Useful Online Financial Calculators

online financial calculators

1) Dinkytown

This is probably the most complete collection of calculators that you will find anywhere on the Internet. Dinkytown features over 350 different financial calculators for you to use and also offers most of the them in a variety of languages. No matter what you need related to your financial situation, Dinkytown has the calculator for you, whether you need help tallying your mortgage payments, credit card debt or savings. If you really like a certain calculator who can also pay a fee to put it on your own website.

2) CSG Network

This site offers calculators that do not cater towards finances as much, rather, the calculators on this site aim to help you with a wider range of more general everyday situations in which you might need a calculator. For example, there is a calculator that can help you find out how large of a turkey you will have to buy for Thanksgiving based on how many people who are planning to feed, how large their appetites are, whether or not you want to have leftovers, and several other variables. Whether you need to know how much chlorine to put in your pool or you are just need a calculator to help your children out with their math homework, this site will probably have what you need.

3) Dollar Times

Yet another site that provides many different varieties of calculators to help you with your personal finances, however, Dollar Times is all about helping you manage your money and save. The site offers three categories of custom calculators from which you can choose from: Home and Car Loans, Investment and Savings, and Personal Finance. Using the calculators provided in these three sections, you can do a pretty good job of taking care of your finances, from calculating your mortgage payments, to keeping track of your retirement savings and monitoring how much you are spending on gas each week.

4) Choose To Save

Another extremely large database of financial calculators, this site does not have its own calculators, rather, it links you to the best and most popular calculators used for various calculations. You will be able to find calculators for following how you are doing on the stock market, calculators that will help you plan your paycheck spending, calculators for mutual funds and bonds, along with many more.

5) Hugh’s Mortgage and Financial Calculators

This is Hugh U. Chou’s site, and he loves calculators. Even though the sites states that Hugh specializes in mortgage and financial calculators, you won’t have to look very hard to see that there is actually a lot more that he offers on his site. Mr. Chou seems to be a man of math that loves making calculators for things that he stumbles across in life that intrigue him. For example, you can find a calculator for converting a cat’s age to human age and also to calculate your cholesterol levels as well. Among the many other financial and mathematical calculators, you will also find math and science related games and puzzles that he has developed for your entertainment.

6) Dr. Calculator

Of all the calculator sites, this one is the easiest to navigate. There is really nothing else included on the site other than 11 different categories of calculators. The categories available are the usual ones, and the calculators offer by this site will make it really easy for you to take of all of your personal finances without having to look anywhere else. Calculators are available to help you with your mortgage rates, managing your loans and your savings, calculating interest rates on various purchases, and keeping track of your investments.

7) Calculator Web

Even though this site might offer less calculators than others, it is a very specific and well-organized list of calculators. It is an especially good site for people who are deep into investments, with a set of great calculators that will let you manage your entire portfolio very easily. There is also a great set of planning calculators which are good for both short-term and long-term planning. You can plan out your weekly budget using these calculators, balance your checkbook effectively, but also calculate your retirement savings and how much you will need for other long-term plans, like putting your children through school.

8. Financial Calculators

This is one of the better organized calculator sites that you will find. Even though it does mostly have types of calculators that you will find on any financial calculator site, this particular page has an excellently detailed set of calculators for things that you won’t see on other sites. For instance, there is a great list of calculators that will enable you to manage your insurance plans, as well as calculators that will enable you to see where exactly all that money from your paycheck is going. The site also features great calculators for keeping your credit card payments in order.

9. CNN Money

CNN’s money site offers a typical list of calculators to use for managing your finances. However, it does have one of the better groups of real estate-related calculators that you will stumble upon. These calculators will not only enable you to calculate your mortgage payments, but you will also be able to keep track of your property’s value and they can even help you see what price range is realistic if you are looking to purchase a home.

10. Disposable Income

The name of the site speaks for itself, really. This fantastic calculator will tell you how much money you will have left to spend each month after you have paid for everything that you need to pay for in the course of the month. Just enter in your wage and all of your monthly expenses and find out what you are left with. If you are left feeling depressed at the end of the calculation, the site tries to pick your spirits up a bit by calculating how much time at work you must spend in order to be able to purchase various things (coffee, a laptop, a vacation to Greece, etc).

