Friday, November 11, 2005

NoScript plugin for Firefox

Have you tried out the NoScript plugin for Firefox? It blocks out the scripts from most of the websites (except those in it's whitelist). Blocking out the scripts mean that most of the ads are blocked at the script level itself. Many popups are written using Java scripts. They'll be automatically blocked too.. It's a very good thing that you can selectively block scripts from websites.. But beware. If you are doing a transaction on the web (banks, auction sites, paypal sites, etc) you need to make sure that you have allowed all the scripts originating from that website. If not, the scripts are blocked the first time & the transaction is not complete.. Then clicking on the "Allow" button will reload the page allowing the scripts. This way, the transaction may be carried out twice which may be disastrous..

The NoScript plugin along with the Adblock Plus plugin make sure that you see no ads, popups or run unwanted scripts.

Google Desktop

I had been using the Google Desktop Search (GDS) for quite some time now.. Initially (1.0 beta version), I did not like it much as I could search only text files & office documents.. I could not search through the things I wanted, like source code, XML files, PDF files, etc.. But after I got hold of a plugin that allowed me to control the type of files I could index, GDS was of immense help.. I could set up GDS to index all my text files, source files & specific extensions. It was a very helpful tool... But I read on the google website that it took about 500 MB of index space... I thought that was too much.. Anyway, my company also encouraged people to use GDS by making it available on the intranet..

Recently, I thought of trying out Google Desktop 2.0.. I downloaded the 2.0 beta version.. This was a major improvement over GDS.. Now Google Desktop could not only search (desktop/web), but also had a lot of other important & useful features.. I liked the Google Sidebar.. I can see updated news (I can even choose news specific to my country/region) on the sidebar.. There is also this ScratchPad which I found useful.. I can write/paste any text in it & it will be autosaved.. Very handy tool.. Then there is this weblinks.. You can subscribe to a particular weblink & you can see the updates on the sidebar.. This is particularly useful to read blogs.. I can add the URL of a blog as a weblink.. Any new post on the blog (actually anything updated in the past 7 days or so) would be shown to me in the Sidebar. The entire post can be viewed (by expanding it) within the sidebar itself.. No need to visit any website.. That's cool..

There are also a lot of plugins available for Google Desktop.. I did use the "ToDo" & "TimeWarp" plugins.. The ToDo plugin was quite useful.. I have seen people maintain a Todo file on desktop & updating it regularly.. I felt this ToDo plugin for Google Desktop was much better for such people.. The "TimeWarp" plugin is funky. It displays an analog clock, the shape & size of which is customizable.. Most of all, Google Desktop is light. It takes up very less memory..

I really felt Google Desktop was a perfect tool & a must-have for everyone.. This was until yesterday, when my laptop suddenly slowed down tremendously.. And there was a small balloon above the system tray which said "You are low on disk space on C drive". I was confused as I had not installed any softwares recently. With much difficulty, I could open up the My Computer. I saw that C drive had just 130 MB of free space. Usually I keep over 1 GB of free space on C drive.. I started investigating which folders took up so much space.. I eventually found out that the index files maintained by Google was close to 2 GB.. I did not expect Google Desktop to hog so much of disk space. I had to uninstall the Google Desktop to restore sanity to my system.