You don’t blog? (Bonus finale)

Thursday 23 February 2012, 9.00am HKT

Updated 30 May 2013 (reformatting, one new resource)


NO, THIS IS NOT A JOKE. This is the bonus finale to the ‘You don’t blog?‘ series.

* * *

Bonus protip:

Even if you’re not a blogger yourself, be nice to friends or family who are.

  • DO:— If not nice, at least be unobjectionable.

Just because your sneering, academically inclined attitude considers blogging isn’t serious writing doesn’t necessarily mean blogging isn’t. Can you yourself put out stuff like they can? There’s your answer…


venetian salad 02

  • DO:— Make a snack for your friend or family member while he or she is furiously whacking out a story on that filthy, cigarette-ash encrusted keyboard. The Venetian Pauper’s Blood Orange Salad comes highly recommended. At the very least, bring him or her a cup of joe and some tissues for wiping tears, for pete’s sakes.

Some grumpy shiteheads actually complain about being brought a snack to them because they say it’s their policy not to eat or drink while writing. Then lace their next meal with arsenic.


DO:— Blog happily, otherwise it’s not worth the time and pain.


* * *


Creating image files from documents and webpages

ImagePrinter (or Virtual ImagePrinter) 2.0.1 by Ibadov Tariel

Windows 2000 and up | Freeware (0.9 MB)

This highly useful printer driver outputs any kind of document (MS Word, webpage) into image format (.bmp, .png, .jpg, .tiff). Extremely easy to use: you just select ‘ImagePrinter’ like you would any physical printer.

Image viewer/editor

IrfanView | Windows XP and up | Freeware (1.45 MB download)

One of the world’s top image viewers with ability to edit/manipulate images. It can also handle a variety of other tasks (special effects, reading PDFs, etc) if the IrfanView plugins (8.90 MB) are also installed.

Image size reducer

Added 30 May 2013:


Use this free online service to reduce the file size of your photos by up to 5 times while preserving their original quality and JPEG format. This helps reduce the load time and bandwidth use for image-intensive webpages.

Upload your photos to the online service, then download the optimised JPEGmini photos. Single photos don’t require registration. Batch uploading of full photo albums requires free registration.

JPEG is also available as a standalone program: JPEGmini for Windows and JPEGmini for Mac (priced US$20 each). For company use, JPEGmini Photo Server is for deployment on local host systems or on Amazon AWS.

JPEGmini uses a patent-pending recompression technology developed by ICVT, an Israeli startup company based in Tel Aviv.

Reading PDFs

Adobe Acrobat Reader | Windows | Mac | Freeware (66.49 MB download)

The most widely used but it’s bloatware and the loading time is pretty long. Below are better alternatives.

Foxit PDF Reader

Windows | Linux| Freeware (13.9 MB download)

Almost instantaneous file loading. Install requires only a small hard-drive capacity. (No screenshots.)

Sumatra PDF Reader

Windows XP and up | Freeware (4.5 MB download)

Another small, portable PDF reader. Simple user interface and lightning-fast startup. Can read PDF, XPS (similar to PDF), DjVu (scanned documents), CHM (compiled HTML), CBZ and CBR (comic book archive) files.

Mac OS X

The Mac operating system has in-built PDF display capability, so no additional software needed.

Creating PDFs in Windows

PDFCreator v1.2.3

By Philip Chinery and Frank Heindörfer

Windows | Freeware (18.16 MB download)

A PDF printer driver to create PDFs from any Windows program. Outputs your webpage and documents to PDF. Basically, Windows will recognise this virtual printer just like any physical printer: only the output will be in PDF.

Creating PDFs in Mac OS X

On the Mac OS X, you don’t need to own Adobe Acrobat. You can print documents, webpages or nearly anything else in PDF directly from Mac OS X 10.6.x (‘Snow Leopard’) without any additional software. It’s built into the operating system.

  1. Open the document and press Command+P
  2. Click the ‘PDF‘ button at the bottom left corner of the print dialogue box
  3. Select ‘Save as PDF
  4. Click ‘Save‘ in the save dialogue box in whatever location your want

For Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel files, just open them in their own apps (say, TextEdit, images in iPhoto). Then click File menu > Print > PDF in printing dialogue box > Save as PDF > choose folder and set filename.

For printing PDFs of email messages and webpages, you must use the Safari browser. Then click File menu > Print > PDF in printing dialogue box > Save as PDF > choose folder and set filename.

Editing PDFs (all platforms)


Windows XP and up | Mac | Linux | Freeware (35.7 MB download)

An vector graphics editor that will open and edit PDFs. Inkscape is especially useful when your PDF contains vector-based illustrations that require editing. Open Source.

Foxit | Windows | Commercial software

Foxit produces a number of Windows programs for reading and editing PDFs. The PDF editors there are paid programs.

Windowsfags say FoxitPro Business (a commercial program) is better than the original Adobe product for creating and editing PDFs. Macfags disagree and say PDF Studio 7 (below) is king.

Qoppa PDF Studio 7 Pro/Standard | Mac, Windows, Linux | Commercial software (US$85)

Macfags insist that this is the best PDF read, writeover and securing capabilities going, plus it runs on the Mac, Windows and Linux platforms.

Reality check: Adobe Acrobat is still tops when you need full read and writerover capabilities, the Adobe’s prices are just phenomenal.

