Tag Archives: browser

Optimize Your ISPs Slow Internet Connection

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How many days of the year do you complain about your connection speed? How many times do you mutter and groan that you aren’t getting the promised speeds? Here are some excellent tips to help you boost that speed.

  • Schedule your downloads. There are many free download managers that allow you to set up downloads to go consecutively while you are asleep. Otherwise you’d have all of them going at one time, which could result in broken downloads. This is also VERY useful if you have HughesNet and always exceed your download threshold. You can schedule files to download late at night while the threshold is not in place. I recommend iGetter and Free Download Manager.
  • Download items that you visit every day, rather than reloading them. If you’re like me, you listen to YouTube movies in the background of just about everything you do so you don’t have to pay a dollar for the song, but every time you come back to that page it takes a long time to reload. Instead of reloading the page you can download the video with Youtube Downloader and convert it into a usable format, including mp3, with that same program. Flash games can also be downloaded if you’re using Firefox. Wait for the flash file to load 100% and choose File > Save Page As. Then open up the folder you saved and take out the .swf file. Right click the file and choose to open it with Firefox. (You can then delete the folder)
  • Know when to click links. If a page is loaded 100%, search for the next link you are going to use before you start viewing the page. If you find it, open it in a new tab and it can load while you are busy on the first page. If a page is in the middle of loading, but you find the link you want before it’s done, click stop before continuing on to the next link. Unless you know you’ll be occupied for a long time on one page (or away from the computer), don’t try to load multiple pages at a time.
  • Leech!! If you have a laptop and know someone with DSL/Cable or other form of high speed, bring it over there and download as many things as you can to keep yourself occupied while on your slow connection. This may seem like mooching, but you can make it less obvious. Schedule LOTS of downloads before going over there. Then, once you’re there, plug your laptop in, resume the downloads, and do what you would normally do whenever you visit.
  • Increase your cache size. If you increase the size of your cache and put your computer in sleep mode rather than shutting it down every night, frequently used pages will load quicker. To do this in Firefox, go to Tools > Options… > Advanced Icon > Network Tab.


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What's new in Firefox 3?

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Beta 1 of Firefox 3 was released today. I found a few bugs, but overall it’s looking like there are some excellent new features and improvements. When it goes final, I may switch from Maxthon 1.0 to Firefox for my Windows machine. Let’s take a look at some of what’s new, thanks to Asa Dotzler from Mozilla. Asa is my kind of Geek, that’s for sure.

More Security

  • One click site info: Click the site favicon in the location bar to see who owns the site. Identity verification is prominently displayed and easier to understand.
  • Malware Protection: malware protection warns users when they arrive at sites which are known to install viruses, spyware, trojans or other malware.
  • New Web Forgery Protection page: the content of pages suspected as web forgeries is no longer shown.
  • New SSL error pages: clearer and stricter error pages are used when Firefox encounters an invalid SSL certificate.
  • Add-ons and Plugin version check: Firefox now automatically checks add-on and plugin versions and will disable older, insecure versions.
  • Secure add-on updates: to improve add-on update security, add-ons that provide updates in an insecure manner will be disabled.
  • Anti-virus integration: Firefox will inform anti-virus software when downloading executables.

Easier to Use

  • Easier password management: an information bar replaces the old password dialog so you can now save passwords after a successful login.
  • Simplified add-on installation: the add-ons whitelist has been removed making it possible to install extensions from third-party sites in fewer clicks.
  • New Download Manager: the revised download manager makes it much easier to locate downloaded files.
  • Resumable downloading: users can now resume downloads after restarting the browser or resetting your network connection.
  • Tab scrolling and quickmenu: tabs are easier to locate with the new tab scrolling and tab quickmenu.
  • Text selection improvements: Multiple text selections can be made with Ctrl/Cmd; Double-click drag selects in “word-by-word” mode; Triple-clicking selects a paragraph.
  • Find toolbar: the Find toolbar now opens with the current selection.

More Personal

  • Star button: quickly add bookmarks from the location bar with a single click; a second click lets you file and tag them.
  • Tags: associate keywords with your bookmarks to sort them by topic.
  • Location bar & auto-complete: type the title or tag of a page in the location bar to quickly find the site you were looking for in your history; favicons, bookmark, and tag indicators help you see where results are coming from.
  • Smart Places Folder: quickly access your recently bookmarked and tagged pages, as well as you more frequently visited pages with the new smart places folder on your bookmark toolbar.
  • Bookmarks and History Organizer: advanced search of your history and bookmarks with multiple views and smart folders to store your frequent searches.
  • Easy to use Download Actions: a new Applications preferences pane provides a better UI for configuring handlers for various file types and protocol schemes.

Improved Performance

  • Reliability: A user’s bookmarks, history, cookies, and preferences are now stored in a transactionally secure database format which will prevent data loss even if their system crashes.
  • Speed: Major architectural changes put foundations in place for major performance tuning which have resulted in speed increases in Beta 1, and will show further gains in future Beta releases.
  • Memory usage: Over 300 individual memory leaks have been plugged, and a new XPCOM cycle collector completely eliminates many more. Developers are continuing to work on optimizing memory use and reducing fragmentation.

So there you have it. A long list of reasons why you should be taking a look at the new Firefox version 3.0 when it is released. Excellent kudos to all of the Dev team at Mozilla.

