CIL2008: Widgets, Tools, & Doodads for Library Webmasters

First off Darlene Fichter and Frank Cervone are like a stand up comedy act with really neat tools to make our lives easier! I just love attending their presentations each year. So let’s get to the meat (excuse my lack of capitalization):

Firefox Tools:

  • safecache – protects your privacy – defends against cache-based tracking techniques
  • foxmarks – automatically syncs bookmarks with a web version at – works across work and home computers
  • FEBE – firefox environment backup extension – quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions – easily sync your office and home browsers – also backup things that aren’t extensions

Other web tools:

  • meebo chat widget – topeka & shawnee county public library – on the no results found page
  • LinkBunch – lets you put multiple links in one small link – firefox extension creates a bunch from all your open tabs
  • DocSyncer – automatically finds and syncs your document files to google docs – this means everything! “users are even reporting that launching a document directly from their desktop using DocDyncer is FASTER than launching the doc native in microsoft office” – Frank says yeah right!! – very good and simple to sign up (windows, mac, linux) – problem here is that it is everything!! Doesn’t ask you – just does it
  • twhirl – desktop client for twitter
  • polldaddy – fast and simple way to put a poll on your website

For web development:

  • VisCheck – a computer simulation of the entire process of human vision – way of showing what things look like to someone who is color blind
  • Feng GUI – automatic alternative to eye-tracking – creates heat maps
  • browsershots – creates screenshots in different browsers – open source online service – submit your web address – added to the job queue – distributed to different computers – a bit slow
  • Flickr photo badge – have an account for your library and add photos
  • photoshop expresstutorial
  • add this – forget location: this web distribution – allow people to bookmark things where they want – also gives you button stats
  • Google gadgets – countdown
  • altavista babelfish site translator
  • Google translate my page

Nifty utilities:

  • processtamer – monitors cpu usage of processes – reduces the properties of apps that hog the cpu – windows only
  • file hamster – real time back and archiving of your files while you work – stores notes about the changes that have been made
  • syncback freeware – backup all files anytime with a single click – also allows machine to machine backup via ftp – versioning – scroll down to the bottom where the freeware link is
  • linkextractor – get all links from a page to repurpose
  • moving large files – | | yousendit | mediafire (not necessarily private – don’t require registration) – pando – 1GB peer to peer (disadvantage everyone needs pando)
  • recaptcha – stop spam – this does good for internet archive too – shows a word that was OCRed
  • anonymouse – want to do things privately – check if resources are accessible outside your IP range or not
  • prism – an application that lets users split web applications out of their browser and run them directly on their desktop – from mozilla labs – makes the app look like a client instead of a browser


In true Darlene and Frank fashion they ended by telling us that they didn’t want their talk to be all work and no play. They introduced us to a gag site that we can use to scare our colleagues and friends –

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  1. I love the idea of Recaptcha, but I’m concerned by this comment about it. Prism is very cool–I’ve used the standalone version rather than the plugin version, and it works really well on both my PC and my Mac.

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