Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The definitive Firefox communicator

Upgrade to Firefox 1.5!
In the history of Mozilla, the original Mozilla suite, which originated from the Netscape communitator, in addition to the core browser, consists of an email app, an instant messenger and a webpage editor. Sure, it's rich in features, but it's very big, takes a long time to download, and early versions of it were buggy. Some one came up with the "keep-it-simple" idea, and made a great single purpose browser: Firefox.

But with it's powerful extendable architecture, and the advent of AJAX based web applications, Firefox is now almost the all purpose communicator once again, and with a much smaller foot print on computer system resources. Here's how I did it:

I use Gmail, now that makes a lot of difference. It's one of the best AJAX based web apps I've used. Unlike most webmail interfaces, everything in Gmail responds instaneously, as if it were a mail app on your desktop. You click on a title of a mail, and boom, it expands and is ready for your reading pleasure within less then a second. Everything is where you'd expect it to be. Replys to the same mail stream are grouped together, in what they call: conversations. Right after you finished reading the mail, the reply input box is right there under the mail. And, expected from Google, you can, of course, search your mail and contacts. No more digging around in folders. Because the whole interface is streamlined and carefully crafted for your ease of use, it feels so good that I ditched my real mail apps (Thunderbird on PC and Snappermail on handheld) altogether.
(P.S. need Gmail? I've got some invitations around to share)

RSS feeds:
Well, Firefox covered that right out of the box. They called it: Live bookmarks. Sweet.

Instant messaging:
The best experience here comes from Gmail chat, which is a feature of Gmail. However, all my friend are on the MSN network, and web MSN isn't that good, so I still have to keep my MSN messenger on my desktop. Pitty.

Here's the PCman plugin that lets you use telnet with Firefox. Although sometimes a little buggy, it feels good to have everything under one roof, with the convinence of Firefox's tabbed browsing. I like it.
Mozilla Taiwan 討論區: pcman - ( firefox 1.5 ) 懶人包 by 新注音 新倉頡

What's next?
I recall seeing a FTP extension for Firefox, maybe I should try it sometime.

So, when Firefox does it all, I can eliminate several softwares and keep my system clean and neat.

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