Category Archives: websites

Comments on other websites and blogs I’m checking out.

Fun On Twitter

@marcmaron said: Tired of all these horrible obits calling Giraldo an ‘insult comic’. Here’s a good one. Here’s a person http://bit.ly/94kUrE

@brianlinzy said: @marcmaron But he was an insult comic. It’s not a dig, it’s a fact. Your obit will say he was an alt comic with a variety of mental disorders.

@marcmaron said: @brianlinzy Your an idiot.

Ha! That’s cool though… He’s really upset about losing Greg Giraldo. Maron is a dick, but that’s part of his charm. I’ve been a fan since Short Attention Span Theater.

I’m sorry I was mean to you, Marc. Please don’t kill yourself.

Know your operators

It used to frustrate me to no end that I couldn’t sort my Gmail inbox by Attachments like you can in Outlook, bringing all the messages with attachments to the top. Being able to do that is particularly important when you start to approach the 7GB limit and you need to clear out some old garbage.

So when I realized how to see just messages with attachments it was like a light went off in my head. Know you search operators!

To see messages with attachments search for has:attachment. You can search for specific file types like this: filename:pdf. That will give you a list of all the messages with pdfs attached.

There are a bunch of other operators such as in (in:inbox, in:trash, in:spam), is (is:starred, is:unread, is:read), and date operators (after:2004/04/16, before:2004/04/18).

See the complete list in Gmail Help.

Xmarks Vs LastPass

I’ve been using Xmarks (formerly Foxmarks) to sync bookmarks and passwords across the various browsers and computers I use for about a year. During that year the product only got better, and I really had no complaints.

I could have just said it ain’t broke, so don’t fix it. But two things happened – I got a Nexus One, and I saw people raving about LastPass. LastPass doesn’t do the bookmark syncing, but it does offer an Android app with the paid version. And bookmarks are so 90s. They’re rarely useful. And besides, Chrome, my current browser of choice, automatically syncs my bookmarks to my Google Docs account. I was really using Xmarks for the password syncing.

Now I’m not going to do the feature vs feature breakdown with charts and graphs that the title may have implied. I’m just going to describe the two experiences:

Xmarks – Create your account, install the software, surf the web. It imports the saved passwords in your browser and remembers new ones you use. It syncs automatically with their server. Browsers on other computers you use (or other browsers on the same machine) automatically stay in sync. After a couple of weeks of using Xmarks you forget about it, and it just becomes part of how surfing the web works. You can view your bookmarks by signing in to their website from any browser.

LastPass – Create your account, install the software, try to surf the web. It imports (and wipes out) the passwords in your browser. When you go to a site that requires a log in you get two weird options – AutoFill and AutoLogin. Try all the options listed under each and eventually sometimes one of them turns out the be your credentials for that site. You’re in! Unless of course none of those worked. In that case you get temporarily redirected to a form on a separate page that asks about dozen questions about that particular site / login. Most are optional. Instead of staying out of your way and working behind the scenes, LastPass is constantly in your face. About 25% of the time I end up having to log in without it. And lastly, if you lose your LastPass password you are SCREWED. There’s no recovery.

End result – LastPass uninstalled. I’m back to Xmarks. All is good with the world again.

5 Browsers

This is what it has come down to. For even the most basic website development you need to be looking at your site in a bunch of different browsers. If you don’t have the energy to put into it you can get away with just looking at Firefox and Internet Explorer, but that’s not a very good plan. I’m now looking at everything I do in 5 browsers: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, and Safari. I try to see if from a couple of different operating systems, too.  And this is just for the desktop view. You also need to be aware of what your projects look like from mobile phones – at the very least iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.

Here’s how I’m looking at the US Grappling site now:

www.usgrappling.us in Chrome
www.usgrappling.us in Firefox
www.usgrappling.us in IE
www.usgrappling.us in Opera
www.usgrappling.us in Safari

Seem like overkill? Consider this: on the PC I use 90% of the time I didn’t have Internet Explorer installed. According to our Analytics 48% our visitors are using Internet Explorer. I didn’t know it until I happened to see the site in IE, but our shopping cart does not work in IE. I’m still trying to fix it. I have no idea how long this has been a problem, or how many sales we missed.