Posted by telecommatt on November 11, 2007
I’m posting this from a brand new harddrive install of Puppy linux on the donation-ware PC I had previously been trying to run Freespire on. Puppy is running much smoother. Load time is literally cut in half! And multitasking is rather less system intensive.
Linux is not my native language, so I’ve still got some learning curve. For instance, I seem to not be able to download any of the additional software packages or run the pre-installed wiki server. (I suspect this may have something to do with opening ports, but I’m not positive.) My biggest frustrations so far are two-fold. First, there is the ever-present driver issue that plagues Linux distros on mainstream Windows native PC’s. The hardware was selected to be used by the Windows OS, and drivers are not always available for Linux users. Hence, I have no working soundcard on this machine. But, that means I don’t have to worry about things like audio codecs either;)
My next goal is to get Firefox installed. Puppy comes with Mozilla’s Seamonkey Suite, which is hugely smaller than installing Firefox, Sunbird, and Nvu (which perform similar functions to the Suite). The problem is that most of the Firefox extensions I use are incompatible with the Seamonkey browser. Big problem for a blogger!
While I don’t see myself using this as a primary PC, it will serce as a learning machine, and it’ll be fun to post a few updates as I tweak it. I don’t want to spend hours of work on it, but the Puppy OS is already growing on me…
Posted in Firefox, Linux | 2 Comments »
Posted by telecommatt on October 8, 2007
I’ve decided to compile a list of the Firefox browser extensions that I currently use. It’s not a list of the best or most promising or guaranteed-to-increase-your-productivity extensions, it’s just the ones that make my life easier at the moment.
Over the past few years, Firefox has become an indispensable application on any machine I spend a fair amount of time at. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer can’t match the flexibility and security and Opera’s web browser, which I believe is actually a better browser, doesn’t support browser extensions in the same way that Firefox does.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself needing the same Firefox browser extensions on three different machines. In the past, I’ve gotten around this by running PortableFirefox, a part of the equally-indispensable PortableApps.com Suite, from a USB drive. This time around I’m not allowed to connect my USB drive. So, since I have to take stock of my extensions anyway, it looked like a great time to post an article. And, since it was by reading articles like this one that I found many of these extensions, it seemed like a good time to give back. Feel free to add comments or contact me.
Advanced Eyedropper, ColorPicker, Page Zoomer and other colorful goodies…
I use the eyedropper most. Great designing themes. I hate having a million little applications installed on my machine when I can get the same functionality from a Firefox extension.
** Add persistent highlights and sticky notes to anywhere on any webpage…
I do a lot with Diigo. I am four Diigo bookmarks short of 1000. I use Diigo to create short blog posts and to manage my Daily auto-posts. And it’s all done through this extension.
you a relevant Wikipedia article along with your search results.
Clicking links in the article will trigger new Google searches, making
it a very useful research tool…
I love this one! Search Wikipedia and Google at the same time. Do a Google search and on one side are your search results and on the other side is a Wikipedia article, if one’s available. If it can’t find a Wikipedia article for your search it comes up with some pretty strange stuff though.
I only use this for a few sites. This is a massively useful and flexible tool though. Libraries upon libraries of scripts to use with it as well.
quickest and easiest way to get things done on the Web: Search,
References, Conversion, Translation , Shopping, Blogging, Tagging,
Email & more in a single click. Over 200 quick commands available.
I wasn’t originally going to put this one on the list. I use it for only a handful of the apparently 200 some commands.
you ever wished you could add your two cents to a site—anywhere
you wanted—not just in the itty bitty blog area?
Have you ever wished you could email a web page with your comments
This is a really great tool for commenting on long articles and blog posts. You comment inline so it’s always relevant. Any page you comment on has a permalink that you can post or email.
(previously Performancing for Firefox) is a full-featured blog editor
that integrates with your browser and lets you easily post to your blog.
ScribeFire is like an app inside an app. I use this extension for nearly all of my blog posts. It opens at the bottom of your browser screen and support drag and drop from the browser window to the ScribeFire pane.
brings the http://tinyurl.com functionality into your browser. It takes
a long URL as input, and gives you a short URL to use in it’s…
A must have to Twitter, Facebook, etc. It eats big ugly URLs and spits out little short ones. Right mouse click on an URL and it can copy it’s TinyUrl into your clipboard.
