sites solve at least one problem really well and they all have simple web addresses
(URLs) that you can easily memorize thus saving a trip to Google.

1. – record movies of your desktop and send them straight to YouTube.
2. – for capturing screenshots of web pages on mobile and desktops.
3. – shorten long URLs and convert URLs into QR codes.
4. – find the original URL that’s hiding behind a short URL.
5. qClock – find the local time of a city using a Google Map.
6. – copy special characters that aren’t on your keyboard.
7. – a better search engine for twitter.
8. – create flowcharts, network diagrams, sitemaps, etc.
9. – the best place to find icons of all sizes.
10. – download templates, clipart and images for your Office documents.
11. – the easiest way to setup email reminders.
12. – scan any suspicious file or email attachment for viruses.
13. – gets answers directly without searching – see more wolfram tips.
14. – print web pages without the clutter.
15. – reformats news articles and blog content as a newspaper.
16. – a search engine for RSS feeds.
17. – a simple online timer for your daily needs.
18. – if a site is down due to heavy traffic, try accessing it through coral CDN.
19. – pick random numbers, flip coins, and more.
20. – lets you can quickly edit PDFs in the browser itself.
21. – Preview PDFs and Presentations directly in the browser.
22. – simultaneously upload videos to YouTube and other video sites.
23. – your virtual whiteboard.
24. – share you email address online without worrying about spam.
25. – now get read receipts for your email.
26. – visualize and compare the size of any product.
27. – quickly determine the font name from an image.
28. – a good collection of open source fonts.
29. – find data hidden in your photographs – see more EXIF tools.
30. – broadcast events live over the web, including your desktop screen.
31. – helps you search domains across all TLDs.
32. – design from scratch or re-model your home in 3d.
33. – share you screen with anyone over the web.
34. – recognize text from scanned PDFs – see other OCR tools.
35. – Track flight status at airports worldwide.
36. – for sharing really big files online.
37. – best-sellers on all subjects that you can download for free.
38. – check your writing for spelling or grammatical errors.
39. – easily highlight the important parts of a web page for sharing.
40. – work on the same document with multiple people.
41. – planning an event? find a date that works for all.
42. – a less confusing view of the world time zones.
43. – the perfect tool for measuring your site performance online.
44. – print music sheets, write your own music online (review).
45. – chat with your buddies on Skype, Facebook, Google Talk, etc. from one place.
46. – translate web pages, PDFs and Office documents.
47. – create paintings and sketches with a wide variety of brushes.
48. – discover new sites that are similar to what you like already.
49. – quick summarize long pieces of text with tag clouds.
50. – create mind-maps, brainstorm ideas in the browser.
51. – get color ideas, also extract colors from photographs.
52. – share your photos in an album instantly.
53. – when your friends are too lazy to use Google on their own.
54. – when you need to find the name of a song.
55. – automatically find perfectly-sized wallpapers for mobiles.
56. – send an online fax for free – see more fax services.
57. – get RSS feeds as an email newsletter.
58. – quickly send a file to someone, they can even preview it before downloading.
59. – transfer files of any size without uploading to a third-party server.
60. – setup a private chat room in micro-seconds.
61. – create text notes that will self-destruct after being read.
62. – track the status of any shipment on Google Maps – alternative.
63. – when you need to raise funds online for an event or a cause.
64. – find if your favorite website is offline or not?
65. – find the other websites of a person with reverse Analytics lookup.
66. – find the web host of any website.
67. – found something on Google but can’t remember it now?
68. – an online audio editor that lets record, and remix audio clips online.
69. – create a temporary web page that self-destruct.
70. – find definitions of slangs and informal words.
71. – consult this site before choosing a seat for your next flight.
72. – download stock images absolutely free.
73. – view very high-resolution images in your browser without scrolling.
74. – quickly create custom Google Maps online.
75. – quickly setup email reminders for important events.
76. – Picnik is offline but PicMonkey is an even better image editor.
77. – you can ask or answer personal questions here.
78. – an excellent layer-based online image editor.
79. – find if that email offer you received is real or just another scam.
80. – master touch-typing with these practice sessions.
81. – send video emails to anyone using your web cam.
82. – create timelines with audio, video and images.
83. – make a movie out of your images, audio and video clips.
84. – check the trust level of any website.
85. – a beautiful to-do app that looks like your paper dairy.

