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Eventually I'll list and describe here my favorite Mac programs. One I use a lot is Circus Ponies Notebook (see http://www.circusponies.com/), in which I generate and store most writing, to-do lists, web clippings, and some images and app tutorials -- it can keep and organize any kind of file, and facilitate voice annotation, easy dragging of stuff from one place to another within the program, or into the program, or onto a website. Here's a Notebook self-description: "Circus Ponies NoteBook helps you keep track of photos, e-mails, graphics, documents. Create project journals, directories, or portfolios. Clip images, e-mails, and news stories. Add formatted, searchable notes. Find anything using NoteBook's patented indexing technology." I see they  omit mentioning that you can draw in the thing. Tons of features. Cost: $49.95 when last I checked.

Slightly similar free Mac programs are xpad and sidenote. Back when I used a Windows computer, I used a vaguely similar  but much less feature-rich freeware program named KeyNote (via tranglos.com), which is unrelated to Apple's Keynote program. 

Mac programs which are not free, and which somewhat resemble Circus Ponies Notebook, include Together, MacJournal, Omni Outliner Pro, Journler (which I think is free for non-commercial use), Ulysses, DevonThink,                            VoodooPad (which has a free version, VoodooPad Lite) and Caboodle (the cheapest of these, except for the free alternatives). I've used a few of these and may find time to discuss them another day.

If you're a newish Mac user, I think you'd be wise to check the daily software discounts at mupromo.com and maczot.com -- occasionally both sites offer amazing bundle deals, as does macheist.com. A good way to keep track of daily updates to Mac software, and introductions of new programs, is to install the free menu bar app mumenu, available via macupdate.com (that and versiontracker.com are the prime Mac software sites; both sites have lots of user reviews, as does iusethis.com).

Firefox 3 is now available -- click here. It's working fine for me -- several of the old extensions don't yet work in the latest Firefox -- and some important ones, such as sessionsaver, are no longer necessary, since their functions have been incorporated into the base browser. On my Mac, I use Safari, Opera, Firefox, Camino and Flock about equally (Flock can use some of the key Firefox extensions, such as showcase and downthemall).

Has a virus infected your computer? Click here for a free security scan.

Below I'll list my favorite firefox extensions (for PC or Mac). First, though...

About 4 years ago, I finally switched to an Apple computer -- an iMac G5 -- a considerably more pleasant machine to use than my old Dull laptop. Gone, for me, are the frequent crashes and the need to defend against viruses and spyware. (So far, those critters pose no real threat to the current-day Mac operating system, OS X. -- though I do use the free Mac virus scanner ClamXav -- which does catch viruses which can't hurt my Mac but could do harm if I inadvertently passed one to a Windows user/computer. Of course, most newer Macs can run Windows as well as the Mac OS X operating system, and viruses can infect the Windows parts of those machines, so protection is essential. Actually, even on my aging iMac, I occasionally run Windows 2000 using Virtual PC -- but that involves "emulation", in which everything must be translated, while the newer iMacs, Powerbooks, AirBooks and MacBooks can run Windows "natively", without any emulation -- resulting in very snappy performance. I use a windows virus scanner in the Windows part of my Mac.) Like other Macs, my machine is a beautiful thing to behold, and it's gratifying to know that the iMac I'm now using was designed primarily by Democrats; the makers of the Dull computers contribute heavily to the Repubs - political party too long in power in the U.S. -- a party I'd rather not subsidize.

Apple's innovative, recently introduced desktop and notebook computers, are probably the best computers to choose now (for those who need a new machine).

Save all the Hassle with Intel Mac/Pre-Installed Windows XP System Bundles!

Amazon.com offers Apple computers at lower prices than than Apple itself, and the same Apple warranties apply (it's usually wise to buy extended Applecare with computers - especially notebooks).

Apple and MacNN have active, informative forums.

If you're using a Windows computer, you may be interested in the free PC Troubleshooting Course at CNET.


free HTML tutorial at W3Schools

My favorite Firefox extensions
(I'll update the somewhat outdated list below after checking which ones work in Firefox 3, and which have become superfluous. Stumbleupon and DownThemAll are still great, have been updated. Colorful Tabs didn't work for me the last time I tried it, a good while ago. I see I omitted Showcase, the extension I used the most. Oh well, will get back here later.

Extensions are what make Firefox special. Here are some I now use -- and recommend -- with descriptions by their makers. Click extension titles to reach their download pages:

Hold down Alt (or Option on a Mac) and click on any word to get a quick definition, an up-to-the-minute reference and more. You don't even need to highlight the word!

