The site was set up mainly for accounting users with the progress of development and guide for usage of Skinstudio and IconDeveloper. Brought to you by Adam Najmanowicz - the lead developer of SkinStudio & IconDeveloper.
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Published on April 15, 2004 By Adam Najmanowicz In
The Stardock Blog Navigator is a new tool Stardock is about to release. It's already available as a beta download.
The WindowBlinds Visual Style used in the article is b0se's OpusSmooth - soon to be submitted to GuiOlympics 2004.

You will find the first part of the article here

Today you'll learn that there is more to Blog Navigator than blogs and channels. And even that some things you can do elsewhere, with BlogNavigator you can do them better and faster.

7) Preloading articles - browse fast!

Most of us use tabs in browsers like Mozilla or Firefox mostly to preload pages we are going to read in a while. But with Blog Navigator we have decided to take it one step further. Blog Navigator will load in background articles you most likely are going to read soon. So you you do not even need to open them earlier in background tabs just to make them appear immediately when you'll get to them, they will get preloaded automatically.

Notice how when you enter a channel/blog all the items in the channel contents list have an icon next to them that looks like a white sheet of paper Article not preloaded , and they gradually gain those green arrows Article preloaded .

The green arrow means that the article has been preloaded and resides in the program cache for fast retrieval - this means that when you switch to that article Blog Navigator will be able to retrieve it much faster, if not instantly.

For this feature to work best, I would recommend that you have at least 100-200 MB cache for Internet Explorer temporary files.

It works really well, and makes you feels like all the internet was stored on your computer's hard drive!

8) KeepSafe - do not let the memories fade away

Talking about hard drive... Internet is different every day. Content not only gets added, it also gets deleted. Servers tend to disapear into thin air at the moments that are least desired. The whole network is in state of constant flux...

On top of it... Are you on a dialup connection? Perhaps you're going on a trip and taking your laptop with you? Expect not having a connection for some time? Maybe you want to be able to keep some of the more volatile content so that you can refer to it later?

If any of those apply to you, you will love Blog Navigator's KeepSafe feature. What it does for you is - take a copy of any page and store it locally so its always available locally no matter what happened to your conection, and conveniently linked from the list (cause you could always do "File->Save as" if you didn't want the structuralized reference and order of Blog Navigator). How to use it? To KeepSafe a single article - click on its document icon Article not preloaded / Article preloaded . The icon will then change to Keepsafing while the document is being loaded and eventually to the document will appear with a red pin icon Kept Safe meaning the article has been downloaded.

You might have noticed that some of the items are actually green instead of black. Those items are "New articles". New as in "articles that appeared since I last used Blog Navigator" Such articles will appear in windows text clor by default, but you may change it in preferences. From the main menu select "Tools->Options", then in the "Appearance" tab click the "Articles list preferences" button and change the "New articles" color to your preferred one.

New articles color adjustment

The gray arow icons mean that the article has been put in the KeepSafe queue and is waiting to be downloaded.


You may also mark the whole blog, so that every new item for that blog/channel/group/basket/whatever automatically gets retrieved for offline reading.

KeepSafe setting for blog

This will also prove usefull in the next feature I'd like to bring to your attention. The nice thing that comes into play with this feature is the inheritance of properties. If a blog is set to "Use global or parent group defaults" (in the same dialog as above) and the you will anable the KeepSafe checkbox for such group group, all its shild blogs/channels/groups/folders will have that enabled. Not to mention, you could go to the extreme and make it default, in the program properties!

KeepSafe all blogs

9) Baskets and neat favorites that can be kept safe

You can drop any item from any blog into any basket, such article will simply get copied in the basket. You may want to do that for archiving of single items as well as just putting them in temporary basked for the sake of convenient browsingh through your daily read.

But Blog Navigator can also be used as a neat Favorites storage. Which with KeepSafe makes it a trully powerfull utility. Let's say you are a computer graphic creator just and found a nice page with tutorials on how to create some cool graphic effects. Or a software developer and you've stumbled on a page with useful tips and algorithms... by the very nature of Internet, nobody can guarantee you that the page will still be there tomorrow. Yesterday you would just save that page in a folder with other cool tricks and... probably forget about it forever. But with Blog Navigator you can easilly archive, manage and lookup such pages and whole sets of them.

First thing we will need is a basket. You can create a basket with "File->New->Article Basket" option from the main menu, or its equivalent in the popup menu for the blogs tree.

Whenever you see a page you would like to keep, just grab its address from the address bar, drag it over a basket and drop it there (you will notice that the basket article count will increase) and the page will get added to the basket.

Now you can KeepSafe those pages and they will get stored in the Blog Navigator's database.

KeepSafe favorites

The best thing about such favorites (apart from ability to store them locally) is that you can search their titles for keywords like regular articles and see them groupped or zoomed into a single basket.

Look again at the above screenshot - I may have them stored hierarchically. Here I have various types of tips. I can limit the scope to show only the development tips, or I can select the "Tips and tricks" group and see all my handy tips I've collected over the time. With Blog Navigator you may build any hierarchy of such favorites categorized by your own criteria. You may put groups... in groups... in groups...

This alone can be a very powerfull tool for bringing order to your archives of "Useful pages I've seen over the years". Built upon the power of archiving them!

11) Speedup your daily read with preloaded favorites

You may want to make use of the preloading feature in conjunction with baskets.

Say, you have a set of sites you visit daily. Some sites still do not offer any feed so you cannot just add them as a channel/blog. But... you can just store them in the basket just the way that was described in the previous chapter.

Why would you do that? First the advantage of not forgetting about any of them, since you have them listed all in a single place, when you sit down to your daily read and second - PRELOADING.

While you read one site Blog Navigator will automatically preload the other pages you have in your current basket/group, so when you get to them - they will appear instantly. also once you setup your daily favorites in a nice hierarchy (like described before) you can change the scope of reading easily and conveniently.

The third part of the article already available here...

on Apr 16, 2004
opus smooth is nice. Cant wait for the guiolympics to end so it can be ported to msstyles.
on Apr 16, 2004
The second part of the tour is something I really think sets Blog Navigator from the competition.
But I personally find something missing, the natural extension to article preloading - the ability to store the article in a file in a single MHT file with a filename matching the name of the blog entry by pressing a single button or even having it done automatically to default directory and even the ability to mail that MHT file to someone else using the default mail client. Now that would rock.
on Apr 16, 2004
actually it's doing just that, Set your channels to "Keepsafe automatically" as explained in 8) and it will save the .mht files into its storage folder automatically for every new article. The only difference from what you propose is that the filenames are generated at random since otherwise the pages with the same title coukd not coexist in the storage. I can add the mailing option, sure. I wonder if the mht, should be attached or rather be the body of the mail?
on Apr 14, 2006
I Have Lost Most Of My Data on Stardock\
on Dec 25, 2006