Posts Tagged ‘tips’

Have you ever started typing a post and did something silly that suddenly made you lose what you had written?  Maybe you hit the backspace key and your browser thought you wanted to go back a page, instead of back one letter.  Maybe you accidentally hit reload on the page, or accidentally closed your tab or window.  Or maybe your computer did something stupid, and crashed your browser.

Regardless of what caused it, you probably weren't too happy to lose what you had written.  Here are 5 quick tips for ways to avoid nuking your content accidentally, or how to recover what you have written after disaster strikes:

1. Don't Compose in a Web Browser
    Although painfully obvious, it has to be said – if you're drafting your post in something besides a web browser, you'll probably avoid 99% of all the problems you face with accidentally deleting your draft post content.  Most text editors nowadays have built-in auto-save features, so you can even set up your file to back up as often as you feel is necessary.  As an added benefit, you'll have a soft-copy of your post saved on your computer in the unlikely event that the publishing system hiccups and your post that you just submitted disappears into the aether.

2. Save as a draft intermittently (Vox-specific)
    If you don't want to go through the "hassle" of using a separate program to compose your posts, take advantage of your blogging system's features  – for example, in Vox you can save your post as a draft, and then go back and edit to add additional content.  If you lose something you type, you can always revert back to the version you had previously saved as your draft (hopefully without losing too much content in the process!)

3. Use the "Recover" features (Vox-specific)

    You may have noticed that as you begin typing your entry in the Vox compose screen, a small link pops up next to the spell-check button.  This Recover link usually allows you to get back what you had written, in the event you accidentally closed the window or your web browser happened to crash while you were composing a post.  When you return to the Compose window, you should see the "Recover" link directly above the post body. Click that link and it will recover your previous post for you.  Your mileage may vary with this solution, but it's usually better than nothing!

4. Use a Greasemonkey script to prevent unwanted page-changes

    The "Protect Textarea" greasemonkey script (found here and featured here on lifehacker) monitors the textareas on a web page and alerts you if you try navigating away from the page before submitting the changes in the textarea.  Although it will not work for you all the time, and may be more hassle than it is worth for some people, you'll be pretty happy the first time you accidentally click a link that was going to take you away from your post or blog comment and this popup intervenes.

5. Open compose screen in a new window/tab

    A very simple way to combat the infamous "backspace blunder" is to make sure there is no page to go back to while you are composing a post.  If you choose to compose a post in a new tab or window, the backspace key will never move you away from your compose screen, because there's no page in your browser's history to return to!  On modern browsers, a middle-click of your mouse button on a link will open the link in a new tab or window (depending on your browser's default settings).  Alternately, right click on a link and select "Open in a new tab" to do this the old-fashioned way.  Combine this with tip #2 above for extra security.


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Hey neighbors (and/or anyone reading this),

I've set up a new group here on Vox for people who like to share and read tips, tricks, hacks, guides, and how-tos of any kind.  This isn't limited to computers or even techy stuff – if you've got something to share that might help simplify, streamline, or improve your life (or someone else's), this is the place for it.

The group is called Hack the Planet, and I hope anyone who has any interest in this kind of thing will join up and post there.

Also, to build content for the group, I'd like to ask you all for a favor – if you've written any posts along this line in the past, it would be really awesome if you would take a couple minutes to go back and also add them to the group.  If people see activity on the group, they're more likely to join up and post to the group themselves, so this would be a HUGE help in getting the group up and running.

Thanks for checking the group out, and I hope to see some of you over there in the future!

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Check out this 5 minute video of tips by Rob Gruhl on how to buy your next car from a dealership.  I remember going with my wife on her last car shopping trip (before we were married), and she ended up doing everything you're not supposed to.  If we had seen this video and had some of this guidance, she might have walked away feeling better about her purchase.

The only thing I see lacking in what he says is what you should do if you're not extroverted enough to follow his tips – in this case, find a friend – the one that loves to haggle/argue/debate/etc, and coach him/her with this video on exactly what the game plan is to follow.  Let this friend be the voice for you at the dealership – even though you'll be the one signing the final papers, there's nothing that says you can't bring in a designated hitter to face that salesman's pitch (pun intended).

I, for one, plan to follow these guidelines for my next car purchase.  Looks like that'll be sometime around the end of 2008, wish me luck! 🙂

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So yesterday I was all excited about my new "explore here" shortcut tweak.  I came in to work this morning and booted up my computer, found out Microsoft had issued it's regular 2nd-Tuesday-of-the-month updates, and I downloaded/installed/rebooted my computer.  Only to find that while I may be secure from the latest vulnerabilities in Windows, my explorer tweak no longer works!  The shortcuts still open fine, but they only open as a regular window, rather than an explorer window.  I've tried creating new ones, changing the properties, trying /e and e, lowercase and caps, calling out the explorer.exe by relative and absolute path, all to no avail.  It seems Microsoft thinks I'm more secure if I can't hack my computer.  While they may be right sometimes, this is one of those cases where mother DEFINITELY doesn't know best.

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I love having shortcuts on my computer.  I've got folders in all kinds of weird and obscure hierarchies, to match how I think things should be filed.  Hence, you'll find a directory with code snippets related to websites under C:Documents and SettingsrossgMy DocumentsPersonalstuffcodewebsitestuff , while I might keep my work's time sheet backup in C:Documents and SettingsrossgMy DocumentsWorkIn_ProgressTIMESHEET .

This is all well and good, and works great for me for when I want to find something, but it takes A LOT of clicking to navigate there sometimes.  So usually, I set up a shortcut to a often-used folder and just use that link off my quick-launch bar or desktop.  The only problem with that is the shortcut goes only to the folder without the default explorer file tree in the left-hand pane, which is VITAL if I need to move up or down a couple of directories quickly without doing a whole lot more clicking.

Well, I finally decided to use my google skills to search for a way to make it so my shortcuts have the file tree, and found it in this article by Tony Bradley.  It's actually so simple I'm kicking myself for not doing this earlier.  All you do is put an e after the path to the folder name in the field within the shortcut properties, and Voila! You have an explorer-like window, directed to just the folder you were looking for.

This won't save me a whole lot of time or energy, but it's little efficiency improvements like this that bring a smile to my face and brighten my day, if only a little.  So give a cheer for customization with me, and now I'll go home and enjoy the extra daylight that is going to let me play with my daughter outside, and bring an even BIGGER smile to my face.

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