20 best sites for free online storage and backup

online storage and backup free

Faster Internet connections and more widespread Internet access has made it possible for us to store our files in virtual hard drives for safe-keeping and easy access. Thanks to the many online storage sites that exist, you can always have your files at your fingertips, even when you are thousands of miles away from your home computer. Let’s take a look at some of the best free online storage sites you have to choose from if you are interested in such a service.

1) Dropbox

 

 

This is the perfect storage tool for people who work on more than one computer. It allows you to sync files between any computers that have Dropbox installed on them. You are also given a public folder that creates a link directly to your files and folders so you can share them. It is also easy to share folders with other friends or coworkers who have their own Dropbox accounts as well. You get 2 GB of free storage space.

2. Mozy.com

 

 

One of the most popular online storage sites, you get 2GB of space free of charge. The software also can be set to automatically back up your computer every week.

3. Adrive.com

 

 

 

Easily the most generous free site, it offers 50GB of storage with the basic account. The only shortcoming is that it will not backup your files automatically, though this is not a problem for many who take care of their files diligently.

4. Docs.Google.com

 

 

Google Docs allows you to upload 1 GB of various different files and store them, however, if you convert these files to the site’s own format (which offers its own equivalents of spreadsheet, document and presentation files) you will be able to save, store and share even more information.

5. Box.net

 

 

You get 1 GB of free space with this one, and you can store your files and access them from any computer and from most mobile phones as well. It is also excellent for sharing files with friends and family because it’s easy to use.

6. SugarSync.com

 

 

 

This service offers 5 GB of free space and one of its best features is that it is easily compatible with PCs, Macs and almost every possible smart phone.

7. SkyDrive.live.com

 

 

This service is free when you sign up for a Hotmail or Windows Live account and it gives you a generous 25GB, though the upload process is a little slow and tiring.

8. Cometdocs.com

cometdocs online document management

You get 1 GB for free here, and the site is oriented toward documents, but you can easily use it for storing any other file types.

9. OpenDrive.com

 

 

This service offers 5 GB of free storage space, and is great for sharing with coworkers and collaborating on projects online.

10. FlipDrive.com

 

 

FlipDrive offers 1 GB of space and can be accessed from any web browser at any time. It also prides itself on being one of the most secure sites of its kind.

11. Storegate.com

 

 

 

This site aims at making it easy to store files, especially photos, easily and share them with friends and family. You get 1 GB with the free package and it allows you to share large files at once, such as whole folders full of pictures.

12. SpiderOak.com

 

 

 

 

Spider Oak looks to be an all-in-one service that is very well-rounded, offering free online backup, synchronization, sharing, remote access, and storage. You get a free 2 GB for life when you sign up.

13. One.Ubuntu.com

 

 

 

 

This site allows you to backup files and sync them from any computer, but also, you can save and store contacts, as well as bookmarks. You get 2 GB of space for free.

14. IDrive.com

 

 

 

Nothing really stands out about this service, other than the fact that it offers more free storage space than most – 5 GB.

15. DivShare.com

 

 

 

You get 5 free GB of storage space at DivShare, and you can really store anything, but it’s best for music and video, because it allows you to upload songs that are instantly stream-able and do not have to be downloaded to be played.

16. FileDropper

 

 

 

One of the better sites for hosting files. Maximum size is 5GB.

17. Megashares.com

 

 

 

You get 10 GB of free storage, but it’s best for sharing files quickly, because it gives you a url right away at which you and anyone else you give it to can instantly access the file.

18. Badongo.com

 

 

 

Badongo actually offers unlimited storage and sharing. It is another good site for people who want to stream audio and video files or make slideshows of your favorite photos and share them. Unfortunately, this website no longer works.

19. MediaFire

 

 

 

MediaFire is great because you have unlimited storage space for free if you open up an account. However, you cannot upload more than 200 MB at a time. It is perfect for storing and sharing things like images and music, and sharing is made easy with direct links given for each of your uploads.

20. Flickr.com

 

 

The premier site for storing and sharing photographs on the Internet, you are able to upload 300 MB of images each month. If the user has more than 200 pictures on the site, they will only be able to see the most recent 200 in their photostreams, but all the other images will remain stored and all links to these images that were posted anywhere on the Web will remain active.

