събота, 27 ноември 2010 г.

Tutorial: Kick-Ass Speed Dial

Yes, you want that, don't you? Well, if you are a customization geek like me, you do. See, I'm obssessed with getting everything I regularly use on my laptop to look sleek, glossy and, above all, simple.

At first I was content with my Opera Speed Dial, and why wouldn't I be? When it first came along, there was nothing like it, so I was happy to get this much. But as time passed, I realized that I wanted something like a thumbnail, not a miniature of the site (which would be perfect for someone else, I admit). Besides, I was thinking of switching to Google Chrome and I wanted to combine those two goals and do it all at once.

So you can consider this a little tutorial for those who would like to have that simple speed dial without spending as much time as I did researching about it.

We'll do this the standard way, i.e. step by step:

1. Got another browser? Opera, Mozilla or, God forbid, Internet Explorer? Close it and forget about it. And I'm not telling you to delete it - in my opinion it's always useful to have a spare browser if your current one is giving you a hard time.

2. Now download Google Chrome. Oh, wait, you need your browser for that. See? You will need it sometimes. Okay, so type Google Chrome in Google and the first link is the one you will need. NOW forget about the previous browser.

3. Chrome doesn't take very long to install and once it's opened you'll notice you can add Speed Dial as an Extension. Which is great because it kind of resembles mine but not really. If you're curious you can add it and see if it suits your needs and if it does, you can stop at this step. But keep in mind that you'll have to undo this step later if you wish to make your Speed Dial kick-ass.

4. What we actually want to do is simple: we want Google to load the home page we've chosen when we click New Tab. The question is which site do we want to load? The answer is Myfav.es - an incredibly simple and pretty looking site which lets you choose the pages that appear on their speed dial without even asking you to sign up (which I think is pretty cool). So what we do is we copy the link of the site and we click the little wrench icon at the end of the adress bar --> Options --> Basics --> Home Page. Then choose the option that lets you set the New Tab page as your Home Page ("Use the New Tab Page").

5. Now most instructions tell you that this is enough and for some of you it probably is. But if your case is like mine you need to go a little further. To do that you need to install a different Extention - this one. Once it's installed, you'll notice there's a small field where you can type an adress. Type http://myfav.es

6. You should now have a kick-ass Speed Dial. If you wish to customize it or add a couple more sites, you can go to myfav.es and knock yourself out. As I said, there's no need for a registration but I would recommend one - it doesn't take more than 15 seconds since it connects with your Facebook, GMail or Twitter account and it could be useful if you're going to use it every day.

So there it is. That's just one of the things that you can do to make your laptop a little more user-friendly and pretty-looking. One step at a time, I say. When I figure out how to make my desktop awesome, I'll show you that. And someday we'll learn how to hack the government web pages of developing countries. With a Windows Vista - that should be a challenge.

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