Scott Hanselman

Toolbars Galore

July 9, '05 Comments [10] Posted in Gaming | Tools
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I like to keep my [browser] toolbars simple. I've seen toolbars stacked 8 deep and I think that's wasted space. But, every once in a while a toolbar comes along that I can get behind. Here's the toolbars I've installed this week:

  • Google (official) Toolbar BETA for FireFox - This is the official Google one with PageRank, not the GoogleBar from MozDev we've all no doubt be running previously. I've disabled the GoogleBar and installed the new one, and I'm digging it.
  • The Google Suggest FireFox Extension - The toolbar is nice, but it's not for everyone. This is a little gem that you may have missed in the cacophony. This extends the standard/existing Google Search box that all FireFox installs have to include Google's AutoSuggest feature. With this you get a greatly enhanced without the emotional baggage of a new toolbar.
  • The MSN "Suite of Goo" aka MSN Search Toolbar - The MSN Toolbar has been updated and this time I took the plunge. Not for the Toolbar, no, I don't show it (right click, deselect), but for the Tabbed browsing. It's a hack, sure, and yes, I know there are a dozen browsers that host IE and offer tabs. I only use IE when I need oddpost, or visit the occassional site that hates FireFox, but when I do show up, I'd like to have tabs. Also, it's nice for my mom. Plus, the Desktop Search gets better and better. I've switched over from Google Desktop Search.
  • Del.icio.us Bookmarklets - Not exactly a toolbar, but I've dedicated space to Del.icio.us bookmarklets on ALL my PCs. What a brilliant and simple way to keep my bookmarks in one place. I save SO much more than I would with standard Bookmarks (which are a hassle to sync between n=browsers*PCs no matter what folks say. I haven't even dug into the social aspect of Del.icio.us. I'm too busy saving things!
  • GenPass Bookmarklet - A great little tool for creating complex passwords that are site specific. Generates passwords that you never see, so you can't give them up under torture. There's a feature I can be in support of. You never know when I could be tortured for my Google Adsense password. If I had a nickel...
  • Web Developer - OK, I didn't install it this week per se, but it's still wonderful. If you don't know what it is, and you have FireFox, go get it. If you don't have FireFox, it's the best reason ever to download FireFox. Run. Now.

It's getting to me quite the "me too" game with Microsoft and Google. Seems like when Google comes out with the Whatever.Google.com subdomain that Microsoft immediately offers the Whatever.MSN.com subdomain. Can't we all just get along?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Saturday, 09 July 2005 06:09:05 UTC
Hey, Scott: How do you get IE to display tabs with the MSN Toolbar hidden? I find that unless I show the toolbar, I don't get tabs. I have, however, dragged the MSN Toolbar alongside IE's standard toolbar, so it doesn't waste any screen real estate.
Saturday, 09 July 2005 22:55:29 UTC
Yeah, I have to second the Web Developer toolbar for FireFox. When i'm doing CSS work on a page (like the themeing dasBlog) it is an amazing time saver. I can't imagine doing complex CSS work without the ability to inspect the page element's CSS.
Sunday, 10 July 2005 18:53:08 UTC
If you haven't seen Greasemonkey for firefox yet, I'd take a look at that:
http://greasemonkey.mozdev.org/

Its a plugin for simple user scripts. They have lots of great scripts, my favorite being autologinj:

http://www.squarefree.com/2005/05/02/autologinj-user-script/

But speicifcally PasswordComposer is better than your bookmarklet, because it adds a little red arrow to password feilds that will generate a password similarly to the bookmarklet, any time you like. Very handy:

http://www.xs4all.nl/%7Ejlpoutre/BoT/Javascript/PasswordComposer/#gmky

If you aren't up on greasemonkey yet (get it!) they do have a stand alone firefox extension version.
Monday, 11 July 2005 08:45:02 UTC
If you're digging del.icio.us so much, try out the Firefox extension:

http://delicious.mozdev.org/

It adds functions into the context menu. I prefer it to the bookmarklets.
Monday, 11 July 2005 12:44:08 UTC
If you like the web developer toolbar, then HTML Validator is a must!!
http://users.skynet.be/mgueury/mozilla/

I just love it!! It does an 'on the fly' validation of every web site you visit. Really handy when you are developing and want to look good.
Monday, 11 July 2005 15:51:26 UTC
I would also like to know how you use the tabs in IE with the search toolbar hidden. I do not see this option.
John Oswalt
Tuesday, 19 July 2005 06:25:58 UTC
>You never know when I could be tortured for my Google Adsense password. If I had a nickel...

Sorry but this is a direct violation of your google-adsense agreement which states you will not disclose details about the amount of profit you have made under the google-adsense scheme.

One nickel hey...

Just saw your groktalk (finally) -- excellent stuff!
Monday, 25 July 2005 21:23:38 UTC
This is a nice toolbar too:

".NET Namespace Toolbar"
http://www.thecodeproject.com/tools/netnamespace.asp

Although, I might be a little one-sided because I wrote it. ;-)
Friday, 05 August 2005 15:44:14 UTC
If you wouldn't mind sharing, what is your del.icio.us username?
Casey
Thursday, 11 August 2005 16:23:49 UTC
Casey, it's "shanselman"
Scott Hanselman
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.