Flock Gloss Eco gOS And LXDE

Flock Eco Edition

Flock Eco Edition

A clutch of items have grabbed my technical attention over the past few days. The Flock Internet browser, a variant of the Firefox browser has launched two custom versions. One is Flock Eco aimed at accessing eco related information online and the other is Flock Gloss which is aimed at the maybe less worthwhile ‘Entertainment & fashion’ online offerings.

Flock Gloss Edition

Flock Gloss Edition

Next on my radar is yet another version of the Ubuntu sourced linux variant gOS. Version 3 beta has quickly integrated the new lightweight LXDE lightweight X11 desktop. This makes it ideal for legacy low specification computers and emerging netbook and net-top computer systems. This time they’ve integrated Google gadgets into the offering. Downloading is very in demand at the moment and this is only a beta preview Live CD and not recommended as a full install.  A more complete installable version is expected sometime in September.

gOS 3

gOS 3

Parallel to this is UbuntuLite, another version of Ubuntu for legacy hardware and again based around LXDE. The 9Mb iso enables a lightweight install via a series of command line terminal instructions and the installer can then make a customised install. Worth investigating , again, for those of us who help refurbish pre loved computer systems.

Image copyright gOS -Official Flickr images here

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Plug It In-Plug It In

Mozilla FirefoxImage via Wikipedia

I just thought I’d have a prune of the various Firefox browser add-ons to weed out the ones I may not be using or may not have updates since the shift to Firefox 3 (or in my case Flock 2.0). Here’s the current state of play. Any suggestions as to what add-ons you find indispensable are most welcome.

Aging Tabs 0.7 – My partner often calls me a tab princess and it’s true I often have an excessive number of tabbed pages open in my browser.Ageing tabs fades the appearance of the least accessed tabs, reminding me that i really should have closed these by now.

BetterSearch 1.20 – The jury’s out on this one as to whether I’ll retain this long term. Enhances searching by adding thumbnails of sites and various related enhancements.

BlueOrganizer 3.4.2 – Certainly in my top 3 of most used add-ons. Saves my bookmarks centrally on-line and allows metadata keywords. Also allows easy bookmarking to various other online sites such a del.icio.us. Also takes a tentative step down a pseudo semantic web search by cross referencing your current search across various on-line sources

British English Dictionary 1.19 – I have to have this to override the US centric Internet experience and sites with built in US-centric spell checkers. Grrr

ChromaTabs Plus 2.1 – A 3rd party  update to a much loved previous add-on that wasn’t updated for Firefox 3. Groups browser tabs and colours them for easy reference.

CustomizeGoogle 0.73 – Forces secure options for various Google apps and blocks advertising and some data collection if required.

feedly 1.0b4 -Changes the layout of Google reader into a more magazine style which I admit makes going through my RSS feeds less fatiguing.Firefox 3 sourced browser required.

FireFTP 1.0.1FTP client

Gmail Manager 0.5.5 – Gives me notification across various Gmail accounts

Google Notebook 1.0.0.20 – Makes quick notes

Greasemonkey 0.8.20080609.0 – Provides all manor of modifications to various applications via greasemonkey scripts.

Me.dium 4.2.0.8227 – I’ll admit that I just don’t use this social networking service.
meebo 1.1 – Web based multi-platform Instant messenger.Supports Googletalk, Yahoo, Icq, AIM, MSN, Jabber etc.

MR Tech Toolkit (formerly Local Install) 6.0.1 – Default rogue installation safeguard

OPML Support 1.5.2 – For native OPML support

PicLens 1.7.1.3900 – Provides 3D browsing  of images in search engines and Flickr. I’ve found this very useful and not just an eye candy enhancement.

StumbleUpon 3.26 – I’ve been on Stumbleupon for ages though probably hold it a little more at arms length after eBay acquired them.

User Agent Switcher 0.6.11 -I hardly have occaision to use this these days but fakes Internet explorer on Windows for any sites that demand IE.

VeriSign’s OpenID SeatBelt 1.0.0.3705 – Used with verisign’s ultra secure OpenID service. Now if only we in Britain could use the affordable PayPal USB key with this but as usual we are 2nd class citizens. helps me control my open ID.

Zemanta 0.2.6 – A blogging aid. Lets me quickly insert related links and creative commons images.

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Glubble Provides Child Friendly Web Surfing

Glubble

The Internet has a lot of content that you may not wish to stumble on when giving children access to it whether at home or in a public access computer scenario (Library, community group, Internet cafe etc).

Putting safeguards on a home computer can sometimes be beyond the knowledge of many parents who may prefer to have a specialist put user specific Internet filtering in place (as many Schools and businesses do) whilst some operating systems allow the set-up of child-friendly accounts that help put some safeguards in place to ease the worries of many parents or guardians.

Glubble is a free add on for the popular Firefox browser and its derivatives (Flock and Seamonkey primarily) that puts puts a child friendly set of rules and interfaces in place but allows the asking of permission from nominated family or guardian members  for sites and activities that may be blocked by the default access rules thus making it easy to individually customise.

A family noticeboard is available which lends the project a more human interface. Accounts can be set-up and tailored to each individual and changes can only be made via a password protected ‘responsible adult’ administrator account (provided the ‘responsible adult’ is not careless and shares the password).

Of course this kind of adult intervention would need to be used in association with the operating system user accounts configuration to perhaps stop the more technically knowledgeable children from just downloading an alternative browser in order to circumvent the well meaning protection put in place here.

Setting up parental controls in Microsoft Vista

In Mac OS X

Edubuntu-a child & education centric Linux solution

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Songbird Media Player Preview Available

Songbird

Ziggy Stadust birdA New developer preview of Songbird, the media player that combines technology from Firefox and vlc is available for download. The interface has been refined though it should be noted that libraries from previous versions will not be updated so for existing Songbird users it’s best to install in a different place to your existing version. This version is codenamed Bowie, hence the Ziggy Stardust Songbird shown here. Songbird is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.


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Firefox Falls Fetch Me Flock

Is it just me or has the last two updates of Firefox on OS X been the most crash proneFirefox updates for a very long while? I love Safari but also use many add ons for Firefox and find them invaluable but I really can’t remember Firefox just quiting quite like it has been lately. Maybe it’s the fault of one of the add ons themselves, who knows. For now I’ve gone back to Flock where at least many of my most used Mozilla based add ons also work.

I’m still adjusting to the massive right turn of the latest iMovie which came with iLife 08 which has dumbed itself down to an application I would have expected to find on another popular platform and have been continuing to use the previous version whilst dipping a toe into the latest iMovie and the radically changed interface.

Software eh…sometimes it gets refined to the point where it just doesn’t work anymore.

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