Thursday, 28 January 2010

A toolkit for academicians

Firefox - a platform for integrated centralised management of the digital media.

Naked firefox is a fine browser, but little more. Well coded, eloquent and practical, it happily carries out it duties with minimal fuss, save for occasional hiccups with SVG. Yet it avoids many of the problems with IE, which pushes towards proprietary goods like the API Silverlight and the Live services (Hotmail +).

Firefox comes into its own when fitted out/embellished/augmented/pimped with the many addons created either by the broad community of Firefox followers.

The first point of call is Weave, now entering version 1.0, which permits a centralised management of favourites, passwords, settings, and history, from your various terminals at work, home, away. Install, setup, and you have the basis for extreme total productivity.

The second addition to total domination of your research is Zotero, which likewise provides a centralised platform for all of your references. Endnote is so 1995... Zotero boasts a plethora of features which make sorting, finding, exporting, tagging your references easier than ever. Were it a company, I would invest in it. But it is not, it is entirely open source. Modify it as you see fit.

The move towards cloud computing has liberated broadbanded workees from the pains of version management. In its absence, you need either a eSCSI external drive or a close network drive to centralise resources. Otherwise the burden is a USB drive to which you sync your Firefox settings.

Go, be free. The sky is the limit. Now with extra wings. Fly High Sky God U2.