Archive for July, 2007

Nuking the Firefox Search Box and Finding a Better Way

July 16, 2007

One of the things I never use in Firefox is the search box up in the right corner. I finally figured out how to get rid of it, and it’s super easy-peasy.

Thanks to this wonderful post, you just right-click a blank area on the toolbar, select customize and then drag the search box into the customize window and POOF! it’s gone. Fabulous.

So how do I search? Well I go to and then I … er.. just joking – sadly. What I do is go to the very first time and do the following:

1. Right-click the search box.
2. Choose ‘Add a Keyword for this Search’
3. Name the keyword search.
4. Add a keyword. So for this one I entered ‘gg’
5. Click OK.

For then on, when I want to google search something like ‘favourite sandwich’, I open a new tab (Ctrl-T), type ‘gg favourite sandwich’ in the address bar and hit ‘Enter’. This launches a google search for whatever I typed after the ‘gg’.

I find this feature to be infinitely useful for a variety of searches. I personally have the following keyword searches saved:

gg <search terms> – Google Search
gis <search terms> – Google Image Search
gbs <search terms> – Google BlogSearch
tn <search terms> – Technorati Search
mdb <search terms> – IMDB Search
wkp <search terms> – Wikipedia Search

If you’re comfortable typing, you’ll undoubtedly find this to be a real timesaver. The nice thing is that by hitting Ctrl-T to open a new tab, it plunks the cursor up in the address bar anyway – so just hit Ctrl-T, and type away people!

Problem sending large Gmail attachments.. Anybody?

July 16, 2007

On my windows box here at work, I've always had a problem sending
attachments of any significant size through Gmail. If I try to send an
email with a 150kb file, no problemo. But if I try to send something
that's say, 1.5MB, it just sits there and never sends it.

I'm connected through a LAN which runs through a proxy server
(FreeProxy) here at work, so maybe that's the problem. I don't have
any of these problems on my home machine.

I've tried increasing the dom.max_script_run_time setting in Firefox's
about:config page, but this seems to have done nothing to help me.

Anybody out there have any clues?

Quick Command Line Tip – for XP users no less

July 13, 2007

I'm always eager to shout about the benefits of the command line to whoever will listen, even if it's XP.

I had a colleague here ask me about how to get a printed out listing of files in a given directory. He was told by a friend that he could use MS-Paint to…

whoa whoa whoa.. I stopped him in his tracks. I'm sure MS-Paint is a solution for something (doubtful, but maybe), however printing out directory listings is definitely NOT it!

I showed him how, by opening up the XP command line, you could navigate to the folder in question and then just do:

dir > filelist.txt

Which of course does the 'dir' command but puts the listing into a text file of your choosing instead of displaying it. The text file I argued, was infinitely more useful than a bmp image. The only downside I told him was having to navigate to the folder you want with a series of cd commands. I demonstrated the TAB completion that XP has in its console window to aid in this regard.

However, a quick google search yielded this page, which describes a few different methods of getting a 'Open Up Command Prompt Here..' function into your right-click context menu in Windows Explorer.

Very useful! 😉

Mis-Advertised price. What would you do?

July 13, 2007

Okay, it’s ethical question time again. Have I ever asked an ethical question here? Dunno. But here goes:

You go visit the Acme Co. website and notice that they’re showing their rocket-powered roller skates on sale for $24.99. You’re impressed, mostly because those specific skates are normally listed somewhere around $125.00.

Soon, Acme Co. realizes that the pricing shown is a mistake and erects some sort of electronic barrier to block the page. Some enthusiastic shoppers (who obviously love rocket-powered roller skates) are able to circumvent the barrier and find the incorrect listings. They place orders. Lots of orders.

Shortly thereafter, Acme issues a notice describing the mistake and offered those customers a discount. Normal orders on those mis-priced roller skates increase by 200X over the weekend.

Now would you:

A) Take the discount and be happy.

B) Accept the discount, grumble and tell Acme Co. that it should be more careful.


C) Capitalize on Acme’s mistake and fight – for four years -right up to the Supreme Court of Canada.

For me, it’s either A) or B) depending on the situation. For a Quebec man and his dealings with Dell Inc. it’s C).

There are lots of other minute but important details to the case. But it just drives me nuts when I see people try to capitalize on other people’s mistakes in that way.

No, I’m no saint. I’ve had people undercharge me for things, and later, when I realize it, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. But there are many more times where someone has undercharged me and I realize it right there and then. I tell them. They appreciate it. I feel good.

Maybe I’m just hokey. Or does the idea of spending 4 years fighting for my right to capitalize on someone else’s mistake sound perfectly noble to you?

