Tag Archives: hci

Get more space for websites on Firefox

When I’m using a web browser it’s because I want to surf the web. Pretty obvious, isn’t it? Apparently it is not as obvious as I thought. Almost all browsers have thousands of useful features allowing you to get contextual information, see where you’ve been before or what other users think about the site you’re browsing. That’s not my case. If I go to Gmail, I want to see Gmail. Not what others think about Gmail, not the last webpage I’ve been or other things, just Gmail.

In order to maximise the browsing space, you can do a couple of tricks on Firefox:

  • Hide your Menu Bar (you can access it by pressing ALT at any time if you need it). Just go to View -> Toolbars -> Navigation Bar


Now you’ve plenty of pace for your websites 🙂

18 buttons mouse, is it too much?

Have you heard anything about the OpenOffice Mouse? Basically it’s a mouse with 18 button and they say it’ll be the most useful mouse ever.

OpenOffice Mouse

OpenOffice Mouse

I’ve a keyboard (surprised? :P), but it’s not a plain keyboard, it’s a multimedia one, which means that it has a few extra keys to control a media player, and some other things. I’ve to admit that its 13 extra buttons are useful but they’re always pissing me off. My keyboard is not the only one I’ve to use, I’ve a laptop and I’ve to use computers on campus and so on. The problem is that normally those keyboards also have multimedia keys… but in different places.

As a result I have to look to the keyboard and look for the appropriate key. In other words, I’m losing the advantage of having a fast access.

I’m just wondering, are this fancy mice really useful? Can they simplify our interaction, or are they just another well intentioned tool with a poor design? According to their web site the buttons will do different things depending on the application. As an engineer I can see why, as a user I’ll throw it away when the “Copy” button (in OpenOffice) will try to do something else on my desktop.

Apple has a very different approach, Magic Mouse. It has no buttons at all. All its surface is a multi-touchpad.

Apple Magic Mouse

Apple Magic Mouse

Honestly, which one would you prefer?