My favorite Firefox extensions

Here's a quick list of the Firefox extensions I'm using all the time for web development:

  • DOM Inspector
  • IE View (One button to check the same page in IE)
  • ColorZilla (Lets you check colors on a web page)
  • MeasureIt (Lets you measure Elements on a web page)
  • URL Link (Follow a link even if it's not clickable)
  • JavaScript Debugger (well I don't actually use that much but maybe I should)
  • QuickJava (Allows quick enable and disable of Java & Javascript from the status bar
  • Yet Another Window Resizer

Defending the word "suck"

Seth Stevenson tells you more than you ever wanted to know about the word "suck" in Slate (via Anil Dash).

"We could argue all day about whether sucks is an obscenity or not. [...] What's far more interesting to me is the word's utility.

Sucks is the most concise, emphatic way we have to say something is no good. As a one-syllable intransitive verb, it offers superb economy."

Read it though and you'll admit that it would suck not to have the word suck available in daily conversations. ;)

Now, I can't help but remember Adam Curry citing his daughter pushing it to the next level:

"It sucks so bad (that) it swallows!"

Ouch! :>

Anil Dash about blogging

I recently heard Anil Dash put it in this very simple way:

"A blog is a way to connect with people you care about."

And it has nothing to do with technology, feeds, etc.

It's quite another approach compared to my own (alternative) definition of blogging and the flaw would probably be that it can be applied to many other things as well (forums, IM, MySpace, etc.) Still, I like it. It kind of makes sense to look at blogs in this social way.

Furthermore, Anil would explain that we hardcore bloggers tend to think that most people would like to talk to hundreds of thousands of people through their blog. Actually, most of them don't! They regard us as somewhere between strange and psychopath. (And I do remember my girlfriend having that exact same reaction when I first told her about my blog... :roll:)

Apple Mighty Mouse goes wireless... but how far away?

Wireless Mighty Mouse
Wireless Mighty Mouse

Until now, Apple had a cool mouse called the Mighty Mouse with all the advanced features you'd expect from a mouse (right click, scroll weel... even better: multidirectional scrolling ball)... it just wasn't wireless.

Apple also had a Wireless mouse... but it had only one button! :(

Today, you can finally get the best of both worlds! The mighty mouse with all it's buttons becomes wireless! Apple has even improved the pointing technology which is now a laser instead of an LED. This should allow for smoother movement on more surfaces...

...except this one little detail: the problem with the Apple wireless mice is not the pointing technology... it is the bluetooth technology! Apple bluetooth is just not reliable any more if you get more than 2 meters away from your Mac. (Home entertainement use... Of course you have less issues on a desktop... but do you really need a wireless mouse on a desktop?)

It seems that the mouse can operate on either one or two batteries. So you might expect it to have more power and greater operating range when you insert a second battery. Unfortunately, I seriously doubt that will be the case. The "old" wireless mouse had 2 batteries already... :-/

Ironically... I think I'll buy it anyway... yeah, even at 69 €... I just want that thing in my living room! :P

About Apple Bluetooth

One of my biggest frustrations with the Mac Mini has been using the mouse... the Bluetooth Wireless Mouse actually...

The pointer movement just wasn't smooth enough... just not as responsive as it is on Windows...

I first blamed it on using PowerPC applications with Rosetta being so processor intensive that the mouse driver had problems actually tracking the mouse movement. But no, that's an explanation I have to keep for poor video playback on exotic formats. Mouse movement also skips when the Mac is idle.

I also blamed it on some background task like a file indexing daemon. But again, that's a poor explanation. (I still have to figure out how to ps -aux on the Mac though ;))

I finally blamed it on the Bluetooth... and I wonder why it took me so long to fgure that out. When the mouse starts skipping, all I have to do is get closer to the Mac and the mouse will instantly work smoothly again.

The sad thing here is that I'm not so far away with my mouse! I'm only using it from accross my living room... which means 2-3 meters away from the Mac. With a straight line of sight!

I thought Bluetooth was supposed to have a 10 meter operating range! Well it seems the Apple Mouse only has a 2 meters operating range. Such a shame!

I occasionally get Bluetooth disconnects of the wireless keyboard also, but those have never bothered me that much. Maybe I just don't realize each keypress has to be retransmitted 4 or 5 times! ?

Now I have 2 options: either I move the couch closer to the TV (should have bought a smaller one! :-/) or I find a way to improve the Bluetooth... I wonder if you can boost it someway! Sure you can't connect an external Bluetooth antenna to the Mac Mini... but I wonder if putting some metallic object at a very specific spot on the Mini could actually act as an amplifying antenna... :roll: