Super Awesome Firefox 3 Tips! (Linux)

Here’s a follow up to my previous post that featured Firefox 3 tips for all platforms – this post highlights tips that are specific to (or have specific details for) Linux, particularly Ubuntu Linux.

These tips include tweaks to userChrome.css for changing display aspects of your browser’s “Chrome”, such as reducing the size of the bookmarks toolbar and removing down arrows from folder buttons, as well as themes to make your Linux installation look more like Windows (if you so desire). Read on for details!

Make Firefox “bookmark toolbar” text smaller

Try adding the following to your userChrome.css (located at “~/.mozilla/firefox/<random>.default/chrome/userChrome.css”) to make the bookmark toolbar text smaller, more like Windows or Macintosh:

/* Menu Bar - Shrink and Fade Text */
#navigator-toolbox .menubar-text {
	font-size: 70% !important;
	color: #999 !important;
	}

/* URL Bar and Search Bar - Shrink and Fade Text*/
#urlbar, #searchbar{
	font-size: 85% !important;
	color: #333 !important;
	}

/* Tabs - Shrink Font and Height*/
.tabbrowser-tabs {
	font-size: 80% !important;
	height: 20px !important;
	}
.tabbrowser-strip {
	height: 22px !important;
	}

/* Bookmarks Toolbar - Shrink Font and Size*/
#PersonalToolbar {
	font-size: 75% !important;
	padding: 0px !important;
	margin: 0px !important;
	max-height: 20px !important;
	}
	/* Seperators - Remove */
	#PersonalToolbar toolbarseparator {
		display: none !important;
		}
	/* Toolbar Buttons - Reduce Margins */
	#PersonalToolbar toolbarbutton {
		margin: 0 -5px 0 -1px !important;
		}
	/* Toolbar Icons - Shrink and Reduce Margins */
	#PersonalToolbar .toolbarbutton-icon {
		max-width: 12px !important;
		max-height: 12px !important;
		margin: 0px 2px 0px 0px !important;
		}

(Thanks to s0l3x on Ubuntuforums for that code!)

Remove down-arrow from folders in bookmarks toolbar

Add the following line to your userChrome.css (again, located at “~/.mozilla/firefox/<random>.default/chrome/userChrome.css”) to remove the folder arrows. You can add it below the code in the tip above…

#PersonalToolbar .toolbarbutton-menu-dropmarker {display: none !important;}

Strata Human Theme Modernizes Firefox in Ubuntu

One of Firefox 3’s notable improvements was shipping with themes that matched the native operating system. In Ubuntu, that meant tiny, vaguely cartoonish orange arrows, which, while color-coordinated, was a disappointment to some. The Strata Human 1.0 Firefox theme does a nice job of adding the larger, rounded buttons of XP and Windows, with a perfectly-matched orange-brown coloration. If that back button looks a bit too big to you, Gina’s shown us how to take it down a peg. Strata Human 1.0 is a free download for Firefox 3.


Strata Human 1.0 [Firefox Add-ons via Daily Gyan]

Strata XP on Linux

Firefox 3’s default XP theme adapted for Linux. Based on Pascal Herbert’s “XP on Vista” theme, tweaked to fix some UI quirks.

2008-12-20_165924

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/9123

The Ultimate Chrome Guide

If the above tips aren’t enough for ya, this site will surely float your boat, as it has a huge list of userChrome.css tweaks that should address just about any Firefox 3 customization desire: http://www.linnhe2.free-online.co.uk/firefox/chrome.html

Super Awesome Firefox 3 Tips! (All Platforms)

Just a little collection of tips and tricks I’ve compiled from my browsing about the interwebs. Hopefully they’ll be as useful to you as they were to me! 🙂

(And here’s more tips for Firefox 3 on Linux: Super Awesome Firefox 3 Tips! (Linux))

Disable Installation Delay of Extensions

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. In the Location Bar, input about:config.
  3. Click to get past the warning message that appears.
  4. Locate the Preference Name security.dialog_enable_delay.
  5. Double-click the preference and change the value to 0.

Force old Firefox Extensions to work in Minefield or Nightly-Trunk

  1. Open Firefox
  2. In the Location Bar, input about:config.
  3. Click to get past the warning message that appears.
  4. Right-click on any of the values and select New > Boolean
  5. Add the value extensions.checkCompatibility and set it to False.
  6. Right-click on any of the values and select New > Boolean
  7. Add the value extensions.checkUpdateSecurity and set it to False.
  8. You should now be able to use your extensions from Firefox 3.x in Minefield.

Shrink Firefox 3’s Supersized Back Button

If you’re not a fan of Firefox 3’s large back button, you don’t have to wrangle with CSS or themes to adjust its size. Simply right-click on Firefox’s toolbar, and choose Customize. In the dialog box, select “Use small icons”—and voila! Your back button will be the same size as reload.

(You can also “revert” to a retro Firefox theme here – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/7645)

Firefox Minefield: Faster Than Chrome

  1. Download and install the latest nightly build.
  2. Start tracemonkey javascript engine by going to about:config and enabling the option javascript.options.jit.content. (Set it to True.)
  3. Browse websites blazingly fast!

