Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life

Friday, February 13, 2009

Adding on to Firefox

If you're not using Firefox as your browser, you can stop reading this right now. Actually, what you ought to do is go download it right away. If, on the other hand, you are a Firefox user, read on to find out some nifty ways to make your browser do more for you.

There are an awful lot of plug-ins for firefox that are available for free from the mozilla website. Of course, what you want out of your browser experience may be completely different from what I want, but this will give you an idea of what's available. The ones I consider necessary are listed in bold text.

Adblock Plus
This is probably the first plug-in I would install for a new copy of Firefox. It's on every machine I own or use. Quite simply, it removes ads from webpages.

Add Bookmark Here
This plug-in lets you navigate through the bookmarks menu to find where you want to bookmark the current page and then simply select "Add Bookmark Here" to add the bookmark there.

I have this one installed on the work computers to make it easy to load up tabs of password protected wiki pages and forum postings at start-up. If Firefox knows your user name and password, why should you have to confirm them each time?

While the user interface on this isn't perfect, it's a pretty handy plug-in if you deal with Bugzilla. If you don't know what that is, you don't need it. If you do, check it out.

A color picker/eyedropper tool. If you don't know what that is, you probably don't need it. If you want to know what color you're looking at, however, you might want to check this out.

Copy Links
This lets you copy all the links on a page to the clipboard so you can then paste it elsewhere. Handy if you need to save or visit a bunch of links from a page.

Copy Plain Text
When copy and paste text from a web page, it often brings the formatting with it. If you just want the text as plain old text, this will give you such an option on the context menu.

Delicious Bookmarks
Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking website. You can save your bookmarks there and then access them from any computer and you can see what sites others have bookmarked with the same keywords. If you use Delicious, this plug-in makes it a lot easier.

Download Statusbar
If you download stuff but don't want the annoying download panel popping up while still being able to track the progress of your downloads, this is gives you a toolbar to do that.

eSnipe.com SnipeIt!
For users of the eSnipe service for eBay, this automates some of the process.

A very full-featured web development tool for inspecting web pages.

Flash animations can be amazingly annoying, blasting you with sound you don't want to hear and distracting visual antics. This replaces flash animations with a simple button you can click on to play the flash. It also sports a whitelist so you can identify websites that should play flash normally.

Google Calendar Notifier
If you use Google's calendar, this will warn you of upcoming events in the status bar.

This simply tells you what plug-ins and extensions you have installed. A definite necessity.

Java Console
Something I installed when I thought I might have time to do some Java work.

LinkedIn Companion for Firefox
LinkedIn is a networking site for professionals -- Like facebook but without the frivolity. This adds some LinkedIn support to web pages.

Highlight an address, select this option from the context menu, and get a google map of that address.

PDF Download
Control how PDF files are displayed. You can view it in the browser, in an external program, or even convert it to an ordinary web page.

Plain Text Links
Ever come across a URL that's not a link? This plug-in lets you fix that. Highlight a URL and select this from the context menu and you are taken to that page.

Copies text along with the page title, URL, and date.

RPN Calculator Bar
Gives you a toolbar with an RPN calculator. If you don't know what an RPN calculator is, you probably don't need this.

Save Complete
Save an entire web page. Good for archiving or extracting formatting, links, etc.

Save Image in Folder
Save an image in a specific folder (from a predefined list).

Save Link in Folder
Save a link in a specific folder (from a predefined list).

Session Manager
Save and restore tabs and loaded web pages. It also does it automatically at shutdown or when the browser crashes so you can start it up again at the exact same place.

Tab Mix Plus
This gives you extenive control over the behaviour of tabs -- how they open and close, where focus goes, and so on. If you use more than one tab at a time, you need this.

Wikipedia Lookup Extension
Lets you look up any word on a web page in the Wikipedia.

Journal Description

My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.