nullstream weblog - December 2005

$100 iPod Crank


December 11, 2005 11:59 PM PST

Paul made me do it.

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MIT $100 Laptop Thoughts

Cool Tech

December 10, 2005 12:05 AM PST

We haven't talked about the MIT $100 laptop. This laptop is interesting technically, but much more interesting from a social perspective. Read on for my thoughts, and please comment with yours.

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Firefox 1.5


December 1, 2005 05:40 PM PST

I downloaded and installed Firefox 1.5. It's pretty much the same for me. I'm mainly just hoping it solves the memory leak issues. I was a bit worried about losing all my tabs or having incompatible extensions. Luckily, it all worked out. The main extension that wasn't supported was SessionSaver, but I found a link for an updated version of it - sessionsaver-02-dev. SessionSaver automatically remembers the tabs you have open in your browser, so you can close it at any time and when you open it again, all your tabs will pop up (although they'll be reloaded, clearing out any form fields you've entered, and also refreshing any news pages you're on). I was really amazed that after installing the updated SessionSaver, it remembered all my tabs from the previous install! Pretty painless upgrade.

The other extension I have that didn't update was FeedView, which is just a pretty RSS formatter that I don't really need anyway because of the Sage reader extension. Plus I heard FeedView was going to be part of Firefox eventually.

The other extensions I have that do continue to work are: Adblock, IEView, Coralize, Tabbrowser Preferences and Sage.

The only two obvious changes to Firefox from the previous 1.x versions are things I don't like. The layout of the Firefox options dialog has all the categories along the top, rather than on the side. I don't know what UI model this comes from, but it looks pretty horrible to me. To top that, there are multiple tabs under each category. Firefox is only one step away from the nasty configuration UI in Outlook 2003. The other change is that the little RSS broadcast icon is no longer in the bottom bar, but rather in the address bar now. I guess that's OK, but I can't figure out how to choose which feed format I want now. It used to be a menu that let you pick between ATOM, RSS 1 and RSS 2 for example if the sites supported it. Now it just tries to create a bookmark directly. Seems like a step back.

There are, of course other updates to the browser but none that I noticed immedately. I suppose the new "ctrl-shift-del" to remove all personal data is a nice touch after browsing on public computers. It's the kind of privacy touch that MS really should feel more responsible for, given their market position.

Basically, I'm just glad the install went smoothly. Besides that - I don't notice much difference, although I'm secretly hoping that this browser has changes under the hood that make it faster and less of a memory pig-dog.

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