Not much time to blog, but enough to post some links…

  • Loads of iPhone coverage everywhere else but here. Posts I liked – iPhone stress test, iPhone Disassembly and John Gruber’s first impressions. Unless there are some serious issues found with the iPhone over the next few months then it will be my next phone. A Euro 3G version would convince me even more. Time to start saving those pennies.
  • Pownce. I have 5 invites remaining if anyone wants to jump on another web bandwagon – share chat, links and files with friends over the web. Site’s been sluggish for me although I’ve no intention of using it to be honest.
  • Flock. The web 2.0 media sharing star browser that’s been in beta for forever has now moved up to beta 0.9. There’s a fairly big increase in features available so I’ve given it another try. While the Media Bar is nice it still feels buggy and thrown together. It’s crashed fairly often for me and Firefox still feels quicker. At least you can now use nested folders in bookmarks. It looks shiny but Firefox still wins pretty easily for me.
  • Speaking of Firefox…there is a Firefox eBay edition. Only mentioned as I hadn’t heard of it and Roy’s too lazy to post anymore.
  • Tom Bihn bags rock! Been using mine for the last few days and it’s been great. Finally my laptop can leave the house in relative safety.
  • Sky have now stopped phoning me about broadband…although I’ve now received two mail shots since. Although if Virgin media don’t get their act together I could well be moving to pastures new.
  • Speaking of Sky, why are they now putting HD movie premiers on Sky Anytime first, sometimes weeks before they are broadcast on the HD movie channel? Sneaky swines.
  • Anyone want a Joost invite?
  • It’s stopped raining!

Old Faithful

Over the last few months I’ve been loving Flock due to it’s integration with Flickr, RSS feeds and del.icio.us while delivering Mozilla rock solid browsing. However a wee bit of instability meant I returned to Firefox. That return is now permanent as I’ve not had one Firefox issue, browsing feels snappier and it’s quicker to launch. Also, I’ve found some better replacements for Flock’s built in features.

Google Reader has been out for a while and recently had some updates. I didn’t pay much attention as I used Flocks built in RSS manager. However using Google Reader for the past couple of weeks has been great. Far easier to manage multiple RSS feeds, quicker and no checking locally of every RSS feed has meant this is now my RSS manager. RSS feeds now available on the move as Google Reader has a mobile version for use on phones.

Sharing of bookmarks has always been a bit of an issue for me. I’ve tried different services over the years and never got one I liked. Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer for Firefox looks to be the answer. Once installed it allows you to sync your bookmarks between multiple machines with the sync happening silently in the background. You can also visit their website and see your bookmarks meaning your bookmarks should no longer be out of reach or sync.

Web Development Evolved is the bold claim for the Firebug extension. The length of features it offers is vast – inspection/edit of HTML, CSS editing, CSS metrics, debug, logging and editing for Javascript and the one I’ve used so far – Network Activity.

Firebug - Slow site load

This site is fairly sluggish and using Firebug I’ve found three Javascript files that the theme loaded but never used. So that’s trimmed some time out of the load. I’ll be visiting some of the other pages round this site to see if I can trim any more fat away. A great tool, especially for having a nose at other people’s sites to see how they were constructed.

As for Flickr uploading, I’ve went back to the Flcikr uploader which is a universal binary and works a treat. So goodbye Flock – a nice browser that’s been too slow to develop with too many superior competitors.

Flock Update

Updated to new version of Flock which is based on the latest and greatest Firefox Working well and this time I also sorted my bookmarks out removing redundant or easy to Google links and reducing their number by half – used Gordon’s post as a guide.

This cleanup has lead to making Flock my default browser – it really is that good and can’t be more highly recomended as it does everything that Firefox does but more. I also found a solution to getting my back button working in Flock:


Just wanted to add that I recently purchased a Logitech MX610, and likewise the default mapped “back and forward” buttons (via Logitech’s SetPoint) do not work.

Temporarily, to get the “back” button to work, I mapped it to keystroke ‘BACKSPACE’.



Enable Mouse Back Button

Blogged with Flock

Flock Hands On

The first official beta of Flock was launched last week and as it promised so much I gave it an extended test. Eight months ago I was pretty scathing about Flock. Not for me was the upshot of my brief trial. So why is it now so close to becoming my default browser?

The browser has established itself as the most used app on a pc, for me at least. Get news, share opinions, shop, blog, download etc etc etc. No other app is used as much as the browser. So to move application it has to be as quick as the opposition, render pages accurately and also support easy migration from your old app. Flock is based on Mozilla (same code as Firefox) and I found the import of data to be excellent. Cookies and form data were imported as well as favourites although how the favourites were stored is another matter – more on that later.

Flock - New ItemsI thought the previous version of Flock was slow, not just in the application itself but also rendering web pages – not so this version. Almost all of the extra functionality worked well and was snappy in use. Web page rendering was fast and accurate. I also love the look of the app – more like a Mac than a Windows app although after using Vista there are some influences from there too. You can easily see when there is new photo or news content – a small orange circle shows you when your contacts or RSS feeds have been updated. Makes for an easier browsing experience.

Flock - Flickr tag searching on your photo's or your contactsFlock integrates with Flickr and Photobucket via a Photo’s topbar. Once you allow the app to talk to your Flickr account it will check to see if your contacts have added any new photo’s and let you know when there are new ones to view. You can easily select your own photo’s or your contacts to be viewed in the topbar. Click on the photo to view it in the browser itself. You can also view your own, contacts or public photo’s by tag. The topbar totally changes how I use Flickr and now makes it easy to keep up to date with new content.

Flock - Upload PhotoIf this wasn’t enough Flock also comes with it’s own uploader application to make publication to Flickr easy. Drag photo’s from any webpage to the topbar and it will launch the uploader app (which can be launched independently at any time). Using this app you can crop, rotate, resize images before uploading and create a new set, add to an existing set and then upload your images. You can also select files from your hard disk or just drag from explorer onto the app. Works really well and your newly uploaded images are instantly viewable in the topbar. More details after the jump. Continue reading “Flock Hands On”


Hype’s a wonderful thing but when it bares no fruit you feel conned. That’s how I feel after trying Flock. This is the Firefox browser with social networking and sharing built in. Blog from your browser – yep. Flickr integration – woo! Del.icio.us integration of your bookmarks – impressive.

But it’s so SLOW. The blogging GUI is also lacking and for me just doesn’t work very well – I can quickly log into the blog and post from any browser so where’s the advantage. I do like the Del.icio.us integration but I also don’t want the whole world to see my favourites – they are my precious and I want to keep them that way. Did I mention it was slow? Admitedly it’s a very early release with optimisation to come but if this is the best of the Web 2.0 apps then it can flock off – I’ll stick with Firefox thank you very much.