18
Jun 06

Customize Web Search in Apple Safari with AcidSearch

I came across this free add-in for Apple Safari that lets you customize the we search engine settings. By default Safari only uses Google search. There is no documented way of switching to another search engine.

This add-in is called AcidSearch (get it from here).

You can operate it by clicking the magnifying glass icon on the Safari search box found on the top right of the Safari window. From here you can go to the AcidSearch settings. AcidSearch provides you by default a number of alternate search engines – Yahoo, A9, Vivisimo, AskJeeves .. You can also add your own search engine setting here. From the list here, you can select the search engine you like.

I found that the default url for AskJeeves provided by AcidSearch did not work. This was easily remedied by changing the url to : http://www.ask.com/web?q=.

Overall, this is a great tool that fills in a small void left by Apple.

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09
May 06

Firefox on Mac – Useful Extensions (Part 1) – FlashGot Download Manager

Even in its default installation, the popular Open Source web browser, Firefox is quite feature rich. Most of the competing browsers are playing the catchup game, with the only exception is Opera. The key USP of Firefox is the ability to extend the default browser using the numerous extension available for free. There is a plethora of extension available at this site. There are extension for blocking web ads, for writing blogs, for tracking stocks, for managing downloads ………….

Over the next few days I will cover some of the most useful Firefox extension. For today, I intend to cover extensions for managing downloads. I am writing this post on Firefox 1.5.3 Mac OSX (universal).

FlashGot

Where to get : https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/220/

How to Install : From the above page click on the “Install Now” link.

How to configure: From Firefox menubar go to Tools -> Extensions. A new window pops up. Select FlashGot here and click “Preference” at the bpttom of the window.

At the time of writing this piece, FlashGot was the most downloaded extension on the mozilla.org extension site. The reason this extension is so popular is because the default download manager is firefox is quite inadequet for large file downloads.

Default Firefox Downloads Window

As you can see from the screenshot to the right, this is the stock download manager you will find in Frefox or Safari (this still is better than the one in IE6 or IE7 Beta). I still say this is inadequate because :

  1. It cannot resume broken downloads
  2. It cannot do multi part downloads which is critical is speeding the downloads

So, we have to depend on third party products like iGetter or Speed Download on Mac. Unfortunately the developers of these tools do not have plugins for Frefox.

FlashGot fills the important void by allowing us to seamlessly use these download acceletors from Firefox. This makes FlashGot a must have.

FlashGot supports lot of download managers or accelerators. After installation, FlashGot can autodetect which download manager you would want to us. In my case I use iGetter, and I will use iGetter as an example here.. Flashgot can autodetect downloads that needs to be transfered to iGetter by the type of content. Suppose, I need to download the latest update for firefox. FlashGot will see that this is a dmg file and pass this iGetter. Downloading with iGetter is far more secure and faster then the stock Firefox download manager.

FlashGot is designed for ease of use and can work without any custom configuration. For power users it also suports quite extensive set of configuration options.

Options


08
May 06

Firefox Mac OSX Theme

Firefox Mac Theme
Firefox Mac Theme,originally uploaded by manaskb.

Mac OSX users can make Firefox look like Safari using the GrApple theme that can be found here : http://www.takebacktheweb.org/

Safari is a pretty good browser, still there are some people like me who would like to use Firefox (www.mozilla.com). Safari users who would like to move to Firefox would be at home after installing this theme.

How to Install :

Go to site : http://www.takebacktheweb.org/

find the Mac OSX theme you like. Just click on the “Install Now” button for the theme you have selected.

Other option : From Firefox ->Tools->Themes-> Get New themes; This opens a new browser window for the addons.mozilla.org site. On the search box, search for GrApple. You will get the Mac OSX themes for Firefox.

Note : These themes only work on Mac OSX. If you are on Windows, just get a Mac 🙂