Tag Archives: safari

Could all of Life’s Conveniences be Killing Us?

Reading this blog post on Geeks earlier stopped me dead in my tracks. I saw myself in what the author wrote, as I’m sure many of you will. He talks of how we have so many gadgets and gizmos to make our lives easier… and then wonders if it’s in fact making things more difficult:

People around the world are moving so fast, trying to do so much, that humanity as a whole is slowly choking itself with its own progress. We’re trying to cram so much into a day, so much into our minds that we don’t know how to do anything else. What we need to learn how to do, more than anything else, is to slow down. If you’re worried about progress, think about this, the best way to gain a clear perspective is to back away and let everything focus. People are supposed to smell the flowers that they plant. Just take some time to enjoy what mankind has done, rather than waste your time coming up with the next best thing that no one will take the time to enjoy.

All the ‘conveniences’ that we use and abuse only serve to get you to the next minute faster. Every inch of the way is packed with time savers that allow you to use more time savers. Just slow down, take a breath, get to know people, go to new places. Enjoy life before it passes you by, just to get to the next generation.

Wow. I’ve been pondering something very similar to this in my own life lately. That is why you’ve seen me out of the office more – trying to take time to relax and have fun. We tend to get so caught up in the daily grind of life that we often forget to live.

When is the last time you took a day completely “off”? I don’t just mean off of work… I mean OFF. OF. EVERYTHING. When did you put away all of your gadgets, your phone, your laptop and even your iPod and just chilled out? Can you even remember when it was, or what you might have done?

If you can’t bear to part with your computer, maybe you can take time out from working yourself into the ground, and enjoy what others are hard at work doing. They are writing excellent articles, like the one mentioned here, every day. They are sharing their thoughts with the world, and I sincerely hope you will consider doing the same. There’s something to be said for being able to write out what’s in your mind and heart, and it takes a very special type of person to be able to do so. The next time you’re stressing over the little things, and everything yet to do on your list, why not just let it all go and write? We’d love to have you join us on Geeks or Lockergnome.

How Do You Enlarge Web Site Fonts for Printing?

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Yes, I’m addicted to fonts. I’ve admitted it for years. I like looking at cool fonts, and enjoy finding new ones. Someone from the PCPitStop community recently asked how he can enlarge fonts on a web page, to make it easier for him to read. You don’t need a new printer, don’t worry! The answer lies within your browser itself!

My recommendation for a browser is Firefox, Safari or even Chrome. No matter what browser you’re using, you should be able to change the font sizes on the page before you read it or even print it. You can check the associated help file in order to learn how to change these settings.

  • In Firefox, you can change your font sizes by simply holding down your CTRL button, and clicking the + button/sign as many times as needed to increase your font size on the page.
  • In Internet Explorer, click on View, and then hover your mouse over Text Size. Choose large or larger in order to increase the font to something you can easily read.
  • If you use Opera, you can click on View and then hover the mouse over Zoom at the bottom of the View menu. From there, you can increase the percentage to make the text manageable for your needs.
  • With Safari, you will again go to the View menu. Once there, click on “Make Text Larger”, and adjust the percentages accordingly.

Hopefully this answers the question properly. Thankfully, all browsers have ways that you can easily change your settings on everything from font size to the colors that display… in order to maximize the browsing experience for everyone. Don’t let bad eyesight keep you from enjoying everything the web has to offer!

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How Does Your Web Browser Handle JavaScript?

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Google Chrome has been officially in beta for about a month now. Many of you are using it for your default browser already at this point. I wrote about Google Chrome this month for my CPU Magazine article. I want to discuss one of those points with all of you now.

As you visit websites, you may seem to be slowed down due to the amount of script that is running on the page. It’s all potentially tied into JavaScript performance. This is going to get interesting in a couple of months. Google has said they will be using the V8 JavaScript engine. This, of course, is now a part of WebKit. Just last week, WebKit came out and said they have SquirrelFish Extreme, which is a register-based, direct-threaded, high-level bytecode engine, with a sliding register window calling convention. It lazily generates bytecodes from a syntax tree, using a simple one-pass compiler with built-in copy propagation. This increases JavaScript performance even more, even compared to V8.

We’re about to enter a browser war, specifically in the area of JavaScript performance. Google releases a beta browser, with a good JavaScript engine. Let’s face it, a lot of your favorite sites are probably running JavaScript right now. And, Chrome is handling it much more efficiently. Here we have a Beta browser who is running a better JavaScript engine than what any of the current leading browsers have. This is raising the bar in a very big way for everyone else.

