Sunday, April 30, 2006

Saving Webpages for Offline Browsing

Like many of you, I love finding new stuff on the Internet. However, you can’t spend your entire time online. Wouldn’t be nice to save a copy of an interesting webpage on your computer for offline reading? Well, you are in luck, there are several ways available not only for Internet Explorer but for Firefox and Opera web browser as well. Let’s start with Internet Explorer (IE) first.

Internet Explorer 6.0 is the latest stable version available. IE 7 is currently in beta testing. Recently, Microsoft acquired Onfolio, a company specializing in creating tools to conduct research on the Internet. Onfolio allows users to capture parts of a webpage or the entire webpage. Users can then annotate what they captured. Onfolio can create folders and subfolders to categorize your data. It really is a fantastic tool for serious researching on the Internet. In a rare moment of generosity, Microsoft has included Onfolio in their free Windows Live Toolbar beta. You heard right, it is totally free. Onfolio not only captures webpages, it is rss aggregator as well. Users can access the files offline. By default files are stored under Onfolio’s My Collection located in C:/Documents and Settings/<User Name>/My Documents.

Firefox is the latest stable version. One of the greatest features of Firefox is its extensions. Slogger is an extension which allows users to save a copy of a webpage on to the hard drive. Users can save every webpage visited or only user selected webpages. Webpages can then be viewed offline. To get the most out of Slogger, users should install a desktop search tool. For example, I use Copernic Desktop Search application to index my hard drive, much like Google does on the Internet. The latter allows for quick and accurate searches. Also, Slogger can save webpages to Spurl, Furl and/or My Yahoo! The extension has many additional features. Thankfully, the author has an extensive tutorial on his website. Another Firefox extension with similar function is Scrapbook. Scrapbook allows users to cut and paste parts of a webpage. I like using Slogger more so than Scrapbook because Slogger with a single click saves the entire webpage, quick and simple.

Opera 8.54 is the latest stable version; however, Opera 9.0 beta is available for testing. An Opera enthusiast, Dmitry Antonyuk, created Obook plugin for Opera. Obook is still in beta testing; version 1.5 is available for download. The plugin is completely free and it works great. Obook adds itself to the Opera side panel and menu toolbar. Users simply click “Save to Obook” and the webpage is saved on to the hard drive. Obook allows you to create folders and subfolders to categorize the saved webpages.

In conclusion, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera web browsers each have methods to save web information for later offline viewing. For a better experience, try installing and using a desktop search applications.

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Easy Go Back

Mouse Gestures in Internet Explorer

Both Firefox and Opera web browsers offer mouse gestures. Mouse gestures allow users to navigate within the browser by way of mouse movements. Instead of using the navigation toolbar, you hold down one of the mouse buttons and move the mouse to navigate. For example, in Firefox, to have the browser go back a page, move the mouse to the left while holding down the left mouse button. It is a great feature, more for convenience than anything else. Among web browsers, there are two schools of thought. One prefers using the keyboard to navigate within the browser without the use of a mouse – using so-called keyboard shortcuts. The other prefers using a mouse and never having to touch the keyboard. Both schools of thought have their advantages and disadvantages. It is just a matter of personal preference.

As mentioned before, both Firefox and Opera offer mouse gesture. In the case of Firefox, you need to install the mouse gesture extension. However, Opera comes with mouse gesture already installed. Interestingly, Opera also allows users to navigate via voice commands. The feature is called appropriately “Voice.” It is not installed by default. Instead, you need to download and install a plugin.

Unfortunately, Internet Explorer (IE) does not have a mouse gesture feature. Microsoft does not have a plugin for IE and, to the best of my knowledge; it does not plan to include the feature in the upcoming IE 7. But, luckily there is a third party that has developed an application to add this feature to IE. And, more good news, the application is totally free – no spyware or adware. UnH Solutions has developed Easy Go Back. Easy Go Back is a small program and it integrates into IE without any problems. Easy Go Back offers several mouse gestures, including: backward, forwards, refresh, stop and open a link in a new window. Easy Go Back comes with preset mouse gestures but users can configure different mouse gestures. It also allows users to add buttons of their own. Easy Go Back doesn’t only work with IE; it can also be used by IE shells (i.e. Avant Browser, Maxthon Browser).

