Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fix Up Your Sad, Pathetic Cubicle

Wired’s helping you knock down the drabness of your cubicle, highlighting nine different, somewhat drastic ways to decorate the same cubicle. The designs are taken from a book called Cube Chic, which covers 22 takes on the same cubicle setup. Think of it as inspiration for your Coolest Cubicle submission—we’ve still got plenty of room for entries, which means that $500 Amazon gift card is up for grabs. Fantastic Fixes Help Your Sad, Pathetic Cubicle [Wired]


Keep websites from hijacking your Firefox browser preferences

Dan Warne writes he’s found a solution to the annoying tendency some websites (especially bank sites) have of forcing open ‘naked’ windows stripped of your preferences. For example bank websites often pop up small and unresizable windows without your toolbars on them.He points to a solution at MozillaZine, which explains how to prevent websites from disabling new window features.

1. Open a new tab in Firefox and type about:config into the address bar.

2. Copy and paste this text into the filter box: dom.disable_window_open_feature.

3. Double click each of the items that appears in the list to change the default behaviour. There is a list of the different features and what they do in the MozillaZine article.

Nice tip, thanks Dan!

Stop websites disabling your browser address bar, toolbar, bookmarks etc [Dan Warne]


Add Keyword Search to Safari with Keywurl

Mac OS X only: Freeware Safari plug-in Keywurl brings the time-saving convenience of keyword searches to Safari, allowing users to type something like imdb Semi-Pro into the address bar to search IMDB rather than first going to the home page. Granted, this functionality comes built in to Firefox, and with a few tweaks to Firefox you can really supercharge your address bar with keyword bookmarks and searches, but for anyone who sticks with Safari for its raw speed and Mac-ness, Keywurl is a must-have. Keywurl is freeware, Mac OS X only. Keywurl [via TUAW]


Get a scorecard for your website with Website Grader

HubSpot’s Website Grader is a web-based tool which analyses and scores your website against a number of criteria, and provides you with a report card flagging areas you may wish to improve. By filling out a web form which asks for your URL, keywords related to your blog and optionally any websites you compete against, it generates a report on your site. You need to supply an email address as it mails the link to you.The score it generates grades your website against a number of things including website traffic, search engine optimisation, social popularity (via social bookmarking and sites like Digg) and a wide range of other factors. It also provides some very basic advice on how you can improve your website’s  performance.One thing which tickled me is that it rated Lifehacker’s readability as “advanced/doctoral” level. I had no idea we were so rarified! I’d better duck back to uni and get that PhD. :)

What’s Your Website Score? [Dipping into the Blogpond]


Incrementally Tackle Your "Someday" Projects

If you’ve got a “someday” to-do list full of large, vague project ideas but the day you tackle even one of those projects just doesn’t seem to be coming, weblog LifeClever details how to start making incremental progress on your someday projects with a method the author calls triangulation. The idea is simple: block out just five minutes daily to your project, during which time you make three choices about the project. Each day you’ll be whittling your amorphous idea of a project into something with a definite form, which will hopefully make the project more immediately doable in turn. Got your own favorite methods for tackling those low priority someday projects? Let’s hear about ‘em in the comments. Decimate Those “Someday” Projects with Triangulation [LifeClever]


Open Office 2007 Documents in OpenOffice with OpenXML Translator

Linux only: Expand OpenOffice.org’s document opening, saving, and conversion powers to Office 2007 documents with the OpenXML Translator, a free plug-in intended for Ubuntu systems (although other Debian-based systems might be able to use it as well). Grab a package for your 32- or 64-bit system, install it (hitting the via link if you need help with that) and OpenOffice will be able to read and save files to the .docx format. Conversion from Microsoft Office-authored files remains hit-and-miss, but it’s a nice step forward for the free and open-source office suite. The OpenXML translator is a free download for Linux systems only. OpenOffice.org OpenXML Translator [via Hacktivision Lite]


Go from Couch Potato to Exercise Enthusiast with Diligence and Flexibility

Weblog LifeRemix suggests 10 ways to transform yourself from a hopeless couch potato to a devoted exerciser with a few simple guidelines for sticking with your routine when you’re getting started. For example: Any work-out “counts.” Give yourself credit for the least effort. My father, a runner, always said that all he had to do was put on his running shoes and close the door behind him. Why does this work? Because if I know I can quit after five minutes, I get started—and once I start, I usually follow through with my usual routine. Getting out the door is by FAR the toughest part.


Restore Windows Minimised to the Dock?

Dear Lifehacker, When I minimise programs to the dock, how can I restore those minimised programs from the keyboard? For example, if I minimise Firefox but then want it back, when I Cmd-Tab through the programs, I can select Firefox, but when I release, I’m only in the Firefox program—the window remains minimised. So, I have to drop everything, get the mouse, and restore the window from the dock. There has to be a better way! Signed, Frustrated from the Keyboard


Use a Googlemail.com Address to Lessen Gmail Spam

The Digital Inspiration blog points out a Gmail trick that’s been just under the surface all along (not that our commenters haven’t noticed). Everyone who has an “[email protected]” address can also receive mail sent to “[email protected]” What’s the big deal? Well, knowing this gives you a stronger hand when you fight against spam, bacn, and all that other not-so-important but distracting email. Try giving out one or the other addresses to important, close contacts, while using the other for all the other stuff. What uses can you think of (or have used already) for this trick? Offer up the goods in the comments. Wow! All Gmail Users Are Given Two Separate Email Addresses [Digital Inspiration]


Customise Your Login Screen with LogonStudio

Windows only: Freeware application LogonStudio brings full login screen customisation to your Windows XP or Vista PC. Last week we showed Mac users how they can match their desktop and login images, so if you were a Windows user looking for similar functionality, LogonStudio can do that for you and so much more. The app comes with several built-in login screens and images, but you can customise practically ever section of your login screen to your heart’s content. LogonStudio is freeware, Windows only. Thanks cavelierex! LogonStudio [Stardock]