Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Aha Moment: Firefox is Becoming My OS

Yesterday I installed another extension for Firefox. This one is called Foxytunes and allows you to control your MP3 software from Firefox. Installing the extension wasn’t that big a deal and, honestly, the extension isn’t that big a deal either. What was a big deal, however, was the aha moment I had right after I installed.

All of a sudden I realized that my browser was looking more and more like an operating system. The more extensions I installed, the less I ever had to go anywhere else. I could have lots of programs running in the background, all controlled with Firefox. It’s a pretty amazing idea.

Then, this morning, as I was sitting on the toilet (where I do some of my best thinking), I realized that I’ve installed more extensions onto my computer than software. Thinking about the software I use at work, it’s not a long list: mail, Word, PowerPoint (occasionally), Excel (occasionally), iCal, AIM, MSN Messenger, TextEdit and of course Firefox. That’s nine programs. You know how many extensions I have installed at the moment? 13. Kind of interesting. Imagine five years ago telling someone you have installed more programs on your browser than you have on your OS.


April 22, 2005