Jul 19
Offline browsing
icon1 techandlife | icon2 How to, Linux, Software, Tech tips | icon4 July 19, 2009| icon3No Comments »

Laptops and more recently netbooks have made us increasingly able to take our digital life on the road. I bought a netbook back in January but as I work from home, I don’t get much chance to go mobile. However, holidays are coming up this week and we’re all off to the west of Ireland. So I’m taking my Acer Aspire One netbook + Easy Peasy Linux with me, not to work, but to try and keep in touch with the tech blogs and hopefully to fire off the occasional tweet.

Problem is, I know there isn’t broadband where I’m staying in Ireland. I’m going to have to look out for wifi hotspots in cafes and bars in the area but I just don’t know how widespread they are yet down Ireland’s west coast. Googling and hotspot locator websites don’t seem to bring up many in the right areas for me. Guess I’ll soon find out.

So I may only be able to connect up say 2 or 3 times in 2 weeks and even then perhaps not for long. So what’s the best solution here to keep in touch? Googling ‘offline browsing’ bring up lots of possibilities but perhaps the most useful to me is Google Gears, particularly as there’s a Linux version for my netbook.

Gears

This will allow me to fetch the latest 2000 RSS items to Google Reader when I have a connection and browse through them later in offline mode. When I ran a test of what’s being downloaded by Gears, I noticed that for me, this seems to fetch about a week’s worth of posts. It’s a pity that there isn’t more control on this as I would have liked to fetch a few months worth to be able to browse back through stuff I’d bookmarked but hadn’t really had a chance to read.

So what about the occasional miserably wet days when it’s not possible to venture out into the great outdoors and you’re stuck without a connection? Well, I found this program called HTTrack, again with a Linux version, which allows you to download whole websites to your netbook to browse offline.

HTTrack

Installation was a breeze on the netbook. Just go to the terminal and type:

apt-get update
apt-get install webhttrack

Great, so I’ve picked out three or four great Ubuntu websites which I’ve discovered recently and downloaded them so now I can browse way back to my heart’s content and look at all the earlier posts offline.

So hopefully the combination of Google Reader+Gears and HTTrack will be able to feed my digital addiction while on holiday. What programs do you have on your netbook or laptop for offline browsing and keeping in touch on the road or on holidays? Am I missing anything useful here?


Jul 6

Continuing our Quick Tip series, this one deals with Google Reader and speeding up the Refresh, Mark all as read and Change folders actions. As I’ve mentioned before, I use Google Reader to aggregate new blogs posts but I’ve always been dismayed at the time it took to refresh Reader to show new posts, mark posts as read or change subscription folders. Around 15 seconds for each in my case. I’d always assumed it was because I follow over 200 blogs and Reader is slow because of this. But yesterday, I discovered that by hiding the navigation panel on the left, there’s a dramatic increase in performance. Perhaps you’ve already spotted this but if you didn’t know, you can show/hide the navigation panel by clicking the blue arrow shown below:

Reader1

You’ll now just see the current folder. To navigate to other folders, just click the navigation tab which has appeared at the top left of the screen:

Reader2

With the navigation panel hidden, Refresh, Mark all as read and Change folders are all down to about 2 seconds now! Hope you find this useful – if you didn’t already know about it.


Jul 1

Almost without thinking we all go straight to Google – which is great. I’ve been using it for years. But there’s a myriad of really great search tools out there.  I’ve grabbed all my bookmarks for search engines on Delicious and compiled them into an A to Z of search. It’s not possible to cover every search category so I’ve concentrated mainly on search in the tech and social networking fields. Have a look through this list. It might throw up some surprises – or serious omissions – let me know!

Search aggregators (meta search)

Collecta: search blogs, Twitter, Jaiku, Identica, photos from Flickr, yFrog, TwitPic and videos from YouTube, Ustream

collecta

searchmerge: search Google and social sites at the same time

iBoogie: sorts results into categories down left side

keyboardr: search Google, Google Blogs, Google Images, Wikipedia and YouTube at the same time

Heapr: search Google, Wolfram Alpha, Twitter, Flickr and Wikipedia

Sputtr: select whichever search engine you would like to use and it redirects you to that site’s engine automatically

Panabee: search multiple engines

Sperse: search multiple engines

whonu: search multiple engines

Search alerts

ByTagg: get alerts on new search results; free software download

Trackle

Alertpedia: email alerts

Alertpedia

Search alternatives

dooblet: find alternatives to anything

Search for alternative software

AlternativeTo

Search Amazon

Amazanian: find Amazon.com products eligible for free shipping

Search anonymously

Ixquick Metasearch

Yauba

Search for answers

Yahoo! Answers

Mahalo Answers

Answerbag

Search Apple AppStore

uquery

Search Bing + twitter

BingTweets

Search blogs

Technorati

twingly

Twingly

BlogPulse

Google Blog Search

IceRocket

Search books

Google Books

Search for books

100 Awesome search engines for bibliophiles

Google Books

Search – case sensitive

http://case-sensitive-search.appspot.com/

Search colors

Google Image Search Color Filter

MultiColr Search Lab: search Flickr by colour

Search comments

BackType

Search comparison tools

Unified Search (Google, Bing, Wolfram, Wikipedia, Delicious and Stumbleupon; Firefox add-on)

Triplify (Google, Yahoo! and Live Search)

Google-Bing Search (Google and Bing)

Wolfram Alpha Google (Wolfram and Google; Firefox add-on)

Search: computational knowledge

Wolfram Alpha

Search conversations

WhosTalkin

Whostalkin

Search Creative Commons

Creative Commons Search

Search for definitions

definr

Search Delicious

del.izzy

Search for direct download links

Download Any Stuff

Search documents (online pdf, doc, presentations, and spreadsheets)

