Make Typing URL’s Easier and Be More Productive

So this might be old but I don’t care, I had never heard of it. This hack works in Firefox, IE and Opera and more than likely others as well.

  1. Take the name of a website and type it into the address bar
  2. Hold control and hit Enter
  3. The missing parts of the address are filled in for you

If you happen to need a .org or a .net:

.org = Control + Shift + Enter

.net = Shift + Enter

This does depend on your browser, some experimentation  might be required.

Firefox_Opera_IE MashUP LogoThat is if you type a lot of addresses, I am as lazy as crap. I actually type stuff into Google and click the result… how lazy is that! Should start doing this though.

Source: Daily Cup of Tech


Learning Firefox; Start Here

I found that I did not have to learn how to use Firefox as such. But since I have discovered the power that you have when tweaked I have learned to manipulate it to what I want. But you have to start somewhere. Learn Firefox is such a place to start and hopefully a destination to have some walk through’s for power tweaking.

I think that Firefox is very intuitive and easy to use. But then that is me. Sometimes people have a hard time doing simple things. True, Firefox does things differently to IE. I use IE as an example because I would argue that a lot of Firefox users come from there. You have to stop thinking that you use Firefox in the same manner. They are chalk and cheese. IE is a steel box, Firefox is plasticine by comparison. So where am I going with this?

Basically, Learn Firefox is a site attached to CyberNet that has been created as a visual “how to” guide to Firefox. They have started simple, for example how to set your homepage, make it your default browser and such. But there are more advanced features that are presented in an easy to follow format that makes it simple to do. Because it is simple, most customisations are very simple. But the functionality of Firefox can be daunting for some people, or they find it difficult to get started. This is an excellent place to get over those initial humps. It is also a great place for people that have used Firefox for a while but want to adapt it to their needs.

Everything is set out as headings and sub-headings. I am sure that most people will find what they are wanting help with very quickly and easily. One thing that I just thought of is that this service is a great way for people that don’t use Firefox to have a look at Firefox see what it can do and how it can be manipulated to what you need and want.

What I would like to see is some tips for power users such as tweaking the about:config page. Installing and using extensions like Greasemonkey and such. I know that it was not until I did these advanced tweaks that Firefox really became a powerful productive tool. Not that it is not that way to start with but I feel that tweaking it my way has made it mine. In actual fact I have tweaked it to the point where I think some users would have difficulty using it! That said they have just got the site up and going and this is the best place to start, basics.

Great job and if you are just starting out with Firefox or are thinking of using it; check out Learn Firefox. For more advanced users; keep an eye on it because I think this has huge potential to be the site to learn and tweak Firefox.

For those advanced users of Firefox check out CyberNet’s Updated Guide On Firefox 2 Tweaks as a great place to start tweaking and making Firefox your own.

Learn Firefox Homepage

Wal-Mart Don’t Support Firefox or Safari

Last week I wrote about the total screw up that Wal-Mart made in coding their new service for buying and downloading movies on-line. I went back today to see if they have fixed the problem with the coding and what I found I am even more surprised at than the original.

Rather than fix the code they have decided that they will not support Firefox. End of story.

Instead I find this bit of advice on the page. I might add that it is correctly rendered so it isn’t like they can’t do it when they want to…

“We’re sorry …
Our website requires the browser Internet Explorer version 6 or higher. It appears that you are using Firefox, Safari, or another browser that Wal-Mart Video Downloads doesn’t currently support. Click here to get Internet Explorer for free from Microsoft.

Thank You ”

Wal-Mart Unsupported Browser Page

I would refer to the comments that I made previously in that who the heck are they expecting to buy movies on-line? Mum and Dad? I don’t think so, they don’t trust this type of medium at the best of times let alone spending money for zeros and ones. The early adopters are going to be buying movies and most of them are not stupid enough to use Internet Explorer. Boom goes the bulk of their target audience. Oh and by the way Safari and therefore Mac users they don’t support your browser either. What! Wait… It gets worse, correct me if I am wrong but I thought Internet Explorer would not install on a Mac machine…

I can understand that Microsoft might make some services only accessible through Internet Explorer. Although that is changing. However, for an eCommerce site to not support a browser that a significant number of people have and use is just plain stupid. I am not sure about the percentage of Safari users, can anyone throw a figure in the comments? What Firefox and Safari users that might have purchased from your site you have just excluded by choice. I am no marketer or have any sort of education in business but I am sure they are breaking so many fundamental rules of business that they deserve to crash and burn.

Stupidity in the extreme. I intend to boycott Wal-Mart for everything and I don’t blame other Firefox and Safari users for feeling the same way. Yes we tend to hold a grudge.

