Tuesday, November 30, 2004

An "aha" moment with Thunderbird

I've been using Mozilla Thunderbird for email and newsgroups since it was called Minotaur (of course) and I've watched helplessly as my Mail folders grew in size ever since. Now I finally find the "Compact folders" function.. hidden away in plain sight in the "File" menu.. And I had to use Google to find that out. Oh well, my Inbox file went from 250MB to comparatively nothing, and I won't need to worry about all the emails I moved or deleted last year reappearing en masse anymore, which happened a couple of times.

Anyway, Thunderbird is being rushed to 1.0 (not literally, I hope) - it's an email client along the same kind of lines as Firefox the browser: built with usability and security in mind. For example, images in emails which aren't from people you know are not displayed by default - which avoids having to actually see the obscene filth that passes for email these days. Tbird makes it difficult to fool you by pretending that links in emails appear to point to one place while taking you another, it has a "Simple HTML" display mode which is somewhere between plain text and untrammeled HTML - (I can't get used to using HTML email after forcing Outl**k into plain text for so long) which is useful when you are viewing messages which may contain unpleasant or malicious content.

It has a built in spellchecker, RSS reader and the ability to create Virtual Folders (a bit like "Search Folders", apparently, I haven't found the need yet). Mouse gestures work so you can increase text size, move to the next message etc just with gestures. Of course, the usual CTRL+ and CTRL- shortcuts change the text size too, like in Firefox (CTRL-zero resets the text size to the default, by the way)

What else? Message filters that work and are completely configurable, built-in adaptive spam filters, extensions and themes and everything else good about Firefox is here too. Thunderbird defaults to protecting users' privacy and security, and does a good job doing what an email program has to do.

I've got a candidate build for 1.0 to try - which reminds me, you can back up Thunderbird and Firefox (& Mozilla & Netscape) profiles with Mozilla Backup, on Windows anyway.

If you're fed up or frustrated with Outl**k or Outl**k Express, why not give Thunderbird a try when 1.0 comes out? It will import your settings and contacts and mail, if you want it to, although it won't import any attachments. [Edit: this isn't true of the release versions]

Mac Reedy's

Ask Tog - HCI and Macs. I enjoyed using the various Kintoshes at chez Turnbull, Safari seemed a bit sloooow but I liked the display of the page-load progress in the location bar. Took my mind off how long it took to render pages.. but I managed to download Firefox and run it off the desktop. Then I moved it into an application folder using Finder and started it with the dock. Way! I can use a Mac now! I even know to remember to look up the top for the menus, and look in "recent apps" or use Finder. Though I'm not sure how to find Finder..

There's never a better time

I have an Amazon wishlist - not sure how it would work for presents, wouldn't I realise the item had been bought?

Friday, November 26, 2004

Mere words fail to express my disgust etc etc

The recent hoo-hah over Prince Charles' comments about knowing one's place remind me why I am such a strong supporter of the Euro - I don't want that man's face anywhere near my trouser pockets, whether as a coin in the front or a note in the back.

I mean really, a man that requires his manservants to masturbate him when he feels the need for release as the spiritual and moral leader of this nation. Well, we've had bad kings before. Maybe the Queen could live for ever in a cryogenic tank and we can just forget the whole sorry mess.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Blogger dead

Is not blogger.com limping along unable to cope with the load? It takes a long time to login, you never know if the admin pages are going to load (especially the 'edit' page which I use a lot, and the 'Create Post' page which no-one else ever seems to use!) - publishing is a bit of a lottery: and they never delete any of the crappy blogs with one single crap entry from years ago (which blogs happen to have names that I wanted to use :-).

I'm trying to post our nineball results (I want to get them on as soon as I can!) and it's just not playing. Let's see if I can post this. Ah. I am unable to post there that I won 15-6. Shame.

As a complication - and an extra risk factor - Robin gave me a cute tiny USB lasermouse Kathy had got him - it's promotional for "Bondronat" - which eats the batteries and I'm on battery now. I've set the warning to go at 90% and shutdown at 85% - see if I can get at least a few seconds warning before it dies.. it never was a very good battery (it's a lot newer than the laptop, at least to me - the first battery died altogether after a year or so charging continuously, it's still in my 'dead battery box': I just can't bring myself to throw batteries in the rubbish, the chemicals in them should never reach the water table. Oh well. It just di

No surrender to the RIAA

When youngsters find out the benefits of copyright for themselves, they'll be less likely to disrespect the property rights of others
Respect Copyrights
When I was a kid I certainly never produced anything worth copyrighting. Unfortunately it's a Flash-based site so it doesn't shizzolate (there's a weird redirect issue as well) - I'm not sure when I last saw "disrespect" actually spelt out..

Too little, too late, too expensive!

Microsft have reacted to Firefox with the Windows Marketplace - your one-stop shop for Internet Explorer Add-ons. (As long as you are using IE on Windows) For only $30 you can buy a popup blocker, a few more bucks for a Download Manager, and splurge the rest of your money on a skin which might give you tabbed browsing.
Result? A browser which has at least some of the features of Firefox, for only slightly less money than an upgrade to Windows XPSP2.
How stable and secure your browser will be is another matter.
On the main Windows Marketplace Page, one of the entries in the 'Most popular categories' section is 'Adware removal tools': once computer sellers and ISPs realise they can ship a branded Firefox installation (at minimal cost) and save hugely on support costs (because of the absence of spyware/adware problems) they will follow Netscape and hopefully laugh all the way to the bank. What goes around comes around.. there used to be a guide to branding Netscape, but it probably went south with devedge - there's a tutorial for deployment (in a corporate environment, say) here.

Rude words are words too

Wordcount - look yourself up for your WordRank (tm)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Sweet Zombie Jesus!

Great Futurama quotes at the wikiquote. Because of the wonders of wikis, if your favourite one isn't there you can just add it.

Every cloud...

Just like a birthday present for Firefox, there's a brand new Internet Explorer worm doing the rounds: it appears to have gone from proof of concept to critical risk over the course of the weekend. Don't click on links in strange emails - or get Firefox and click on what you want..

Who ever presses the 'home' button anyway?

I notice that Microsoft in their infinite wisdom removed support for "about:mozilla" from Internet Explorer in XP Service Pack 2. Type it in the address bar and instead of a pleasing blue page (which previous versions would render) IE displays its standard 'Action Cancelled' page. Unless you set about:mozilla to be your home page, in which case when IE starts it shows simply the word "Mozilla". Or you could use other text - if you set your home page to be "about:You should use Firefox instead - it's much safer" (you obviously have to do this directly in the tools\internet options dialog) then that's what you see when IE starts up, without the about:. Juvenile I know, but I'm stretching for reasons to ever use IE these days. When I use it very occasionally to test this or that it seems so clunky.

Firefox 1.0 is out today: pause to download and install it: run it and make it your default browser - your computer will thank you.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Tomorrow I am going to rasterbate

The Rasterbator - it's just a question of deciding what picture to use..