Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mozilla Waterplatypus

I've been feeling a bit punky over the past few days. Seems to happen about this time every year - I think it has something to do with the fluctuating weather patterns. Like arthritis, temperature and humidity have been known to exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms. In any case, my downtime has given me a chance to spend some quality time with Keith the Laptop and my new Firefox web browser.

I wouldn't have thought that I'd really appreciate much of a difference between brands of web browsers, but I have to admit that I've been having a ball messing around with all my new Firefox add-ons. Some are actually useful, like the MySpace Toolbar and the Download Helper, and others are completely silly.

A few examples of the latter: there's STOP, Hammertime, a nifty little tool that exists for no other reason than to play the corresponding snippet of MC Hammer music every time I click the stop button in my browser. I have been picking random pages and then stopping them from loading constantly over the past few days just to hear it, and I'm still not tired of it. Haven't gotten much accomplished, though...

There is also Firesomething, which is nearly as pointless as STOP, Hammertime. Firesomething actually does serve a purpose - it keeps nosy people from seeing the true name of the page you're using, in case you have an office snoop. The way it accomplishes this is by randomly assigning inane titles to replace the name Firefox (although it does still keep the Mozilla name, one would assume for copyright purposes). Right now, the browser I have open is entitled Mozilla Waterplatypus. The pattern seems to be to mimic the Firefox name by using an earth element + an animal. Whatever the reason, it cracks me up.

There are other useless but fun add-ons, like the themes. Right now, my browser is a soothing shade of light blue, and all the icons are cat silhouettes. I also have a Halloween theme that I plan on using over the next few weeks. You can download as many themes (free, of course) as you want, and change them with just a few clicks. For a newbie like myself, that's the only way to go.

I have to admit, though, that as much as I like to denigrate my abilities, I have developed what I naively consider to be some mad coding skills. Much of this is due to trying to compensate for the inadequacies of MySpace, but I have picked up a few other tricks. Mark spent an hour or so showing me how to correctly use a command-line tool to edit video files, and now I can chop up an FLV with surgical precision - in DOS, which still freaks me out a little. My Download Helper addon makes it a snap to make copies of all the stuff I watch on YouTube, so I've had lots of videos to use for practice.

I've learned some other handy skills, too, like how to make ringtones for my new phone out of mp3s - some of which I've stripped from FLVs, which makes for some great new rings. You haven't lived until you've set your incoming calls to serenade you with GOB Bluth and his black puppet Franklin singing "It Ain't Easy Bein' White". I also found some excellent software to make my own slideshows with music I choose in just about any format you might want. No more time spent fighting with the upload tools on, just to have the damn thing not work (or run so slowly that it's useless).

So, in summary: Firefox good; add-ons better. And I know I joked about this a few days ago, but I think I might really have a shot at becoming the Queen of All Media. Now if I could just do all this AND catch up with my TiVo... I have such a hard life.

Now playing: Butthole Surfers - Pepper
via FoxyTunes

No comments: