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My Favorite Links
These links reflect my own
interests and sensibilities. They are here, so I can access
them from other people's computers — and my own. I deleted most of the
crap here on November 3, 2012, and I need to try out more links still languishing
here to find out if they're any good — which is indicative of how often I bother
to link through them. I almost never add links just because somebody asks me
Ideas + Info
My favorite photo sites listed in the order of usefulness
byThom - Thom Hogan is my favorite photo information source for reviews of cameras and the photography market, especially Nikons.
The Mansurovs call their site Photography Life, which is a little bland, so I call them The Mansurovs. Their reviews are superb, and they offer a variety of high quality photo information.
Ming Thein - I learn from this guy every time I visit his site.
Lensrentals - I've rented cameras from them (then either bought the product or not), but their blog is very informative. They're not just selling their services. They're educating anybody who wants to learn.
The Luminous Landscape is helpful, wide-ranging and serious. They tend to be conservative, but they are often amazing.
Glossaries of Photographic Terms:
Explora on B&H Photo
All Things Photography Digital Dictionary
Glossary of Basic Photo Terms on Ritz Camera
Glossary of Photography Terminology
PhotoNotes.org's Dictionary of Photography
Glossary of Photographic Terms
Nikon's Digital SLR Camera Basics Digital Camera Glossary
Someday, someone needs to sort through these top finds on Google for "glossary of photographi terms. There's probably several hundred more.
my favorite general interest sites
Kevin's Cool Tools, a daily updated online free Whole Earth Catalog. People who actually use tools submit short reviews. The gray categories list other Cool Tools. There's also Kevin Kelly articles about technology, systems and all kinds of other stuff and makes for fascinating intellectual browsing. His Review Site Review Page reviews other realms. He used to edit the real WEC after Stewart Brand, so he knows of which he speaks.
Digital Photo Review used to be my #2 favorite, now I go instead to the following photo sites:
I still visit DPR's Forums, because they haven't mucked that up yet, but they will. It was to obvious for a while, but now less so that Amazon owns them.
Camera Labs - reviews of cams, lenses and all like that. Smart guy and usually interesting, too.
Imaging Resource, is a sane approach to photography and photo news now that Amazon has thoroughly taken over DPR. I appreciate their intelligent camera reviews and link system
Now I check Digital Camera Resource or even Steve's Digicams but the rest have the same news or less.
MacInTouch is "timely news and tips about Apple Macintosh, iTunes, iPhone and more." It is an incredibly smart and often updated linkfest of things Macintosh. I don't go there every day, but it's my "home" page, so I end up there pretty often, and it's always worth the read. Plus, when Mac things go wrong — and they more and more do — they know and tell how to fix it.
Longform.org links to top-quality, long nonfiction magazine articles that take awhile to read and almost always teach us something worthwhile. You might as well start with the best, the Editor's Pick. I often pick what I perceive as their most interesting long-form stories to copy as Text-only into my elderly Keyboard Kindle with old versions of Bean WP.
There's also Instapaper and The Best Magazine Articles Ever
TED.com Talks is amazing and gets amazinger. The original. When TV gets boring, and it always does, I move to TED and learn something.
Google Image Search
Google Maps, and when that refuses to work, I happily go to MapQuest
SkyWatch, from Texas’ South Coast, gives the daily astrological conditions all signs share. Except Sundays unless that's your birthday, which is just goofy.
There's a bunch of Credible Digital camera sites listed on my Cameras & Lenses page. Some of the stuff on that page started on my How to Photograph Art, which I still often update and has become one of my most popular pages ever, beat out by several bird pages. Which is great, because I'd been wanting to write about photography for a long time. More credible digi-cam sites are somewhere below on this page.
Big Think is now less a copy of TED, and has dropped the music, but it's still not as smart as it thinks it is.
Longform - outstanding long stories, that I often copy and paste as text-only into my elderly Kindle Fire
in no particular order
Things cockroaches won't eat from roach-growers who know
The Consumerist - offers often updated excellent consumer-related information and stories.
One Look nets differing dictionaries, some that even pronounce words or have thesauri.
National Geographic Daily Dozen photographs
Until I discovered that she won't teach any of the software that competes with Adobe software, Lynda.com was my favorite online tutorial center. I paid $25/month to access any of thousands of hours of visual education for hundreds of software titles till I realized I'd got "Lynda Learner Fatigue" and cancelled, thankful I didn't go for the slightly cheaper annual rate. For awhile there, I was learning CS3 versions of Photoshop and Dreamweaver, augmenting that with forays into Mac OSX and other programs. I learn more easily when I see something done, then try it myself. If you do, too, you'll probably like this site. There are dozens of other educational sites online.
