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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Find And Fix The Hogs On Your Site Using YSlow Firefox Add-On

YSLow LogoPeople may argue about the definition of a good website from the aesthetic point of view. But technically speaking, speed is one of the requirements of a great website. So, if you are a website owner who wants to keep your visitor happy, it’s important to have your site(s) always on the fast lane.
There are many factors that can influence the loading speed of a website. Analyzing and fixing the problems one by one could be a nightmare for non-geeks who happens to have one or two websites. But luckily, there’s YSlow – a Firefox add-on which will help even the most common users of technology to easily track down the hogs on their websites.

Get, Install, And Set Up The Add Ons

You can install YSlow by using the search function in Firefox’s Add-ons Manager, or you could also get it straight from YSlow page.
YSLow Add-ons Manager
And after installation, you can see the logo on Firefox’ lower bar. Clicking on it will activate the Add-on.
YSLow Installed
However, please note that you have to install and activate Firebug prior to using YSlow. And if you are Firefox 4 beta users, you currently can’t use YSlow because the latest version of Firebug (at the time of writing) is only compatible with Firefox 3.x.
YSLow Enable Firebug on the page
If everything is set, click YSlow button while the website that you want to analyze is in focused. YSlow will open as one of the tabs of Firebug. You can choose the option to always run YSlow each time a web page is loaded, but ordinary users who only want to analyze one or two sites should use manual process by clicking the “Run Test” button.
Firebug - YSlow Ready
There are several ruleset of test that you can use depending on what kind of website that you have. Most of us amateur blogger might want to use the “Small Site or Blog” ruleset.
YSLow Ruleset List
You can also edit the sets by clicking the “Edit” button next to the ruleset drop down menu. Then you can include/exclude elements of the set. You can get more information about an item by hovering your mouse over it.
YSLow Edit Ruleset

The Test Result

After clicking the “Run Test” button, YSlow will start analyzing your site. A short moment later, it will present you the complete result with overall grades, individual grades and short notes about each items.
YSLow Test Result - Grade
You can learn more about a particular item by clicking on the “Read More” link.
YSLow Test Result - Examples
You can also filter the result based on the categories.
YSLow Test Result - Filter by
Next to the “Grade” tab is the “Components” tab. This is the place to see the breakdown list of components that weighing down the page that you analyze.
YSLow Test Result - Components
The “Statistics” tab will show you the result in a more graphical manner. You can quickly compare the size of each components just by looking at the graph.
YSLow Test Result - Statistics

Tools Of The Trade

After the analyzing comes the fixing phase. YSlow provides its users with a set of tools to improve your websites’ performance. But please remember that YSlow goes only as far as giving you suggestions of the optimized elements of your websites. You still have to manually edit those components yourself – replacing the old ones with the optimized versions suggested by YSlow.
YSLow Tools
For example. you could click on the “All JS Minified” link to get more compact and smaller script. Then login to your web host and use those minified scripts to replace the ones that you use on your site.
YSLow Minified JavaScript
But the tool that I think would be most useful to most of us is the This tool will optimized the images found on the page that you analyze so that those images will be smaller and more fit for the web.
YSLow Smushed
Click the “All” link and let do the rest. After the process is done, you can download the smushed images and use them to replace the ones that you use on the web page.
YSLow Smushed Images
The tool also allows you to upload images from your hard drive and optimize them. This will be very useful to compress the size of images before using them for the web.
YSLow Upload images to smush
Be warned though that will rename the files and use plus (+) sign to replace spaces. Some sites doesn’t allow you to use non-standard characters for file name and your optimized images might not show up properly. So you might want to rename the optimized images before uploading them to the web.
There are many more aspects of YSlow that can’t be fit described here. For more information, you could visit YSlow User Guide.
WordPress blogs owners could also try 3 more methods to lighten the load and speed up their blogs.
Have you tried YSlow? Do you know other tools to analyze and fix the hogs on your websites? Share your thoughts and opinions using the comment below.

How To Block Specific Programs In Windows 7

applocker-iconAppLocker is a new Windows 7 feature that will allow you to control the usage of your computer’s applications. Just a quick list of things you can do with this new function:
  • Restrict apps to inexperience users: How many times have you lost an entire day because your children have clicked on the wrong button?
  • Limit your own usage of an application: Sometimes you need to stay focus and do your work, so why not block out the unnecessary noises?
  • In a corporate environment this can be your best friend to control the usage of programs.
In this tutorial, we will show you how to block the usage of Microsoft Excel 2010 by an user. You can use the same trick for any other apps. Applocker can accomplish more complicated tasks, but we are not going into every single details.

Note: Applocker will only work in Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise.

First you need to find this feature. Open the Start menu and type gpedit.msc in the search field.
Go to Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Application Control Policies an select Executable Rules:
On the right pane, right click and select Create Default Rules:
You will see three fields all with the “Allowed” permission. This will allow every user to run every program.
Right click your mouse and select Create New Rule:
A wizard will appear. Select Skip this page by default. Press Next.
In this case we want to deny the access to an application for an user, so select “Deny”.
Type the user you want to restrict, you can also select everyone. In this case I restrict a user named “user“.
After that press Next:
Now we are only going to block an executable. As you can see there are several possibilities. Select “File hash” in this case.
Now you browse for Microsoft Excel:
Go to c:\program files\microsoft office\office14:
Press Next:
Select Create:
It might take some time for Applocker to work. The best way is to reboot your system.
Now, everytime you try to launch Excel, you will see the following image:

Published by Arshak...........

