CyberNotes: Blogging Humor – Signs You’re Addicted

This article was written on May 04, 2007 by CyberNet.

Funny Friday

Many of you have blogs of your own, so you’ll probably find some humor in this.  If you don’t have a blog but you’re thinking about it, this might give you an idea of what you’re getting yourself into :)

Signs you’re addicted to blogging: (source)

  1. Your closest friends know the easiest way to communicate with you is by submitting a comment.
  2. You don’t know your anniversary but you know your Technorati rank.
  3. When you can’t figure out how to modify your theme, you write your own WordPress theme.
  4. You only stay at hotels with broadband Internet or with a Starbucks within 3 blocks.
  5. You identify yourself as a blogger rather than the actual profession that you make a living on.
  6. You pay your DSL or Cable bill before your rent or mortgage.

And below is a comic that any blogger can probably relate to: (source)

Blogger’s Cycle



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CyberNotes: Browser Stats

This article was written on March 19, 2008 by CyberNet.

Web Browser Wednesday

We realized that we’ve never really done an article diving deep into the history of browser stats even though we have shown you screenshots of browsers from long ago. Thanks to Net Applications we have about a year and a half worth of data to look at, and it is interesting to see the rise and fall of the different browsers.

We had aggregated so much information that even the most severe stataholics would probably start to feel queasy. Below we’ve got an overview of all the browsers wrapped up into one, and then we dive even deeper by breaking the stats down into the popular versions of each browser. To try and ease the nauseous feeling we decided to hide the actual numbers that were used to generate the graphs, but they are still available by clicking on the Details link located at the beginning of each section.

We’ll start by comparing the market share of each major browser, and then we’ll break it down into Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Netscape usage.

Note: The timeline for each graph is the exact same, but the market share percentages are scaled differently for each chart to make it easier to read. You can click the Details link to see what percentages make up each graph.

–All Browsers (Details)–

From this graph you can see that Internet Explorer still owns a huge chunk of the browser market share, but over the duration of the graph it has changed quite significantly. In the next month or two it will likely hit a 10% drop since August 2006, and about 5% of that has occurred in the last 6-months.

 browser stats - all

–Internet Explorer (Details)–

It wasn’t until December of 2007 that Internet Explorer 7 actually took over Internet Explorer 6 in usage, which is rather surprising. Maybe it is because so many people are sticking with Windows XP and not making the upgrade to IE7, but it looks like things are finally starting to pickup for IE7:

browser stats - ie 

–Firefox (Details)–

When Firefox 2 came out in October 2006 it didn’t take long for users to make the jump from Firefox 1.5, and ever since then it has been rocking the house.

browser stats - firefox 

–Safari (Details)–

This obviously proves that Safari users enjoy playing with Beta versions of the browser, but don’t really adopt it until the stable version is available. In June 2007 Safari 3.0 Beta was made available by Apple, and in October it shipped with the OS X Leopard operating system. While in Beta it didn’t really affect the usage of other versions, but people made the upgrade rather rapidly once it was released. It’s been a hit ever since.

browser stats - safari 

–Opera (Details)–

The Opera 9.x browser was first introduced in June 2006 shortly before these stats started to be collected. You can see from the chart that Opera 9.x usage has been increasing quite steadily even though the market share is still small. Considering the fact that until September 2005 you had to pay for Opera (or suffer with a built-in ad banner) I would say that they are doing pretty good.

browser stats - opera 

–Netscape (Details)–

Late last year Netscape announced that they would no longer be developing the Netscape 9.0 version of their browser. Well, this might give us some indication as to why that is. The service we got our stats from didn’t even have anything on Netscape 9.0 presumably because the market share was so low. While Netscape 6.0 is currently the champ of all the versions available.

browser stats - netscape 


Hopefully you’ve enjoyed taking a look at all of the charts to see how your favorite browser has progressed over the last year and a half. If you haven’t gotten enough be sure to checkout our history of web browsers where we provide screenshots of browsers over the last 10+ years.

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CyberNotes: Use Any USB Drive or Memory Card with ReadyBoost on Vista

This article was written on April 26, 2007 by CyberNet.

Tutorial Thursday

Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows Vista, offers a really unique feature called ReadyBoost. The goal of it is to use a USB drive or memory card to increase the amount of memory that your system has to use. The results of adding a memory card or flash drive to Vista for memory usage can actually be quite astonishing.

