arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I somehow missed that this was happening a few months back, so maybe other people did, too.

My Kindle for PC updated itself silently to version 1.19, which is compatible with Amazon's latest formatting. This is great for being able to use the new formatting! This is not so great if you use Calibre to manage your library. Calibre can't read or even recognize the new format, so can't import your books.

If you use Calibre, the easiest thing to do is to uninstall Kindle 1.19 and reinstall the older version, 1.17, and make sure that the "automatically update" box is unchecked.

The Mobileread forum has a thread on how to do this, including direct links to safe downloads of v 1.17 on Amazon. It also has instructions for other methods, if you don't want to downgrade your Kindle for PC/Mac.
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
These are Greasemonkey scripts, which will work in Firefox and I think Chrome (and Chrome clones) and Opera. If you don't have Greasemonkey, it's definitely worth installing. You can get it in add-ons/extensions. Once you have the add-on, you can install all kinds of scripts to customize your browser to do what you want.

DW scripts:

Dynamic and persistent DW reading/network page expand/collapse/hide This is amazing, and I wish I could install it on my mobile devices. It lets you collapse (and later expand) or completely hide entries on reading and network pages on DW -- not just your own, but anyone's. Collapsing a post will leave the subject line; hiding it will make it go poof.

LJ New Comment "This script remembers which comments you've seen on LiveJournal or Dreamwidth, and marks new comments with a link which says "NEW". Clicking the link selects that new comment."

Dreamwidth ljwho This lets you add notes to anyone's username on DW. It's browser-specific, so it's less useful than a native action tied to your account, but I still find it plenty useful.

You can find more DW scripts here.

AO3 scripts:

I found these through [community profile] ao3some, a comm for AO3-related stuff.

ao3 download buttons This adds a Download button to everything listed on a works page, so you don't have to click into something specifically to download it. Just click the download button right there in the header info, choose your format, and you're done.

AO3 Kudos Tools Once it's set up, this will let you know if you've already kudosed something by changing the color of the kudos button to green, and putting a green background on your name in the kudos list. You can also set it up to put a dark grey background behind anyone else's name, if there are people whose tastes you really trust.

Fair warning on this one: it takes a bit of work to get set up -- not very much! But you need to edit the script once it's installed to add your username to the script so it knows what to look for, and to add anyone else's usernames if you want it to check for them, too. See below for instructions if you're not used to doing this.

AO3 Saved Filters This adds a section to the sidebar with two boxes, one for global tags and one for fandom tags, which will save whatever you put there. This took me a bit of figuring, but once I got it, I was floored.

Both of these will take either includes or excludes. To include something, just type it (enclose it in double quotes if it has more than one word: "hurt/comfort"). To exclude something, type it with a minus sign in front, again using double quotes if there's more than one word: -"hurt/comfort".

The "Global" box is persistent -- anything you put there will be filtered on no matter what works page you're looking at, and it remembers it across browser sessions. If you never want to see fluff, add -fluff to that box and hit save, and fluff will forevermore be filtered out of any results for you automatically. (You can always edit the boxes later to add or remove things.)

The "Fandom" box is for stuff specific to whatever fandom you're looking at, so you have to be on a specific fandom works page for it to show up (meta-tags don't count - "Sherlock Holmes - All Media Types" won't have a "fandoms" saved-filter box, but "Sherlock (BBC)" will. Collection works pages don't count, either. Both those pages will only have a global box.) This box is persistent for a given fandom: if you put -Lestrade into the box on the Sherlock BBC works page and hit save, you'll never see any works with Lestrade named in the header info when you're browsing through the fandom.

So if you never want to see fluff anywhere, put -fluff in the Global box and hit save. If you're good with fluff everywhere except The Wire, put -fluff in the Fandom box on The Wire's works page, and now that will be the only fandom where it doesn't show up.

I am just boggled at how customizable this is. Wow.

AO3 savior Works like Tumblr savior, in that anything it protects you from is hidden, rather than gone completely. You can choose to unhide them, then hide them again if you realize that nope, you really didn't want to see that after all. You can specify authors, tags, or summary terms/phrases; matches need to be exact.

Fair warning on this one as well: you also need to edit this script to tell it what you want it to protect you from. Again, it's not hard, but if you've never done it it can look confusing; instructions below.

Editing those user scripts )

Couple of important notes:

1. Greasemonkey is installed on your browsers, and have nothing to do with your DW/LJ or AO3 accounts. You need to install it on every browser you use, and set up the scripts you want on each one.

2. This is much harder on mobile devices. iOS won't allow extensions to be installed unless you jailbreak your device, which I haven't done so I can't tell how well it works.. Looks like Android has a TamperMonkey app that's a browser that allows Greasemonkey scripts, but I don't have any Android devices so again have no idea how well it works. I can't find anything at all about installing Greasemeonkey on Windows phones/tablets on a fast search.

