Tips

If we meet or talk, I may recommend a website, tool, or book to you. This is an attempt to summarize everything on one page. If you find an outdated link, please let me know.

If you scroll on, I have a lot of links to useful websites and tools organized by Privacy, Hacks, etc. I also have device-specific guides that I have written up, grouped below as follows:

All of my techtips are on this page. I have written up product reviews, tips, guides, and more for the GL-iNet GL-SFT1200, the Remarkable Tablet, macOS, tips for the playdate console, Flipper Zero, OneRep, and so much more… so check them out!

Important Note: If you own, operate, or publish anything I link to, please contact me BEFORE you want to add me as someone who endorses you, testimonial, etc.

Useful Websites, Tools, and other Lifehacks

Here’s a list of sites, services, tools, and other things I recommend. The list is organized by category heading and is not in order of importance.

The following list of useful sites is provided as a courtesy to family, friends, and colleagues not for you to quote me in marketing material.

PLUS at the end of this page, you will also find my Reading List

Email Privacy

All email privacy tools are listed first because this is my frequent go-to need. If you need to report email spam, this page has some tips.

  • AnonAddy Email Relay (preferred)
    An alternative to Apple’s and the Firefox email relay service offering disposable email. There is a free basic version or a premium version you can use with your own domain. I wrote up a review of AnonAddy here.
  • Temporary / Disposable Email / Burner Email
    If you need a temporary, disposable email address try 10MinuteMail, Mailinator, or Nada.
    Or if you have your own domain, you can set up your own disposable mail system at Mailsac
    Some websites are “smart” and get that you’re using a disposable email address, so you may need to try multiple providers. I recommend buying a domain and using Mailsac
  • ImprovMX
    A good tool if you have your own domain and want to set up MX records with email aliases that you can forward to Gmail.
  • Nullbox
    An alternative to Apple’s and the Firefox email relay service offering disposable email. A free trial is available and an annual subscription is required, but its paid plan is much more expensive than AnonAddy.

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Coupons / Cashback

  • Cashrewards
    Australia’s best cashback website is Cashrewards sign up and get a bonus. #Disclosure I am associated with Cashrewards.
  • DOSH
    US cashback app that requires you to link your credit card. Get the BEST sign up bonus with JOSHUAL270
  • Marcus
    Marcus is an online bank, you can earn bonus interest for 3 months with the unique link found here.
  • Yotta Invite Code
    The best Yotta Invite Code for 2022 is JOSHUA3779

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Design

  • AI Image Creation Tools
    Two I like are craiyon and Enstil, I have had more success with Enstil for presentation-ready images.
  • Borderize
    An easy way to add a border around images and text – not to be confused with a smart cut out tool.
  • CleanUp Pictures
    Online tool to remove objects, text, etc. from pictures
  • Cutout Pro
    Free web service that removes backgrounds from images. If you need an alternative to using PhotoShop to remove backgrounds, this is it.
  • FlatIcon
    Free vector (flat) icons you can use in presentations, etc. attribution required. This is 100x better than a Google image search for an icon.
  • Fonteer
    If you need to install Google Fonts on an iPhone or iPad, this app is what you need.
  • Icon Harmony
    The best source for Logitech Harmony remote channel icons. Given Logitech have discontinued the Harmony, you may be interested in my SofaBaton review.
  • JPG to JPG2000 Converter
    A free online tool to convert JPGs to JPG2000.
  • Save Image as Type
    Let’s you right-click and save images from the web in any format, not just the one the image is served/stored on the website.
  • SkyFonts
    A free tool for managing fonts (including Google fonts). A lifesaver if you have ever had a presentation look awful because fonts didn’t install.
  • TinyJPG
    WebP, JPEG and PNG compression tools.
  • Unsplash
    Beautiful Free Images.
  • Upscale Images
    A (free) AI too for upscaling low-res images. So many practical uses.
  • WebIcons
    Free Vector web icons. Great for PowerPoint presentations.
  • Watermark Remover
    Remove watermarks for free. If that doesn’t work, TheInPaint is also very good.

