Sunbird Calendar

Still in the very early stages of development, Mozilla’s calendar app, Sunbird, already looks like an excellent addition to their suite of Internet tools. Like other calendaring solutions, you can add events to your Sunbird calendar, schedule recurring events, set alarms to remind you of events and view your appoinments and meetings across a range of different panes, including day, week and monthly views. The major component missing from current offerings is the ability to sync your data with a portable device, like your cell phone or PDA, making it hard to take your schedule with you. Hopefully syncing is a feature that’s coming soon, rather than a feature that’s completely forgotten. As a partner to Thunderbird, this makes Mozilla a better solution than Outlook Express for lightweight personal information management. As an Outlook and smart phone user, I’m not ready to give up my current level of integration, but if you don’t need syncing, Sunbird is a likely calendar solution for you. Calendaring is also available as a plugin for Thunderbird and Firefox. [Windows 2k/XP Mac OS X Linux $0.00]


In general, Firefox loads pages faster than Internet Explorer. Why settle for marginally faster when you can tweak speed settings and dramatically enhance page load times. Fasterfox makes great use of Firefox prefectching capability by loading links in the background using idle computing cycles. It also tweaks a number of network performance settings on your PC to help improve throughput. And blocking of those annoying Flash pop-ups on pages makes sure you aren’t waiting for an ad to get to the meat on a page.


I download a ton of audio and video. Samplings from podcasters, video blogs, free MP3s from band Web sites and other random Flash movies and entertainment are all part of my daily searches. I’m in full gathering mode when I’m searching for new media stars. There are plenty of download grabbing tools capable of finding files when I’m in searching based on keywords, but when I find a band Website or cool short films on a site, I don’t want to bother with dozens of right-click save target as operations. Using Magpie in Firefox, I can automatically save all the files of types I specify, like MOV, WMV, MP4, MP3 and WMA by using a keyboard shortcut. Magpie saves me time. It also has a neat trick of downloading all the files in a numbered sequence.

Bookmark Synchronizer

While I make a point of subscribing to most sites via RSS so I don’t need to revisit them, I do still bookmark many sites so I can quickly refer to them when I need the service or information provided. Keeping track of those bookmarks across the several computers in my house is a nightmare. If you have more than one computer, Bookmark Synchronizer is the perfect solution for keeping bookmarks in check. You do need a place to FTP files (your ISP provided Web space works nicely for this).


If you click on a Mailto link, like the feedback link in the sidebar of this site, the browser attempts to open a desktop mail client like Mozilla Thunderbird or Outlook Express. If your primary email account is something like Gmail or Yahoo Mail this doesn’t work so well because you can’t actually send mail. WebMailCompose addresses this by overriding the mailto behavior in Firefox. The default solution is to open Gmail, but you can also use Hotmail, Yahoo and several niche clients.

Book Burro

I’m doing a ton of reading lately, both fiction and non-fiction. It’s a great escape from the hours I spend online. While there are plenty of comparison shopping sites I prefer the immediacy of comparison happening as I’m looking for information on an author or book. Book Burro extends Firefox by providing price comparisons from most of the popular online book sites while I’m looking up the book on any site. Book Burro remains hidden in the background when not in use, dropping down an unobtrusive list of prices from stores when I’m shopping through titles.

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