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Website Language Settings

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AJ28 emailed me from Japan, wondering why when he opens Google (or most any website), it automatically loads the Japanese page. He wonders if the browser automatically recognizes what IP he is connecting from and then determines the language to display.

Aj, you are sort of correct. You’re just a bit backwards in putting things together. Google (and other sites) look at the IP address you are connecting from, and then realizes your location based on that information. They will then serve up your site content in the native language of the country or area you are located. It’s web pages itself… not your browser… that is doing this.

Unfortunately, there really isn’t a way you can change things so that every site will automatically direct you to your native language, regardless of where in the world you happen to be at the time. Trying to do so could actually get you Swahili text when you’re in Taiwan, or German when you’re in the United States. There is a simple way to change the language preferences by site, especially for Google. Many sites may not have this function, though. According to Google themselves:

If you want to change your Google interface language without changing your browser’s accept-language preferences, you can set your Google language preferences manually on our “Language Options” page. However, setting language preferences this way does require that cookies be enabled.

And there you have it. I wish there were a better answer for you as far as making your computer automatically connect to pages in the one language you prefer. As far as I know, there is not. If anyone out there does know of such a way, please let me know!

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Web Browser History Settings

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – One of our users asked if they should change the settings in their browser history, or leave them at the default setting.

I used to think that the shorter browser history… the better! Then I realized that I kept forgetting the names of sites I had been to, and really wanted to find again. If you’re like me, and have a bad memory and/or very few favorites bookmarked, you may want to consider bumping up your history setting. It won’t eat up any space on your computer, it won’t affect your speed or surfing habits. I have mine set to about three months. I think that’s a pretty good standard. It keeps things for me that I may want to visit again when I have time (yeah… RIGHT!) and may not remember.

In Internet Explorer, you can change your history setting by going to Tools>Internet Options>General Tab. There you can put in how many days you want IE to save your history.

In Firefox, you would go to Options>Privacy and tell it how many days you want to remember pages visited.

The only caveat to this is privacy. If you don’t want someone seeing what websites you’ve visited, you would change your settings to be zero days. You can also clean out your cache, cookies and such.

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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.”

Freedbacking Internet Explorer

Sorry I wasn’t able to get this up until now, but I promised I’d have it here within a day of publishing last night’s report (Internet Explorer Feedback).
The IE team has responded to my feedback on their latest beta. Can’t say I’m happy with their answers, but I’m extremely impressed with their transparency, honesty, and ability. Their responses have been italicized below, with the first five responses already online. I figured I wasn’t the only person with these pecadillos, so I wanted to share their answers with everybody…
Continue reading Freedbacking Internet Explorer

TagJag in Firefox

From Rickie Dickie, a passionate OPMLer – pointing out that grazr makes TagJag OPML much more usable on-demand:

Here’s a TagJag / grazr mashup smart bookmarklet for Firefox (right-click and add this link to your Bookmarks). Written as a smartlet – but JUST in case you don’t know what that is, you name the bookmark keyword to something like “tags” and then in the address bar type “tags gnomedex” to browse TagJag’s OPML for that keyword in grazr. I posted HTML embedding script; check out grazr’s site for particulars.

The equiv favelet (bookmarklet) for either IE or Firefox would be something like this:

[js]javascript:d=document;wgS=window.getSelection;dgS=d.getSelection();dS=d.Selection;q=(encodeURIComponent(‘%s’)==’%2525s’?”:’%s’)+(wgS?wgS():dgS?dgS():dS?dS.createRange().text:”);if (!q)q=prompt(‘Enter tag’,”);open(‘http://grazr.com/gzpanel?font=Tahoma,sans-serif&fontsize=8pt&file=http%3A//tagjag.com/all/’ + q + ‘/opml’);void(‘rickdog’)[/js]

This favelet is written to work like this:

  • If nothing is selected and there is no smartlet argument on the address line, you’re prompted for a keyword
  • If text is selected and there is no smartlet argument, the selected text is the keyword
  • If no text is selected but there is a smartlet argument, the argument is the keyword
  • If both text is selected and there’s a smartlet argument, they are combined to make a single keyword (smartlet + selected text)

I must also note the new Maxthon TagJag sidebar plugin – which is still getting tweaked. Oh, and Rickie Dickie also grazjag’ed a YubNub!

Blake Ross

Confirmed Gnomedex Discussion Leader: Blake Ross. Which one of you founded the Firefox project with Dave Hyatt at age 17? Which one of you founded the SpreadFirefox initiative with Asa Dotzler? Which one of you was featured on the front cover of Wired magazine last year? Oh, and which one of you will be a Gnomedex discussion leader? Yeah, Blake Ross. By the way, “Firefox” is a new Web browser – but you’ve probably never heard of it before. The project was developed by a small, non-profit organization – and with any luck, Gnomedex will help boost interest in Firefox so that it can grow to be used by hundreds of users! I know it’ll be difficult to give up lynx…

IE Makes it Impossible to Troubleshoot Feeds

This morning, a subscriber notified us that one of our master feeds was broken. I loaded ‘er up in IE, only to (once again) be faced with cripped pieces of feedback. Yes, the browser shows me part of the error, but doesn’t actually tell me where the error is! Without some form of context, I have to dig deeper. Screw that. I have to fire up FireFox just to learn more about a problem. IE7 better be better on the code troubleshooting front. In related news, our new forums output RSS for searches. The server is definitely being brought to its knees, but we’re getting another one in place ASAP. You want proof? You can’t handle the proof.