Google has made me a very happy camper recently. It started about the time I finally landed one of those much coveted Gmail beta-tester accounts – I’ve never been happier with email. Then, I discovered how powerful the Google search engine really is – Google Search is now the _only_ search engine I’ll ever use.
Recently, I switched my RSS feed reader over to Google Reader. I’d been looking for a suitable replacement for Mozilla Thunderbird – much as I love Thunderbird, it was just a little bit too difficult for me to use it on multiple computers, even as a “portable app”:http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/thunderbird_portable. My computer at home is actually a bit too slow to handle running any applications from a flash drive (I _really_ need to upgrade to USB 2.0 one of these days). I’d started using a “server-side feed reader”:http://feedonfeeds.com/, but it didn’t automatically update the way I wanted. Then, I’d heard about Google Reader updating their services, so I decided to give them a second try (the first time around I was less than impressed). Now, I’m very satisfied with this program, and it fits very nicely into my Firefox browser, making it very easy to add new interesting feeds as I stumble across. It updates automatically and organizes everything in a logical manner.
Add to that one more service I think I like – Google Sync. This is a slick little add-on for Firefox that allows you to use Firefox on several different computers but keep your browsing session in sync on all of them. This includes history and saved passwords (encryped, of course), bookmarks, history, and tabs and windows. I’ve been using it for about 24 hours now, and so far I like what I see. Eventually, I’d like to simply run “Firefox Portable”:http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable from my flash drive everywhere I go, but again, that requires USB 2.0 to be really effective. So in the meantime, this is an effective solution I can live with.
I’ve also been keeping my eye on Apple recently. This is one company that continues to dish out some really neat products. My wife has had her eye on a “G5”:http://www.apple.com/macpro/ for quite some time now – she has a background in multimedia and video work and would love to be able to set up at home. I’ve had my eye on either an “iPod”:http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?mco=E2DBC1A0&nclm=iPod or an “iPod Nano”:http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?mco=1852AD34&nclm=iPodnano. Now I come to find out that Apple has produced the “iPhone”:http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/09/the-apple-iphone/. I’ve kind of “kvetched”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/2006/12/13/hybridized-technology/ recently about combining too many digital devices into one thing, but I have to say that this iPhone idea holds a bit of a glamour for me. This one looks like it might actually be usable. Of course, I don’t really have much interest in owning a cell phone, so the iPod solution is still probably the best one for me. But if I _were_ to get a cell phone, the iPhone would certainly be one I’d be interested in.