Make sure you look good


For many people, they design on their familiar desktop, publish, and walk away … it’s all good.

And it probably was for the browser that you used to create the document/page that you’re using. But, what about the version of your design as displayed on a phone or a tablet?

If you’re using any of the modern content management systems, you probably are good to go but it’s nice to just check. A new (to me at least) web browser Blisk is worth the download.

Blisk is the first developer-oriented browser. It provides businesses with a development workspace for the teams and freelancers to develop and test modern web applications twice faster.

Blisk is based on the Chromium project so if you’re comfortable with Chrome, Brave, Opera, or Edge, you’re good to go.

Upon launching, it’s worth taking the quick tutorial to get a sense of what the browser will do. The most noticeable thing though is the toolbox on the left part of the screen.

You’ll notice the scrolling and other settings immediately.

Enticingly, there’s a scrolling display of devices. So, if you wanted to know what your work effort might look like on a different device, just select it.

This is what this blog post would look like on a Samsung S6.

Beyond the aesthetics, there are additional features like screen capture, error checking, etc. along with cloud storage.

It’s also a fun little rabbit hole being able to browse the web and see it displayed on two devices at once. Finally, having a wide screen on the computer pays off!

Whole lotta extensions going on


Not related to this topic but I love this song anyway…

The session “There’s an Extension for That” was given by these ladies at the Bring IT, Together Conference.

I’m a sucker for sessions like these.

I firmly believe that owning a browser is just a starting point. You make it “yours” by customising the look and functionality. It makes no difference whether you’re using Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Brave, Vivaldi, or any of the other alternatives. They all browse the web well.

I’m a long time Firefox user and have always thought that you could turn a good experience into a great experience by adding addons that extend the functionality of the browser. I have my favourite collections – devoted to privacy and what I need for functionality.

But, I’m not confident enough that I have the best of the best or that I have them all. I enjoy sessions where people identify what extensions they use and how it makes them productive. I’m not above stealing borrowing a good idea.

That led me to this session, run on Leslie’s laptop, to see what these two presenters felt were important to them. I remember thinking that surely, surely, all of these extensions were loaded on Leslie’s computer just for the sake of the presentation and not that they’re always there!

I like the presentation dynamic that they had. Leslie was seated and operating the computer while Nicole gave us the description of the extension and what they felt was the value for them. The presentation moved along very quickly and if you were taking notes, you might have missed something. Thankfully, they shared their presentation.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1eRxe6lfDs6mKnKtxcHM3bYJTTJ_Jft98JuNG7QcqpYI/edit#slide=id.g35f391192_04

The presentation was done in Chrome but most of the extensions/addons are available for all browsers.

I would encourage you to walk your way through the presentations and see what they’ve identified as their “Best of the best” choices. We can always learn from others. http://bit.ly/BIT19Extensions

Customize your own Google Chrome


 

Warning – slightly geeky post this morning.

But, if you’re a Google Chrome user, I’ll bet you try it at least once!

How many times have you looked for a Google Chrome theme that says “Hey, this is me…” and failed?  You’ll end up going back to the defaults or compromising on something close.

Well, no longer!  Head over to the Google Chrome Store and download “My Chrome Theme“.

It only takes a few seconds … once installed, go ahead and launch the application.

You’re there!

Follow the three steps and you’ve created your own theme.

Step 1 – If you’d like an image on the opening background, upload it from your computer or use your Webcam to take your perfect image.  Read the fine print at the bottom before doing so…your content will be uploaded.  The first time I ran this, I used an image that had already been posted on this blog – the image with Kerry, myself, and David Pogue digging my car out after the big snow storm at the RCAC Symposium a few years ago.  It’s one of my favourites but, for me, a background image really isn’t usable since I use the Incredible StartPage anyway which overwrites the image.

Step 2 – Choose some colours!  Active tab, background tab, background tab bar, background area.  Or, the infamous Google “I’m Feeling Lucky”.

If you know me, you’ll know that there aren’t enough shades of green to keep me happy.  I thought that pinky/orange was a nice contrast.

Step 3 – Install your theme.

If you’re so inclined, share the themes with others.  Just keep in mind the caveat about the images.

Wasn’t that easy?

You now have that perfect theme for yourself.  Or, if you’re using Google Chrome with your class, you could pop an image of the school and populate Chrome with your school colours. Or….