Scott Hanselman

Bosom Buddies: How to make Google Chrome use Microsoft Bing for Search

June 1, '09 Comments [27] Posted in Musings
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image Microsoft's new Search Decision Engine called Bing is live now (in preview/beta). I thought Bing meant "Bing Is Not Google" but apparently "bing!" is the "sound of found." Found it! Bing!

If you use Google Chrome as your browser you can make Bing your default search. Here's how:

  1. Click the Wrench Icon in Google Chrome and click Options.
  2. Click "Manage" under Default Search.
  3. Click "Add" and make the form look like this:
    Add Search Engine
  4. Now with your new Bing entry selected, click Make Default.

scott hanselman - Bing - Google Chrome 

Go give Bing! a try. I'm going to use Bing for the whole month of June and see how it goes. I'll blog my results.

Technical International Note: If you're outside the US, while Bing is rolling out over the next few days (it's literally rolling) you can temporarily force it to think you're in the US with this Bing URL.

Feel free to post your Bing tips and impressions here in the comments, or follow @bing on Twitter.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Adding Custom Search Providers to Windows 7 plus Advanced Search Tricks

May 29, '09 Comments [7] Posted in Win7
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Disclaimer: Many of my tips have crashed cars, broken lights, and caused lawnmowers to go mad. If anything here seems out of your skill level or at all scary, run screaming away from here, hold your families and friends close; squeeze them tight and never let go. It's not NDA, but it's absolutely FriendDA.

Chris Sells told me at lunch once that he refused to upgrade to Windows 7 because a single feature was remove. His entire workflow, nay, his whole existence, revolved around the "Search the Internet" menu item in the Start Menu. Without this, he would be rendered helpless. This feature was the Red Sun of Krypton and would sap him of all his superpowers.

He would hit the Windows-Key to bring up the Start Menu, type a search term, the click "Search the Internet."

Instead, Windows 7 has "See more results" and shows the search results of his hard drive, then he has to click "Internet" from there.

imageNow, there's certainly ten-thousand ways from 3rd party launchers and Windows Gadgets to search the web from a textbox. You can right-click on the Windows Task Bar and select Toolbars | Address, then when you type in the address bar, just press the up-arrow, then enter...but that's just one way.

Adding "Search The Internet" back to the Start Menu

Personally, I like having more vertical room for local searches in my start menu, but you can put that item back with this Registry Key:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer]
"AddSearchInternetLinkInStartMenu"=dword:00000001

That'll make your Start Menu look like this when searching with "Search the Internet" put back. It'll use whatever your default browser is.

image

However, that's just a nit. The REALLY interesting stuff is when you add in custom connectors for search.

OpenSearch and Federated Search Connectors

You can create you own Search Connectors using OpenSearch, just like Long Zheng's Flickr Connector. This lets you search basically anything, directly from Explorer. Here's a search of Flickr from Explorer.

scott hanselman - Search Results in Flickr Search

There's dozens of OpenSearch connectors already out there, many on 7Forums. Then can search for whatever you like, documents, pictures, videos, anything that can be returned in RSS or JSON.

Make Your Own Search Connector

I don't know anyone on the Bing! team and I'm too impatient to wait so I just wrote my own as an example. (Bing launches next week, I hear, so I'm ready.) You can make one today to search your own intranet.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<OpenSearchDescription xmlns="http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearch/1.1/" xmlns:ms-ose="http://schemas.microsoft.com/opensearchext/2009/">
<ShortName>Bing!</ShortName>
<Description>Search Bing via Windows 7 Search.</Description>
<Url type="application/rss+xml" template="http://www.bing.com/search?q={searchTerms}&amp;format=rss"/>
<Url type="text/html" template="http://www.bing.com/search?q={searchTerms}"/>
</OpenSearchDescription>

Just from this example, you can see how easy it is. I just saved this as a text file called "Bing.osdx" then double-clicked on it. I got this warning:

Add Search Connector (2)

Then, I could search Bing from Explorer (or add it to my Start Menu as seen further down this post):

hanselman - Search Results in Bing! (2)

But I want to make this even more prominent in my Start Menu.

Pinning Custom Search Connectors to the Start Menu

I (or my admin) have to add a few registry keys. Expect that your Network/Company Administrator will send this to you automatically via Group Policy. Note also that these only work on the Pro SKUs (Pro/Ultimate/Enterprise) not the Home stuff.

