Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'll show you mine - Add-ons for Firefox

You'd be surprised how much better browsing can be.

Add-ons = awesome.
Even if you don't think of yourself as a "computery person", this is easy. Click on one of the links to try one. Once you arrive at the page, when you click "+Add to Firefox" all of the work will be done for you, and updates will automatically be found in the future.

Difficulty level: 0.2 out of 100.

I'm currently using...
  • Adblock Plus 1.12 - as its name suggests, and as shared earlier, this blocks ads displaying on many sites, including Facebook.
  • Colorful Tabs 4.1 - again, the name says it - gives each tab you have open a different colour, which makes switching back and forth easier, faster, and more intuitive, as you beging to associate what you are doing in another tab with its corresponding colour.
  • Ghostery 2.0.2 - tells you what's tracking you online, and blocks unwanted bugs.
  • Tabberwocky 1.1 - adds some nice extra functions to tabs, such as protecting a tab (so if you click another link, it won't load in your protected tab), duplicating and locking tabs...and more. It is just awesome.
  • TinEye Reverse Image Search 0.7.1 - You can click "search" on any image on the web to find out where it originally came from. Handy for finding higher resolution copies of the same image. It's also interesting to see how many other places that image is being used. Or...if a blog shares an image of a great idea they've seen, you can search for the original blog that posted it and find the tutorial. Or...if you have saved an image on your computer, and forgotten where it's from..you can upload it at http://www.tineye.com/ and it will tell you. So, so, grand.
  • WebMail Ad Blocker 2.6.5 - self-explanatory again...but don't underestimate how great it is. Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail users will not only be free of the side-pane ads...they will have a bigger message space.
  • WOT 20091028 - an acronym for the "Web of Trust" - this add-on provides you with a little drop-down menu next to sites displayed in Google and the address bar where you can access its safety ratings - including "Privacy" and "Trustworthiness". It's a great quick check to see whether you should jump to a site you've found, say...offering free fonts or ringtones. Some are good, some are not.
  • Xmarks 3.4.3 - my ultimate favourite. This saves your bookmarks and synchronises them between a remote server and your computer/s. When I was teaching at school, spending time online at home, and at the art gallery, I could add/organise my bookmarks in any one place and have the additions/edits display on all of the computers. Best...add-on...ever. You can also access all of your bookmarks in the browser - say, if you're on holiday, you can have all your bookmarks at an internet cafe. Another plus, was that when I got rid of our desktop computer recently, and transferred everything to my new laptop, I didn't need to worry about exporting or importing any bookmarks or shortcuts on the toolbar...Xmarks did it all.

(I've also installed a few things to patch up the mayhem resulting from the Microsoft hissy fit - holding Aero at ransom from Firefox users. These are not included in the list.)
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