Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Three quick ways to bring back the past

When you're browsing the web, it's easy to accidentally close a tab.  Bringing it back is almost as easy, but different, in Firefox and Chrome.

In Firefox, you just go to the Toolbar:
History > Recently Closed Tabs
If you prefer keystrokes, just hit Alt + S to open the History menu.

"Recently Closed Tabs" is second from the bottom (just above Recently Closed Windows).

Choose the tab you want from the list and click.  It will open as a new tab.  Or, actually, as an old tab -- the one you closed, in the same position as the one you closed and with the same history as the one you closed.  Cool.

In Chrome it's a little different.

To bring back the last tab you closed:
The last-closed tab will open right back where it was.  Use the same key combination again and the penultimately-closed tab will pop back open.

(Note to Ms. Shappenheimer: Ok, you were right, I did use that word. Note to everyone else: Please note what a capacious vocabulary I have).

If you want to chose from a list which recently-closed tab to open, you can do that too.  Just open a new tab by clicking on the + to the right of the open tabs.   You'll find the list right below the miniature versions of your most visited tabs.
A little farther down, on the right, you'll see a link to your browsing History.  That will take you to a list of all the web pages you've visited.
If you want the history of a single tab (the current tab), put the cursor on the Go Back arrow and right click.  This history list will drop down.

Actually, there's another way to do the same thing.  Instead of right clicking on the Go Back arrow, left click but hold the click until the list drops down.  If you don't hold the click you'll, you guessed it, go back.

Why two ways to do the same thing?  Google believes it's an important enough function that you'll want a backup in case the primary method wears out.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Rockbox: a great new operating system for your Sansa Fuze

Rockbox is a Linux-based operating system (I think it's technically "firmware") for portable music players like the Sansa Fuze and iPOD.  It's easy to navigate, has lots of skins and lets you fine tune your music playback with the kind of options you usually find on sophisticated stereo systems.

I have a 4 GB Sansa Fuze V01 and Rockbox works great on it.   Things can go wrong, though, and installing Rockbox could possibly brick your player.  Bricking means it will no longer work, giving it the  functionality of a brick, but without the weight and structural strength.

Installing Rockbox on the Fuze
The type and version of player you have matters, so you have to make sure your specific player is supported by the current version of Rockbox.

Using the original Sansa Fuze firmware, you can get this information by going to:
Settings > System Settings > Info
Version is the first line. Mine looks like: V01.02.31P

You can check here to see if Rockbox supports your version.

I used the automatic installer, which you can download from here. It was easy to follow through the installation screens.

Once you have Rockbox installed, all you have to do is turn on the Fuze and it will boot up to Rockbox. If you want to use the original Sansa Fuze firmware, just do this:
  • Turn off the Fuze
  • Hold down the rewind button (|<< on the control wheel)
  • Turn on the Fuze
It will boot up the original firmware.  You can only load music through the original firmware.

If you want to charge the player while running Rockbox, hold the center button (Rockbox calls it the "Select" button) down while plugging the cable into the Fuze.

The origonal firmware will also automatically boot anytime your Fuze is connected to the USB cable, whether you're using it to transfer music or charge the battery.

When you're using Rockbox, his is how the controls work:

That diagram is from the Rockbox manual for the Fuze.