Two down; still going strong

I just completed two years in IBM! It has been an interesting, challenging and rewarding journey so far. It has been my pleasure to work with some of the industry leaders and some of the most unique people here.

I see a blend of skills, knowledge and passion in the people. I have been involved in a variety of projects, which have helped me understand IBM's business and the role of technology better. There is still a lot more to learn and contribute.

Screen real estate optimization in Firefox

So here is a collection of hacks that I have made in my Firefox browser to optimize the usage of real estate and still have control over my browser

  • Install the TinyMenu extension to replace your menu with a single menu item.
  • Now that you have space in your main menu-bar, move all your navigation toolbar items to the main menu-bar and then hide the navigation bar. Also hide the toolbar. You can do this by right-clicking on one of the toolbars and unchecking all of them!
  • Right click the Main menu bar, choose Customize. Remove the Home and other icons that you hardly use.
  • Remove the 'Go' button next to the address bar, remove the magnifying glass, remove Back/Forward/Reload/Stop buttons when disabled as shown here.
  • Install the Searchbar Autosizer extension to make your search bar extremely small and then to expand when you type characters in the search box.
  • Auto-hide the tab bar.
  • Use Fuller screen to remove the menu-bar and status bar when not required!
  • Preview your tabs and search for one using Firefox Showcase extension.
  • Clean up your menu's using Menu editor extension.
  • Keyboar shortcuts are extremely important to increase your productivity. Reconfigure your shortcuts using Keyconfig extension.
  • Also you can add these new key combinations in Keyconfig to cycle through your tabs:

Move one tab left (Ctrl+Left)

if(gBrowser.mTabContainer.selectedIndex == 0)
gBrowser.mTabContainer.selectedIndex = gBrowser.mTabContainer.childNodes.length - 1;
else
gBrowser.mTabContainer.advanceSelectedTab(-1);

Move one tab right (Ctrl+Right)

if(gBrowser.mTabContainer.selectedIndex == gBrowser.mTabContainer.childNodes.length - 1)
gBrowser.mTabContainer.selectedIndex = 0;
else
gBrowser.mTabContainer.advanceSelectedTab(1);

And once you do this, you will definitely want to take backup of your profile. Use FEBE and you are done!

Have I stopped blogging?

“Have you stopped blogging?”, people ask me. I don't have a definite answer. True, it has been a long time since I blogged. Although I have been quite active in my online activity as is apparent here I somehow couldn't blog about anything for the last 3 months!

During the course of the 3 months since my last blog entry, I came across quite a lot of things, which I found interesting and would have normally blogged about. However, I got into this vicious circle where I thought that it is not worth blogging about it, after such a long gap and that added to the time, and now it became more and more difficult to blog about something.

Ok, so what's keeping me interested?

  • Lotus connections, specially the idea of Activities. This has been an eye-opener regarding the way I organize information in my system/s.
  • The emergence of a new web pattern of “server pushing information” to the browser, commonly referred to as Comet.
  • ProjectZero, which is IBM's answer to rapid and 'Zero' obstacle development of Web oriented applications.
  • TiddlyWiki – I wonder why I did not come across this before! It is absolutely fabulous and the idea of a single page self-contained wiki is just too good to believe and sometimes scary. 🙂

Also, of late, I started getting interested in analysis of web activities.

A day of effort, and some hacking of the Firefox history and a tool called RapidMiner helped me get some insights into my browsing habits, which I had never thought about before. I noticed a pattern in the way I come across new topics. Also I learnt about the way I get to certain frequently accessed sites and what I can do to get to certain information quicker than ever before. Finally, I realized that the new del.icio.us Firefox extension has helped me improve my browsing habits and made my bookmarks more valuable.

It is really interesting to see what other 'inferences' are possible with the data that is already available! Considering the fact that data today is available in a wide-variety of open-formats and the data also being openly available, it is possible to fetch all this data, feed it to some analyzer and get some interesting insights and use that to make your web journey more fruitful. The Flickr Cluster experiments are just tip of the iceberg!

Some projects/tools related to this are APML, ManyEyes.

Ok, I have written about a wide variety of topics that I am currently finding interesting.

So, finally, back to the question I started off with. Have I stopped blogging? The answer definitely has got to be a 'No'!