All Those Pretty Colors

So, there are now colored Shuffles, Skype 2.5 is now final for the Mac, and even Om Malik has spoken out against Snap's absolutely insufferable link hover previews (which John Gruber also commented upon before, linking to a page where you can permanently disable the godawful things).

In the meantime, I've been playing around with yourminis, and it comes pretty close to being more useful than Dashboard (which, as regular readers will recall, I rate as "somewhat useful if you're really bored").

If you haven't tried them yet, the concept is simple - it's a Flash-based widget environment that runs in your browser, so that you can have your favorite widgets follow you around anywhere rather than squirreled away on a single machine.

It has plenty of RSS and podcast-oriented default widgets, but it's somewhat poor where it comes to, say, building your own roaming GTD Dashboard.

But, again, the neat thing about it is that I can call it up anywhere, and it's good enough to shunt to-dos and stickies across home and work desktops. Too bad that international keyboard handling in Windows browsers is a mess (ironically, input on a Mac seems to work flawlessly).

That, in and by itself, is enough of a put-off to make it little more than an interesting toy at this point, since it's impossible to use the built-in notepad widgets without proper punctuation, parenthesis, etc.

But it shows promise, and if they switched from the "toy" angle to somewhat of a Backpack-like approach, it would probably become a lot more useful. They are also doing a web desktop with a somewhat anemic calendar, but despite the great execution, the concept itself is, well, just plain wrong for this day and age.

But I think they may be on to something with the widget angle - especially if they ever make the jump towards supporting third-party widgets (and not just re-hash RSS and media player widgets until the cows come home).

Given that anyone can download OpenLaszlo and roll out something pretty similar (albeit without the neat UI touches like the placement grid), they had better do it soon.

Which reminds me: Anyone know of something similar to OpenLaszlo that doesn't entail running a Java application server?

Like I wrote two years ago, the thing eats RAM like a grazing hippo, and I'd rather use any other programming language you care to name...

See Also: