Geekly Weekly 6 Sept 08

In my never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American Way (well maybe not the recent AW) I’ve explored a few more tools since the last Geekly Weekly, and since not a one of you is begging me to share, okay okay: I will.

CHROME, PRISM, FluidApp Biggest Web New Arrival this week is Google’s browser, Chrome. I don’t expect to jump ship anytime soon and abandon the essential FFx add-ons that will take Chrome some while to appropriate (as it is open source, after all). While there are some cool things about Chrome, FFx can do many of them already. One–turning web sites into free-standing apps–is cool, but Firefox has has Prism and Mac has Fluid App that can be used for the same purpose to create SSB’s– site specific browsers– that in the latter case are free-standing fully mac-compliant programs with their own dock icons, menu bar drop-downs and such. I’m using one for my biz info, a Google Spreadsheet that is way faster than opening Numbers.

TWITTERSEARCH Speaking of websites, Twitter now has search function. Just enter the word in the search field and hit enter; updates come as fast as they’re twittered from around the world. I have set up as an SSB with two windows side by side (Ike and Hanna at the moment).

CUT AND PASTE Freeware: PTH Pasteboard. I won’t need it constantly, but it ought to be standard issue with OS-X. I still prefer SnagIT but it is PC only.

CHUNKIT and GRABuP  More Freeware for FireFox: ChunkIt! This program that works WITH firefox but is NOT just an add-on is harder to explain. Let me just send you to a screenshot (by GrabUp, another freebie for Mac) and explain. ChunkIt (from the installed toolbar) will take a Google Search window or other web page and drill down into it to show search terms in context. In this example, I’ve done a site search of Fragments for Tsuga (since you asked about him, Mark.) Then I’ve told ChunkIt to “chunk” the links on the google page, and from that, I’m able to see in each found link how my search term is used in context. IN this case, I have a third SplitBrowswer window open showing the blog post in which I’ve found the search-ed for combination of the dog’s and and details of the post–without having to open each post separately. Clear as mud. Right?

Okay. Note the Twitter block on the left sidebar on Fragments for the past couple of days–sort of like weenie little updates. And so you can keep up with fast breaking weather news, check out the Wx-Man’s Perspective blog. That Ike looks like one bad dude.

I had more but I see your eyes crossing there and will have mercy. Until the next Geekly Weekly. You were warned.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Thanks for the tips, Fred. I’ve used PTH Pasteboard for a couple of years and it has never let me down. Not as elegant as other solutions, but it’s free!

    Another great freeware app if you need to do any plain-text editing, and coding in particcular, is TextWrangler from BareBones Software. It’s a junior version of their industrial-strength app BBEdit. Entirely adequate for all but professionals.

  2. chunkit phones home. they say the info they keep does not identify you personally, but …

    a pity, it looks like an interesting approach, but it’s not worth their “without limitation” data collection.

    from their privacy policy:
    The Licensed Program collects and sends to TigerLogic technical information about … the computer on which it is installed (including without limitation, the total available memory of the computer and the amount of that memory that is available during the execution of the Licensed Program, the CPU type, Operating System, the browser that is used, the version of .Net that is installed, the screen resolution that is used …
    .. without limitation, the search engine that is used, what search options are selected, the number of the results page on which a selected Chunk is listed, the URLs viewed and clicked on, and the time it took to complete the chunking of a webpage.
    We reserve the right to share certain pieces of aggregated, non-personal information, such as the number of users who searched for a particular term or the number of users who clicked on a particular advertisement, with selected third parties at our discretion (including without limitation: service providers, affiliated companies, any company that purchases our company or assets, marketing partners, government agencies, and other third parties).