Pro guide to Google searches. Part I

January 28th, 2007
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We all use Google every day, quite a few times a day even and most of us are very pleased with it. But are the results to your searches always that relevant!? Often you find irrelevant results and it takes you longer than it should to find what you want. But is this because of Google’s faulty search algorithms or is it because sometimes our searches can be ambiguous?


Well whatever the case after the Gmail search article I decided to expand the subject a little. I know some things you will find here you already know and some of them might be new for you. Anyway you can consider them as a reminder of what searching on Google really means.

I will start with the basic syntax that I am sure all of you know, but it’s the basis for further more complex syntax. For example:

You can search whole phrases by using quotes like “Rose Chappel” instead of plain Rose Chappel. The first query searches for the Rose Chappel and the second searches for the words Rose and Chappel.

I presume you also know about word exclusion, when you want to exclude a certain term from your search: PS3 -price. This will exclude all the results that contain the word ‘price’. You can do this with phrases also: PS3 -”technical specifications”. Note that there must be no space between ‘-’ and the word to exclude.

What you must know is that Google excludes by default some common terms like I, of, the, etc. If you ever need to make Google include a given term all you need to do is put a ‘+’ in front of it: +the tower. Note that, when words like these are included within a phrase search they are automatically included like: “the tower”.

Now lets talk about some more complex searches whit ‘AND’ & ‘OR’. By default Google includes all the terms in the search but you can specify that one word OR the other should be searched. To do this insert the capitalized OR in your queries: expensive (red OR green) dress. You can also replace the OR with “|” the so called ‘pipe’ symbol. Needless to say that you can use OR with exact phrase searches: “complete idiot”|”total idiot”.

Speaking of synonyms you can ask Google to search synonyms of a certain word you search by using the ‘~’ key. For example: ~wood is going to search for both wood, woods, forest, etc.
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Search Gmail geek-style

January 26th, 2007
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I know what you’ll say, that you can do all this stuff using the ‘Show search options’ button. But if you’re like me and you like doing things simple, quick and using your keyboard then these tips might just be useful.

We all know the search bar in our Gmail accounts that lets us keep track of the e-mails we sent and received over time. Also we all know the advanced menu that helps us find that important e-mail you’re looking for 30 minutes. If you combine the two mentioned above you get the following:

Here are some standard tags to find e-mails, their function can be easily deduced:
- from:
- to:
- subject:
- label:

All you have to do is type it in the search box like so:
from:co_worker@domain.com
or maybe
to:beloved_wife@gmail.com

Another interesting search criteria is ‘filename:’ after it you can add the name of a file attached to a e-mail and better yet you can put there only the extension and it will find all the files with the given extension.

A interesting combination is “in:” and “is:”. It tells Google where to look ( inbox, spam, anywhere but it does not work with the ‘sent’ folder) and is: has several values (starred, unread, read). You can use them separately or you can come up with expressions like:
in:inbox is:unread

There are also several searches I think you will find easy to understand:
before:date (yyyy/mm/dd)
after:date
cc:
bcc:

Now that you know this basic syntax you can evolve using combined searches like:
to:etherfast subject:(hardware OR playstation)
from:etherfast before:2006/01/23 subject:games “WoW” price

There you have it, the possibilities are practically infinite, that’s what I like about Google, it just provides the tools for you to enjoy.


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9 funny versions of Google’s front page

January 20th, 2007

Long live the Photoshop talented users. I have gathered from all over the internet 9 funny Google mock-ups I liked. I’ll say nothing more, and I’ll let you enjoy the images and their description. Click the thumbnails to enlarge the photos.

Google Despair – The search engine for the irretrievably lost. Search for your youth, innocence, brain cells or for general sanity. Any search is hopeless in despair. gdespair
Google Ex-Girlfriends – Hookup search engine. Google is not responsible for divorces, separations, unplanned children or murders that result from using the service ghookup
Google Media Finder – RIAA edition. Do you dare searching for copyrighted materials? Sue me now. gmedia

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The 7 hidden pages within your Firefox browser

January 18th, 2007
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I found myself staring at the “about:blank” parameter for an IE installation today, and that got me thinking if it works in other browsers too. It did. I’m using Firefox, and that cleared the address bar to a blank. And then I figured the developers HAD to include some more address bar commands and started looking them up. Here’s what I found:

about: A simple prompt without any parameter will display the Mozilla “about” information. Since it’s accessible from the top menus as well, it’s not quite a hidden feature.

about:buildconfig Obviously, it will show the build platform configuration and parameters

about:cache Will display info and statistics regarding your disk’s cache, including the name of your cache’s directory and a list of the entries you can find there. By default, Firefox doesn’t allow you to view the cached webpages, so this can be an useful option.

about:config Oh look, many many info. Indeed, it’s the most complex and meaningful of them all. Careful on what you plan to change here, your browser won’t run properly after if you play with the wrong things.

about:plugins Of course, what is Firefox without it’s powerful extensions? This option will display detailed information about all the plugins installed for Mozilla Firefox.

about:credits It’s time to give the credit to whoever deserves it. There’s an alphabetically sorted list of all the people that gave their contribution to the development of Firefox.

about:Mozilla This is a weird thing. It will display the so-called “Book of Mozilla”. Something similar was present in Netscape too. There’s actually no real book although the quotations might give you that impression.

Have fun browsing through your browser’s internal features.


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Beautiful high resolution wallpapers for every personality

January 3rd, 2007

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I strongly believe in computer personalization. Tag your computer to reflect your personality and your attitude. Since the first thing you see when you turn on your computer is your desktop, start with a nice, beautiful high-resolution wallpaper.

Personally I’ve been always having issues in finding a decent wallpaper via any search engine, especially when I bought a 21″ LCD and I was using a 1600×1200 screen resolution. Therefore, I took the liberty of browsing the web and gathered a few websites that just WORTH adding to your search list when looking for a trendy wallpaper.
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Gmail storage space stops growing

January 2nd, 2007

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As some of you might have noticed the storage space for Gmail stopped increasing since January 1st 2007. In April 2005 Google made the leap from 1G to 2G and the growth never stopped since then. As those who watch carefully stated the storage quota increased with about 0.33 MB a day ever since.

It’s said that the sudden stop occurred due to the omission of the code that increase the storage quota after 31 December 2006. This might be true for we know Google to be quite lavish with storage space but it remains to be seen how quick will the problem be solved and how much is the storage limit going to increase after all.


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Funny exit interview at Verizon

December 20th, 2006

Im sure most of you know what an exit interview is. Its an interview that a person takes after leaving his job. If you are into something funny right now, take a few minutes and see these pictures that are describing an exit interview at Verizon, a well known ISP. I took the liberty of posting this for you, as I happen to work in Customer Care.

Enjoy ;)
(click image to enlarge)

verizon1verizon2verizon3

verizon4 verizon5verizon6





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