Registry Editor (3)

I've added Library0 and Library1 to point to two .searchconnector-ms files. That's what an .osdx file gets renamed to when it's double-clicked on and installed into c:\users\yourname\searches. Then I added "TryHarderPinnedLibrary" as a DWORD with a value of "1".

Now I can "pin" up to 2 (from what I can tell) Search Connectors to my Start Menu, perhaps for an Intranet site, for example.

image

Of course, in this example, "Bing!" and "Search the Internet" are the same thing as one is my default. I may just put MSDN down there instead...hm...there we go...

image

Enjoy! Again, no warranty, I don't know the Win7 team or the Bing team, I just figured this out on the tubes and by using Process Monitor. This may be all lies. Don't listen to me.

Related Links

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Hanselminutes Podcast 163 - Software Metrics with Patrick Smacchia

May 28, '09 Comments [6] Posted in Learning .NET | Podcast
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419346614_2444548850 My one-hundred-and-sixty-third podcast is up. Scott sits down with Patrick Smacchia, lead developer of NDepend, and talks about Software Metrics. What metrics lie beyond Lines of Code?

Subscribe: Subscribe to Hanselminutes Subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes

Do also remember the complete archives are always up and they have PDF Transcripts, a little known feature that show up a few weeks after each show.

Telerik is a sponsor for this show!

Building quality software is never easy. It requires skills and imagination. We cannot promise to improve your skills, but when it comes to User Interface, we can provide the building blocks to take your application a step closer to your imagination. Explore the leading UI suites for ASP.NET and Windows Forms. Enjoy the versatility of our new-generation Reporting Tool. Dive into our online community. Visit www.telerik.com.

As I've said before this show comes to you with the audio expertise and stewardship of Carl Franklin. The name comes from Travis Illig, but the goal of the show is simple. Avoid wasting the listener's time. (and make the commute less boring)

Enjoy. Who knows what'll happen in the next show?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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When Word of Mouth Got a Permalink - Companies, Customers and Twitter

May 26, '09 Comments [17] Posted in Musings
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iStock_000002294470XSmallDerek Powazek dropped this little piece of truth on Twitter recently:

Twitter was more fun when I could b*tch about a company without them replying to ask how they can provide me with excellent service today.

Things have changed since Word of Mouth got a permalink. When I'm complaining about a company to my friends or while walking down the street, no one seems to care. When I'm calling a company and complaining one-on-one, I don't always get excellent service. Boy, but if you mention a company on your blog, or even better, on Twitter, you'll likely get a reply in minutes.

It's getting to the point that I get better customer service (and hence, satisfaction) on Twitter than I do calling a 1-800 number. I'll spend less time on hold as well!

Where's my Mower?

I recently ordered a Lawn Mower from HomeDepot.com and was bummed when I realize that HomeDepot is NOT Amazon. By that I mean, not every online retailer ships virtually instantly like Amazon. Seems like Amazon has your package being prepared while it's still in the shopping cart. Click Checkout and walk to the mailbox, bam! With other retailers, not so much.,

With my Lawn Mower, it wasn't available anywhere locally so I ordered it online. I was bummed when checking the order status that it was still "processing" four days later and I complained (lower-case "c") on Twitter at 1:26pm on May 19. Sarah from Home Depot replied first thing the morning of the 20th offering to look into it for me. That's pretty cool, so kudos to HD for offering to help.

There's 100s of brands on Twitter (here's the top 100). I'd say, that Comcast got on board first, as I recall, and made really good use of Twitter for customer support. Twitter's also nice for customer support as it's (almost always) clearly a human behind the account. Twitter's not just for customer support, but also for collecting feedback and posting coupons, offers, etc. It's a brilliant medium because of it's elegant publisher-subscriber model and the its brevity constraint.

Why doesn't Home Depot (or any company, as HD isn't the point of this post) jump when I complain on Facebook?

One word: Permalinks.

Facebook is a walled garden, as you likely know. My facebook posts aren't indexed on Google and even within Facebook, they aren't easy to search and very hard to link to, IMHO. On Twitter, tweets are easy to search and you can bet that every one of these folks are using Tweetdeck to hunt for mentions of their brands. That's no doubt how HomeDepot found mine. You don't need a lot of followers, you just need to mention their name.

I've said before, don't give bile a permalink. Brands with an online or social media presence live in constant fear that you will, and it'll be about their brand.

They know that the spark of a negative tweet can fan the flames of rebellion. The threat of RT (retweets) or blog posts about tweets only pours gas on the flames. Even worse, tweets can end up in newspapers and if the company doesn't handle it well, it's over.