According to some tests it is 10% faster than Google Chrome.

…Stay tuned, more tips to come!

Speed up Visual Studio – EPiServer Labs

Great tips on how to speed up Visual Studio 2008! Combine this with the hotfix and SP1, and…it’s almost as fast as Visual Studio 2005. 😉

  1. Turn off validation
  2. Turn off the Navigation Bar
  3. Show Live Semantic Errors
  4. Track changes
  5. Animate environment tools
  6. Compile for the correct platform
  7. Speed up debugging by removing breakpoints
  8. Formatting XML for easy diff

Find out all the details at the original post: Speed up Visual Studio – EPiServer Labs.

Visual Studio Incremental Search (Type-Ahead Find)

This is just awesome – with Ctrl+I, you can perform a type-ahead search within Visual Studio, just like Firefox!

Again, my buddy Sairama to the rescue. Just when I think I’ve pretty much got VS.NET down solid (only being use it since Pre-Beta days, right?) I’m thrown a curve ball called incremental search. I guess I just assumed that a feature that was so cool in so many other editors would never make it into VS.NET. Silly me.

So, lest I be the most ignorant, fire up Visual Studio.NET, get some code in there, hit Ctrl-I and start typing. After you’ve found something, use F3 to Find Next. In the words of Chris Sells – It’s pure sex.

via Scott Hanselman’s Computer Zen – My ignorance proceeds me: Visual Studio.NET Incremental Search.

Microsoft Word: Strikethrough Shortcut Key

This is freakin’ awesome; I had no idea that you could assign keyboard shortcuts this easily:

From word.tips.net:

  1. Press Ctrl+D or choose Font from the Format menu. (If you are using Word 2007, press Ctrl+D or click the Home tab of the ribbon, then click the small control at the bottom-right of the Font group.) Word displays the Font tab of the Font dialog box. (Click here to see a related figure.)
  2. Hold down Alt+Ctrl and, at the same time, press the plus sign on the numeric keypad. The mouse pointer turns into a clover symbol.
  3. Click on the Strikethrough check box in the Font dialog box. (As you move the mouse pointer to get ready to click, the mouse pointer may change back to an arrow instead of a clover; this is OK.) When you click, Word displays the Customize Keyboard dialog box with the insertion point blinking in the Press new Shortcut Key box. (Click here to see a related figure.)
  4. Type whatever shortcut key you want to use for the strikethrough format. Just hold down whatever combination of the Alt, Ctrl, and Shift keys you want, and then press the desired key to go with that combination. If the combination is already taken, that information shows just below the Customize Keyboard dialog box, and you can then change to a different shortcut key. (A good combination to consider is Alt+Shift+S or Ctrl+Alt+S, neither of which are used in a default installation of Word.)
  5. Click the Assign button. The shortcut key is now assigned to apply strikethrough formatting.
  6. Click Close to dismiss the Customize Keyboard dialog box.
  7. Click Cancel to dismiss the Font dialog box.

(via Topics: Strikethrough Shortcut Key)

More shortcuts available here: http://word.tips.net/W020_Shortcut_Keys.html

Flickr: Group Guidelines

Well worth a read, especially since I just started a group myself (Remix/Remash):

Tips for running your group
Ultimately it is the Admins that decide what the rules are for their group, but if you have been made an admin of a Flickr group, here are some suggestions for keeping your group happy:
Admin Guidelines
If you are the administrator of a group, here are some pointers for creating a thriving community:

  1. Invite your friends and anyone you know who is interested in what you are interested in. Having group members is the first step in having a successful group!
  2. Visit the group frequently. Groups thrive with daily discussion, and with daily responses from other members of the community, in chat and on the discussion boards.
  3. Moderate, moderate, moderate! Successful groups are kept in check by good moderation. Tend that garden; pull the weeds, mow the lawn, prune the roses, etc. To help you moderate your group, you can enlist other members to become moderators. Moderators don’t have full administrative power, but they can help you moderate pool submissions, keep tabs on discussions, and weed out the people who don’t play by the rules.

(via http://www.flickr.com/groups_guidelines.gne)

Thomas Hawk: Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr, All Fresh and New for 2008

Great article from Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection about how to get attention on Flickr:

“What is more pleasant than the benevolent notice other people take of us, what is more agreeable than their compassionate empathy? What inspires us more than addressing ears flushed with excitement, what captivates us more than exercising our own power of fascination? What is more thrilling than an entire hall of expectant eyes, what more overwhelming than applause surging up to us? What, lastly, equals the enchantment sparked off by the delighted attention we receive from those who profoundly delight ourselves? – Attention by other people is the most irresistible of drugs. To receive it outshines receiving any other kind of income. This is why glory surpasses power and why wealth is overshadowed by prominence.”
Caterina Fake, Co-founder of Flickr, 2005.

A couple of years ago I wrote a post called Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr that proved fairly popular. A lot has changed at Flickr in the past 2 years though and how imagery is rated and ranked on the site has also changed. That said, I thought I’d write a fresher updated post on the top 10 ways, presently, to get attention on Flickr.

Back in 2006 when I wrote my original article on how to achieve popularity on Flickr my photostream had been viewed almost 400,000 times. According to a Flickr stats page that’s been added since that time, the view count for my pages on Flickr now stands at 9,953,328. It should pass 10 million sometime this week. I’m averaging about 14,000 page views a day on Flickr.

Some of how one gets attention on Flickr has remained the same since 2006. Other stuff has changed.

(list continued at Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr, All Fresh and New for 2008)

dPS: 20 Photography Tips from Our Twitter Followers

Great list from digital Photography School’s blog:

Last week I asked some DPS readers who follow this blog via Twitter (our account is here) to share some of their photography tips with us.

The catch was that they had to do it in 140 characters or less (the limit that Twitter allows per message). Here’s a collection of 20 of their photography tips:

  1. “I would recommend any serious photographer a Tripod. It’s indispensable for any photography & most if your hands won’t stay still” – maniar
  2. “don’t spend your time looking at the lcd screen…you end up missing fantastic moments. The pictures will still be there later!” – burks
  3. “Shoot in RAW mode if your camera has it. Offers so many more opportunities for editing than shooting in JPEG” – PattyHankins
  4. “don’t just stand there. Instead of moving the camera, move yourself…” – XmasB
  5. “Always remove the lens cover.” – fireeducator
  6. “Get closer to the object.” – Celebtur
  7. “Expensive equipment don’t make great photos. Great photographers do.” – quicklunarcop
  8. “Fill the Frame” – ebradlee10
  9. “shoot the magic hours(!!); remember the exposure triangle; look for a new/unique angle on your subject. :-)” – laepelba
  10. “Keep taking photos, look at your photos, then take more photos. Learn from your mistakes and don’t be afraid to experiment.” – NeilCreek

(continued at digital Photography School)

Lifehacker: Top 10 Useful Bookmarklets

Another great article from Lifehacker about bookmarklets:

Having a good set of bookmarklets on your browser’s toolbar is like having a web-savvy Leatherman handy—you can take them anywhere, use them in many situations, and they just simply work. A bookmarklet is a little different than a plain old bookmark—it’s a snippet of JavaScript that can perform all sorts of magic on the web page you’re currently viewing. You add bookmarklets to your bookmarks collection to get all sorts of things done as you surf the web. Let’s take a look at some of the best bookmarklets available, which can help you search and email, download videos, and work out some of the web’s kinks.

To start using a bookmarklet, make sure your browser’s bookmarks toolbar is visible. Then, drag and drop the bookmarklet link (enclosed in square brackets below each item on this post) to your bookmarks toolbar. When you’re on a page you want to use the bookmarklet? Just click its name on your toolbar.

(via Top 10 Useful Bookmarklets)

SundryBuzz: Two Tricks for Taking Good Group Photos

Great article from SundryBuzz about taking good group photos:

It’s difficult to get a group photo without most of the participants looking as if their captors were forcing them to look natural for the security cameras. In my family, we have two tricks for getting good group shots. The right trick to use depends on what type of situation you are trying to photograph.

(via Two Tricks for Taking Good Group Photos)

DPS: 5 Quick Tips To Keep You Motivated

Great post from digital Photography School about how to keep yourself motivated in your photographic endeavors:

We all have those days. Days where you know you want to do something with your camera or photographs, but the motivation tank is on Empty. I’ve been having some of those days recently and came up with a list to help pop me out of the rut and back to being productive. This list is by no means exhaustive and I’d appreciate any additions that work for you, in the comments section.

TIP #1 – Go for a walk
Copyright marta the good oneI know, I know. It’s one of the hardest things to do when you’re not feeling motivated. Even worse if it’s raining outside. But getting your bum off the chair or sofa and out the door is a great first step. It is a lot easier to just keep staring at the computer screen and letting your analytical mind wander, sometimes feeling like you’re accomplishing something, but getting your blood pumping and elevating your heart rate will help activate your creative mind. It doesn’t need to be a long or fast walk. Just 15 minutes will be enough to get the juices flowing.

It also helps because it removes you from an environment that is obviously not helping you become creative at the moment. I like this method because it requires no special equipment, clothes or location. Everyone has ‘outside’ out their front door. Just lace up some shoes or boots and get your heart going!

(via 5 Quick Tips To Keep You Motivated)

6 Tips for Perfect Composition in Portrait Photography

The following guest post on composition for portrait photography was submitted by Christina Dickson, a portrait photographer and photography instructor from Portland, Oregon. Her work can be seen at: www.christinanicholephotography.com.

1. Fill the frame with your subject

A portrait is about the person, so don’t be afraid to zoom in close! Remember that zooming in does not mean capturing only face shots. You can also capture “tight”, close up shots of your subject sitting on a stool or leaning into a tree.

2. Keep eyes in the upper third

This is the most natural spacing for a portrait. Try not to divert from this rule unless you are deliberately creating tension. Another exception of this rule is when a subject is full-bodied in the bottom third of the frame.

3. Use framing to concentrate all attention on your subject

Rather than eliminate the environment, use it! Doorways, arches, windows, gazebos are all creative solutions that allow for maximum subject focus and heightened visual interest.

(continued via digital Photography School)