Every day I fire up my computer I learn something new. Today it was Firefox seeking approval to update an Extension. For the truly adventurous there’s a Firefox 2 Visual Refresh 2 Beta available. This offers a slightly modified user interface (UI). As well as a changed Preferences dialog based on the Firefox 3 code named ‘Minefield’ UI.
And if you wonder why the Freeloader has become cautious? It’s on account of my last Firefox upgrade that wiped out my bookmarks, browsing history, Scrapbook contents and all saved passwords! So until the next major build update I’m not installing an interim release. Just for a modified layout that I only plan using once. When I define the browser preferences.
My all-time favorite online game, Rasterwerks Phosphor Beta, was updated in early-August 2006. I can’t be more specific than that lost as I am playing this great first person shooter (FPS). Yes Dorothy. You can still be blown through the walls. Except now you are doomed to wander the parallel pathways like a lost soul while the murder and mayhem continues around you! There’s more bad news: the bots seems hardier than ever. And unless you get that golden head shot you are unlikely to take them out without being previously injured or killed. The good news is that you can now harvest weapons from destroyed players. The weapon is the last one being used by a specific player. And a new health reward is available at the tunnel mouth, right below the bridge.
Looking for more online entertainment? Hush! I didn’t mean pornography. But Gwiggle, a new online puzzle solver. That helps you learn how to use Google better. The game is separated into levels. Whose degree of difficulty increases as you advance. Level 1 is really simple if you know what you should be looking for.
Gwiggle isn’t all play. It’s a real learning game. That helps improve advanced search techniques as you ascend the knowledge pyramid. Some of it is simple stuff like surrounding key phrases with quotes. Or locating related web pages using related:webpage. And if you feel like advance study can help improve scores. You may want to review Google’s Grand List of Search Techniques.
I don’t recall mentioning Task Switch XP in this column. This neat, free Windows XP/2003 utility enhances the Alt-Tab dialog (used to switch between open applications). The built-in version displays just the application name and icon. TaskSwitch XP add a thumbnail screen shot of the application window. And the utility allows you to define custom processes that close or open windows. For more, after you download the software, is to read thru the detailed Guide.
The other day I had a chance to revisit the free Microsoft Time Zone. This semi-lost (it first appeared in mid-2004) productivity utility. This runs in the System Tray, and let you view date and time in various locations around the world. You can use the included cities. Or add your own. Microsoft Time Zone requires the .Net (dot net) Framework 2.0 or later installed. It also requires you are using a validated copy of Windows.
And if you don’t have a validated copy of Windows. You may be interested in Microsoft’s Research GroupBar utility. That is available for unrestricted download. GroupBar offers enhanced window management capabilities in a Windows Taskbar-like setting. Use it to create transient groupings that can be used to perform window layout functions. And you can also save your open windows in Snapshot. Allowing you to re-use custom groups later. GroupBar is a complete stand alone application. And doesn’t need dot net component to run.
So cheers for a while. we’ll continue sometime soon. Until then Stay Safe!