But if you're still regularly using a computer or two, these scripts are really useful.
arduinna: Logo for the Archive of Our Own (AO3)
In the wake of some of the "meta on AO3" discussions that veered off into talking about finding things on the archive, I decided to poke more intently at the search and filter features.

Like pretty much everyone else, I think things will be easier and more organized once there are media categories to sort on, and I'm very much hoping that the posting forms pick up a radio button for "nonfiction" to make all sorts of nonfic things filterable. I also really hope that a crossover button gets added, and that crossovers become something that can be filtered in or out.

My own ideal filter sidebar would include options to include/exclude terms from each section, with sections added for Source Media Type and Fanwork Media Type (based on the media categories I suggested in the Category Change post, which I'm still very keen on), and checkboxes for complete/wips, crossovers/no-crossovers, and creative/nonfiction.

It would look something like this )

But we don't have that yet, so I figured I would try to make the existing filters/search do what I wanted them to.

There are three basic ways to search.

  • The general search box at the top of every page, where you just type in a string of search terms, whatever you're looking for.

  • The filters sidebar on any tag-based landing page -- fandom, pairing, trope, etc. These let you see the most common tags in use on that landing page, so you have a starting point to work from.

  • The Advanced Search, available via link at the top of every page, or directly at This is a form that provides structure for your search, with a lot of detail.

All three of these default to AND searches: every term you type in is considered a requirement, so the more terms you add, the narrower your search.

All three also have a box that does allow you to search for options (OR) or exclude things (NOT), across all of the fields associated with a work in the database, including title, author, summary, notes, and tags. That means this is a text search box. It doesn't search for tags specifically, it searches for the text inside the tags.

In the general search box, you can do OR or NOT directly in the box. In the filters sidebar, this is the Search within results box. In the Advanced Search form, this is the Any Field box.

Using that single-box search no matter where you find it. )

Things to keep in mind using the search box )

So those are the things they all have in common. They all have some differences and specific strengths, as well.

The general search box does everything listed under the "single box" explanation, and has the huge advantage of being right there on every page, and very fast to use.

Using the general search box )

The filters let you see what you're dealing with, so you can easily adjust things on the fly. You can use filters on a fandom page, bookmarks page, tag page, and individual people's Works and Bookmarks pages.

Using the filters sidebar )

Filtering crossovers in or out )

The advanced search lets you search not just fanworks, but also bookmarks, tags, and people. It also lets you specify date ranges for you results, which neither of the other two search options do.

Using Advanced Search )

There are still a few things I'm hoping will be added to search on AO3: crossover filters, source media types, fanwork media types, excludes right within the filter options and advanced search fields.

But the search as it stands is miles ahead of where it was three months ago, and it's possible to do some pretty refined searching now.

  • You can use the general search box as a shortcut to your fandom, pairing, character, or trope of choice. Type the term in, and click on the first appropriate tag in the results to get to the Filters page for that term.

  • If you only check your fandom, pairing, or favorite trope once every week or two and only want to see the most recent works, use Advanced Search to set up what you want.

    • Specify your fandom and/or pairing and/or tag, and put in a duration such as <7 days or < 2 weeks in the Date field. Bookmark your search results in your browser, and you can just click that bookmark any time you want to catch up on the last week or two.

  • If you never want crossovers for your fandom, go to your fandom page and filter out all the crossovers, then bookmark your results. You can use that bookmark as your landing page for your fandom, and just start filtering/searching from there every time.

    • You may need to update your bookmark as more crossovers are created in your fandom, by adding more fandoms to your "search within results" box.

  • Don't just default to excludes; sometimes OR searches will be better.

    • If you want all ratings but Explicit, searching for -explicit is the way to go.

    • But if you want only General and Teen ratings, searching for ("general audiences" OR "teen and up audiences") may be easier than excluding all other ratings.
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
(If you want to link to this and keep the cut tags intact so it isn't overwhelming, link to the archive page: )

So I have a tumblr (as [ profile] aka-arduinna), and have been trying to figure it all out. Which is a whole lot less easy than it should be.

Tumblr in general takes the attitude that it's so incredibly intuitive that nothing needs to be explained, even in the Help pages that you'd think would be, you know, helpful. But if it's intuitive, it's for people who aren't me; I find it ridiculously opaque and cumbersome and illogical, and it's taken me months to figure out and/or remember what to click to do what. I wind up doing desperate web searches hoping someone somewhere has explained things, since the Tumblr help files are largely useless for the basics.

I've been frustrated with the fannish tutorials I've stumbled across, since most of them seem to be "First, get a tumblr. Second, here's a list of tumblrs I follow to get you started!" without actually explaining how to use the site. My impression is that once you're comfortable on it, you just forget how freaking opaque it is to start with. (Or they're people for whom Tumblr really is intuitive and simple, and don't realize that for some of us, it's really not.)

