Download Day 2008

Don’t forget to be part of Firefox’s Download Day!

Mark your calendar, wrap a ribbon around your finger or write a little sticky yellow note. Download Day will start on June 17, 2008.

Pledge Map

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Mark you calendar, iPhone, HTC, sticky notes, or any other way. Just don’t miss it :). Next Tuesday

Popularity: 34% [?]

With the release of popular open source Firefox 3 approaching, Firefox have launched a huge ambitious campaign to make it to the Guinness World Record of software downloads in one day, the release day. Join the campaign, and help Firefox make history if you like here. See how the current map overlay is. Kuwait so far has 152 pledges. Yeah that’s right. 152 is my number, which means there are 151 geeks in Kuwait who have beat me to it. Thanks to being so lazy and busy to check the news last week. Our number though is not bad, compared 8442 in China!, 6889 in India. The majority in 80,000+ comes from the US, and surprisingly to me, Brazil has 36,000+!

With no such previous Guinness World record already registered, Firefox would make it into the world record anyway. It’s just a matter of by how much, and Firefox is aiming to beat it’s own 1.6 million downloads for Firefox 2. Pretty smart move I say, Good luck. I’m for it. FTW!

Popularity: 29% [?]

 Firefox 3.0

The clock is ticking for the Firefox 3.0 release and people are looking forward to it. I was afraid things are slowing down a bit at Mozilla after the huge market share Firefox gained, but this preview from LifeHacker gives me huge relief. A group of new features and enhancements are presented with screen shots (Don’t miss the screen shots!). The features that appealed to me are:

  • Better Page Zooming: Not only text zooming, but images now change size accordingly as well. So you can browse normally by the zoom level you want.
  • View Recent Content: This could be useful. It allows you to list most recently starred pages, visited starred pages, most used tags, most visited pages and more.
  • Stars marks bookmarks: From the address bar, you will see a star nearby bookmarked URLs so that you don’t double bookmark it.
  • Tags!: YES. Bookmark folder is not enough. So now, you can tag a bookmark with as many tags you want. A site could be both Financial site, and an Online Service for example.
  • Default Applications and Download Actions: Now, not only you can specify which RSS Reader to use, but through the Applications Tab, for each file type you specify the action you want to do. Be it Save, Open with Adobe Reader, or Ask upon click. This could come real handy for frequen file types. For example, Save all ZIP Files and use Foxit Reader to open all PDF Files.
  • Tweaked Notifications: Less annoying now, when you submit your username and password, you won’t get a pop-up asking to remember your information, but rather you get a header above the page asking if you want to make such action.
  • Addon Management: FINALLY, you can request to Restart Firefox from Plugins tab, not only through Installation Tab when you have installed new plugin. It’s simple, but I always wanted it.

Don’t take my words for it, please take the time and go through the screen shots made available for you there. A side from all of that, I would be interested to see how their memory management behave. I still have to close my browse after a long busy day to free up memory.

Popularity: 38% [?]

Probably you haven’t known that before, but Firefox Address bar has a default action to search Google using I’m Feeling Lucky sort of feature if you only type words in the address bar rather than valid url. Example is, type in your Firefox address bar “monkey island” and hit enter.

Firefox Default Search

Since this is not a valid URL, instead of giving 404 Page Not Found, Firefox will send the query to the default Google Search which will search the term, and try to guess the best result “World of Monkey Island” in this case. If it can’t guess the site, it will take you to the results page, as when you search blogallalong. It still not obvious to Google what you are trying to reach ofcourse. Google must base it’s guess on large number of queries and it won’t work well for small sites. I think famous names that have multiple sites also might face problem with this as searching for Mercedes took me to the search results.

So why this is behavior, and can I modify it? It is a parameter set in Firefox, and yes ofcourse you can change it. Welcome to the open source world :). To do so, type in the Address Bar “about:config” and hit Enter. You will go to the parameter configuration page for Firefox. Now search for “keyword.url”. Update the Value to whatever you want (if you like). For example, you can force the search to be on Google normal search not the I’m Feeling Lucky one by changing the value to:

Carthik has more details about this parameter here for interested readers.

Popularity: 25% [?]