Post to Twitter from your address bar
Twitterbar has a neat feature where if you Twitterbar hit the icon on the right side of your address bar, it’ll post “Currently browsing <whatever site you’re browsing>.
Google Gears is an open source browser extension that lets developers create web applications that can run offline.
The reason I use this extension is so that I can view my Remember the Milk tasks offline.
Zoho Notebook plugin
I’m just getting started with Zoho Notebook. I love the Zoho products, but there’s just so many of them that it’s hard to actually use all of them. Zoho Notebook is like the Adobe Photoshop of online note taking apps. It does pretty much everything, which means it can be almost overwhelming. This extension makes it easier to manage though.
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Posted in Blogging, Diigo, Firefox, Geekstuff | 2 Comments »
Posted by telecommatt on September 22, 2007
I’m behind on my news feeds again. And that means it’s time for another Matt’s Cuppa LinkRoundup. Here are a few stories that I thought particularly interesting. Please comment or contact me with your thoughts.
Filed under: Features, Web services, web 2.0
group calls from a cell phone, mobile device or a desktop computer.
This service uses your existing landline (if you still have one) or
mobile number, but calls are done through IM applications like AIM,
Google Talk, MSN and Yahoo! The service is currently getting ready to
launch in a private beta.
Somewhat skeptical about mass adoption here. I’m wondering who will find value in this. Is this likely to be conference-calling-on-the-cheap or party line 2.0?
There may be ancient evolutionary impulses behind modern-day office politics.
If human nature is shaped by our monkey pasts, and the tens of
thousands of years our species spent as hunter-gatherers, we might want
to use some 100,000 year-old solutions to fights over the printer,
snarky sysadmins, and lateral promotions. In that spirit, Stanford
neuroscientist and author Robert M. Sapolsky offers Lifehacker some lessons from human prehistory to solve modern-day office dilemmas.
Now ask yourself, “Doesn’t that explain a lot?” Makes you think about your boss and coworkers in a whole new way, huh?
A recent survey shows most Americans are uncomfortable going more than a day without the internet; online activity also lessens the amount of time people spend having sex and socializing with friends face-to-face.
Blogger Jacob Grier discovers what Wikipedia calls “the least known
stapling method”: pinning. If you rotate the plate on the bottom of
your stapler, it will bend staples outward instead of inward to fasten
things temporarily. Easily remove a pinned staple by pulling it along
the plane of the document. Many modern staplers don’t have this feature
any more, so pick up an old-school model to try it out.
The stapler’s secret [Eternal Recurrence]
Ah, the joys of being a cube warrior again! Apparently, everything in my office requires a staple. I’ve seen staple marks on single sheets of paper often enough to no longer be surprised. As for “modern” staplers, a modern stapler in my little cube nation is one that still works! Which means I’ll have plenty of opportunity to try this little trick out.
you are trying to track down why your computer is running so
slooowwwly, try using this simple DOS command from Digital Inspiration
to uncover a possible problem:
- Type cmd in your Windows Run box.
- Type “netstat -b 5 > activity.txt” and press enter.
- After say 2 minutes, press Ctrl+C.
- Type “activity.txt” on the command line to open the log file in notepad (or your default text editor)
This .txt file will have a record of everything that has made an
Internet connection in the last couple of minutes; you can then check
your task manager to find out where it is and take care of it.
Is Your Computer Connecting To Websites Without Your Knowledge [Digital Inspiration]
I might pull this out and file it under Tech Tips. It drives me crazy when something suddenly starts using my PC that isn’t me! Most of the time, it’s nothing to be concerned about, but when it gets in the way of what I’m doing, it’s gotta stop. This is especially true if I’ve been running Firefox for a while and it’s started swallowing my RAM whole.
Major Media Companies Found Hacking The Pirate Bayfrom Mashable! by Kristen Nicole
Some leaked emails at the MediaDefender-Defenders has granted The Pirate Bay
the proof it needed to file charges against several media companies.
These emails prove that some major record labels and film production
and distribution companies have hired professional hackers and
saboteurs to destroy The Pirate Bay’s trackers.
Okay, that’s just sad!
