Firefox and Friends

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I have to admit that I was a little late to the game when it came to Firefox. I downloaded the free web browser late last year after hearing good things about it from my roommates. I used to think that all browsers were pretty much the same, but I changed my mind when I saw how the program could be customized using "add-ons," specialized plug-ins that are easily installed.

The add-on that has impacted my work flow the most has been Cooliris, a media plug-in that makes searching for images about as easy as possible. I spend a good portion of my time searching on-line for reference photos (anything from cars to weapons to clouds). Now, instead of clicking through dozens of pages on Google and Flickr, I can simply click on the icon, transforming my screen into a scrolling wall of images (and even video) that is easy to navigate, not to mention extremely fast.

You can even search directly from the plug-in, choosing from the many sites that are Cooliris enabled. One of my favorite features is the "share" button, a small envelope that, once clicked, adds the selected photo to an e-mail. Once all the photos are attached, I send it to myself. The subsequent e-mail provides me with a link to a custom page where all the images are displayed and easily downloaded.

Finally, there is FireFTP, a no-nonsense program that turns your browser into a FTP window, making file transfer easier (and faster) than ever. Now I don't have to open up Dreamweaver every time I want to upload documents to Marvel or my web site.

Just a reminder, Identification Day is tomorrow. I'll be answering questions and drawing up a storm (although not taking commissions).

American Museum of Natural History
Milstein Hall of Ocean Life
Saturday, June 13

And just for fun, here's a sketch from my 2004 trip to see Body Worlds in LA. Have a great weekend!


  1. Wow, Paolo, great heads up on Cooliris, definitely going to have to get that tonight.. I spend WAY too much of my time looking through pictures on flickr... constantly changing my search phrase to try to get as specific as possible "child jumping from above" or something like "old man with evil smile" haha

    I'll have to play around with this photo search add on, thanks, man!

  2. Ok, I just downloaded it and tried it out. I think my life just became one point easier. amazing. Thank you, sir.

  3. Glad I could help, Eric. I'm also planning a post on search term strategies, which can save time as well.

  4. Just downloaded Cooliris. Very cool app, thanks for the heads up. By the way, I looked at your blog with it too, and it totally changes that experience... All of this great art lined up like a gallery show! LOL

    Keep up the great work!

  5. Thanks, kingcoyote! All the Google sites are Cooliris enabled, including blogspot. It's a pretty easy way to see everyone's pics with minimal effort.

  6. Cooliris's animated thumbnails are a bit annoying to me when I'm looking for static images. has a decent image search feature too. I've found that Flickr offers more variety in images since it is mostly non-pro photos, so in general it's not the same ones over and over that you often get with a web wide search.

  7. Michael, I haven't seen the animated thumbnails that you're talking about, but I'll have to check out bing. I saw tons of their commercials when I was last in FL (where they have TV).

    And I know what you mean about Flickr. I'm going to do a whole post on my search strategies and how it depends on what I'm looking for.


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