// Internet Duct Tape

Why Google Chrome Isn’t My Default Browser

Web Browser Tips & Tricks

Google Chrome has been public for all of about 30 minutes now. I am very impressed with how fast it downloads and installs, with almost no need for user prompts (except to close your web browser so it can import bookmarks/passwords). It’s fast as fast can be.

I can’t get over how fast it is. If you type “about:memory” into the address/search bar you’ll see a memory comparison between Chrome and any other web browsers you’re currently running. It uses so much less memory than Firefox.

Lifehacker has a good round-up of what’s “new” in Chrome, as well as ways to tweak Firefox to get the same features. But I can’t switch to Chrome because of my dependency on multiple profiles and my Firefox extensions.

Profiles?

Multiple profiles let me log into Gmail with different user accounts at the same time, and keep my browsing history and bookmarks separate from my girlfriend who shares the computer with me.

Heck, I keep my blogging related bookmarks separated from my Joe Public bookmarks for my day-to-day email, Facebook, and job related stuff so I can be more productive.

Plugins?

  • I can’t log into my accounts without Password Hasher. Not only do I not use the same password for every account, I don’t even KNOW my password for most accounts.
  • I don’t want to surf the web without Ad-block.
  • I’ve written so many custom Greasemonkey scripts that are unavailable on Chrome.
  • I don’t want to even think about doing any kind of web stuff without Firebug at my beck and call.
  • I’m missing my Delicious tag button for bookmarking.

RSS?

There doesn’t seem to be any RSS auto-discovery in Chrome. I hate how painful it is to subscribe to feeds in Google Reader using Internet Explorer, it looks like it’ll be even worse in Chrome.

Chrome looks very cool, but I think anyone who has been reading Lifehacker for the past few years is going to find they’re missing too much of what is “essential” to them. It’s really too bad, because I’d love to run some Greasemonkey scripts inside of Chrome with it’s better memory debugging. I’m hoping that one of the big brained Googlers figures out a way to transparently run Greasemonkey userscripts so we don’t have the same Firefox vs Opera vs Internet Explorer vs Safari development sinkhole.

On the other hand, Chrome might be the best thing ever for people who use Internet Explorer and aren’t co-dependent on all of Firefox’s wonderful extensions.

Weekend Reader – javascript, friendfeed, google, lifehacks, web2.0

Posted in Technology by engtech on June 08, 2008

Weekly Links

This is my weekly collection of the best stuff I saw on the Internet. You can follow this list of links as I post them on Friend Feed or on Twitter. Or you can get the weekly update by subscribing to Internet Duct Tape using RSS or using email.

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Delicious Links – 20 links – google, blogging, wordpress, twitter, lifehacks

Posted in Best of Feeds by engtech on April 12, 2008

Weekly Links

This is my weekly collection of the best stuff I saw on the Internet. You can follow this list of links as I post them on Friend Feed or on Twitter. Or you can get the weekly update by subscribing to Internet Duct Tape using RSS or using email.

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Crunching the Friend Feed Stats to Find the Most Popular Web Apps

Posted in friendfeed, Technology, Web 2.0 and Social Media by engtech on March 26, 2008

Social Bookmarking and Social Voting

One of the nicest things about the Internet is that if you sit on your ass for long enough, someone will code up whatever little side project you’re thinking about starting. In my case, I was interested in finding out general statistics about Friend Feed as a tape measure of how popular certain social bookmarking sites are. Enter Friend Feed Stats. Thank you, lazyweb.

What Is the Most Popular Web Service?

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Delicious Links – 19 links – tips, google, music, code, blogging

Posted in Best of Feeds, Technology by engtech on March 01, 2008

Weekly Links

This is my weekly collection of the best stuff I saw on the Internet. They’re saved on delicious and stumbleupon and cross-posted to Twitter and Tumblr as they happen and then collected together for my blog on Internet Duct Tape.

Subscribe to Internet Duct Tape using RSS or using email.

This Week at Internet Duct Tape

Internet Duct Tape is my blog where I talk about software, technology, blogging and other geeky subjects.

This Week at IDT Labs

IDT Labs is where I announce new software tools I’m working on.

  • [TUMBLR] Regular Post Digest of the Last X Days
    • Build a list of the last X regular posts from your Tumblr account in the past Y days. Useful for doing weekly digest posts with Yahoo Pipe Cleaner
  • [TUMBLR] Delete your Tumblr with TumblrCleanr 0.0.1
    • There’s one Tumblr feature that’s missing: how do you delete your Tumblr? At some point you might want to destroy all traces of your tumblr (privacy concerns, or you want to use it for something else) and there isn’t an option to do that — other than click the delete button on every…

This Week at Ruby, eh?

Ruby, eh? is where I blog/tumble about the Ruby programming language.

