10/02/2009

Managing Profiles, Rethinking the Web Browser: Mastering Firefox like a Ninja 1

At the very least one needs to know what a profile is and where it resides, and how to back it up. The Mozilla support site does indicate that using profiles is for advanced users. This is great because it’s pretty simple to use them. The Mozilla website has more than enough information on how to do anything with them. However, they do not provide us with what can be done using the simple how to instructions. This is where the fun starts: What would you use profiles for.

There are two principle ways to utilize profiles. One is to uncheck the “Don’t ask at startup” button and chose the profile you want at startup, this can become cumbersome. The other is to utilize shortcuts, by changing the shortcut to point specifically to your profile by appending the target with –P “profile name”. The shortcut method may be preferred because it is very similar to using hotkeys. So you can have multiple profiles assigned to hotkeys, this means that a new set of things can be done.

If you have multiple accounts with the same website and need access to both simultaneously without restarting the browser then two windows each accessing a different profile can accomplish this. It is easy to do this if you have multiple monitors, but if you don’t have multiple monitors, then a profile switcher may be a solution, or simply switching windows constantly (alt-tab).

Below is a list of cool things that can be done:

Portability
If you need to move between many computers via flash drive, or other means like a live CD profiles are what you will be moving. Knowing about profiles is a must, how specifically to do this will be covered in a later post.

Lightweight
If you occasionally get tired of the load time of your bulky set of add-ons, a lightweight profile can be made. A profile that has no plug-ins installed, basically a quick loading light browser. Set this to a hotkey and it will be totally fast for a quick lookup tool.

Sharing
Some people have a single computer, with a single user in their house. If you’re tired of the bookmarks, or history getting messed up, a separate profile is a simple solution.

Sock Puppets
One could chat as two people at once in a chat room, via the paragraph above.

Hacking
The settings are included in the profile, so one could use multiple proxy servers to appear as multiple IP addresses.

Separating Tasks
Using different profiles for different kinds of work, i.e. one profile for work one for play is a strategy that might aid in focusing on specific types of tasks. This can be taken too far and become a nightmare to manage given all of the specifics and details.

Links:
http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Managing+profiles
http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Profiles
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_Manager

Accessing the profile manager is as simple as typing firefox -P into the RUN screen. At the very least, back up your profile about once every 3 months. It is a simple copy paste.

02/23/2009

Conspiracies, in General, are Phony

I have this grandiose conspiracy theory. It’s so intricate that you’ll know it’s got to be true. The details have been kept hidden up until this time. Since you’re reading this, I must tell you to keep the detail to yourself and don’t tell a soul. If this was to get out the world would fall apart. Everybody would just stop and the world would set still. Here it is: Conspiracy theories are a conspiracy, they are made to keep you afraid, albeit hating and bitter. These postulates are meant to keep the masses concentrated on what has been done wrong to them. While they focus on that more wrongs can be done to keep the cycle in place.

It takes a while to settle in, and it’s hard to accept. It’s very difficult to let go of the hate. It’s very difficult to set it down. These thoughts are there to cause friction in your mind, they’re circuitous, hate breeding, and most of all they lead nowhere. In all essence, a conspiracy theory is the human equivalent of an animal chasing its’ tail. Conspiracies are as non-existent as international assassins, or that car that runs on water.

If the last paragraph is unacceptable to you then this one will hurt. This is the ultimate in being a better person, don’t hate on a group of others, start your own conspiracy. If you still cling to the hateful diatribes, try it yourself. You will find constructing a conspiracy a much more enriching experience. Also, it will be much more difficult than you could imagine.

I have tried constructing my own conspiracies, and it is immensely difficult even on small tasks. The point to be taken from the exercise is that those who talk about conspiracies are those that have not been there. This is somewhat like the expression: Those who can’t teach.

The goal in mind should be to be more constructive, try to enrich your life and others. Conspiracy theories are just another form of hate, which will keep anything positive from coming your way. People in general don’t like being around bitter, sour individuals. That’s why some spiritual hooey like “The Secret: The law of attraction” can flourish. We all know that being near somebody that is too happy also has deleterious effects.

Again, reiterated for those of us who espouse these strange curious statements of gloomy bleak futures. I have a challenge you aren’t up to: Make your own conspiracy! I have a second challenge you aren’t up to: Be a positive influence on those of us around you! If you can say “Conspiracies are Phony” you probably shouldn’t have read this.

01/22/2009

Check for bullet holes in the window, before signing a contract

My work environment doesn’t afford me much sun. So a compromise for this is what I refer to as “fake-n-bake” or tanning beds. It’s relaxing and I get a tan, everybody has to have their things. This story starts out when there was this great deal at $10 a month at a place just down the street from where I live. I checked it out, made sure that things were in order before going to the place.

