Found this useful tip on how to add a ping shortcut to your Firefox address bar over at Lifehacker. I love its simplicity.
Pinging servers is a great way of finding out if they are currently up and running. The time it takes to receive a response is measured in milliseconds and a timeout is returned if it takes too long.
While you can use extensions or add-ons for that, or use the command line of the operating system you are using, it may be faster if you are already using the browser.
This Firefox tip does not require a plugin, add-on or Greasemonkey script. All you need to do is create a new bookmark that links to the url: http://network-tools.com/default.asp?prog=ping&host=%s. Now all that is left to do is to add the keyword ping to the service when you add it as a bookmark.
To do so, press the Alt-key on your keyboard and select Bookmarks > Show all bookmarks from the menu that opens up. Right-click on Bookmarks Menu or Unsorted Bookmarks and select New Bookmark from the context menu that opens up.
The keyword command is a way to access an url without typing it. The good thing about is that you can pass parameters. If you want to ping a server you enter ping url in the address bar of Firefox, e.g. ping ghacks.net to ping this site.
Firefox will recognize the ping keyword and load the url http://network-tools.com/default.asp?prog=ping&host=ghacks.net which displays the ping on the website.
You can do the same in Opera. The keywords are called nicknames there but are basically the same. I have not tested it but it should work fine. Let me know if you try that out.
Since Network Tools is offering other tools on its website, you can use the same method to add trace or whois bookmarks to Firefox to run them from the address bar whenever the need arises.
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