All platforms: Firefox 3, the next version of everyone’s favourite cross-platform browser, has released a public beta for early adopters, web developers and other curious souls. New features include a Places Organizer for bookmarks and saved searches, a plug-in manager for the likes of Flash, Java and other helpers, and many more improvements and changes. Like any beta, there are still a few bugs to be smoothed out, and none of my extensions from Firefox 2 worked in this version. Still, it’s an interesting look ahead at what browsing will look like in a few months. Firefox 3 Beta 1 is a free download for Windows, Mac and Linux.Firefox 3 Beta 1 [via Mozilla Feedhouse]
Mac OS X only: The default behaviour for the Home and End keys on the Mac can be very annoying—particularly for Windows-to-Mac switchers. Freeware application KeyFixer remaps your Home and End keys so they move the keyboard cursor to the beginning or end of a line, duplicating the behaviour of the Home and End keys in Windows. (Cmd-Left/Right arrow perform the same function by default.) We covered a nitty gritty method for accomplishing this once before, but it requires manually editing system files and doesn’t actually work for Firefox. Together, the two flavors of KeyFixer will fix the Home/End behaviour both across your system and in Firefox, which means that’s one major OS X annoyance you can cross off your list. KeyFixer is freeware, Mac OS X only.KeyFixer [Starry Hope] KeyFixer Patch for Firefox
Windows and Mac only: Monitor your computer activity easily and efficiently with freeware application RescueTime. Just install the application and let it run in the background so that it can capture data for your online activity and application usage, then check the dashboard and view graphs and charts about your habits. Beyond the rich set of analytics provided, RescueTime also knows when you’re away and will not collect any data during that time. If you really want to know how you’re spending your time while you’re “working,” RescueTime is a solid choice. RescueTime is a freeware application for Windows and Mac, requires a free registration to download.RescueTime
Your Mac’s lack of a second mouse button means you have to Ctrl+click to get context menus and other “secondary click” options. Mac laptop users can stop reaching for the Ctrl key and secondary click by touching the trackpad with two fingers instead (then hitting the single mouse button.) In OS X’s Keyboard & Mouse System Preferences pane, under Trackpad, check off “For secondary clicks, place two fingers on the trackpad then click the button.” For more Mac tips, see weblog Hack the Day’s roundup. 7 geek tricks for a fresh OSX Tiger install [Hack the Day]
On Tuesday I detailed how how I built a Hackintosh Mac from start to finish on the cheap, but one obvious question remained unanswered: How does my Hackintosh stack up to the Apple-built competition? To find out, I put my Hackintosh, a Mac Pro, and a MacBook Pro through the paces. Here’s what I learned.
Apple has released possibly the last major update for OS X Tiger, the predecessor to the shiny new Leopard. CNET reports that OS X 10.4.11 updates its browser to Safari 3 and fixes some bugs and security holes. It also improves support for Intel based Macs running VMWare’s Fusion virtualisation software.
Mac OS X only: Copy songs from your iPod directly to your iTunes library with free, open source application Senuti. We’ve mentioned Senuti in the past, but this app keeps getting better. Aside from the fact that Senuti has updated to work with Leopard, it also has a greatly improved interface since we last featured it. But what’s most useful is the new blue dot, which indicates whether or not the song is already in your iTunes library, making Senuti perfect for “borrowing” a song or two from a friend’s iPod without introducing duplicates to your iTunes library. Senuti is freeware, Mac OS X only. Windows users, check out previously mentioned YamiPod.Senuti [Fading Red via MacApper
Windows/Mac/Linux (Firefox): Keep track of your daily to-read list with the Read it Later Firefox extension. Similar to previously mentioned Readeroo—which integrates directly with Del.icio.us—Read it Later takes a slightly different approach, keeping your reading list local until you read it and decide whether or not you want to bookmark it. If you do, you have the option to bookmark on any number of popular bookmarking sites, from Del.icio.us to Digg. The drawback is that Read it Later doesn’t currently sync across browsers, which would be a nice touch. Read it Later is free, works wherever Firefox does.Read it Later [via the How-To Geek]
Open source Mac utility Quicksilver isn’t just an application launcher—it’s a comprehensive keyboard interface. Launching applications and documents is just Quicksilver’s gateway drug: The more you get used to doing things with Quicksilver, the more things you want to do with it. Out of the box Quicksilver comes with the barest essentials, but once you add the right plug-ins that interact with menus, apps, documents, and settings, you can accomplish more and more complex tasks from that familiar three-paned prompt. After the jump, check out top 10 favourite Quicksilver plug-ins, and how to set them up.