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Ask How-To Geek: Greasemonkey in Chrome, Cabling a Media Center, and Custom Windows 7 Jumplists

2011-03-21_0922

You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers. Today we take a look at using Greasemonkey scripts in Google Chrome, picking the right cable for your media center, and how to create a custom Windows 7 jumplist for any application.

Once a week we dip into our mailbag and help readers solve their problems, sharing the useful solutions with you I the process. Read on to see our fixes for this week’s reader dilemmas.

Using Greasemonkey Scripts in Google Chrome

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Dear How-To Geek,

Chrome finally has enough of my favorite extensions (or clones there of) that I feel comfortable switching from Firefox to Chrome. The only thing holding me back is all the great Greasemonkey scripts I use! Is there a Greasemoney extension for Chrome? I don’t want to run two browsers just to get all the features I want.

Sincerely,

Greasemonkey for Life

Dear Greasemonkey,

You’ll be more than pleased to here this: for several versions now Chrome has natively supported Greasemonkey scripts and treats them as individual extensions for easy installation, toggling, and removal. It looks like you get the best of everything! Check out our guide to using Greasemonkey scripts in Google Chrome here; it covers how to automatically and manually install and manage your Greasemonkey scripts.

Picking the Right Media Center Cables

Dear How-To Geek,

I’m setting up a computer as a media center in my living room. So far everything is going smoothly but I’m hung up on what cables to use to connect to the the TV? The motherboard (and the media center software) support VGA/DVI, HDMI, and the video card even has a little adapter cable that works for component video. My TV will accept inputs from all of them but I have no idea which one is best. Should I use the DVI since the resolution through DVI can be so much higher than HDMI? Help!

Sincerely,

Cabling in California

Dear Cabling,

In this case it doesn’t necessarily make sense to go with the DVI cable, even though it would seem more powerful because it can output a higher resolution than the HDMI cable. Presumably your monitor (the HDTV) isn’t capable of displaying higher than 1080 anyway, so the extra pixels the DVI cable can display are never going to be of use anyhow. HDMI, on top of being just the right cable for the job when you’re dealing with HDTV connections, also carries digital audio right along with it.

Why is the digital video/audio in-one-cable package a good deal? Earlier last year when we were setting up a media center we ran into an issue that you might run into yourself; the analog audio port on the motherboard was too weakly amplified to provide adequate power to the television we were setting up the media center with. We ended up having to use the HDMI cable simply to get acceptable sound out of the unit without shelling out for an external amp. Want to learn more about the cable types before you make your final decision? Hit up our explainer guide to the differences between HDMI and DVI.

Creating Custom Windows 7 Jumplists

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Dear How-To Geek

I recently upgraded to Windows 7 and I’m impressed with all the new features. I really like the “jumplists” you get when you right-click on the taskbar icons… except not all applications have them! What gives? At first I thought they were just the most frequently used functions for that application but it appears that each one is custom to the app and some apps simply don’t have that functionality. How can I get jumplists for the programs that doesn’t have them?

Sincerely,

Windows 7 Makes Me Jump

Dear Jumping,

You’re correct; only applications that specifically support the functionality will have it. Otherwise you just get a generic jumplist without much there besides the ability to close the application or pin it to the taskbar. What you need is Jumplist Extender, an application designed to customize Windows jumplists (even though for applications that already have them). They even have pre-compiled packs of jumplists so you can easily set up popular applications without fussing around hand making them all. Hit up our guide to Jumplist Extender to see the application in action and learn how to create your own jumplists.


Have a question you want to put before the How-To Geek staff? Shoot us an email at ask@howtogeek.com and then keep an eye out for a solution in the Ask How-To Geek column.

 

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/21/11

Comments (6)

  1. du_sumboudy

    Actually, greasemonkey compatibility is better achieved with one of two extensions:
    Tampermonkey, which has better compatibility with Greasemonkey, and Blank Canvas Script Handler, which has a better UI.

  2. Wayne

    There is another reason to use the HDMI cable, equipment and disk manufacturers do not have to support HD over other connections. This is especially the case with newer 3D content. If you are using a Bluray player in the media PC, this can be important in the future. Of course, you can just switch out the cable later but if it causes problems when you get home with a new movie then it can be frustrating.

  3. LastLifeLost

    Jumplist Extender Link is down. Try Jumplist Launcher

  4. Mike

    If you’re going to the trouble of setting up a HD media center PC, do yourself a big favor and spring for an HDMI amp (mine is Onkyo), and run all your HDMI components to the amp, then a single HDMI out from amp to the T.V.

    My PC also has Blue Ray and the images and sound that get to my 55″ plasma set and Klipsh speakers with this setup are awe-inspiring.

    BTW, my PC blows away my HD DVR cable box in both picture and sound quality. I don’t know why i ever waited to set my system up!

  5. jakeu1701

    Jumplist extended moved to google.

    http://code.google.com/p/jumplist-extender/

  6. Nilesh

    Found the Jumplist extender program in google code but couldn’t find the jumplist pack… Can somebody post a link for that

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