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Applications

The introduction of Dashboard and widgets with the release of Tiger was one of my primary reasons for upgrading. My favorite widgets include the weather, clock, stickies, calendar, and console widgets (see Figure 2). I also use the DashBlog tool to post to my blog. I subscribe to several blogs and use the del.icio.us Dashboard tag to keep track of new widgets.

Figure 2

Figure 2 Dashboard is one of the highlights of Tiger and makes a whole world of utility functions available with single key press.

On the PC, I use both Internet Explorer and Firefox. I have found myself leaning more toward Firefox lately, mostly because of all the plug-ins that are available. I use the Bloglines service to keep up with 612 different feeds, and the Firefox Bloglines extension is really handy. I also use the del.icio.us service to tag and bookmark websites of interest. With those two extensions installed, I hardly ever use the browser bookmark feature anymore.

Quicksilver is one of those applications that you wonder how you got along without it once you start using it. I'm still in the process of learning all the different things you can do with Quicksilver, but it has already saved me lots of unnecessary mouse clicks and keyboard entry.

I haven't settled on a word-processing application yet. I've installed NeoOfficeJ, the OpenOffice implementation for the Mac, and played with it a little, but not enough to make a good judgment. I have also downloaded the free version of TextWrangler, and it has a number of features that I really like, especially for editing programs. I don't have a copy of Microsoft Office for the Mac, but I hope to try it out in the future.

Another application that I haven't moved to the Mini is email. I've read both good and bad reviews of the Mac Mail application, but I haven't tried it personally. I have used the Thunderbird mail app from the folks who put out Firefox. One good reason to use Mac Mail is its integration with Spotlight and smart folders. I'll have to put that one on my to-do list.

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