June 2009 — Monthly Archive
(Also, if you haven’t already, go read Miéville’s new book The City and the City. Now.)
Lifehacker recently pointed to a very useful new Windows 7 shortcut that vertically maximizes windows — really useful on laptops with 800 pixels or less of vertical real estate.
In that spirit, here’s another useful “shortcut”: Win+B gives focus to the “show hidden icons” button on the system tray.
This works on Windows XP and Vista as well, but is especially useful on Windows 7 because 7 corrals tray icons into their own box, where they’re not easily visible.
After pressing Win+B, press Enter to reveal the hidden icons and press the cursor keys to cycle through them (caveat, the highlight effect is really quite subtle on the RC and easy to miss).
Installing Linux on laptops still isn’t as easy as it should be. I installed Ubuntu 9.04 (”Jaunty”) on a Sony Vaio today, only to find that
- WiFi — on an Atheros AR242x controller — was working, but very slowly. I got no more than 23-80kB/sec on a 12Mb/sec connection, and frequently got as little as 1 kB/sec.
- Video effects weren’t supported on the Intel GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller (they were supported on Vista and Windows 7) because of a known bug.
The video effects were fixed by following this thread from UbuntuForums.
Looks like the year of Linux on the desktop/laptop is still a few years off.
The default Google search built into Firefox (at least in British builds) goes off to google.com and is then redirected to google.co.uk. Problem is, sometimes the redirection stops working and it stays with google.com — usually clearing cookies solves this problem. This means you lose the benefits of country-specific search. Installing this Google UK Search Provider will make sure that searches from the Firefox search bar go to Google UK every time. Also works with IE 8 (and any browser that supports OpenSearchDescription files).
Python FlickrAPI is an easy-to-use library for accessing Flickr from Python apps. Here’s a simple app prints the thumbnail URL for a photo, give a list of photo URLs.