10 Free Online Tools to Create Comics

It used to be the case that if you wanted to make your own comics, you would either have to be a good artist or have someone else draw them for you. That’s not the case anymore, thanks to the many different website on the Internet that allow you to easily and quickly create your own custom comic strips to share with your family, friends and co-workers.
If you are one of those people who considers themselves funny, but you cannot draw for your life, thanks to technology, you can fulfill your ambitions of making funny comics without a problem. There are tons of sites out there now at which you can make your own, customized comic strips, and with the variety that all of them offer – from superheroes to stick figures – you will be able to create a personal comic to get your point across perfectly.
Sometimes you have a joke or a story that you want to tell, and you want to mix it up – try something new. Why not tell the joke or story in the form of a colorful and amusing comic strip? Here are some of the best site on the Internet that will allow even the worst of artists to make personalize comics to express themselves.

1) Make Beliefs Comix

This is easily one of the most popular comic sites around. It is so popular because not only do the comics look great, but they are also very easy to create. There are options that give you enough of a range where both children and adults will be able to use the site to make comics that are relevant to them. It is also increasingly popular because it is available in many languages and the site is always looking to ad new ones as well to their options.

Because it is so easy to use and so simple in nature, you might find it limiting if you are trying to get some more abstract idea across, and the colors that are offered are also fairly limited, especially for the background of your pictures.
is easy enough for children to use, but there are enough options for adults to get a message across, too. Users can choose from 25 characters to fill a two-, three-, or four-paneled comic strip. Currently, the site supports typing in seven different languages. There are plans to add Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters in the future.

2) Pixton

The best part about this site is that there are three comic-making sections. One is for having fun, one is for children and educational purposes, and the third is for business needs. It is very easy to use as well, all you do is drag and drop into the comic what you want to see there. It is one of the most advanced sites as far as customization is concerned, and there are literally endless choices for tweaking your comic and making it come out exactly the way you envisioned it.

3) MarvelKids

If there is a company that knows something about comics, then I am pretty sure that this company is marvel. It’s no surprise that its comic creation site is great as well, even though it’s simplistic. One thing that is great is that there are tons of different panels you can use, so you are not constricted to the usual and boring boxes that most comics use. The characters you can choose from, of course, are all of the famous Marvel heroes and villains, including the Incredible Hulk and Wolverine. Also, you can do fairly interested and in-depth comics at this site, since it offers you the option of going as long as 22 pages. If you like making comics with these famed Marvel heroes, you’ll love it, but if you want to do something more original, then this is not the site you are looking for – go elsewhere.

4) ToonDoo

This is probably one of the best sites if you are looking for both versatility and ease of use. It allows you to be creative and really make the comic original, but it is also very user friendly as well. There is a huge library of images and characters that you can use, and the tools are very simple to implement and navigate. There are two tools of significance at ToonDoo, the TraitR tool, which helps you to customize your characters, and the DoodlR tool, which allows you to paint freely within the comic.

5) Strip Generator

There’s no room really at this site to work on your own style, but the characters that are offered are great to jot down some quick office humor and share it with your coworkers. One thing that is great about the site is that you are able to adjust the frames and make them longer and wider if you need to.

6) Chogger

Chogger is great because it lets you draw images from scratch if you do not want to use the images that are already available on the site. Another great feature you get with the site is that it allows you to connect your webcam and capture pictures that you can use in your comic strips. The frames at Chogger can also be customized to suit your needs very easily.

7) Pikistrips

This is one of the more creative sites. At Pikistrips, you take a photo of yourself or other people and then turn these photos into comic strips. Just upload the pictures and then you can mess around with them and decorate the pictures. You can add different hairstyle, facial hair, scars, hats, and other stuff to your pictures, and of course, text bubbles for dialogue.

8) Witty Comics

This is a simple comic that is most often used by people who are more interested in the dialogue than the actual pictures. The comics are pre-drawn scenes that are fairly simple and to the point, it is up to you to put some interesting commentary in there to spice them up. This is perfect for writers that want to practice their dialogue and story telling – letting the words speak more than the images.

