Firefox Tip: Keyword Search

I was talking to a friend about Chrome concerning the way they unified the search and address bar.  I have a variety of search engines in Firefox/IE that I use so I frequently go to the search bar, type in what I want, choose the relavent engine, then hit bombs away.  However, it turns out there’s a far faster and far better way of doing this in Firefox coupled with a handy shortcut key.

In the first place, control+L will take you directly to the address bar in every browser EXCEPT IE.  Couple this with smart keywords and you have a killer way to basically move to an all keyboard solution to searching quickly and effeciently.

Visit the page that has the search field that you search with. Right click on the search field. Choose Add a Keyword for this Search… The Add Bookmark dialog will appear. Give the bookmark a name, e.g. “IMDB Search” and create a keyword e.g. “imdb” and file the Bookmark somewhere. Firefox comes with a Quick Searches folder so you could use that. Click OK

Now enter imdb Matchstick Men into the Location bar and press Enter. You’re done! You can repeat these steps for any searches you use – e.g. Amazon, your corporate phonebook, your favorite bittorrent site, anything!

So now, what you can do is have google set as something like “g” and then hit control+L then type “g cats” and it would run a google search on cats.  Run a similar setup for wikipedia, youtube, etc and you have this really cool shorthand search method!

Thanks to Hammeron for the tip!

Google Browser: Chrome

Chrome Documentation

Chrome Download

Read the documentation, it’s very interesting how they’ve gone through the architectural process.  I was thinking just the other day how I use IE/Firefox/Safari all fairly interchangeably.  Yes, I said Safari, I actually think it is the fastest web page renderer but I’m not sure.

I feel old recalling a time where if you used IE you were doomed to spyware and other bad things, but most things have been resolved in IE7, not all, but most things.  I’m not a big plug-in user for Firefox so the transition is pretty seamless between all the browsers for me.  The big plug-in I use is Sage for my RSS feeds but I keep getting pressured into using Google Reader.

Anyway, it’ll be very interesting to see Google entering the browser war.  I wonder how quickly it will be adopted.  If they can deliver on the speed and reliability, I think a lot of Firefox users would probably switch.  IE has such deep penetration on the market because of its bundling with Windows.  There are A LOT of people who can’t abstract the idea that the Internet and IE are seperate entities.  I had someone at work who had no idea that you could get to web pages with something that wasn’t IE.  So we’ll see.  There’s a level of marketing that would have to be pushed out to go to the average user.  Alternately, if they have some great packaging options like they seem to be doing with things like Adobe Reader then it might take off pretty quickly as well.

UPDATE: Anyone using Symantec Endpoint Protection (which includes anyone at TTU using the antivirus software)

If upon boot you see this message: “The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000005). Click ok to terminate the application.”

You need to remove the Application & Device Control from the installation of this product – i.e Add/Remove programs – click on Modify and unselect it

Fantasy Football

For the last several years my friends asked me to fill in a spot on their fantasy league.  It wasn’t until last year I was faced with the ultimatum of “Play or we’ll get someone else” to which I finally agreed to play.  Unfortunately for them, I was the all time greatest player ever in the history of their league!!!  Ok maybe a little hyperbole, but I did end up winning the playoffs which was pretty funny however, I found out my victory is a little hollow due to how the system is setup.  The playoffs are played where most of the first string players are sort of kept fresh and don’t have as much playtime as usual.  So the best overall teams of the season get a little gimped when it matters most.

Ok and like last year, I missed the draft again.  So my automated team looks like this:

Manning, Eli QB NYG
Smith, Kevin RB DET
Tomlinson, LaDainian RB SD
Burleson, Nate WR SEA
Mason, Derrick WR BAL
Ward, Hines WR PIT
Gonzalez, Tony TE KC
Folk, Nick K DAL
Jaguars DST

Campbell, Jason QB WAS
Bush, Reggie RB NO
Edwards, Braylon WR
Olsen, Greg TE CHI
Texans DST

I think I got a fair team for missing it entirely.  Let’s see if I can pull off a 2 year streak!

Performance Sorrow

It’s not until I hear really great pieces like this (English Folk Song Suite 2nd Movement) that make me feel bad about putting away the oboe.  In truth, I stopped playing my senior year knowing full well I never practiced as much as I should and never really maturing to the point where I could sound as good as the intro in this piece.  But listening makes me want to go to a pawn shop or find a used oboe on ebay and start up all over again.  Combine this with playing Rock Band which throws you in the fake position of showmanship and I have this building regret.

