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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Browser Bookmarks Synchronizer

Do you have multiple computers? Say you have a desktop and a laptop? Or perhaps you have a PC/laptop at work and have another one at home too? For e.g.: I have a work laptop, a personal laptop and also a desktop at home. I get online from all of these and many times I wish I had the bookmark on the other machine here or wish I could bookmark a site and it is accessible from everywhere. Many years back I found a solution. It was a different browser called 'Avant' which is basically an Internet Explorer extension. Avant has an online storage and a bookmark manager (multi-tabbed too), and while starting the browser I can login to my account and all my bookmarks are available anywhere... wow! It was so cool and very helpful. Over the years I changed my work PC and laptops many times and I still I have all the bookmarks I accumulated. Trust me, in these days a bookmark is almost as valuable as a contact number. Of course you may be able to locate a site thru a search engine like Google or Yahoo, but then many times when you quickly want something you may not have the luxury to search and find it. Also what is the guarantee that it appears on top of your search results!

So back to the story, I was a happy user of Avant for many years (since 2004). But then in between I quit using IE (2005-06) and fell in love with my sweet, sexy and versatile Firefox browser. Once a foxy (firefox user :P), always one. Back in the days of slow stupid single tabbed IE 5/6, firefox was a charmer with amazingly fast page loading, multiple tabs, integrated download manager and a general sturdy and dependable feel. It even has an integrated search box which can be associated with any search engine of your choice, including msn, Google, Yahoo and even wikipedia. Oh and as an extra bonus, you can even change your search engine in one click. I believe I started using firefox from version 1.x and now it is 3.x. But the only thing I miss is my well arranged huge collection of bookmarks. Firefox didn't have an option to automatically synchronize bookmarks (but you can import IE bookmarks). So I still used to install Avant just to get my bookmarks, but then managing bookmarks and synching between my computers became a big headache. And then I stumbled upon this, a nifty firefox add-on called ‘foxmarks’.

"If you use Firefox on more than one computer, you'll want Foxmarks. Install Foxmarks on each computer, and it works silently in the background to keep your bookmarks and (optionally) passwords synchronized. Foxmarks also keeps your data backed up and safe from computer failures. If you're away from your computer, Foxmarks allows you to access your bookmarks online by logging into"

If you are excited already wait to hear this. Foxmarks just launched a beta version for IE (and Safari) too. Wow! What more do you need?! What are you waiting for, download foxmarks today itself, give it a try and share your experience. It also has an optional 'secure' password synchronizer, but as a word a caution, I would rather stay away from it as I don't want to take any risk and trust anyone else with my password. I prefer not to store my passwords even on the browser!

Here is the download link for foxmarks: (home page)

Very useful, compiled link of popular Firefox add-ons

These are my favorite Firefox add-ons:
1) Firebug - allows the debugging, editing, and modifying of any website's CSS, HTML, DOM, and JavaScript, and provides other web development tools.

2) DownThemAll (DTA) - a download manager/accelerator extension

3) IE Tab - view pages using the IE rendering engine from within Firefox. This is useful for some websites that do not work properly in Firefox.

4) Adblock Plus - used for blocking ads

5) PDF Download - allows users to customize the handling of PDF files. You can also convert web pages to PDF for printing or saving. Instead of the default action of opening a pdf inside browser (which clicked the pdf link), instead you can save it and open externally or even view it as html. Makes browser crashes and slow downloads a thing of the past.

6) Tab Mix Plus - provides tabbed browsing enhancements. It includes such features as duplicating tabs, controlling tab focus, tab clicking options, undo closed tabs and windows, plus much more. It also includes a full-featured session manager.

I haven't tried this, but BookmarkSync is another free bookmark synchronizer which supports even more browsers (opera, safari etc) and platforms.

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