Recently, I started having problems viewing certain HD QuickTime links. Before, I could click on the link to the HD trailer (480, 720, or 1080) and the QuickTime window would open and the trailer would start to load. Somewhere along the line, that changed. I’m not sure if developers are linking the content differently or if Firefox or QuickTime changed their loading structure, but .qtl links were not working in Firefox (or IE for that matter).

When clicked, the link would present the SAVE or OPEN dialog. Selecting open would open a small QuickTime window, with no content. Saving the file and then opening it produced the same results. After watching one or two non-HD trailers, I had to find a solution and here it is.

If you are presented with a SAVE/OPEN dialog box when clicking a .qtl QuickTime HD link, simply save the .qtl and change the extension to .TXT. Open the resulting text file and you should see the direct link to the HD trailer. Open up QuickTime. Select File -> Open URL (CTRL + U) and paste in the URL and you’re ready to go. Welcome back HD QuickTime goodness.

For instance, the following link:

Links to this, when saved:

Well, at least one student does.

I understand where he’s coming from, really, I do. I’ve complained here (and at my old job) that things would be so much easier if Firefox were the default browser, instead of IE.

But, the reality of the situation is in most cases the switch cannot be made. I try to make everything I develop work just as well on Firefox as it does in IE, but not every developer follows those rules. Universities and businesses all use outside applications. Portal systems, ticket systems, Exchange servers. Many of those systems simply do not work well with Firefox.

Firefox doesn’t display all the functionality of MS Exchange when using it online. Firefox doesn’t support Window’s domain authentication (it send passwords in unencrypted text). Many web portals (especially academic ones) do not pass information correctly in Firefox.

That leaves the question, where does the responsibility lie. Should Firefox develop future versions with support for those features in mind or should application and software developers ensure Firefox support with future releases? There’s no easy answer, which means there is no easy solution. However, with Firefox (and other browsers) gaining users every day, it’s a question which will continue to come up.

Yet another reason to love Firefox, and one that I didn’t stumble across until recently.

If there are a few sites that you search regularly, you can add them right into Firefox and access them directly from the address bar.

For example, to search wikipedia, in the address bar, I’ll type w Spider-Man and Firefox will search wikipedia and pull up the results. Just right-click any search box on any site and select “Add a Keyword for this Search.” When the Add Bookmark window pops up, just enter in the Site Name and the Keyword you want to use to when searching.

You can download (right-click and “save as”) the 10-15 Quick Searches I have setup and import them into Firefox. You’ll be ready to go in no time. The ones I use the most, I have set to one or two letters. Simply type CTRL + L to access the address bar and enter your terms and off you go.

Here are the ones I use frequently:

Type “aad <search term >” to search
Acronym Finder Quick Search
Type “acronym <acronym>” to look up what an acronym stands for in Acronym Finder.
Type “am <product name>” to look up an item on Amazon.
Type “d <word>” in the addressbar to perform a dictionary look-up.
Type “dru <search term>” to search
Type “e <item>” to find something up for auction at Ebay.
Flickr Quick Search
Type “f <search term>” to search all the tags, titles and descriptions of images at photo-sharing site Flickr.
Froogle Quick Search
Type “froogle <product name>” to look up a product on shopping search engine Froogle.
Google Maps Quick Search
Type “map <address>” to get a Google map of a street address or location.
Type “g <search term>” in the addressbar to perform a Google search.
Google Image
Type “gi <search term>” to find images that match using Google Image Search.
Type “i <search term>” to search
Ninja Search
Type “n <search term>” to search Ninja
Technorati Quick Search
Type “tech <search term>” to see what weblogs are posting about a topic.
Thesaurus Quick Search
Type “thes <word>” to find words with similar meanings in a thesaurus.
Wikipedia Quick Search
Type “w <search term>” to look it up in Wikipedia.
Type “yt <search term>” to search YouTube

The best thing about Firefox 2.0 (in my opinion) is the built in spell check. No more composing in Word and pasting into a text box, or misspelling words because you typed a quick post in the browser.

It comes in handy at work, where we constantly enter text into our development tool (Zentrack). My only complaint is that it only checked Text Areas and not all input fields…

Well, to fix that, just type about:config in the URL area of a Firefox window and then change the following value:

  • layout.spellcheckDefault = 2 turns on Firefox 2’s spell-checking in input fields as well as text areas.

Check out Lifehacker for more great Firefox 2.0 tweaks.