86. – you’ll need this when your bookmarked web pages are deleted.87. – quickly capture effective notes during meetings.
88. – Watch YouTube channels in TV mode.
89. – quickly create a video playlist of your favorite artist.
90. – Send tweets longer than 140 characters.
91. – create a free and simple website using your Dropbox account.
92. – find the technology stack of any website.
93. – research a website from the SEO perspective.
94. – broadcast live audio over the web.
95. – bookmark online videos and watch them later (review).
96. – add QR codes to your documents and presentations (review).
97. – the easiest way to write short text notes in the browser.
98. – send rich-text mails to anyone, anonymously.
99. – hire people to do little things for $5.
100. – easily manage your online files on Dropbox, Google Docs, etc. – create a connection between all your online accounts.


Thanks again to StumbleUpon and

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True Leadership = Inspiration

I have often raved about the many tremendous ‘talks’ to be found at TED: Ideas Worth Spreading.

Here is another amazing and thought provoking speech, this one by Simon Sinek. 

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You Can Change the World

Often we are so busy thinking about ourselves that we ignore what is happening around us. And yet with a simple change of focus – and an expanded vision, each of us can be the instrument of the changes we want to see in the world we live in.

Want a better world – you create it. And guess what? In reality it costs you nothing, and rewards you with everything.

Thanks to Ellen S.

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Education Is The Key

When it comes to getting the most out of life, education is the key.

Want to earn more money?

Want to have a better relationship?

Want your children to become good people?

Want to be the best child, spouse, parent, employee, employer, etc. etc.

The answer is Knowledge which is best acquired through Education & then put into use to get practical experience. It is not enough to know, one must do, but without the know in place first the do will often be wrong. We live in an age when Education is readily available, often for free, to anyone who seeks it out.

Many of us learn from WATCHING, so allow me to recommend a video resource to you that you might not be aware of. offers hundreds of Do It Yourself videos that will save you hours of research when looking for a short, simple solution when you simply don’t know  How To do something. Check it out.

And for more ideas about Education in today’s world read this article:

Thanks to StumbleUpon for this link.

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You Are Responsible For Your Own Happiness

It may surprise you to hear that you are responsible for your happiness. Not your mom, dad,  grandparents, siblings or children, not your teacher or the government, not your boss at work or even your spouse, your happiness is completely up to you.

Are you fulfilled? Are you happy? Are you waiting for the perfect ‘significant other’ to come along and “make you happy?”

Success is meaningless without happiness. So where will you get it?

Read Alex Fayle’s post below:

Don’t Hang Your Happiness On Others
Where’s the line between your happiness and the happiness of others?

A lot of people blur the boundary and hang their happiness on others. Unfortunately by doing so, they pretty much guarantee unhappiness for everyone involved. No matter who is in your life, whether it’s children, spouse, friends or family members, your happiness has to come from within first. And then once you’re happy, you can help others work on their happiness in a healthy way.

But isn’t it better to give of yourself and make sure others are happy? Isn’t that the selfless thing to do? Nope. And I’m going to go as far as saying that hanging your happiness on the happiness of others isn’t selfless at all – it’s totally selfish and puts unfair and unrealistic expectations on others.

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at a couple of examples.

Selfish Happiness
People who have a very selfish idea of happiness are only happy when everyone around them is happy. They also believe that unhappy people should make more of an effort to be happy because it’s not fair to inflict their unhappiness on others.

By hanging your happiness on others in this way, you basically sign yourself up to a roller coaster of emotions as you ride the moods of people around you. You can also make things worse, telling the people around you to be happier because it hurts you to see them unhappy.

