Before I start the game, I have to set the rules, eh? I think they should be simple:
- Use no local applications but the browser unless unavoidable and all other avenues have been exhausted; and
- Avoid using local storage as much as possible.
- Prefer Google over other on-line options.
Rule #2 is one that I'd like to have worded more sternly, but I don't see it happening. I could use GMailFS to save and load everything from, but that violates Google's TOS so I can't expect others to do it and using GMailFS would make the game unduplicatable, rendering it useless.
Rule #3 is used because this is a Google challenge. I'll choose Picassa over Flickr, even if Flickr seems to have a nicer interface. I'll choose Google Docs of ThinkFree despite ThinkFree's better functionality. I may re-run this game without Rule #3 next year.
I've considered using Google Desktop and Gadgets, but I decided that I need to do everything on-line for the challenge.
So ... what are the applications that I'll be using and how will I set this up?
Obviously, I need a browser, and the best choice for this challenge on Linux is Firefox. I need to add some extensions to make my job easier. The Google Toolbar goes in. It's my first time with it, and I'll probably remove it when I'm done with the game, but I'm all in to Google for this one, so I set up the toolbar to take over FF's search, add as much functionality as I can on the bar, including Wikipedia (via Google) and YouTube searches and Google Notebook, set the bar up to share my settings between my work and home computer, and to record my web history on-line for later searching (boy, my privacy bells are making my hair stand on end with that one). The toolbar also has bookmarks available on it. For other extensions, I've got the AddtoPicasa extension so that I can right-click and save a photo. I've also got the Google Docs Sidebar, though I'm not sure if it'll be much use.
GMail is already my default e-mail so there's no transition here. I've set the Google Toolbar to open mailto: links in Gmail.
I mostly use GTalk in the GMail interface, but also I have Yahoo! and MSN accounts that I use infrequently. Clients are available as gadgets for iGoogle, so I'll start with those. If that doesn't work, there's always Meebo.
This will not really be that difficult for me since I use Google Presentations a lot already at work. I've set the Google Toolbar to open common documents in Google Docs instead of my normal desktop apps.
I normally use Tomboy to organize my notes before I write anything, but I'll be using Google Notebook for this. The toolbar has a notebook link in it to bring up in the browser.
I'm really going to try to get away without this so that I can use PicasaWeb, but it's going to hurt. If I can't get around the limited editing of PicasaWeb doesn't work out, there are a few other online photo editors using Flash or ECMAScript.
I normally listen to music from Jamendo, anyway, so I can stream that through FF or I can use LastFM.
I guess it's time to browse YouTube. Ack! My hair is standing on end just thinking of it.
I don't really play games, but there are a bunch available as gadgets for iGoogle.
I've set this as my home page and have put up my work page with my calendar, e-mail, Docs, GTalk, Notebook, and Bookmarks. I have another page with my tech reding (Slashdot, etc.), and another one with games.
There we have it. "The game is afoot! No, wait. It's a hand!"