Author Archives: anat - Page 2

Firefox Add-ons

So thanks to a commenter on Aja’s LJ I discovered Ghostery, a Firefox add-on to increase your privacy by controlling tons of ‘invisible web’ scripts and trackers.

I installed it, and it reminded me I’ve often also wanted to post about LOS cookies, and the add-on Better Privacy, which enables you to wipe them out.

Then I thought I should make a list of the other FF add-ons I use, because, why not? I’m not going to put the links in, but google will find them for you in a jiff.

This list is from my install of FF 7 on the Mac, ie the cleanest/smallest list of all my FF installs. I still mourn Wordcount+ and Aardvark something fierce, and I haven’t (yet?) installed Scrapbook on Ariadne.

  • Adblock Plus
  • Boomerang for Gmail (haven’t yet used it, though)
  • Diigo toolbar (will probably uninstall in the next 6 months)
  • Evernote Web Clipper
  • Greasemonkey (daily use for LJ, Pinboard, Dinosaur Comics etc)
  • NoScript (lifesaver)
  • Pinboard
  • Read It Later
  • Session Manager (lifesaver)
  • Tab Mix Plus (lifesaver)
  • Xmarks (browser bookmarks sync across platforms/browsers/machines)


This is the sound of time rushing by while I juggled too many balls (dropped a few) and tore my hair out over computer mysteries.

I’m not going to try to be very structured; I’m not in the mood and it would take me too long.

Five Things: 4 text editors I have at this moment installed on Ariadne the MBP, and another I will soon install.

SublimeText 2
Mou (“the missing Markdown editor for web developers”)

I installed Multimarkdown yesterday, and then the MMD bundle for TextMate, and then I spent an hour NOT UNDERSTANDING why it wasn’t working. After a while Math came to hold my hand on AIM, and it turned out I was making my test with a command that is in the doc but not in the soft, so it was unsurprisingly not working. ANASMASH. (hey TextMate dudes: don’t publish faulty documentation. BAD DOCS ARE WORSE THAN NO DOCS)

So I’m slowly learning to use MMD (she says, while writing a post in the WordPress interface without using MMD shorthand at all…). This is a goal of mine.

TextMate, now, yes, it seems SUPER CLEVER and very, um, handy? Or, say, potentially handy? But also… probably too much for me. I’m not a coder, after all, and I’m still not sure I grok how it works, and soon my trial will expire… I just don’t know how much of myself I want to put into that learning curve.

So I think I’m going to focus on MMD (here’s a special episode of the MacPowerUsers podcast about it), try to use Mou and see if I like it, and of course, eventually (next paycheck, whenever that is) the amaaaaazing-love-it-forever Scrivener.

Other links (stuff I haven’t tried yet):

how to make your Library folder visible (it’s hidden by default in Lion, grrrr)
iTerm 2, a terminal emulator / replacement for iTerm
Forklift, a file manager, FTP client and more
PathFinder 5, a file manager / Finder replacement

– not a Mac thing but an iPhone/iTouch app: a better (I heard) calendar, WeekCalendar.

I still haven’t installed any sort of launcher (Launcher, Quicksilver) but I’m also not using Spotlight to launch apps – haven’t gotten started using Spotlight, honestly. I click and use the Launchpad, which I’m only now starting to find irritatingly long/unefficient. I also still haven’t solved the iTunes question, nor the backup problem.


Let’s put this on the table right away: I haven’t yet solved the big questions.

* Which iTunes becomes the “master” iTunes for my iDevices (staying as is, with the PC as my main computer, or bestowing that privilege to the Mac?)

* How do I rejig my storage and backup strategies to include the Mac in the plans?

These remain unanswered for now.

Now, what’s been going on…

° I still have these two blog posts open in tabs, trying to make a decision:

John Gruber on getting rid of Flash & cheating w/ Chrome
Lex Friedman on reinstalling it

° I found Fluid, a wrapper to allow you to make any web-app into a ‘standalone’ app.