One of the main problems is that you typically need a high-speed device because Microsoft wants to make sure that you get the most out of ReadyBoost. None of the memory cards or USB drives that I have laying around actually met the requirements for ReadyBoost, and every time I tried to use it I would receive this warning: “This device does not have the required performance characteristics for use in speeding up your system.”


Have no fear though, because you can use almost any USB drive or memory card with ReadyBoost! Although you may not receive optimal performance from it if the card doesn’t meet Vista’s standards.

Here’s how you can enable ReadyBoost on Vista for any memory card or USB drive:

  1. Insert your USB Drive and choose the ReadyBoost option when prompted. If you’re not prompted you can always go into Windows Explorer, right-click on the device, and choose Properties.
  2. Check the box that says Stop retesting this device when I plug it in. Press Ok.
  3. Now you’ll need to open up the Windows Registry, which can be done by opening up the Start Menu and typing regedit. If you get prompted by the User Account Control just select the option to Continue.
    Note: I realize that editing the registry might be something you’re weary about doing, but if you stick to the instructions you won’t have any problems.
  4. Browse the tree on the left side of the Registry Editor making your way through the “folders”: HKLM (Local Machine) -> SOFTWARE -> Microsoft -> Windows NT -> CurrentVersion -> EMDMgmt

    One of the keys listed should be your USB Drive. Find it and click on that item (the names might look a little weird but you can probably recognize your drive).

  5. Double-click on the Device Status entry on the right side and change the value to 2. Press OK.
  6. Change both the ReadSpeedKBs and WriteSpeedKBs to 1000 by double-clicking on each of their names. Press OK.
  7. Now open up Windows Explorer, right-click on your device, and choose the Properties option. You should now see the option to Use this device, and once you pick that you can choose how much memory can be used by ReadyBoost:

That’s all there is to it! The reason why this works is because we’re telling Vista a small little lie. We’re saying that the device is actually faster at reading and writing than it actually is, which means that in the long run we may not see all of the benefits that ReadyBoost actually offers. At least you are able to play around with it and be your own judge whether it improves the performance of your PC!

Source: Windows Vista Magazine

Copyright © 2011

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CyberNotes: Tweak Your Desktop to Increase Productivity

This article was written on December 17, 2007 by CyberNet.

Microsoft Monday

It seems as though there’s never enough time in the days, weeks, and months to get everything done and fit everybody into the schedule.  Time is precious which is why it’s important to try and save yourself as much of it as possible.  One of the best things about Windows Vista is that there are a few built-in settings that can be tweaked and changed to increase your productivity.  All it will take is a few minutes and then you’ll be shaving minutes off the tasks your perform on your computer.

Add “User’s File” Folder to Desktop

When you install Vista, by default, one of the only things you’ll see on your desktop is the Recycle Bin. This is nice for those of you who like a clean desktop and prefer to have nearly nothing displayed.  If you’d like to make yourself a little more productive and save some time, there is one additional thing you’ll want to add to your desktop and that is your User’s File Folder. You can do this by right-clicking on your desktop > Personalize > Change desktop icons. Once you do this, you should see a screen like what’s shown below:

desktop icon settings

Check the box where it says “User’s Files, and then click OK. The user folder will now be added to your desktop. All it takes is a double-click and then you’ll have quick and easy access to documents, pictures, videos, music, and more.

Review Start Menu and Taskbar Properties

Click Start > Then Right-click >Select Properties. You should now be at a page that looks like this:

taskbar and start menu

Under the “Start Menu Tab” click Customize. It’ll pull up a rather long list of different options to customize how links, icons, and menus look and behave on the start menu. Here are a few recommended changes to increase productivity:

  • To search for for files or not? Scroll to the bottom of the list and find “Search Files.” If you access files frequently, you’ll want Vista to search the user’s file. One word of caution is that this can slow the search process down if it’s searching through all of your user files.  On the bright side, if you access them frequently, the few extra seconds it takes to perform will be worth it. Ultimately, it will save you more time in the end.
  • How many programs do you want displayed? That’s another option you’ll see on that same screen. If there’s only 5 programs you regularly use, you’ll want to decrease the number of programs to display down to five. This will make it quicker for you to spot the program you need.
  • Display the control panel as a menu – you’ll want to select this option if you regularly access your control panel.  By default it’s set to be displayed as a link.  When it’s displayed as a menu, it means less clicks that you have to make. Nice!

Customize Your Toolbars

toolbars changes

To customize your toolbars, you’ll need to right-click the taskbar and then select “Toolbars.” Here you can add different elements to your taskbar like an address bar which can come in handy. Adding an address bar means you can enter URLs right from your desktop.  