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Best of Feeds – 14 links – security, gmail, google, testing, dns

Posted in Best of Feeds by engtech on January 01, 2008

RSS feeds are like cookies (that are good enough for me). Best of Feeds is a weekly collection of the best stuff I saw on the Internet this week. They’re saved on delicious and stumbleupon and cross-posted to Twitter and Tumblr as they happen and then collected together on Saturdays. I don’t blog on the weekend so read these links instead.Subscribe to //engtech to see this every week (or get it by email).

Legend

  • saves – number of people who bookmarked on http://del.icio.us
  • inbound links – number of blogs who linked to it (max 100)
  • diggs – number of people who dugg on http://digg.com

This Week at Internet Duct Tape

  • 7 Tips to Optimize Windows XP for Gaming — Playing The Witcher on Minimum System Requirements
    • One of the lures of the holiday season is to be able to hopefully squeeze in some time between eggnog, family and friends to exercise your vices. No, not heroin, but that other life consuming addiction: gaming. PC gaming is quickly going the way of the dodo, with console gaming taking over because…
  • Windows XP – Disable dumpprep when programs crash
    • One tip for improve Windows XP that I absolutely love is turning off that annoying “do you want to send an error report” message when programs crash. The sad truth is that those error reports rarely reach anyone who could fix the problem, so it’s a colossal waste of time — especially…

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Best of Feeds – 11 links – facebook, blogging, google, reader, stupidity

Posted in Best of Feeds by engtech on December 02, 2007

RSS feeds are like cookies (that are good enough for me). Best of Feeds is a weekly collection of the best stuff I saw on the Internet this week. They’re saved on delicious and stumbleupon and cross-posted to Twitter and Tumblr as they happen and then collected together on Saturdays. I don’t blog on the weekend so read these links instead.Subscribe to //engtech to see this every week (or get it by email).

Legend

  • saves – number of people who bookmarked on http://del.icio.us
  • inbound links – number of blogs who linked to it (max 100)
  • diggs – number of people who dugg on http://digg.com

This Week at Internet Duct Tape

Getting Started With Ruby on Rails – Week 2

I’ve fallen for the hype and started using Ruby on Rails for building database driven web applications. You can follow along with my weekly experience discovering gotchas with Ruby on Rails.

Book Review: Ruby on Rails for Dummies

I don’t have anything against the for Dummies series (one of my friends is an author), but they’re only good when you want a very general understanding of a concept. I wouldn’t recommend the series for technical books. But my local library happened to have a copy of Ruby on Rails for…

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Best of Feeds – 12 links – blogging, blogs, google, mashup, comments

Posted in Best of Feeds by engtech on November 24, 2007

RSS feeds are like cookies (that are good enough for me). Best of Feeds is a weekly collection of the best stuff I saw on the Internet this week. They’re saved on delicious and stumbleupon and cross-posted to Twitter and Tumblr as they happen and then collected together on Saturdays. I don’t blog on the weekend so read these links instead.Subscribe to //engtech to see this every week (or get it by email).

Legend

  • saves – number of people who bookmarked on http://del.icio.us
  • inbound links – number of blogs who linked to it (max 100)
  • diggs – number of people who dugg on http://digg.com

This Week at Internet Duct Tape

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Best of Feeds – 19 links – blogging, tips, google, opensocial, community

Posted in Best of Feeds by engtech on November 11, 2007

RSS feeds are like cookies (that are good enough for me). Best of Feeds is a weekly collection of the best stuff I saw on the Internet this week. They’re saved on delicious and stumbleupon and cross-posted to Twitter and Tumblr as they happen and then collected together on Saturdays. I don’t blog on the weekend so read these links instead.Subscribe to //engtech to see this every week (or get it by email).

Legend

  • saves – number of people who bookmarked on http://del.icio.us
  • inbound links – number of blogs who linked to it (max 100)
  • diggs – number of people who dugg on http://digg.com

This Week at Internet Duct Tape

  • Internet Duct Tape featured in Blogging Heroes
    • When bloggers like Gina Trapani, Mark Frauenfelder, Chris Anderson, and Phillip Lennsen are honored to be collected in New York Times’ bestselling author Michael A. Banks’ new book, Blogging Heroes: Interviews with 30 of the World’s Top Bloggers I can’t even begin to describe how…
  • How to Subscribe to RSS Feeds with Google Reader and Internet Explorer
    • In August I was being the dutiful son and trying to get my father hooked on RSS feeds. (It’s like the Ring — if you get someone hooked on RSS you no longer have 700 unread items in Google Reader) I hit a snag: his browser of choice is Internet Explorer and there wasn’t a simple way to…
  • Avoid Prime Real Estate for Live.com Email Address Landrush
    • Microsoft’s live.com is offering email addresses, and the usual land grab rush is on to “secure” your identity on the service. What most people don’t realize is that securing a “prime real estate” email address is probably the LAST thing you want to do. An obvious email…
  • Digest for October 2007