Holy pressure, Batman! By telling others this, you’re being way selfish and saying: you are now responsible for my happiness. Too much of this unasked-for responsibility and you’ll end up pushing away all your close relationships, because honestly, who wants to deal with that kind of responsibility?

Rose Nielund from Golden Girls is a classic example of this type. She needed everyone around her to like her and to be happy all the time. If not she would hound them, doing nice things for them and pushing them to be happier so that she could be happy. Of course the opposite usually happened, with people just getting frustrated with her and telling her to leave them alone.

I used to be a Rose but once I learned to find my happiness from within and to not hang my happiness on others, everyone around me (including me!) became a whole lot happier. My close friends and my partner no longer felt responsible for my happiness. They could be themselves, including cranky, irritable, or whatever emotion they were feeling, without having to consider how their mood would affect me. Of course, this doesn’t mean they’re free to take bad moods out on me, but if they’re having a bad day, I’m no longer pushing them to cheer me up.

Pushing Happiness
The happiness pusher takes responsibility for everyone’s happiness and get hurt when everyone isn’t all smiles and kittens.

This type often appears in one half of a couple or in parents. They always do things for the other, “taking care” of partners or children, but in reality they’re not paying any attention to what their partner or children really want, nor do they understand that what’s going on in the other person’s world has nothing to do with them.

They push their idea of happiness on the people in their lives. An extreme example of this would be Bree Van de Kamp from Desperate Housewives. She has a very clear idea of what would make everyone happy and she sees it as her duty to tell everyone exactly how they need to behave and what actions to take to be happy. Of course this makes for great television full of laughs and drama, but in real life it’s a bit stressful.

A typical real life example would be parents who stick their kids into activities that they would have loved to do as children but didn’t get the chance to. And while parenting does require taking some responsibility for the happiness of your children, it does not give you free reign to tell them what will make them happy.

Like people who have a selfish happiness, happiness pushers get offended when the people around them aren’t happy. They see it as a personal failing in themselves for not being able to please others, to keep them happy, so they start pushing more, coming up with ways to make others happy without asking what the other person wants and without giving the other person any space to deal with their happiness on their own.

If you’re a happiness pusher, here are two tips that might help you internalize your happiness instead of pushing it on others.
1. The world won’t end if the people around you aren’t always happy. It’s okay to be sad, angry, depressed, or whatever every once in a while.
2. Everyone is different. What might make you happy won’t necessarily make others happy. Let people choose for themselves what dreams to pursue and what to feel at any given moment.

Healthy Happiness
Of course, there’s an extreme on the other side where the happiness of others doesn’t matter at all and you’re selfish and pushy in a completely different manner. Like all extremes though, there’s a middle ground to be found, a happy medium if you will.

If you really want to make other people happy, be a happy person yourself. Most people like to be happy and studies have shown happiness is catchy. You don’t need to push your happiness on others, or demand that they be happy to keep you happy.

You just need to be happy on your own. That’ll go a long way to making others happy.

And if they’re having a bad day, then go ahead and try to cheer them up, but recognize that sometimes people need to be unhappy for whatever reason. They need to feel blue. That’s not a bad thing – the so-called negative emotions are a part of human existence and shouldn’t be shunned. So let them have a good wallow and continue to be happy on your own. They’ll eventually break out of it and come join in on the fun.

Unfortunately sometimes the unhappiness of others does affect your own. After all, human beings are also social creatures and if you want to go do something fun but your partner or friend is being a total downer, you’re likely going to feel a little blue as well. Sometimes, however, for the sake of the relationship you simply have to accept this other-person-induced sadness for a little while as they work their way through what’s bothering them.

And at other times you may need to go off and do your own thing. Yes, they might get mad at you for “abandoning them” but they’ll get over it. And if they don’t, then you might need to ask yourself what sort of relationship do you have with them?