Pin Applications to the start menu

If there are applications that you use frequently, you’ll want to pin them to the Start Menu so that they will always appear at the very top of the menu which will save you from searching. To pin an application to the start menu, just click “All Programs” and find the one you’re wanting to pin. Once you find it, right-click on it and you’ll notice one of the options is “Pin to menu.” Click it and you’ll always have the application at the top of your list in the start menu.

With these changes, you should be able to save yourself quite a bit of time!

Copyright © 2011

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CyberNotes: Removing Some of Vista’s UAC Headaches

This article was written on May 17, 2007 by CyberNet.

Tutorial Thursday

There was a topic in our forum started a few months back regarding the User Account Control (UAC) in Windows Vista. The question asked whether there was a way to prevent the UAC prompt on applications you know are safe, and at the time the question was specifically directed towards Joost.

Unfortunately there is no way to tell the UAC to “remember my decision,” but there really should be. The UAC should be smart enough to watch for changes in the file, and if something does get modified it should notify the user.

One of my own peeves is in regards to modifying items in the Start Menu. The Start Menu Programs folder is where a lot of applications install their shortcuts. After I install something I like to cleanup the Start Menu so that there aren’t a ton of folders, and also delete shortcuts that I’ll never need. Vista already lets me modify my own Start Menu items, but modifying items that were installed for all users forces a UAC prompt each time.

The method that I’m about to demonstrate is a workaround I found, and works great for disabling the UAC on specific files or folders. It is important to know that the UAC will be completely disabled for the files or folders you choose to apply this to, so be careful how you use it. 

  1. Open Windows Explorer and find the file/folder that you would like to remove the UAC prompt from. In this example I am going to do it for the Programs folder for All Users so that it is easier to manage my items in the Start Menu. This folder is found at:
    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
    Windows Vista UAC Prompt
  2. Right click on the file/folder and select the Properties option.
    Windows Vista UAC Prompt
  3. Go the the Security tab and and click the Edit button. You’ll receive a UAC prompt that you need to confirm before being able to continue.
    Windows Vista UAC Prompt
  4. Click the Add button, and then in the Enter the object names to select field, type your Vista username that is used when you login. My username is Ryan J. Wagner so that is what I entered in.
    Windows Vista UAC Prompt
  5. Press OK on the Select Users or Groups window, and then check the Full Control box on the Permissions for Programs window before pressing OK.
    Windows Vista UAC Prompt

That’s all there is to it! Now in that example I won’t receive a UAC prompt every time I move or delete an item in my Start Menu, which I do quite often. Being able to do this has saved me a lot of headaches, but I just wish I thought to try it sooner.

This can also be done for applications that you’re having problems with running in Vista. You can just go into the corresponding folder for your program (which is normally located in the Program Files) and add your username to the permissions. That way you’ll never need to run an application as an administrator because it already has full access to its own folder.

You do want to be careful for with what you choose to do this with, because it is essentially disabling the UAC for that specific file or directory. That means a virus or spyware would be able to access those files as easy as if you disabled UAC system-wide, so think twice about what you apply this technique to.

This solution isn’t the type of fix that I would have liked to do, and as stated earlier I would like to see Microsoft address an easier way to prevent files, folders, and applications from constantly displaying a UAC prompt. I’ll cross my fingers and hope that Vista Service Pack 1 brings some welcomed updates to the User Account Control!

Copyright © 2011

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CyberNotes: If We Could Port Over Our Favorite Applications…

This article was written on August 18, 2008 by CyberNet.

Microsoft/Mac Monday

Lately we’ve been finding ourselves discussing applications that we really like for one operating system, that would be great on another. We decided to put these discussions into an article about all of the applications we’d like to see for Windows, but are only available for Macs, and then visa versa, the applications we’d like to see available for Macs, but are only available for Windows. We’re also going to mention a few applications that would be perfect for merging together.