Easy Go Back uses only 4,000 K of memory. It works best when it is set to start on startup. I have had no conflicts using Easy Go Back alongside any of the big GYM (Google, Yahoo and MSN) toolbars, Adobe plugin, Macromedia Flash and/or the SiteAdvisor.

Firefox: - MozillaWiki

Firefox: - MozillaWiki

This past week a new exploit was discovered for Firefox  Secunia, a popular software security firm, labeled the exploit as not critical.  As worst, the exploit could be used to execute a denial of service attack.  Mozilla is not taking this lightly and plans to release a patch for Firefox soon.  Please refer to the above article for more details on the exploit.

Friday, April 28, 2006

BetaNews | Mozilla to Issue Firefox Security Fix

BetaNews | Mozilla to Issue Firefox Security Fix

It seems that Internet Explorer is not the only web browser that has been suffering from new exploits.  Mozilla confirms that a exploit has been found in Firefox, its latest stable version.  The exploit can cause a denial of service error.  Security firm Secunia labeled this as a non-critical exploit.  Mozilla is working on a patch for the exploit but did not give any hints as to when it will be ready. This is the second setback for Mozilla.   Earlier, Mozilla publicly announced that it will not be adding the new feature "Places" in the upcoming version 2.0, code named "Bon Echo."

Reify Turnabout

Reify’sTurnabout, Greasemonkey for Internet Explorer

For those of you who use Firefox, you are probably familiar with the greasemonkey extension. The greasemonkey extension allows users to install customized javascripts that modifies how Firefox loads a webpage. For example, the Gmail secure script automatically redirects Firefox to sign into Gmail securely. I use both Firefox and InternetExplorer (IE) and I always thought it was a shame that IE didn’t have such a feature. But all that changed when I discovered Reify’s Turnabout. Simply put Turnabout is the IE’s equivalent of Firefox’s greasemonkey extension. Turnabout comes in two versions, a basic version and an advance version. The basic version only has 5 javascripts, including: 1.)Adblocker, 2.) Linkify, 3.)Book Burro, 4.) BugMeNotand 5.) Highlight search term. The advance version, in the addition to the five previously mentioned scripts, users can install any and all of the javascripts available. Be warn though, there are two drawbacks with the advance version. The first drawback is that not all of the scripts written for greasemonkey work with IE. The second drawback is an increase in vulnerability as a result of running every javascript. The scripts for the basic version are tried and tested but others are not necessarily safe, after all the scripts were written by motivated computer geeks. There are two outstanding websites that serve as a repositary of scripts. The first is the greasemonkey webpage and the other is

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

BetaNews | Trojan Demands Ransom from Victims

BetaNews | Trojan Demands Ransom from Victims

Once,hackers use to develop malicious software for bragging rights.  Now, they do it for money.  Here is another example of Trojans which hold your data files for ransom.  This isn't the first incident.  Early March of this year, Cryzip infected computers  and held data files hostage.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Opera 9

Ifeel that the Opera web browser is one of the most underappreciatedsoftware applications. Internet Explorer and Firefox frequentlyappear in news headlines. Opera only has the occasional worthymentioning buried in obscured articles. This is a sad truth because Opera is an exceptional web browser. Long before Mozilla’s Firefox, Opera features included: tab browsing, an integrated rss aggregator, IRC, mail client and session manager. Forget about Internet Explorer, Microsoft is just starting to include these features in their latest version and it’s still in beta. So why is it that there hasn’t been wide acceptance of Opera. I think money had a lot to do with it. Prior to version 8.0, Opera was available in two versions, a paid version or a free ad supported version. They were identical in every way but the ad supported version had an ad banner. However, that is not the case now. Once Opera was free for all, there was an explosion in the number of webusers downloading it.

So,what is so special about Opera? Well, it is packed with features and I mean packed. Firefox requires extensions to gain features whichcome standard with Opera. In Opera, users can drag and drop tabs(this feature was just added to Firefox in version 1.5+), view tabthumbnail by hovering the mouse over a tab, session manager, download manager and side panel. Opera is highly customizable, though it may involve editing user’s files. These files are located in the profile folder. It’s easy to add search engine shortcuts; the feature is very similar to the search keyword function in Firefox. Opera sports a one click clear private data feature, which was copied by Mozilla in Firefox 1.5+. Opera has astounding security and privacy features. Users can set preference for individual webpages. For instances, I often visit Daily Rotations webpage. I chose to allow popups and only accept cookies from the original website. And, I can do it for any website. I have never seen such granular control in any other web browser.

