Ok, sometimes there’s a downside to being a nerd.

Yah, I can hear the gasps in the audience now.  But it does happen.

My most recent nerdburn moment came a few minutes ago, when I finally got around to updating to the latest version of Thunderbird, bar none the best email client available, from the people who bring you Firefox, the best web browser on the planet (suck it up ChromeBoys, Firefox still rocks, and will continue to  blow Chrome out of the water until they get their extension framework worked out.  Not to mention using WebKit as the base rendering engine.  Webkit?  I mean, what were they thinking?)

Ummm…  where was I?

Oh, yah.  I finally got around to updating to Thunderbird 3.0 a few moments ago, almost an entire week after it was released.  Yes, my slackitude is shocking, but I had other things to do.  And upgrading my mail client could take an easy 60 seconds out of my life.  That’s 60 seconds I could be devoting to work (mmm… sure, I’ll get right on those TPS reports, boss), or fragging, or spending time with my wife and kid.

But, a week is long enough to wait.

Thing is, when I updated, two highly critical plugins were deemed in-compatible.

Plugin Incompatible #1:  Adblock Plus.  A lot of people don’t even realize you can add ABP to Thunderbird, but you can.  And it’s wicked handy for keeping your RSS feeds advertising free.  I was able to solve that with a quick click of the “check for updates” button.  I can now safely leach info from the web without contributing to anyone’s ad revenue.  The way God intended news to be consumed.

Plugin Incompatible #2: Lightning.  Frack.  And check for updates was no help whatsoever.  For those who may not know, Lightning is the Calendar add on for Thunderbird.  A while back, it had been suggested that Lightning was going to be fully integrated with TBird 3.0, and would no longer be an add on.  But alas, it wasn’t to be so.  And the Lightning development team fell behind, and have yet to release an “official” build that’s compatible with TBird 3.0

And that sucks.  My entire life is organized in that calendar.  Most importantly, it’s what keeps me from getting disowned by reminding me of family birthdays and such.

So, my need to have the latest and shiniest software, along with my arrogance with handling open source software, almost killed my calendar.  Almost.

And this is where being a geek comes in handy.  I knew that there was no way in hell I was the first person to get burned by this.  And I knew that because Lightning is open source, there was most likely a hacked build, or a semi official “nightly” available for me. And yup, a few moments googling led me to the developper’s blog, which kindly pointed straight to what I needed.  Sweet.  No need to wait for it to be officially released.

All in all, I spent more time writing this post, that I did upgrading TBird, having a momentary panic attack about losing my calendar, and then searching for and fixing the problem.

And really, that’s as it should be.  If it was some closed source piece of software (Outlook anyone?), an upgrade that breaks a third party extension usually means you’re S.O.L.  But it’s an open source project.  So the fix was already out there.  Actually, the fix was out before even TBird 3 was out.  And how cool is that?

Damn cool.

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