Applications we’d like to see for Windows, but are only available for Macs:


adium logo-1.pngMac OS X comes with iChat which we were happy using until multiple people mentioned that we just had to try Adium. It’s your all-in-one instant messaging application that connects to Jabber, Yahoo, MSN, AIM, and more. In some ways it reminds us of Digsby which is becoming a pretty popular all-in-one messenger for Windows. Digsby and Adium are two applications we’d love to see merge together and be offered for Windows and Mac OS X. If a merger isn’t possible, it would be a great offering for Windows users as well as Mac users.


parallels.pngWe’re not saying that specifically Parallels should be available for Windows, but the idea. If only Apple would loosen the reigns a little and allow their operating system to be used on PC’s. There are hacked versions of OS X that are designed to run in VMWare for Windows, but legally, it is not possible to do.


iPhoto.pngThose of you who read our iPhoto vs. Windows Photo Gallery article back in May are probably wondering why we’d like to see iPhoto for Windows. We complained about many aspects of the application like the fact that you have to import the images and iPhoto takes control over how things are organized. We ended up taking the advice of people who said to let iPhoto do the work for you, so we started using it and giving it control over how our library is organized (much like how iTunes is capable of organizing your music library). Once we got used to it, we really started to like how easy everything was and how adding new images to the library is so simple and effortless.


skitch-1.pngSkitch is the best screen capture service for the Mac that we are aware of. It’s not that it’s far superior to, say, SnagIt for Windows, because it’s not. But it does have some really great elements to it. For some reason, the process of taking screenshots is sped-up while using Skitch, but it lacks some of the editing features we enjoyed with SnagIt. This is one of those applications we’d love to see merge with SnagIt and be offered for Windows and Mac OS X.

Name Mangler

namemangler.pngRyan has mentioned Name Mangler before as a tiny app that does a great job of taking care of bulk file renaming on a Mac. The interface of Name Mangler is more intuitive and clean compared to some of its Windows alternatives. It doesn’t have all the features of those Windows alternatives, but it’s easier and more natural to use.

Photo Booth

photobooth logo.pngPhoto Booth is an app that comes with Mac OS X, and it is used for snapping photos with iSight or another webcam. It’s not something you use often, so where’s the benefit? For one, for those who like to change their images on Facebook and MySpace, this provides an easy way to snap your pictures. It’s also fun because it’s one of those apps that you show people when they come over to, just to impress them. The built-in effects that can be applied really add a lot to the photos you take.


automator.pngIt’s a built in program that comes with Mac OS X. We like to think of Automator as a Macro. For example, in Microsoft Office you can use Macros to automate repetitive tasks. Automator does the same type of thing, but implements a point-and-click interface for creating workflows that work across the entire operating system.

Applications we’d like to see for Macs, but are only available for Windows:

Office 2007

office logo.pngOne of the applications we miss the most since switching to Mac OS X is Office 2007. Office 2008 for the Mac simply does not compare. If only Microsoft was able to develop a version of Office 2007, with the ribbon, for Mac users. One of my personal biggest pet peeves is with the Toolbox because it’s inconvenient and never seems to be where I need it to be. If I move the window I’m currently working on, the toolbox doesn’t move with it. Are there any other Mac users who previously used Office 2007, that despise the Toolbox too?

Windows Live Writer

live writer.pngMicrosoft really did a great job when they developed Windows Live Writer. It has an intuitive interface that is easy to use, and there are very few bugs. On the Mac we have yet to find a blogging client that we are completely satisfied with. The one we have been using lately is called Ecto and while it has some nice features, it pales in comparison to what Windows Live Writer offers.

Paint.NET is a Windows only application for digital photo editing. It’s great because it’s feature-packed, yet free! For those who want to touch-up their images, Paint.NET is a simple solution. Photoshop is expensive and includes way more features than the average person needs which is why Paint.NET comes in handy. Any time I reformatted my hard drive, this was one of the first apps to get installed. I would love to see this for Macs.

Windows Media Center

mediacenter.pngApple has Front Row, but it’s really meant to be a hub for watching movies and TV shows from your computer while Windows Media Center has a strong focus on recording television. Despite the fact that we use MacBook Pros for working, we still have a Vista machine with Windows Media Center that records the television shows that we want to watch at a later date. Apple has yet to venture down the route of providing software for recording TV but it could be something their users would enjoy.


digsby logo.pngLike Adium above, Digsby is one of those applications that is really starting to take off and has some great features. We’d love to see Adium and Digsby merge together so that users get the best of both worlds whether they are using a Mac or a PC, but that probably won’t happen. Sure Digsby has its flaws, but the application continues to improve. Just last week on the Digsby blog they announced that they were preparing for a major new release that has some big performance and RAM optimizations.


snagit logo.pngSnagIt is truly an amazing application for capturing screenshots. While it’s not a free application (it costs $49.95), it is worth every penny that it costs, particularly because of its editing capabilities that have come in handy while capturing and preparing screenshots for CyberNet. SnagIt also makes it easy to combine images with their latest version which is nice as well. They’re sporting a new interface these days that reminds me of Microsoft Office 2007.

