Firefox experience

firefox-logo

Firefox has released the latest version 3.5. Check what’s new in this release and download the latest version here. Firefox 3.5 offers many changes over the previous version, supporting new web technologies, improving performance and ease of use. Some of the notable features (including playing videos without additional plugins!) are listed on the release notes page linked above.

I installed the new release and am loving it so far. I guess this is one of the best browsers giving us the control and ease of use for better browsing experience. In fact, after moving to the wordpress platform, I used just Firefox to develop my blog. Though I did verify a few times in IE and Chrome for compatibility issues, this is my main work tool for development and testing. So, you’ll no doubt enjoy the blog experience better if you are on Firefox.

The beauty of this application comes in with add-ons. While there are thousands of options to customize your browsing experience, here are a few of my favorites. I already use a few and yet to try the others, but sharing information anyway just in case you are interested. If you use this browser or any add-ons, please add in a comment about your experience!

Add-ons:

ColorZilla 2.0.2: While this allows you to zoom the web page and also measure the distance between two points (for web development), I use this for color picker. In fact, this was my favorite when tweaking colors on my blog CSS! Works awesome!

Google Reader Watcher 0.0.14.3: I use the Google Reader, so I think I will try out this add-on soon. This checks your Google Reader for unread feeds and if you have, the plugin will display them on your browser’s status bar.

ShareThis 3.1.0: ShareThis makes sharing any online content quick and easy. The ShareThis plugin allows you to share text, pictures and video to any contact via email, IM, text message, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, Twitter and many more services.

Meebo 1.1: Who hasn’t given meebo a try at some time or the other? Now, this is meebo inside firefox as sidebar! Instant messaging across all major IM networks.

Media Converter 1.0.3: Download and convert online videos directly from your browser without the need for special software. This is a video downloader and video converter in one simple extension.

Facebook experience:

Boost for Facebook 9.4.0: If you are a facebook freak, this will make your experience more colorful and live! Some of the notable features: auto-refresh Home, rollover image for each view in full size, ability to load all the album photos on a page, quick access icon in the status bar, rollover all profile pic thumbnails, auto-login and password is stored.

Facebook Toolbar 1.4: Am not a great fan of any browser toolbar but here is one for facebook if you are interested. Notable features: Search for friends and go to their profile page directly from toolbar, notification when friends update status messages and also new requests, pokes etc., sidebar option to organize facebook friends and an option to share any page you’re browsing directly with your friends or you can also post it to your wall.

Twitter experience:

This one has a good collection but here are my preferences.

TwitterBar 2.4: Post to Twitter from your address bar.

TwitterFox 1.8.2: Notifies you of your friends’ status on Twitter. You can also of course tweet directly from here.

TwitKit 1.2.2: TwitKit is a Twitter sidebar for Firefox. It is like a twitter client, but inside the firefox application! TwitKit has a 6-section interface, using tabs to separate content. You can view the Twitter public timeline, your user timeline, a list of your friends and their latest tweets, a list of your followers and their latest tweets, @replies made to you, and stats about your account.

Flickr experience:

Flickr Gallery Plus! 0.87: Improvised presentation for Flickr fans who browse those awesome Sets all day. Keyboard navigation with arrow keys and slideshow options included.

Flickr Buddy 0.2.5: This is your Personal Assistant to get you updates from Flickr. You configure with friends’ RSS feed and it shows you the number of new pictures uploaded every few minutes (duration can be configured) and you can check those pictures in a new browser tab instantly.

These are the ones I have on my mind today. If you get a chance to try these out, please add in a comment to let me know how it works for you!

Sweet Dreams!

This is a standalone (Lite version) application I ran into today. While this will not allow you to technically ‘download’ the dreams you see in your sleep (:P) for later interpretation, this will help you to fall asleep to your favorite music and enjoy your dream experience better.

If you are one of those who prefer to play music before you sleep or watch a bed time movie/ comedy show on your computer, probably you can check this out. You will never have to wake up to a loud fight sequence, an item song or just to shut down the computer in the middle of the night!

