Archive for the ‘Helpful Techie Things’ Category

I’ve been happily using Raindrop.io for some time now, ever since my beloved Springpad was so cruelly taken from us *sniff* but I can never get the extension to work properly in Opera (and some other Chrome based web browsers) In Opera, I discovered the panel version works but the toolbar extension doesn’t (wat?) but I find it irritating to have to open a panel for one item. So instead, I found a bookmarklet script (written for Apple products originally) that works just fine for adding a bookmark to Raindrop.

Here is the script. To use copy and paste it into a new bookmark on the bookmark bar in the url box. Call it whatever you like; Raindrop or add to Raindrop works for me. Then as you are browsing and come across something you wish to save and click on your new bookmarklet. You may have to log in if you weren’t already.

Feature-rich, attractive and easy-to-use bookmarking app

Source: Raindrop.io

Here’s something new that has caught the attention of many former (even current) Opera users.  The original developers of Opera Web Browser were among the hordes of people dismayed by the strip-down of Opera during its changeover to be YACC (Yet Another Chrome Clone) so they started a new project.  Basically, it’s like the old Opera, come back to life as Vivaldi – A new browser for our friends.  When it’s complete, and at the moment it’s no where near  (tech preview only stage) it will do all the glorious things that Opera 12 did, with the awesome sidebar for bookmarks, downloads, a note taking app with a built in screenshooter and yes, the mail client (which isn’t ready yet).  There will also be extensions when all is said and done.  They even brought back the community pages, which as previous Opera users remember, included a social community complete with blogs, forums, groups and more.  No joke, Vivaldi is rough at the moment.  But hey, so was Opera at first, and it ended up the power user’s dream browser.  How could it go wrong with the original programmers hard at work on it?  I have my tech preview installed, and there are weekly updates to it.  At this rate, in no time at all we will have an amazing browser that people are already starting to talk about in the user communities of Opera and Maxthon.  I’m very excited about this project!  In the meantime, head over to the community pages and join in on the conversations and make some new friends.

As my Acer Aspire 5515 gets older and older, most of the major Linux distributions are starting to pass it by, as far as desktop environment performance is concerned.  I can’t tell you how many times I tried to test Gnome 3.10-3.14 on various distros, only to end up with a garbled mess on the screen.  I finally got to test Gnome 3.12 on Manjaro Linux; to my surprise it worked just fine.  I can see why people are slowly starting to make their way back to Gnome, although I personally felt it was too ‘dumbed down’? Perhaps more that it seems like something I would use on a touch screen; that could be it.  Regardless, I’ve been having issues with Desktop Environment Dissatisfaction Disorder.  I’ve been trying out, then installing, getting annoyed, trying something else out..rinse and repeat.  I was using Xfce, the friend of those who hate miminalistic DEs or Window Managers in place of DEs but it has (to me anyway) felt like the annoying little brother of Gnome 2x.  Englightenment is pretty snappy but can be maddeningly weird about some things.  KDE is just too ‘heavy’ and too ‘cartoonish’ for me.  LXDE and QT are in the process of getting married, so I’m waiting on that to see what comes of it.  Cinnamon is likewise too ‘heavy’ for my system and while I enjoyed having Ubuntu on  my system for a short while, Unity just slowed my poor ‘book to an absolute crawl.  So what’s left to do?  I realized the one thing I hadn’t tried yet was MATE.  That’s Mah-Tay.  <–I swear I’m going to start spelling it like that.  MATE Desktop Environment | MATE.  I popped in a Live CD of Linux Mint 17 to give it a whirl.  It was then that I remembered everything I had ever loved about Gnome 2x.  And let me tell you, I was a Gnome fangirl once upon.  MATE..nope, MahTay, was quite fast too, surprising me completely.  Caja…oh Caja..I almost teared up remembering all the wonderful things you could do with Nautilus, before it got completely ass-raped.  I had forgotten the joy of hovering over a music file and having it play.  Or changing the background, or dual panes, would you like an emblem with that today?  *Sigh*  I had heard that MahTay was coming along nicely from its shaky start but I just had no idea.  I was tossed out into the cold when Gnome 3 happened; then my head was turned by pretties such as Cinnamon or by super-speediness from the likes of Openbox.  I feel like I’ve come home. Yes, I’m installing right now 😀  If you sorely missed Gnome 2 as much as I did, or had forgotten just how much you missed it, give MATE a shot.  It’s really great on performance for my ever aging machine.

Image 2I have to do one of my rare, rave reviews today.  This review is of Start.me, a bookmarking service that I absolutely love and can’t do without.  I have 2 computers, one with Windows for work and my personal computer with Linux Mint.  Split between these two computers are about 5 or 6 different instances of web browsers.  Having bookmarks on each browser then would not only be confusing but ultimately counterproductive.  For this reason I use bookmarking services.  Xmarks is one of the more popular ones, as is Delicious (which I also have and never use)  For the longest time, I was using a service called Only2Clicks.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have my bookmarks on there as I feel there is no such thing as too many backups.  However, I came across Start.Me by using Alternative.To and made the move permanently.  All my bookmarks are now on Start.Me and I love this service.  It’s really awesome! And Free!  Everything is placed on widgets; bookmarks, news, weather, notes, etc.  Apparently it’s a lot like Google start page (which I never used before) but for me it’s just so awesome I can’t say enough good things about it.  I was able to import my stuff from Only2Clicks and there’s an export available too (a little hard to find, check the help page)  I sent them an email once telling them how much i loved the service but that I wished that I could move a widget from one page to another with drag n drop.  They said, sure thing and now I can!  The devs are amazingly responsive, I swear they must be Linux users 🙂  So, check out this service if you are like me and need a cloud-based bookmarking service with many perks.  Start.me

Home – start.me

Posted: July 12, 2014 in Helpful Techie Things
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Chrome based browsers can be brutal on memory, even with only a couple of extensions running.  I don’t really like to use Bookmarks because it gets cluttered and it’s not as visual as I like.  I was using Only2Clicks but half the time the thumbnails never show up.  I ended up switching to Start.me  and I really like it thus far.  I can set it up as my home page and anytime i need to click on one of my many bookmarked websites I can click on the icon.  I was using FVD Speed dial but extensions like that end up leaking memory like a sieve.  Home – start.me is really good so far with a lot of customization options.  This of course is just for my bookmarks.  All my work related sites are kept (along with their notes and tags) on Evernote for now until I decide on a permanent replacement for Springpad (which btw, Clipix is winning ATM but Memit is coming back with a site redesign next month so we’ll see; also I really like ChannelKit) Wow, I just typed all that within like 2 minutes.

Springpad Alternatives Reviews and Info | A Listly List.

I had a difficult time with this one for some reason.  The settings for this in Chrome are somewhat nitpicky.  Google is trying to hide this search engine from people, for good reason.  It doesn’t spy on you.

Setting Duckduckgo as default search engine in Chrome.