Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cool things to do with chrome

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Apart from being an excellent browser for web developers, Google Chrome is also a pretty awesome browser for everyone else. I've collected a few of the cool things you can do with Chrome.

1. Incognito Window
If you ever need to log in to the same service with two different accounts (say, if you're on your wife's computer and both want to check your gmail), open a 'New Incognito Window' (Shift+⌘+N/Ctrll+Shift+N). Cookies and history entries will not affect other windows.

2. Undo a closed tab
Yes, that's right, simply press Shift+⌘+T / Ctrl+Shift+T and the tab you just closed is opened again! AND - you can press it several times!

3. Pinned tabs
Using the same web sites all the time? Wouldn't it be nice if they where always on the same tab so you could use keyboard shortcuts to access them  with ⌘+n / Ctrl+n (n is the tab number you wish to jump to)?
Right click on the tab and select "Pin tab" and you have it! In addition, the tab size get's shrunk to just displaying the webpage's icon, and it's automatically moved as the first tab. Next time you (re)start Chrome, it's still there!

4. Synced chrome
Using chrome on several computers? Setup syncing through your Google account, and your bookmarks and settings is automatically synced across machines. Go to chrome://settings/personal (or preferences > personal) to set it up.

5. Which tab is making the sound
Ever had several tabs opened and suddenly one (or more) of them started playing audio? And you couldn't find which one? Then MuteTab might be just the thing for you!

6. Customized search engines - with shortcuts
If you use a custom search engine/dictionary/encyclopedia often, you might want to consider adding it as a custom search engine with a shortcut.
Go to chrome://settings/searchEngines and fill in the three inputs.
Use %s for the query part of the URL:
Anything you put in the Keyword input will become the shortcut, so in this example, if you type g+ in the location bar you'll be able to search directly (the shortcut for the location bar is -L or Ctrl-L.

7. Developer omnibox
If you're a developer, you certainly don't want to miss the Developer Omniboxes. They allow you to search through API reference documentation for a variety of languages and libraries.

8. Birds on the bleeding edge
If you want to try out the absolutely latest possible Chrome, go for the Canary release. This is the the daily build, but there are other channels as well if you want to try.

9. Tab overview
Got many tabs open and can't find the one you're looking for?
Go to chrome://flags/ and enable Tab Overview. You can now use the three-finger-down-swipe or Ctrl+⌘+T shortcut to have a nice thumbnail view of all open tabs.
Make sure to check out the other stuff there as well, but read the warning first.

10. Isolated chrome 
If you want to have an isolated chrome environment of the same release, you can do this by issuing a different --user-data-dir on startup. This article also explains how to neatly make a convinent shortcut to the different directories you want to create.

Feel free to share YOUR favorite chrome feature below!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Shell gems

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I found a really good thread via +Patrick Aljord today called Give me that one command you wish you knew years ago on reddit.

It had a few really cool commands that I honestly didn't know about:


Ever been in a situation where you'd like to turn off your laptop, but you just started a long lasting process and forgot to use screen? disown to the rescue:
[1]+  Stopped
$> bg
$> disown
# Process still lives, although terminal is disconnected


How about those simple one-liners that somehow always turn out to
be so long that they really should be done as a script on file instead?
$> ls | perl -nle 'started-out-short-and-neat-but-now-long-and-complex-oneliner'
$> fc
# Opens your $EDITOR and pastes the last command used, ready to be edited and saved!

cd -

cd - is a small little gem that basically changes your current path to
you previous directory (see also pushd and popd):
$/very/long/path/to/somewhere > cd /another/very/long/path/to/somewhere
$/another/very/long/path/to/somewhere > cd -
$/very/long/path/to/somewhere >
You can also use it to copy something from your previous directory:
$/very/long/path/to/somewhere > cp `cd -`/file.txt .


This one speaks for it self:
$> units "100 kg" stones
    * 15.747304
    / 0.063502932

OSX Bonus

For OSX users I tend to find pbcopy and pbpaste really usefull for copying and pasting to the clipboard:
$> ls *.jpg | pbcopy
# Copy file-list to clipboard

I also discovered that my soon-to-be-collegaue +Adam Ohren made a cool tool
called pbfcopy that does the same as pbcopy only for files. Nice!