As we mentioned above, the features of SnagIt combined with the features of Skitch would give you one mean application for capturing images.

Applications We Would Like to See Merge

Here’s a quick run-through of the applications we would like to see merge to get the best of both worlds for both operating systems:

  • Adium (Mac) and Digsby (Windows)
  • Skitch (Mac) and SnagIt (Windows)

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CyberNotes: Templates Give You A Good Starting Point

This article was written on November 07, 2006 by CyberNet.

Time Saving Tuesday

When I try and create a website or a document the main thing that I am always conscious of is the appearance. I want it to look professional and slick, but I don’t want to spend ages working on it if I don’t have to. So when I am looking to design something the first thing that I turn to are templates!

Templates can save you an unbelievable amount of time but you just have to know where to find them. I’m not just talking about Microsoft’s site for Office templates because there is a whole world of Photoshop templates, HTML, CSS, and so much more out there. I definitely haven’t found them all but there are several different ones that I have bookmarked along my quest to save time.

–Office Templates (Text, Spreadsheets, etc…)–

  • Microsoft Office Templates – Microsoft has an amazing selection of templates that are available for Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and many other of their products. Microsoft was recently supposed to implement Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) when downloading templates but I haven’t noticed that taking effect.
  • HP Brochure HP Online – They offer Word, Powerpoint, and Publisher templates that are professionally designed. You’ll find brochures, flyers, presentations and much more but the most useful thing that they offer are the “Business identity kits.” There are currently two of those kits put together and each gives you flyers brochures shipping labels, postcards, newsletters, presentation templates, and a few other things!
  • Paper Mill Store – There aren’t many Office templates here but there are a few such as a label design. There are several other templates available but most of them are graphical and require Adobe Illustrator.


–Photoshop/Graphic Templates–

  • Paper Mill Store – As I mentioned above there are a ton of templates at this site and most of them require Adobe Illustrator. That is because they are heavily graphics based but they did all of visual appeal for you so you’ll just have to change a few words. They have all kinds of things like greeting cards, calendars, wedding announcements, and a lot more.
  • Zymic – There are a few different packages that Zymic offers: buttons, logos, banners, and splashes. Each one of those packages come in a single ZIP file so that you can easily flip through all of the designs to see which one you like the best, for example, the buttons package has 70 button templates inside of it.


–Website Templates (HTML, CSS, etc…)–

  • Open Source Web Design – This is always the first place that I go when designing a new website. There are almost 1700 templates available which makes it pretty easy to find something that you’ll like. I normally don’t look for “what looks the best” because I really just want something that is laid out similar to what I want to design. That way I can utilize most of the CSS and just customize the graphics to what I need.
  • Open Web Design – I know, a very similar name to the site above but they are a little different. Here you’ll find around 2000 high-quality templates that are sure to save you some time.  Many of the templates on this site are also on the Open Source Web Design that I listed above, so I would just pick one of these two sites to look at.
  • Templates Box – There are some really unique templates here and they do offer premium ones that cost money but their selection of free downloads isn’t bad either. What really makes this site unique though is that they have free Flash templates available.
  • Zymic Theme Zymic – Back to Zymic! They may not offer the largest selection of templates but the ones they do have are very high-quality. Many of the ones that they have available include HTML pages, CSS, images, Photoshop PSD files, blank images files, and even fonts. My favorite is probably Template 72 which can be seen in this live preview. Zymic also has these templates available if the site is more for a business.
  • WordPress Themes – If you’re looking to give your blog a fresh new look then this site has over 980 WordPress themes gathered into a single location. It lets you know which ones work with WordPress 2 and how many columns the design has.



The thing you have to remember with templates is that they may not exactly be what you are looking for, but they will hopefully save you some time from having to start from scratch. The website templates are especially useful if there are live examples so that you can see what would be the easiest for visitors to use on your site. Just dig around a little bit and I’m sure you can find a template to give you a helping hand.

There are probably other sites that offer free templates that I may not have mentioned, so please let me know so that I can add them to the list.

Copyright © 2011

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CyberNotes: Performance-Friendly Desktop Search Applications

This article was written on August 19, 2008 by CyberNet.

