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March 12, 2010

Turn your Images into Spreadsheet Art

This time-lapse video captures how the Google Docs team turned an online spreadsheet into sort of a painting canvas by filling individual cells of the sheet with different colors simultaneously.

It might have take them several days to plan and draw the whole thing but luckily, you get to enjoy the process in under 60 seconds.

How to Paint in an Excel Spreadsheet?

If you want to create your own spreadsheet art but don’t have the time (or patience) to carefully paint every single square cell manually, here’s a nice shortcut.

Go to and download their free Excel Art program. It’s a standalone utility that will convert any bitmap image into a spreadsheet that you then open in Microsoft Excel or even Google Docs. You don’t need Excel to use Excel art.

Excel Spreadsheet Mosaic

Excel as a Pixel Drawing Tool

For instance, here’re pixel portraits of painter Vincent van Gogh (Google Docs) and Mona Lisa all created with Excel Art. The conversion might appear a little pixelated from close but its beautiful nonetheless.

Thanks Richard Devlin for the tip.

Turn your Images into Spreadsheet Art

The New Homepage homepage

Microsoft is slowly rolling out a new design for their homepage. The design is clean and doesn’t appear busy anymore.

Like Yahoo, you can check your friend’s tweets and their Facebook status updates right on the MSN page. You can even update your status without leaving the homepage.

Visit to see if the new design is live for you and if it’s not, just head over to They have created a new butterfly logo for the MSN logo as well.

msn logo with butterfly

March 11, 2010

Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Customizer Tweaks, Enlarges Your Superbar Thumbnails

Windows 7: Hailing from the camp of "software that does exactly what its name implies", Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Customizer fine-tunes the size, spacing, and margins of your Windows 7 Superbar previews.

If you're unhappy with the size and spacing of application and folder thumbnails on your Superbar (less enthusiastically dubbed the taskbar in some circles), Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Customizer adjusts them. Vertical size, spacing between the icons, and margins on the top and bottom of the icons are among the parameters awaiting your obsessive attention. This application won't change the spacing of icons on the actual bar itself, it alters the size and spacing of the preview thumbnails.

See the two images below for comparison. The top is the default settings and the second is with the size of the thumbnail doubled to 400:

Don't worry about remembering your initial settings—if you're not happy with your Superbar's new look, hit "Restore Defaults" and everything will return to its default. Have another application or trick for customizing your Windows interface? Let's hear about it in the comments. Thanks Saudrapsmann!

7 Taskbar Thumbnail Customizer [Deviant Art via #Tips]

March 10, 2010

Which Social Websites are Good for your own Site?

Which Social Media Site?

Will Facebook help drive more traffic to your website or Twitter? Are incoming links from Digg more valuable for improving your site’s organic rankings than than from YouTube or Flickr? Which is the best social site for engaging with people who are already in love with your brand?

For answers and ideas, check this handy chart (PDF) from that compares the benefits of sharing content on various social media websites and whether they are worth your time or your (limited) social media marketing budget.

Some of the points mentioned in the chart aren’t valid anymore like your site won’t derive any SEO benefits from Flickr or as they nofollow all external links. On the other hand, Facebook has a huge potential for driving traffic especially if you have a public page (example) that is indexed by search engines.

Thanks Steven Finch for the tip.

Which Social Websites are Good for your own Site?

Originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal.

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Two local men were injured when their pickup truck left the road and struck a tree near Cotton Patch on State Highway 38 early Monday.

Woodruff County deputy Dovey Snyder reported the accident shortly after midnight Monday. Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc, and Billy Ray Wallis, 38, of Little Rock, were returning to Des Arc after a frog catching trip.

On an overcast Sunday night, Poole's pickup truck headlights malfunctioned. The two men concluded that the headlight fuse on the older-model truck had burned out. As a replacement fuse was not available, Wallis noticed that the .22 caliber bullets from his pistol fit perfectly into the fuse box next to the steering-wheel column.

Upon inserting the bullet the headlights again began to operate properly, and the two men proceeded on eastbound toward the White River Bridge. After traveling approximately 20 miles, and just before crossing the river, the bullet apparently overheated, discharged, and struck Poole in the testicles.