I Live in a Web Browser

I don’t know why I keep eying quad-core systems. With the exception of playing music, copying files from my camera, some word processing, and IM, I live in a web browser. Here are some of the big uses:

  • GMail, my mail client. When I’m at my computer, I almost always have GMail up. I have a client for my Treo that lets me check it there. My school e-mail forwards to GMail. My ttwagner.com and n1zyy.com mail forwards to there.
  • Google and Wikipedia. I rely on Wikipedia way too much. But between Google and Wikipedia, I feel like I can do anything.
  • Google Docs is slowly winning me over. I move between my laptop, ‘public’ Office 2007 computers, and an office computer with Office 2003, so I’m hardly sold on any one particular interface. Google Docs is word processing (and spreadsheets) without the crap, although sometimes I do prefer to have it locally. But honestly, my life depends on the Internet, so ‘safety’ of files (in case I lose Internet access) really isn’t even one of the big issues.
  • Google Calendar has proved way more useful than I expected. It integrates nicely with GMail, sending me reminders and offering to let me schedule things that get e-mailed to me. And Goosync gives me an app on the Treo to sync my Treo calendar with my Google calendar. Bliss!
  • All my good photos end up on Flickr, and I buy and sell stuff on eBay often. I get my news through BBC and Google News.
  • I run a private Wiki. This is more useful than I ever imagined. I’m not quite as committed to it as I’d like, but I’m trying to keep all my class notes up there, which has a lot of benefits. During research, it’s a handy link dump. When drafting a constitution for a club here, I used that to allow collaborative editing.
  • I host a few mailing lists. Trying to keep a text file with 90 names and e-mail them and remove bounces and find people is a pain. Mailman is a savior.
  • I host multiple blogs. These are obvious, but there are some more I’m starting.
    • One, that never caught on, takes a pretty literal definition: a web log. I wanted a way for us to keep track of petty things that were going on, and have everything logged somewhere and searchable.
    • I’m also drafting one for the Democrats. A big part of what we do is outreach/publicity, and a blog is ideal for this.
  • Tonight I realized that none of my ‘task management’ systems worked. So I set up Mantis. It’s not perfect, but it works pretty well. Setting up Bugzilla is pretty intense, but no so with Mantis. The “problem” is that it was intended for software bug tracking, not keeping track of work I have to do, so I have fields like “Reproducibility” and other holdovers from software. I may do a little tweaking. But my plan is that anything I have to do should end up in there. Everything is in one place, and I can slice the data a million different ways, by priority, by category (one for each class, one for each club, one for each major class project, one for “Life”), etc.

Truly, without Firefox and a browser on my Treo, I don’t think I could get by. And I sometimes wonder if it’s worth paying monthly for a dedicated server. But I get so much benefit from the services I host for myself that it definitely is.

2 thoughts on “I Live in a Web Browser

  1. No one tool for me. Outlook is open all the time as is my web browser. Word, Excel, and Windows Live Writer are open a lot. PowerPoint I like special purpose tools and probably always will. RSS Bandit is open quite a bit as well but I could probably replace it with either Outlook, Internet Explorer or some web based RSS reader. But again I like special purpose tools.

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