Monday, December 10, 2007

Two Tech Tips

What is your homepage?

For many years, I've used the blank, going nowhere setting on my browser as my homepage. This was convenient - and really useful when you have dialup. Many people, prefer the Google Firefox homepage default, and thus give something back to the browser. But once the session gets going, everyone uses the in-built search bar - so not much money for Firefox to make there. Many people use Google Personalised Homepage. I personally did this for some time - my favourite gadgets? Gmail, Pune Weather, Orkut Birthday Reminders and Jay Leno quote of the day. iGoogle as it is known now, is much prettier - with weather-dependent themes and much innovation. It's very good if you have a nice, fast connection, i.e. say if your gmail loads in a second.

For most people in India, on broadband we're somewhere in the middle. So if you're looking to keep the "search engine" homepage option, but are bored of either or, then I have something exciting for you. Use Searchmash. It's my new homepage, and I'm loving it! It loads faster than Google, and has auto-cursor-to-text-box. Very nice indeed! Check it out. And if you thought, we finally have something to end GOOG domination, think again! This site is a Google experimentation pad - without any Google branding. So, the quality of results is as good as ever. Only with much better usability and UI.


Irritated by that Inbox(1032) message in Gmail?

I'm wondering why I did not think of this earlier. Due to a particular negligent phase of my using Gmail, I'd piled up a huge chunk of unread mails. What this meant, was that even though I had been reading all my mails regularly, my Inbox still said that I had 950 messages unread. Not that it made any difference. I have plenty of space remaining, but deleting all this stuff, just to get rid of that irritating sign seemed a bit excessive.

This is what I did.

Hit "select all messages". It will then ask you if you want to select all messages on that page, or all messages in general. Se you want to select all messages in general. Then, on the drop-down menu beside the delete button, you will find an option called "Mark as Read". Click it, confirm that you really want to do what you are doing - and you're set!

Mails remain, and unread messages zero. Yay!

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