Oct 22 2006
This post isn’t really about ebooks but it is about technology and something that we all use on a regular basis so what the heck. I guess this falls under “I’m running out of ebook content.” I don’t want to recycle stuff until I am desperate (which may be next week) so I thought I would turn Sundays into Tech day. We will still focus primarily on ebooks but we (or I) will post about tech related things too. Like how to make your blog better and stuff like that. Is that cool?
Come November, Internet Explorer 7.0 Will be an Automatic Update to Windows XP. This means if you have AU turned “On”, one day in November, you may wake up and find a whole new browser on your desktop. If you don’t have AU turned on, you won’t get a notification that there is a new browser. I am a Firefox fan and wouldn’t recommend anyone change if you are already using Firefox, but for the 80%+ who do use Internet Explorer, this will be a neat upgrade for you.
I downloaded IE 7.0 this past week because I was fearful that my blog may be broken under IE 7.0. The different browsers format code differently and so you have had to be careful, as a blogger who doesn’t use a stock template, to make sure all your special coding works in the main browsers. There was one thing broken for me in IE 7.0 and that is the “login” button. I need to look into fixing that.
So what is so groundbreaking about IE 7.0? For IE users, 7.0 introduces tabbed browsing. This is a really neat feature that I think IE users will soon come to love. Tabbed browsing is when “new” windows are opened up as tabs:
To take advantage of tabs, you have to know how to navigate around them.
There are quicktabs. This button shows you all of the tabs you have open in one window. Click on the thumbnail image and that tab will enlarge.
There is the tab menu. This drop down menu displays a list of all the tabs you have open in one window with a checkmark behind the tab that is active.
You can drag your tabs around and reorder them by clicking on the tab and dragging it.
Click on the last blank small tab to the right and a new blank tab will open up.
Under the “home” icon, you can easily add and remove home page tabs. This means if you want five pages to open and load when you start IE 7.0, just add those pages as home page tabs.
IE 7.0 also features integrated search bar which you can customize. Mine is a google search bar but you can add and use others.
It has a much cleaner, streamlined appearance. Gone are the big space taking “Link” “Menu Bar” etc. These are “by default” not shown. You can choose to add those back in by pressing the right mouse button and selecting them. Or using the “ALT” key to toggle the menu bar. The Refresh button is the two green inverse arrows at the end of the address bar.
IE 7.0 also has an integrated RSS Feeder. For those not in the know, an RSS News Aggregator is a must have for any regular blog hopper or web hopper. Most sites have what is called a “news” feed. Think of the CNN line that runs across the bottom of the screen telling you the top stories. That is what a news feed is like. It gives you a short summary of the new blog posts. If you subscribe to Dear Author’s news feed, you get the full text of the blog. you don’t even need to visit the website. Plus, the feed updates itself automatically so that when there are changes to the blog, you are notified by the blog link turning “black”
It allows this reader to keep track of hundreds of blogs without visiting 100s of sites. It’s pretty neat and if you visit more than 10 blogs a day, I highly recommend utilizing it. Oh sure, there are separate programs for this, but why? I actually like the way that IE 7.0 displays my news feeds more than Firefox. It allows you to search in the feed, filter by category, etc.
If you are at a website and wonder if it has a feed, look in the upper left hand corner for the orange icon. If there is a feed available, it should be orange. If it is gray, there is no feed available. Clicking on the little arrow by it, will give you the type of feeds that you can choose from. there are different feeds, but I always try to use RSS 2.0. Clicking on the button shows you what the feed will look like and then gives you the option of adding the feed.
Here are some tips:
- If you type an address in the menu bar and you want it to open in a new tab, type in the address and then press alt+enter
- If you want your search results to open in a new tab, type in the search terms and press alt+enter
- ctrl +/- zooms in and out of the page, making sites more accessible for those who have reading impairments. I still like the adjust font script that I have running here because it adjusts the font within the size of the screen, but the IE zooming feature is very nice.
- Ctrl-F brings up a small Search window.
- In Print Preview, there is Shrink to Fit Printing. If you want to print out a title listing – say all the dear author books we’ve given an A to, go to the archives, click on category and then “A reviews” go up to the print and select print preview. There you can see several pages together (ie., 1, 2, 3, and so on page view), select the percentage to print at and you are good to go. Obviously, I need to fix the “print” view of the blog and will do so shortly, but you get the idea. (hint, I would print just page 3). Plus, when you are viewing just one page, you can change the margins of the paper by sliding the arrows around. of course, you could just highlight the titles and print “selected” text too.
- Built in to the browser is an anti-fraud system that changes the colour of the address bar to red when a user visits a known phishing site. Other warnings will pop-up if an IE 7 user strays onto a site displaying suspicious activity. There has been some concern that this means that IE 7 is sending to Microsoft the url of every webpage you visit. Someone from Microsoft disputes this. I don’t know who is right.
- There is already a security leak announced.
- Add Ons. Firefox has always had plugin that are easily installed and extend the functionality of the browser. IE 7.0 allows you to have add ons. IE 7.0 interface isn’t as slick – the Firefox plugins install automatically and then run after a restart of Firefox. IE requires a download, then installation and then restart.