I feel like a problem with growing up is that I find more and more things interesting enough to want to create new hobbies.  This is in stark contrast to how I’ve grown up wanting to only do something if I’d be good at it.  To dabble in a little of everything would mean I probably can’t dig deep enough into it to be excellent.  So much to do in so little time.

On the flip side check out the guitar interpretation of the above song:

Blizzcon 2008

I’ll be going again this year it looks like. Last year’s event was a total blast. Seeing Wrath unveiled as well as playing hands on Starcraft 2 was amazing. Meeting the people I boss around in my guild was cool too. =)

Last year I toted my backpack everywhere which was pretty much useless. This year I’ll travel far lighter and leave the backpack. The area had wifi, but to sit down, break out the laptop, connect, then do whatever sort of distracted from the environment.  Probably a shame too because I’d probably have more to write about or twitter about this year with Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2.  I’ll try to use my iPod Touch since I can update the site and tweet from there but I hate the keyboard.  I’m currently in the Wrath beta so I guess I could start writing up some of my experiences and post some shots maybe.

I saw lots of relatively famous people last year, obviously the Blizzard crew like Chris Metzen, Rob Pardo, then others like Richard Knaak, Leroy Jenkins, and journalists like Jessica Chobot.  I should gotten better pictures I guess.  I ate great food, drank the most alcohol I’d ever drinken in my life, and actually it wasn’t that much since I don’t usually drink which might be sad for some of you, and met a chinchilla.  I’m hoping for more of the same.  A lot of the guildies want to have a Rock Band night so I’m looking forward to that, unless they make me sing.

Digsby: 3 Weeks Later

My inital impressions of Digsby are documented in a post below.  However as one gets more familiar with an application one’s opinions can change drastically.  Have mine?  No way!  Digsby RULES!

One week after I installed it I thought to myself, I wonder what I can possibly find to not like about Digsby.  I hunted high and low and finally found my one big gripe.  Memory hog.  It was up to about 85MB of RAM.  85MB OF RAM FOR IM!!!  It seems pretty insane.  But was I gonna dump Digsby because of it?  No, because of they actually have a beta release (which actually the stable release I think is also coined beta as well making this a beta beta release)  which addresses optimizations, notably in memory. Check it out here.

So after reading about how they’ve dumped the memory resources, I hopped on the beta beta release bandwagon to scope it out and sure enough.  I dropped to 30MB max and I’ve seen it go down to 12MB at a minimum which rocks.  The features I use are AIM/ICQ/Yahoo/MSN/Twitter so it might go up for you crazy people with Myspace/Facebook.  Overall, 3 weeks later, Digsby still rocks and only gets better.  It was fun GAIM/Pidgin/Trillian, but I think we finally have a juggernaut.

My only remaining gripe is that you have to have/make a Digsby account.  The pros of this are that whenever you log into Digsby it will load up all your modules you need, but I often swap between different IM accounts.  My laptop may be on one AIM screen name but then I switch to my desktop AIM name occasionally which becomes sort of a pain with an account based setup.  I suppose I could make my account global and include every screen name I’ve ever used but I’m not sure if it’s smart enough to know to enable some and disable others.  With MSN/Yahoo you can’t have multiple logins so you get disconnected and can’t auto reconnect.  This gripe is so minor and specific to me I’m not sure many other people would have such a unique gripe.

And speaking of 3 week later type of evaluations, I’ll be going back over Flickr/Picasa as well.

Rex and Mattie 6 Years Old!

At least I think they’re 6.  I got them when they were going to be 1 year old in 2003 I think.  Maybe it was 2002.  Anyway, Rex is on the left and Mattie is on the right.  I asked them to behave and clean up the apartment one day and I came home and they were laying in my laundry basket.  I asked if they were going to fold the clothes and they thought that’s how it was done.  They’re so dumb sometimes.

About Rex

Rex always wants to be picked up.  He’s got the mindset of about a 3 year old boy or dog.  He requires attention much more than a usual cat who keep to themselves.  He has to be involved in some way with what I’m doing.  If I’m on the computer, he’ll lay by the keyboard and watch.  If I’m watching tv, he’ll lay beside me and watch with me, occasionally falling asleep.  If I’m going to bed, he hops up on my chest and falls asleep.  When I walk around the apartment, he climbs up on my legs and wants to be carried around.  He’s got the personality of a dog more than that of a cat.  He’s pretty hilarious though, but he’s the dumber of the two cats.  He’s polite enough to say bless you after you sneeze.