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Domain Tools

  • 301 Redirect Code Generator
    This website is great for generator .htaccess and PHP redirect code for domains (plus some other cool web tools).
  • BuiltWith
    Want to know what code base a site is built on, what tech stack? This will help.
  • DMARC Analysis (Postmark)
    Free tool for getting weekly DMARC reports. A paid version is also available.
  • DNS Benchmarks (Windows App)
    If you’re looking to customize your DNS servers and want to benchmark public DNS servers.
  • DNS Dumpster
    A great free tool for diagnosing DNS and hosting infrastructure.
  • DNS Propagation Check
    If you need to check DNS, CNAME, MX record propagation.
  • Domain History Checker
    You can use WhoIsRequest for free (up to 4 queries) or if you need something more robust, try CompleteDNS (Free and Paid plans available)
  • Domain Tools DNS, MX, and more checker
    One of the oldest full-service suites for everything to do with managing DNS records. Free and Paid plans are available.
  • Dr Link Check
    The best free tool for broken link checking for small sites. Paid plans for large sites.
  • EasyDMARC
    A good tool for scanning your domain for DMARC compliance. The paid version offers DMARC reports.
  • Free SPF, DKIM, DMARC, BIMI Analysis (Preferred)
    Probably the best tool to scan every security setting on your domain.
  • GT Metrix
    Not technically a domain tool, but if you need to check a site/host speed, use this.
  • Expired Domain Check
    If you’re after a domain name that’s about to expire, it’s a good place to start.
  • Global WhoIs Search
    Query the domain records on any domain and don’t want to find a local WhoIs registry. Supports 700+ gTLDs.
  • Mail Tester
    Life-saving tool for you to troubleshoot and debug why emails may not be sent (or delivered) by a server.
  • NameJet
    One of the more reliable services for picking up an expiring domain (name drops).
  • Postmark App DMARC Tool
    If you need a free and easy way to manage and report on DMARC records, you can’t go past this.
  • QuickSet DNS (Windows App)
    A way to quickly change your DNS Server in Windows 10. You can quick-change DNS free on a Mac using Locations.
  • urlscan.io
    Scan a URL for a summary of a domain including IP, hosting, tech infrastructure, etc.
  • Web Standards / Modern Standards Test
    A useful website that lets you test for modern web standards across domains, MX records, etc.

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Lifehacks / Utilities

  • 12ft.io
    Bypass any paywall (well almost any) with this website.
  • Abbreviations / Acronym Finder
    The best resource for decoding an acronym, you can filter by industry and category.
  • Account Migration (Mover.io)
    Microsoft acquired Mover.io, great if you want to move from Google Apps to Microsoft.
  • Android Emulator to play Android Games (Google Play Store) on Windows
    If you’re after an Android Emulator for gaming purposes, try either BlueStacks or NoxPlayer.
  • Blacktel
    Virtual phone numbers and virtual SMS services support multiple countries (paid).
  • BusySimulator
    Lots of random app sounds to make it look like you’re in the world’s busiest meeting.
  • CanYouRunIt (Gaming Specs Check)
    If you want to know if your computer will play a game before you buy it you can find out here.
  • Capture to Text
    A free OpenSource OCR type tool. It works as a screen capture tool.
  • Cookie Remover/Cookie Eraser
    Wipe cookies on the site you’re on. Useful to bypass paywalls that lock you out after 3 views.
  • FlowChart Symbols
    A dictionary of FlowChart Symbols and what they mean, make your flow charts accurate.
  • FotoForensics
    A good way to check if an image has been digitally manipulated.
  • FreeConvert
    Free online tool to convert .MOV files to .MP4 (and more)
  • Free NVMe / SSD Cloning Software (Windows)
    Macrium is free for personal use and reliable.
  • Free TI-84 Style Graphing Calculator
    If you need a graphing calculator and don’t want to buy a TI-84.
  • IdeaBoardz (Free)
    A free tool that gives you a post-it note collaborative whiteboard experience.
  • Image Enhance / Upscale using Neural Networks
    This uses Deep Convolutional Neural Networks to enhance an image (great for animations).
  • JustWatch or Reelgood
    Not sure where you can watch something, search multiple video streaming services at once.
  • MultCloud
    Lets you sync, move, and easily migrate data between clouds. Free and paid accounts are available.
  • PlayNite
    If you play video games and want one, good, consolidated game launcher use PlayNite.
  • Routine Hub (Apple Shortcuts) also known as Siri Shortcuts
    A good collection of (unsigned) community developed Apple Siri Shortcuts.
  • smallPDF
    A collection of tools for PDF files (compress PDFs, sign PDFs, etc)
  • SuperCook
    Give it some ingredients and it will give you a recipe (there’s also an app).
  • TinyWOW
    A website with free tools for everything. Compress PDFs, download videos, screenshot a webpage, everything!
    TuneMyMusic (Paid – Free 1000 song trial)  or Soundiiz or FreeMyMusic (Paid)
  • These services let you move playlists from e.g., Apple to Spotify to Amazon, etc. and vice versa.
    TuneMyMusic (website) will do 1000 songs for free, but there is a ~US$24 annually to use on an ongoing basis. I prefer TuneMyMusic.
    Soundiiz on the free plan will only let you sync one playlist at a time but has no track limit. Soundiiz offers automatic syncing of one playlist for free.
    FreeMyMusic (apps) has a one-time conversion charge of ~US$10 or ~US$20 annually to use on an ongoing basis.
  • WorldTimeServer
    The best website for planning meetings across multiple time zones.

