Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Welcome to Firefox 2.0

For Firefox newbies like me:

Welcome to Firefox, and am glad my friend Rajesh convinced me to try it out :)

I used to use Maxthon which always saved my day. So when he told about FF, I was reluctant, installing it with the intension of un-installing it soon. But it had caught up with me – and am off Maxthon now. Still I do like Maxthon for its simplicity and ease of use – you don’t have to install any ‘add-ons’ to get a feature, but then, its very limited. If you are a person who would like to do n-things in the simplest of ways, then Firefox is the right browser for you - and it keeps expanding!

Firefox 2.0, is the latest version. What’s new in Firefox 2.0? at: http://en-us.www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/2.0/releasenotes/

By now, you would have guessed that you could customize each and every aspect of Firefox… how very comfortable :)

As a newbie, it will be nice if you could get your hands on a few things that I had learned by fishing around. Don’t worry - I would like to share it with you. For an enriched experience, you should be installing those tiny-weenie ‘Add-ons’ (Tools Add-ons) that would make your lives easier and interesting. Please note that this is not a compulsion that you should be having these add-ons, but it was very useful to me and these are for my own needs. So, your preferences may differ – so don’t forget to explore the vast community - https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/extensions/ (this link is also at the bottom of the Add-ons window).

Another tip that will be useful while installing multiple Add-ons is that, you need not restart your browser every time when an Add-on is installed. Just click on the links to install all the required Add-ons and then restart at the end... and wallah, save time.

These are the ones that I realize that I couldn’t live without: (in alphabetical order)

CacheViewer: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2489/

Very soon you will notice that you cannot view Temporary Internet Files or the cached contents in your disk, the way you did with IE or Maxthon. Wow, no more snooping around the temp! But hey, how to grab those elusive swfs or jpegs or movies from the temp? Well, it will be present as a single dat file at this folder (on a WinXP machine or where ever your installation resides):

C:\Documents and Settings\userName\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\Cache

And the CacheViewer is the best tool that allows searching and sorting temporary internet files. How comfortable!

Delicious Book mark: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/3615/

A fantastic book mark tool, that takes book marking to a new dimensions. It introduces a totally new and useful concept in book-marking, with ‘tags’. The best part is, you don’t have to keep copies of your book and carry them around so that you can use it in your home computer too… its sharable :)

Fasterfox: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1269/

This gives you an opportunity to tweak your FF through an interface.

Note: Please note that you can customize a zillion stuff by typing in about:config in the address bar of FF. You can find all the help on this at: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Firefox_:_FAQs_:_About:config_Entries

Flashgot: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/220/

Download them all at once! That’s what it does. I already have FlashGet installed in my system and guess what? FlashGot could be mapped to FlashGet!

GButts: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/3576/

Google buttons on FF – very handy.

IE Tab: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1419/

Ever felt the need to view those annoying pages that will look good only on IE? This is the tool for it. It enables you to use the embedded IE engine within Firefox. I find it very useful especially with those 'MHT' files that I grab from the web which never opened in Firefox. IE Tab has this and a few other stuff which you would want to experiment with.

MinimizeToTray: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2110/

You don’t have to worry about closing your browser – this one makes it to go to the task bar. This one makes FF to just popup when you need itinstantaneously, without the need to again load it.

Mouse Gestures: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/39/

I cannot imagine browsing without this! You have to try it to… appreciate.

Ook? Video Ook!: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2584/

Download all those video files from the net, in a jiffy :) it support tons of video sites.

Sage RSS aggregator: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/77/

You definitely need this, if you are a compulsive news aggregator. I have some minor glitches with the configuration though, but that’s more to do with my understanding.

Search bar autosizer: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1172/

Very useful tool that resizes the address/search bars, depending on the content you type. One thing that you would notice at the beginning is that the text gets scrolled inside the search box which is pretty much annoying - but not anymore, with this handy add-on.

Tab Mix Plus: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1122/

If I could say one add-on that you definitely should have, then it is this one. The most irritating aspect of FF was that it opened a new window when ever I clicked on a link, especially since I’ve been using Maxthon for quite a long time now. But this tool can fix that a lot more. Though these features could be fixed through about:config, this tool makes it very simple and packs some more features that are hidden. Another fantastic feature is the ‘Session Manager’ that works magic. The only reason I was hesitant to switch over from Maxthon was its ability to remember the last session. Though FF has a built in session manager, the one that comes with TMP is amazing – you could customize so many things depending on your specific needs. Try this!

Uppity: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/869/

It navigates up one level while you browse. It is a very useful feature that I always used in Maxthon. So I had to install it here too.

The list might go on… but this is enough for the time being. The rest is for you to experiment.

Apart from this, there is a built in password manager which is much secured. Talking of security, FF is one of the most secured browsers that you will find. You can follow the various forums to learn about it.

And did I tell you FF is fast? (Or atleast it appears to be) so you have to try it for yourself. Then, I read an interesting article on the comparisons of different browsers at: http://www.howtocreate.co.uk/browserSpeed.html which I think is pretty much un-biased. It said Opera is the fastest. So I had to try that and I did. Guess what, I didn’t like it and it doesn’t come near FF for its features. I don’t know about speed, but compared to IE and Maxthon, Firefox is faster. So now I’ve decided to use it – until I find something better :) we should be open to change you ‘know!!

A problem I found with Firefox is that, you need to install the Flash player plug-in. It is actually not a problem since the other browsers already comes with the plug-in. So all you have to do is to go to the Adobe Flash player link once and install the player. FF will automatically sense this if you go to some Flash site and will try to install it.

I will update you with anything I find interesting, in the future. Happy Browsing :)

Hot Breeze!

Thus begins my first blog. I've wanted to jot down for quite some time, but as is the case with things... it has taken me so long.

I have planned to share some hot stuff, some cool stuff, some yabby yabby stuff, which I don't even know how to classify.