Saturday, March 16, 2013

Make Gmail the Default Mail Application in Firefox

Every time I set up a new computer or installation of Firefox I have to Google how to do this.  So here it is again, as short and sweet as possible:

The short description:

Edit --> Preferences --> Applications
Content Type: mailto --> Select "Use Gmail" from dropdown

The graphical description:

Edit --> Preferences

Applications --> mailto --> Use Gmail

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Easily Annotate Images in Linux

My last post about filtering Craigslist search results was created with the help of a program called Shutter.

Shutter is a billed as a feature-rich screenshot program, which it is.  But I'm just taking my screenshots with the Print Screen key.  What I'm after is a quick way to add annotations (arrows, blurs, circles, etc.) to the resulting images.  Under Windows I use Irfanview for this and it works great.

But Shutter is MUCH better at this task than Irfanview and I'll tell you why:

The editing tools produce vector-based graphics and they 'float' above your image until you save it.  This is really a nice feature, since in the bitmap-based Irfanview, once you've made the edit you're pretty much done, unless you use the undo button.

With Shutter you can move your edits around to position them or resize them before saving, and there is no clutter to the tools, just the features you need right at your fingertips.

Here is the editing view of Shutter:

Shutter's edit view with the tools at left.
I've only used it for about an hour now and I am not sure how I missed this gem of a program in many years of using the Linux desktop.  This is a great piece of software for quickly and easily editing images.

Regex Filter Craigslist Search Results

How much does it suck to search for something on Craigslist (especially when looking for cars) only to get a bunch of completely irrelevant results?

In the automotive postings there are a bunch of jackasses who feel that they need to list their vehicle with a bunch of 'keywords' so that their vehicle is displayed to people who MIGHT be interested in it. 

Consider this lovely F-150.  The owner thought that someone interested in a Ford Probe might consider buying a pickup:

This guy was really clever to add all of these keywords to his ad.

Because of these people, your search results will often look like this:

I'm trying to find Jeep Wranglers for sale and I don't care about this crap.
I thought, "Gee, it would be sweet if I could use regex to filter these results." 

Well, fortunately if you have Greasemonkey, there is a way to do this.  I searched and found the Craigslist Live Filter by Sam Rawlins.  Sam has posted the source at Github also, which is awesome as I'll explain in a minute.

After installing Sam's script, the first thing I noticed was that it was written to EXCLUDE results.  That is, what you are searching for can be minimalized in one of two ways:

1.  The script will make it gray and in a smaller font
2.  The result will simply be hidden from view.

This *will* do what I want but it makes my search a little more tedious.  In this case I'd need to have a regex to get rid of the crap above, something maybe like:


In this case what I'm searching for will be REMOVED from the results by Sam's script.

Instead, I want the tool to show me only what I WANT and exclude the other crap.  So, I've added an 'invert' checkbox to his script and I checked in the result at Github.

Now, since I'm interested in only 1997+ Jeep Wranglers, I can enter a regex like this:


If you're not familiar with regular expressions, I could go on for another hour about how cool this little meta language is...  Instead I'll just explain that the above awesomeness means that I want to look for the text "199" followed by a 7, 8, or 9.  This means the following will produce a positive hit:


Further, the pipe (|) means OR, and I continue by saying that I'm also interested in the text "20" followed by two digits (\d means any digit character).  Then I say that the script is allowed to match ANYTHING (.) as MANY TIMES AS IT WANTS (*).

So at the end of the day, I'm looking for 1997-1999 OR 20xx with the word wrangler somewhere in the title.

Here is what the script looks like in action:

Sam's script in action, with my "invert" feature added but not used yet.

Now let's "invert" the search results and only show what we WANT:

Invert feature in use.

So how do you get this awesomeness?  You need:
I think Chrome can support userscripts also but I'm not a Chrome user, so you'll need to investigate that on your own.