Maybe Foxit isn’t the Best PDF Reader?

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

I’ve always been pretty big on the Foxit Reader because it’s not only free, but it takes under 3 seconds to open up. When you’re trying to read a PDF the last thing you want to do is wait forever for it to load, and that’s why Adobe Acrobat is the last thing that I recommend for people to use.

I do realize that some of you have had troubles with printing in Foxit, and today I want to introduce you to a different PDF reader that will hopefully solve your problems. PDF-XChange Viewer has all of the features you would expect from the even the best PDF reader, plus it has a few things that you can only find in a purchased copy of Foxit!

I’m sure you’re wondering what this could possibly do that your copy of Foxit doesn’t include. Have you ever tried to add a sticky note or type some text on an existing PDF in Foxit? If you have you’ll see a warning that says an “evaluation mark” will be added to the document to signal that you haven’t purchased the program. With PDF-XChange Viewer you can draw, add notes, type text, and do all kinds of things with no unwanted marks being placed on your document:

PDF-XChange Viewer
Click to Enlarge

But then there’s the speed issue, right? After all, we ditched Acrobat because of how darn slow the thing was. Don’t worry, you’re not sacrificing speed for features this time around. In my tests it opened just as fast as Foxit, or in the worst case it took one second longer. One thing that I didn’t like was the splash screen, but you can disable that in the options. Doing so also appears to make the program load faster.

The tabbed interface is also really nice for when you have multiple documents open. PDF-XChange Viewer has a feature like Internet Explorer 7 where you can view all of the open documents in a grid-like fashion. It will show a thumbnail for each of them, which is often much easier to distinguish between than just file names.

Did I say how good this program looks, too? They’ve definitely got a leg up Foxit when it comes to graphics, and I think that’s apparent just by looking at how nice the preferences screen looks:

PDF-XChange Viewer Preferences
Click to Enlarge

For the time being I’m going to be switching away from Foxit because I really like this program better. It looks nicer, has more features, and is the same performance-wise as Foxit. I’ll let you be your own judge, but I think you’ll agree with me that this is currently the best pdf reader.

PDF-XChange Viewer [via Digital Alchemy]

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Download IE Tab 1.0.7 Official Release If You Haven’t Already

This article was written on January 12, 2006 by CyberNet.

Download IE Tab 1.0.7 Official Release If You Haven't Already

IE Tab is an extension that I use all of the time, but mostly for eBay. Currently the browser of choice for eBay seems to be Internet Explorer and despite the many people complaining, they don’t seem to be changing. The biggest example is when listing, in Firefox you have to code the HTML yourself but in Internet Explorer you can use a Rich Text Editor. Now we all know that shouldn’t be a hard fix for eBay (after all, GMail did it) but Firefox has been popular for quite some time and nothing has been done to fix it.

Anyways, recently IE Tab 1.0.7 Beta 3 came out of the beta stage and was officially released. I have been using it for a few days now and they seem to have worked out the glitches in the beta. Good work guys…Again!

Download Source: Mozilla Extensions

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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.


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Sunbird 0.7 is Impressive

This article was written on October 25, 2007 by CyberNet.

Sunbird 0.7
Click to Enlarge

For some reason I’m really impressed at how fast Mozilla’s Calendar duo is progressing. They just pushed Lightning & Sunbird 0.7 out the door, and they include a completely redesigned event interface along with hundreds of bug fixes. You can see what the new event manager looks like above, and it is much less cluttered than the older version.

Tip: Lightning is the addon for the Thunderbird email client, whereas Sunbird is a standalone application. Only use Lightning if you want your calendar and email all in one program.

