- Latest Hilarious Picks [MakeUseOf Geeky Fun]
- Cool Websites and Tools [April 16th]
- 2 Useful Non-Search Plugins For The Firefox Search Bar
- Hot Tech Deals [Apr 16th]
- TenFourFox: The Firefox 4 Browser For PowerPC Macs
- Keep Google Reader On Your Desktop With Reeder [Mac]
Posted: 17 Apr 2011 12:55 AM PDT
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Posted: 16 Apr 2011 08:31 PM PDT
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Posted: 16 Apr 2011 06:31 PM PDT
We have already listed some fun ways to play with the search bar, such as how to enjoy as-you-type suggest functionality. Today I am listing two more tools showing that you can use the feature not just for search.
The best thing about the following Firefox search bar plugins is that they are really fast to install (you don’t even need to restart your browser to give them a test run) and they in no way change the usual behavior or interface of your browser. The new functionality is added quietly and can only be accessed when you need it.
1. Make Quick Notes (Maintain A To-Do List)
More often than not, the most powerful tools have very basic and simplistic functionality. I have tried various note-taking and to-do-list building utilities, yet my little notepad is the one I am using most of the time. This is why I was very happy to discover the following tool.
eLog is a fun quick web-based application that adds some fun functionality to your Firefox search bar. eLog is the easiest way to take quick notes while you are browsing. It looks like a simple .txt file with no formatting – just plain text and the exact time you left that note at.
All your notes are stored on one webpage – which means you can use Firefox’s CTRL+F “Find” option to quickly find any note. You can also easily search the web for any word in your note – just highlight any phrase in your eLog and click the “Web” tab.
There are a few ways to quickly add notes to your eLog – one of which is simply typing your note into your search bar box and clicking “Enter” (what can be faster than that?!).
The best thing about the tool is that with its very simple functionality you can use it very creatively. You can break your eLog into sections and organize your notes using these sections. To create a section just use the @name format, for example:
These sections are listed in the right-hand panel. Clicking on any will scroll your eLog down to the corresponding section:
To add a section (or to add a note to an existing section) using the search bar box, simply start your note with the @section-name part:
2. Compose A New Message In Gmail
(G)mailto: is a fun Firefox addon that lets you quickly compose an email to any person. Before, to write an email you had to open the Gmail interface, click the “Compose Mail” link, type an email address and write your message.
Now you just need to type an email address into your search bar box and click “Enter“.
It is an awesome time saver provided you know (or can copy-paste) an email address (the plugin won’t suggest possible recipients to you, like the Gmail interface does).
Do you have any other searchbar-related tricks to share? What do you think of the tools listed above? Please share your thoughts!
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More articles about: browser tips, browsers, firefox, firefox addons, firefox tips
Posted: 16 Apr 2011 01:30 PM PDT
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Posted: 16 Apr 2011 12:31 PM PDT
There are lots of reasons to upgrade to Firefox 4, but it’s not supported for PPC Macs. TenFourFox, a brand new Firefox port made specifically for Power PC users, can breath new life into your beloved old Mac by giving you access to a modern browser.
In 2006, Apple switched to Intel processors. For a while Apple supported both PPC and Intel chips for operating system updates and software, but as time drags on that support is in decline. Mac computers last longer than almost any other make, so it’s understandable if you’ve still got a PPC Mac kicking around. Increasingly however, software for these new platforms aren’t supported.
Chrome‘s never been released for PPC Mac owners, but Firefox always has. Or did, at least, until Firefox 4. The latest, much-improved version of Firefox is the first to drop support for non-Intel.
Feel left behind by Mozilla? Try downloading TenFourFox. This unofficial port brings all the advantages of Firefox 4 to the PowerPC platform. It comes in versions specifically compiled for G3, G4 and G5 processors, and blew Safari out of the water in terms of performance on my PowerMac G5.
You’ll need to be using Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5 to use this application; owners of older Macs should keep reading for another alternative.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is select the proper version of TenFourFox. Head over to TenFourFox’s website to find your downloads. You’ll notice there are different versions for G3, G4 and G5 Macs.
If you’re not sure which kind you have, click the Apple logo on your top panel, then click “About This Mac“. You’ll find the number you need, as highlighted below:
Once you download the proper version of TenFourFox you can install it as you would any OS X application; drag the icon to your Applications folder and to your dock from there.
How Does It Work?
