Cartoons, comics, CSS, E-books, E-mail, Facebook, General ramblings, GMail, Google, greasemonkey, Life, Microsoft, Mozilla Firefox, Programming, social bookmarking, Social Networking, Software, Technology, Themes, Thoughts, Tumblr, Web 2.0, Web designing, Windows Vista, Wordpress, yahoo

What’s in my Laptop?

Amit Agarwal from Labnol recently posted a link to Gina’s article, where she’s listed all the programs that are currently installed in her computer. I have seen many other bloggers prepare such lists too. I spend so much of my time every day, tinkering around with various applications, but have never given them any credit on my blog. So this post is a tribute to all these lovely creatures who improve my browsing experience every single day. It might help you get some ideas or discover some new tools too.

My primary Laptop: Compaq Presario V2000 with Windows XP Operating System

Secondary Laptop: HP Pavilion dv2000 with Windows Vista Operating System

My desire is to own a tablet PC made by Apple. I’ll buy it as soon as it’s released. :) I also fester desires of learning how to install a fully functioning Linux OS someday!

Browsers: The social browser Flock- Amazing browser for people who are avid bloggers and social networkers on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Flickr etc. Check out my review here.

Mozilla Firefox version 3 beta 2- Just downloaded it yesterday and I’m in love with their new location bar feature, that pulls out page titles and addresses in two different lines and colors, from your recent browser history and bookmarks!

Here’s a screen shot from the Official Website:

Add-ons and Extensions:

Shareaholic- An extension that lets you submit a page to countless number of social networking sites such as Digg, Delicious, Stumbleupon, Google Bookmarks, Friendfeed, Facebook etc. You can customize the drop down menu to include only those bookmarking sites that you use. You can also email the page you’re viewing. Here’s a screen shot (notice the green button with a drop down list only):

Screenshot: This Flock extension allows you to save webpages (entire, visible portion, selection) and windows (eg. browser, blog, uploader) as .png or .jpeg images. You can save these images to your file system, the clipboard or even send them straight to the photo uploader.

Cocomments: This extension helps me track every single comment that I’ve left on any sort of web page- Be it a website, blog or a channel like Youtube. I get notifications in my browser (in the shape of a small envelope) if there’s a reply to my comment. I find this to be really helpful because the “My Comments” tab at WP.com is very slow and it only shows a certain number of recent conversations. Plus, there’s no other way that I can track my comments left on non-WP.com blogs. All you’ve got to do is install the extension and it takes care of everything!

Here’s a screen shot:

Greasemonkey: What in the world would I Do without this add on? :) This is the best thing about Firefox and Flock. Too bad that Internet Explorer people have to suffer! Currently, I’m using the following scripts:

LookitUp2- Quickly look something up in wikipedia, a dictionary or whatever you like (its easy to add custom sites!). The result is displayed directly on the page.

TextareaBackup- Retains text entered in text areas

WordPress Comment Ninja- Respond to comments directly by post and/or email from inside your WordPress dashboard. For WordPress bloggers.

Comment Pre-fill- Fillout comment form fields with a single keyboard shortcut!

Greased Lightbox (v0.15)- Enhances browsing on websites that link to images such as Google Image Search, Flickr, Wikipedia, Facebook, MySpace, and deviantART

Userscripts.org Rank By Popularity- When browsing scripts on userscripts.org it will change the icon on the left to show how popular a script is. Very useful for focusing on the best scripts.

Mailto 2 Webmail- Open those “mailto:” links in your GMail, Yahoo, AOL etc. email accounts instead of the default Outlook Express.

Yahoo Pipe Cleaner- Removes most of the HTML markup from Yahoo Pipe run output so that it can be cut-and-pasted into WordPress blogs.

Out of these, my absolute favorite is the WordPress Comment Ninja and the Greased Lightbox (when I’m looking at images and want to see the expanded version, all I do is click on the picture and it zooms out. No need to open another link! Cool, isn’t it? :)

You can also check out this and this, where I’ve prepared a list for other scripts that are very useful.

GoogleDocs Extension: Great stuff for all you Google Fans out there. :) From the official website:

With gDocsBar, you can drag and drop multiple files into the sidebar to upload documents. You can search and filter documents right from the sidebar. Your Gmail credentials are sent to Google directly over SSL. Your passwords are stored in Firefox Password Manager.

Software Applications:

Pidgin- Log into all chat clients and receive new email notifications and lots of other features.

WinRAR- For opening zipped files

DietMP3- compress your MP3 files

TextPad- Works great for CSS/HTML coding etc.

CDisplay- For reading e-comics

Irfanview- Resizes your images and lots of other capabilities

Apart from this, there’s the usual crap that’s worth not mentioning. I prefer to keep the number of applications running at the minimum and have a fetish for keeping my hard disk neat and tidy.

Some other junk that I found over the internet:

Ten Quickfixes to Make Your Windows Computer Run FasterĀ 

DownloadmyLink- Free Megashare/Rapidshare file downloader…no need to wait for 60+ minutes or reset your internet connection.

Senduit: Easily share you files- very clean UI

Instapaper: Bookmark those articles that you want to “Read Later” and might not be “Delicious”.

Social Bookmarks:
Standard
Blogging, CSS, CSS Upgrade, CustomCSS, Life, Themes, Thoughts, Web designing, Wordpress

Uncovering the New Blog Look

After ranting about the free WordPress themes for more than a year, I finally decided to take the plunge and get myself the CSS upgrade. This was a difficult decision for me because I’m only a basic user of CSS, but after experimenting with the “Preview” function in another blog, I did start feeling more confident about my coding abilities.

This design is based on the CSS skin called Baubles. Most of the CSS skins that are free and ready to download (for WordPress.com) are based on either the Sandbox/Sandbox-10 or the K2-Lite theme. It’s important to know that there are many many WordPress themes available for download…but 98% of them are only available for WordPress.org users.

Some of the major changes made by me:

1. Wide, 3 column look- Most of the three column themes at WordPress suck, except for maybe Digg-3, which is one of the most widely used themes here. So, this was a conscious decision to be different and try to incorporate all the good things in the same theme.

2. Footer- I added a strip of picture to my footer and tried to spice it up.

3. I’ve personalized the background color for comments made by the blog author.

4. Those of you who are WordPress users can probably see the new, green color for the navigation bar! I can also make it disappear with a piece of code

5. Also made a small signature using GIMP. I plan to use it for all my posts henceforth.

Problems with the Theme-

1. I removed the Blog Header and Description from the style sheet and added the blog header image, which is no longer click-able. There is a new widget in my Presentation tab that adds the Home Page link though.

2. I don’t like the border around some images in my sidebar. I need to find a way to remove them.

6. You must have noticed the small leafy, images in the sidebar and at the beginning of each blog title. I made them using GIMP, Irfanview and some free images that I downloaded from the internet. Those of you who have the upgrade or just want to learn CSS anyway, should download the Firefox add-on called CSS Viewer, that lets a user view the detailed CSS of any blog/website. It’s a great tool if you want to try to replicate the style of some other blog/website.

I also really like the Diurnal skin by the same designer. I plan to use it next (whenever I make the theme change, that is). My question for you is- Do you like the new look? Any suggestions? :)

ruhi.jpg

Standard