Before I get into the other good news why don’t we take a look at the new features for Lightning and Sunbird:

  • It is now much easier to switch between the mail and calendar parts of Thunderbird thanks to a user interface redesign
  • A redesigned event/task dialog has been enabled to gather feedback from the community. It offers a much cleaner user interface and additional functionality including:
    • Events/Tasks can be created in different timezones
    • Attendees can be added from a local or corporate LDAP directory
    • Free-Busy information is available for users of the Sun Java Calendar Server
    • Integrated display of recurrence patterns, reminders and attendees
    • Custom recurrences and reminders
    • Clear separation between tasks and events
  • The new event summary dialog lists all the details of tasks and events for calendar which are read-only
  • The Today Pane gives a quick overview over your current tasks and upcoming events. The Today Pane can be enabled/disabled by a toolbar button
  • Colliding events (events in the same time slot) are shrunk so that they fit into the display of a day. This no longer affects other events on the same day
  • Localized releases of Lightning and Sunbird in Chinese (simplified), Georgian, Lithuanian, Portuguese (European), Spanish (Argentina) and Turkish

Sunbird and Lightning weren’t the only big calendar-related releases at Mozilla today. Remember the Google Calendar extension we wrote about? That also got updated today with several bug fixes, and it now supports synchronizing event attendees.  The new Google Calendar extension only works with Sunbird/Lightning 0.7, so you’ll have to upgrade before installing it.

Congrats to the Mozilla Calendar team on another fine release, and I can’t wait to see what further developments bring to the table!

Mozilla Calendar Homepage

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OpenSUSE 10.3 Review (Release is Tomorrow)

This article was written on October 03, 2007 by CyberNet.

For the longest time I was always a huge fan of OpenSUSE. Up until about a year ago that was all I used on the Linux side of things, but Ubuntu’s quickly rising popularity caused me to start using that more. Tomorrow, however, will mark the release of OpenSUSE 10.3, and I flipped through a lot of documentation today to see what it was going to include.

I started over at the review of the first release candidate, and then moseyed on over to the OpenSUSE news page to see what they’ve had to say the last few weeks. From what I’ve seen I think it will be time to rekindle the old flame when OpenSUSE 10.3 is released tomorrow. :)

–One Click Install (More Info)–

SUSE engineers recognized the hassle that installing some applications presented. They understand the burden of needing to locate packages, add repositories, and then perform the install process. The solution? One-Click Install! There is a package explorer website setup that will aid users in finding packages, and once they have found what they are looking for they just press the One-Click Install button to initiate the installation. A wizard will automatically begin, and the necessary repositories will be added:

OpenSUSE One Click Install

The installation process will then continue, and in no time at all you should have your new program running. I like how this works, and it’s nice to see that more steps are being taken to make software installation easier.

–Compiz & Compiz Fusion (More Info)–

I’m a sucker when it comes to eye candy, and OpenSUSE 10.3 is putting a lot of it at your fingertips. Compiz features will be available out-of-the-box, and Compiz Fusion can be installed using the One-Click Install that I mentioned above. Before diving into enabling these features let’s drool over a collage showcasing the Linux goodness:

OpenSUSE Compiz 

To get Compiz up and running just enable Desktop Effects in GNOME, or type gnome-xgl-switch –enable-xgl (in GNOME or KDE) into the terminal.

To get Compiz Fusion installed you’ll have to take advantage of the new One-Click Install. Click here for more information on doing that.

–KDE 4 and GNOME 2.20–

OpenSUSE KDE Games OpenSUSE 10.3 will have the latest version of both the KDE and GNOME desktop environments. KDE 4 and all of its glorious features will be included. For the players out there you’ll be pleased to know that there are several games bundled with it: KMahjongg, KMines, KPatience, KReversi and KSudoku. Many of these had been included in previous versions of KDE, but now in KDE 4 they have been revamped to include better graphics! Suddenly I have an urge to play Reversi. :D

And we can’t forget about the inclusion of GNOME 2.20! Normally I’m more of a KDE fan myself, but the SUSE engineers have found ways to make me yearn for a sampling of what GNOME has to offer. It started with the unique Start Menu, called SLAB, that they created (pictured below), and now they have a sweet World Clock Applet that can be retrieved from the tray. Among other elements of the GNOME Desktop, SLAB has received some minor updates to the appearance.


