Random Geek Thoughts on Firebird, Thunderbird, Scanners, and More

Firefox Preview Release 1 is out, which is very cool — the browser’s come a long way from the ponderous days of Mozilla. What’s not cool though, is that the browser identifies its version number as “.01”, which threw my browser-sniffing script for a loop ’cause it assumed that anything .8 or higher was kosher — it never occurred to me they’d reset to .1 for the preview. Now if only I could get the RSS feed reader to work…

Thunderbird, the e-mail client counterpart to Firefox, is also shaping up quite nicely, though it still stands at version .8. They made quite a few refinements in the jump from .7 to .8, particularly in the interface. The near-final product has well-done interface that’s minimalist, yet still good looking. The guys at PC Gen could learn a thing or two from the Mozilla Foundation — it’s not enough to simply have a solid app, the interface has to be well-designed and attractive too.

And speaking of PC Gen, I’ve been spending a fair amount of time playing around with it, and it continues to frustrate me. They’ve made progress over the last few years, but the program’s interface remains way too clunky, particularly for D&D 3.0 and D&D 3.5.
Its saving grace (at least for me) is its newfound support for Spycraft. PC Gen in Spycraft mode works much better for me, but then again, I’m not demanding as much from it, since I’m using fewer source books.

In gaming news, my D&D campaign has finally switched over to D&D 3.5, after waiting for more than a year. I’m still reading through the 3.5 PHB, and my 3.5 DMG is on its way, but so far I’m liking what I see (yes Bob, including the new “small” versions of weapons).

I finally finished a real-world book — Stephen King’s Dark Tower book, Song of Susannah. It wasn’t bad — much faster paced than Wolves of the Calla. I was annoyed to see King himself make an appearance in the book, but I got over it — it really does make sense, in an egomaniacal sort of way.

If you’re looking for a good flatbed scanner — not just a cheap one, but a good one — check out the Epson Perfection 4870 Photo. Simply put, this thing kicks ass — it scans quick and well, perfectly. It will cost you $400+, but its money very well spent. Really.

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