E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Hardly Any Time But…

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

I know that today I have hardly had any time for weblogging a bit. But do not worry, there is a reason for it. I have been having a day off from work and since it was a delightful day outside I decided to go with some friends and check out the island and we have been driving around the island for over 7 hours with breaks here and there. But the most amazing thing is that we have been able to take some of the most stunning and beautiful pictures I have taken in a long while. So much so that I run out of disk space for both digital camera cards. I have one of 256MB and another one of 32MB and both of them are full with pictures. Roughly about 115 high quality pictures, when normally I would take between 50 to 60 pictures in trips like this one.

But I tell you, it has been so wonderful that I am just shocked at how much beauty I have seen throughout the different villages we have visited, the different landscapes, etc. etc. I am going to spend some time now to put them together in my Flickr account. But get ready because they are going to rock. At least, from what I have seen in the camera itself most of them are a superb bunch of high quality pictures with some superb scenes.

When I moved over here, to Gran Canaria, a little bit over a year now, I never thought I would be surprised so often and so much by the island’s diversity, the different people living in it and the superb mini-continent atmosphere. But don’t worry you will get to see that very shortly. I need to get going now and get ready for the weekend but I will share some of the pictures over the next couple of days. You will see what I mean with mini-continent and breathtaking pictures !

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GMail Tips – The Complete Collection

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Earlier on today I mentioned how I am currently using my GMail account in combination with Opera’s M2 as a very effective way of handling e-mail and escaping all those unsolicited e-mails I tend to receive on a regular basis. However, there are times when I am travelling and just cannot take my notebook(s) with me, therefore I cannot use Opera to store my mail, but I would still like to check e-mail every now and then to see what is happening with friends and family. So for those times where I need to have access to mail regardless of the browser I may be using I tend to use GMail to process the e-mails and it is then when web sites like this one become really helpful.

Gmail Tips – The Complete Collection is just basically that. A very good introduction on how you can get the most out of your GMail account, whether you are using Opera, Internet Explorer, whatever. So if you are travelling around and do not have access to your own computers and cannot afford taking with you any other gadget to access your POP mail it will certainly become handy.

Then when you get back and you fire GM2ail you know that all the e-mails you have processed will now be stored in your local machine and therefore ready to be searched and revisited in combination with the mails already existing in your hard drive. Pretty neat I would say, so for those folks out there who may have a GMail account and who would like to know a little bit more of how they can best use the account check out the Gmail Tips – The Complete Collection.

I am sure there will be a chance you will learn something new you did not know before. And if not, it is equally good as a refresher, for certain. At least, it was for me.

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Handling E-Mail with GM2ail

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Over at 30 Days to becoming an Opera8 Lover Tim has been talking on Day 11 about Opera Mail (M2) and I thought I would comment on it for a few minutes. I am not sure what is the obsession that everybody seems to be having to just use one e-mail client for everything in order to process mail. For example, for Opera users it would be M2, for IE users M$ Outlook and for FireFox users Thunderbird. I can understand that people would want to just use a single approach towards handling e-mail. But what would you do if you would have the possibility of handing e-mail in a very efficient and effective way using multiple e-mail components to process your e-mail with a single user interface? Wouldn’t you go for it ?

I did. I am using GM2ail. A combination of M2 and GMail. I have been using M2 all along for as long as I have been using Opera and I love it ! But I can tell you (and this would be no surprise to anybody out there) that there is nothing more that I hate than getting unsolicited e-mails (a.k.a. SPAM) on a hourly basis. Thank goodness Opera has got some really good filters available that will make your e-mail experience a lot more enjoyable.

However, every now and then there are still some unsolicited e-mails that get through and that I need to handle still in my M2 inbox. So after a long wait (Remember when Opera did not work very good with GMail? Or when GMail did not offer POP access?) I was really looking forward to trying out GMail now that both issues were fixed once and for all. And from that moment onwards I have yet to see the first unsolicited e-mail that hits my Opera M2 client.

On top of the filters I am using in M2 I am also using the Spam options within GMail, in order to reduce drastically the huge amount of spam I get on a daily basis. And believe or not it just works. As I said I no longer get any spam messages and all the e-mail that comes through is the e-mail I need to handle. So I am thinking, why do people insist in just using the best of one world, when you can use the best of both worlds: Opera’s M2 and GMail. That is, GM2ail.

I wouldn’t change this method in handling e-mail for nothing else at the moment. So much so that all the other private e-mail accounts I used to have are now forwarding the e-mail to my GMail account. Then I configure M2 with the POP details from my main account and off it goes. E-mails are coming through just fine, but only those e-mails I need, everything else is left out. So instead of just utilising the best of one world I decided to utilise the best of both worlds and so far it has worked so well that my original aversion to e-mail is almost gone. I am sure that as things improve even more those issues I had against e-mail will be gone for good. And all that thanks to GM2ail.


Oh, I nearly forgot, if there is anybody out there who hasn’t got a GMail account but would love to have one to give it a try just drop a comment here or send me an e-mail and I will send over an invite. Or, alternatively, you could check out isnoop.net gmail invite spooler, where you just need to key in a code, place the e-mail address you would want to receive the invite in and click on Request Invite. Within minutes the invitation will be in your inbox, ready to go and set up your own account. Have fun !

