Wednesday Jun 13, 2007

Safari Beta3 on Vista

I downloaded and installed Safari Beta 3 on Vista Ultimate.

I've never used Safari earlier but here is how it looks on my Windows Vista Utlimate laptop:

Of the 12 features, I like "Private Browsing" (disable Caching, Cookies etc for a particular session) and Snapback (an icon in search field or address bar that takes you back to an anchor point during multi-level searches). Resizing the Text Fields seems rather weird to me as it might break the page layout. All other features already exist in Firefox.

It's interesting that a new Firefox plug-in for "private browsing", Distrust, is already available. I've not tried the plug-in as it is in very early version and I particularly don't feel the need for "private" browsing ;-) There is even a Safari Theme for Firefox for MAC OS-X users only.

As per the Blazing Performance claim, the default home page for Safari is http://www.apple.com/startpage/ and loads slowly in both Firefox and Safari. I think Safari should change the default page to google.com or something so that the first impression is better.

Also the browser window, unlike other normal Windows application, is not resizable from the edges, only from the lower-right corner. Wonder why ?

In all, I don't see any compelling reason to switch from Firefox.

Technorati: Firefox Safari Apple

Wednesday May 02, 2007

Thunderbird 2 on Vista

Thunderbird 2 was released couple of weeks ago and I decided to upgrade my Thunderbird 1.5 on Vista Ultimate today.

Very seamless experience, I downloaded, installed and now running without any glitch! All address book and filters automatically imported.

Read the entire list of features but my favorite ones are:

  • Message History Navigation - Like browser, it now maintains a history of messages (both forward and backward) viewed.
  • Improved Search - Find as you type pane makes search more effective.
  • Automated Update - Automatically checks to see if an update is available, download and install.
  • Stay Informed - Provide more informative and relevant message alerts containing sender, subject and message text for newly arrived messages.

If you are using Firefox then you are already familiar with most of the above features but it's nice to see a consistent set of features in products coming out of Mozilla Foundation. And probably these features are available as add-ons for Thunderbird 1.5 but I never looked around. Feel free to drop a comment on this blog if you know of an interesting add-on.

Technorati: Firefox Thunderbird Mozilla Vista

Monday Apr 02, 2007

Migrating your Firefox Bookmarks and Thunder Address book & Filters

How do you migrate your bookmarks, address book and filters after a machine is upgraded with a different operating system or a new machine is configured ? These are the bare minimum to get you started and can be done for XP -> Vista migration using the following steps:

  1. For Firefox bookmarks, I use Foxmarks so that makes synchronizing bookmarks really easy.
  2. For Thunderbird filter rules, copy msgFilterRules.dat from C:\\Windows.old\\Documents and Settings\\Arun\\Application Data\\Thunderbird\\Profiles\\f9f1n842.default\\ImapMail\\<mail server name> to C:\\Users\\Arun Gupta\\AppData\\Roaming\\Thunderbird\\Profiles\\il6yju6t.default\\ImapMail\\<mail server name>. You can also consider if your mail server supports server-side filtering which would take one time effort to configure the filters but then would save the effort of copying this file between multiple instances of Thunderbird. The directory names f9f1n842.default and il6yju6t.default will be different in your case.
  3. For Thunderbird address book, copy abook.mab from C:\\Windows.old\\Documents and Settings\\Arun\\Application Data\\Thunderbird\\Profiles\\f9f1n842.default to C:\\Users\\Arun Gupta\\AppData\\Roaming\\Thunderbird\\Profiles\\il6yju6t.default. The directory names f9f1n842.default and il6yju6t.default will be different in your case.

I used these steps for upgrading my laptop from XP to Vista. I wish Thunderbird can provide similar plug-ins that allow the address book to be synchronized on multiple machines.

Technorati: firefox thunderbird

Friday Mar 30, 2007

Search engine in Firefox and Favicon

Two minor updates to my blog today:

  • Following the instructions, I created a search plug-in for TheAquarium and my blog. So if you are viewing this blog in Firefox (and other browsers that support Open Search Description Format) and click on the search bar, then you'll see an option to add both the search engines. Alternatively, you can also drop this file in searchplugins directory of Firefox and it will show up after restarting the browser. Use this file for adding my blog search engine. I still need to debug why correct images are not showing up when Firefox auto discover the engines and the page is bookmarked.
  • Following the instructions, created a Favicon for my blog. So now whenever you visit my blog in a browser (tested in Firefox), a small image appears at the front of the URL area. This same image is also visible as an icon in the tab title.

Technorati: firefox searchengine theaquarium  favicon icons

Saturday Feb 24, 2007

Thunderbird keyboard shortcuts

If you use Thunderbird and is a keyboard-heavy user (like me), as opposed to mouse-heavy, then you'd like to know about Thunderbird keyboard shortcuts. I've been particularly interested in "Move to Search Bar" which takes you to the search box on top-right corner of Thunderbird. It can be accessed by "Ctrl + K". In Firefox, I've been using Ctrl+E for this functionality but that means "Edit as New" in Thunderbird. I immediately tried "Ctrl+K" in Firefox and that of course took me to the search bar as well.

Other than that, I already use the following shortcuts in Thunderbird:

New Message: Ctrl + M
Send Message Now: Ctrl + Enter
Reply to Message: Ctrl + R
Reply to All in Message: Ctrl + Shift + R
Increase/Decrease Font size: Ctrl +/-
Get New Message for Current Account: Ctrl+T
Save Message As File: Ctrl+S

Some more shortcuts I learned are:

Move to next mail Pane: F6
Toggle Message Pane: F8

Then there are other fairly intuitive shortcuts. The only other shortcut that I'm missing now is "Change the Search Criteria" in Search Bar. Does anybody know ? Even Firefox does not have this shortcut.

"Move to Search Bar" is my most favorite and heavily used feature in Thunderbird and Firefox. What is yours ?

Technorati: thunderbird keyboardshortcuts firefox

Wednesday Dec 20, 2006

Firefox 1.5.0->2.0 update error

I was updating Firefox on my home machine from 1.5.0.8 to 2.0 and got the following window:

Notice the "(null)"  highlighted in red. The installation went fine but it seems like somehow Firefox got confused between the version numbers. Actually my browser is configured for auto updates so 1.5.0.9 was downloaded and expected the browser to be restarted. But I downloaded 2.0 and installed that instead. So seems like Firefox lost track of version numbers in that process.

I can use the browser fine on my machine without any problem though.

Technorati: firefox error installation

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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.


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