Lectures at Princeton, Cornell, Seattle, pop Dartmouth, BioInteractive from Howard Hughes Medical Institute. On computer programs, the physical universe
LiveLeak DiggNation LearnOutLoud eLearnSpace
The Aesthetic Crisis Center - one, big pile of links to all kinds of kinetic, animated, comical, artistic, political and just plain strange places all over the World Wide Web. Unfortunately, it's not regularly updated. The guy who started it, just stopped one year, and those of us who'd like to spend more time on it, don't.
DallasArtsRevue has more than 600 pages of Dallas (,Texas, USA) centric visual art news, views, reviews and a oft-updated calendar. Our Resources are helpful and our reviews are opiniated. We publish both positive and vicious nasty feedback, too.
Weberating the iNet
Down For Everyone or Just me? I need to know if my sites are online and whether they're not working for everyone or just me. This is simple and free.
W3C Markup Validation Service - You input your URL, and it checks that page for validation issues.
Some links I want to check out: Cross Browser Testing Link Checker W3C Link Checker Xenu's Link Sleuth
Search Engine Marketing FAQ
There's probably dozens more by now.
NPR Music links audio of all sorts of music somebody there thinks is good. Great variety, often full new albums, for us to listen to.
Apple's movie previews change, and there's usually only about 4 dozen of them.
I review Movies.
Netflix for movies; unlike mean (stupid) old Blockbuster, doesn't edit out "bad" words or scenes. Plus, they bring important movies to DVD via Red Envelope. Unfortunately Netflix doesn't want us to know about new movies, so I often visit .
I'd been thinking iPod thoughts, even bought a Shuffle for Anna, but it seemed so limited, so I tracked down a cheaper, more versatile, possibly better alternative, the Sansa Clip, which I use often. My first one was only two gigs but only costs $30. My latest ones hold 8 gigs and and now cost 85 bucks. They have been discontinued by the manufacturer for very good reasons. But if you can work around it needing to reverify all its data every single time you connect the fool thing to a computer, it's not half bad.
Eventually all TV — like movies — will come down the net — Broadcast TV is dead and surely knows it by now, digital or analog. Cable is at the end of its long and usurious life. Satellites are so last-century and junking up space, and YouTube is yesterday's state of science — but fun.
I've been a professional photog since 1964, so I read lens, camera and gismo reviews often, always hoping for something interesting or practical. My Nikon D300 just sorta quit working, and I thought it was a pretty good camera, but like most dSLRs it's stupid, because it doesn't show a live view of what I'm shooting while I'm shooting, tipping me off to bad exposure, wrong ISO or color balance, like even cheap consumer digicams do. Worse, it's heavy as a rock.
So in 2011 I bought a little Panasonic Lumic G2, which I loved. It was light, powerful and had only has a few major drawbacks. The full skiny on my relation to it is on My G2 & G5 Journal, which also covered my thoughts on the next step up, the G5. Before that was my S90 Journal, and immensely more popular than either of those was my early and long unupdated Canon s90/95 Tips & Accessories page.
Digital Photo Review has more detailed and credible camera and related reviews, breaking news and specific Forums than anybody (though they just got bought by Amazon, so the future should be interesting). I used to check a bunch of others. Now I might check Imaging Resources or Digital Camera Resource but the rest have the same or less.
Photozone still has intelligent and intelligible lens reviews with precise distortion and resolution numbers, but I don't think they've had a new review in more than a year.
LensTip also offers credible photographic lens reviews, among more and more other clutter and the usual boring, bad consumer reviews.
Thom Hogan's By Thom site discusses and professionally reviews many things photographic, including lenses and cameras.
The Luminous Landscape is a linkfest of good photographic information: Clean your dSLR's digital sensor. Publish your own book of photographs. Understanding RAW files. Understanding sharpness. Etc.
Tripods 101 - wish I'd read this before I bought the cheap (crummy design), expensive ($100 but it's so clumsy I can't use the damned thing. I wrote an honest, clear-headed review for Amazon, but they have not posted it.), so-called Tilt-all tripod.
I've had a genuine Leitz Brothers Tiltall tripod since 1974 that was amazing till it recently became reluctant to bend one leg. When the spring that tightens twisting and raising the central column quit, I knew I had to get a new one. So I bought another "Tiltall (my review near the bottom of that page)," except the brothers apparently sold the name, and who makes them now sucks at it. Tripods 101 is extensive and inclusive. One of those amazing educational experiences free on the web.
Amazing compendium of info about Nikon Lenses — an historical treatise.
Another Nikon resource I stumbled on online is The Nikonians, which linked me to an ongoing great page of Nikon lens review links.
Björn Rørslett's professional — and endearingly curmudgeonly — reviews of Nikon cameras and lenses on his Naturfotograf.com/ site from Norway are the best on the net. I especially enjoy his Lens Survey and Subjective Evaluations. He's a full-time photog, not a full-time tester, so he never gets to everything. Page Down to the bottom of that page for the links to the specific groups of Nikon Lenses.