The latest stable version is Opera 8.54, but Opera 9.0 beta is available for download and testing. New features included in Opera 9.0 are improved support for BitTorrent, widgets and content blocking (Adblock). It is impossible to summarize all the latest additions toOpera. I highly recommend Opera and encourage you to take it for a drive.

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Customizing Opera

  2. BetaNews Opera 9 Beta Brings Widgets, Torrents

BetaNews | Microsoft Spins Off Social Network Site

BetaNews | Microsoft Spins Off Social Network Site

Microsoft is developing its own social network website, named "Wallop." Microsoft wants Wallop to compete with MySpace. MySpace, owned by News Corp., is the most popular social network. It is estimated that there are 60 million user accounts. Despite recent bad press, MySpace is flourishing and everyone wants a piece of the action. It seems everyone is jumping on to the bandwagon trying to take a piece of the pie away from MySpace. Only a week ago, AOL announced it plans to develop its own social network, calling it "MySpace Killer." I find it highly unlikely that either AOL or Microsoft will successful in taking down MySpace.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

BetaNews | Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Released

BetaNews | Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Released

Microsoft has released the latest version of Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 for public beta testing. Microsoft has also setup a telephone support line. As an added plus, Microsoft has created a website to host all third party addons for IE 7.

Monday, April 24, 2006

It is very rare that I come across an application that I immediately love. Recently, I came across and I immediately fell in love with it. What does it do? Well, it saves a cached copy of the webpage you are currently viewing to your e-mail account. To sign up for this service, surf to their website. Next, enter in your e-mail address and click [Start]. will e-mail you a message in order to start the service. Open the e-mail message and click on the provided link. You will be redirected to their website. The website will have a personalized bookmarklet that you add to your favorites or bookmark toolbar. Now, anytime to come across an interesting webpage you would to save, just click on the bookmarklet to save it to your e-mail account. The service is very similar to Yahoo! My Web 2.0 service. With My Web 2.0, you can tag the webpage as well as save a cached copy. is great for those of us who don’t have the time to read the webpage but want to save a copy for later viewing. Currently, I’am using with Gmail . I save all my interesting webpages to my Gmail account and, when I need to find it again, I use Gmail’s robust search functions to locate it. This is one of many ways to use Gmail as online file storage.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Top 10 Windows XP Tips Of All Time - Yahoo! News

Top 10 Windows XP Tips Of All Time - Yahoo! News

Many thanks for TechWeb to compile a list of tweaks and tips for Windows XP. Some are for increasing performance while others improve usability.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Get Refund Status

Get IRS Refund Status

Thankfully, the tax season is over. For those who expect to receive a refund, you can go to the above webpage and check on the status of your refund. Obviously, you will be required to enter personal information to verify your identity.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Gmail Online File Storage

Now, with the availability of broadband connection to the Internet, the ability to backup important files to the Internet is easier than ever. All computer users should be in the habit of making backups of vital files. There are several means to accomplish the latter. Today, I am going to talk about one method which involves Gmail. Gmail is the prodigal son of search engine Google. Presently, Gmail provides more than 2.5 GB of storage space. I have been using Gmail for close to 6 months now. As of today, I have used up 1% of available space. 2.5 GB is a lot of space. Why not use the space to store backup files? Some brilliant people have gone through the trouble of doing just that. Three popular applications include: Gspace and GMail Drive.

Gspace is a Firefox extension. The extension was developed by Rjonna. The latest stable version is version 0.3.2. There were some glitches in version 0.1 which has since been fixed. However, there are still some limitations in using Gspace.

  • Currently, one can upload only files up to 10 MB as Gmail allows a maximum file attachment of 10 MB (applies to version 0.1 only).

  • Cannot upload .exe, .dll, .zip or any other system files that are considered harmful. (Gmail employs a virus scanner which blocks executable file types.)

  • Tested only in Windows machine and Firefox 1.5. Not sure how it works on other machines.

GMail Drive developed by Viksoe creates a virtual filesystem on top of Gmail. What it does is to create a virtual hard drive on a user’s computer. Files can be drag and drop into the virtual HD like any ordinary HD. The latest stable version is GMail Drive 1.0.10. GMail Drive is not without its problems.

