PiratePad: Online Collaborative Writing Space

PiratePad is a web-based collaborative writing tool, much like Google Docs. However, PiratePad doesn’t require a google account to use. I think too often we turn to Google for a collaborative writing space without considering the myriad of reasons some folks may not (choose to) have a google account (privacy, age, access speed, etc.). PiratePad offers a free, robust, open-access alternative.

A few of PiratePad’s unique features are the availability of multiple languages (hundreds!), the option to choose a license (including Creative Commons), and a “time slider” that allows the play back of revisions.

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Subtle Patterns & Transparent Textures

Patterns and textures are fantastic ways to add a little depth to any project, but they can become overwhelming. From this problem comes a simple solution: subtlepatterns.com. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and with a library 377 patterns strong (and growing) there’s sure to be something to your taste.

Plus, the website is absurdly easy to use, allowing whole-page previews of each pattern and one click downloads straight from the browsing list.

BONUS:

If you want even more room to play with texture and pattern, check out transparenttextures.com, a project by Mike Hearn. Transparent textures takes directly from subtlepatterns.com and converts the patterns into even more easily usable transparent versions. The similar whole-page preview function even has a color picker so you can see the pattern in any color before you download.

And the cherry on top? The entire gallery for both sites is situated under a creative commons license – giving you full freedom to create without stepping into the tangles of an intellectual property lawsuit.

Free Fonts You Can Actually Use

free fonts gif

Free fonts are awesome, but it’s so easy to end up with a computer full of fonts you’ve only used once. To avoid this trap, it’s preferable to stick to high quality, versatile font families with full character sets and multiple weights. With this in mind, check out the free fonts below, handpicked with an eye for usability. They are ordered in terms of license – at the top you’ll find fonts you can use even for commercial projects, where the strictly personal use families are at the bottom.

Bebas Neue

A tall, clean sans-serif display face that has been called “The Helvetica of Free Fonts”.

  • free for personal AND commercial
  • multiple weights
  • all caps

Simplifica

Another tall sans-serif with a bit of a sci-fi vibe, great legibility, and a ton of glyphs.

  • free for personal AND commercial
  • upper & lowercase sets with full punctuation

Odin Rounded

A super-round, super-versatile display with a HUGE glyph set and stylistic alternates for a varied look.

  • free for personal AND commercial
  • multiple weights (and italics)
  • upper & lowercase sets with full punctuation
  • stylistic alternates Continue reading

Codecademy

Codecademy is an excellent resource for learning new programming languages and coding techniques. They provide lessons and exercises for everything from basic HTML and CSS to JavaScript, PHP, jQuery, Ruby, Python and so much more. They even have projects for you to accomplish by utilizing programming languages to create and style various web features.

They break projects down into numbered tasks to tackle, each one with hints and steps to complete in order to move on. Some of their sample projects include animating your name, creating your own animated galaxy, or building your own website. Aside from creating web applications and mobile apps, Codecademy is a great place to gain confidence in learning and using new programming skills and techniques.

Codecademy.com
Codecademy.com