Thursday, October 11, 2007

Add Ons. In installing a home network, I've had to reconfigure all the different PCs I use which has caused me to figure out what add-ons I like and what I don't.

First, I use the Mozilla Firefox web browser. IE7 isn't bad, I just prefer Firefox and the add-ons for it. Next, I add the Google toolbar and the following buttons: Bible Gateway; Download; Webster's Dictionary (what I would love would be a button for the Catholic encyclopedia).

Then come these add-ons:
  • Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer. Using browsers on at least 4 different machines, I can log in and get my bookmarks wherever I am. Plus, when I update one, they are all updated.
  • IE Tab ever get those webpages that will only work with IE? Trick 'em. This embeds Internet Explorer in tabs of Mozilla/Firefox.
  • TinyUrl Creator - allows you to right click and make a tiny url. Simple.
  • Do you want to print a page, but it's got this color intense graphic smack in the middle which is going to gobble up ink? Use Nuke Anything Enhanced to eliminate it.
  • Cooliris Previews gives you a preview of a page before you surf to it.
  • Finally, PDF Download lets you choose how you want to view a .pdf document you are going to download - in the browser, in Adobe, as HTML, or save as a file.
I've heard good things about Greasemonkey, but it's over my head.
There is one I have been avoiding - StumbleUpon - because I love to go on tangents and can really waste time. You have to figure it out yourself, if I've tempted you.
I forgot a few more -- I told you I'm getting several machines networked.

  • Forecastfox - I forgot about this, because it's just there. It places the Accuweather forcast for your zipcode on the bottom of the browser. If you use Yahoo widgets, you might have something similar on your desktop, but I like this on my browser. It's out of the way, but handy when I need it. Also, I switch the "Alert Slider" to be inactive (except for severe weather) -- if not, it does take up some resources (when the slider pops up) and slows things down. Also, it doesn't have the spyware that other similar widgets and programs (Weatherbug) have.
  • Alternatives to IE Tab, mentioned above, include IEView and IE View Lite. I haven't tried either of these.
  • DownloadHelper is one I'm still playing with - it lets you download web content like videos and images - and yes, it works with flash video like YouTube. However, this past week, I tried using it to download the Dahlia Lithwick & Jan Crawford Greenburg exchange on and it didn't work.
  • Similarly, I'm still trying to decide whether I like Clipmarks or not. It allows you to clip and save portions of webpages. Where it's been nice is I've saved whole articles (although there is a size limit) in a private space, which I don't feel like I can legally post (in their entirety) here. That way, it's archived, accessible and available when the original online article disappears.
  • Oh, and what the heck, here is the link for StumbleUpon.
Also, the good thing about being networked is that I should be able to get back to doing some of this blogging stuff on a more regular basis.

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