9) Artisan Cam

Artisan Cam is a very interest site that has a lot of different art-related online activities, and it’s a great site for teachers to use in order to get creative with their students. The comic maker on the site is excellent and allows you to build short and sweet, six-frame comics with an easy-to-use drag and drop interface.

10) Write Comics

Write Comics is another simple to use and fun online comic. The process is very logical and simple to follow – first select a background, then choose characters, and then complete the story with speech bubbles. It’s biggest shortcoming is that the only way you can save your work is by copying it to your computer – it does not have its own online database where you can save your work and share it with friends instantaneously.

Best ways to discover new music online

With the hyper-production of music that technology has enabled over the last decade, the Internet has also enabled people to not only share their music easily and find fans worldwide with little problem, it has also made it much easier for fans of music to seek out new and interesting artists that might appeal to them. There are literally hundreds of ways to find out about new music these days on the Web – whether you are reading blogs, getting recommendations from friends on Facebook or listening to Internet radio stations, it has never been easier to find mew music.

Discover New Music Online
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to find new music on the Internet:

Last.fm

Last.fm is a social networking site that is geared towards people who are obsessed with music. You can install their scrobbler and link it to whatever program or device you are using to listen to music and it will keep track of what you have been listening to, whether its at home on Winamp or Windows Media Player or on your iPod. It displays this information on your personal page, and shares your music listening habits with the world. You can add friends just like you can on any other social networking site, and post on their walls as well. Using Last.fm, there are many different ways for you to discover music. For example, when you visit another person’s page, Last.fm will tell you the level of similarity you have with any given user and it will also list what artists you have in common in your listening library. If you have a high similarity with a person, you can look at their charts and see if there are any artists there that sound interesting to you, or you can even ask the person for some personal recommendations based on the artists that you have in common. Also, if you visit the official page of a band you enjoy, listed under the band’s description and biography is a group of similar artists that you can check out. You can also browse music by genres, since users on Last.fm are able to tag each artist as being part of a specific genre that they deem fit. Last.fm has a paid radio service as well that lets you listen to its enormous database of artists in high quality streaming audio, but also, there is a free music player that you can download and use with the Google Chrome browser. Once you download and install the player, you can go to any artist’s page and listen to their songs free of charge. The opportunities for discovering new music through Last.fm are truly limitless.

Amazon

The opportunities for listening to new music are fairly limited on Amazon. They do have streaming audio, but the site only offers you short snippets of songs to check out. However, there are other ways that Amazon can help you discover new music. If you click on an album that you know you love, listed under the album are users who have purchased this album from Amazon. Amazon also lists other albums that these customers have bought, which serves as a recommendation, since the person who bought an album that you love probably has similar tastes in music. You can literally spend hours on Amazon going from album to album and customer to customer, checking out what they have bought and seeking out these different albums if they sound interesting to you. Amazon also allows its customers and users to write reviews of the music that they have purchased. The users who purchased the music are able to write a review, many write small blurbs, but others go into great detail when they write reviews, and they also rank the album by way of a five-star system. Amazon does a great job of creating a multifaceted service that will not only allow you to seek out new music, read in-depth reviews of albums and songs, and see what else people who have bought an album you like have bought, but it also allows you to purchase the music right there on the site without having to search any further.

The Hype Machine

This site is very unique and much different for the first two mentioned. This site is not specifically for people who are looking for recommendations based no their tastes, it is more for people who are just looking to hear new things and to stay on top of all the latest trends in popular music. The Hype Machine is a music site for people who are fans of Reddit and Tumblr – sites that have constant streams of new information coming in at all times. The site actually aggregates all types of different blogs that offer mp3 into one location. It takes songs that were posted on a selection of about 1,500 different music blogs and it lists them on the main page of the site. After listening to a song, you can click on a button that says you “love“ it, and at the end of the week, the site will show its popular list that shows which songs received the most “love“ that week from users. There is also a Listening History section, which allows users to see what songs their friends have recently listened to as well. Also, above every song you will find links to online music retailers from which you can purchase the track. The site operates thanks to the commissions it receives from these sales. If you are someone who loves staying on top of all of the latest trends in music and you are interested in what critics and fans are enjoying the most currently, then this is the site for you.

