Archive for August, 2010

Sunday, August 29th 2010

Scanning Negatives

On and off I’ve been thinking of getting a negative scanner for quite some time. The other week I finally made a decision and ordered a Reflecta Crystalscan 7200 from German Scandig.

I have already scanned a number of films and it is amazing to see how much detail their actually is in those old photos. I’m scanning at 3600 dpi, which means I end up with 17 megapixel images. Probably slightly overkill, but storage space is not an issue so I’m going with safe, not sorry. Obviously though the detail and smoothness is nowhere near what I get out of my 50D (or even my 30D).

Here is the first roll I scanned.

The big win is really just to have all the old photographs digitized, which makes them easy to share and keeps them safer for the future (provided you have a good back-up routine). And just seeing all the photos, one by one, brings back loads of great memories.

First I will be scanning my own and my wife’s photos. After those ~100 films, if I have the energy, I might keep going with my parents photos.

Sunday, August 22nd 2010

Move Tabs to Titlebar in Firefox 4

Edit: As of Firefox 4 beta 9, tabs will automatically move to the title bar when the window is maximized. So the following hack isn’t really needed any more …

Firefox 4 beta has moved the tabs up above the navigation bar, but not all the way up in the title bar where Chrome and Opera both have put them.

Firefox 4 beta with tabs on top.

Firefox 4 beta

Opera 10.6 with tabs in title bar.

Opera 10.6

Chrome 6 beta with tabs in title bar.

Chrome 6 beta

The hack

Now, the Firefox developers seem to be working on a fix for this, but in the mean time there’s a quick hack which lets you do this right now in your Firefox 4 beta.

First, locate (or create) your userChrome.css file.

Then add the following code:

padding-left: 110px !important;
margin-right: 110px !important;
padding-top: 8px !important;
margin-top: -30px !important;

position: fixed !important;

#navigator-toolbox[tabsontop=”false”] #nav-bar{
margin-left: 108px !important;
margin-right: 140px !important;
padding-top: 12px !important;

#navigator-toolbox[tabsontop=”true”] #TabsToolbar{
margin-left: 108px !important;
margin-right: 140px !important;
padding-top: 8px !important;

Edit 2: Thanks to dsid who posted this css code which seems to work with the latest nightlies and betas (as of 2010-09-10).

Firefox 4 beta with the tabs in the title bar.

This will make the tabs go all the way to the top of the window, which makes them very easy to target with your mouse when the window is maximized. (Since it doesn’t matter if you push your mouse outside the screen.) However, this means you can’t grab the window above the tabs to drag it. You can still grab it to the right of the tabs though. With the code above, there will always be an area next to the minimize-maximize-close-buttons which you can drag.

If you like, you can move the tabs down from the edge by increasing the padding-top values.

Hope you found this as useful as I did. Thanks to Gdgtry for the original code!

Monday, August 16th 2010

Things to like in Firefox 4

I’ve been using the nightly builds of Firefox 4 for a while now, and thought I’d just blog about a few of the nice improvements that have been made.


Firefox now lets you connect and sync your bookmarks, passwords, history and settings between different computers. Personally, I have been using the Weave extension to do this for quite a while. Specifically I have synced history and passwords between my home and work computer. Bookmarks I have intentionally kept separate.

The especially nice thing is that this works with Firefox Mobile too. And if you have an iPhone, there is the Firefox Home app which loads your Firefox history, bookmarks and tabs for the Safari browser.

Tab sets

A new feature for those who have a *lot* of tabs open. With tab sets, you can hit Ctrl+Space and organize your tabs into groups. It is hard to explain in words, so have a look at the video here.

New theme

Firefox’s look has been given a complete overhaul. The goal of the new theme is to get out of the user’s way and to leave as much space as possible for the web content.

Here’s what the end result should look like:

Mockup of Firefox 4 theme

The current betas have parts of the new theme, but not all of it.

For anyone using Windows Vista or Windows 7, this will be a welcome update since it fits better in with the operating system. Especially since the new theme supports Aero Glass, i.e. the semi transparent windows in Vista & 7.

Tabs on top

One major part of the new look is the fact that tabs have been moved to the top of the window, above the navigation and bookmark bars. (Anyone who wants the tabs below the navigation bar can move them back.)

There are pros and cons to both placements. Having them at the top feels more logical though, since the tab applies to navigation buttons and the location bar. Also, there is screen space to be saved if you push the tabs all the way to the top of the window when maximized. This hasn’t yet been fixed, but it looks like it will be.

WebM support

WebM will probably be the next big thing on the web. Imagine being able to watch video on the web without the hassle of plug-ins? Well, when the web browsers all support a common video format that could become reality. At the moment, Internet Explorer is the only browser not to support WebM.

App tabs

In Firefox 4, you can right-click a tab and make it into an “App tab”. This basically pins the tab over to the left and hides the page title. Useful for tabs that you keep open all the time, such as e-mail or Facebook. Here is a nice video explaining the feature.

Behind the scenes

Apart from the new features that are directly visible to the user, Firefox 4 has loads and loads of improvements in the way it interprets web pages. So when you do upgrade, you’re also making life easier (& more fun!) for every single web developer out there.

If you haven’t already, you can get the latest Firefox 4 beta here.