Time Saving Tuesday

arrow Windows Windows only arrow
Searching for files on your computer was something that was once a tedious process, but in the last few years it has been one of the most talked about features in new operating systems. Sure you could always search for files on your computer, but do you remember when you’d have to sit there for several minutes while the computer scavenged everything on the hard drive looking for files and folders matching your search.

The benefit that search applications have these days is that they can index files on your computer so that search results are retrieved nearly instantaneously. Mac OS X 10.4 started doing this back in 2005 when Tiger it was released, and Vista followed it up with its own indexed search capabilities. Making search a strong focus of the operating system is a smart thing to do as it becomes harder and harder for users to find the files they are looking for. Without being able to search it can almost be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

What about the other operating systems like XP? Many of you have probably turned to Google Desktop or Copernic to do your searching, but I believe both of those programs use more resources than they need to. They’re constantly monitoring and indexing results on your computer, and Google Desktop even comes bundled with their own gadget/widget system.

Today we’re going to take a look at two excellent applications that focus on quickly searching for files on your computer without the unnecessary bloat. Both of them are free, use very little memory, and aren’t constantly indexing files on your computer… although they do use an index/database for retrieving results. Sound nice?

–Locate32 (Homepage)–

This is one of my favorite search applications for Windows XP, and it is always getting better. Locate32 is capable of indexing all of the files on your computer in no time at all, and after it’s done you can use the intuitive interface for searching and viewing results. It’s not the most snazzy-looking application, but functionality is more important than appearance when it comes to searching.

What does Locate32 have to offer? Take a look at some of my favorite features:

  • Search the contents of files (takes longer since the content is not indexed)
  • Save frequent searches as presets
  • Long list of customizable keyboard shortcuts
  • Pressing the Windows Key + F while in Windows Explorer brings up the search dialog, and sets it to search the current directory you were viewing
  • Huge list of options
  • and more…

The developers of Locate32 are currently on the homestretch to releasing version 3.1, and with it comes a lot of bug fixes and features. Things like find-as-you-type are automatically enabled making searches even faster and more natural.

Interface (Click to Enlarge):

locate32 interface 1.jpg locate32 interface 2.jpg locate32 interface 3.jpg

Options (Click to Enlarge):

locate32 options 1-1.jpg locate32 options 2.jpg locate32 options 3.jpg locate32 options 4.jpg locate32 options 5.jpg locate32 options 6.jpg

–Finder (Homepage)–

Finder, not to be confused with Mac OS X’s Finder, is a program that accomplishes the same goal as Locate32, but with a different interface. It will index your files and put search results on your screen in the blink of an eye.

There are some things that I like better about Finder, such as the wider interface, but generally speaking it’s not as powerful as Locate32. The more unique aspect of the program would be the things you can do with the search results:

  • Perform operations on files and folders (copy, move, etc…)
  • Designate default applications for specific extensions. You can customize what program is used to execute, view, and edit a particular type of file.
  • Copy path(s) or name(s) to the clipboard
  • and more…

A new version of Finder is in the works, but the developer is shooting for a November 2008 release. I can’t wait to see what good stuff is in store for Finder 3.



Options (Click to Enlarge):

finder options 1.png finder options 2-1.png finder options 3.png finder options 4.png finder options 5.png


There’s one thing that I didn’t cover yet, and that is the performance of the two applications. Both of them are nearly identical coming in under 6MB of memory usage when they are active. That is significantly lower than most desktop search applications, and a large part of that is thanks to the on-demand indexing rather than trying to monitor your computer for new files. Both offer an option to only index the files that have changed since the last time the database was updated, which means the first indexing operation will be significantly longer than the others.

Let us know in the comments how you go about searching for files and folders on your computer. We are always interested in trying out new software!

Copyright © 2011

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CyberNotes Special: Introducing CyberSearch 1.0

This article was written on July 31, 2008 by CyberNet.

CyberSearch Special

cybersearch 1 logo.pngIt’s been exactly one month since I uploaded the first version of CyberSearch to Mozilla’s site, and since then we’ve had 4,000 downloads of the extension. What’s really kept us going are all of you who have expressed how valuable the extension has become, and we’re now averaging 4.60/5.00 stars from the 34 reviews we’ve received thus far. As a way to show our appreciation to those leaving reviews we’ve placed quotes from some of them on the CyberSearch homepage.