–And More–

You thought that was it? I don’t think so! OpenSUSE 10.3 has hundreds of improvements, bug fixes, and enhancements that will please users in ways they didn’t even know was possible. ;) Take a look at some of the other significant enhancements:

  • There have been a lot of changes to the bootup process, and the result is phenomenal to say the least. You should find that your computer reaches the login screen in about half the time that it did in OpenSUSE 10.2.
  • You only need to download 1 CD for installation! There will now be a CD for KDE, and another for GNOME that will be used for installing OpenSUSE. Prior to this there were 5 CD’s available, three of which were required for installation. Now you just have to pick the desktop environment you want, and then download only that CD.
  • Better multimedia support, which prompts you to install codecs that currently aren’t on your system.
  • Includes the latest 2.3.
  • Includes a program called Giver that can be used to transfer files with other Giver users. Any Giver users on the network are automatically recognized, and the transferring works without any extra configuration.
  • And there’s still more!

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Adobe Air-based Xdrive Desktop Lite Launches

This article was written on February 25, 2008 by CyberNet.

Adobe AIR 1.0 has officially shipped and now we’re already starting to see applications built with the new platform. One such application is AOL’s Xdrive Desktop Lite. It was designed for uploading and downloading files from AOL’s Xdrive storage solution.  As a quick reminder, Xdrive is a service that allows users to store (for free) 5GB worth of data. It’s particularly useful for Windows users who can install Xdrive as a virtual hard drive and ends up being a backup solution.  The new Xdrive Desktop Lite works for Windows users but also Mac users now for the first time.

Xdrive Desktop Lite Features

  • Queue multiple files/folders for simultaneous upload and download
  • Easy-to-use file organization tools to create, move, and rename your folders
  • Preview of supported media files on the fly with built-in players
  • Browse files and your desktop, hard drive, or USB device, not just your Xdrive account
  • Drag-and-drop uploading

xdrive desktop lite

If you’d like to try Xdrive Desktop Lite, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Install Adobe Air (get it here)
  • Install Xdrive Desktop Lite and launch it (get it here)
  • Login to Xdrive Desktop Lite (using a AOL or AIM screen name) and begin using it

We’re excited about Xdrive Desktop Lite, especially because Windows Live SkyDrive which launched last week wasn’t all that we expected it to be. While they offer 5GB of storage like AOL does, Microsoft didn’t integrate it into Windows as well as they could have. AOL’s solution isn’t perfect, but with Adobe Air behind it now, the application looks great which is always a plus. And with competitors like omnidrive, mozy,, and SkyDrive, AOL needed something to set themselves apart from the others. For those who need more space, AOL offers 50GB of storage for $9.95 per month or $99.50 for the year.

Eventually AOL intends to say “adios” to the PC only desktop version and stick with an application built with Adobe’s Air platform.

Source: Download Squad

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Bringing Back Classic Menus and Toolbars to Office 2007?

This article was written on April 11, 2007 by CyberNet.

Office Classic Menus

By this point most of you have probably had the opportunity to either tinker around with or at least see pictures of the new Office 2007 user interface. It is a huge change from the normal toolbars and menus that we were accustomed to in the previous releases of Microsoft Office, but most people who actually sit down and use it believe that the change is for the better.

To replace menus and toolbars, Microsoft is using what they call Ribbons. There are hundreds and hundreds of commands in Office, and these Ribbons make it easier to find those commands. They are much more intuitive than needing to dig through menus to make sure you had the right toolbar enabled.

A company called Addintools has developed a product that might interest those non-Ribbon fans out there. I haven’t tried “Classic Menu for Office 2007” myself, but from the screenshots it appears to bring together the ease of navigation from the ribbons and the traditional menu/toolbar layout from previous versions of Office.

Unfortunately this does come with a price-tag, and that’s $29.95 for all the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint add-ons or $15.99 for each individual program that you want. I am not surprised to see something like this come out because they are obviously trying to capitalize on people who don’t accept change very well.

Personally I think that Microsoft could have very easily included a feature like this, but they are probably trying to inch us closer to a more drastic redesign in future versions of Windows? I could be way off with that, but Microsoft obviously spends millions of dollars in usability research for their applications and I would think that they are trying to show us that a change in design can be very beneficial in terms of productivity.

