Browsing

I haven’t been here for a while, I know, so here is something I’ve found recently. I have been using Firefox as my main browser since before it reached ver 1 but lately I felt it was getting slower. I have tried a few others, Konquerer, the default browser on KDE is quite good but had some problem with a couple of sites. I really liked Arora but I had become addicted to some of the add-ons in Firefox and Arora is a no frills browser.

Then I found Chrome by Google. Chrome is based on the open source Chromium and is easily the fastest browser I have used. It is still in beta, well it is a Google product, but I’ve found it quite stable.

Best of all it has most of the popular extensions that have made Firefox so powerful. Some of them are also still in development. I’ve had problems syncing with Xmarks, for example. I replaced the Gmail signature add-on I was using with Autopen which is much better. One disappointment is that Cooliris is only available for Windows at the moment. A linux and Mac version has been promised for a while but is still to appear.

I’ve had no problem getting You Tube to work and downloads seem to be handled better than Firefox too. One thing I would like to change is to have Chrome more integrated into the desktop. It doesn’t pick up display properties from the desktop but uses it’s own. Still I would recommend it, give it a try.

Gmail Signatures – Updated

Update. Since I posted this I have found the add-on again. In fact it is now available from the Mozilla Add-Ons site. There is a new home page for it too.

I posted some time ago about Firefox add-ons. One I mentioned was Blank Canvas Gmail Signatures which allowed you to have different signatures for each Gmail account. Unfortunately it is no longer available on the Mozilla site. There is no mention of it on the Blank Canvas site either.

This is a great loss as it is the only Gmail signature add-on that supported multiple accounts. There are other add-ons for signatures but none of them have this feature. The xpi file can still be found on archive sites, a search should bring up a source for you.

Hopefully one of the other add-ons will add this feature or even better Gmail itself will provide it.

Browser Sync

I wrote sometime ago that Google’s Browser Sync was going to close at the end of 2008 (actually 6th January 2009). It will be missed by those of us who used it. No use crying over it now but what will replace it for you?

After a bit of research I found Foxmarks. Originally it only synced bookmarks but the latest version, only for Firefox 3 not 2, also syncs passwords. This makes it a valid replacement for Browser Sync.

In fact it has a few features that make it better. One is the online review of your bookmarks. It shows you a history of when you last updated a bookmark and the last time you visited the site. Useful when you want to clean up your bookmarks.

So if you left finding a replacement for Browser Sync until the last minute have a look at Foxmarks.

Browser Sync Finished?

The Google Operating System blog reports that Google is to discontinue its popular Browser Sync Firefox extension. It is a convenient tool that allows you to access your Browser bookmarks, cookies, history and passwords on multiple computers or as in my case multiple OSes on a dual boot computer. There is no official announcement yet from Google but if the reports are correct Browser will not be updated for Firefox 3 and server support will end at the end of 2008.

While I can understand the reluctance to rewrite the extension for the new version of Firefox I will miss it. I have found it reliable and extremely convenient. There are alternatives of course but nothing which offers the same combination of services.

Follow the link for the full story and links to alternatives.