Archive for the ‘productivity’ Category

Chrome Browser History By Date

April 29, 2014 Leave a comment

If you do not want to install any extensions or plug-ins, there is a way how you can browse your browser history faster. The history frame has the following URL: chrome://history-frame/#page=N, where N is the page number. For example, chrome://history-frame/#page=24. From here you can just try to do a binary search.


RSS Feeds and Bloomberg (and other sites with no RSS)

June 12, 2011 18 comments

For some reason back in 2006 Bloomberg disabled its RSS feeds. So I started to follow Bloomberg less frequently. But Bloomberg offers good news. So I decided to look into this again. Bloomberg still does not offer RSS feeds, but another site does. I found Feed43 (Feed for free).

But first, a couple of words about Bloomberg. It has sites for some keywords –<keyword>. For example, (since I wanted to follow the Belarus financial crisis). It makes it easier to get news on a specific topic.

Now all you have to do is to get an RSS feed out of it. This is where Feed43 helps. It allows you to create a feed from a URL after you describe the URL so it could extract your news. It is free and you do not even have to register to use it.

Here are step by step instructions how to do this with an example:

Step 1: Specify source page address (URL)

  1. Provide a URL:
  2. Specify the encoding in necessary: <leave empty>
  3. Click “Reload”.
  4. It extracts the page contents.
  5. Please note, it removes leading and trailing spaces. This is critical to know when you configure other parameters in the next steps.

Step 2: Define extraction rules.

  1. Provide the Global Search Pattern. This is where your news block starts and ends: <h2>Belarus News</h2>{*}<ul>{%}</ul>
  2. Here the {*} indicates any character, which is used in this case to suppress spaces, {%} indicates the news block itself.
  3. Provide Item (repeatable) Search Pattern. This is the structure of your news item: <li>{*}<h3><a href=”{%}”>{%}</a></h3>{*}<p>{%}</p>{*}</li>
  4. As you can see, here the first {%} stands for the news URL, the second {%} stands for the title, and the third one stands for the news body. These variables will be converted to {%1}, {%2}, and {%3} respectively.
  5. Hit “Extract”.
  6. Now it extracts your news items.

Step 3: Define output format.

  1. RSS feed properties are easy.
  2. Feed Title (should be populated automatically): Belarus News – Bloomberg
  3. Feed Link:
  4. Feed Description: Belarus News – Bloomberg
  5. RSS item properties refer to the variables you extracted.
  6. Item Title Template (news title): {%2}
  7. Item Link Template (news link): {%1}
  8. Item Content Template (news body): {%3}
  9. Click “Preview” and you will see the extracted news.

Step 4. Get your RSS feed.

  1. Feed43 generates you an XML file with your RSS feed, which you can link to in your RSS aggregator.
  2. If you are picky, you can rename your feed.

The concept is very simple and easy to implement. The only missing thing is ability to get a publication date. But it is not always available and it requires a more complex configuration.


Dec 12, 2011 (update): It looks like Bloomberg has changed formatting. I will take a look at it with a couple of days to update the information above. But the purpose of this post was to provide some guidance, not very specific way. Stay tuned.

Dec 14, 2011 (update): One of the blog visitors suggested that this pattern should now work for the news item (step 3): <li>{*}<h3><a href=”{%}”>{%}</a></h3>{*}<p>{%}</p>{*}</li>

Dec 03, 2012 (update): I’ve got a lot of feedback recently that this no longer works. I tested it and it does work. Just use the standard double quote in #3 (Step 2). Do not just copy and paste! For some reason, WordPress tries to be too smart.

Dec 03, 2012 (update 2): Another example: Apple Technology News.

Step 1:
1. URL:

Step 2:

1. <h2>More Apple News</h2>{*}<ul>{%}</ul>

3. <li>{*}<a href=”{%}”{*}>{%}</a>{*}</li>

The rest is the same. Don’t forget there are simple double quotes in #3 above.

Categories: news, productivity, tricks Tags: , , ,

Productivity Tips from Some of the World’s Most Powerful People

February 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Back in 2006 Fortune magazine started a series of articles “Secrets of greatness: How I work” interviewing some of the world’s most powerful people. There is no list on Fortune’s website and search is useless. So I decided to list the articles here. They are in a chronological order.

What Ben Franklin can teach execs (March 9, 2006)

Mini-interviews. Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault (France) and Nissan (Japan), John McCain, U.S. Senator (R-Arizona), Hank Paulson, a former US Secretary of the Treasury, then Goldman’s CEO, and others. There is a link to a slide show at the bottom.  (March 20, 2006)

Bill Gates, when he was chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft. And a more technical edition. (April 7, 2006)

Marc Benioff, CEO of (May 15, 2006)

John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems. (August 21, 2006)

Kerry Killinger, when he was the CEO of Washington Mutual. (April 16, 2007)

Julia Stewart, when she was the CEO of IHOP, now the CEO of DineEquity. (October 15, 2007)

Robert “Bobby” Kotick, CEO of Activision. (October 29, 2007)

Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO. (November 12, 2007)

Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company. (December 6, 2007)

AG Lafley, when he was the CEO of Procter & Gamble (video). (May 19, 2009)

In July 2009, Bill Gates published another article with his productivity tips in the Inside Office Online blog.

If you come across an article I may have missed, please let me know in the comments.

Noteworthy news, Oct 29, 2009

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment

The U.S Department of Defense made another contribution to the open-source community. I think this trend will continue since most (if not all) of DoD systems are not commercial, i.e. DoD does not sell them and, hence, does not get any revenue from them, only spending on maintenance and enhancements. Economically, the DoD move makes total sense. 

And another news, Microsoft extends Windows 7 to open-source developers. This news is  interesting to me in light of my quest to gain in productivity while working on multiple tasks. Microsoft is working with Tasktop Technologies, the primary developer/contributor of Mylyn. Mylyn is a task management system on steroids. I wonder if Tasktop can take the most out of this opportunity with Microsoft and enhance its software to drive user experience for task driven users to the next level.

Missing Feature

September 17, 2009 1 comment

I’m a multitasker. I can switch the context quickly in my head, but switching the context on a computer is a very sluggish process. Think about starting Eclipse… And a couple of other frameworks based on it. And Firefox with multiple tabs. And an email client with a few open relevant emails. And a few other applications you have to log into… And so on. Right, it will take 10 minutes easily for a 10-15 minutes task. It’s a time killer.
It looks like very little is needed – just ability to serialize and deserialize an application/process in an operating system with all open windows and unsaved data to a file. Then if you need to switch from one task to another, you could save your context, close applications (should be done automatically) and start the other task by opening a context file saved previously.
There are some “implementations” available. Firefox can save a session and then restore it (although you are allowed to save only one session per profile which is a drawback). Windows and MacOS has an ability to save a user session and power off the computer, but again, only one session and it just shuts off the computer. This is done at the ACPI driver level. There is a workaround though, you get multiple computers and switch between them, but this is a very expensive option. Another way is to have multiple virtual machines, but this sounds like overkill. Eclipse Mylyn is the closest, but that just of Eclipse only.
Windows is more that 15 years old, but still does not have this feature. Am I asking to much?

Categories: productivity, software