Forums and Message Boards

No matter what kind of music you enjoy, there are found to be dozens, if not hundreds, of forums and discussion boards where people with similar tastes hang out daily and discuss music. Chances are, you will probably be able to find local message boards for any type of music you like as well, no matter what country you live in. Message boards are fun because they are highly interactive and also very helpful. You can discuss topics with people in real time and you can hear various opinions on any specific band or album from a large group of people who still represent one community. If you are interested in hearing a variety of opinions because taking the plunge and buying an album, then forums and message boards are the places to be. Once you have spent some time as a new member observing the discussions, feel free to join and give your opinions on bands and artists you are familiar with. Forums and message boards are also great places to ask for recommendations based on music you already like. Once you have spent some time on a certain message board and you are familiar with the personalities that post there, you will know who the experts are on certain topics, and who the people are on the board who have the most in common with you as far as musical tastes are concerned. Once you have located these people who share similar tastes with you and are clearly well-informed, checking out albums and artists they are excited about is usually a great way to find out about new music that might be right up your alley.

How to Optimize Images for the Web with Adobe Photoshop

What do people mean when they say that images have been optimized for the web? The basic principle of optimization, as far as images are concerned, is to have the images look good while also loading quickly at the same time. You want your images to be small and able to load fast when someone enters your site, but still, you want them to be high-quality pictures that look sharp and detailed.

One of the most common mistakes people make is that they decrease the size of the image within their website creation program, not in an image editing program like Adobe Photoshop. You know this is the case when the page is mostly text with only a couple of pictures, but it still takes a long time to load. In order to have a successful website, it is vital for it to be able to load quickly, regardless of how much content is being displayed on it.

When you are resizing your image in a website creation program, you are not decreasing the file size of the image, just the scale of the image being displayed on the website. When you decrease the size of the image in the website creation program, what you are basically doing is that you are telling the browser to rescale the image while it is loading the page, which is additional and completely unnecessary work for the browser to be doing. So, even though it appears to be really small once the page has finally loaded, the actual file size of the image remains the same.

What you really need to do is to first resize the image in an image creation and editing program like Adobe Photoshop, where you will actually be changing the file size of the image before uploading it to your website. This is actually a quick and easy process and you don’t have to be a professional web designer or a Photoshop ace to do it.

There are dozens of different ways to resize images while keeping them clear and detailed, but let’s just look at the most simple and effective one for starters.

Using Adobe Photoshop’s “Save For Web“ feature

The two most common image formats that are used on the web are JPEG and GIF. Let’s see what each format is about.

JPEG

The JPEG is used most commonly when the image is a photograph, because it is able to represent images that use millions of colors and preserve the variations of continuous-tone images.

GIF

The GIF format works best when when compressing solid-color images and images with repetitive colors. This format is used most with logos, illustrations, line art and fonts, things of that nature.

Optimizing Images in 4 Easy Steps

Novices who are not that familiar with Adobe Photoshop might not know about the “Save For Web“ option, which makes optimizing an image for the web a lot easier than when you are saving images in Photoshop with the regular “Save As“ command.

The “Save For Web and Devices“ command and accompanying dialogue box makes it very easy for you to compare the original image and the compressed alternatives you have to choose from when you are resizing your images. Here’s what you do.

1. Open your image in Adobe Photoshop and then choose File > Save For Web And Devices.

2. When the dialogue box appears, click on the 4-Up tab. On the Preset drop-down menu, choose the file format you want, whether it is JPEG or GIF. In the upper left preview, you can see the original image. Photoshop automatically renders three alternatives to your current image, there is a high, medium and low-quality alternative available for both JPEGs and GIFs. Under each of the preview windows, you will be able to see the file size, the quality of the image, and how long the image will take to load on a given modem speed.

3. This is the part where you fool around with the options a little. Try out all of the alternatives and see what  they look like. See how the quality of the image corresponds to the file size of the image and then use your eye to make a decision and pick what you believe would be optimal for your website. The goal is to have the best possible image quality in the smallest possible file size.

4. When you have made your decision and you are happy with both the size of the file and the quality of the image, click Save and give the file a name. It’s as simple as that.