Source: ComputerWorld

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Mozilla Firefox Released

This article was written on September 14, 2006 by CyberNet.

Firefox Logo Mozilla has placed the official release of Firefox on their FTP for download. Typically I would just link to the FTP and tell you to go find your language but I figured I do this so much now that I should come up with a better way. I don’t think I could do it much easier than this:

I probably don’t even need to explain how to use to it since it’s so simple. :D

Mozilla is yet to make the release notes page available and they have not updated the fixed security vulnerabilities page either.

I’m sure the “What’s New” section will look something like

Well, I hope you like the new download option I put together. Let me know if you see a mistake in it.

Thunderbird has also been updated to…thanks to the commenters who noticed this!

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Both Opera and Firefox Benefit from Mozilla’s jsfunfuzz

This article was written on August 03, 2007 by CyberNet.

Black HatAt the Black Hat conference this week Mozilla announced a new tool called jsfunfuzz that was developed by their very own Jesse Ruderman. This is something developers can use to test the JavaScript engine for both stability and vulnerabilities. Here’s what Mozilla had to say about it:

The responsible sharing of security tools is an important way to contribute to the overall health of the web. We worked with Microsoft, Apple, and Opera to reduce the possibility that this tool might adversely affect users of those browsers. All of these browser vendors reviewed the tool and let us know that they were okay with the release.

The great news is that Mozilla isn’t the only one benefiting from it! Opera posted version 9.23 Beta today that fixes four bugs that caused crashes, and one that could have compromised the security of the browser. All five of those problems were found using the jsfunfuzz tool that Mozilla announced and released to the public.

Of course the tool was developed by Mozilla, and so you would expect it to help them the most…and it has. Using it they’ve found 280 bugs in Firefox’s JavaScript engine with about two-dozen of those that could have been exploitable. More than two-thirds of those bugs have already been fixed, and their working on nailing down the rest.

So even if you aren’t using a Mozilla-based browser, I think we all owe Mozilla a big thanks for making this tool available to the public!

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Windows Home Server for $190 on Newegg

This article was written on October 08, 2007 by CyberNet.

Windows Home Server Newegg just setup the Windows Home Server product page, and they will be selling the OEM version for $190 starting October 12th. Microsoft will not be selling a retail version of this in stores, so OEM is the only way you can get it besides for buying a pre-built Home Server device. Because it is OEM there is no fancy packaging and it doesn’t include much (if any) paperwork, so don’t be disappointed if all you receive is a CD and serial number when you order it.

There’s also supposed to be a 120-day evaluation version on the horizon, but there has been no news of that yet. Here’s a list of the requirements needed if you decide to roll your own:

  • 1.0 GHz Intel Pentium 3 (or equivalent) processor
  • 512 MB RAM memory
  • 80 GB internal hard drive as primary drive
  • 100 Mbit/s wired Ethernet

Extremely positive reviews are already starting to roll in on the Newegg Home Server page from a small handful of people who had been testing the operating system. One comment in particular caught my attention:

I was lucky enough to beta this and it has become indispensible. It is a lot more than just a NAS [Network Attached Storage] box sitting on my network, the silent backup of host PCs is awesome and the simplicity of install and use is somewhat of a shock compared to most MS server products. Apple would have been proud to release something this intuitive! Amazingly for a v1 Microsoft product it has behaved flawlessly from day one and the ability to access all my host PCs and documents from anywhere in the world is something I now consider absolutely essential. I can’t wait for v2.0!

If you don’t feel like building your own then just hold out for one of the many third-party solutions that will be coming from Fujitsu-Siemens, Gateway, HP, Iomega, Lacie and Medion. The most prominently advertised has been the HP MediaSmart computer starting at $599 with 500GB of storage.

So who plans on building their own Home Server, and who’s going to pick up one of the third-party options?

Newegg Windows Home Server
Windows Home Server Website
Source: Windows Connected

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