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Mac OS

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News

  • Last Week in Digital Media
    I write a weekly newsletter summarizing key digital, media, and adtech news of the week. Subscribe.
  • NewsGuard
    Identifies if a news website is quality journalism has had both accuracy and accountability.
  • OpenSanctions
    A list of sanctioned companies, individuals, and everything else.

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Opt-Out

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Privacy 

First, I fully understand and encourage you to protect your privacy but please don’t block ads unless you’re willing to pay a subscription to the publisher. There’s also a comprehensive list of privacy tools collated by others published here.

If you’re more technically inclined, and really want to lock down your privacy, you might want to build yourself a Pi-Hole. You will need to get a Raspberry Pi first. You can either use this cheaper Raspberry Pi W or if you want to also use it for more than PiHole (retro gaming, etc) use the Raspberry Pi 4. You will then need to download and install the free Pi-Hole software.

If you want to know which privacy laws apply to you (as both a person and as a business), I recommend the DLA Piper’s Data Protection Laws of the World.

If you want to know why all this matters, check out TermsAndConditions.game which will see if you stop “Evil Corp” and other devious websites from getting your data. Just FYI, for some reason this website doesn’t support HTTPS connections, so your browser may throw out a warning message. So proceed with caution.

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Security

  • 2FA Directory
    A helpful list of sites that have 2FA and links to the official instructions on how to enable 2FA.
  • Bitwarden
    An open-source password manager. Free and premium versions are available.
  • Bot Sentinel
    Useful to determine if a Twitter account is followed by (mostly) bots.
  • LastPass
    A popular password manager. Free and premium versions are available.
  • Password Check (plugin) or haveibeenpwned
    Let’s you know if the website/your account was in a data breach.

Somewhat random, but if you want to see a list of individuals and entities sanctioned, check out OpenSanctions.

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Useful Browser Plugins

  • AutoRefresh (Edge Chrome Edition Only)
    Free browser refresh for Edge. Reloads a website but can automatically stop it once a change occurs (great for when you’re waiting for ticket sales to open or a scheduled price drop). There’s a Chrome version here.
  • Nimbus Capture (Chrome)
    For capturing screenshots of an entire webpage.
  • ReaderView (Chrome)
    If you like the Reader View available on your mobile browser, this gives you that functionality on Chrome. Great if you need to print a web page or want to copy/paste it to an email.
  • Redirect Tracer
    Not a plugin, but if you like Skip Redirect this tells you where redirects are sending you from and to.
  • Skip Redirect
    Intercepts and helps you skip the redirects used on some sites (like affiliate links).

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Share Trading

  • Robinhood
    Subject to controversy but it’s a free share trading platform. You also get 1 free stock when you sign up worth at least $5, so worth signing up just for that.

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Web Comics

  • XKCD
    A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

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Whimsical / Fun

I have some random fun comics here, but other fun stuff can be found below.

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Reading List

This is a list of books I recommend, this list updates from time to time and titles can be deleted.

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Research

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Personal Reviews & Tips

There’s a lot of content on this website from my Last Week in Digital Media newsletter, articles I have written, and Lowcock family history research.

I write tips, reviews, and blog from time to time. The most useful for most people is this guide How to remove your site from Archive.org / Internet Archive / Wayback Machine

There are a lot more reviews. If you are looking for all of my reviews or guides check this link.

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