Don’t open any PDF files anytime soon. Better yet, don’t
even go to any websites where PDF files may be embedded. According to
hacker Petko Petkov, there’s a vulnerability in Adobe Acrobat/Reader
that lets malware into your Windows box with no prompts of any sort.
All you need to do is open a PDF file or open a URL that has a PDF file
Petkov says that this has been confirmed for Adobe Reader 8.1 on
Windows XP, though a comprehensive list of other affected versions has
not been compiled or published. It’s important to note that this
vulnerability has not been confirmed by any third parties or Adobe as
of yet. A similar vulnerability for Quicktime on Firefox had been found by Petkov as well, and has been addressed with Firefox’s latest release 188.8.131.52.
Wow! Major setback for Adobe! Not to mention the entire corporate world… In the meantime, I highly recommend Foxit. It’s free, it’s fast, and it’s not Adobe.
If you’re a Firefox enthusiast, the Mozilla community is
currently looking for additional volunteers to help reduce memory usage
and fix any memory leaks in the browser. If you’re not a
programmer, Firefox programmer Jesse Ruderman says you can still help:
“If you’re a Firefox user, an easy way to help is to browse
with a trunk nightly build wrapped in a script that calls leak-gauge.pl
when Firefox exits. If it reports that documents or windows leaked, try
to figure out how to reproduce the leak and then file a bug
The goal of the project is to reduce the memory usage in Firefox 3.
On his blog, Ruderman details a number of leaks that have already been
identified and fixed.
For more info on Firefox 3, check out the project’s wiki page at Mozilla.
Count me in! I very often will find that I have to do silly things like eat and sleep when I’m in the middle of a project or writing assignment. I prefer to leave Firefox running so I know exactly where I left off when I come back. And it’s not uncommon for me to find that Firefox is consuming a whopping 350+MB’s of memory. A portion of this is due to memory intensive Firefox extensions, but the majority is due to a known memory leak in Firefox itself. So, if you’re a Firefox user, roll up your sleeves and lets tackle this memory thing!
you want to be a star? You don’t actually have to want to be a
star to begin recording and distributing your very own podcasts.
Increasingly, businesses and web sites of all stripes are turning to
podcasting for everything from online marketing to tutorials. Also,
many commuters and travelers now get business information from
podcasts. Web workers of numerous kinds can benefit from learning to
produce them, whether they are for audio blogs, remote presentations,
tutorials intended for a workgroup, or other purposes.
The good news is, the equipment you need to do very professional
material is either inexpensive or free, and there are multiple ways to
distribute your content to audiences that can grow in size if you
engage them. In this post, I’ll delve into some of the best
choices for your podcasting effort.
I’ve posted about podcasts and podcasting before, and I can’t stress enough the value a quality podcast can create for any business. It doesn’t matter if you’re a SOHO working in the basement or a marketing exec in a 500+ employee company, a quality podcast proves that you are the expert in what you do. After all, why does Emeril have a product line that sells successfully? Because he has a show that proves to people he’s the expert, with a personality that people come back for, and that people walk away from having learned something that’s important to them. (Just a note, podcasts don’t have to be audio-only. Vodcasting, with video, adds an entirely new dimension with which to engage your audience.) Do you know more than your competition? Prove it! Podcast it!
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Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Firefox, Free/Open Source, Freelancing, LinkRoundup, Mobile, OMG!, Podcasts/Podcasting, Tech Tips | 2 Comments »
Posted by telecommatt on August 4, 2007
I was doing some editing this morning and going back and forth between two browser windows in Firefox. I can no longer live without a tabbed browser, or Firefox for that matter. But it’s still rather a pain to switch rapidly between just two of your open tabs when you’ve got 8 or 10 tabs open. (Yes, I know you can use CTRL-Tab, but the more tabs you have open, the less reliable this gets. You get delays or you end up in the wrong tab.)
Sometimes I’ll open a new Firefox window and open one of the pages there. But this requires copying the address, possibly logging in all over again. If I could find a more efficient way, I’d use it.
And find one I did. Did you know that if you open two Firefox windows, you can drag tabs between the two windows? Because I didn’t! Now I have more flexibility when I organize my tabs between two open windows. As an added plus, this makes for more efficient browsing, since each window is dealing with fewer open tabs now, overall response time is much better.
Just thought I’d pass this along.
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Posted in Blogging, Firefox | 2 Comments »