I have found some posts about specific things that have been very useful, for things like "how to get a permalink for a post" and "how to add a tag cloud", which is great, but the lack of a basics post was really getting to me.

So I figured, well, I should do something about that.

First, a GIANT CAVEAT: I still pretty much suck at tumblr. I've been poking tentatively at it for months, badly hampered by the speed, the lack of convo, my cultural conditioning not to pass other people's content along but rather to either respond directly or link back to it, and the rampant flashy animations that make my eyes hurt. But otoh I figure that means I still have a pretty good grasp on what stuff may be confusing, so.

(You can't avoid the flashy animations, as far as I can tell. Figured I should say that upfront.)

Second, a smaller caveat: my tumblr is in the default free theme, at least for the moment. All my images and instructions relate to that; I have no idea how they may change with other themes. But hopefully this will be enough to at least point you in the right direction.

So! Let's talk tumblr.

Using tumblr without an account )

It's still going to be easier to learn and play with tumblr if you have an account and are logged into it, though, since you'll be able to participate and do things like save your searches. So the rest of this tutorial is still based on "get a tumblr and go from there".

So first, sign up with tumblr. Once you've got an account, you can start customizing.

Customizing your tumblr )

Adding the things tumblr left out: tag lists and comments )

Okay, so now you have a tumblr, and it looks the way you want it to. Time to start doing things with it!

Navigating tumblr )

Finding content )

Producing content )

Avoiding content )

Communicating with people )

Annnnnd I think that's it. Hopefully people will stop by and correct any errors!

Also, I would love to see pointers to people's favorite tumblrs, to help folks get started once they're set up!

A million thanks to [personal profile] therienne and [personal profile] mollyamory, who betaed the first draft of this when I sprang it on them out of nowhere, and pointed out broken images and incoherence like champs. ♥ I've added more since then, and any remaining incoherence or bustedness is all on me.
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
Fandom feed subscriptions are available on AO3 now!

Sadly, the site is slow as molasses at the moment, probably because everyone is hitting it at the same time trying to get feed subscriptions set up.

I don't know that I'll bother subscribing to bigger fandoms, but man, what a fantastic way to keep up with the small to middling ones -- god knows I never remember to go check every day, or even every week or month, but there are fandoms I'd leap on a new story in. And now I can! \o/

Hah and I got one some in!

[syndicated profile] ao3_havenfic_feed

[syndicated profile] ao3_alphas_feed

[syndicated profile] ao3_peacemakers_feed

[syndicated profile] ao3_personofinterest_feed

[syndicated profile] ao3_leverage_feed

This is so awesome.

(WIP notification subscriptions are also available, but that one doesn't affect me. *g*)

(edited to add alphas feed)
(eta2 to add person of interest, leverage, peacemakers) (possibly I should slow down with these...)
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
[personal profile] marycrawford asked for the code I use to create my cross-posting footer, so just in case anyone else wants it:

<a href = "%%url%%">Original post on Dreamwidth</a> | <a href = "%%reply_url%%">Leave a comment on DW</a> | <a href = "%%comment_url%%">read %%comment_image%% comments on DW</a>

(DW should automatically put in "small" span tags on this; if not, add <small> at the beginning, and </small> at the end)

That will get you this:

Original post on Dreamwidth | Leave a comment on DW | Read [number ] comments on DW.
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
A couple of weeks ago, [personal profile] paian linked to a nifty little greasemonkey script that has made Dreamwidth so much more usable for me, I can't even tell you. The script is attached to your computer, not your account, so you don't have to be logged in to DW to make it work.

It's here: Dynamic and persistant DW reading/network page expand/collapse/hide.

If you're on Firefox and you have Greasemonkey installed, what this does is add two things to the subject line on each post you see: (-) (x) . That's it. They are WONDERFUL.

If you click the (-), the post you're looking at shrinks down to just the subject line and the comment count/reply links line. (You also then get a (+) in the subject line, for if you want to re-expand it.)

If you click the (x), the post you're looking at vanishes utterly, and the space where it was closes up so you don't see any gaps between posts.

Whatever you click stays clicked no matter what page you're on; if you collapse a post on your Reading page and go to that person's journal, the post is collapsed there, too. It's also collapsed if it shows up on your Network page. Likewise for anything you hide completely; it's gone everywhere. Really freaking handy for NSFW posts that scroll by at work that you don't want accidentally showing up again!

If you hide something and you want to unhide it, you just go to Tools | Greasemonkey | User script commands | Clear hidden entry values, and boom, you've got your hidden entries back. (You can also clear your collapse/expand entry values).

Here, have some screencaps )

One of the things I have always disliked about LJ-type journaling is the lack of control over what I see; I want to be able to mark things as read, and delete them if I don't want them, and flag them to go back to later. This doesn't let you flag things, but with this I can finally see at a glance what entries are new, and I can get rid of ones that I just don't want to see.

It makes the Reading and Network pages so much cleaner, and so much easier to keep track of. <3

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