Firefox show and tell

by Eszter Hargittai on December 14, 2005

Lifehacker Editor Gina Trapani is hosting a holiday giveaway around the topic of efficient desktop uses. She has created a group on photo-sharing site Flickr for people to post annotated pictures of their desktops: Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell. The idea is to see how people maximize this work space for productivity. I like the idea, but it seems to me that there are alternative ways of going about this. After all, how often do you even look at your desktop? I don’t look at it much. My default screen is Firefox.

So I propose an alternative: Firefox Show and Tell. Unlike Gina, I don’t have goodies to give away, but if you are interested in taking part regardless then share your annotated screenshots of your Firefox screen in the Firefox Show and Tell Flickr photo pool. I find that most productivity tools I have on my computer are embedded into Firefox anyway so it seems like an appropriate focus. Perhaps reliance on one’s desktop – or lack thereof – depends on the operating system. (No, I am not proposing we get in an OS fight over this.) In any case, I think Gina is right that there is much to learn from how other people have optimized their settings for various applications so sharing could be helpful.

If you don’t have a Flickr account, you can create one for free. To add a photo to a group pool, first visit the group page (here in this case) while logged in as a Flickr user. To the right will be a big bold link “Join this group?”, click on that. On the next page confirm that you want to join the group. Next, head to the photo you want to add to the group. While viewing the photo’s page, click on the “Send to Group” icon toward the left above the image. Then choose the group to which you want to post the picture. This may sound complicated, but it should be pretty painless once you have an account and are looking at actual pages instead of following this abstract description.

Maybe Gina at Lifehacker will consider sending some goodies to helpful screens from this photo pool as well.:)



Hektor Bim 12.14.05 at 10:00 am

What if emacs is your productivity suite? If you do numerical analysis and computational work and write your papers in latex, that’s pretty much all you need.


des von bladet 12.14.05 at 10:10 am

Seconded, for sure. C-u 1000 M-x all-hail-emacs!


Richard Bellamy 12.14.05 at 10:15 am

My homepage on my work computer for Firefox is Yahoo. For the past several months, I have been getting a “Server Not Found Error” error, and have been unable to load Yahoo.

Somehow, I have been unable to get Firefox to load Yahoo, and have not yet changed my homepage, perhaps in the process setting a record for homepage futility.


David 12.14.05 at 10:25 am

Speaking as someone who does theoretical math, writes all his papers in LaTeX and has been doing so in emacs for about 7 years, I have recently come to discover TeXshop and aquamacs and am very happy so far (about a month on each). Both of these, as far as I know, are only available for OS X.

TeXshop is basically just convenience: it is a text editor with all the features set up to work well for LaTeX editing such as premade macro packages and templates, options to efficiently comment and uncomment large sections of code, modern “as you type” spell check, ability to go to a \label and so forth. Probably all things that a gooed emacs user would have set up, but quite convenient for those of us who never really customized their emacs to begin with. Aquamacs is emacs, with everything emacs should have, but a second set of hotkeys involving the apple key which match the standard OS X hotkeys and better use of the mouse. Basically, the point is that if your Mac reflexes kick in by mistake, aquamacs will usually do the right thing.


Hektor Bim 12.14.05 at 7:04 pm

sorry to completely hijack the thread, but thanks for the pointers, david. I didn’t know about flyspell.el


Kenny Easwaran 12.15.05 at 2:59 am

Until reading this post I didn’t realize how infrequently I ever saw my desktop! I’ve always got firefox and thunderbird open in full-screen windows, and then sometimes Acrobat Reader with several pdfs, a folder or two with my work and/or pdfs I’m reading, and emacs and a dvi viewer with my work.


Eszter 12.15.05 at 6:45 am

Kenny, that was exactly my point, thanks for sticking to the topic of the thread and commenting.:)

I only see my wallpaper image when it’s in the background of the login screen. Other than that, I don’t see much reason to hide my windows.. especially not the browser.

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