  • GMail Drive has difficulty with long file names (>65 characters). Note, the file name includes C:/My Documents/…For example, even if you had saved a file named “My Note,” in actuality the file name is C:/My Documents/xxxxx folder/…/My Note.

  • Cannot upload .exe, .dll, .zip or any other system files that are considered harmful.

  • Files can’t be larger than 10 MB (Gmail’s does not allow for attachments to be larger than 10 MB.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

BetaNews | Opera 9 Beta Brings Widgets, Torrents

BetaNews | Opera 9 Beta Brings Widgets, Torrents

It seems like Internet Explorer and Firefox get all the media coverage. But, there is another alternative web browser that is rising in popularity...Opera. Today, April 20th, Opera Inc. has released Opera 9.0 beta 1. Some new additions included integrated BitTorrent support and customized widgets. There are two versions available for download one with Java support and one without. Reports say Opera 9.0 without Java is faster in rendering a webpage than its sibling. Like the previous version 8.5+, Opera has integrated mail client, IRC and RSS aggregator. It is amazing how many features the developers were able to included in a program that is no more than 4.6MB. Unfortunately, there are some con's. Google, Yahoo! and MSN have yet to develop a toolbar for Opera. Since only a small minority of the Internet community use Opera, the search engine giants don't see a demand for it. In addition, though Opera developers have put in a lot of effort into rendering a webpage correctly, there are still a number of websites that do not display correctly in Opera. For example, NewsAlloy is not supported by Opera. But, from personal experience, Opera is one amazing browser. It's speed rivals IE and Firefox. I haven't used Apple in years so I can't comment about Safari or Camino. Even if you are skeptical, it is worthwhile to at least test it out.

BetaNews | Firefox, Mozilla Users Told to Upgrade

BetaNews | Firefox, Mozilla Users Told to Upgrade

Be advised, Secunia has discovered numerous exploits in Mozilla's products, including: Mozilla suite, Seamonkey, Firefox and Thunderbird. Secunia has labeled these exploits as highly critical, the worst possible. Mozilla recommends that all users update to the newest versions. For both Firefox and Thunderbirds, download version Firefox was released earlier this week. Current Firefox users do not need to download the entire application. Instead, use the automatic update feature which can be found on the menu bar under Help > Check for update. Thunderbird in available for download; however, users have to download the entire application. Currently, you can not update Thunderbird via the Help > Check for update. Users can choose to download the entire application or wait until it is available via the update feature.

How Long Does It Take To Load A Webpage?

There is no shortage of good web browsers. On Windows systems, Internet Explorer is the most widely used browser. However, more and more web users are switching over to alternative browsers, such as Firebox and Opera. There is a growing dispute about which browser is the fastest. In addition, there are several articles offering tips and tweaks to optimize browser performance. Question # 1, how do you test the speed at which a browser renders a webpage? Question #2, how can you quantify if tweaks to your browser have indeed optimize the browser? Well, there is an easy way to find out. In the following paragraphs, I am going to describe how to measure the time it takes to render a webpage. The latter will give us a way to compare quantitatively the speeds of the various browsers and the effectiveness of tweaks.

First, start up your preferred web browser. Second, clear the browser’s cache. In Internet Explorer, go to Tools > Internet Options > General tab > under “Temporary Internet Files” click [Delete Files]. In Firefox, go to Tools > Options > Privacy > Cache tab > click [Clear Cache Now]. In Opera, go to Tools > Preferences > History > under “Disk Cache” click [Empty Now]. Once you have finished clearing the cache, go to Under “Enter the URL to be measured,” type in a convenient web address, such as or The key is to enter in a web address which has both text and images. Once you have typed in an address, click [Start Stopwatch]. Your browser will load the web address you entered previously. What Stopwatch does is to display the time it takes for your browser to go from its [Stopwatch] homepage to the web addressed you entered. Write down the time displayed. Next, go to your next web browser and repeat the above steps. Afterwards, compare the times for each web browser. Viola, you now have a quantitative measure of a browser’s speed to render a webpage.

This procedure can also be used to calculate if a particular tweak(s) to a web browser has indeed improve its speed to render a webpage. Just remember to always clear the cache before starting the stopwatch.