How I Spent My Summer

October 12, 2006

This last summer, I was an intern Program Manager at Microsoft, working down at their Silicon Valley Campus with the PowerPoint/OfficeArt team. It was a series of firsts – first time with my own apartment, having to fend entirely for myself in terms of cooking, first internship, and my first summer in California (I went home to Brazil last year). I didn’t know what to expect, but I was extremely excited – and the summer did not disappoint.

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flocking at the opera

August 23, 2006

First day with Flock has been terrific – I loaded it on my machine at work as well, so I’ve done all my browsing today on it. Impressions:

  • The Flickr pane at the top is great – I was researching photos and it was a handy way of viewing them without leaving the page I was on. Perhaps in the future they could integrate some sort of related-words browsing a la FlickrStorm.
  • Manage Your Favorites looks really cool – I wasn’t that impressed with the Places bar when I tried it out in the FFx 3.0 builds, and while this is missing the search and sort functionality that places offered, it’s a far more pleasant UI
  • Building on FFx means compatibility is actually better than when I surf with Opera – it’s great to use Backpack, GCal, GMail with chat, etc and not have to worry about whether I should be “Masking as Mozilla”
  • Search as you type results in the search bar are way more useful than I ever thought they’d be. Since most of the time I click on the first 4 links anyway, this cuts out the middle search page entirely.
  • Blogging with the built-in tool couldn’t be easier, but the default font on its interface is hideous. I think this is a problem on my system.

That said, there are a lot of ‘little things’ I’ve grown accustomed to in Opera. Extensions have been filling some needs pretty well:

  • Open page next to current, undo close tabĀ  – I installed superT (found on Flock extensions site) and it did the trick
  • Mouse Gestures – Also found on Flock site. Not quite as smooth as the Opera ones, and I miss the popup menu when I use the mouse scroll + right click to get a list of tabs, but it’s good enough

What I miss, and haven’t found extensions for:

  • The Fast Forward feature – being able to log-in by doing a leftclick-rightclick rocker gesture, or navigate quickly through a folder of images in the same way
  • The image preview of tabs on hover of their names in the title

All in all, Flock looks like a serious contender for at least a permanent place on my hard drive, and might even end up as default.

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