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Archive: October 30, 2008

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Firefox realtime address-bar search

Thursday,  10/30/08  09:18 AM

Remember when Firefox 3 first came out, and one of the cool new features was realtime in-address-bar search?

You don't?  Well in case you're still an IE user, or just haven't noticed, when you type something into the Firefox location bar, it searches for previously entered addresses to prompt you in case one of them matches what you want now, and in so doing is searches the page titles as well as the page addresses.

So I have to say, I didn't like it at first; it seemed annoying, because I couldn't predict what it was going to do.  But now after several months of using it I love it.  It has become the fastest way for me to get to something, even when I know exactly where it is and could find it with a few clicks.  For example, Aperio's slide gallery, which just requires that I type  That is not much typing, but now I just type "ga" and poof, the Aperio slide gallery is at the top of the search list.  Wonderful.

Other examples of tools I like which have realtime search: iTunes, and X1.  The X1 example is particularly pertinent; I love the way I can search email and files on my disk with just a few keystrokes, and poof! realtime search results.  If you are still using Outlook's search for email or Windows Explorer's search for files, you will love this...

This is a great example of a small UI tweak which makes a big difference to users.  We've tried to do the same sort of thing in Aperio's Spectrum digital pathology information system, which is web-based.  We use JavaScript on the client-side to interpret input as the user is typing it, and do database lookups with AJAX to try to match what they've typed.  So if they want "breast cancer", by the time they've typed "br" the search result is right there, ready to be selected.



Thursday,  10/30/08  05:30 PM

I'm kind of sort of back to normal after spending the first half of the week in downtown San Diego at the Pathology Visions conference.  Caught up on email, caught up on RSS feeds, but still not caught up on processing all my conference notes, unfortunately.  That's a todo for tomorrow...

My afternoon was taken out by applying for a Visa so I can visit Brazil!  Yep, in a week I'm spending a week in Brazil, traveling with our distributor and South American channel manager, visiting customers and prospects in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro.  I've never even been South of the Equator, and from all reports Brazil is amazing, so I can't wait...  I must admit to some trepidation, too; this will not be like visiting Western Europe.  The process of getting a business Visa for Brazil is somewhat involved; you have to promise you're not going to work there and demonstrate financial support from your company.  I'm told Brazil doesn't really care but has designed their process to mirror what the U.S. requires of Brazilians who are visiting.  Ha.  Of course the symmetry is not complete, because there are far more Brazilians who would like to come to the U.S. and work than vice versa, but still, I can understand.  So be it.

I have to start with something pretty momentous; today is my wife Shirley's 50th birthday!  Wow, I am married to a 50-year-old woman.  (I'm turning 50 myself in another month; she's older, but not by much :)  It just doesn't feel right, we can't be that old...  feels like we're, I don't know, 30 something, or something.  I remember feeling the same way when we turned 40.  Anyway we have a nice dinner planned in a few minutes with our kids, should be nice.

BTW, my Midway experience is still with me, and oddly, carrying me through the emotion of turning fifty pretty well...

P.S. No, Shirley doesn't care who knows she's fifty.  When you look as great as she does, you don't have to care.

This is important work: new research shows attractive fathers do not pass on their looks to sons, but do so to their daughters.  So I have four great looking girls, I guess they get their looks from me?  :)  More seriously, if you want good looking kids, you have to marry a good looking wife.  No research study is necessary for that conclusion...

I have to crank out one of my famous* "Ole Votes" blog posts, where I tell you how I voted, and in so doing tell you how to vote :)  Stay tuned.  Of course I'm voting for McCain, but that doesn't matter; I live in California and this is a blue state, as was decided months and years ago.  The electoral college system is bogus but we have it so it is what it is.  There are however a lot of interesting ballot propositions which are closer to home where my vote will matter.  Like Prop 8, the "anti-gay marriage initiative", on which I will definitely vote NO.

*famous = joke, although it is surprising how many people read (and linked) my last one...

We're getting down to it, the last few days in the election.  Gallup has Obama at +2, and Rasmussen at +3, for whatever that's worth (not much!).  I see that McCain has labeled Obama "the redistributor".  That is a good angle (among many others, this issue is a show-stopper for me), but I fear instead of absorbing the message undecided voters will reject it as yet another attack.

Did you know Obama is the world's choice for President?  The Economist, now solidly in the tank, helpfully points this out.  Believe it or not, this matters; my Mom, who has been a U.S. citizen for thirty years, votes primarily based on how she thinks the U.S. President will be perceived by Europeans.  She hates Bush for this very reason, and it guides her vote for Obama.

You know how I always say, "you can find anything on the Internet?"  Well here we have the Eichhorn Nut House, a blog written by Christina Eichhorn from [best I can tell] somewhere in Cleveland, Ohio.  I love it.



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