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checking twitter mentions using firefox and nothing else

Although I don't use Twitter much (but maybe I'll get back in the game with it later), I do use it enough to where I care about to track if I have any @replies. However I can't stand Twitter clients. The last I used was Echofon in Firefox. Very good app, but it slowed my browser down on startup, plus it would periodically disconnect for no reason. I don't know if that's echofon's or Twitter's fault, nor do I care.

I found the best way to track @replies using Firefox and nothing else is to subscribe to a Twitter search RSS feed and place it in a toolbar for easy access.

How it's done:

1. Go to Twitter advanced search

2. Next to the People category, put your Twitter username in there both in To and Reference, like this:


3. Click the Search button. On the next page whether any results show up or not, hit the orange RSS icon in the address bar:


4. Subscribe to the feed using Live Bookmarks:


5. Place the feed in your Bookmarks Toolbar (you might want to change the name to something more friendly). If you have the bookmarks toolbar disabled, you'll need to re-enable it via View / Toolbars / Bookmarks Toolbar.


6. Your @reply button is ready to use in the toolbar:


I renamed mine just so it wouldn't take up so much room. For the ultimate in tidiness, you could rename it to the single character @, like this:


You wanted tidy? That's tidy. 🙂

Whenever you click the bookmark, a menu will drop down showing any Twitter @reply sent to you specifically.

This is especially useful when (yes, when) your Twitter client screws up/times out/whatever because to the best of my knowledge the feed always works.

Clicking any @reply in the feed will take you directly there. If logged into Twitter via the site, the resulting page will have reply/retweet/favorite links:


The favorite link by the way is the star.

As far as drawbacks with this method, I can only think of one. You're not notified of any new @replies when they occur, so you will have to manually check the feed. Other than that this is a very good client-less solution.

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how i used to annoy IE6 users

For a while I had this hidden code in my blog just for Internet Explorer 6 users. It basically reminded them very loudly they were using a crappy browser. Here's what it looked like:

I'm sure this annoyed the crap out of IE6 users to pieces. 😉 I eventually chickened out and took the code off. However if you want to use it, this is what I used:

$msiedetect = $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'];
if (preg_match("/MSIE 6.0/i", $msiedetect)) {
echo "
<div id=msie6>
<p>You are using the seriously crappy Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 web browser. You will continue to see this LOUD ANNOYING notice until you stop using that awful thing and use something better such as <a href="">Firefox</a>, <a href="">Opera</a>, or at bare minimum Internet Explorer 7. Get out of the stone age, will ya?<br><br>ONLY USERS OF IE6 SEE THIS NOTICE AND HEAR ANNOYING MIDI MUSIC. THAT MEANS YOU.
<bgsound src="INSERT LINK TO MIDI FILE HERE" loop="infinite">
} else {
echo "";

What this does is read the user agent string, and if it sees MSIE 6.0 it will show the annoying stuff. 😉

The DIV tag is something I had in my CSS file that put the really loud yellow background with red text. The MIDI file is something you have to host yourself. Change out the "INSERT LINK" portion above with the link to whatever MIDI you use. If you need a song, run on over to VGmusic and pick the most annoying you can find. 🙂

gmc canyon repair, fixing the crappy ground

I mentioned before (which does list the parts) the issue on GMC Canyon/Chevrolet Colorado trucks where the HVAC fans completely stop working for no reason while running. Today I fixed it myself at my father's place because he had the tools I needed. The job took about a half-hour to complete.

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