I went searching the web to help me find something that can help me download the nightly build of the WebKit. I found NightShift for use on Mac OS X. NightShift automatically downloads and updates WebKit, the Safari HTML rendering engine, to the latest nightly version for Safari. No user intervention is required, everything is fully automated. The developer has a few other cool tools, as well.

For Windows users, check out Chrome Plugins. This site is full of Plugins, Themes, Add-ons and information for the Google Chrome Web Browser! This isn’t an “official” Chrome blog, but the people who are working officially on Chrome are a part of this community, as well. You can learn pretty much everything you need to know about Chrome, and then some!

What are your thoughts? Where do you think browsers are heading?


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The Community Speaks out About Google Chrome

I recently recorded a video talking about Google’s new Web Browser, Google Chrome. I was excited about it then, and I still am. Google Chrome has set the bar higher for all other browsers, and we won’t allow others to lower it. I’ve received a lot of feedback about Chrome since my video aired. I wanted to share what three people had to say.

From NamelessFragger

I learned about this browser two days ago, only because someone posted a forum thread about it. I read the comic, and was totally thrilled. I then found out that the browser was released the same day.

I normally use Opera 9.52, which is generally regarded as fast. However, if Opera is light speed, then Chrome is ludicrous speed! (Of course, that could have something to do with the fact that my traditional Opera usage has hundreds of tabs open at once, whereas I think I’ve had only ten or twenty Chrome tabs open simultaneously.)

What I also like is how Chrome handles tabs. All too often, I’ve had Opera brought down entirely by one bad tab. While I haven’t had any bad tabs in Chrome yet, the knowledge that I’ll probably be able to close just that one tab while not bringing everything else down is reassuring.

I also like the fairly minimalist interface. It leaves a lot of room for whatever Web page I’m looking at. Oh, and Chrome can play embedded WMV videos without much hassle. IE and Firefox can too, but for some reason, Opera never does so out of the box. (However, I never bothered switching since I liked the rest of Opera too much…until now.)

All in all, it’s just been an amazing experience, and this browser is only in beta phase still!

From Jake

First of all, what you said in the first Chrome video about it being developed on Webkit and being fast is dead on. This thing speeds along. I barely have any add-ons on Firefox, and Chrome just goes 2 or 3 times faster. From screenshots that I saw, I thought the UI was going to look ugly, like a matte blue color and looking like a blueprint page or something. That’s not the case. Sure I don’t really enjoy the light blue color scheme, but it’s not overbearing and it’s easy on the eyes. Having the tabs at the top really streamlines the look in my opinion, as it leaves more room for the actual page. The shortcut to hide the bookmark bar really leaves a lot of room for viewing the actual page. The incognito mode is a nice little gem too. It read my Firefox bookmarks like a charm, and had to do barely any setup.

There are some drawbacks that I saw. My biggest concern is viewing picture links. I searched for a picture in Google images search and went to view full size, and it downloaded the picture to my default downloading location. I could not get the picture to appear in the browser. Instead, it made a bubble in the bottom-left corner that basically opened the picture in the Windows picture viewer. I don’t know anything about coding really, and the options are extremely vague. I couldn’t find any solution to this problem. Another feature that I used sometimes in Firefox (that I found lacking in Chrome) was a style sheet option to show no style, but obviously that’s a very minor gripe and can easily be forgotten.

Other than that, I can’t really say I have any problems with the browser yet. I’d like to see more themes and add-ons. Seems like the browser is off to a great start and hopefully it will get some add-on developers and themes.

From Scott

I saw one of your new videos yesterday about the release of Google Chrome. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that; I never saw it coming. I’m a fan of Google software, so I was naturally excited to hear that they were releasing a Web browser. I’ve been using Mozilla Firefox as my default browser now for over a couple of years, and have never found anything better for me. You name it — Safari, IE, Maxthon, Flock (which may be my next favorite), K-Meleon, Avant, Slim, Opera, Slim — I’ve tried about everything out there pretty extensively. I keep a lot of browsers installed to launch up every now and then.

First, I’ll discuss some of the things I like about Google Chrome. I find Chrome’s launch time to be noticeably faster than Firefox, which is nice (but is probably because I run FF with lots of plug-ins/extensions/themes that it must load up). Chrome’s page load times are very impressive; it’s a bit faster than FF, and perhaps even a hair faster than Safari (which, yes, I’ve found to be consistently faster than FF, even on Windows Vista). I like the “Incognito” browsing feature; I’m not sure I would use that too often, but nonetheless, a cool feature. Another thing I liked in Chrome was the way the “Find” function was designed. They did a good job with that.

