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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Why Firefox?

I wrote about Performancing for Firefox over here, but I didn't really go into any great detail, which I'll attempt to amend here and now.

Firefox

I've been using this web browser for probably close to a year now. You can get Firefox yourself. I highly recommend it.

Firefox protects you from viruses, spyware and pop-ups. Enjoy improvements to performance, ease of use and privacy. It's easy to import your favorites and settings and get started.

The reason I enjoy it so much is because of the following extensions I use and recommend, which I value for the following reasons:

Image Zoom
This is great for zooming in on small images on web pages, to enlarge them and see the details better. I use it a lot, to try and make out images better.

SwitchProxy Tool
This is useful only if you're accessing more than one proxy server, like if you're on a laptop (like me) and you use it at home and at work, so you have to switch between different proxy servers. Instead of going through the laborious task of accessing the options and manually changing it, this allows you to set up the proxy settings for the different accounts you access, and then with just a couple presses of the mouse you can choose which proxy setting you want.

Google Toolbar for Firefox
Another invaluable tool. You probably already use it for IE, and it's pretty much the same for Firefox. It allows you to search Google from your browser toolbar. Lots of options available.

Flashblock
There's a lot of Flash advertising or animated material out there that often slow down pages as the browser downloads them. Flashblock automatically stops them from downloading, thus speeding up the display of the page. It then sticks a 'Play' icon in the middle of the location where the Flash file is, so that if you want to, you can press Play and download the Flash item. Great for speeding up the display of pages, and, coupled with Adblock, gives you more control over what you want to see.

Gmail Notifier
So I can be notified immediately upon receiving any email to my Gmail account, which I'm using for most of my personal emailing these days. It sits in the status bar at the bottom of the browser and pops up a small notification when I've received an email, allowing me to click on the icon and go straight to the Gmail page, already logged in.

Session Saver
This is just brilliant! When you have a number of tabs open in the browser, all with web pages that you want to read, one after another, and suddenly your browser or computer crashes or you accidentally close the browser, without this extension the most common thing you'll hear is, "NOOOOOOOO!!!" With Session Saver, all your tabs and web pages are automatically saved, so that when the browser is restarted, they're all still there. This extension came with God's best wishes, I'm sure of it. :-)

Adblock
I'm so sick of advertising on web pages. Are you? Well, this little extension helps you block unwanted advertising. If you see any advertising on a page and you just don't want to see it again (eg. you think you'll be coming back there again), Adblock will ensure you never see it again.

IE Tab
Some pages are just formatted best for Internet Explorer ONLY. Fools. So any time you come across a page that just looks strangely formatted, using this extension will show the page using IE's 'engine' instead of Firefox, and will fix up any display issues the page might have with Firefox.

Performancing
Up until this came out, I used to use Notepad to write blog posts, and then copy them to the blog when finished, or simply save the Notebook file for later. If I was writing about a web page of some kind, I used to have the page open in the background while typing into Notepad. It was always more convenient for me than using 'BlogThis' in the Google toolbar. Not any more. Performancing for Firefox allows me to have my own integrated 'Notepad', right in Firefox. It allows me to store posts as drafts, to work on later. It also allows me to specify which blog I want to publish what I'm writing. (I'm writing with it now.) It's just the best thing since sliced bread, obviously only if you're a blog writer. Invaluable.

QuickChat
This is a cool little extension that allows you to see if there's anyone on the same page you're on, who is also using QuickChat. Click on the icon and you can join a small IRC chat window that allows you to chat to whoever else is visiting the same page you are, and you can chat about the page or the obvious common interests. I've not used it much, apart from testing, but I can see the value of having it available. I hope the extension becomes more popular with Firefox users, so that more people can chat with the people visiting the same sites they're at.

And there you have it. All my extensions. There are plenty of them out there, for all kinds of purposes, but that's what I use, and why. I hope this has been helpful for you, to see that your web browsing experience can be improved so much by Firefox. It's awesome!

Posted on 1/14/2006 03:55:00 PM Backlinks


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(C) Alan Howard 1998 - 2006