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Firefox’s surprise – good or bad?

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I was casually blogging yesterday, and making some changes after reviewing my entries, so I clicked the ‘update’ button to implement the edits. Then I noticed something strange.

In a separate tab, I’ve opened up my blog to check that the HTML renders okay in the browser. I was navigating away from the page, because I wanted to check something up online about goodwill (bad!). Then I clicked the ‘back’ button to navigate into my blog…only to find that the changes weren’t made!!

Obviously, anything loads faster from cache (kinda like a storage area for frequently accessed data, can be webpages, video data, etc.), and that’s what Firefox did. Instead of loading the most current version of the page automatically, we have to manually click the ‘refresh’ button!

Refresh Icon (Image Source: http://icons-search.com/img/vistaicons/vistaico_toolbar_icons.zip/PNG-Refresh.png-256x256.png)

Refresh - was it always manual?

Way vintage.

I think the giant tech players are really trying to push offline surfing as a notion. For example, in Chrome, when you open the window, even if you don’t have an Internet connection, it loads the pages that were open last from a specified memory location. (Sorry, guys, still haven’t figured out how it all works so far… XD)

It’s just so much easier if it just added a conditional statement to the browser code, saying, ‘if network connection established, send GET request to web server and translate to IP address with DNS, send back to browser, interpret HTML tags, CSS,  cookies’. In fact, all it had to do was to copy the entire subroutine (bunch of code) for delivering webpages to the user, and add a the ‘if’ condition to it!

Oh well, that’s just a thought from a distant user.

What do you guys think? Firefox should change? Really doesn’t matter?

Feel free to leave a thought! XD

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Written by imicrothinking

October 7, 2009 at 9:13 am

Where do copied objects vanish off to?

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Back when I was on Yahoo Answers, I saw a question that was very similar to this. Since I don’t have a photographic memory, I’m going to paraphrase it. It went something like, ‘I’ve copied many photos off the Internet, but I can only seem to paste the last item I’ve copied. How can I access the previously copied items?’ I was struck that this was a basic operation on all operating systems with a GUI, and yet I didn’t know it! Well, being the researcher that I am, I looked it up instantly.

Funny function, ‘Ctrl + C’ is. I remembered from Harry Potter when McGonagall was entering Ravenclaw’s common room, she was asked, ‘Where do vanished objects go?’, to which she replied, ‘Into non-being, which is to say, everything.’ While the arcane field of magic contradicts with the precise nature of computer science, the answer proves to be a good representation of what the clipboard is.

Simply put, the clipboard is a temporary, stack-based memory storage location, which, after you logout, will clear its contents. When you copy things from different places, our PCs seem to be able to magically access and transfer the copied data across completely different applications. But, as we now know, the copied data (copying is evoked, or called forth, by user input, which is linked to the programming interface, or the friendly screen we see, e.g. in Windows, Ctrl + C is copy because Microsoft defines it to be, not because it’s there by coincidence) is stored in a location in volatile (temporary) memory called the clipboard, which is accessed by applications through the defined user input (or Ctrl + C in Windows, Command + C in Mac).

However, a clipboard is stack-based. It means that every new item you copy in an operating system is stacked on top of the last item, replacing it. So, by default, most applications only allow one instance of a clip (the copied object) to be stored in the clipboard (the memory location).

This drawback is defined by some applications, in which software developers and programmers develop a clipboard manager, allowing for multiple instances of clips to be stored. For example, Microsoft Word allows up to 24 clips to be stored in the 2003 and 2007 versions.

To access the clip in the 2003 version, you can simply go to Edit à Office Clipboard to display the window. (If an icon that looks like Clipboard Icon is in the status bar, then it’s already on.)

To access the clipboard in the 2007 version, you can simply click on the clipboard button as seen below:

Clipboard Access

Clipboard Access

(Note: You have to click the tiny arrow beside it.)

And the clipboard will be shown:

Clipboard Image

Clipboard Image

For convenience, it’s easier to simply automatically have the clipboard pop-up every time you open Word. You can do this through clicking at the options button below, and checking the ‘Show Office Clipboard Automatically’ radio button.