About Mattie

She’s more like a typical cat.  Keeps to herself unless it’s attention time.  When it is attention time, it’s not usually at a great moment, for instance in the middle of playing a game or when I need to go to the bathroom.  She’s very loving during those moments and very sweet.  She loves to give massages for some reason and nom on things when she shouldn’t.  If you’re petting her or rubbing her stomach and you pull your hand away she’ll paw at your hand and stare at you with a quizzical “Are you done?” kind of look.  She hates being picked up or carried.  She does however like to tell me what to do when playing Warcraft 3 or World of Warcraft.  She has an interest in playing guitar as well.

She dreams of having opposable thumbs to help me out but it seems modern science doesn’t care about granting such wishes to cats.  Maybe one day when we have flying cars that don’t run on gas.  Before she got spayed, she loved to sing at night and practice for American Idol.  However, since then, she’s been pretty soft spoken.  She loves looking out the window and watching birds.  Occasionally she’ll go into a battle trance and whisper things like “I’m gonna eat you,” to the birds.  She thinks I can’t hear it but I tell her about it and she snaps out of it.  She’s weird but she’s just too cute.

Beijing 2008 Olympics

Mahalo Medal Count

The Olympics always come by and I’m very disinterested until I leave it on running in the background.  The opening ceremony was spectacular.  It was extremely artistic and as well as a grand display of technology.  Nice work China.

Of the events so far that have been great, swimming has been the greatest to watch.  Michael Phelps’s 400m medley and the 4x100m relay were AWESOME to watch.  When those videos pop up online, if you haven’t watched them, go watch them because you’re missing out on some of the greatest swimming races ever if you haven’t seen them.

Beyond swimming though, gymnastics doesn’t look like it’s going so well for the US unfortunately and I’m not sure who from the USA are going to be in the track and field stuff.  The next week or two should be pretty interesting or very boring if all the excitement was jammed into the first few days.  Oh I’m also looking forward to the basketball stuff too.

Rock Band 2 Achievements

IGN Link

Solid Gold, Baby!
Gold star any song.     25
Flawless Fretwork
100% a song on Expert guitar.     25
Flawless Drumming
100% a song on Expert drums.     25
Flawless Singing
100% a song on Expert vocals.     25
Flawless Groove
100% a song on Expert bass only using up-strums.     25
Flawless Guitar Solo
100% a guitar solo using only the solo buttons.     20
The Bachman-Turner Award
Maintain deployed Overdrive for 90 seconds.     25
Million Point Club
Earn more than 1,000,000 points in a single song.     25
Bragging Rights
Defeat a player in either Score Duel or Tug of War.     15
Comeback Kid
Defeat the last player beat you in either Score Duel or Tug of War.     15
Band Savior
Be a savior 3 times during one song.     20
Hello Cleveland!
Deploy Vocal Overdrive 4 times in a single song.     20
Overdrive Overdose
Achieved an 8x Band Multiplier     25

Band World Tour
Got Wheels
Won a Van in World Tour     20
Open Road
Won a Bus in World Tour     20
Jet Setter
Won a Jet in World Tour     20
Worldwide Sensation
Gain the ability to play around the world     25
West Coast Performer
Played a set on the West Coast of North America     10
God Save the Band
Played a set in the United Kingdom     10
Heartland Performer
Played a set in Middle America.     10
Western Europe Performer
Played a set in Western Europe.     10
East Coast Performer
Played a set on the East Coast of North America     10
Eastern European Performer
Played a set in Eastern Europe.     10
Road Dog
Played in every venue in the world     30
One Million Fans
Reached 1 million fans in Band World Tour     30
This is a secret achievement regarding progression.     20     Hidden
This is a secret achievement regarding progression.     20     Hidden
This is a secret achievement regarding progression.     30     Hidden
This is a secret achievement regarding progression.     50     Hidden
This is a secret achievement regarding progression.     25     Hidden

Clothes to the Edge
Buy over $100,000 worth of clothes.     20
Needs More Umlauts!
Made a Band Logo.     10
The San Dimas 4th Annual Award
Competed in a Battle of the Bands.     15
You’re Hired!
Hired a staff member.     10
You Killed the Radio Star
Made a music video.     15

