Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

5 Things You Didn’t Know Google Could Do

Google is widely known as the Internet’s best search engine. Everybody with access to the internet uses Google at some point to find something (or many things) on the web for a particular web page, or a certain piece of information.
However, Google has several built in functions that will help you make your searches more successful, and to enable you to spend less time searching. I have written a post about some tricks that will help you with your image search and that will ‘give you the power’ to Find Images by Exact Dimensions, File Type or From Specific Website. That should make your search for new wallpapers that perfectly fit to your screen resolution as easy as walk in a park.
But today I’ve decided to expand that post and to tell you about a list of 5 functions that you did not know before (I think), all accessible from the main Google search box (frontpage), which will help youfind every piece of information you are looking for.

1. Removing unwanted (unrelated) results:

Ever searched for something before, and had a whole list of completely irrelevant web pages come up? This is annoying at the best of times, as it takes time to check and read through the list of sites and find the one you actually want.
For example, if you were looking for a review of the book “Harry Potter” (whatever part of it), and you typed into Google “Harry Potter review”, many of the links listed are reviews of the movie, not the book. Because you are not looking for a review of the movie, you can remove all pages related to the movie by adding “-movie” to the end of your search terms.
This will now display all the pages relevant to “Harry Potter review“, but not relevant to ” Harry Potter movie”.

2. Use Google as an excellent Calculator:

Google can be used as a calculator, answering anything from the simplest math to the most complex equation. Just enter your math question, and Google will display the answer. (Damn, I wish I knew this earlier)
+ is used to add terms, - to subtract terms, * to multiply terms, and / to divide terms. Besides these basic operators, you can use ^ to work out something to the power of something (for example, “2^4” would be 2 to the power of 4), and “sqrt (without quotation marks) to calculate the square root of a number (for example, “sqrt 4” would be the square root of 4).

3. Find Dictionary Definitions

google-search-dictionaryBy typing “define:” before a word, Google will retrieve and display a list of dictionary definitions for that word. Very useful function…

4. Search A Single Website

If you type “site:” and then a website after a search term, Google will search for your term(s) in only the site dictated. For example, the following search will search the keyword “Windows 7″ only this blog.

5. Search for A Specific File Type:

As I am sure you are aware, there are many files hosted on the internet besides the standard ‘html websites’. Therefore, searching for a specific type of file could make your search a lot easier. For example, if you were looking for a PDF version of the iPhone manual, you could use the following search, which would produce more accurate (and less) results.
Here the “filetype:” tool is making Google search the web for PDF files only, therefore eliminating any pages that we didn’t want to see.
These are just 5 useful functions that Google can perform, there are many more for you to discover, and they can all be mixed and matched! If you know some more functions post them in comments and share with others. I hope this helped you to find that ever-elusive page or snippet of info. Have fun, and happy searching!

3 Hacks for Firefox That Will Double Your Internet Browsing Speed

There are many people out there complaining about the Firefox RAM Memory Bug. Lets get it straight. It’s not a bug. It’s part of the cache feature. This ‘feature’ is how the pages are cached in a tabbed environment.

To improve performance when navigating (studies show that 39% of all page navigations are renavigations to pages visited less than 10 pages ago, usually using the back button), Firefox implements a Back-Forward cache that retains the rendered document for the last five session history entries for each tab.
This is a lot of data. If you have a lot of tabs, Firefox’s RAM memory usage can climb dramatically. It’s a trade-off. What you get out of it is faster performance as you navigate the web.
Now a lot of us have found the ’secrets’ on how to manipulate settings in “about:config” to drop the memory usage as long as possible and to increase the speed at which Firefox loads sites. Read on to find out how to do this.
Remember: Firefox (download it here) is the best internet browser available (in my opinion), and these tweaks below will make it even greater and faster. So enjoy!

Reduce the amount of RAM Firefox uses for it’s cache feature

Here’s how to do it:
1. Type “about:config” (no quotes) in the adress bar in the browser.
2. Find “browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewer
3. Set it’s value to “0“;(Zero)

Increase the Speed in Which Firefox loads pages

1. Type “about:config” into the address bar and hit Enter.
(Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipeliningit will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading.)
2. Alter the entries as follows:
Set “network.http.pipelining” to “true
Set “network.http.proxy.pipelining” to “true
Set “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” to some number like 10.
This means it will make 10 requests at once.
3. Lastly, right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” and set its value to “0“;.(Zero)
This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives. If you’re using a broadband connection you’ll load pages faster now.
Optionally (for even faster web browsing) here are some more options for your about:config (you might have to create some of these entries by Right Click –> New– > Interger or String
network.dns.disableIPv6: set “false”
content.notify.backoffcount”: set “5“; (Five)
plugin.expose_full_path”: set “true”.
ui.submenuDelay”: set “0; (zero)

Reduce RAM usage to 10mb when Firefox is minimized:

This little hack will drop Firefox’s RAM usage down to 10 Mb when minimized:
1. Open Firefox and go to the Address Bar. Type in about:config and then press Enter.
2. Right Click in the page and select New -> Boolean.
3. In the box that pops up enter “config.trim_on_minimize”. Press Enter.
4. Now select True and then press Enter.
5. Restart Firefox.
These simple tweaks will make your web browsing with Mozilla Firefox 2-3 times faster and easier. And I think they are fairly easy to apply. Enjoy!

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