Google Bookmarks Extension Mod

Every since I got a laptop I have felt the need for some synchronization tool to manage all my files and settings between my laptop and desktop. Though I have yet to find a good tool for synchronizing my files I did manage to find a near perfect bookmark synchronization tool. Rahul Jonna’s Firefox Google Bookmarks Menu extension is the tool that met almost all my needs. As an extension it is cross-platform and it is built into the browser. It works in a similar way to the default browser bookmarking system but it is always synchronized with a stable back-end server, Google Bookmarks, which provides a web interface for accessing the bookmarks in case you do not have the extension installed.

My only qualm with the extension was that it did not work exactly like the normal Firefox bookmarks whose functions I have come to depend on. So I decided to try my hand at extension writing and modify Jonna’s work to more closely imitate Firefox bookmarks. I ended up implementing additional keyboard shortcuts, Bookmark All Tabs, Open in Tabs and I fixed a bug or two I found with some of the existing functionality. The extension as I changed it works in exactly the same way as the Firefox bookmarks but with different shortcuts, slower execution when bookmarking many tabs and it has a separate menu labeled GBookmarks on the menubar. In using it I have found the separate menu to be useful as I still use the Firefox bookmarks for making temporary bookmarks I don’t want to synchronize.

Works with:   firefox_icon.png   Firefox 1.5 – 2.0 ALL
Install my extension modification:

extension_install.png   Firefox Google Bookmarks Menu 0.2.1

For more details on the original extension by Rahul Jonna see the official Firefox Google Bookmarks Menu page on the Firefox Add-ons site.

My extension no longer works since the Google bookmarking interface has changed and I no longer use Google bookmarks. Please use Rahul Jonna’s updated extension at the link above.

But wait, now comes the funny part, about a week after I finished this little mod, Google, who hosts the back-end for the mod, released their own very comprehensive solution to browser synchronization as a whole called Google Browser Sync. Not only does it synchronize your Firefox bookmarks menu but also your history, cookies and passwords plus it can restore your browsing sessions effectively replacing the SessionSaver extension. Talk about being outdone… but personally I still use my modification as I don’t feel the need to synchronize my history or cookies and as far as I can tell there is no web interface for accessing the bookmarks Google Browser Sync stores so there is no way to access your bookmarks if you don’t have the extension installed.

NetRisk

While co-oping at Georgia-Pacific last summer I found myself quite bored after work. During my first two semesters at Georgia Tech I think I became accustomed to the grueling pace of classes and having it stop so suddenly with the arrival of summer left me feeling bored. My brain was itching to do interesting and new things but it was my first semester as a co-op so they didn’t give me very challenging work. So I did what every good programmer does when bored; I picked up an O’Reilly book to learn a new programming language. I chose PHP because I had heard a lot of buzz about it and I had seen some really cool online applications built on PHP. Since I had the whole summer to learn PHP I decided I might as well come up with a reasonably large project to cut my teeth on and really help me grasp this new language. I brainstormed some ideas with a friend of mine and we agreed that a web-based version of the Risk board game would be awesome. We always enjoyed playing it but had problems finding other people to play with us and finding the large blocks of time necessary to finish a game in one sitting. So why not use the internet to enable anyone to play Risk anytime they wanted?

Continue reading “NetRisk”

Calculus III for CS

At Georgia Tech, Computer Science majors are required to take Calculus I – III but we actually have a special Calculus III just for Computer Science majors. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this class but now that I’m almost done I have found it to be a very refreshing change from the previous Calculus classes. In my Calculus III for CS class taught by Michael Loss, the curriculum was integrated with a number of programming projects in which you implement the concepts you learn in class. Personally, I have always found it a challenge to apply many of the abstract mathematical concepts learned in math classes to real life or computer science. But in this class I was able to put those abstract concepts into code which gave me a better understanding of them and how they can be applied to real problems.

I did four projects in the class. The first three are Java applets and the last is a Java application:

Level Curve Graphing
Jacobi Algorithm Analysis
Singular Value Decomposition
SVD Image Compression.