Dashboard Widgets

I upgraded to Tiger or reasons of vanity and fanboyishness, but also because some app stopped working for some reason. I actually think it was mail.app, and even after reinstalling, I couldn’t get it to work properly. I have no idea what happened. I hear lots of horror stories from people, but have to say that my iBook has been remarkably error-free. Still, stuff happens on all machines, and mine is no exception. So after going Thunderbird for a week or so, I went to the local Apple store and picked up Tiger. I asked the guy at the counter if he’d ever heard of my problem, but he just looked mystifies. Anyhoo, a few hours later, I was back home and had Tiger installed. To be honest, I didn’t quite see what the fuzz was about. I’m not a developer, though I’d like to be. Still, given my problems with simply customizing my wordpress site or slapping up a decent CSS site, the idea of developing proper apps is far from my mind. As for CSS…let me just say the mafia are so prevalent that I’ve gotten shit for using hybrid design, which even Zeldman himself points as fine in that seminal work of his. CSS advocates hate tables, and moreover, they hate hybrid design even more, because it works without insane workarounds. (Who else redesigns sites by sticking a new style sheet in there? Don’t you want to add new functions etc? I know, I know, it can all be done with CSS and tables are the mark of the Devil and blah blah blah. Moving on.)

Aside from this having nothing to do with anything, my point is Dashboard. I sort of understood how Dashboard could be useful, but on the whole, it wasn’t something I used often. I played Space Invaders and Asteroids a lot, though. Searching for widgets can be fun, but after the first time, the Yodaspeak widget, the MST3K widget or the Chuck Norris facts widget lose their appeal. I had one widget that seemed useful, which was the converter widget. Currency, measuring units and most everything was pretty damn handy. Since it’s frickin’ impossible to find the calculator in OSX (well, compared to 9), I had that in there as well.

But overall, it seemed pretty pointless, and Dashboard remained mostly unused. However, a few months ago, I found a few sites detailing the stuff I could do with the computer. I realized there was a bunch of useful functions hidden in the OS, and, shortly thereafter, I made the same realization about Dashboard: it wasn’t all that pointless after all.

I’ve recently found some pretty useful widgets, like WordPressDash, which is what I’m using to type this, Flick’it, which I use to upload photos to Flickr, both dictionary and thesaurus (English AND Norwegian) and so on. Most of the widgets are in fact versions of the extensions I used with Firefox. Since FF uses so much CPU, though, I switched to Camino and use widgets instead. It seems like a good trade. If only Camino could get the WebDeveloper extensions, I’d be a happy camper.

The one thing I miss with my current widgets is maybe a more advanced tagging functions, but it seems like the sort of thing that someone smarter than me will figure out pretty soon…

10.03.2007 • Permalink