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Will You Ever Switch Over ?

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

I have finally made it. I have finally been able to read Internet Explorer improvements come to light (IE 7.0 will have improved support for CSS and PNG Web standards) and I must say that after having finished the article it got me thinking, not to worry, just for a minute or two, not much more, if once the next release from Internet Explorer goes live I would still be using Opera or not. IE is promising again lots of goodies on the next version of IE, trying to keep up with the competition of other popular browsers like FireFox or even Opera but something tells me that it will fail to deliver, once again, on listening to what end-users are asking for: Web standards support, usability and accessibility.

So we will have for certain a newer version of IE but I wouldn’t be so sure that it would still be able to compete in those same areas with what Opera (and maybe FireFox) is doing. Certainly, it will be something to watch out for but one thing for sure is that even when it goes live Opera will still rule in my machines. I may be enticed to try it out for a week or so and see how it goes, but I already know that if IE cannot keep up with Opera’s innovation it will not stand a chance with my default web browser.

So how about you ? Will you consider migrating to the newest version of IE once it becomes available? Or will you stick around with Opera? I think I already know the answer and it will probably be the same one as mine. Good try, IE, but not good enough. Maybe next time around. Opera rules in this house !

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Keeping Yourself At the Top Is not Always That Difficult, Is It?

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Specially when you read through the Q&A session that Opera’s CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner, held not long ago, and you find gems like this one:

Question from Roger: “How do you cope with being the top innovator in the field of browser features, usability and flexibility while in the same time being copied soon after release without proper credit, even by open source projects?”

Answer from Jon: “Interesting question, Roger. Being innovative is a lot of fun. The reality is that only some features have been copied. Others are probably too hard. I remember being at an accessibility conference some seven years ago. I demonstrated some of the accessibility functions in Opera, including zooming. A Microsoft guy started to ask a lot of questions about how we had managed to do it. Eventually he came up to me, looked me in the eyes and told me they were going to copy this. seven years later, they have not been able to and neither has any other browser vendor that I know of. This is just one of many functions. I also believe a lot of the functionality we have made works better in Opera, than in other browsers that have tried to copy what we have done.”

Isn’t zooming great or what? You would expect that such a lovely feature like zooming would be incorporated in other browsers right away, specially since there is a real need for it. Yet, throughout the years no other web browser has managed to do it at all, and even when they do it I doubt it would be as simple and effective as what Opera does. Just a simple + or a or a * would do. I never thought I would be liking this feature so much as I am doing lately where more and more web sites seem to be using very small fonts in order to get more information on a single page, or just simply those other well known web sites that just do not seem to let Opera render well and yet they give you the output in very small characters. Well, a single keystroke and there it goes. I can sit back and read it again without any further issues or without thinking that my eyesight is going to hurt after a while.

As I mentioned earlier on, Opera is all about innovation but some times it is just going beyond what we, end-users, would be asking from a web browser and for that we should be very grateful, to say the least. I am glad Opera developers keep pushing the barriers towards improving the web browsing experience because with features like zooming we are off to keep on enjoying browsing the web with the least effort possible but taking the most out of it ! Nice ! Very nice !

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FireFoxOpera – Who Would Have Thought That …?

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

… Just when you finish up reading controversial weblog posts like this one: opera moving in the firefox direction you end up bumping into web sites like this one: Firefox Experiments With Keyboard Navigation or this entire weblog: FirefoxOpera – Getting Firefox to emulate Opera…. Doesn’t it make you wonder who is actually getting it right?

From this piece of news we can conclude that FireFox is trying to figure out how they can start using the keyboard to navigate through web sites (without using a mouse). Nice, very nice, but Opera has been doing this for years now ! So it is not just “Opera, which just revved to version 8, has a similar feature.“, actually, Opera invented that particular feature. So who is following whom ?

But hang on because it gets better… Much better. In this particular weblog: FirefoxOpera – Getting Firefox to emulate Opera… you will have quite a few very well thought out and put together weblog posts that would help you make your FireFox become very close to that of Opera. If not check out the extensive list of Extensions available that will help try to emulate what Opera does. Amazing, eh? All those extensions, which require some additional download of components, is actually something Opera comes up with on the initial install. So no more fuss around it than just a single one time installation.

But apart from the extensions themselves you can also find a whole bunch of different hints & tips that will show you how folks can make their FireFox much more similar to how Opera works, in order to improve their web experience because as Clarifying the objective behind this weblog states:

“I don’t wish to start another Opera vs Firefox discussion over here, since I believe is that both browsers have their own merits and it’s impossible to compare them on common grounds. However, since it is far easier to add new functions into Firefox (via extensions), we are therefore able to bring some of Opera’s best features into Firefox and make it even better than what it is at the moment.”

I guess after reading through that and the weblog itself I think I am going to look differently at the initial weblog post I mentioned earlier on. Opera may be trying to emulate FireFox but it is actually Opera that is helping improve the FireFox web browsing experience. So now it is your choice to go for one or the other. I made up my mind a long while ago and I am still sticking to it… Opera rules !

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