As a professional designer, trying to find free PSD files that are fresh and high quality among the countless “best of” lists and low quality resource sites often ends up leaving me frustrated and wishing I hadn’t wasted the time. But because a well designed Photoshop file can shave hours of a project, going the route of designing from scratch isn’t always the best option. It’s great not to have to waste budgeted project time re-inventing the wheel and instead benefit from the amazing talents of another designer, especially when it’s an area that they are better in than you are. In the end, making the decision to search for usable PSDs vs just designing from scratch sometimes feels like a complete gamble.
Enter Design Basement, a source of incredible design resources that are 100% free for personal and commercial use. The quality of the work displayed makes it a fun site to browse even when I’m not on a project; sometimes it’s just a great source of inspiration (with stuff I can download if I like it enough!). But because the site is so well organized and easy to use it’s turning out to be a very handy tool to search for free PSD files that relate to a specific project.
And the resources aren’t limited to Photoshop files either. There is a whole range of great resources for web and app designers. I loved the bundle deal revolution when it came along, but I’m finding I don’t actually get that much value out of those purchases unless I use them the first month; after that they have a way of disappearing in a deep folder structure. But of course why buy a bundle when you can get more stuff for free online… and it’s easier to find. My new workflow is to check Design Basement for free PSD files first, and if they don’t have it, it’s probably worth building what I need from scratch.
I have a Gateway P-7805u notebook that’s been running hot, slow and noisy for a while now. I didn’t think anything of it until I tried to play Battlefield 2, a game it should have handled with ease, and the system slowed to a crawl.
After fiddling with other solutions that did nothing, it struck me the system was getting so hot it had to slow down the processors to generate less heat. Getting to the fans so I could check them for dust was not as easy as on my previous laptop, but I eventually found two great guides to walk me through the process of taking everything apart:
- Basic: http://www.insidemylaptop.com/taking-apart-gateway-p-series-laptop/
- Detailed: http://forum.notebookreview.com/gateway-emachines/382408-gateway-fx-disassembly-guide-covers-all-17in-fx-notebooks.html
Sure enough, even though we don’t smoke or have pets there was a lot of dust clogging the cooling system. Once I got that cleaned out the system ran much cooler, the noise level dropped off because the fans didn’t have to run continually, and best of all Battlefield 2 runs like a well-oiled machine, just the way it should.
Even if dust isn’t your issue, the guides above are detailed enough to walk you through replacing just about anything on your system, including the screen and the fans. Check them out.
I love web technology. A few weeks ago I ran across a new product from Microsoft Live Labs called Pivot that makes it easy to interact with large amounts of data. It almost sounds geeky, except when you stop and realize that if you’ve ever used a site like Wikipedia or Craigslist (who hasn’t) that’s exactly what you’re doing—interacting with large amounts of data. And it’s often a clunky process.
Once I got tired of reading the technical details of what Pivot is and how it works (after all of about 15 seconds) I wanted to take a look at some examples that had been embedded in a website using the Silverlight PivotViewer. Surprisingly it took me a while to dig some up, so I wanted to share what I’ve found here:
(As you find/create more great examples, please let me know in the comments and I’ll update this list.)
I love this video! If you are a Christian and haven’t seen it already, check it out. There is just nothing that touches knowing a God worthy of this kind of worship! It’s not even close.
I just moved from Thunderbird (Postbox actually, but that’s a story for another time) to Zimbra Desktop. The biggest issue quickly became the ability to take my old POP3 mail with me since Thunderbird doesn’t have an export feature and Zimbra Desktop only has basic import functionality. Despite the Zimbra forums regularly proclaiming that IMAP accounts are the solution, that didn’t work for me since I needed to take email from an old POP account and move it to the same POP account in ZD. It quite a while to figure out, but here’s how to do it:
(Note: Postbox uses the same storage system as Thunderbird, so these instructions will work there too.)
In Thunderbird, go File > Compact Folders. Then open up c:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\[Profile ID]\Mail\ and back up the contents. If you will be using this process to migrate IMAP data, be sure to back up the ImapMail folder too.
2. With that out of the way, we need to convert your emails from MBOX format to the EML format which ZD can import. Either of the following options will work:
Option A (easiest). If you don’t mind the dates in your Zimbra browse pane showing the export date (the date will still be correct when you open the actual email), download and install SmartSave, a Thunderbird addon. Then right-click on each account and/or folder you want to export, and select “Export this folder with SmartSave”. Save the files to a temporary folder you set up for the process as so we can work with them in the next step.
Option B. If like me you have thousands of emails that just won’t be useful to you if the dates are messed up, you are going to need to download a little program called mbx2eml. It does the same thing as SmartSave, but keeps the dates intact. Oh, and it takes a few extra steps. There are simple step-by-step instructions in the download, so I’m not going to repeat those here.
3. Next we need to take the EML folders and files you just created and put them in a tgz archive since that’s what ZD expects them to come in. You can use any program you like; I used PeaZip (when it comes to utilities, I like mine portable). In PeaZip and many similar programs, creating a .tgz archive is a two step process: you will first need to add the files to a TAR archive, and then archive that TAR archive as a GZip archive. The folder structure you archive is the one that will be imported (including the root folder if that’s what you archive).
4. Finally, we import the data. Open Zimbra Desktop to the account you want to import the email to, click Preferences (aka Options) > Import/Export, and in the Import area browse to the location of your .tgz or .tar.gz archive. Once you’ve selected the file, click Import and go back to work (when you are doing a large import, Zimbra lets you keep using your mailbox while it quietly keeps importing data).
It’s not an elegant process, it’s not fast; but it works. I’ve imported data for several accounts this way, with the largest archive containing well over 1GB worth of email and attachments (after I’d done some cleaning).
Here are the obligatory version numbers of the software I used:
- Windows XP SP3
- Thunderbird 188.8.131.52
- mbx2eml 0.68
- Zimbra Desktop 1.0.3