I long time ago when I used IE, I had the address bar toolbar on my taskbar. I found it very helpful for getting to pages quickly. Eventually, I got rid of it because even in 1280 x 1024, it took up too much of my taskbar space, and there wasn't enough room left for a decent number of Windows.
Later, when I was using Firefox, I thought about using it again, but I changed my mind because I figured since it was Windows Explorer, it would simply load the links typed into there in IE, and not in my default browser.
Recently, I discovered that not only does the address bar load what's typed in it into the default browser, but it also can be dragged up to the top of the screen, along with any additional custom toolbars I want to make, so I made a second Taskbar at the top of my screen with a whole bunch of custom toolbars, as well as the address bar. Now I can type URLS whenever I want, and access any program on my computer in two clicks, regardless of what is currently on my screen.
A few problems though. It seems that even though the address bar loads in firefox, it seems to keep a few IEish characteristics. For example, if I type a search term, it will load up MSN search IN FIREFOX with whatever I type in. If I type about:something, it loads the link in IE. Any other something: things (I think they're called protocols?) seem to load with whatever they are set to load in in IE. If they do not exist in IE, I get a something: is not a registered protocol error.
So here's my two questions:
1. How do I change the default search engine in IE to google so I can enter google searches into this bar?
2. How do I change these "protocols"? Mailto: seems to load Thunderbird fine, but about: needs to be changed to Firefox, and a few others need to be created. Is there a way to do this? If nothing else, can it be done with the registry?