I realized recently that by mastering what’s called Firefox Bookmark Keyword you can ignore something called Search Engine Plugin. The idea is very simply. Bookmark any search page, name your desired keyword, then start searching using the format below in your address bar:

<selected-keyword> query

Let’s see it in practice now shall we?

1) Right click on the desired search box field and select “Add a Keyword for this search…”.

Right click on the desired search box

2) Specify the name you want for this bookmark, and the associated keyword you want to use. Make it something short and descriptive. For instance BAA is Blog All Along Initials. Click OK when you finish.

Enter the name and keyword for that bookmark

3) In the address bar of your Firefox browser type: “<selected keyword> <query>” and hit enter. Example if you have followed this practice literally is: “baa Firefox”. Put it in your address bar and click Enter.

Use keyword to search BlogAllAlong

VIOLA! If you see the Firefox results from BlogAllAlong then you are there. Never care about search engine plugins again. Below is a list of keywords I find useful:

* NOTE: Keyword is case in-sensitive here.

Ofcourse you would chose your favorite News and Image search source. It can be Yahoo for instance. Trying with Live Image Search however didn’t work. This is due to the way of implementation. It seems to be setting some variables dynamically at a certain point. So if you are Live Search user, yes you would still need the old fashioned Search Engine Plugin. But how many Firefox users are really Live users I wonder?

Popularity: 27% [?]

For long enough I have been facing problems with opening PDF files from Firefox browser. Adobe Reader was one of the best must applications. Later it became a typical example of good app gone bad. Sometimes things are just good the way they are without creating a big fuss. Gradually, we started seeing Adobe needs to update messages occasionally. Then it became a habit every time. Every single time! What the hell is going around? Adobe became extremely slow in startup I began to avoid PDFs.

Now with Firefox, this has caused browser to crash times and times. The issue became worse with latest Firefox release, for me at least. Googling around a bit I came across the solution and feel obliged to post it for others. I did two things which seem to be working cool now. One is by removing ALL Adobe plugins and keeping the ones you want only. This is a bit strange I thought! Normally default setting would be for standard use, and for advanced use we get the option of extra plugins. Either way, a plugin should not cause that amount of delay. Following the steps in the article causes Adobe startup time to boost a lot. But still, Firefox was crashing when I close the tab or go back.

The solution to this is the bigger shock explained here. The writer, by debugging and tracing, found out Adobe is trying to access the folder C:\Documents and Settings\bashara\Application Data\AdobeUM\WWW_OpenURL which did not exist. How on earth could that be the solution I said? Creating it solved the problem. A bit of delay on closing, but no more crashing for me.

This might be a very old issue as you can see from the dates, but still many people have it. Try to follow the steps and see if that helps.

Popularity: 19% [?]

FirefoxSome specialists can analyze and judge your personality through an interview, from your signature, your way of walking and other stuff. I think you can do so also by looking at a person’s PC. Does he use the default IE browser or does he use Firefox? If the latter then he is not a person who simply moves with the crowd. He is someone who is welling to change, to try different things and pick what he wants rather than live on what he was given. Ofcourse some IE users have already tried Firefox and sometimes IE7 but chose the current IE version.

You can also tell how organize this person is by looking at his desktop. Also how much he takes control of his live and try to optimize it. Many desktops are full of shortcuts to programs which the user never really tends to use, they just create them selves by default. I hate every program that does it, I should be always given the option to not create it. As a matter of fact I should be given the option to create it not vice-versa. Another terrible mistake people tend to fall into is having so many programs run on system startup by default, unaware it’s all time costly practice at the end for things they are not going to use. Why do they do that then? They either don’t know about it or can’t figure out how to disable it. Many programs do a great job to force them selves to this automatic startup, and if you ask me, it all fires back at them in the end. The more the program tries to take control over my PC the more I keep away from it.

What can you look at also? If he is someone who uses Edit -> Copy -> Edit -> Paste then most likely he is not the geek I’d like to hang out with. Keyboard shortcuts are real time savers that normal users very often ignore, despite it’s simplicity. If you see the person using a computer with an Apple brand on it, this is either a luxurious person or real computer geek who seeks efficiency.

So what do you think? What can you make out of someone’s computer use habits?

Popularity: 30% [?]

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