° It is with relief and not a small amount of joy that I installed Firefox & my trusted/necessary extensions, as well as my favorite download manager, jDownloader. Even though for a mysterious (non-mac) reason, I haven’t managed to “connect” the FlashGot FF add-on to jDownloader like I have on the PC (which allows me to select a link on a page and automatically trigger a download for it), I’m still pleased to have my usual tools at my fingertips. :)

° I’m still pining for a text editor I like, but since I haven’t tried anything but the pre-installed TextEdit I can’t honestly say I haven’t found anything – I just haven’t dealt with the issue. In the meantime it means I’m doing my blog-post writing either inside the WordPress editor (for this blog) or on the PC (for my other blogs / my journals / fic beta-reading, etc unless I edit in WordPress and then CP out of there, which has happened). This can’t continue very long. note to self: get yourself a proper text editor.

° I’ve started using Evernote on the iTouch a little more, which makes me think I need to install the Mac version and see how I like it.

° Not mac-specific: I’ve discovered and starting using, which I’m a little too addled at the moment to describe – the domain name stands for ‘if this then that’ and their tagline is ‘put internet to work for you’. You should read the about page, which has a lovely, direct URL:

° I’ve been doing recording and sound-editing on the Mac and I am floored every time anew by the quality of the built-in mic for voicework, as well as the pleasure and ease I experience doing editing with my fingers on the trackpad. Plus now my new Snowball mic arrived, whee! There is a LOT of podfic work in my future. <3 That's it for today, I think.

Boomerang, podcasts, & links.

So I’ve started using Mailplane. So far, so good. I really like that it allows me to double click to log in and out of MANY gmail accounts, not just 3 as with Google’s easy-account switching solution. I will probably be faster with it when I learn to use kb shortcuts more (but then I have failed to learn using them in gmail all along, too, so nobody hold their breath).

Then while watching the demo videos for it, I stumbled onto Boomerang, a gmail plugin (pre-existing Mailplane, and compatible with it) that allows you to bounce things out of your inbox temporarily and have them come back at you (boomerang) at a later date. It also does a few other things, all great/handy. (There are also things you can do with apps script to snooze an email in gmail, apparently.)


I suspect I am the wrong person to use this, since I will probably send EVERYTHING boomeranging across the ether, like I tend to send everything to Read It Later (and only read a very tiny fraction of the things, later). But nevertheless I am ENCHANTED to have found this and thought others might be interested in it too.

By the way, here’s a link to the MacPowerUsers podcast I’m listening to at the moment (I started with the first Merlin Mann Workflow episode because that’s how I heard about them, but I downloaded many of the past episodes), and here’s the Back to Work podcast where Merlin officiates weekly. The show notes for many past episodes (of both podcasts) are teeming with good links, whether you choose to listen or not. They make interesting lists to peruse.

What else? More apps-related things, with links / thoughts.

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Today’s adventures

I spent part of the afternoon moving / re-plugging the very old desktop PC that serves as a “guest” machine, and which was lying around in pieces after I moved it off to appropriate its ex-location for my new standing desk.

It’s a very, very slow machine running XP (family/home edition). I have this project of making it run a lightweight Linux version sometime in the future, but not until I’m sure I can run the &$@#!*@#% printer/scanner from MY desktop PC.

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Quickly, to start catching up

I’ve been sitting on many of the things I should have put in this blog while I was finding a name for it & then setting it up, so here’s a jumble of things I jotted down on a notebook.

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Setting up house

So, here we are.

It’s been exactly one week since the day of The Unboxing of my shiny Macbook Pro, which was the amazingly generous surprise birthday gift from a bunch of family and friends. The machine now has a name (Ariadne – yes, I’m in an Inception-fandom phase), two user profiles (one with admin privileges and one without), a desktop wallpaper,  and some new software installed.

I still don’t really have a handle on it, though, and particularly, I’m still not operational for editing/publishing text, editing/indexing pictures, password management & other logistical issues, and even, to my great dismay, browsing.

This might be because I’ve made the mistake of trying to start anew completely, from scratch, and have thus scorned a Firefox installation (I’m a long time Firefox user, the sort with many favorite extensions) in favor of a clean start with Safari.

I’m starting to realize that Safari, and my inefficience at it, is driving me bonkers. So that might change soon.

Soon to come to a post near you: lists of problems encoutered, flaily questions I asked Twitter, soft I downloaded but I’m not sure I want to install, soft I installed but I’m not sure I want to keep, and deep existential writhing about the necessity (or lack thereof) of installing Quicksilver.

But first, let me see how this plugin handles the crossposting to Dreamwith. :)