Hello, all. It’s that day of the year again when it’s time to go around spreading good cheer and feeling very happy for no reason in particular. Well I hope you all have a good Christmas and a great new year. For me the next year will be a vrey important one as I’ll be starting college, but I have no idea where (yet). I’m not making any new year resolutions, I never do. But I am restarting my blog from tomorrow (I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve done this) with a nice bright, warm theme. I hope to make this one last as I now have my own computer and internet connection and I intend to make this blog a long term investment. Of course, it will be a technology oriented blog, along with a healthy dose of my own ideas and other interests. But I’ll leave all that for tomorrow and leave you to your roast turkeys.
Before I go, let me tell all you Tolkien fans out there that you have extra reason to celebrate. According to the Red Book of Westmarch, today was the day that the Fellowship of the Ring set off from Imladris on their quest for Mount Doom and the Cracks of Doom where the One Ring would ultimately. So while you’re all singing your Christmas Carols, take a moment to remember the bravery, suffering and sacrifice of the Fellowship of the Ring.
Now that the Firefox series is over, it’s time to move on to other
things. One of the many questions that new programmers have is: Which language do i start with? I suggest Python.
Python is a programming language, or more correctly, a scripting
language. It’s interpreted, not compiled. That means that once you’ve
finished writing your program, you can run it straight away, without
having to compile it and sort out errors first. If there are errors,
then they’ll come out when you run the program. But the best part is
that if there are syntax errors, then they’ll come out while you’re
writing the program itself. How? Python is interactive, it scans your
program while you type and makes you fix syntax then and there. No more
searching through your program trying to decode weird error messages.
It is also a very high level language. That means that you don’t have
to worry about things like the size of arrays, since Python takes care
of all that for you. You just worry about writing a good program. After
C++, this is very welcome. Tomorrow I’ll give you an extended comparison of Python with other languages and explain why it’s perfect as a starting language.
Technorati Tags: Python, programming, C++
Here we finally are, the last part of the series. This final post will just talk about some common extensions that you probably will find useful.
First off is AdBlock. If you don’t have this extension, get it. Now. It does just what the name says: it blocks ads. Simple and intuitive to use and completely effective.
One of Firefox’s most basic tools is tabs. They’re good enough on their own, but the Tab Mix Plus extension, makes them just that much better and easier to use. There is also another extension called Tabbrowser Preferences. Both of them do mostly the same thing, use whichever one suits you best.
Finally for those of you who equate performance and quality with speed, grab FasterFox, a simple tool designed to make your Fox sleeker and quicker.
Of course there are hundreds more extensions than the few mentioned here. So head over to the Extensions page and indulge!.
Now that Email and RSS have been wrapped up, let’s move on to two more important aspects of a netizen’s life, namely blogging and IM.
Unless you run your blog the old fashioned way, that is, off a server by manually editing HTML, then you probably use a blog host that provides you with blogging tools to manage and post to your blog. But sometimes the whole go-to-blog/ login/ go-to-edit-page routine can be tiring. And your blog tool might lack a comfortable WYSIWYG editor, though that’s rare. As an alternative to using your host’s interface you can use an external client such as w.bloggar for Windows or BloGTK for Linux. But why go to all that trouble when you can use a Firefox extension instead? There are in fact not one, but two extensions that add a bloggin client to Firefox: Performancing and Deepest Sender. Both are capable of handling multiple accounts and blogs and have full featured WYSIWYG editors along with source editing. Deepest Sender opens in it’s own window by default, though you can open it in the sidebar. Performancing gives you the choice of opening in a new window or in a tab inside Firefox. Though both are quite usable, I prefer Performancing as it seems to have a more professional interface and more polish. But I encourage you to try out both and take your pick.
Like Email, there are no complete IM extensions out there. There is ChatZilla, but that is only for IRC. But don’t despair. You can still have IM in your browser!. Check out Meebo. It’s a web service, using AJAX technology that allows you to connect to multiple networks and works just like a normal client. Sure it takes some getting used to and lacks “power features” like video or voice, but hey, it’s a start and is pretty good at what it does. Check it out.
Tomorrow we wrap this series with some general extensions that the community finds useful.
Enough history and related boring stuff. Let’s get to the interesting stuff:
After browsing, e-mail is probably the most important use of the internet for most people. For some people like my dad, email is more important than browsing. So, where does Firefox come in? Well, there is no extension that turns Firefox into a full-fledged mail client. If you want a mail client you’re going to have to use somethine else. Mozilla Thunderbird is a good choice. But if you want to manage your mail through Firefox, as I do, the most obvious choice is to use Webmail. If you use your ISP’s email account, then your ISP probably gives you a webmail service. If not there are numerous free mail providers. Personally I recommend Gmail. Not only does it give over 2.5GB of storage, which is enough to keep anyone happy for a long time, it is also the fastest mail interface that I have ever seen. Once you’ve chosen your mail service, you can go looking for extensions. Once again GMail has a large number of extensions, but Yahoo also has a fair number. i personally use GMail Manager and GMail skins.
A growing number of people are using RSS feeds, to keep track of everything from news to blogs. While Firefox uses Live Bookmarks to fetch RSS headlines, you might want something like a complete RSS Reader. In that case you might want to try out Wizz RSS Reader. This does a very good jub of keeping track of and presenting your feeds in a clean and easy interface. There is also a large amount of documentation easily available. It’s a must have on the road to turn Firefox into Superfox.
Enough for today. Tomorrow we cover two more important net activities: blogging and IM. As always, comments welcome.
Firefox, Opera, Gmail, RSS