A super-cool Mozilla extension

I’m about to get you to dump Internet Explorer for good.

And no, this has nothing to do with the latest security exploits (there were only four revealed this week, right?). This has to do with functionality.

Super Drag & Go is what I call a disruptive technology. It’s like multitasking. You won’t understand what the big deal is when I explain it to you, but once you try it out, you’ll find it impossible to use a computer that doesn’t have it.It’s dead simple. You’re using the Web for research. You’re tooling along, finding lots of information you didn’t know about ancestors, obscure toy train manufacturers, or whatever it is you like to use the Web to research. You hit upon a name or phrase or topic or book title that’s useful, so you highlight it with your mouse, copy the text, then open a new browser window, go to Google or Amazon or Dictionary.com or Wikipedia or whatever the appropriate research tool is, paste it in, and keep on going, right?

Wrong. That’s what you used to do.

What you do is you install Mozilla Firefox, then you click on that Google icon and install the interfaces for whatever search engines besides Google you like (there’s plumbing that hooks you up with Wikipedia, Amazon.com, Dictionary.com, and everything else you can possibly think of). Then you install Super Drag & Go. Then you instantly become about 40 times as productive as you were 20 minutes ago.

How? I tool along the same way I always did. Then, when I find reference to, oh, say, Voltamp, I highlight it like I was going to copy and paste it, but instead of hitting copy, I just drag it with my mouse over to some blank area on my browser window.

Boom-shakalaka, a browser window opens with that phrase punched into Google for me with my results. So then I can read the three–wait, now it’s four!–webpages that make mention of the first company that made an electric toy train that used a transformer plugged into a household AC wall socket.

(You can thank me later for putting that song in your head. Change browsers and I promise I won’t do it again.)

Of course, if you’ve changed your default search engine to something else, then it’ll go to that other page. Now you know why it might be useful to set your default search engine to Wikipedia or Amazon.com. It changes back easily–it’s just a matter of clicking the icon in the browser’s search bar.

Next time I see him, I’ll have to thank Todd, the coworker who showed me how this works. I’d read about it and dismissed it, until he showed it to me. And now?

It’s not a habit, it’s cool. I feel alive. If you don’t have it you’re on the other side. I’m not an addict…. Maybe that’s a lie? –K’s Choice, Not an Addict

2 thoughts on “A super-cool Mozilla extension

  • July 15, 2004 at 9:54 am
    Permalink

    You actually get the web search functionality of this plug-in for free even with basic Firefox. If you right-click selected text, you’ll get a context menu with a Web Search for “selected text” entry. The plug-in does this with drag-and-drop, too, but I don’t see a huge advantage to that. Knowing my errant mousing on some days, I’d probably prefer the menu. 🙂

    That’s not to say the plug-in isn’t useful in other ways, such as easily snagging images. But even vanilla Firefox trumps IE.

    • July 15, 2004 at 10:38 pm
      Permalink

      This is super cool, but now I have 40 tabs open!

      They also have a plugin for IE called MyIE2 which provides tabbed browsing in IE with Super Drag and Drop built in.

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