Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Adding your favorite Search Engine to FF2 & IE7

As I was trying out the new Internet Explorer 7, I was trying to see whether I could add one of my favorite search engines (the superb Leo english-german online dictionary) to the search bar, as I was able to do with Firefox 2.

This is how I got to add the Leo search engine in FF2:

  1. In the Search drop-down list, click Manage Search Engines.
  2. In the following dialog box, click Get more search engines....
  3. In the Web page that appears next, click Browse through more search engines at mycroft.mozdev.org.
  4. In the search box, enter 'Leo', and then click Search.
  5. Click the language you would like to use (I picked de<->en).
  6. The following dialog box appears:


    Click Add (check Start using it right away to make this your default search engine). My Leo search engine has now been added:


Internet Explorer 7 does not have the search engine Leo available. However, it uses fascinating technology to add any search engine you can think of yourself!

To add the Leo search engine to IE7, do the following:

  1. In the Search drop-down list, choose Find more providers. The Add Search Providers to Internet Explorer 7 page appears.
  2. In the Create Your Own section, enter the URL of the search result in your favorite search engine for the search term 'TEST', as described online.
  3. Enter a name for this search engine (in our case 'Leo').
  4. Click Install.

Lo and behold, this stuff really worked...good job, Microsoft!

IE7 Disappeared Menu Toolbar

One of the first things one notices after having installed Internet Explorer 7 is that the Menu Bar has disappeared.

To make the Menu Bar permanently visible again, do this:

  1. Press ALT to make the Menu toolbar temporarily visible:

  2. In the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click Menu Bar, as follows:


    The Menu Bar will now stay permanently!

Friday, October 20, 2006

For those nerds that like the color blue

From Miguel Carrasco's Real World: the Blue Screen of Death Top 10.

It also comes in a Mac and a Linux flavor. And the winner is:

Thursday, October 12, 2006

'Arrogant Software'

Jacob Proffitt on The Rabid Paladin blog rants, and rightfully so IMHO:

Ever notice that software seems to have a personality? Some programs are desperate for approval, some eager to please, some like to show-off all their cool features, some calmly wait for their opportunity to be useful.

And some programs are simply arrogant jerks. There are a couple of utilities that are useful enough that, like in real-life, you simply put up with their crappy attitude and count the days until a competitor comes along that will offer a viable alternative.

How true. More here.

Shared Sentiments about OpenOffice.Org

I share many of Piotr's sentiments as expressed in his post called "Open Office Imperfect" on his Corvus Frugilegus blog.

A fragment:

Perhaps Open Office itself can be transformed into something better. After all Firefox is transformed Netscape browser. In the latter case the transformation was somewhat drastic. I do not see Sun doing any kind of “Open Office reborn” project anytime soon.

Me neither. Bugs filed are never ironed out unless someone feels like fixing it or if Sun happens to have a customer that puts pressure on them to improve things.

Read it all here.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Error Message of the Month

This must be Internet Explorer's biggest error screen:


Very concise and descriptive, ain't it?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

More Keyboard Shortcut Madness: Shift + F8

From The Old New Thing:

One of the most obscure keyboard shortcuts has got to be Shift+F8, which is used for listbox discontiguous extended selection. Man, what a mouthful. KB article Q301583 doesn't help matters by listing this keyboard shortcut under "Dialog box keyboard shortcuts" even though it isn't a dialog box keyboard shortcut. It's a listbox keyboard shortcut.

If the listbox supports extended selections (via LBS_EXTENDEDSEL), then you can use the Shift+F8 shortcut to create discontiguous multiple selections from the keyboard. (Via the mouse, you can just Ctrl+Click to create a discontiguous multiple selection.) Type Shift+F8 once to enter extended selection mode, then use the arrow keys to select an item and press Ctrl+Space or Shift+Space to select (or deselect) it. When finished, type Shift+F8 again (or just move focus to some other window).

And yes, this particular keyboard interface is pretty wacked out. A more natural mechanism would be to have Ctrl+Arrow move the focus without changing the selection, then using Ctrl+Space to select (or deselect) the focus item. Thankfully, the list view control went for that approach rather than emulating the crazy Shift+F8 keyboard shortcut.

All I can say is: Thank God for mouse devices!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

OpenOffice.org Usability Absurdity of the day

So here's for my first OOO absurdity:

In OOO, filling cells with a background color using the toolbar is an awkward experience, especially if you move from Excel.

In Excel, the behavior of the toolbar button is:

  • Click the toolbar button itself to fill a cell with the last used or default color:

    excel fill cell 1
  • Click the toolbar button's drop-down arrow to unfold a drop-down menu from which you can chose a color:

    excel fill cell 1

In OpenOffice.org, the behavior is like this:

  • Click either the toolbar button itself or the drop-down arrow:

    fill toolbar in cal 1

    The following undocked toolbar will pop-up:

    fill toolbar in cal 2

My questions:

  • Why have a drop-down arrow if it does not unfold a drop-down menu?
  • Why is that a disconnected, undocked, toolbar that pops up?
  • Why does clicking the toolbar button not behave the same as Excel (fill last or default color)?

I filed Issue 68950 with OpenOffice.org called: Background and font color buttons improvement.

Friday, August 25, 2006

OpenOffice Easter-egg

OK, it's still a long time before Eastern, but...for some people OpenOffice is apparently too fast...which leaves you time to play some exciting, hidden Easter eggs games!

From eeggs.com:

  1. create a new sheet in openoffice.org Calc (spreadsheet)
  2. enter this formula in a cell:


    and validate (validation button or enter)
  3. the cell will display "say what?"
  4. Enter this formula:

  5. a new window will open with a little game star wars game. 
  6. But if you type again this formula, the cell will return the display "oh no, not again!"

To be able to play again, you need to close the file, close openoffice.org and the QuickStarter, and then make the same.

Here's a screenshot:


BTW: This works with the latest version of OpenOffice.org 2.0.3 as well!