Tag Archives | Operation Foxbook

Operation Foxbook: The Wrap-Up

The experiment known as Operation Foxbook–in which I dumped my fancy MacBook Pro and desktop apps like Microsoft Office and Photoshop for an HP Mini-Note netbook and Web apps running in Foxbook–is officially over. Actually, I wrapped it up about a week ago, but I thought it made sense to take the time to reflect a bit about what went right, what went wrong, and what I learned.

Here are previous installments of this series, in case you want some background:

Introducing Operation Foxbook
Operation Foxbook: Life Inside the Browser, So Far
Operation Foxbook: Livin’ Small With the HP Mini-Note
Operation Foxbook: More Fun With Web Apps

And here (after the jump) are some overall lessons…

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Operation Foxbook: Livin’ Small With the HP Mini-Note

Operation Foxbook–my experiment of dumping my MacBook Pro and desktop apps for an HP Mini-Note netbook and Web-based apps within Firefox–continues apace. And the hardware side of things is turning out to have as big an impact on the experience as the software aspect.

The MacBook Pro I use most of the time is relatively thin and light given how powerful it is, but it’s no subnotebook. And it’s the largest, heaviest machine I’ve carried in years. I used to be addicted to subnotebooks like the Fujitsu Lifebook B112 and Fujitsu P-1000, but in 2004 I had an epiphany and bought my first Mac in years–the 12-inch PowerBook, which was a bit larger and heavier. Then I replaced that with the even larger, heavier 13-inch MacBook. And when I started Technologizer, I decided I wanted more screen space and resolution, and bought the MacBook Pro.

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Operation Foxbook: Life Inside the Browser, So Far

I’m typing this in Firefox on an HP Mini-Note netbook. In fact, I’m doing everything in Firefox on the Mini-Note at the moment, because I’m engaged in the experiment I call Operation Foxbook, in which I spend a few days trying to go cold turkey on desktop applications and my fancy MacBook in favor of working in a manner that’s as close to purely Web-based as possible.

How’s it going so far? Not bad, but not entirely free of bumps. A few notes on the Web-based applications I’ve been using:

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Introducing Operation Foxbook

I do most of my Technologizer work these days on a 15-inch MacBook Pro laptop that runs three operating systems (OS X, Windows Vista, and Windows XP) and a full complement of applications for wrangling words, pictures, and Web sites (Microsoft Office, Photoshop, CorelDraw, Dreamweaver, and whatever else I need at any given moment). It’s a great tool for the job.

But tomorrow I’m going to set it aside for a few days and launch what I’m calling Operation Foxbook–an experiment that involves doing as much of my work on the Web and inside the browser (a specific browser–Firefox) as I possibly can. I’ve wanted to try this for a while–I wrote about the idea of a “Firefox PC” back in this post. But when I was at PC World, I couldn’t truly go cold turkey from desktop software, since we used Adobe InDesign, a decidedly local application, to crank out the magazine.

Technologizer, however, is all Web all the time–and I know of nothing I do for the site that simply can’t be done with a Web app. And the notion of computers that serve largely as containers for a Web browser has hit the big time–there’s a whole class of inexpensive, small notebook known as netbooks. So I’ll use one such machine, HP’s Mini-Note, to do my Technologizer stuff, and will blog about the experience. I know some of the browser-based apps I’ll use: parts of both Google Docs and Zoho, for sure, and the excellent Picnik photo editor. And Gmail, too, even though I continue to both love it and hate it. I’m sure I’ll need to seek out other apps as I need them, too.

Stay tuned–I may need your advice and patience to get through to the weekend without grabbing the MacBook…


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