Who needs Alt-Tab?!?!
November 19, 2003 11:40 AM   Subscribe

Alas, of course I was just reviewing our fourth quarter numbers. Again. Check out Gary Turner's solution for the age-old "I didn't hear you coming" feeling when someone walks into your office/cube/workspace and you're surfing blogs. It's the Web Fire Escape, and it allows you to click on a little box reminiscent (okay, just like) those little "Exit" signs all over Europe. And Here is the muse behind the madness. Found this today via Blogger's front page post about not getting fired for blogging.
posted by djspicerack (32 comments total)
 
Oddly, Gary Turner's pages about the fire escape don't have fire escapes.
posted by mosch at 11:48 AM on November 19, 2003


Or you could just close the window.
posted by dgaicun at 11:52 AM on November 19, 2003


Whats wrong with alt-tab? or alt-f4? or even ctrl-esc? ctrl-alt-del, in a pinch (no one will question you "attempting to close a crashed program")
posted by Orange Goblin at 11:55 AM on November 19, 2003


I hope Turner has a really robust server and net connection for it, since his fire escape code expects site owners to link to his copy of the image rather than copy it to their own servers.
posted by billsaysthis at 11:55 AM on November 19, 2003


Whats wrong with alt-tab? or alt-f4? or even ctrl-esc? ctrl-alt-del, in a pinch (no one will question you "attempting to close a crashed program")

You don't inflate this guy's ego those ways.
posted by Darke at 12:01 PM on November 19, 2003


bill - was thinking the same thing as I loaded the image onto my own server earlier today...
posted by djspicerack at 12:05 PM on November 19, 2003


My favorite is Windows-D, which shows the desktop. It even toggles, so if your visitor turns out to be your cube neighbor and not your boss you can quickly bring that web site back up to share it.
posted by ringmaster at 12:07 PM on November 19, 2003


gee, my operating system has this special feature where there are all kinds of buttons at the bottom of my screen that lets you switch to a different application. Better yet, that application can actually be viewing a real project of mine! Maybe they should patent it or something.
posted by badstone at 12:08 PM on November 19, 2003


Alt-tab is good. I just wish metafilter weren't so... blue sometimes. Sportsfilter (for example) looks much more like possible work from 15-20 feet.
posted by callmejay at 12:08 PM on November 19, 2003


I tried using the link in the code on the site but, upon checking it for speed of redirect, I just put in Google News because there was a good five to ten second lag time.

And, if that's the case then why do I even need his Fire Escape in the first place when I can just put a link up without the graphic?
posted by fenriq at 12:11 PM on November 19, 2003


...Huh? But-but-but boss...what do you mean my browser has a "history"?
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:12 PM on November 19, 2003


My favorite is Windows-D, which shows the desktop.
that is just beautiful.

I just wish metafilter weren't so... blue sometimes.
try lofi.mefi.
posted by rhapsodie at 12:25 PM on November 19, 2003


Mefi Blue is a problem. I don't work in an office (I don't work at all, still being at school), but when I did a weeks work experience, it was hard to read at "work". My own site, a bright, lurid orange, was even worse.
posted by Orange Goblin at 12:36 PM on November 19, 2003


Let's not forget ghostzilla to solve this problem for all sites instead of just blogs that decide to put that little link on there.

The only promising thing about the exit link is the possibility of logging how many emergency exits your site gets in relation to page views.
posted by stoic at 12:42 PM on November 19, 2003


Lofi.mefi is fine, but Matt now offers two themes on your 'customize' page. I use the (white background) 'plain text' theme.
posted by tippiedog at 12:51 PM on November 19, 2003


Hi Gary. *waves*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:51 PM on November 19, 2003


Really, it surprises me that no one has mentioned: alt, then space, then 'n'. basically it minimizes the page your on. You just leave some work related stuff behind it. WAY less obvious than dumping to desktop. and easier to find than a silly button on a page!
posted by clamb at 12:54 PM on November 19, 2003


Lofi.mefi is fine, but Matt now offers two themes on your 'customize' page. I use the (white background) 'plain text' theme.

Thanks! I'm pretty sure I looked a while ago and it wasn't possible, but maybe I just didn't try "plain text."
posted by callmejay at 12:58 PM on November 19, 2003


Here's a better way: Just treat yourself to this mouse. 7 buttons, optical, and a scroll wheel. Assign one of those extra buttons to your favorite web page or application, and safety is never more than an instant away.
posted by gd779 at 1:02 PM on November 19, 2003


"Idea by Gary Turner."

Apparently, this guy never heard of the boss key back in the 80s. :)

And, aside from Alt-Tab, there's always tabbed browsing. Most middle management types aren't aware of anything outside Internet Explorer. So if you have install privs on a corporate machine, and you fire up Firebird, sky's the limit.
posted by ed at 1:15 PM on November 19, 2003


ed - actually, this idea came from the Boss Key - I remember that from too many games of Space/King's Quest....
posted by djspicerack at 1:25 PM on November 19, 2003


Ha - djspicerack, you obviously caught this on Blogger's "How not to get fired for your blog," right?

You guys are killing me. I work at a place where no one really cares if you surf as long as you aren't surfing porn, and you're still getting your work done. Not a bad deal, if you ask me...
posted by kgasmart at 1:48 PM on November 19, 2003


Count me in as another satisfied Ghostzilla user. And my computer faces away from the door of my office, so I get a LOT of sidlers.
posted by UncleFes at 1:52 PM on November 19, 2003


kgasmart, yep - posted that in the FPP...
posted by djspicerack at 2:00 PM on November 19, 2003


gd779 - you got me all excited with the 7 button mouse, as my 5 button just isnt enough for some games, but then I saw that it was actually worse off then my current mouse. Grrr
posted by Orange Goblin at 2:04 PM on November 19, 2003


Yeah, real useful.

What happens when I'm scrolled half way down a page and there's no exit button becaus eth link is at the top of the page? Where on their pages are users supposed to put this exit button so it is always accessible?
posted by mikhail at 2:31 PM on November 19, 2003


you got me all excited with the 7 button mouse, as my 5 button just isnt enough for some games, but then I saw that it was actually worse off then my current mouse.

How was it worse?
posted by gd779 at 2:36 PM on November 19, 2003


Tabbed browsing + non-maximized browsing window + excel file always in background = no probs here. If I hear someone walking up, I can click anywhere but the middle of my screen and be staring at a statistical graph.
posted by Ufez Jones at 2:44 PM on November 19, 2003


Since we're talking about ways to surf at work, you can couple any of the above-mentioned ways to hide your screen with a remote linux desktop in your web browser. You're then browsing on a remote machine using an internet connection that doesn't belong to your employer and as such they don't have any logs of what sites you're hitting.
posted by stoic at 3:00 PM on November 19, 2003


gd779 - no button on the right hand side, but two on the thumb instead. the extra buttons by the mouse wheel are too small for gaming.
posted by Orange Goblin at 3:21 PM on November 19, 2003


mikhail, the best bet would be to add the code to your post footer so that its at the end of each post and, assuming your posts don't go on too long, there's always one escape hatch nearby.
posted by fenriq at 6:20 PM on November 19, 2003


fenriq, It's useless if I have to hunt for an button no matter where you put it. If it's at the bottom of each post, and I have a long post that extends beyond the viewable area, it still does me no good.
posted by mikhail at 6:59 AM on November 20, 2003


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