In brief: it works just like Firefox 4. In fact, if you’ve got Firefox 3 installed, it will detect your current bookmarks, plugins and history and leave them intact. Unless, of course, your current plugins aren’t compatible with Firefox; in that case TenFourFox will offer to automatically update them. It did for me, and now everything is exactly as I had it in Firefox. Greasemonkey, XMarks, and iReader, to name a few.
If you’ve been using Firefox 3, or even Safari, you should notice a pretty great speed boost. This is particularly true while running Gmail, or at least it was for me. As always, your mileage may vary.
There are certain bugs, apparently, but to me everything is working really well. If you run into problems check out the TenFourFox FAQ
Replacing The TenFourFox Icon
I do not like the icon TenFourFox uses. Happily it’s easy to replace it with the default, particularly if you still have Firefox installed.
The reason it’s not using the Firefox logo has to do with branding; Mozilla does not allow unofficial ports to use the Firefox name or logo. Still, if you prefer it, it is possible to switch back.
Apple provides nice instructions for changing an application’s logo. Assuming you’ve still got your old version of Firefox kicking around, this is really easy to do. Soon you won’t even know you’re not running Firefox 4, and that’s how it should be in my opinion.
Have a Mac that isn’t running 10.4? You might want to consider upgrading, but if that’s not possible you can always check out Classilla, a browser for really old Macs. This puppy runs on Macs that predate OS X, so odds are it will work on any Mac that’s still running.
The Power of Open Source
One of my favorite things about open source projects, such as Firefox, is the community’s ability to solve problems. TenFourFox is a classic example of this. Mozilla, for a variety of reasons, left PPC users behind. This wasn’t acceptable to parts of the community, so they got to work and created TenFourFox. That’s fantastic, and is only possible because of the openness of Mozilla’s code base.
How’s TenFourFox working for you? Fill us in below, as always. Also feel free to let me know of any other great browsers that work on PPC Macs, because I love to learn.
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More articles about: better alternatives, browser tips, browsers, firefox, Mozilla, open source
Posted: 16 Apr 2011 10:31 AM PDT
The minimalist appearance, together with the built-in sharing and saving options, taking all of Google Reader's main features, and giving you even more, makes it extremely easy to make the transition from using the web-based app to a dedicated desktop app. If you want all of these features and more, and want one less tab open in your browser, it’s worth giving Reeder a try.
When Reeder first launches, you will be prompted to enter your Google credentials. If you want to use multiple accounts with Reeder, just hold down the alt button when launching the app.
All of your subscriptions will then be visible in the app. All folders will appear and subscriptions are accessible from a column on the left hand side of the app.
You can then browse through stories in any given folder, add them to your favourites, share them, or mark them as unread using the buttons above the entry.
Reeder takes all of its cues from Google Reader, allowing you to browse your own notes, the items that you’ve shared and items that your friends have shared with you.
The three buttons at the top of the page allow you to toggle between various menus to access your content. Click the star button to access your starred posts and posts shared by users you follow.
Click the bullet button to access all unread posts.
Click the list button to access all items in your subscriptions, your notes, items you’ve shared, and once again items from users you follow.
You can also mark all posts in a folder or subscription as read from the button at the bottom of the page, as well as search your subscriptions for specific keywords.
When reading posts in most RSS readers, and in Google Reader itself, any efforts for design or appearance go out the window. Reeder's added feature of being able to see a post in your subscription in its original state, using the app's native browser is definitely a plus. That said, the method is slightly clunky, as you have select view with Instapaper Mobilizer or Google Mobilizer first, after which you can select to see the original post.
Another great feature that Reeder brings to the table, in addition to Google Reader’s standard keyboard shortcuts making it easy to navigate back and forth between articles, is the use of trackpad gestures. You can swipe down to go to the next article, swipe up for the previous article, and swipe right to left to collapse the menu on the left hand side. The gestures can also be adjusted to suit your personal preferences.
Reeder is still very much in beta and there are many more features that are still to come including feed management. For the time being you can’t subscribe or unsubscribe to feeds through Reeder. This isn’t an incredibly huge disadvantage however since the app can sync in real time with your Google Reader account, so if you use another app on the go on your smartphone or tablet, Reeder will sync right into the experience since it stays up to date with your Google Reader account. iOS users can also have a seamless experience if they use the iPad [iTunes link] or iPhone [iTunes link] version of the application, which are $2.99 and $4.99 respectively.
How do you keep up with your RSS feeds? Do you just use Google Reader in your browser, or do you have a preferred desktop app? Let us know in the comments.
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More articles about: better alternatives, feedreader, feeds, Google, google reader, RSS
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