Label Google Maps

Google maps has been around a few years now and has a nice set of hacks out there. My favorite involves hijacking the title of the pushpin marker balloon as shown in the photo below. This is a pretty easy hack, to be honest:

  • Zoom-in to the target location on the map (pick any view)
  • Right click on “Link to this page” and (left) select “Copy Shortcut or “Copy Link Location”
  • Paste the link into the Address Bar (Firefox users click Ctrl-lv) and do not click “Enter”
  • Find the coordinates in the long text pasted into the Address Bar (some string like 35.782171,-78.638763)
  • Drag-select both coordinates and Copy them.
  • Paste the coordinates into the Google Maps Search Bar
  • After the string, hit the spacebar, then “(“. Type the title of your balloon, then “)” and click “Search Maps”
  • To copy this map as it is, copy the new URL from “Link To This Page” (as in Step 2) and paste it into any application.
  • Better yet, paste the URL into and use the URL they give you!

Pretty easy, huh? You’ll find this as a great way of labeling an exact location for someone.


"Runnin’ With The Devil" Vocal Track

Another great link from the mini blog takes us to an mp3 of David Lee Roth’s vocal track for one of the first Van Halen hits, "Runnin’ With The Devil". This thing sounds like a medley of about 50 great possible ringtones. Yeeehoowww! Aaaaaeccccgggguh!

"Separate Ways" Video Remake

I found a link to a funny scene-by-scene remake of Journey’s "Separate Ways" video!

Install Windows Fonts in a Snap

Installing fonts in Windows is a little tedious. Many times one is installing these from a CD or a downloaded file and it takes a while to find that \Windows\fonts folder. By installing a shortcut to the Fonts folder in your Send To menu, installation can be done without all of that hunting.

  • Find the “C:\Windows\Fonts” folder. Open Windows Explorer (Windows-E). Make sure you have “Folders” selected in the toolbar and you can see your folder tree in the left pane. (A shortcut is to click the Windows key, then type “fonts”, then click the “Folders” button in the toolbar.)
  • Right-click on the Fonts folder in the left pane
  • Select Send to… | Desktop (Create Shortcut)
  • Find your “Send To” folder in your Documents and Setting profile. (A shortcut is to click the Windows key, and paste this into the search bar:
  • Drag the Shortcut to Fonts shortcut created earlier from your desktop into the SendTo folder. (You may need to reposition a few windows to get clear access to both. One way is to minimize all apps by hitting Windows-D, then restoring the SendTo app from your taskbar).

Now fonts are easy to install. Just find your new .TTF file, right click on it, then select Send To | Fonts. The font installs and is instantly available in any application you have open!

In XP, use Windows-R instead of the Windows key when searching for the folders mentioned.

The Rock Rocks

Check out the rock in rural Iowa. Neat story.

Watch TV on your PDA

makayama Watching recorded TV shows with a mobile device (like a Treo 650) can be done easily and cheaply! The quality is good and better yet, each episode is free.

The method I’ve found to work required that one has Windows Media Center (on XP’s MC editions, Vista Home Premium, and Vista Ultimate). Next, install Makayama’s Mobile TV Center. This plug-in to Media Center takes any recorded show from MC’s PVR function and creates a mobile version which is automatically downloaded to flash memory once it is sensed. The plug-inhas a free trial and is $40 for a license.

Next, load the free TCPMP Core Video player on your device. For the Treo, it’s a simple matter of opening up the .ZIP file and putting tcpmp.prc as well as any necessary codecs in Palm’s Quick Install folder. Now, I cannot remember which codec did the trick. I believe I installed mpeg1, avc, and mpeg4 codecs, but I can’t remember.

So that’s just a couple of easy installations, really. I simply record shows/movies on Windows Media Center. At least a couple of minutes after recording is done, I’ll pop my 2GB SD card into my computer’s card reader, and the Mobile TV Center will offload all of the shows it can to the card. If I put the SD card back in the Treo, I’m back in business to watch the shows out and about.

My favorite thing to watch out and about is not from TV, though. I really like the series of shows at, especially Tekzilla and Diggnation. Fans of the old Screen Savers show on TechTV are sure to love the informative tech geek shows on Rev3. Now, I don’t mind waiting for people!

Make Firefox A Snap: Part IV

Keyboard Shortcuts


There are a few keyboard shortcuts that when mastered, can really make you fly in Firefox:

  • Ctrl-c, Ctrl-v: Good ol’ Copy and Paste.
  • Ctrl-h: History – Start typing in a search query or hunt with your mouse
  • Ctrl-b: Bookmarks – After installing the extension, this gets fun. Search for bookmarks by typing and watch the instant results in the bottom pane.
  • Ctrl-l: Move cursor to address window – start typing a website. Use Ctrl-Enter to autofill the www. and .com parts
  • Ctrl-k: Move cursor to search window.
  • Ctrl-[1-9]: Directly select one of the first 9 open tabs.
  • If you get really good at combining these, your skills will soar through the roof. For instance, clicking Ctrl-l-c will copy the current web page’s URL!

Don’t forget that the center button (pushing the scroll wheel on many mice) will open the selected link in a new tab, and the selected Firefox folder in tabs.

Those are the shortcuts I use most, but there are many, many more that may suit others better at Mozilla and at

Make Firefox A Snap: Part III

"Say, how did you get that active tab to be so pretty?"


I agree. It looks great; almost velvety. This, like the changes in Part I, is a UserChrome.css tweak. Simply put this text into your UserChrome.css file:

.tabbrowser-tab[selected=”true”] > hbox,
.tabbrowser-tab[selected=”true”] > .tab-close-button {
background-color: #000033 !important;
color: #fff !important;
.tabbrowser-tab[selected=”true”]:hover > hbox,
.tabbrowser-tab[selected=”true”]:hover > .tab-close-button {
background-color: #000099 !important;
color: #fff !important;



  • Be sure that the four instances of "true" are surrounded by quotation marks. The source site has this mistakenly posted with two apostrophes.
  • Pick your own colors. The 00033 color creates a dark blue, but any hexidecimal color can be used. (the second half sets up the color used when hovering over the tab)
  • Your UserChrome.css file can be found by clicking Start | Run, then
    "%appdata%" and press "Enter". (In Vista, simply hit the Windows button and type the phrase). Drill down through these folders: Mozilla | Firefox | Profiles | crazystringofletters | chrome. Double click UserChrome.css in the ..\chrome folder, copy, and paste the above text. You’ll need to close and reopen Firefox to see your changes.