beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (busy here - thinking)
[personal profile] beandelphiki
So we finally, FINALLY got our new computer all set up!

(Well, almost. It's lacking a lot of our old programs, like Photoshop and the Windows Office suite. WTF is "OpenOffice"? I don't want compatibility problems with school files, given that all the school computers use the newest versions of Windows Office programs. Will have to rectify this state of affairs soon.)

BUT. Finally, my mother, my sister and I are no longer frantically juggling a single free gig of space between the three of us. Our new computer has about 250 gigs, and our new external hard drive has twice that. We shall never run out of space again! Ha-HA!

So... What I SHOULD be doing is schoolwork, but naturally what I AM doing is playing with Firefox add-ons, since I can finally put Firefox on our computer. (And this eliminates the need to download Orbit Downloader. Which Mom and my sister have been endlessly complaining about, since they don't know how useful it is or how to use it. And they can't be bothered to learn.)

Favourite add-ons thus far:

  • DownloadHelper - Obviously.
  • ColorfulTabs - I'll probably get sick of this, but having the tabs all be different colors is pretty.
  • TabRenamizer - *COUGH* Of course, if Mom ever gets savvy enough to learn what the add-ons are - and realises I've added one that disguises the names of porn sites in the tabs - I might have some explaining to do. But that's unlikely, since she's terrified of even the IDEA of using a different browser. This after I tried to explain to her that it works just like IE7 - tabs, favourites, search bar, backwards and forwards, refresh, homepages, etc. - but better.
  • iGoogle Tab Remover - I'm over the MOON about the fact that I can undo Google's shitty, "let's move the tabs from the top of the window to a left-mounted sidebar, thus screwing over every iGoogle user who has a three-column layout," web design. (Sadly though, it doesn't keep the pretty new rounded corners on the widgets. Oh, well.)

I'm disappointed though, that I cannot seem to find:

  • An add-on that will just let me put a Google button on my toolbar. I don't really want Google's whole toolbar, I just want a single button that will take me straight to Google/open a new tab with Google. I did find one that added such a button to my status bar, but I don't like it down there. Hmph.
  • A way to have more than one homepage. Huh? I can have as many homepages as I want in IE7, but not in Firefox? Edit: Just checked my older entry on Firefox and discovered that [ profile] cacahuate already told me how to fix this! Whoops.
  • Anything that replaces IE7's really rather irreplaceable, "new tab," button on the tab bar. I'm taken to understanding that older versions of Firefox have this...but Firefox 3 definitely doesn't. I went through every single "tab" add-on and didn't find this simple, obvious thing. I DID find one that adds the "new tab" button from the toolbar onto the tab bar (as well as a button which re-opens the last tab you closed)...but on the far left! (The other button is on the far right.) That has to be the most hopelessly unintuitive design I've ever seen.

    There's apparently a way I could switch the coding for the two buttons in this add-on, but I can't decipher the code well enough in the XML file to figure out what I should switch. I was tempted to track down [ profile] t_eyla for tech help, because everybody bugs [ profile] t_eyla for tech help, but having the button on the far right isn't actually all that much better, really. I want it right there! Beside my other tabs! And not itsy-bitsy. Duh.

I CAN switch from Firefox 3's usual theme to a theme which imitates IE7's look almost perfectly - right down to a functional new tab button on the right side of the open tabs. But I don't want Firefox to look like IE, because, a) the search bar is black! icky! IE doesn't look like that!, and b) I don't want to run the risk of being confused as to which browser I actually have open.

Trying to decide if I should uninstall that theme or not. I think if Mom wants to try using Firefox it might help to have it, since maybe if Firefox LOOKS like IE she'll find it less scary.


Besides all that messing with the internet, I've also been trying to get my iPod set up on our new computer.

Easier said than done. I have it set up for use as an external drive, i.e. it doesn't sync my files. I manually move them on to my iPod. Earlier this was helpful, since it meant that I didn't have to take up our precious free space with music. But it does mean that if anything ever happens to my iPod, I loose ALL my music in one fell swoop.

So I'm trying to put the files onto the new computer. Only, there's not really any way to do that. If I go ahead and sync it, it will just erase all the files from my iPod. Suck.

Previously, I noticed the option to "transfer purchases" FROM an iPod TO a computer. So I just put absolutely everything on my iPod into the "Purchased" playlist. And when I hooked it up today, I told it to transfer purchases.

But ah, no. You see, iTunes is too smart for me!

It transferred purchases. And ONLY purchases. As in, stuff I've actually purchased from the iTunes Store. Which is about 3/10ths of my collection. Everything else - I can't sync it, and I can't transfer it. ARGH.

I can, if need be, re-burn several thousand songs from my CDs again. If I have to. (GAH.) But not everything on my iPod is from a CD. Some of it is just stuff from around the intarwebs. I have no idea how I'm going to get this stuff onto our computer.

Apple, I HATE you! How fucking hard would it be to make it possible to transfer files from an iPod?

(Please don't tell me to buy a non-Apple MP3 player. I have a black/blue 4GB Creative Zen V. It sucks massively, and tech support for Creative products is basically non-existent.)

Change is necessary; but it can be such a serious pain in the ass.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-15 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like FastDial, but mostly because I loved the feature on Opera. Lets you set your startup page to a configurable screen with up to 16 "buttons" that show different web pages you use. It's just a tad faster than using a bookmark.

Also, with the TabButtons add-on, I've found that you can double click in the open area to the right, past where your tabs are, and it will open a new tab. Annoying that the new tab button isn't there, though, like you said, and the double click only works if you have less than 4 or 5 tabs open.

