The one extinguished Alphabet program that I actually miss is iGoogle. It was a dashboard for Google services launched in 2005. For several years, I used a personalized version of it as my homepage. It allowed widgets to be pinned. I had weather summaries in the assorted areas where my family lived: Inderøy, Vancouver, Bergen, San Francisco, Umeå, Essex County and Kamloops, to name a few.  In addition, I had RSS readers from these same areas so that I could keep track of local news. Google eliminated the product in November 2013.  Its so-called replacement, Google+, never filled the same niche.

Yes, I still miss iGoogle. Stored away, I still have copies of some of the graphics. Unfortunately, I lacked the vision of Robert Dall, and neglected to take a screen shot of my iGoogle home page, so it exists only in my mind.

Robert Dall, in his blog of 15 March 2013, wrote, “I made good use of the services offered to me via iGoogle and will be sad to see them go. RSS feeds on the left, weather in the centre. Translators on the right.” (photo: robertdall.com)

I have tried to find alternatives to iGoogle, but have never been happy with the result. Protopage turned out to be mainly a RSS feed, but lacked many of the other components that worked on iGoogle. IgHome turned out to be better, but not actually good enough that I have used it, although I am reconsidering using it.

This post was prompted by an email I received today 30 March 2018, from LastPass, informing me that they will be shutting down Xmarks from 1 May 2018. Xmarks, formerly Foxmarks, was a San Francisco-based company which produced a Firefox add-on. When the service expanded to include other web browsers, the name was changed to Xmarks. The company was founded in 2006 by Mitch Kapor and was acquired by LastPass in December 2010. At the time of the LastPass acquisition, there was also discussion of shutting it down. I used it from about its start in 2006 until March 2017.

Because the same bookmark synchronizing services are now built into Firefox, there is not the same need for Xmarks. Despite this, a product that I used for over ten year will still be missed.

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