From the start things were funny. It wasn’t operated like other tanning salons. One day I noticed a .38 bullet hole in the window at waist level. I though about it, and concluded that maybe I had made a mistake. It takes making a lot of people mad to find the idiot who would fire a 38 into a public establishment.

I finished my 4 month contract, and summer came and went. When fall hit and I was turning pale again I began to research what deals I could find on tanning salons again. It was then that I realized that my suspicions were correct. They are now attempting to extort me out of $150. Funny when I was willing to pay $50 a month for a year. I am a fairly obstinate person, and generally don’t give into pressure especially when my wallet is involved. So I have no intention of letting my mental health be deteriorated by a fraudulent company. I decided to find another place to take my business; I have spent in excess of $300 over 6 months at another local place.

It was just the other day that I was in a conversation with someone else in a similar situation. It should not have been a surprise, but it was clear that I had made a mistake in dealing with the company. The moral of the story is that you should always check for bullet holes before signing a contract. Not actual bullet holes, but metaphoric bullet holes.

“At The Beach Tanning” will attempt to put items on your credit report fraudulently long after you have been a member. It was a very bad and stupid mistake to have done business with them. I hope you read this or another warning and do not do business with them.

01/02/2009

It’s not that I hate Apple, Apple hates me.

I remember the childhood story all to well. It was the story of how open and free ideas took down a giant called Apple. I grew up with a “PC” at home and Mac’s at school. It was just the way things were. Whenever I asked the question of why, the response was a hazy mishmash of words involving freedom, and choice. It made sense because I could never do what I wanted to on the dang machines. On the PC I could, albeit with strife, I could. Inevitably there was always a maze and it would take days to solve some problems but, if I wanted to I could. So the hodgepodge of words that didn’t make sense came alive in my mind through experience. If I tired hard, and used my noodle I could get rewards in the “PC” universe. In the Apple universe I would be told I’m not allowed to get rewards, and given a punishment. This punishment came in the form of a bomb cartoon.

The philosophy that took them down so long ago is what they still use. The company has not gone through a metamorphosis. It’s still the same company selling us an Apple II. Worse now that Microsoft now is on their side with the new Vista thing. I’m so frustrated with the whole fiasco I finally am giving Linux a try. It’s not that bad, but a story for another day.

The ipod, it’s so classy. Great ad campaign… I wanted one, but they kept getting better faster. I took a long hard look at the ipod, and still can’t bring myself to buy one. No matter how good the computer was itunes always slowed it down. Now today I don’t need one. The reasons are numerous. My phone can do store music too. The radio keeps me up on local events and plays music. A flash drive works out half of the details. Then there were some funny DRM issues? After a look at all these things what am I buying it for? Portability, ah I’m going to get a shuffle and hack it so I don’t have to put up with that pesky itunes. Well that’s a lot of work. I did actually have a shuffle once, and the rocky relationship ended when it broke.

The iphone; anticipation. I don’t know why the iphone reminded me of a Carly Simon song. It’s just good advice not to buy what the news tells you to. Imagine how broke we would be if everyone followed these buy crazes. I thought I would buy a 2nd generation iphone for sure. After seeing all the lockdowns I just couldn’t part with my cash. I just don’t want the device to be owned by someone else. So it’s AT&T and you’re locked into like it’s Verizon? You can’t tether if you want to, but that’ll be available later. They have new apps coming out every month so you can pay more. If you want a free one we’ve got a whole world full of hackers trying to crack into the thing. I gave up and got a Nokia n95 and I love the thing to death!

The i-majority is where it’s at. I remember a statistic that roughly only a third of the population uses computers. This is to state that the vast majority of the populace is not computer literate. To some people this is a sorry state of affairs, but to Apple I would say: BOON! Sure they have great software for people who don’t use computers. Sure I’d recommend it to all my relatives that want me to be their support person. Sure I’m glad that Apple has classes on how to use them. All the selling points are there.

Imagine if Apple was around when we were making computers with gears and card decks. Let’s say we know how to do something crazy on paper, and I want that crazy idea in a programmatic form. Apples philosophy would stifle any bit of creativity that was brought forward by our idea. This philosophy is in work today. It’s not that I hate Apple, Apple hates us. The Evidence for this is subtle, and on shaky ground because the company has adapted to these kind of problems. In the end I do dearly want a computer to work like an Apple and never mess up, but I can’t sacrifice the future for it. Progress doesn’t come from staying inside the lines.

Projects & Links

Colonize the Moon
About moon/mars/asteroid colonies and space stuff

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linux/raspberry-pi/bitcoin and computer stuff

VidUploadServer
A video upload server I coded myself

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