This Week at IDT Labs

  • [YAHOO PIPES] Yahoo Pipe Cleaner v1.1
    • Yahoo Pipes changed their website on me and I’ve fixed Yahoo Pipe Cleaner so that it works with the new site. Now it also removes image thumbnails that were popping up. It might not run on all Yahoo Pipes because some pipes now have custom URLs — let me know if you are having any problems using…

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Best of Feeds – 30 links – programming, google, tips, agile, facebook

Posted in Best of Feeds by engtech on October 20, 2007

RSS feeds are like cookies (that are good enough for me). Best of Feeds is a weekly collection of the best stuff I saw on the Internet this week. They’re saved on delicious and stumbleupon and cross-posted to Twitter and Tumblr as they happen and then collected together on Saturdays. I don’t blog on the weekend so read these links instead.Subscribe to //engtech to see this every week (or get it by email).

Legend

  • saves – number of people who bookmarked on http://del.icio.us
  • inbound links – number of blogs who linked to it (max 100)
  • diggs – number of people who dugg on http://digg.com

This Week at Internet Duct Tape

  • How I Use Google Reader
    • “How I Use” is a new series I’m starting about the software I use on a day-to-day basis. I want share tips and tricks and to learn tips and tricks from readers sharing with me in the comments. Google Reader is a web-based RSS reader. Because it’s web-based I can access my Google…
  • The Attention Age: Accelerando, Software Agents, Filters and Gatekeepers
    • Last night I finished reading Accelerando by Charles Stross. Like many of the books I read these days, I heard about it from another blogger. It feels like a spiritual sequel to Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock, John Brunner’s the Shockwave Rider and Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan. It is…
  • Blog Action Day: Save Paper when Readers Print Your Blog
    • Today is Blog Action Day with a focus on the environment and I’m going to teach a quick CSS trick for how to save paper by reducing what gets printed when someone prints an article from your blog.
  • Coworkers Considered Harmful
    • I hit a realization this weekend that I’ve hit many times before. There’s an inordinate number of times when I’m in the office late not because of my own time management failures but because of the people I work with.
  • Best of Feeds – 26 links – programming, webdesign, javascript, design, tips
    • Tags: blogging, design, fun, javascript, lifehacks, programming, rails, tips, usability, web2.0, webdesign, writing

This Week at IDT Labs

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How I Use Google Reader

Posted in Google Calendar and Gmail, How I Use, Software by engtech on October 18, 2007

Software

“How I Use” is a new series I’m starting about the software I use on a day-to-day basis. I want share tips and tricks and to learn tips and tricks from readers sharing with me in the comments.

Google Reader is a web-based RSS reader. Because it’s web-based I can access my Google Reader from multiple places (home PC, home laptop, work PC, visiting family, etc) and all of my information is stored and updated in one place. I use the Firefox web-browser with the Greasemonkey extension.

Google Reader is an RSS reader

RSS can be best described as a stream of news. Instead of visiting different websites at a time, you subscribe to them and you get all of the updates from the websites you follow in one place. For me that one place is Google Reader. This video will describe RSS and why you would want to subscribe to an RSS feed.

Subscribing to a Feed

I subscribe to feeds either by clicking on the feed link directly or by using the autodiscovery feed option in Firefox.

rss feed auto-discovery

The first time you subscribe to a feed, Firefox will display the feed in a nice, human readable way, with a yellow box asking you what you want to use to subscribe to this feed. Choose the Google option and chose the option to always use Google to subscribe to feeds.

always use google reader to subscribe to rss

Unfortunately, Google isn’t smart enough to remember your preference between Google Reader and Google Homepage — so you have to always chose the red pill or the blue pill. There is a handy Greasemonkey script to fix that though: always subscribe to Google Reader.

Accessing Google Reader

I access Google Reader by typing reader.google.com into my address bar or by clicking on the Google Reader icon in the Google Toolbar.

  1. Install Google Toolbar
  2. Install Google Reader button for Google Toolbar

Setting Up My View

Google Reader lets you save your view settings which ever way you like them. I like to view all items at a time instead of sorting them by tags (I’ll switch to tag view if I don’t have time to read all my feeds and I want to focus on a specific subject).

google reader all items

I click on the Expanded view tab in the top right hand so that I can see titles and the body of each item.

google reader expanded view

I turn off the left sidebar by clicking the left margin or pressing ‘u’ on the keyboard.

google reader remove sidebar

Then I click on the View Settings drop-down and choose sort by newest and set as start page.

google reader save settings

Now Google Reader will remember these settings every time I log in.