As for how to find happiness within? Well, that’s a whole other post…

Alex Fayle, of Someday Syndrome, is a former procrastinator who uses his visionary ability to uncover hidden patterns and help people break the procrastination obstacle so they can finally find freedom and start living the life they desire. Originally posted at:

You see, you already have what you need. These things are always easier to understand when explained through analogy. I think you will find this excerpt by Don Miguel Ruiz amazing and crystal clear:

Imagine that you have a magical kitchen in your home.

In that magical kitchen, you can have any food you want from any place in the world in any quantity. You never worry about what to eat: whatever you wish for you can have at your table. You are very generous with your food; you give your food unconditionally to others, not because you want something in return from them. Whoever comes to your home, you feed just for the pleasure of sharing your food, and your home is always full of people who come to eat the food from your magic kitchen.

Then one day someone knocks at your door, and it’s a person with a pizza. You open the door, and the person looks at you and says, “Hey, do you see this pizza” I’ll give you this pizza if you let me control your life, if you just do whatever I want you to do. You are never going to starve because I can bring pizza every day. You just have to be good to me.”

Can you imagine your reaction? In your kitchen you can have the same pizza – even better. Yet this person comes to you and offers you food, if you just do whatever he wants you to do. You are going to laugh and say, “No, thank you! I don’t need your food; I have plenty of food. You come into my house and eat whatever you want, and don’t have to do anything. Don’t believe I am going to do whatever you want me to do. No one will manipulate me with food.”

Now imagine exactly the opposite. Several weeks have gone by, and you haven’t eaten. You are starving, and you have no money in your pocket to buy food. The person comes with the pizza and says, “Hey there’s food here. You can have the food if you just do what I want you to do.” You can smell the food, you are starving. You decide to accept the food and do whatever that person asks of you. You eat some food, and he says, “if you want more, you can have more, but you have to keep doing what I want you to do.”

You have food today, but tomorrow you may not have food, so you agree to do whatever you can for food. You can become a slave because of food, because you need food, because you don’t have it. Then after a certain time you have doubts. You say, “What am I going to do without my pizza? I cannot live without my pizza. What if my partner decides to give the pizza to someone else- my pizza?”

Now imagine that instead of food, we are talking about love.

You have an abundance of love in your heart. You have love not just for yourself, but for the whole world. You love so much that you don’t need anyone’s love. You share your love without condition; you don’t love if. You are a millionaire in love, and someone knocks on your door and says, “Hey, I have love for you here. You can have my love, if you just do whatever I want you to do.”

When you are full of love, what is going to be your reaction? You will laugh and say “Thank you, but I don’t need your love. I have the same love here in my heart, even bigger and better, and I share my love without condition.”

But what is going to happen if you are starving for love, if you don’t have that love in your heart, and someone comes and says, “you want a little love? You can have my love if you just do what I want you to do.” If you are starving for love, and you taste that love, you are going to do whatever you can for that love. You can even be so needy that you give your whole soul just for a little attention.

Your heart is like the magical kitchen. If you open your heart, you already have all the love you need. There’s no need to go around the world begging for love: “Please, someone love me. I’m so lonely, I’m not good enough for love; I need someone to love me, to prove that I am worthy of love.” We have a love right here inside us, but we don’t see this love.

Can you see the drama humans create when they believe they don’t have love? They are starving for love, and when they taste a little love from someone else, that creates a big need. They become needy and obsessive about that love. Then comes the big drama: “What am I going to if he leaves me?” “How can I live without her?” They cannot live without the provider, the one who provides them with the everyday doses. And for that little piece of love, because they are starving, they allow other people to control their lives. They let others tell them what to do, how to dress, how not to dress, how to behave, how not to behave, what to believe, what not to believe. “I love you if you behave in this way. I love you if you let me control your life. I love you only if you are good to me. If not, then forget it.”
I originally found this posted at:

You can be sure of one thing – You Are Responsible For Your Own Happiness! As President Abraham Lincoln is purported to have said, “A man is about as happy as he decides to be.”

What will you decide today?

And tomorrow?

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