The web has revolutionized the world – but it has also made us lazy. Instead of typing ten letters on a keyboard, we want to type five instead. We want things to magically download all on their own and for our applications to self-update. We long for the type of computer seen in Star Trek where we can talk to it, instead of moving a mouse and hoping for the best.
In that spirit of laziness, lots of bookmarklets have been developed by internet users to help cut down on the amount of work we do on the keyboard and live life as a slacker to the full. Since that describes me perfectly, here’s five of my favourites -
1. Gmail This!
Do you have a Gmail account? If so, do you want to email someone but you can’t be bothered to do a couple of clicks and properly launch Gmail in a browser window? Instead, why not launch the Gmail This! bookmarklet?
Pressing this bookmarklet button will quickly fire up a new Gmail email window, without having to open Gmail first.
Obviously you have to be logged into your Gmail account first, and this particular bookmarklet captures the weblink of the page you are on. But with a bit of tweaking, you can remove that feature if it irks you.
Using the Gmail This! email window, you have access to your auto-complete email addresses and sent emails are slotted automatically into your Gmail sent folder.
I’m sure you’ve often emailed a URL to someone and that URL takes up three lines all by itself. If Murphy’s Law has its way, that URL will be broken into several pieces and totally unusable by the time it gets to the other end. Plus doesn’t a long URL look really messy? Then what you need is the TinyURL bookmarklet.
Just go to the webpage URL that you want to send and click the TinyURL bookmarklet. You’ll then get a nice short URL to send on to your email contacts.
3. BugMeNot (see under ‘Menu’)
Most websites with regularly updating content (especially newspapers) require you to register before you can read the story on their webpage. But I don’t want to have 20 different registrations for 20 different publications – and be spammed to death as well! So this is where BugMeNot has stepped in to save the day. BugMeNot has set up registrations at websites all over the net and you can use one of their ID’s to bypass the registration page. This bookmarklet automatically fills in the fields for you and signs you in.
This is quite a neat little script that fixes one of the most niggling problems on the net – how to write in a website text box which is as big as your thumb! This bookmarklet allows you to stretch the text box to whatever size you want so you can write whatever you need to in comfort.
Most websites, when you log in, don’t allow you to see the password you’re typing and instead you see ********. But how do you know if you are typing the correct password?
In a time when most websites only give you three log-in attempts before locking you out, this bookmarklet will reveal your password on the screen so you can see what you are typing in. Just be sure that no-one is looking over your shoulder with a pen and paper in their hand!
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