Tour Challenge
Along for the Ride
Beat an instrument-specific challenge while playing another instrument     10
Challenge Novice
Complete 25 Challenges on Medium Difficulty, or 10 Challenges on Hard Difficulty, or 5 Challenges on Expert Difficulty     10
Challenge Master
Complete 25 Challenges on Hard Difficuly, or 10 Challenges on Expert Difficulty     15
Challenge Savant
Complete 25 Challenges on Expert Difficulty     25
The Final Countdown
Unlock an Impossible Challenge     15
Stage Igniters
Beat the Impossible Band Challenge     25
Lord of the Strings
Beat the Impossible Guitar Challenge     25
Beat the Impossible Drum Challenge     25
Beat the Impossible Vocal Challenge     25
Groove Assassin
Beat the Impossible Bass Challenge     20
Buy a Real Instrument Already!
Beat an “Impossible” Challenge on Expert Difficulty     35

Drum Trainer
Beat It!
Complete all beats at 60BPM or higher, or half of the beats at 140BPM or higher     10
The Beat Goes On
Complete all beats at 100BPM or higher, or half of the beats at 180BPM or higher     20
Fill Me In
Complete all fills at 60BPM or higher, or half of the fills at 140BPM or higher     10
Fill Legend
Complete all fills at 100BPM or higher, or half of the fills at 180BPM or higher     20

The plus side from what I’ve read is that the Band World Tour stuff should be obtainable via single player.  Not that I advocate playing Rock Band solo, it’s just irritating that I’m only allowed to get certain achievements in RB1 by playing multiplayer.

Current Rock Band 1 progress has me pegged between hard and expert difficulty on the drums.  I’m stuck on songs because of my unresponsive red drum head.  I need to do more research into the sock mod to move on.  It helps if I don’t take long breaks from playing Rock Band too though.


As is evidenced by the new Twitter sidebar, I’ve decided to give in and setup a Twitter account.  To coincide with it, I’m also switching from Pidgin to Digsby.

It seems like there’s so many social networking sites that it’s frustrating to keep up with any and all the new stuff.  It’s often been asked why I don’t have a MySpace or Facebook page and I respond that I have a website of my own and that’s enough.  Secretly, I feel like they’re the modern day Geocities and most of the pages I look at are HORRIBLY designed.  Certainly I’m able to do much more with my web site than the constraints put on what can be done on MySpace/Facebook, but people kinda just look at me funny and shrug it off.  This is the first sign that I’m becoming a crotchety old man though.

Yes, I realize as I’m listening to TWiT that they frequently talk about Twitter and it’s many uses.  But to me, when I heard the idea of Twitter, I was thinking it was a little absurd and stalker-ish to let everyone know what I’m doing.  That or it could become quite juvenile as evidenced by this PA Comic.  So I sort of left it by the wayside for now.

Then it dawns on me.  Paul Thurrot says that there are people like his mom or grandmother (I forget offhand) who simply won’t use an ATM machine and he gets it.  I get that I’m turning into that and I’m afraid I’m gonna lose my nerd street credibility!  Crotchety old man syndrome is kicking in.  On the one hand, I’m a lot more cautious about software now than I ever was before having lived through the Morpheus/Kazaa days of super spyware destroying your computer.  But now we’ve sort of evolved a bit past that with things like Ad-Aware and Spybot.  I’ve become a technological hermit even though technology is something I’m passionate about!

So I’m breaking down my misconceptions and going back to trying out software even despite the fact that I may already have something that serves that purpose and might be better.  This isn’t to say I’m going to get a MySpace/Facebook account though, I’m still not too keen on that.  But I’ll open up to Twitter for now.  It’s got a great set of tools for integration into the site and it’s opened it’s API up to things like Digsby.

Which brings me to Digsby!  I love it so far.  I had been a GAIM user then something bad happened on one build so I switched to Trillian, then I hated Trillian because I felt like it was slightly bloated but maybe more accurately it felt slower loading up, then I went back to GAIM when it became Pidgin and now I’ve been convinced that Digsby is totally the future of the IM super client so far.  It integrates all the popular IM clients as well as MySpace/Facebook/Twitter and email clients (Gmail/MSN/Yahoo/Pop).

The best thing about it so far is that compared to Pidgin, I was able to exclude people from sending me an IM if they weren’t on my buddy list.  Which Pidgin didn’t have, I had to install the regular IM client to enable that.  I’ve recently had a problem with spam IMs.  However, no longer!  I know I’m gushing now so just go to the site and try it out yourself.