Bon Echo: Firefox that doesn\’t keep quitting on me

Bon Echo, currently in alpha testing mode, is a developer preview release of the next-generation Firefox browser.

As I’ve said many times, I adore my new Intel-based Macbook laptop. I also adore the Firefox web browser. But one recent annoyance for me has been that Firefox hasn’t been completely comfortable running on my Macbook. It kept quitting on me several times daily.

Well, not anymore. Today I learned about Bon Echo — a G5 and Intel optimized version of Firefox. You can download it here. (I chose the Intel version with aqua form widgets.)

BonEcho imported all my Firefox settings and plugins perfectly. I’ve been running it for about six hours now and it hasn’t crapped out on me once. What a relief!

More about BonEcho.

(Thanks to Tom Vilot for the tip.)

What\’s in your Firefox search bar?

Here’s what I have in my Firefox search bar. What’s in yours?

One of my favorite features of Firefox is the search bar to which you can add search tools that you use frequently. That way, you don’t have to visit the search tool’s site in order to perform a search. It’s a time-saver.

At the left is a screenshot of my Firefox search bar. I have it mainly in alphabetical order, except for Google at the top. You can find all of these tools at MyCroft. From my master list, here are the tools I find myself using at least daily:

  • Google search: Well, that’s self-evident. I’m about as dependent as anyone on this 800-lb gorilla.
  • Icerocket: My personal favorite blog search engine. I find it returns more targeted results and less spam than Technorat.
  • Technorati: But yeah, I search Technorati regularly too, usually after Icerocket.
  • My Furl archive: I’m a huge fan of the searchable, taggable, sharable personal archiving service Furl. One of my readers, Christian Spannagel, created this nifty tool that allows me to search only my Furl archive directly from my Firefox search bar. (Get this tool)
  • Flickr CC tags: Often for my work with Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits and other projects I like to illustrate posts with relevant Creative Commons-licensed imaged posted by Flickr Users. This tool lets me find those images directly from Firefox.
  • Wikipedia: When some new topic, event, or person crossed my mental radar screen, I usually do a quick Wikipedia check to gain some basic context.

So those are a few of my must-have Firefox search bar plugins. What’s in yours? Please comment below.

I need a Mac Podcatcher that JUST WORKS!!!!

What is the deal with the lack of reliable podcatchers for Mac OS X that support OPML?

I used Juice, but it flaked out as a podcatcher. So did Net News Wire (that’s a great feed reader, but not a great podcatcher). Some of my readers suggested NewsFire — which might be good, but in the free version I can’t import my OPML file of subscriptions, and I’m not going to pay $19 for something I can’t really try.

For a couple of months I’d been using the free online service Odeo, with great success — until a couple of days ago, when Odeo stopped updating my feeds without explanation. I’ve e-mailed Odeo about this problem, but have gotten no response. It’s just gone dead. (Update 1:33 pm MT: I just got an e-mail reply from Crystal at Odeo who says “Updates have been running a bit slow, but we’re updating all of the feeds and should be back on track soon.” Indeed, one of my subscriptions has just updated. But not all.)

Here’s what I want, and why I refuse to use iTunes as my podcatcher…

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