Now, for the “bad stuff.” The GUI is, well . . . interesting, but I’m not a fan yet (e.g. I don’t particularly like the tabbed browsing system positioned above the navigation area as opposed to below). It might just be me, but overall, the Chrome GUI reminds me way too much of IE–yes, of course that’s a bad thing. I don’t care for the font system in Chrome, either. Compared to Safari (which I particularly like) and Firefox, it just seems bland and underdeveloped. Chrome seems to be on par with Safari or IE in terms of customization/tweaking; there isn’t a whole lot available to the user. A couple of other things I was really disappointed to see in Chrome’s GUI: The downloads are manage in a new tab? I don’t care for that at all. That just seems inefficient to me. No “Home” button? I hate when browsers don’t include simple, often-used functions *cough*Safari*cough* like the “Home” button. So far, I don’t think it’s possible to change things like that in Chrome. No spell checker in Chrome, either? Wow . . . . lame. ‘Nough said. There’s also some weird functionality things about Chrome that I don’t like (e.g., you cannot open previous pages in a new tab via click the “Back” or “Forward” button in conjunction with Ctrl).

In the end, Google Chrome was somewhat of a disappointment to me (granted, I’m still giving it a shot over the next several days). Yes, I realize that this is just a beta, but from my experience, betas just don’t improve enough to make a difference by the time they are released in their final form. I use Firefox over other browsers for a few simple reasons: It has a proven, sophisticated security system; it’s more customizable than any browser, bar nun, which means you can make it look/work exactly how you’d like it to; it’s intuitive and simple, yet it’s full of useful features that make sense to both average and power users; above all else, it just works. Mozilla’s got it right.

Have You Tried the New AOL Desktop?

iPhone is a regular member of our chat room, and sent me a surprising email the other day. He has apparently found something from AOL that he is happy with. Take a look:

I wanted to share something GOOD AOL made. No I’m not kidding, I actually like the app really well. It’s called AOL Desktop. It’s available for the Mac and PC both. Yes, it may be AOL, but it actually has been very reliable. When you first open AOL Desktop, it will give you a toolbar at the top which you can customize. It kinda reminds me of Webkit, except it has a better User Interface, and crashes a few times. But remember, we’re talking about AOL. The best thing is the browser. They fully changed the browser… and at some points it was actually faster than Safari. I went to Chris’ site from my AOL browser and my Safari browser at the same time (have them both as my home page). AOL desktop browser beat Safari by 7.62 seconds. I also tried websites like Plurk, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and Friendfeed. AOL Desktop beat Safari by about 1-2 seconds every time when loading pages fully. That may not seem like that big of a difference, but it really is when you add up all the pages you load in a normal day.

Also, you can have AIM, E-mail, and your browser all in one app. Of course… Apple mail is MUCH better than AOL’s e-mail app. I wouldn’t recommend using the e-mail app. But, I definitely recommend you try out the browser.

Thanks, iPhone for passing this along. I’m sure several people will be checking this out in the near future. What other apps do all of you recommend that we may be skeptical about the quality of? Let’s hear what you’re using.

How to Sync Bookmarks Across Multiple Browsers

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Over the years, you may collect a ton of bookmarks within your browser. Let’s say you change browsers, or even Operating Systems. How can you sync all of your links between the browsers, and how can you make sure that the links are still good?

AM-DeadLink detects dead links and duplicates in browser bookmarks and text files. If a bookmark has become unavailable you can verify and delete it permanently. Additionally you can download FavIcons for all your Favorites and Bookmarks.

AM-DeadLink can check the following resources:

  • Internet Explorer Favorites
  • Firefox bookmarks
  • Opera bookmarks
  • Mozilla and Netscape bookmarks
  • URLs from tab delimited text files
  • URLs from comma separated text files

Unfortunately, AM-Deadlink is only for Windows. For a Mac, you can try BookDog. Bookdog allows users to sort (selectively alphabetize), import/export, migrate, verify, find redirects, search, and find duplicates among their bookmarks collections in Safari, Firefox 1.5-3.0, Camino, Google Bookmarks, del.icio.us, OmniWeb, Opera, Shiira 2.x and Netscape Navigator. Migrations can be scheduled using Apple’s Automator, and bookmarks on other networked Macs or backup disks are easily accessible. Bookdog has a 14-day free trial. After that, the cost is just $19.95.