StumbleUpon 2.2
StumbleUpon lets you "channelsurf" the best-reviewed sites on the web. It is a collaborative surfing tool for browsing, reviewing and sharing great sites with like-minded people. This helps you find interesting webpages you wouldn't think to search for."

.... a lightweight Web feed reader for Mozilla Firefox. It's got a lot of what you need and not much of what you don't. Supports RSS, Atom, automatic feed discovery, and full integration with Firefox's Live Bookmarks." (Usually I rely instead on the stand-alone newsreader NetNewsWire.)

Do you listen to music while surfing the Web? Now you can control your favorite media player without ever leaving Firefox.
Supports WinAmp, iTunes, Yahoo Music Engine, foobar2000, Windows Media Player, Musicmatch, Quintessential, J. River, jetAudio, XMPlay, MediaMonkey, Media Player Classic, Sonique, wxMusik, Real Player, XMMS, Noatun, Juk, Amarok, Music Player Daemon, Rhythmbox and many other players.
CNET Editor's Rating: 5/5 stars
PC Magazine: Top 15 Firefox Extensions

Why do we have to load a slow external download manager/accelerator, when we can just have DownThemAll inside Firefox? DownThemAll lets you filter and download - literally in a click - all the links contained in any web-page, increasing download speed up to 600%, and letting you pause and resume downloads any time you want, also from previous FF sessions! No AdWare, no waits. Just the files you want, in a click.

With gTranslate you can translate any text in a webpage just by selecting and right-clicking over it. The extension uses the Google translation services to translate the text. gTranslate is not affiliated with Google Inc. in any way.
* Translates from:
English to German / German to English
English to Spanish / Spanish to English
English to French / French to English
English to Italian / Italian to English
English to Portuguese / Portuguese to English
English to Japanese / Japanese to English
English to Korean / Korean to English
English to Chinese (Simplified) / Chinese (Simplified) to English
German to French / French to German
* Browser locale and page language auto-detection (if the "lang" attribute is defined for the selected tag or for the whole page).
For example: By defalut gTranslate has "German to English" as language pair. If you your locale is set to French then "German to French" is going to be used, but if the page (or the selected text) is detected to be in English, it will be translated from "English to French".
* Support for translating text from input and text area form fields. Image title or alt attributes can be translated also.
* Supported locales: en-US, es-ES, ca-AD, fr-FR, de-DE, it-IT and ko-KR.

Map This 0.1.2
This extension will let you get a Google map for any address on a webpage. Just select the address, right-click and choose "Map This". Also, you can set your home location in the preferences, and choose "Map To This" to get driving directions
- Choice between Yahoo! and Google maps (more later)
- Specify start location in preferences and use "Map To This" option to get driving directions
(note: "map it!" does something similar)

Tab Preview
Tab Preview is an extension for Firefox 1.5 that shows a preview of tab contents when you move your mouse over a background tab. It's simple to use, but surprisingly useful.

Colorful Tabs
The most beautiful yet the simplest add-on that makes a lot of sense. Colors every tab in a different color and makes them easy to distinguish while beautifying the overall appeal of the interface. An essential. The tabs are colored by the position so that closing of the intermediate tabs does not decrease the approximity of the different shades of the same color. The selected tab is in bold red. Use it for a few hours and you will realise how subconsciously you get to the right [tab] easily. More coming soon once i use javascript.

note: also see forecastfox extension. The newish extension 1-ClickWeather ("Instant local weather, alerts, radar in motion, satellite maps, and forecasts") may also be swell; some have complained about its obtrusive icon.

I also decided to resume using adblock (apparently the memory problems it caused in earlier versions have been fixed); also check adblock plus (there's debate regarding which version of that is best).

Other firefox extensions I'm testing: Tab Mix Plus, Wizz RSS News Reader, BugMeNot, flowtabs

One which ddidn't work for me when I tested it last year, but which sounds promising:
-- moves the tab bar to the left side of the browser window, and tabs stack vertically. Scrollbar added when there are too many tabs.
Requires: Firefox: 1.5

There are more than 800 other Firefox extensions, and new ones appear almost every day. I'd rather play in my garden or play my harmonica than test them all. If you discover an especially helpful and stable extension, let me know (via the comments box at the bottom of any upchange page).


Buy.com is a place to check for good deals on all kinds of stuff, including electronics and books: 2 million products, over 7 million customers, everyday low prices and free shipping!. For extra computer memory, I've found that computer makers charge much more than Crucial.com, where I've bought RAM modules a couple of times:


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