My hope is that one day CyberSearch will make it out of the Mozilla Sandbox so that more people can enjoy it, but I know the editors are still rather swamped. Sometimes my impatience gets the best of me though. ;)

To celebrate our one month anniversary I’ve decided to release a rather major upgrade that hopefully includes the features many of you have been looking for. We’ve also cleaned up the code, fixed some bugs, and much more. And so we are proud to unleash CyberSearch 1.0…

–Import/Manage Built-in Keywords–

This is by far one of our most requested features. As many of you know Firefox 3 includes a simple interface for managing all of your search keywords in one central location. This is normally done by clicking on the drop-down menu in the search box, and then selecting the Manage Search Engines option.

What people have been wanting us to do is provide a way to tie our keyword system together with the one that is built-in to Firefox. Unfortunately this is rather difficult since the two keyword systems are completely different in the way they work, but we’ve come up with the best solution we could.

In the CyberSearch settings there is now a new section on the Keywords tab dedicated towards importing and managing the keywords you’ve customized in the browser. If you choose to import keywords it will scan through the search engine keywords (not those in your bookmarks), and it will automatically add any of them that you haven’t already assigned a keyword for. When it’s all done it will notify you of how many keywords couldn’t be imported because they were duplicates.

cybersearch keywords.png

By ignoring duplicates this means that you can reimport the keywords from the browser as more are added, and you don’t have to worry about it doubling up on some of the existing keywords.

How does it determine the URL to search? We tried to put some intelligence behind this, but it’s not going to be perfect every time. What we’ll do is truncate off the end of the URL so that there isn’t all of the garbage. For example, a Wikipedia search URL normally looks like this:

After it gets imported it will look like this:

In that example it works out as it should, and will pull in search results from Wikipedia as the user would expect. However, you should probably go back through the imported entries to make sure the various sites are searching the URL you want.

One thing that I want to make clear is that this doesn’t import any of your keywords from your bookmarks. The Add to Search Bar extension makes it a bit easier to add any search box to the search bar, and so I recommend installing that if you decide to transition your bookmark keywords over to the search bar keywords.

–Image Search Previews–

We’ve also enhanced image searches per your request! When creating a keyword for performing a Google Image search I recommend leaving the icon URL field blank. When you do this it will use a thumbnail of each resulting image as the icon:

firefox image search.png

We’ve also decided to place the dimensions of each image at the end of the title in brackets so that you know whether the image you’re opening is small or large.

Existing CyberSearch users: You will need to go back and clear out the icon URL for any Google Image search entries in the settings before seeing the previews.

–Auto Retrieval of Site Icons–

Now when performing a Google Web, Blog, or News search it’s possible to have it show each site’s icon next to their results. What it does is look for the “favicon.ico” file at the root of each domain, and then displays it accordingly:

cybersearch auto icons.png

The catch? Not all sites put the favicon.ico file at the root of their domain, which means no icon will appear next to those results. More often than not it is able to find the icon at the root of the domain though.

To enable this feature just leave the icon URL field blank when creating a keyword for a Google Web, Blog, or News search.

Existing CyberSearch users: You will need to go back and clear out the icon URL in the settings (for the supported search types listed above) before seeing the automatic icons.

–Pull Up the Results Page–

The very last entry for every type of Google search will now is now designated to taking you to the corresponding Google page. In the event that no results from Google can be returned it will be the only option shown to you:

cybersearch go to results.png

The reason we show this even when Google returns no results is that going to the actual Google page might be able to provide you with “did you mean…” results.

–Quick Add the Current Site-

The odds are probably pretty good that if you’re opening up the CyberSearch options that your intentions are to add a keyword for the site you’re currently on. If that’s the case we’re making it a lot easier! First off when you open up the CyberSearch options it will automatically grab the address of the site you’re currently viewing, and will insert that into the “new keyword” form.

Still not fast enough for you? There’s now an “Add to CyberSearch” option located right under your nose in the context menu (a.k.a. right-click menu):


Clicking that will pull up the CyberSearch options with the current site’s URL automatically filled in. Talk about speedy!

–Better Identification–

Have you noticed anything else new in several of the screenshots above? We’ve made it easier to identify results produced by the extension by placing the CyberSearch logo in the upper-right corner of each entry:

cybersearch identification.png

UPDATE: Before reading on you should know that we’ve added the background customization option back to the CyberSearch extension. We also improved how it works!

As a tradeoff we’ve removed the feature in the options that lets you customize the background color of the results. The new icon does the job of making the CyberSearch results distinguishable from the rest, and at the same time it will look nice on all of the themes out-of-the-box. Not only that but I just wasn’t happy with the way I implemented the option.

