Friday, April 21, 2017

TIP - How to navigate quickly through Scientific American archives


For subscribers to Scientific American, see How to navigate quickly through Scientific American archives or read below.Scientific American transition in 1921 from weekly to monthly issues.

Subscribers to Scientific American are given access to every issue, in PDF format, right back to the magazine's launch in 1845. Wow!

It can be quite a laborious, hit and miss process to navigate back through all those issues, particularly for the earlier years (prior to November 1921) where there are about fifty issues per year.

Originally there was an issue per week, then in November 1921 came a transition to an issue per month.

The website provides only a very primitive way to navigate through those hundreds and hundreds of archived issues.

Simplistic navigation provided for Scientici American archives.As shown on the left, you can select the nearest fifty years by clicking on a radio button drop-down list, and that's the closest you can get to a desired issue.

As a consequence of this simplistic navigation design, I found myself doing lots and lots of laboriously  slow paging in order to arrive at any given issue.

After a while I cottoned on to a much quicker way to go directly.to any particular year's list of issues.

At the end of each page's URL is the four-digit value of the archived year currently being viewed, such as:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/store/archive/?magazineFilterID=Scientific%20American%20Magazine&dateFilterID=1921

So there you are. Merely by altering this value to some other year you can go directly to that year's archives (the December issues are displayed first):

Scientific American archives URL wit year highlighted

Quick Navigation within a Particular Year

When you open an archive page for a particular year will find that the Scientific American issues for that year are displayed in descending chronological sequence. There are five pages per year, with twelve issues per page (except for January).

The first page displayed shows the issues for December and November, beginning with the final issue for the year (the closing week of December). There are up to four issues per row, fewer when the browser window is made narrower.

Scientific_American_1908_showing_the_Page_parameter_in_the_URL

You can save time and effort and jump to a given month by replacing the page= paramter in the URL (green balloon) as indicated in the above screenshot.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Firefox browser is stuck since 2006 at file version 4.42.0.0 – Why so?

I have saved quite a range of Firefox installers, and there’s something that puzzles me about them

Let’s start with Firefox release 1.0.3 which is indicated to be File Version 3.12.0.0 as follows:

image

My understanding of “file version” is that the developer is supposed to register each file with a unique number that truly represents the release number, as happens with RoboForm 8.3.3 (its latest version at the time of writing):

image

With many products, the external  “release” number and the internal “file version” number are kept in sync like this.

When Firefox release 2.0 was made available in December 2006, it was changed to File Version 4.42.0.0 as follows:

image

Most strangely, ever since then and up to the current  Firefox release 53.0 (April 2017) the internal “file version” has remained at 4.42.0.0 which irks me. It seems rather sloppy, but I might be missing something.

Can anybody advise me why Mozilla hasn’t kept the release number and file version number in sync since 2006?