Consumer-driven > Company-driven

To Derek's point, yes, it WAS more fun before. I'm not sure I like the reframing of my relationship with these (often global) brands being based on fear, especially their fear of a global uprising based on potential negative publicity. I do like the idea that not only is one not complaining alone any more, but also that Twitter allows the customer (me) to reassert my role as the driving force behind the relationship.

My  question is, however, is this going to scale? I can't see how. There's only, what, 10 million people on Twitter? It's nice now, while there's so few people on Twitter, but it'll be really interesting when Twitter becomes Customer Service Central for every brand on the planet.

I still think it's lame that it took 4-5 days for my Lawn Mower to ship, but I think it's cool that Sarah at Home Depot offered to help me out.

(I got the Toro Personal Pace Mower, on sale at the time, plus a coupon, if you care.)

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Windows 7 - Seamless Apps in Windows Virtual PC (Virtual XP) and Application Compatibility

May 22, '09 Comments [27] Posted in Win7
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I'm running the Windows 7 RC and I'm the Windows Virtual PC Beta along with Virtual Windows XP (a separate download). If you have an application that won't run in Windows 7 by default (they're out there) then you have two choices, aside from getting a version that does work.

First Try: Compatibility Mode

You have two choices with Compatibility Mode. You can always just right click on the program's Icon and click Compatibility Mode, and "lie" to the program about what version of Windows this is. This isn't just a version fib, it also patches up APIs and generally makes things friendly for your old application.

Alternatively, you can type in "Compatibility" in your Start Menu and select "Run Programs made for previous version of Windows. This will start a troubleshooter that will help you select your app and figure out what it needs.

image

You walk through a Wizard, explaining what worked before (different OS, etc) and it'll suggest what it can do about it.

Second Try: Seamless "Virtual XP Mode"

People who know what Virtualization usually assume this means that they'll need to run a Windows XP VM (which they do) and it'll be a hassle (which it isn't) as they'll have a "window of an OS inside their OS."

Here's the process, once you've installed Windows Virtual PC and Virtual XP. Run Virtual XP from the Start Menu, or from your "Virtual Machines" folder.

Virtual Machines

Once it's started, install the old application you want. I'm going to install FileZilla, an FTP client.

NOTE: There's NOTHING wrong with FileZilla under Windows7. This is JUST an example.

Select "for all users of this computer" during the installation, as you want the icon published to the "All Users" part of the Start Menu. If you don't have this option, you can always move the icon later.

Virtual Windows XP - Windows Virtual PC

Now, shut down the Virtual XP machine by clicking the close icon. It will hibernate.

Notice in your Windows 7 Start Menu that FileZilla (or whatever) has appeared...it's in the Windows 7 Start Menu.

image

Run FileZIlla it from here, like you would any other program. You can, of course, even pin it to the Windows 7 Taskbar. When you run it, there may be a moment where you'll see 'Initializing Virtual Environment, and you might see this dialog:

Virtual Windows XP - Windows Virtual PC (2)

Here you can decide to run the App or the Machine. I'll run the App. After I start running Apps, I'll not see this dialog again, unless I start the Machine again directly.

Here's FileZilla running from inside the Windows XP VM. It looks like Windows XP (notice the Crayola Colors) but the Windows 7 Task Manager is running over the top of it.

image

You can see the Virtual PC Host Process in the task manager. There's also a "Virtual PC Application Launcher" that you might see.

If I hover over the icon in the Windows 7 Taskbar, it says "remote."

image

You'll even see Tray Notifications from the Virtual XP machine (like Security Center, etc) published to the "host" tray. (Yes, I know it's not officially called the tray, but it is de facto "The Tray.")

You can even "publish" Internet Explorer 6, by copying its icon to the All Users Start Menu. I right-clicked on the Start Menu from within Virtual XP and clicked "Open All Users", then right-dragged the Internet Explorer icon to the All Users Start Menu. Now IE6 is a choice:

image

...and I have an unholy alliance between IE6 and IE8, as you can see them both running here on my Win7 machine:

image

It's also worth pointing out that this trick works with Vista Virtual Machines as well. So, while Windows 7 (I hear) is profoundly compatible with Windows Vista (basically everything works) you can still run a Vista SP1+ VM and have "Seamless Apps" jump out of it by making sure the right integration features are enabled. I tried this running Visual Studio 2003 under Vista and Visual Studio 2002 under XP, then publishing them both so I could work on them seamlessly under Win 7.

This is all stuff you can do NOW, so go have fun.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.