Firefox 3 and Plugins

I have recently taken the plunge and updated to Firefox v3. This is the latest and greatest release of Firefox and a dramatic improvement over previous versions. After using it for a few weeks, I have to say that I enjoy it, but notice all that much of a difference. Not sure if this sacrilege, but I really liked Firefox v2 and this just seems to be more of the same which is not a bad thing.

As part of the installing the new Firefox, I also reviewed all of the plugins available and decided to implement many more. My current favorites include:

Plugin Description
Adblock An excellent tool which removes ads from websites.  It is simple and transparent.
Chatzilla A lightweight IRC client.  Why is this needed?  You never know when you need it and it is just nice to have it.
Cooliris This provides quick page previews.  It is helpful, but not one that I cannot live without.
Download Status Bar This is a great plugin that simplifies how Firefox handles downloads.  It puts the download in the footer bar instead of spawning a new window.
Firefox Showcase This is a tool that allows you to view thumbnail images of all open tabs.  Cool, but not a neccessity in my mind.
Fisheye Tabs This add-on makes tabs dynamically expand when you mouse over.  It is very helpful when you have many tabs open and allows you to avoid scrolling.  Highly recommended.
FXIF A simple tool for viewing EXIF data on any picture.  Simple and reasonably useful.
IE Tab This is by far the coolest and most useful plugin.  I effectively integrates Firefox and IE browsers and allows you to open a page inside Firefoxwith IE.  This is particularly useful for those sites that require IE or don’t work well with Firefox.  It is highly recommended.
Image Zoom This  allows you to easil zoom in and out of large images.
Scribefire This add-on is new to my collection and I am testin it out.  It allows you to post to blogs remotely via  the plugin.  You literally open the plugin and start tying away.  It works quite well and I plan on keeping it.

 I definitely recommend that you check these out.  The most compelling ones are IE Tab and Download Status Bar.

Blog Software

I was just pondering blogging and was thinking about the history of this blog. The very first post on the blog was 8/2/02 and it is amazing that it has been continually operational for almost 6 years. There have been ups and downs of frequency of posts, but I am back now.

Another note of interest is that over the years, I have used 3 different blog engines. This site is a bit different since I am running this software on my own server and so I looked at packages that I could install and run on my server. This is a bit different from most purely web-based services that people may be using. Here is a summary:
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iPhone with a keyboard?

Here is an interesting article the The Register where they suggest that Apple is working on an iPhone with a QWERTY keyboard. The say that they have inside sources that Apple actually has a working prototype which they have been showing to carriers. I have no way to agree or dispute this, but find it interesting nonetheless. In short, they argue that QWERTY is requirement for mass penetration of businesses and Apple realizes that they need it if they ever want to gain a large foothold in the enterprise.

The above point is interesting. In my informal experience, I find that people get used to one method or another. I am a QWERTY guy and would not consider the iPhone for that reason although I have heard that you quickly get used to it. I like the tactile feel of buttons which is holding me back. That said, I would be interested in playing with the iPhone for a while and seeing if I really do like it.

A Computator?

A fellow blogger recently emailed me about an episode of “How It’s Made” that he saw on TV.  For those of you who are not familiar with this, it is a show on The Discovery Channel that discusses how various items are made.  It covers things as simple as Twinkies and as complex as semiconductors.  It is kind of a mindless show. 

Anyway, Ryan was watching an episode where they discussed building PC’s.  They had a scene where the person was connecting the wires for the reset switch and power button and the voice over mentioned that they were connecting the “Computator”.  This is a complete gaffe since there is no such thing as a computator at least that we are aware of or could find on Google.  Evidently, the show just made this term up.  It certainly sounds complex, but ironically has no meaning!

Here is a link to a YouTube clip of the video.

YouTube Preview Image

Touchscreen Blackberry

There have been numerous rumors on the Internet of an upcoming touchscreen Blackberry phone. This is interesting since historically, RIM has always relied on physical keyboards in their devices. They offer both the traditional qwerty layout on the larger devices and SureType on the smaller units. I previously posted about a rumored keyboard for the iPod and now it appears that RIM is going the other way and potentially releasing a Touchscreen Blackberry.

The rumor about this device on The Boy Genius Report emerged a few months ago. They posted pictures recently and originally announced the device in May. The newest pictures just surfaced here. What do you think about this new device? Will it rock or be a disappointment?

More on this later….