In Vista, when you switch on Clipboard, a clipboard icon will appear in the status bar (at the bottom of your window). Double clicking it will open the clipboard window in the active Office application (i.e. Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, Groove, OneNote, etc., whichever you’ve got on top).

Clipboard in Status Bar

Clipboard in Status Bar

But, note that clipboard can only be used in the Office suite. You can’t use it for applications such as Photoshop or Fireworks.

(Obviously, the ‘trick’ is to open a Word window all times, so you can have the clipboard manager open to use. You paste it once, and copy and paste it again in your other application.)

Hope you found this useful! (Sorry, techies, this is for newbies like myself, but check out the programming sub-category in computer section, I’ll be doing some more articles when I get more proficient in programming! XD)

Share your thoughts on this post!! XD

The best way to eat green peas

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Hey guys!

Breakfast, as usual, is macaroni for me. My aunt keeps pestering me on about artificially enhanced foods, and she’s absolutely right, but I’m not going to spend hours fixing up a complex breakfast just because it’s more natural!

Well, I thought, ‘hey, why not just put in some frozen vegetables, so we can have a more nutritious breakfast?’ You know the pack that has peas, corn and carrot in it? That’s exactly it. While I’m okay with carrots and corn, I don’t particularly like the peas, because it feels like as if you’re eating chunks of mashed stuff with them.

So, what to do?

I remember a long time ago, my aunt (other aunt, I’ve a lot of aunts and uncles XD) told me that the best way to eat something you don’t have a preference for (but still have to do it because of certain circumstances…i.e. being polite), is to mix it with something that you really like.

Like, we often hear stories of parents blending eggs into a smoothie and saying it’s ‘magical water which can make your dreams come true’ or something, which is obviously contrived. But, the point is, IT WORKS!! Kids dig that stuff!

That’s not going to work with teens or adults. But I think we can replicate the same effect just by commingling food – a mélange of the good and the bad to nullify the taste. In the worst case scenario, everything doesn’t suit your tastes, if it’s really bland or something that you just don’t like, you can just imagine eating stuff you really like…while holding your breath. (Works, trust me! You won’t feel you’re eating the taste, you’ll just feel the texture of it in your mouth!)

I mean, obviously, don’t just try and mix in anything. A minus and a negative, in our case, nullifies. But in other cases, it can turn re-ealy negative. For instance, you love tomatoes. Fish, not so much. You try and eat tomatoes with fish. Not the best combination possible. If you want to breathe while eating, choose something with a similar texture to what you don’t like eating, so you’ll just feel as if you’re just eating the stuff that you like!

Or, conversely, you can just hold your breath…

Do you guys ever have a similar experience? I’d love to hear your stories!!! XD

Written by imicrothinking

October 6, 2009 at 10:20 am

Gmail tip #1: Neatly colored labels (05.10.09)

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Hey guys!

Just had a spur of inspiration. I was going through one of my gmail accounts (yes, sadly, I have nearly 30 email addresses, of which I only use three actively, still subscribing for more…), and looking through my inbox. Well, call it an inbox if you want. It was trash, trash, trash everywhere. In the one month that I haven’t checked my email, it was overloaded with nearly 300 emails from internet marketers (not one myself, no worries). BAD!!! I then remembered a dear (alas, overseas) friend of mine said he was going to send something to me, and if not for Gmail’s search capabilities (Hurrays for Google!), I would have destroyed my PC.

Well, the obvious solution was to implement filters and labels for cleaner email management. To be honest, I did that a long time ago, but it was a mess. I mean, Gmail’s great and everything, except it DOESN’T ALLOW YOU TO PLACE LABELS IN AN ORDER YOU WANT!!! If you ever had a LOT of labels, that’s troublesome. If you don’t check your email in a while, and someone sends you a whole bunch of stuff, you filter it for later use, but it’s all in disarray!!! Completely disorganized labels, running off everywhere!

Have a look at the screenshot below:

Gmail screenshot

Gmail screenshot

Taken from my Gmail account I wasn’t too proud of. If I wanted to place all emails from a certain source to the folder ‘others’, for example, I’d have to create a filter (troublesome, since I only have a few), or I’d select all emails from that person, then drag down my ridiculously long list of labels before dragging down into my folder.