Pre-Hammered Sinatra

July 12, 2007

I finally got around to watching Steve Gillmor’s Bad Sinatra 1. Since I don’t own an iPhone (and have no desire to), I decided I’d use the nifty program DeVeDe to burn it to a DVD and experience the full glory of Gillmor on my living room TV. With a slice of cold pizza in hand, I hit the play button and watched.

After it was over, I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t feel as though it was ’38 minutes I’d never get back’. Clearly it’s not polished. Hopefully it never will be. Steve still has his magic. His ability to annoy, cajole and make me chuckle has remained untainted over his months of relative silence. I’m glad.

High points? Dan Farber, definitely. Devoid of the scene-stealing, attention hungry bravado of Calacanis, Farber continues to forcefully right the apple cart that Steve is constantly trying to upset. I admire his attempts at pinning Steve down on some of the issues. Never quite successful mind you, but it’s sure fun watching him try.

Other things I liked – Doc Searls of course. Pre-hammered shit and the state of VRM. Now there’s a white paper for you. He made me laugh – more than a couple of times.

I wasn’t impressed with a lot of the other stuff, not because it wasn’t important (to someone), but it wasn’t to me. If it was up to me, it would be the Steve, Dan and Doc Show all over again – there is long standing magic there I think – you can hear.. er.. see it. And just to ice the cake, put Jon Udell on speakerphone in every episode and pan away to a lovely scenic shot just as he’s about to make his big point on the crackly speaker. That was classic too.

Annoyances? Damn Robert.. straighten the hat and adjust the camera if you need to. I know it’s cool to be a nerd these days, but c’mon, that just couldn’t be comfortable.

I’m interested to see where it goes. If it’s anything like the Gang of old, I’m sure Steve has no idea where that is. 😉

Oh yeah… Note to Steve. The USB input on my new Kia’s stereo, combined with my 100km daily commute says to me that audio podcasting is anything but ‘dead’. I must have listened to 35 Diggnation episodes and have only ever watched two and they even have hot babes on there sometimes 😉 – The power of video podcasting is not as strong as you’d like to think.

I guess the true test will be if I create an audio version of your video show and feel I’m not missing anything. Wanna pull a Diggnation and save me the work by providing an mp3 only feed too?

Didn’t think so. 😉

Expanding the Dell Linux experiment…

July 10, 2007

Dell’s interest in Linux is getting thicker… and Leons getting larger…

25 absolutely free Inkscape screencasts to anyone who can tell me in
the comments where the 2nd half of that line comes from… 😉

7th Son podcast now back from hiatus.. Finally!!

July 7, 2007

Almost forgot!

JC Hutchin’s fabulous audio trilogy 7th Son is finally back from hiatus. Book Three: Episode Zero is now up (and looks like it was posted on July 4th).

If you’re into listening to audiobooks, and you’re a fan of the great action/thriller/sci-fi genre, you owe it to yourself to subscribe. I was initially pulled into listening to it via a mention on Chess Griffins’ LinuxReality podcast and before long I was completely hooked. It’s very very well done and I recommend it highly.

[update: Episode 0 was just a recap of the story so far.. Good news though, JC has Episode 1 up on the site now, right on schedule. 😉 ]

Web Design Gone Bad…

July 6, 2007

[** WARNING ** People prone to epileptic seizures beware!!! Seriously!]

You just know a Digg comment thread is going to be fun when the title of the post is:

Lots of good… er.. bad …er… horrible competing sites in the comment thread. Makes MySpace look like CSSZenGarden.

Screencasters… The Blog

July 5, 2007

Lock up your daughters… Screencasters now has a blog!

If you want to keep up with new episodes, leave your comments on how good (or bad) you feel the work is, or just want to discuss something inkscapey, screencastey, or anything else, then head on over to and subscribe to the feed.



iPhone, Woodstock and Peeing in Nature.. you figure it out

July 4, 2007

I was listening to Twit103 earlier today and of course it was iPhone mania. I have absolutely no interest in the iPhone, but at the same time I understand the enthusiasm of others. However, I have to draw the line at the statements made in that episode comparing the wait in line for an iPhone to Woodstock. I mean puhhhleeeeze…

No, I'm not old enough to have gone to Woodstock. But this past weekend we took a short 3 day trip over the border to Buffalo and got stuck in line at the border (Queenston/Lewiston bridge) for 3 hours. Now I would never compare this to Woodstock, but people were wandering off into the bushes on the side of the highway to relieve themselves or 'pee in nature' as my 5 year old daughter likes to put it. That by itself makes it more like Woodstock than any iPhone line.

Sheesh people. Get a grip.