Archives For firefox

My New Startup Page

August 20, 2009

Ever since I started using Firefox and discovered the joys of tabbed browsing, I have had my browser start with multiple tabs open to my most commonly accessed websites.  For about three years, there were only two: Slashdot and ESPN. About two years ago, I added Google Reader to the mix for blog reading.

What pages make it to my startup screen is a delicate balance. Slashdot could be an RSS subscription in my Reader, but I found that it was easier to just scroll through the website for a couple minutes and pick out the articles I wanted to read. The same was true for ESPN.

Lately, Lifehacker has been high on my list of sites I read, but it too is starting to clog my Reader screen with too many posts. As a result, I’ve decided that after two years, it’s time to update my startup config for Firefox. The list, from left to right:

  • Slashdot
  • Lifehacker
  • Facebook
  • ESPN
  • Google Reader

The other notable addition is Facebook. I still hate their design for the most part, but it’s becoming a critical tool that if I don’t start with it open, I won’t make it to Facebook somedays, and there are too many youth there to forget a day.

What website(s) do you include in your startup screen?

Blast From the Past

March 18, 2009

One of my favorite Gmail extensions is Xoopit.  It sits on top of Gmail and scans for file attachments, then makes them easily searchable at their site or within Gmail.  One of my favorite features is the summary email each week.  It shows you what you’ve received that week, but it also shows you something from this week a year ago.

Here’s what came to me this week last year, from Darcy:

Teen Poster

Made me chuckle.

Syncing Information

October 15, 2008

I was greeted this morning with a pleasant surprise in FirefoxFoxmarks, a tool for syncing bookmarks across computers, has been updated to include syncing passwords between machines.  I lamented the loss of this feature back in late May when I upgraded to Firefox 3, thereby losing the functionality of Google Browser Sync.  My passwords are again happily residing on both my home computer and work laptop.

Firefox 3 Download Day Certificate

Firefox 3.0 has been released.  I participated in the attempt to set a World Record for downloading software when it came out. 

Pastor asked me what the big deal was about Firefox.  I like the ‘Fox for several reasons, but mostly because of the ability to add features to the browser through their Add-Ons feature.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Adblock Plus and Adblock Filterset.G Updater: Cut the ads out of surfing the web.
  • All-in-One-Sidebar: Adds a sidebar with your bookmarks, extensions, downloads, history and more.  Gives me quick access to the stuff I need.  It also can load web pages in the sidebar, which can be handy in some instances.
  • Greasemonkey: This allows you to install scripts to change the way web pages load.  I like userscripts.org for finding good ones.  This is required for the “Better” extensions (see next bullet).
  • “Better” Extensions: Gmail, Calendar, Reader.  These combine some of the best Greasemonkey scripts around into a single extension.  Choose which ones you want to load with simple check-boxes.
  • Customize Google: Uh… It customizes Google…
  • DragDropUpload: Makes attaching files easier by allowing you to drag a file into the text box.
  • Notifiers: Gmail, Reader, Calendar, Yahoo.  These check for new messages and appointments.  Clicking an icon at the bottom of the window sends me right to each of those services to read anything new that comes in.
  • GTD Inbox: I use this for task management and better control of my gmail account.  Worth it just for the label enhancements.
  • IE Tab: Occasionally, I’ll run across a web page that doesn’t load right in Firefox.  This is a holdover from the days when Internet Explorer ruled the web and convinced people to use non-standard code for web pages.  It’s becoming less and less of a problem these days, but still handy to have.
  • Foxmarks: Synchronizes bookmarks across computers.  I use it to keep my bookmarks identical between my home PC and the laptop I use at work, plus any workstations at First Trinity that I sign into on a regular basis.
  • Locationbar 2: Jazzes up how the website address looks in your address bar at the top of the page.  I like it because it helps me identify website that might be fraudulent and generally makes the site address more readable.
  • Mouse Gestures Redox: The official Add-ons site doesn’t carry the newest version yet, but there is a compatible version linked above.  This allows you to do common tasks by “drawing” on the screen while holding the right mouse button down.  Forward, Back, New Tab, Close Tab, Next Tab Right/Left are just some of my favorite gestures.
  • Tab Mix Plus: Adds some nice features to the tabbed browsing.
  • Xoopit: New to me, thanks to Lifehacker.  You’ll need their invite code in order to get into the beta.  This searches your gmail account for pics/files/video links and then displays them visually for you to quickly scan for the one you need.  So far, I really like it.

Any you use that I should know about?

Taking the Plunge

May 29, 2008

I like to be on the bleeding edge of software.  I always have at least 3 or 4 programs installed that are in “beta” form.  Generally speaking, the few bugs that come along with Betas are acceptable to me.  My web browser, however, has been an exception to that policy since the days of Firefox 1.0.  It’s not that I mind the browser issues, it’s the incompatibility of my extensions. 

I had tried (and loved) Firefox 3 Beta 2 and following, but couldn’t live without my extensions so I didn’t keep it.  Firefox 3 Release Candidate 1 was published a little more than a week ago.  For those who don’t follow the development of Firefox, RCs are put out once all the major features are finalized, allowing extension authors to update once and be assured that their extensions will work with all future 3.x versions of Firefox. 

I did some detective work and found replacements or beta copies of all my extensions except for a few, so I am now on Firefox 3.  The only one I really really miss is Google Browser Sync

Power Browsing: Firefox

April 8, 2008

Seth Godin has an interesting post up about my favorite web browser, Firefox, titled “Why downloading Firefox is like getting into college.”  I love using Firefox over the standard Internet Explorer that comes with Windows.  It feels familiar enough that you won’t be lost when you start, but it’s got enough new stuff to make it seem like a new browsing experience.  Version 3 of Firefox is due out in June and includes lots of improvements, most notably in the speed of the browser.  If you’re feeling adventurous and haven’t already tried it, download the Fox and give it a run.

If you’d like to hear more about web browsers/browsing (and who doesn’t?!), come to my April 22nd class, Parenting the Internet Generation.  It starts at 7 p.m. at First Trinity.