This application which is only 169 KB (and that too Lite version, meaning no installation required) will allow you to set a total duration, like any typical timer, after which you can order certain actions:

– Lull the computer volume after certain duration (you can set) and gradually decrease to a set minimum target
– Shut down/ Switch off monitor/ Standby/ Hibernate

If you ignore the volume part, you can actually use this as a scheduled timer for lot other activities; like set the duration and just shut down the computer for example. However, I guess ‘sweet dreams’ is the primary objective of this app.

Here are the links:

Original site in German
Translated site in English
Direct download link

Do check out the app and let me know what you think!

Loan from Airtel

Prepaid customers on Airtel have an option to ‘loan’ Rs. 10/- if you are running out of balance and have no recharge options handy. Type ‘LOAN’ (without quotes) and send SMS to 121. The mobile will be instantly credited with Rs. 10/- talktime. At the time of next recharge, Rs. 11/- (including Re. 1/- service charge) will be debited from your normal credited balance.

Handy!

Calendar on wallpaper

If you are like me, a nice photo you clicked on that trip last month would make a wonderful wallpaper. You probably will change wallpapers often too- every week, or every month. Sometimes it’s your kid, sometimes a nice scenic landscape, and other times may be directly from National Geographic newsletter or may be from my Flickr Photostream 😛

Anyways, resizing the photo you clicked to match your screen resolution is step one so that you don’t lose the clarity or portions of the image, or it is not stretched or tiled, which is more often not good. Once this is done, how about adding a small calendar to it?

No applets or desktop widgets (is that what they are called?) and absolutely no installations. I ran into a wonderful online wallpaper utility from Big Huge Labs that lets you to ‘imprint’ the calendar of a month of your choice, along with the resize option to match the screen resolution.

It’s this simple: Upload a photo, select a resolution, choose a month, select a color and position for calendar (top-right for example), ‘create’ the wallpaper and save it.

And for the photo, you can upload one from your computer, or select from the web (Flickr, Photobucket, or any custom URL). If you want to use photos from your own Flickr Photostream, select Flickr. If you want to use someone else’s URL is the option. However, consider the copyright and sharing guidelines before you use somebody else’s work.

Above is a sample that’s on my desktop right now!

Here is the link again: Big Huge Labs Desktop wallpaper with a calendar.

If you feel this is useful, add a comment or rate this post. That will let me know if I can share more stuff like this I run into online.

Send Receive SMS on PC like email

My Phone ExplorerTo start with, I was looking for a program that allows me to send and read SMS from a PC (Actually, it’s from phone only, but I want to use PC as interface). After browsing through a few search results and reviews, I thought may be it’s difficult to read SMS on PC, real-time. So, I settled with the Microsoft SMS Sender. Just send. Read SMS from mobile itself.

Less than a day after I installed it at work and home, I was out again looking for more. It is a surprise to know what was in store for me. MyPhoneExplorer is what I discovered.
Here is why I like it:
  • I can read and send SMS from PC. Real-time! A popup/ baloon shows the new message notification. Replying is as good as an email, includes emoticons as well. Messages from other folders also can be managed (moved, saved, deleted, forwarded, archived) from the same screen. Am not sure you getting it- it’s awesome! [:)]
  • Organizer is as wonderful as it can be. Notes, tasks and calendar items can be edited from PC. However, this is not real-time thing. Phone or PC will be updated only after a manual ‘sync’. Neverthless, managing stuff on PC is lot easier and may be once everyday sync it
  • Contacts access is great. All numbers from SIM/ Phone can be viewed, edited, deleted etc. It even syncs and gives control to the extent of Photo Call ID, contact specific notes, Birthdays and all that additional stuff. Wow!
  • Call lists can be accessed too. Missed/ dialled/ received- as good as on phone. Practically not very useful as I use USB calbe to connect to PC. If you connect PC to Phone using Bluetooth or Infrared, calling works pretty cool
  • Answer/ dial calls from PC interface. Again, makes better sense if connected to PC using Infrared or Bluetooth technologies. There is a pop up to alert an incoming call too!
  • Files can be browsed and moved from-to PC.
  • Other information like the battery charge percentage, signal strength, provider information, IMEI number etc are displayed too
  • There is an option to open the phone key pad on the PC. With this, you look at your phone screen and control it from PC keyboard 😛
If your phone is compatible with the application, get on it now (freeware) and appreciate me! 😀