The Online Photographer is fascinating and nicely old-fashioned.
Goo sends a lot of hits to DallasArtsRevue.com, but I still prefer to find things net via Yahoo Advanced Search.
I use Google's Search to search all my sites in one seek.
Most sites work better if you don't phrase your search as a question. When you just have to, Ask.
I'm seriously reconsidering Amazon dot com, because they raise pries for items in short supply, even when more are coming in just a couple days, and I can never find what I want, just what they want to sell me. Besides, they now charge Texas Sales Tax, whereas it used to be fabulous, but they're taking themselves too seriously. Although I love my Kindle Fire.
Adorama has become much more intelligent, intelligible and useful. They don't try too hard, and usually match or beat Amazon prices for photographic stuff, although I still prefer Amazon's reviews.
RADIO & Voice
RadioLab is a great radio show, and I love radio [listed below]. WNYC's RadioLab's page is, in its many changing details, and as a whole, fascinating.
(National Public Radio) Podcasts are diverse and some fascinating. Learn Out Loud dot com has Ralph Waldo Emerson's essays and free audio of some interesting books, thinkers and doers.
Austin's KUT is usually worth the listen, especially on their wonderfully diverse mornings and early afternoon music programs.
I get KNTU FM 88.1 in my car, but it's distorted in my bedroom and I can't get it a all in my office. D Magazine says it's the best station in Dallas, neatly overlooking amateurish DJs, Off Topic weekends, low power and 40-mile distance from Dallas. But for real jazz here, there's only KNTU and KNON FM-89.3 after midnight.
National Public Radio - NPR Podcast Directory
Public Radio International - PRI Podcasts
WYNC is amazing. The depth of their programming, especially in music has been fascinating to explore for this omni-music variety buff. But I guess New York City is like that.
Nothing is as complete and up-to-date as MacInTouch, a major daily read for Mac users.
Tid-BITS is an email ListServ that's amazing for longer reviews and discussions, although they tend to get lost in all the iPoddery and iPhonery. Join free at top left of their page, and get frequent emails that are often good reads as well as informative.
I'm waiting for OS-XII, and long for the simplicity and ease of OS-9. Of the many Mac download pages, the best is MacUpdate, because they include honest (often negative) reviews, so you know what you're getting,.
Apple has an official D/L page that may guarantee compatibility.
Calibrate Monitor may help us see the right colors and tones.
SkyWatch, from Texas’ South Coast, gives the daily conditions all signs share. And it's free for the daily reports. For anything ahead, you have to pay and join.
For astrology by signs, AstroDienst from Germany is more accurate with a wider array of free and pay services, including an amazing array of free astro charts.
Astrology on the Web tells when the next Mercury Retrograde will strike.
Google Earth , Google Maps and MapQuest show me aerial photographs.
There are many dictionaries and encyclopedias online. My favorite encyclopedia is Wikipedia, but I'll add more here, since I often use this page to link to sites from other people's computers. If I were the only person to access this page, it's worth its while.
Urban Dictionary is fun and they add lotsa words every day. 941 today.
For a bunch of dictionaries so numerous I haven't figured which is which, so I just choose them at random, and that works very well, try OneLook Dictionary Search, where I always find my word in one or another, one way or the other.
Divorce Predictor is uncomfy enough to get me off my ass and communicate with my girlfriend.
Cool Tools A Review of Review Sites - helpful page of critiqued review site links from Cool Tools. [above]
One of the more comprehensive computer-rlated gizmo testing sites is good old PC Magazine. Lots of very helpful consumer info.
Red-tailed Hawk Up Close and Nearly Personal from my journal
The Amateur Birder's Journal - is my own thrice-weekly walk through White Rock Lake inside the City Limits of Dallas, Texas, USA. In the journal you will find thousands of my photographs of the birds of White Rock and some other places, day by day through the seasons since June 2006, though I don't usually get this close to hawks.
Bird Chat is always of some interest about what birds are visiting this metromess, but I don't go there often.
The Trinity River Audubon Center
Gulf Coast Birding
Rockport-Fulton - The Charm of the Texas Coast - sounds good for early spring - bird species named and described in the first paragraph. There's a picture. Amateur beautiful, but informative. Nice. For spring.
Great Texas Wildlife Trails - is a nice-looking site that eventaully leads to a private bookstore that sells maps of places in Texas that have great birds.
Whooping Cranes Updates
10 Day Weather for High Island
Software I use
Dreamweaver web production basically sucks but it's supposedly the best. I miss PageMill, which was easy, fast and certain. Then Adobe bought it, because it competed with Dreamweaver, and dropped it.
Photoshop, of course, although I don't feel obligated to do every update. But then I'm still at OSX (not ten, X) 10.10.6 Yosemite.
Fetch is a perfectly good FTP-er, especially for Macintosh, although there's dozens of those.
My latest email address is always
on the Contact page.