Or you could try Opera. I really like opera, but I stopped using it for some reason.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-15 08:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Also, with the TabButtons add-on, I've found that you can double click in the open area to the right, past where your tabs are, and it will open a new tab. Annoying that the new tab button isn't there, though, like you said, and the double click only works if you have less than 4 or 5 tabs open.

DUDE. Thank you! I never would have figured that out.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-15 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
OpenOffice is supposed to be very good, and compatible with MSOffice, but often needs some tweaking. Sounds like you'll be switching over though, so no worries.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-15 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah! I was planning to check it out eventually today. When I stop acting like I'm 8 and playing with my toys. LOL.

I don't know. For lab reports and stuff I have a lot of Word 2007 files which are linked "live" (so to speak) to Excel 2007 files, and it would make me nervous to try and modify those with an entirely different program. Yeah. I am just not tech-savvy enough for this stuff.

But I'm a student! And Office 2007 is what our school uses, so I can get a copy really ridiculously cheap. So... I think I will do that.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-15 10:06 pm (UTC)
teyla: Mary Morstan from Sherlock giving a thumbs-up. (Default)
From: [personal profile] teyla
As [ profile] siegeengine said, double-clicking in the free space next to the tabs will open a new one. As for the Google button; you could simply add a Google bookmark to your bookmarks bar--the one underneath your toolbar.

Other really neat addons: UnPlug--lets you download embedded videos (for example from youTube) to .flv format. You can use an flv converter to either convert to a video or to an audio format. Great for ripping songs off youTube. ;)

Foxmarks--lets you store your bookmarks on an online server and sync them on several computers. Or lets you re-download them, if you should ever lose your bookmarks.

Screengrab--saves browser caps directly to .png files.

I've got a few more, but they're mostly web developing tools. Oh, and regarding the iPod--as far as I know, there's no way to transfer audio off an iPod onto a computer. Apple does that on purpose. 9_9

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-16 12:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ohhh, the bookmarks bar. I thought it looked annoying, so I made it go away. See? I do dumb things like this. *fixes* Thank you!

Oh, and regarding the iPod--as far as I know, there's no way to transfer audio off an iPod onto a computer.

That is just so incredibly stupid. Meh. I can probably find everything again - I just wanted to avoid putting in all that time all over again.

Really though, I don't understand why Apple does this. Okay, I can, and yet I don't. So people might go around passing out free music. But there's so many ways to do that already, and in the meantime this just makes things annoyingly difficult for people who paid for their products to actually use them. Meh.

It's not the business model I'd use. But nobody asks me.

That's the biggest problem really, nobody ever asks me. :P

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-15 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just discovered TabRenamizer the other day. OMG! It is made of awesome.

So it doesn't give you your Google button, but Searchbar Autosizer can make the search bar really small so at least it's not taking up much space on your toolbar. Plus it can make it so that if you use the searchbar it will automatically clear it when you submit your search, which I love.

As for the New Tab button, this should do what you want. Also, supposedly the IE-style button is coming in 3.1.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-16 12:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Isn't it? I kind of giggle every time I look at the tabs and see some naughty thing renamed to, "Wikipedia," or my campus website. Most excellent.

And the autosizer thing is also awesome - mostly because I think the search bar is too small. I don't actually mind it being smaller though, if it resizes as I type, because that's what was bugging me about the size, i.e. not everything I typed being visible at once. Neat! Thanks!

OpenOffice vs. MS Office 2007

Date: 2009-03-16 05:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Regarding (or OOo), I've been stuck using it since my other laptop & desktop were stolen in October.. right along with my MS Office 2007 products on them.

OpenOffice will let you save the documents in MS' .docx/.xls formats.. but because I'm constantly creating the work in class and then coming home to finish up.. I've never bothered to see if there's any issues when you create in OOo and then try to open up in MS2007 to see if there's a difference with settings/margins/etc.

You can't create an OOo document in MS Office 2007, of course.. but the theory is that OpenOffice is supposed to be compatible with quite a selection of different suites like MS. "The poor person's MS Office suite" is what it's been deemed.

IMHO.. OOo works for stuff that you wouldn't seriously freak out if something wasn't absolutely perfect.. but for work that's linked up to Excel or PowerPoint.. better safe than sorry and get yourself a copy of MS2007..

Word to the wise though.. MS only lets you register two different computers for Office.. a desktop/laptop, for example... if you needed it for something else.. like in my case, two stolen computers... you're going to run into a lot of red tape trying to get MS to let you re-register the product key onto different computers... Just FYI, in case, your computer crashes or something else like that happens.

As for FF.. I think everyone else has already answered all the points I was going to comment on.. so, best of luck with your new computer! I know how happy I was when I bought my new laptop to replace the stolen computers.

Re: OpenOffice vs. MS Office 2007

Date: 2009-03-16 07:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you very much for the info! We actually got MS Office 2007 off of someone else; so that may be why we had trouble putting it on our new computer, i.e. it's already been on two.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-16 10:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
OOh. Glad you have so much more space now! :D
Have fun with the computer! I'd say something techno smart here...if only i wasn't born and bred on IE...not that it is bad i just don't know much about all the other hundreds odd functions with the other systems. Keep posting all these posts about Firefox,Opera and et al it's something for me to learn about. ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-16 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Heh, well I was raised on IE, too! This is a whole new thing, another web browser! Okay, well, I've used Netscape before (back in the day), and Safari at SAIT because they have so many Macs. I never really liked Safari, honestly.

Since we have the room now, I might test Opera! Just for fun.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-17 09:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh...safari! Maybe i used that a couple of times in year 7&8 in our schools music rooms. They were gay the rooms, the only ones with Mac computer's for some reason?! (probably due to it being better apps and stuff for music but i didn't take note..haha) You walk in and its a whole different (who)universe...well back then!


beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (Default)

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