Navigating Feeds

I read feeds by

  • using the middle mouse wheel to scroll down the page with my right hand
  • my left hand hovers over the ‘j’ and ‘k’ keys on my keyboard
  • ‘j’ jumps past a post that I don’t find interesting enough to read completely
  • ‘k’ jumps back to the previous post if I decide that I do want to read it

I find quickly scanning through full posts like this lets me read many more feeds than if I have to click on the titles I find interesting.

Opening Links

I open links I want to read by

  • clicking on the link with my middle mouse button to open it in a background tab

When I get around 10 links I take a break from reading feeds and go through all of those open tabs, closing them as I’m done with them.

Read a Post Later

If I come across a blog post that’s too dense to read at the moment I’ll use the Readeroo extension to save it to delicious with the toread tag. Readroo will let me fetch it later, and mark it as read.

Leaving a Blog Comment

When I find a blog post I want to comment on

  • I hit the ‘v’ key to jump to the post on the blog
  • hit the ‘end’ key on my keyboard to go the bottom of the post
  • press ‘alt+c’ to fill in my name / email address / blog url thanks to the handy prefill comments Greasemonkey script
  • write my comment and click send
  • press ‘ctrl+w’ to close the tab and return to my Google Reader tab

Bookmarking a Blog Post

When I find a blog post I want to save for my ‘Best of Feeds’ series

  • I hit the ‘v’ key to jump to the post on the blog
  • click on the ‘TAG’ button in my toolbar to save it to delicious

Google Reader has it’s own mechanism for sharing and bookmarking posts but I don’t find it nearly as useful or as fast as delicious. That might change with time.

I’ve seen a Greasemonkey script that lets you bookmark the post from within Google Reader, but I prefer using the official delicious extension to bookmark posts because of other enhancements I’ve made to it.

How Do You Use Google Reader?

The reason for writing a post like this isn’t only because I want to share how I do something, but because I also want to learn tricks I might not know about. Got a trick I’m missing out on? Please leave it in the comments, or write your own blog post about it and send a trackback.

Best of Feeds – 34 links – programming, google, lifehacks, ruby, funny

Posted in Best of Feeds by engtech on October 07, 2007

RSS feeds are like cookies (that are good enough for me). Best of Feeds is a weekly collection of the best stuff I saw on the Internet this week. They’re saved on delicious and stumbleupon and cross-posted to Twitter and Tumblr as they happen and then collected together on Saturdays. I don’t blog on the weekend so read these links instead.Subscribe to Internet Duct Tape to see this every week (or get it by email).

Legend

  • saves – number of people who bookmarked on http://del.icio.us
  • inbound links – number of blogs who linked to it (max 100)
  • diggs – number of people who dugg on http://digg.com

This Week at Internet Duct Tape

  • Distraction Free GTD: 32 Todo List Web Applications
    • Web Runner is a tiny site-specific web application that runs using less resources than Firefox or Internet Explorer. The whole idea behind a site specific web browser is that you want to access a web application without being tempted to access other sites. You want to access a site without being…
  • Magazine Review: October 2007 Issue of Inc. Magazine
    • I came to a rather startling discovery in the past month: magazines are just blogs with the added luxury of being able to read them while on the toilet or in the bathtub (but hopefully not both). I picked up the October issue of Inc. magazine because Joel Spolsky of Joel On Software has joined the…
  • Blog Tip: Create a Link Post in 3 Seconds
    • One question I’m frequently asked is “how do you build those Best of Feeds weekly links?” The way I do it is pretty complicated, but I’ve found a much simpler way that I want to share with you all.
  • Digest for September 2007
    • Every month I publish a digest post collecting the best of Internet Duct Tape.
  • Best of Feeds – 30 links – programming, productivity, code, socialsoftware, socialnetworking
    • Tags: adsense, advice, blogging, career, code, design, development, firefox, gtd, lifehacks, productivity, programming, ruby, rubyonrails, socialnetworking, socialsoftware, tips, web2.0, webdesign

This Week at IDT Labs

  • [AKISMET] Akismet Auntie Spam v2.04
    • Our favorite Auntie has a new version. 2007/10/04 version 2.04 – Fixed (some) memory problems with v2.03 – Still slow, I need to get it working with a profiler, none of the hacks for Greasemonkey + Firebug seem to work.
  • [DELICIOUS] Delicious Link Builder
    • Build a list of links using your delicious account to bookmark them. Works great with my Yahoo Pipe Cleaner script . Example : [BOOKMARKING] toread – an email-based bookmark service Simple service to use to track stuff ‘to read later’. They store the top 10 for each day. It’s like…
  • [RSS PIPE] Stupid Credit Builder
    • This is a clone of Stupid Feed Rewriter that backdates the entry to January 1st, 1970. Useful for adding a credit link at the end of a list.

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