A pedant that hangs out in the dark corner-cases of the web.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Underreported Firefox Features

Everyone knows about tabbed browsing, adware and popup blocking, extensions and themes, but are you familiar with Firefox's other distinguishing abilities?

  • Find Bar: just start typing to search a page, and there is no box in the way (be sure to try "Highlight").
  • Smart Keywords: turn the address bar into a veritable command-line.
    For example, you can set up bookmards with keywords to:
  • Live Bookmarks display RSS feeds as folders, each link a bookmark.
  • SmartFind bookmarks, which have no friendly user interface yet, but the examples can be copied and modified to suit your needs. Think of them as saved bookmark searches. Even LiveBookmark items are included, making this a nifty aggregation tool!

ListDLLs 2.25


cURL 7.12.3


Saxon 8.2


Adobe Reader 7


This version appears to be significantly faster to load, even without the "fastloader" it puts in your Startup folder.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Brian's Gift Ideas

Deserving Nonprofit, Open Source Software Projects

The Mozilla Project
Makers of the excellent Firefox web browser, Thunderbird email client, and more.
A massive infrastructure for programmers, providing resources for thousands of projects, including the individually deserving cURL, 7-zip, FileZilla, Programmer's Notepad, PopTray, GhostScript, jEdit, and PDFCreator.
The Apache Software Foundation
The source of many important software projects, such as ant, fop, SpamAssasin, and the Apache web server.
Another collaborative environment for programmers. Home of Subversion and TortoiseSVN.
The free image viewer. It can read and convert nearly any graphic file.
A language for automating typing and clicking. After all, the whole point of computers is to release humans from mindless tedium.
SpyBot Search & Destroy
The front lines on the war against spyware. SpyBot cleans up infections.
Prevents spyware from being installed in the first place.
The GNU Image Manipulation Program; a powerful graphics editor.
The GNOME Foundation
Home of the GNOME Free Software Desktop, including the Epiphany web browser (based on Mozilla), Evolution, and Dia.

Laudable Charities & Nonprofits

The Wikimedia Foundation
Support Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Electronic Frontier Foundation & DigitalConsumer.org
Movie companies and TV networks are making it illegal to skip commercials, fast forward past previews, and even record certain radio and TV shows. Recording industry companies want to control what kind of devices we can use to listen to music. Copyright law has been badly distorted in favor of exploitative companies that have wrested legal ownership away from artists. Help preserve what little rights we have left.
Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email
Can't we have one tiny corner of our lives that is not completely saturated by insipid, vacuous advertising and scams?
Electronic Privacy Information Center & Americans for Computer Privacy
Remember when 1984 sounded scary, but unlikely? Remember when Big Brother was a universally rejected concept?
BlackBoxVoting.org, The Center for Democracy and Technology & MoveOn.org
Accurate voting and an informed electorate are critical to our democracy.
American Civil Liberties Union
Help protect freedom!

Traditional Wish Lists

Where geeks get their gear.
Everyone has an Amazon wish list (or should).

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Disk Cleanup

To drastically speed up disk cleanup in Windows, delete the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ Explorer\ VolumeCaches\ Compress old files\ key.

To configure and save a cleanup job, type cleanmgr /sageset:n (n is the job number); to execute a cleanup job, type cleanmgr /sagerun:n .

To delete the key, you can create use a .reg file containing the following:


[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Compress old files]

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Anything fully baked must, logically, include a phase part-way between not being baked and bakedness. Therefore, just because something is half-baked does not mean it shall always be so.