Then, it hit me: how to bypass Gmail’s alphabetical label sorting system.

It worked wonders for me. It’s probably really stupid after you’ve seen it, but here it goes anyways…*drum rolls, please*

Gmail screenshot 2

Gmail screenshot 2

For a clearer view:

Gmail screenshot 3

Gmail screenshot 3

Yes! I simply placed labels in categories, using alphabetical code names! For example, IM was for the Internet marketing stuff (*belch*), and A, well, I just thought it’d be nice to put all the social media stuff on top so I can see everything clearly. A for astounding? XD

Well, there you have it. It’s not the most exciting tip you’ve ever encountered, but, it can help improve visibility and colour-coding of your labels.

I mean, while I do realize it is tedious trying to sort out all the emails, but I think it’s well worth the effort in the long term, since labels and filters are permanent. I sat down (sadly) all afternoon filtering and sorting the labels, but, the end result? Satisfaction.

Feel free to comment!! XD

Written by imicrothinking

October 5, 2009 at 2:44 pm

The cleanaholics complex

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Today, I had a revelation. Through one of the stupidest mistakes I could make.

When summer started (27th of June for me, to be precise), I initiated some of my efforts at online marketing as a sideline project, however, it was unstructured. I had a look at several emerging trends online, well, it should be ‘emerged’ trends, strictly speaking. Social media is the Zeitgeist now. Everybody’s talking about it, more like talking on it, because of its increasing spread in popularity. The idea is simple, after I watched some videos from Perry Belcher, my ‘social (media) hero’ (1), it’s simply social network aggregation. For me, though, it was a new thing, because I’d never log on to check the status of my social media profiles in various platforms, no matter how often my friends bug me to do it. Well, now’s a pretty good chance to check it out, isn’t it? XD

Towards the end of the summer, after a long rest (euphemism for laziness…XP), I started looking at various aspects of online marketing and started educating myself on the sideline  about things like:

–          HTML/CSS
–          Graphics design
–          Booklet design
–          Marketing theories
–          Social psychology theories
–          Social media exploration
–          Social media aggregation

…and spent about a week on each of these since the 20th of August. So, strictly speaking, this is the sixth serious week of my online marketing effort, because all the stuff I did before was either irrelevant, or simply, was too fractured for documentation. (Trust me, all the experts have a lot to say about taking action, but it’s not action that’s difficult, it’s documenting what you do that’s both onerous and difficult!)

However, it wasn’t until the fourth week that I saw a need for a timetable, a structure which I can use to help implement and direct my marketing efforts. In the beginning, it just wasn’t necessary. I mean, if you’ve ever delved into HTML, CSS, graphics and booklet design, you’d know that it’s pretty much fixed, in terms of the stuff you learn. For example, there’s only so many CSS attributes and HTML tags that you can ever use(2). Graphics tailored online are only ever designed in a certain software environment (I use Fireworks primarily, since it’s the easiest, I think), and for novices, like myself, if you wanted to integrate graphics with learning web design, the basic level design skills are easily learnt using existing tools in-built in Fireworks, so that’s pretty much done and all that.

Up until then, I was following tutorials from the W3C (3) (the NPO which develops and maintains web standards) and from Smashing Magazine (4), so all my efforts at learning can pretty much be summed up in one word – regular.

So, what happened?

On the fourth week, I started to get spurs of inspiration. Inspiration not to do with graphics, nor web design (heck, as you see with my graphics, you’ll see that I don’t do a lot of creative work XD), but to do with marketing. Up till then, it was all technical, technical, technical stuff, while everything was up and available on the WWW already! i.e. pre-designed templates

So, I started designing timetables, marketing and networking curriculums, and looked at productivity measures, so I can keep track of my pace of working. For two weeks, I studied marketing, social psychology and social media following that timetable, and then I realized this: I WASN’T GETTING ANYWHERE WITH THIS SCHEDULE!!!

This was bad. I had initially planned for this to be a one-time spinoff of my exploration towards the marketing field until the end of December (DX work on my birthday!!!), and I’m already halfway and still haven’t made a single dime, not a significant number of followers, nor a list, NOTHING!!!