Related Link: Nice Job Wal-Mart

Tools to Prevent you “Breaking” Your Blog’s Template

The majority of people unfortunately still insist on using Internet Explorer. There are better browsers out there you know. Different browsers “read” the page that it displays in a unique way. So a page can look totally different in a different browser. Especially where layout and images are concerned. I too rarely “test” my blog and make sure that it is being “read” correctly by each browser. //engtech has created a tool that will do it for you.

//engtec is lazy unmotivated  forgets that IE exists like the rest us us when it comes to testing his blog. He gives a good description as to what can happen to IE when you add images that are to wide, I’ll leave that for you to read. So he created a Greasemonkey script that does all the checking that you need and lets you know when you have done something that will “break” your blog in IE.

As can be expected from //engtech he has some detailed instructions about customizing it to your blog to be able to use the script. It even has pictures. A very useful tool. But you should really be making sure that images fit your space as well, even for Firefox. Re-size an image to fit. If you can not do that then link to a larger image on a separate tab. Or do it in two parts. Badly done images in blogs look cheap and half arsed. But at least we don’t have to worry about IE, nice work //engtech.

For those that do not know Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension that allows you to manipulate the way that a web page is displayed using JavaScript. There are tons of different scripts and applications. Plus you can do what //engtech did and write your own.

I have just noticed that //engtech’s script has no name, does any one have any ideas? ImageAlert, TempAlert, IEisBusted, BlogBrokeGMS…

engtech Blog Screenshot

McAfee Offers “Plus” Version of SiteAdvisor

SiteAdvisor Plus LogoI was checking the details of a site that came up as a yellow site in SiteAdvisor today. I was surprised to see a screen open that was inviting me to pay for the “Plus” Version. It would seem that the acquisition of SiteAdvisor has finally resulted in McAfee trying to make some money out of it, which was always going to happen it was just a case of when and how.

SiteAdvisor is a great piece of security software that is a Firefox extension, there is also support for Internet Explorer. It classifies sites as green, yellow or red. It may be that a particular site is yellow because you will get a lot of spam from them by registering. Or that there are excessive pop-ups. Red because a browser exploit has been found on the page, or the downloads are infected with spyware or a virus. Green sites are okay at all levels. More about how it works can be found on the SiteAdvisor website.

The really cool part of this extension once installed; is that it flags these sites in the search results. Never end up on a site that could be a local disaster again. Next is the fact that if you are surfing a green site then green sites can only link to green sites. So a site cannot be green and link to a yellow one or red. Nice to know that where you are is safe and where you are going is safe. Not fool proof, it is only as good as the most recent test. But in my experience, coupled with a bit of common sense; it works.

So I wanted to check the status of a link that was not rated (it was from my Feed Reader) so I went to SiteAdvisor to input the URL and get the results and I get a screen come up with an offer to buy “SiteAdvisor Plus”. It might be worth noting that in small print it says “For Internet Explorer”. There was also the assurance that this screen would only come up once every 30 days, provided I keep my cookies (I don’t so I guess I will be seeing it again). I can not find the screen on the SiteAdvisor website, so it was lucky that I was thinking and took a screenshot and put it Flickr. The deal is that for $19:99 you get:

  • Checks of the safety of links in email and Instant Messages
  • Checks for phishing and identity theft scams in real time
  • “Protect Mode” which prevents interaction with dangerous sites

The software works with:

  • Outlook and Outlook Express
  • Yahoo Mail
  • MSN Mail/ Windows Live Mail (Hotmail)
  • Gmail
  • Yahoo! Messenger
  • MSN Messenger
  • GTalk

With the note that says “Also includes SiteAdvisor Firefox Extension”, thanks.

The $19:99 gives you a discount and is for single users. A “family pack” of three users will set you back $39:99. The features are great but does anyone else notice what is missing?

Where is the support for other IM clients? Or Thunderbird, or something other than corporate software? Notice the “NOTE” about Firefox at the bottom? The chance that there will be support? I would reckon about zero. The code is not open source for obvious reasons. So no chance for some open source team to develop it. A bit disappointing in my opinion. Then again anyone that uses IE all the time probably needs it more than me. But the email link checking would be a nice addition.

Still might be a good investment for you if you use the applications mentioned and especially if you have kids that use the computer. I have put friends onto SiteAdvisor and they have said that the kids use it very effectively and alert them if they accidentally end up somewhere they should not be. In addition to the fact that in recient times IM services have been targeted with links to either malicious sites or downloads so they are a good inclusion in such a package. Money well spent for peace of mind. Too bad there is no support for open source software.