Quick Screenshot Service

kwout logoFor some people getting that elusive screenshot can be difficult. Not only that, once you have it you then have to host it and code it into a web page or blog post. A service I found a few while back will make this job easy and quick, with some nice formatting and features as well.

The service is called kwout (don’t ask me to say it). When you arrive you are presented with a blank space to input a URL of your choice and some quick straight forward instructions. The process is dead easy to clip a screenshot and have it on your blog in quick smart. Enter the URL of the site or page that you want to take a screenshot of. A new page loads. select the specific area you want clipped and hit the “cut out” button on the floating toolbar. If you want a larger version you can specify exactly or use the slider on another floating toolbar. Essentially this is scaling of the image and it actually looks good. Scaling sometimes screws with an image to the point that it looks awful, this does not seem to be the case here.

From here you get presented with your cut out that you selected. You can change the border, corners and colours of the background. All this changes in real time and you get to see exactly what it will look like.

Next you can select a few options regarding sharing and decide if you want to post it to Flickr or Tumblr.

Copy and past the code and you are done. Another cool thing is that this service uses code and not JavaScript. That means that they work right here on WordPress. Here is the one that I created for the purpose of this post:

This is a great service in that it simplifies the process of getting a decent screenshot for a blog post or some other page that allows html. For people that can’t accomplish the rounded corners, borders and drop shadows it is a great option. Also, if you were in a flat out hurry to post something or on the road or at an internet cafe something like that and wanted a quick image or screenshot, this would do the trick and nicely.

One thing that my be a potential problem is that if you used the service you are at the mercy of that service, or indeed any service upon which you were relying on for content in your pages or blog posts. If the service disappears one day then so do your images. If they decide to change the terms of service or make the service a paid one then the availability of your images might also be affected. So my advice is to use wisely and don’t bank on things never changing. Although the ability to send the image to another service like Flickr does mitigate this problem somewhat.

Still a great way to get a nice fresh image that you can use anywhere.

kwout screenshot homepage

This Blog is Part of the Beta Group to Test Snap!

I have just learned that the Rooster’s Rail is part of the beta group of blogs on WordPress that is testing a plugin called Snap, which is short for Snap Preview Anywhere™. I am very very excited about being a part of this group. I saw Snap some time ago and liked the concept a lot. So much so that I have requested that it be implemented on The Global Geek Podcast Blog. Hopefully that is happening in the next couple of months. For those people that don’t know what Snap is you are probably asking, what the heck is The Rooster on about now?

Snap is a great feature that enables visitors to your site or blog mouse or hover over a link and have a preview pop up. Yeah it is just eye-candy really. But it does give you a bit of an idea if you want to go to a site or not, what it looks like. The images are high resolution so they look great. Or maybe you are just curious and don’t want to visit but just have a peek. Tops, this is great for that. In addition to that it is just plain cool!

Anyone can have Snap on their site by signing up and placing some code in their page. Us WordPressers don’t have the ability to put this type of code in our pages, especially since this is a script. Yet again the WordPress gurus have come through and are giving us feature after feature, and now we get Snap! Woot. This is definitely a place you want to be. I continue to be impressed and pleased to be a part of this community.

For those that absolutely dislike this feature, you can disable it. Doing this will disable Snap on any site not just the one you are looking at. You must refresh the page to not see them. The good thing is that it is not permanent. Disabling it works by using a cookie in your browser. So if you want the functionality of Snap back just delete your browser cookies.

This is a great feature for WordPress users and readers and I sure hope that they keep it. I like it and I think it is useful. Thanks Matt and crew another winner in my book and I am looking forward to seeing it utilized in my posts. Readers of this blog, I would love to know what you think and I will include your comments in my feedback to WordPress Admin. I would also be interested to know what other beta testers here thought about it.

Snap Preview Anywhere Screenshot

WebShots Unusable Due to Popularity?

WebShots_pro LogoI was doing a post for The Global Geek Podcast Blog and I needed a screenshot of the webpage that I was talking about. So I thought I am feeling lazy, I will just shoot over to WebShots who offer a free website screenshot service. But I fear that popularity is killing it (for “free” users at any rate).

Webshots is a great service. They offer free and paid accounts with various plans. When I first came across WebShots it made getting what you needed fast, easy and convenient. You could have your image in seconds. I went to WebShots and put in the site that I wanted a screenshot of, hit enter. I get transferred to the next step, in which (usually) your screen shot is displayed. You then get to choose from a few sizes and you can either save the image and host it yourself or use the code snippet to use it from WebShots. However, this time I find that I get transferred to a que which at the top of the page says:

Screenshot is in job queue. There is a total of 68494 jobs, and 23596 ahead of you.

I can tell you that it has not moved much since I started writing this. While I appreciate a good service especially a free one. This service has now become unusable for the quick and easy screenshot for the blog approach. What has stuffed it? Popularity. The developers are laughing but for me, unless I wish to pay for the service then I can’t use it at all. I am not paying. Screenshots are easy, but it is nice to get the shots that WebShots produced as they had no browser in them! Now I will have to edit out the browser and OS toolbar. Not hard but a bit time consuming.

Sure the paid service gives you priority over free users. However, for the little that I use this type of thing the $25 US for a basic service; per month is a bit steep. Especially since I would not be using their embedding service. I prefer to host my own images where I can. In addition if there are as many paying users as free then it will be just as bad, even if there are half as many!

So there goes another great free service down the tubes because it was and is so good. One thing that really irritated me was that I am probably waiting for porn, as the couple of webshots that appeared while I was waiting were of porn sites! Some things are just nice to keep to yourself, it would have been nice if WebShots was not quite so good as it is. RIP Webshots pro.

WebShots_pro Webshot

I just remembered another service, no not telling.

Ubuntu 6.10 Tour

One of my informants sent me this tonight. It is a slide-show tour of the latest offering of Ubuntu that was released this week. While I am not an avid LINUX user this is cool. It takes you right through from install and covers:

  • Boot
  • Install
  • Desktop
  • Menus
  • Config

There are multiple images of most topics. Great for those that want to see what it looks like or want to know what they are missing out on (depends on who you ask). Not sure that I like the shade of brown, real geeks would not care though. But then again probably fully customizable, you have to love open source for that kind of thing.

Click the image to link to the whole collection of images:

Ubuntu 6.10 Tour

Tours are available for other stable open source applications and operating systems on the site as well.

Need to Insult Someone?

Ever needed the perfect insult? You know the one there is no comeback for? The one that is so disgusting and ridiculous at the same time that it freezes people mid sentence? Look no further I have your answer.

WebInsult generator fits all of the above perfectly. I think though it is really supposed to be a laugh, so head on over and insult yourself.

During my brief visit I had such niceties as these to contend with:

“You filthy descendant of abusive llama spit”

“You dusky mouthful of vile baboon puke”

“You superficial barrel of monotonous shark snot”

“You evil-smelling drum of radioactive lizard bums”

And they were the nice ones! I was very selective. Fun site with 1,697,393,663 combinations for you to mess with your mates heads. Have fun and remember to play nice and say sorry when you are done.

WebInsult

I love the Disclaimer on the site and the same goes here in case you are wondering:

“Disclaimer: By using the WebInsult service you agree to indemnify, hold harmless, and defend Coruscant Ltd. and its employees and officers from and against any claims or lawsuits, including legal costs, that arise or result from the use or distribution of these insults.

You should be aware of the laws of slander and libel before you send insults to or about people who may be lacking a sense of humour.”