Gdocu

Brupt

PDF Database

DocJax

DocMazy (PDFs, DOCs, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and text files)

WhereIsNow (latest versions of documents)

DocShare

Search for domain names

Domain Typer

Domainr

JustDropped (search recently released or deleted  domain names)

Wordoid

Search eBay

eBay Desktop (download; Adobe Air app)

Lastminute Auction

Typo Buddy

Search for eBooks

Gdocu

PDF Search Engine

ManyBooks

eBook Search Queen

Search faces

Facesaerch

facesaerch

Search FAQs

Snappyfingers

QueryCAT

Search for feeds

Feedmil

FeedMill

Search for files

File Snatcher

Search Hacker

Find that File

ShareMiner (search the web for software, video, music, ebooks, documents, games and archives)

FilesTube (searches files in various file sharing and uploading sites like RapidShare, megaupload and mediafire)

Search flickr

Compfight

Flickr Storm

PiciShare

Tag Galaxy

rgb80

Multicolr Search Lab (search Flickr by colour)

Flickr Related Tag Browser (search Flickr by tags)

Flair (download; Adobe Air app)

Search fonts

FFonts

Search Forums

BoardTracker

boardtracker

BoardReader

Omgili

Omigli

Search for free photos

EveryStockPhoto

Search gadgets

gdgt

Search Google + bing

Askboth

Search Google + twitter

twootles

Twoogle

Search Google + Yahoo!

SearchBoth

Search health resources

OrganizedWisdom

Search: human powered

Mahalo

Mahalo

Search for icons

ICONLook

IconLook

IconFinder

Iconlet

Search for images

Ginipic (on web and your desktop; download to use)

ginipic

EveryStockPhoto

Compfight (Flickr search)

Google Image Search: advanced image search now has filtering by license

Stockvault

FreeFoto

ookaboo (public domain or Creative Commons images)

Search for images – by sketching

retrievr

Search for images – by colour

Multicolr Search Lab

Multi Colour Search Lab

picitup

Etsy

Search image galleries

Kalooga

Search – International directory of search engines

Search Engine Colossus

Search for keyword trends

HotWords

Search for keyword suggestions

Wordtracker

Search libraries

WorldCat

Search Linux

Google – Linux

TuxFinder (search for packages and documentation; search distributions)

Search local area network (LAN)

LAN Search Pro (free download)

Search for lyrics

Lyrster

Lyrster

mp3zy

Search for manuals

The Manuals

Manuals Online

Search medical

TextMed

HealthBase

Search microblogs

Twingly Microblog Search

Search mp3s

Beemp3

mp3zy

SkreemR

Skreemr

seeqpod

Wuzam

SSMunch

Seekmp3

mp3realm

abMP3

Search multimedia

Searchme (search web pages, videos, images, music tracks, Twitter posts)

LeapFish

Search multiple social sites (simultaneously)

Popixy

Search music

Jogli

MixTurtle

mixturtle

vastfm

fizy

songza

playlist

Search music videos

Cleepr

YouTube

Search: news

Google News Timeline

Search: niche

Accredited Degrees: Here’s a collection of 50 niche search engines

UNData

Search for pdfs

PDF Search Engine

Data-Sheet

PDF Database

PDF Books

DocMazy (PDFs, DOCs, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and text files)

Pdfgeni

Search people

Pipl

pipl

123People

Yasni

snitch.name

ZabaSearch

ZoomInfo

Search periodically

Alertpedia (email alerts)

Search for personal information

eJustice Blog: Who knows what about you: 25 free tools to find out

Search phrases and acronyms

MetaGlossary

Search for plagiarism

Viper

Search Rapidshare

Rapidshare Search (Firefox add-on)

Rapidshare123

Search real time

Scoopler (twitter, flickr, digg, delicious, etc)

OneRiot

Feedmil

Search semantic (knowledge-based)

Yebol

hakia

True Knowledge

Search for similar images

TinEye

TinEye

retrievr

picitup

Pixolu

pixolu

Google Similar Images

Search for similar music

mufin (download player)

Search for similar websites

SimilarSites

Whoislike.it

Search social networking

Whoisi

SocialMention

snitch.name

spy

spy

WhosTalkin

Identify (Firefox add-on)

Search social profiles

Folowen

Search for songs

Songerize

Midomi (search by humming song)

Search stock photographs

PicFindr

picFindr

Search suggestions

Soovle (more search suggestions from your keywords)

Search for sounds

SoundBible

Search symbols

Symbols.com

Search tag cloud

Adds a tag cloud to Google and Yahoo! search results

Search Cloudlet (firefox extension)

Search torrents

TorrentFetcher (download)

Search for tutorials

TutSearch

Howto.fm

Search Twitter

Search Twitter

TweetDeck

Bing Twitter Search (only available in USA at the moment)

Twazzup

Collecta

Scoopler

MicroPlaza

Topsy

CrowdEye

Search Twitter images

TwiPho

Search for videos

MetaTube

VideoSurf (searches multiple video search engines)

Veoh

CastTV

blinkx

Truveo

LoomTV

Search visual

Viewzi

RedZ

searchme

searchme

Spezify

Veesual

veesual

oSkope

Vizzl (search and browse Amazon, Ebay and YouTube)

Search for website information

BuiltWith

Dataopedia

Website Grader

XinuReturns

Search a website

In your preferred search engine, use the following format:

site:domaintosearch.com your search terms

Search Wikipedia

Navify

Search wikis

Qwika

Search for words

WordWaldo (Scrabble, crossword puzzles, etc)

Search YouTube

Jogli

If I’ve missed any important categories or missed a search engine you find really useful, please let me know in the comments and I”ll add it to the list. Hope you discover something useful from this post. Read the rest of this entry »


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