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11/30/2006
03:44 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
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Cooliris: It's A Keeper

I've been using Cooliris for about a day now, and my verdict so far: it's a keeper. Cooliris helps you check out a page to see if it's worth visiting. Cooliris is a browser plug-in that lets you mouse over Web links and get a pop-up window that shows the Web page on the other end of that link. It works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari.

I've been using Cooliris for about a day now, and my verdict so far: it's a keeper.

Cooliris helps you check out a page to see if it's worth visiting. Cooliris is a browser plug-in that lets you mouse over Web links and get a pop-up window that shows the Web page on the other end of that link. It works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari.

The best example is when you're looking at a page of search results; you want to just take a quick peek at each link to see if it's suitable, and if the page even exists anymore. Cooliris lets you do that easily.

Here's how it works: You just hover your mouse over the link, and a blue dot will appear a few pixels away from the link. Move your mouse cursor until it's hovering over the blue dot, and Cooliris opens a window that shows an image of the page being linked to.

If it's a dead link or otherwise unsuitable, you just move your mouse cursor a few pixels, so it's not hovering over the Cooliris window. The Cooliris window automatically closes, and you can continue with whatever you were doing.

If your Cooliris visit tells you it's a good link, you'll want open a full-blown tab or browser window and peruse the target page at leisure. And Cooliris helps with that too; the Cooliris window includes a button that lets you convert it to a full-blown tab.

Neat.

In other words, Cooliris is good for checking out links before you actually visit them.

The other major thing I'm using Cooliris for is to verify links in blog posts I create and in the articles I edit. If we tell readers that we're pointing them to (for example) our resource page for today's Windows Vista, Exchange, and Office launch, Cooliris helps me take a quick peek at the URL, just to be sure it's the right page.

Another useful example: if you're reading something on the Web that contains an uninformative hyperlink (such as the first one in the paragraph after the next one), you can use Cooliris to see if the page being linked to is anything you're interested in visiting.

When I did a quick write-up of Cooliris based on a fast peek yesterday, I asked: How hard is it to open a tab, anyway? Now I have the answer: Compared with getting up at 4 am to milk the cows and feed the chickens, not very hard. But it's hard enough that Cooliris makes for a useful browser tool.

I can imagine "Cooliris" becoming a verb, like "Google." To "Cooliris" would mean, "To give something a quick once-over." Example: "Say, Jim, did you want to try out that new restaurant for lunch?" "No, I Coolirised them when I was walking by yesterday -- the line was wicked long and the place smelled like feet."

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