Special search characters in Firefox

In Firefox, I use the InstantFox add-on to combine address bar and search bar into one item – like in Google Chrome.

But even without this add-on, Firefox allows you to restrict your search by adding a character in front of the search terms, like so:


Notice the * in front of the search term bugs. This restricts the search to bookmarks.

Here’s a list of the most important restrictions:

Character Restriction
* Bookmarks
^ History
% Open Tabs
+ Tags (in bookmarks)
# Search in titles only
@ Search in URLs only

All these shortcuts can be edited in about:config under browser.urlbar.

Bug of the Day: Backup running, ok/cancel?

Today’s bug is a GUI design bug in Windows Server Backup (2012). What do you think of this screenshot?


Why is there an “OK” and a “Cancel” button? What do they mean?

(“OK” means “Close” and “Cancel” means “Stop Backup”. When you start a backup, the button is actually labeled “Close” (instead of “OK”).)

Click to play for plugins (Flash, Java) in Firefox

In Google Chrome, there is an option to enable “Click to Play” for plugins, such as Flash, Java, or Silverlight. This makes the browser safer (especially after all the Java security vulnerability in the last time) and a little bit fast. Today, I found out that this option exists in Firefox too – although its a little bit hidden.

To enable “Click to Play” in Firefox…

  1. go to about:config and click on “I’ll be careful, I promise!”
  2. search for plugins.click_to_play and set it to true (by double-clicking the entry)


After that, when you get to a page that contains Flash (videos), Java, or any other plugin, you’ll get a “Click to Play” message for the plugin.


Plotting graphs with R

I recently stumbled over R, a programming language for data analysis. R is open-source and available on all major platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac).

This post is about how to display (draw) a mathematical function with R.

Side note: There’s a very nice and interactive tutorial for R available over at codeschool.com. It’s free and takes about 3 – 4 hours to complete.

Read more →

Upload arbitrary files to WordPress (new plugin)

WordPress is very restrictive when it comes to file uploads. It’s for security reasons, mainly to prevent bad-behaving users to upload PHP scripts and the like to the blog.

However, if you’re the only one writing posts for your blog, this restriction sometimes is annoying. For example, I do a lot coding in C#. So, when I try to upload a .cs file (C# source code file) to my blog, the upload is rejected.

Wordpress rejected upload with "Sorry, this file type is not permitted for security reasons."

Files are approved or rejected based on their file extension, i.e. the few characters after the dot in the file name, like cs in ArrayClearTest.cs.

WordPress maintains an internal list of which file extensions are allowed. Fortunately, WordPress also allows for this list to be extended.

And that’s what my new WordPress plugin does. It’s called Upload File Type Settings Plugin and allows you to extend that list with an easy-to-use user interface. Go, give it a try.

The plugin's settings page.