I’ve been using Firefox 3 for some time, mostly after I discovered some great plugins and themes for it. The best plugin was Firebug, and although at later stages a similar function became available in Safari, I kept using the browser I knew best. Changing browsers is not something you should take on lightly as it is nowadays your environment for a lot of your computer usage.

With Safari 4 I decided to retry Apple’s default Mac browser, because of the nice new technologies it provides (HTML 5, web font rendering, newest CSS features), and because it will then render on my Mac exactly like it does on my iPhone, even syncing bookmarks between them. So I set out to try it, and a couple of weeks later, I decided to not go back.

It works then – but what were my most missed Firefox features and most positive Safari experiences? Here’s a list of differences that mattered to me:

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IP Reporter and TV Reminder are now freeware

My old shareware IP Reporter and TV Reminder are now available for free. A working, public serial is posted on the Software page. Active support has also ended at this point. I’m also considering releasing the source code.

Enjoy!

My popular little freeware utility Focus has been updated to version 2.7.

Focus shows a gorgeous floating icon of the currently active application with an optional analog or digital clock, and has lots of configuration possibilities.

Version 2.7 finalizes Leopard compatibility by making sure it is always visible, even when using Spaces. Its icon is also updated to be more Leopard-like and of higher resolution.

Find out more about Focus here.

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As a follow-up to the previous post, here is an example of what can be done with some simple photo-editing. These are the original and final versions of the Bee in Galty mountains photo.

Bee in Galty mountains, original Bee in the Galty mountains

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I always liked making photos, and lately have been playing a bit around with Gimp. Considering the fact that my compact Canon (A700) takes great pictures, they still can be visibly improved by just tweaking with the curves and colors. A slight retouch can make it as though some sort of ‘layer’ of vagueness is removed, without distorting the picture or creating weird colors. I’ve always wondered if better cameras and better lenses do indeed perform better in this specific area (apart from just focussing very well on the subject). At least, to create a nice picture, the best tweaker still needs good material to work with.

Some of the pictures that cleaned up quite nicely:

Bee in the Galty mountains Bridge over river Suir in Cahir Tara yawning

Gimp is a software program much like Photoshop, but free (it stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, and don’t start about explaning GNU). It currently runs under X-windows in Mac OS X, which quite impressively runs smoothly along the rest of the native programs. It contains all the usual photo editing gizmo’s known to Photoshop users, but doesn’t come attached with a steep price tag. If you’re serieus about photo editing, but don’t want to spend ‘another camera’ on software it’s certainly worth looking into. And much better than using illegal copies of Photoshop, in my opinion. The latest version now also has support for ColorSync, but regretfully still doesn’t do CMYK.

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My popular little freeware utility Focus has been updated to version 2.6.

Focus shows a gorgeous floating icon of the currently active application with an optional analog or digital clock, and has lots of configuration possibilities.

Version 2.6 finally introduces full Tiger compatbility, is universal, and is Leopard-ready as well. Some issues with multiple-screen situations and with switching between several screens has been solved as well.

Find out more about Focus here.

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