Read It Later Firefox extension is wonderful

I often come across websites that I want to read later, but they don’t truly warrant adding formal bookmark. I used to use a special Temp folder for these, but it tended to grow and grow, and was a pain to maintain. Well, I chanced upon this cool Firefox extension called Read It Later (RIT). It’s basic function is to act as a temporary storage place for these one-time URLs. It sets up a nice pop-up window that not only lists the pages, but shows you the age. To add/remove to/from the list, you merely click the checkmark icon that appears in the address bar.

Even more useful, at least for me, is the integration with Google Reader. The same checkmark icon appears at the top of each entry title–right next to the star.

A Read It Later folder is also created in the standard FF bookmarks. Since I use Foxmarks, these are automatically synced to my other PCs; however, RIT also has this feature built-in if you want. It’s got a lot of other cool features and is definitely something you should check out.

Giving up trying to manage RAM. 2GBs on order :-)

Between Firefox and Orb, I’m always monitoring and worrying about maxing out the 2GBs in my main system. I’m T I R E D of it and just ordered two 1GB sticks of RAM from Newegg.com for a whopping $11.99 each! Dang, RAM is cheap. I remember paying $1,200 for 32MB back in the day…yes you read that right: MEGABYTES…and I bought 2!

‘Course, XP can’t even recognize the full 4GBs, but I’ll get some of the last gig since the machine has a whimpy graphics card. (Those that understand the “3GB XP memory limit” will get why this is.)

D650 Motorola Bluetooth Adapter for iPOD Touch. $14!

I’m totally into doing things wirelessly if possible and I’ve been using the Plantronics Voyager 855 stereo Bluetooth headset with my N95. Since my 2nd gen Touch has no BT support, I started looking at the various add-ons. Well, I stumbled upon the D650 Motorola Bluetooth Adapter on Amazon for a paltry $13.99! I saw no reason it shouldn’t work with the Touch and decided to risk the dough.

Well the damn thing works perfectly! I love it!

It’s a little weird pairing it with the headset since the adapter has no controls at all, only a single blinking light. Basically, you put the headset into discovery mode and pause your iPod on a song. Then plug the adapter into your iPod and press play. The light blinks for a bit and voila, it connects! No battery either. It gets it’s power from the iPod.

The sound isn’t as good as wired headphones, but the 855 and D650 support A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) so its not too bad. Being wireless more than make up for any shortcomings in the quality. They also support AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile) so I can control volume, pause and play from the controls on the headset.

Note that Amazon has the same adapter listed with a price of $14.99. The only difference I can see, other than the $1 price diff, is that the model number is 89147 instead of 89147J. I bought the cheaper 89147J. The picture shows it plugged into an old Nano.

UPDATE 2009-08-28
I just got brave enuf to upgrade my 2nd gen iPod Touch to 3.0. The Bluetooth works well with my Plantronics 855 and no WiFi issues. Totally worth the $10. Now, no need for the D650.

Palm Pre, my next phone? Maybe.

I was thinking about replacing my aging Nokia N95-1 this year, with the N97 being a strong candidate. However, the Palm Pre may have debuted at the top of my list. I have resisted the Apple iPhone temptation due to it’s closed architecture and lack of certain features (e.g., multitasking and cut&paste). Still, I do have a 2nd gen Touch, which when tethered via WiFi gives me the best of both worlds.

Even saying this, I’ll probably need to see certain apps on the Pre before I pull the trigger. I’m also not too crazy about moving to Sprint. Anyways, here are the N95 apps I rely on and what I’ll need to see on the Pre before I move on:

  • Podcast player. The passive bookmarking is essential!
  • Google Maps. Traffic info is a must.
  • JoikuSpot. This cool app turns my N95 into a mobile WiFi hotspot. Great for connecting a laptop or my Touch to the Internet.
  • SymSMB. Allows me to browse and manage my phone files wirelessly from my PC.
  • SymSync. Automatically and wirelessly syncs folders between my phone and PC. This app is incredible! I use it to sync my pdocasts which I process though a speed up utility which makes them playback faster, but with no change in tone (i.e., it doesn’t sound like the Chipmonks.)
  • HandySafe. Basically, this is just a app that allows me to securely store private info.
  • Google Sync. Right now I use the GooSync service to sync my phone with Google Contacts and Calendar

I suppose there is no real reason I need to ditch my N95 although Edge is becoming annoying. It’s 5MP camera is stellar. The Pre’s 3MP would be a step down. Hmmmm. Besides the N97, there is always the N96 I guess.

Jaiku goes open source. No more active development by Google

According to this post by Google, they are no longer going to actively develop Jaiku and will release the engine as an open-source project.

As we mentioned last April, we are in the process of porting Jaiku over to Google App Engine. After the migration is complete, we will release the new open source Jaiku Engine project on Google Code under the Apache License. While Google will no longer actively develop the Jaiku codebase, the service itself will live on thanks to a dedicated and passionate volunteer team of Googlers.

Well, I guess it could be worse. I still like Jaiku. Hopefully, this won’t affect TwitKu.com

Disabling Forecastbar Enhanced Firefox extension fixed memory leak

I’ve always had a severe memory leak issue with Firefox. FF will slowly grab more and more memory often hitting 1/2 GB with only 3-4 tabs open.

I use a ton of extensions and I read a couple sites where they listed off a bunch that were known to contribute to memory leaks. For whatever reason I zeroed in on Forecastbar Enhanced as a likely suspect. Well, low and behold, it seems to have fixed a major contributor to my problem. There are probably others and I’m disabling the ones that I can live without.

I’m sort of suspecting that it could be a combination of extensions because I use Forecastbar at work and it doesn’t eat away memory like at home. Oh well, I guess ya can’t argue with success.

Open Google Chrome links in Firefox…kinda

I like opening Gmail and Google Reader in Google Chrome (GC) because it seems to manage memory much nicer. Leaving those sites open in Firefox often results in hundreds of megabytes of RAM used. The problem is I’d like to open GC links in Firefox. I’ve got too many FF extensions that make life so much easier.

Right now I’m using the Open in Google Chrome FF extension so that these two sites open up GC. However, if I click a link on either, those obviously will continue to open up in GC. Note that the extension doesn’t open the link in a FF tab, but rather it runs the full GC app. Too bad someone doesn’t make a FF extension like IE Tab.

Anyways, I’ve discovered a workaround that sort of allows you to open a GC link in FF. First, you have to have both running. Then, drag the link to the Windows taskbar over the Firefox task and continue to hold your mouse button down. The Firefox window will come to the front and you just drop the link in the address bar.Note how the cursor changes as you move over FF.

I was hoping I could drop it over the task, but that doesn’t work. Note that you can drop the link over the browser window, but it replaces the existing URL. (Note that I have FF set to up new pages in a new tab.)