Weekly Wrap-up: Google Releases Gingerbread and Nexus S, Beautify KDE Desktop, Ubuntu One For Windows And Many More..

This week, we show you how to block specific programs in Windows 7, setup automatic email reminders, read articles more comfortably in Safari, create your own private social communities and many more…

5 Most Popular Articles Of The Week

1. 7 Ways to Beautify Your KDE 4 Desktop
2. Minecraft Tips and Tricks for Newbies
3. Step by Step Guide To Install Windows XP Mode In Windows 7
4. A Quick Look At Ubuntu One For Windows Public Beta
5. Join.Me: Start A Remote Desktop Sharing Session With Anyone

Poll of the week

How Much Are You Willing to Pay For A Mobile Application?

Video of the week

What is the whole world searching in 2010?

News of the week

1. Google releases Nexus S and Gingerbread
After much waiting, Google has finally released Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) together with the second generation of Google phone – Nexus S.
2. Gmail for Android now supports priority inbox and improved composing
When Google released Priority Inbox for Gmail app, they promised to make it available everywhere. With the latest update of Gmail app for Android, it now comes with priority inbox and better composing.
3. Gmail priority inbox helps people to spend 15% less time on reading emails
I am sure you won’t notice it. According to Google, the latest priority inbox feature in Gmail has helped most of its users save up to 15% of the time spent reading emails. Are you experiencing better productivity?
4. Chrome webstore and OS and is almost ready.
While the Chrome OS is almost completed, it is still not quite ready for the market yet. In order to enable the public to test it, Google decides to give away free netbook (loaded with Chrome OS. Not everyone can get it though, you will have to register your interest over here.
5. Apple quietly drops iOS jailbreak detection API
Apple has previously added a jailbreak detection feature in its iOS, with the intention to detect and deter people from jailbreaking their iPhone. However, in the latest version of iOS, Apple has quietly drops the jailbreak detection API. Is this a hint that Apple has started to accept (and maybe embrace) jailbreaking act? Only Steve knows.
6. Apple Ramps Up Song Previews in iTunes to 90 Seconds
It used to be only 30 seconds, but Apple has now ramps up the song previews to 90 seconds in iTunes.
7. Google Instant for mobile now available globally
We have gone through the length to teach you how to use Google Instant in your smart phone, but that won’t be necessary anymore because Google Instant for mobile is now available globally. Simply load up your browser, head to and you will get Google Instant instantly.
8. IE9 Introduces new tracking protection feature
Internet Explorer 9 will ship with a new tracking protection feature to identify and block many forms of undesired tracking as well as enable end-users to control which third-party site can track them when they’re online.

Other useful How-to articles

1. Enable the Default Web Apps in Chrome 8
2. How to Add Google Documents to the Windows Explorer “New” Menu
3. How to Add Any Application to the Windows Desktop Right-Click Menu
4 .How To Stop Programs From Automatically Opening When You Start Your Mac
5. How To Use Google Reader As A Bookmarking Service

Software of the week

1. Viber – Makes Free iPhone Calls Over 3G and Wi-Fi [iPhone only]
2. Epistle – a simple text editor that can sync all your notes to Dropbox. [Android only]
3. Prospector – Instant Preview – Get Google Instant like preview in Firefox’s Awesome bar. [Firefox 4 only]
4. Cortex – share web content to your friends and family easily. [Chrome only]
5. DropDAV – access Dropbox without the Dropbox app..
That’s all for the wrap-up for this week. If you have any tips, tricks or any topics you think we should include, feel free to email us at tips [at]
Image credit: dichohecho

Related Posts:

Weekly Wrap-up: Google Releases Gingerbread and Nexus S, Beautify KDE Desktop, Ubuntu One For Windows And Many More… originally published on MakeTech Easier (RSS)
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Posted: 12 Dec 2010 05:00 AM PST
stop-autorefresh-mainImagine, you are reading a web page, or are playing a flash game, then suddenly the page refreshes itself and you have to do your reading (or play the game) from the start again. Annoying, isn’t it? Some sites update their content frequently, so the webmaster add the auto-refresh function to ensure their readers get the most updated content. Some just add it to increase their ad impression. From the end-user point of view, I find this to be very disruptive, a complete waste of time and consume unnecessary bandwidth.
The auto-refresh function can be implemented either with the HTML META tag <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="600">, or with javascript. For javascript auto-refresh function, you can use adblock extension to disable javascript for that website. For the HTML Meta auto-refresh, it can only be disabled if the browser supports it. Let’s see how we can disable it in Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Disable Auto Refresh in Firefox

In Firefox, go to Preferences -> Advanced. In the General tab, check the box “Warn me when the web sites try to redirect or reload the page“.

Disable Auto Refresh in Internet Explorer

In IE 7 & 8, go to “Tools -> Internet Options -> Security“, click on the Custom Level button.
Scroll down the list until you see the entry “Allow META REFRESH”. Select “Disable”
It is understandable that some websites update frequently, so the auto-refresh function will enable its readers to get the latest content.

Disable Auto Refresh in Opera

In Opera, go to “Preferences -> Advanced” and click on the “Network” entry. Uncheck the box “Enable Automatic Redirection”.

Chrome and Safari

At the moment, Chrome and Safari do not come with any feature to disable the HTML Meta auto-refresh tag. We will update this as soon as it become available.

 Published By Arshak................