Editing PDFs in Mac OS X

Preview is an app built into every Mac OS X Snow Leopard installation for displaying images and PDFs. As a PDF editor, Preview is somewhat basic but gets the job done for most purposes. It allows you to make all sorts of annotations to PDFs. You can draw shapes and write text directly to PDF files (for things like a digital signature).

Editing PDFs online

Many online PDF editors or form-fillers allow PDF editing but only let you to save non-printable PDFs. The non-printable PDFs are made printable after online payment. These two don’t do things like that:—


A free online PDF reader, editor, form-filler and form designer. You only need a browser. Won’t handle files over 2 MB or 50 pages. The final PDF document is printable and have no watermarks.


Another online PDF form-filler that can handle some edits. Printable results.

* * *


Timeplanner sheets

A4 size, designed by me | Download here (152 kB, pdf)

* * *

Language usage (general)


The Complete Plain Words
by Sir Ernest Gowers (1948) and revised by Bruce Fraser (1973)
(Published by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, UK, 1973)

A classic. And miles better than Strunk & White a.k.a. ‘Struck with Fright’ or ‘Drunken Blight’ (an abortion in comparison with Gowers).

Let’s clear the air: “Plain Words” is NOT a style guide to British English as Strunk & White is to American English, as many [American] linguanophiles (and Wikipedia) mistakenly believe. “Plain Words” is simply a guide to clearer writing, no more, no less.

Gowers wrote: “The purpose of this book is to help officials in their use of written English as a tool of their trade.” Gower was once head of the UK Internal Revenue Board, so you can appreciate why he wanted British civil servants to express things very clearly when they had to write to the general public on a matter of high complexity to the most of us. It’s also why the book was well-received by many for general writing right from the start.

The linguistics of “Plain Words” mix the prescriptive and the descriptive, which allows grammatical extremists (meaning 99% of linguistics-trained people plus 100% of grammar nazis) to ascribe Gowers a place in the opponent camp (that is, against Strunk & White, which IS a prescriptivist guide).

Also slotted into Gowers’ camp by grammarfags is A Dictionary of Modern English (below).


A Dictionary of Modern English
by Henry Fowler
(Oxford University Press, 1926–2009)

Also known as Fowler’s Modern English Usage or simply Fowler’s. Not nearly as useful today as Gower’s (above) or Swan’s (below), in my opinion.


Language usage (for non-English speakers)


Practical English Usage (3rd edition, 2005)
by Michael Swan
(Oxford University Press, 1980, 1995, 2005)

This book sold over 1½ million copies since the first edition in 1980, so it is a major-league usage guide.

Interestingly, this is a standard reference and only one about English usage aimed at foreign learners and non-English speakers who have to speak or write in English. It gives the basics of English grammar and usage, and helpfully focuses on words that for some reason are hard to use by non-native speakers. The model is basically British English, but the author highlights some of the stylistic differences (therefore faggotry) between British and American usage (e.g. the americanised use of ‘like’ as a conjunction such as in ‘like I do’ making headway into British English).

My own opinion is that even native English speakers should read this book because heaven knows I’ve seen too many native speakers more than enough times bungle their own language.


Anything else is just superfluous and pointless for blogging.

Whatever you do, forget the grammar, language and linguistics blogs. They’ll only make your blogging (and general language ability) worse than bad.

You have been warned.


This 6-part series of articles was written by The Naked Listener, with no contributions from anybody other than the images pilfered (but accredited nonetheless). Any reference bearing any similarity to any person(s) living or dead or half-living or half-dead is purely coincidental and unintentional, although the possibility is enormously hilarious. And this is what a shirttail looks like. Heh.


© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. Updated 30 May 2013 (reformatting only).

Images: ImagePrinter screenshot via Code Industry ♦ Foxit PDF Reader via Foxit Software ♦ Sumatra PDF Reader via Sumatra PDF ♦ PDFCreator screenshot via PDFCreator ♦ Mac OS X Preview via Wikipedia ♦ Inkscape via Inkscape ♦ Everything else by the author.

Site Update: Testimonials

Thursday 23 February 2012, 8.32am HKT


Dear all,

The Naked Listener has updated the Testimonials page with new entries.

Check it out to see if I have got your quotations right (or at all):

That page also has new and improved page formatting so as to help you pinpoint exactly where I have defamatorised your kind words to me.

If I have mangled or even left out any token of your esteem of this blog, I shall do my level best to invent such words as may be required to reflect your world standing in the pantheon of blog writers and/or readers.

Thank you and kind regards.

The Naked Listener

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012.

English Legal History

Making English Legal History easy and enjoyable to digest.

Diary of a Psychokiller

take a trip with me to the darkside

Lipsync Lawyer

Stop bitching and know your law differently

Daring Fireball

Hearing ordinary lives talk

An English Man In SF

a diary of life as an immigrant

MB Forde

Ghosts, Legends, Folklore and Writing

Motorcycling in Hong Kong

On two wheels in Asia's World City


Making her way back to Neverland one day at a time...

The Naked Listener's Weblog

Hearing ordinary lives talk

Basti in China


Making Maps: DIY Cartography

Resources and Ideas for Making Maps

Pointless Diagrams

A new, meaningless diagram drawn daily, just 'cause.

The London Column

Reports from the life of a city, from 1951 to now, compiled by David Secombe

Vintagerock's Weblog.

Just another weblog

Shirley Chuk

Chuk Yin-yuk 祝燕玉 of Hong Kong

%d bloggers like this: