Sunday, August 9, 2009

Creating an Offline Home Page

Most people have google as their home page. And it's cool if you are a guy who just makes a google search about that thing which he needs to buy, checks his emails once in a while, and checks scraps at orkut.
But what if you are a person who has multiple blogs, twitter accounts, facebook, myspace and hi5 profiles; and you need to check your earnings at adsense or adbrite, the statistics of your blog at analytics, your broadband usage, your email account at hotmail, your unread feeds in google reader, the latest cricket scores, and your girlfriend's scrapbook to see whom she is chatting with?
And you don't want to forget doing any of these?

Do you know that I do all that without ever having to type a letter in the address bar, and not even an extra click in the Bookmarks folder.

That is what an offline home page has done to me. It has worked as a to-do list as well as a bookmarks folder, at the same time helping me saving a lot of time ease-wise.

Want to try one? Here's help.

The first step is knowing a bit of html.
hyperlinks work with a simple html tag "<a>...</a>". The page to which it is linked is shown by "href". And the text which should be shown in blue is written in between the "<a>" and "</a>".
That is, if you want to link to Change, the html tag will be "<a href="">go to Change</a>
and it will show up like this:
go to Change
Learn more about linking here, and practice linking here.

Now, that is all the background information you need. (Actually you need not even that. But when it gets messy with underlines getting under every wrong word, you will actually need those.)

Now, you need to create an HTML file with all the links you have. For this you can use Notepad, or MS Word or anything that suits the purpose.
In Notepad, you will have to type out the html tags one by one and it will soon turn out to be a cumbersome task. So, it is better to use MS Word or such softwares that has features which allow easy linking.

And to make things even simpler, you can use gmail or blogger too. If you are a blogger, create a new post (which you can discard later). Or in gmail, compose a new mail. Now copy those links you need. When copying take note of one thing you can actually select a linked text and press Ctrl + C and then paste it into your mail, post or MS Word document and the text will be pasted with the hyperlink remaining intact. That is, when you copy Change and paste it, it will automatically be linked.

To make the best of this feature I am giving a few links applicable to anyone, which you can just copy and save time.

Myspace Facebook Hi5 Blogger Orkut Twitter
Google Yahoo! Torrentz
Gmail Hotmail
Flickr Youtube
eBay Amazon
Wikipedia Wikibooks
adsense adbrite
Cricinfo live cricket score
Blank Page
(Now, a part of that, I took from the start page of Green Browser, which is an excellent online alternative to this offline home page)

Now, if you use orkut
Orkut Scrapbook Communities
Now don't forget to add to that the scrapbooks of your dearest friends, or the forums of your favourite communities

And if facebook,
Facebook Profile Inbox

If you have many blogs, add similar links to new post, edit posts, edit layout, view blog, etc.
Similarly add links to all those pages you visit once a week at least.

Now is the bit tricky part. If you used MS Word for creating this you can just save it and set it as your home page. But what if you used Gmail, or Blogger? Of course you can copy from them again and paste it to MS word and save it. But a far better alternative is to use the "Save Frame As..." option found in the file menu of Mozilla Firefox. (Oh, aren't you using Firefox, then switch to it immediately). By saving the frame, you save only the text box in which you typed in the links. And thus you get exactly what you want.

Now, don't forget to add Change to your offline home page

Related Posts:
How to Make Sure That You Blog Daily or Regularly

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