Firefox Quantum New Tab Page “Fix”

If you’re like me, using Firefox’s “New Tab” page like a speed dial for your most common sites, then the update to Firefox 57 “Quantum” left you rather miffed – the most frequently used sites are rendered in tiny thumbnails (hey, I’m not getting any younger…), and even when you disable the “activity stream” nonsense, they’re not getting bigger. I really like the speed of FF 57, but that’s really one annoying new feature.

Thankfully, there’s an easy fix, namely typing about:config into the address bar, searching for browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.enabled and setting it to “false” – hey presto, the old New Tab look is back. Phew!

 

Croton setigerus aka Dove Weed, Turkey Mullein, through hand lens, August 2017.

Hand Lens Macros

I bought a little 10x magnification hand lens for nature observation – and of course I had to put it in front of the phone camera’s lens to see how that would work. It produces some sort of quirky Lensbaby-like close-up/macro photos. Nothing serious, but fun to play with. 🙂 Gallery with eight photos: Continue reading “Hand Lens Macros”

Read Later with Drafts

If you’re “living in a mixed platform environment” like I do, using a mobile device from Apple but not an Apple desktop or laptop (or the other way around), you may have run into the scenario where you find an interesting article on Twitter or wherever else that you don’t want to read right now on the tiny phone screen but later, on a larger screen. Or you want to keep some link for later. Now how do you get that link from your phone to your computer?

My solution is email. I don’t send myself an email though – I simply create drafts. On iOS I tap share, then email, then cancel. A little requester pops up then, asking me whether I want to keep the draft or discard it. I tap keep, and that’s it. I don’t even need to select an email recipient. Just 4 taps on the screen. On the desktop, all I have to do is open my email drafts later, and there’s the stuff I wanted to read.

This doesn’t require the Reading List (confined to the Apple world), Pocket, Bookmarking, or any other service. The drafts are easily deleted, or forwarded to another person. It may be mundane but I like the simplicity of my method. 🙂

Walking In My Shoes

I guess if you’ve been a teen/adolescent/young adult in the 80ies and 90ies, there was no way around Depeche Mode. 1991’s “Violator” marks the peak of the “classic” DM sound, and is probably their best album – it concludes their original “electronic” phase and “Enjoy the Silence” would be a good candidate for my “songs to play loud” series but instead, my pick is from the album that followed, “Songs Of Faith And Devotion”, which marked a departure from the synth-heavy DM sound, introducing guitars and an overall grungier sound. Continue reading “Walking In My Shoes”

The Meadow

Growing up in one of the sprawling suburbs of Munich, in a townhome with neighbors left and right, there was a nearby open and flat meadow, west of Pucchinistraße (Pucchini Street). It was undeveloped, and tall grass grew there in the summer. A couple of narrow use trails connected one end with the other (and probably diagonally too). We rode our bikes there in spring and caught grasshoppers, and flew our kites in autumn, running along the trail to get the kite high up enough to catch the breeze. Continue reading “The Meadow”

I really loved Harold

It may perhaps be considered blasphemous 🙂 to add a cover version of a Melanie classic to my compilation of songs to play loud but I think that even die-hard Melanie fans will agree that Emiliana Torrini’s interpretation of Melanie’s “I really loved Harold” (link goes to the original, on YouTube) has something to it – the difference for me is in the refrain especially, and its instrumentation in the cover version: together with Torrini’s voice, it has an impact that makes me crank up the volume every time: Continue reading “I really loved Harold”

Neurodancer

On a recent “trip down memory lane” to some good old EBM I listened to the “Neurodancer” version of Front 242’s “Tragedy For You” again for the first time in years and boy, what a track. Truly one for my “songs to play loud” series. 🙂 Continue reading “Neurodancer”