Thursday, February 14, 2008

My big problem is

that, for a person who spends a heck of a lot of time online, I'm not very efficient at it. I do a lot of research using Google Books and Google Scholar. I blog, LiveJournal, twitter, facebook, and so on. I read webpages, webcomics, blogs, I keep in touch with friends via email, gTalk, AIM, facebook, blogs. It's a complicated set of things.

Complicating the matter somewhat, I don't have a main computer. At my house, I have my battery-impaired PowerBook, chained to my desk. At work, I can use the PC or the fairly nice PowerMac in my office, and there is a MacBook that I can use and check out to bring home if no faculty or other staff need it. At Sabrina's house, I have a kind of old PowerMac G4, plus I can sometimes borrow her MacBook Pro. None of these can really do the job of my "main computer." Its too inconvenient to cart my broken PowerBook about, the MacBook isn't mine, and I work and play on the computer in all of these places. As a result, I've gotten used to storing my current work on a USB flash drive, I use a lot of Google products like Gmail, Google Reader, and Google Calender instead of using Apps on my computer.

On all of these computers, I've been using mostly Safari, and sometimes Firefox, but I've become quit aware of how inefficient these things are. Firefox is often better than Safari, because it seems to work better with some Google apps and such. Plus, it is far more extensible than other browsers, even though there are plenty of plug-ins and customizations for Safari and Camino. Unlike both Safari and Camino, though, Firefox doesn't feel very Mac-like, which breaks up the experience a bit, and it seems (just from my experience using it on slower computers) to be creeping to the behemoth size of some of the more traditional Mozilla projects.

One possible answer is cross-platform Portable Firefox. But this means plugging in my stick every time I want to browse, not just when I need to get some work done. I guess I could put a package of my favorite plug-ins, bookmarks, etc. together and install it on all the computers I use, but then there is the consistency problem, i.e., what if I find a great new Greasemonkey script and get used to it on one computer, and then I don't have it on the others... Anyhow, bears some thinking about. Time to get more professional and efficient with my online work and play!

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