This is big.

And I realized. Realized the irony in this. While implementing a framework for my work, I was SORELY LIMITING MY WORK TIME!!! (5) I was doing six one-hour sessions on a daily basis, and three hours of programming, excluding time to rest, but because I was flitting between some completely different (but not unrelated) areas on the same day, I wasn’t getting anything done!

Principle #1: Focus, focus, focus. (6)

So, in the end, here’s the dilemma and compromise.

The dilemma: well documented action (slow implementation) vs. not-as-well documented action (fast implementation)

…and the compromise: To keep doing what you’re doing (and lose out) or to throw away all the efforts at organizing your life and use extension strategies to better your life (and wait for the amelioration).

That’s pretty much my story. I feel so much more inspired now that I’ve written this entry!

But there is one thing left. You might be thinking now, ‘how’s the heck is this related to being a cleanaholic?’

I called it a cleanaholics complex because it’s exactly that. On the side, we might watch cleanaholics, namely – housewives  (our mothers or female spouses) tidying the house every day, but not seemingly doing much or doing it in an organized way. WRONG!!! When you have kids especially, it’s impossible to keep an orderly state in our houses. It’s impossible, I can guarantee you that. (Inspired by a show on Discovery Home and Health in which there’s a relative/friend of a mom with dissenting opinions about how they manage the household and take over for the weekend. Rate of success? Flat-out zero.(7))

So, the solution?

Something that I learnt from face reading (8). You find orderliness in chaos (and vice vesa), which I just learnt from marketing…manifested.

Tell me what you think! XD


Download links

Download here: My naive timetable XD

Notes

  1. Visit Perry’s blog with awesome content at www.perrybelcher.com and www.perrybelchermarketing.com . Truly an inspiration to all marketers!!! (UPDATE: 30.09.09, later on in the day: Just found out he’s discontinuing his blogs!)
  2. Not underestimating the power and beauty of CSS! Heck, I’ve just started Java, and I still think CSS is more complex, in terms of its variations!
  3. http://www.w3schools.com/ The web consortium’s official portal for learning XHTML, HTML, CSS, XML, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL among many other languages.
  4. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/ Houses one of the best web designer consortiums online. It has some excellent tutorials in various design software, most popular including Fireworks and Photoshop.
  5. My naïveté…
  6. www.simpleology.com by Mark Joyner, feature on Wall Street Journal, a program which comes completely at no cost targeted towards self-improvement. It’s really a sockdolager of a program. XD
  7. If you guys happen to remember the name of the show, do tell me! Email me at: imicrothinking@gmail.com . Thanks !! XD ~
  8. 「故男相,虽固属阳,但必须带阴,以和之。女相虽固属阴,必须有阳,以顺之。」- 李英才师傅

(gu4 nan2 xiang4, sui1 gu2 shu2 yang2, dan4 bi1xu1 dai4 yang2, yi3 he2 zhi1. Nu3 xiang4 sui1 gu4 shu2 yin2, bi1 xu1 you3 yang2, yi3 shun4 zhi1.)
What this means, literally, ‘A male, though whose countenance has a tendency towards yin, must bring yang, to neutralize. A female, though bearing a visage heavily yang, must contain yin, to equalize.’ The implications are simply this: a state cannot exist on its own. It must bring a wisp of its extreme counterpart, lest its existence ceasing. If you’re trying to become organized, it’s almost certain that you’ll have times of non-conformity (when things don’t go according to plan.) Don’t worry about it! As they say, ‘a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.’ Ancient sages are rarely wrong, if ever.

Written by imicrothinking

September 30, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Fav. sayings #2 (30.09.09)

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“Avis. We’re #2, but we try harder. (When you’re not #1, you have to.)”

– Avis, car rentals
Marketing slogan

Written by imicrothinking

September 30, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Fav. sayings #1 (30.09.09)

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“That’s how much you know!” Fudge shouted. He’s learned to say that every time someone disagrees with him. It’s a real conversation stopper.

– Fudge
Fudge-a-mania, Judy Blume

Written by imicrothinking

September 30, 2009 at 4:39 pm