Don’t worry, if you’re heart is set on customizing the background color of the results you can use Stylish. Here are the instructions needed to change the background color in Stylish:

  1. Install Stylish
  2. In Firefox go to Tools -> Stylish -> Write Style -> Blank Style
  3. Give it a description, such as CyberSearch
  4. Copy and paste the following code into the box, replacing EEEEEE with the hex color you want:
    richlistitem[type ~= 'cybersearch'] > hbox {


cybersearch background color-2.png

After that all you have to do is save the style, and you should see the results immediately without having to restart the browser. If you need help coming up with the 6-character hex value for a specific color you may find this site to be of assistance.

–And More–

Still want more? This release also includes a handful of bug fixes (all reproducible bugs up until now have been fixed), performance improvements, and cleaner code. What more could you ask for? Oh, okay. You twisted my arm. I’ll throw in one more minor feature.

When working with the keyword menu next to the keywords we also show what type of search corresponds to that particular keyword:

cybersearch keyword menu.png

For those of you who already have CyberSearch installed you should be prompted shortly (if you haven’t been already) to install the updated version. New and existing users alike can install the new version from the Mozilla Add-ons site, or you can watch a video demonstration I previously made when the extension launched.


Copyright © 2011

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CyberNotes: Five Great IE7 Add-ons

This article was written on May 07, 2007 by CyberNet.

Microsoft Monday

Internet Explorer isn’t known for its performance, and from a developers perspective, it’s a headache. Despite the fact that it’s behind the times in comparison to competing web browsers like Firefox or Opera, they still hold the majority of the market.

Looking at our demographics for CyberNet, I’m still amazed at how many people are still using IE6 when IE7 has been available for quite some time now. In terms of performance, it still has issues. But in terms of features, there are many improvements when compared to IE6. If you haven’t made the upgrade yet, now might be a good time to do that. You can find download information here, although the best way to get IE7 is via Automatic Updates.

If you take a visit to Windows Marketplace, you’ll find a ton of add-ons for IE7 that really add a lot of functionality to the browser. Below you’ll find five great options, but remember that this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many, many more available in categories like security, time savers, and entertainment. All of the ones listed below are free, but there are several add-ons that aren’t.

1.ieSpell – Spell-check in my opinion is something that should have been integrated into the browser from the start. However, it wasn’t. Luckily ieSpell is a free add-on that will spell-check any text found in input boxes on a Web page. This is great if you’re in forums, or commenting frequently.

Why Microsoft didn’t include this into the browser, I’ll never know. But because they didn’t, this is the next best way to make sure that what you type on the web is free from spelling errors. It’s pretty accurate, and fast, which is important. Although, unlike the spell-checker in Office, it will not check for grammar and punctuation issues. You’re on your own with that one!



 2.IE7 Open Last Closed Tab – This is one of the most handy add-ons yet! With tabs being a big part of IE7, once again, I’m surprised this feature wasn’t included with the browser from the start.  If you’re like me, you have multiple tabs opened at once. At least once a day I close a tab that I really didn’t mean to close. Instead of trying to remember exactly what the URL is, you just have to press “Alt-X” and the last closed tab will open.

Another nice feature with this add-on is that if you press “Alt-Q,” you’ll see a list of thumbnails of the tabs that you’ve closed previously so that you can select which one you’d like to open. 



3. Inline Search – If you’re needing to search a page for a specific word or term, this will do the trick, and will do so better than the built in search. It’s more of an extra added convenience because it searches while you type. It’s 1000 times better than the normal find box, but it’s not as nice as the “find while you type” feature that Firefox offers. It’s definitely worth installing though!

All you have to do is press control F, start typing, and it will start searching the page. It will also highlight all of the instances where your search term appears.


4. Foxy Tunes – Talk about a crowd-pleaser! Foxy Tunes allows you to control your favorite media player like iTunes, Winamp, Windows Media Player, etc., without ever leaving your browser! For those who like to have their Tunes playing, this is a must-have. I haven’t come across one complaint yet for this add-on.



5. RoboForm – Sometimes it’s hard to remember all of your passwords for all of the accounts you have online.  This is where RoboForm comes in.  It will save your password information from logins and automatically log you in to the password protected sites that you visit. It also makes the process of filling out forms easier by using identity presets.

If you use IE7, some of these add-ons are “must-haves” because they will make your experience that much better.  You can find the entire list of add-ons here, or you can find the add-ons we’ve written about before here.

Copyright © 2011

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