After you install Bookdog, you spend a few minutes adjusting how you want your bookmarks sorted, click Sort and within seconds your bookmarks are all in order! Click Analyze to find duplicates and then eliminate those you don’t want. Open the Preferences, activate Bookwatchdog, and your bookmarks will be re-sorted after you make changes. Automatically. Do you seem to have alot of bookmarks that don’t work anymore? Tell Bookdog to Verify. He’ll make a quick visit to all the websites you have bookmarked, present a report of their responses, give you some options on how he can automatically fix bookmarks that have been “redirected”, and finally present a handy tool which allows you to quickly review and fix the remainder. Using Camino, Firefox, Opera, del.icio.us, Shiira, Google Bookmarks™ and/or OmniWeb in addition to Safari? When you tell him to Migrate your bookmarks between browsers, he finds the right folder and avoids creating duplicates. You can migrate unilaterally (one-way) or bilaterally, “synchronizing” all missing bookmarks between browsers. And you can do so from an AppleScript or schedule Migrations using Apple’s Automator.


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Wireless Networks, Hard Drive Failures, Web Browsers

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Taking live calls on the 888-PIRILLO line is always fun, especially when the questions are so diverse! This video entails more than one question/topic, so it was three times the fun!

Tuxedo_Jericho is a long time chat regular, so talking to him was lots of fun. TJ first asked what are good ways to increase wireless range with his router. The biggest and easiest way is to try to get a better antenna, if possible. Also, eliminate any wireless signals that may lie between the access point and the devices connected. If it’s in a house, try to keep the access point centrally located. My router is in the lower level of my house. Trying to access it from upstairs wasn’t working too well. I ended up buying a USB device that plugs in. It looks like a little radar dish. You point it in the general direction of the access point, and your wireless signal is boosted immediately. It makes a BIG difference. Sometimes, changing the channel on the access point works, as well.

The next call was two questions. The first one was whether I would go with iWork 08 or Microsoft Office 2008 for the Mac. It’s funny he should ask that, b/c I just got ahold of Office 08 for the Mac today. First of all, I didn’t feel it was any faster than the earlier version of Office for the Mac. Even though the UI has supposedly been updated, it still feels clunky. I honestly prefer iWork myself.

The caller then said he had gotten his first Mac Mini. He plugged in the external 500GB Seagate firewire drive, and turned it off. It wouldn’t unmount properly. It screwed up the directory file for it, and the entire file system. Even when he plugs it into Windows, it tries to reformat it. I asked him if he can try running a repair on it, and he already had. Even DiskWarrior says it cannot be restored. DiskWarrior is the King of dealing with things on the Mac. If it had problems, I honestly am unsure if anything else will fix the problem. It’s formatted with Fat32, which made me grimace a bit. I recommend trying to recover the data, before trying much else.

The last caller for this video asked what Internet browser I prefer. My first question, of course, is which platform does the user use? Since they’re using OS X, I had an easy time answering this one. Despite Firefox’s default settings for OS X and how good they are… I still use Safari as my default browser. It’s crazy fast, and works great. If you’re a power user, you may want to use FireFox. Also, I know of people who use Opera on OS X, but the UI is kind of junky in my opinion.


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What Browser do you Use?

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – With the newest version of both Firefox and IE due out soon, what browser are you using… and will you be changing? Are you happy with your browser, or do you feel it’s lacking? I asked a panel of friends for their thoughts on the latest and maybe not always greatest.

Four of my friends joined me for this discussion: Kat, SC_Thor, Wirelesspacket, and last but certainly not least… Datalore.

IE 7 is already being touted by some as the “best” browser ever created. Internet Explorer 7 provides improved navigation through tabbed browsing, web search right from the toolbar, advanced printing, easy discovery, reading and subscription to RSS feeds, and much more. Many say that the features and enhancements far outweigh any security problems that still exist. Research does show that the largest percentage of Internet users DO use IE for all their browsing needs. However, Firefox is catching up.

Firefox is now faster, more secure, and fully customizable to your online life. Firefox is definitely the most customizable browser, with over 1000 features you can easily add on, depending on your needs.

So which browser is right for you? Is it IE or Firefox? Or could it be the new Safari browser from Apple? Let’s also not forget about Opera, which is also gaining popularity quickly.

Each browser will take you around the Internet. Each does basically the same thing. But… each has its own unique style, functionality, and methods of helping you maximize your online time. The best advice we can give you is to try them all. Choose which best fits your needs and style.

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Safari on Windows

Safari on WindowsIt’ll crash if you look at it wrong, but at least we’ll soon have Safari on Windows (no thanks to Apple). Get Swift if you’d like to take a look, but don’t hold your breath for an amazing experience. It’s going to take a year or so before Swift gets stable enough to use as an alternative to your already-alternative browser. Why we still have to deal with Safari at this point is beyond me. It’s tough enough dealing with the inconsistences between Opera, IE7, and FireFox! I only know three people who use Safari in OS X by default, and they live in a mental institution. If you use Safari, too – please tell your sanitarium buddies I said “Hello.”