Archive | October, 2008

Mashup Gmail with Google Calendar

1225419768 GmailAgenda is an awesome new experimental add-on for Firefox that will integrate Google Calendar into your Gmail account.  No mater if your using a regular Gmail account or a Google Apps account – this should work for either one.

As far as customization goes, you can change the embed width.  The Google Calendar embed can also be expanded and collapsed as needed.  Also, You can choose which calendars are shown/hidden for each Gmail account.

The last thing worth mentioning is there is a “Quick Add” feature, not available for Google Apps accounts, that will allow you to quickly add events to your calendar.

Want to try it out?  You have two alternatives:

So how does this rank against Gmail’s announcement of adding the calendar in as a gadget for Gmail?  Which do you like better?

Halloween Themes for Firefox

Halloween is on Friday, is your browser ready?  There are not many scary themes out there ready for my favorite holiday of the year.  Here are a few extra spooky ones though to get you through ol’ hallow’s eve.  Curl up with your favorite scary movie and enjoy!

halloween-theme-1 halloween-theme-2

Need a few more dark and stylish themes?

If you know of anymore spooky Halloween-ish themes, be sure to comment and share.

Want to Create a Firefox 3 Theme?

Some time ago, I told you about my favorite tutorial for people wanting to know how to build their own Firefox theme.  I am happy to say that the twisted-one himself, TwisterMc has updated his digital class in Firefox design to cover Firefox 3.

There are a few requirements, such as getting your own unique UUID, giving TwisterMc some credit, and coming up with something original – but those are easily done in exchange for the knowledge you will be receiving.

ipoxremix Some of the tutorials covered are:

– Packaging Firefox Themes
– Creating Your Themes’ Identity & Install Files
– Graphics Editing for Firefox Themes
– Custom Firefox Toolbar Buttons
– Customizing Toolbar Backgrounds
– Submitting Your Theme to Mozilla
– Customize Firefox’s Scrollbar
– Changing Fonts & Colors in Firefox Themes
– User Generated Q&A

Check it all out here:

Big thanks to TwisterMc for updating this for all of us to enjoy. Know of anymore theme resources or tutorials out there?

Google Cache Checker

Ever wanted to check to see if a page is cached by Google yet or not?

google-cache-checker

Now you could search Google for cache:yourdomain.com or you could use an extension to get this ability added to your status bar.  Google Cache Checker, currently an experimental add-on for Firefox, displays a checkmark icon if the current page is Google cached. If it is not, the extension displays a red X.

The result is immediately shown conveniently in the browser status bar.  Where would this be handy to have?  Well, let’s say your viewing a web site that is currently down.  By viewing the cache (if it exists) you could at least see what it looked like before it went down.  You can download the add-on from the Firefox Add-ons web site or get more information from the official web site.

For more status bar tweaks, be sure to check out 25 Tweaks for Your Firefox Status Bar and 25 More Tweaks for Your Firefox Status Bar.

Fennec, Ubiquity Tweaks and Minefield Gets Faster

Time to check out some of the other Firefox sites and stories that are making news…

Mozilla Minefield: Yes, It’s Fast. Really Fast.

There’s been some talk around the blogosphere about Mozilla Minefield, the superfast and super cool-sounding browser by the folks who bring us Firefox. I decided to give it a whirl and see what it was really about.

Drag & DropZones Turns Right-Clicks into Gestures

Drag & DropZones is a clever interface tweak that allows you to perform nearly any action or search by dragging any page element—a link, email address, image, or page itself—onto a transparent grid you set up.

Turning Bookmarklets into Commands for Ubiquity

The main problem with bookmarklets is that they don’t provide a scalable solution for accessing their functionality. You can only have so many buttons on the toolbar before they become an unusable outbreak of pimples that clutter the browser’s interface.  With a new utility function in Ubiquity, it’s now trivial to turn any bookmarklet into a Ubiquity command.

(Firefox Add-on Developers) It’s that time again…

With the release of the first beta of Firefox 3.1 today comes everyone’s favorite release-time festivity: extension compatibility updates!  If you’re an extension developer using a maxVersion of 3.0.* or less, please test your extension before declaring 3.1b1 compatibility. Some of the changes for extension developers are listed here.

Mozilla releases Mobile Firefox Alpha – For Mac, Windows and Linux?

Mozilla has released the first Alpha version of Fennec, the mobile web browser which currently runs on the Nokia N810 internet tablet, and which will soon run on Windows Mobile. Fennec is just a code name. Eventually the browser will probably be called something like Firefox Mobile. And there’s a good reason for that. If you can view web content in Firefox, you can pretty much view it in Fennec.

25 More Tweaks for Your Firefox Status Bar

status-bar-tweaks2 Seems like a few people thought I forgot a few favorite extensions with the 25 Tweaks for Your Firefox Status Bar.  So, I thought why not revisit the idea and toss in some of the suggestions I received from all of you.

Flagfox – displays a country flag depicting the location of the current web site’s server

PingPong – start up a game of pong, anytime you feel the urge

FoxyMeter – how far have you surfed?

foxymeter

GA? – Is Google Analytics Installed – checks to see if Google Analytics is installed on any given page

Cookie Monster – gives you easy access to how cookies are used in your browser

Linkification – converts text links into genuine, clickable links (get more here)

infoRSS – displays RSS, Atom, parsed HTML and NNTP feed in a scrolling area in the status bar

Server Spy – indicates what brand of HTTP server (e.g. Apache, IIS, etc.) runs on the visited sites

Status-bar Scientific Calculator – a calculator that is very scientific!

Html Validator – adds HTML validation inside Firefox

Browse Images – browses all linked images of a page one after another or at once

QuickZoom – adds two icons to the Firefox/Thunderbird status bar which enable quick access to the “Enlarge Text Size” (Ctrl++) and “Reduce Text Size” (Ctrl+-) menu commands

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MoneyQuake – displays your real-time earning statistics

whos.amung.us Users Online Counter – shows how many people are currently on your web site in accordance with the whos.amung.us widget

Converter – contextual unit and time zone conversion on any web page

QuickPageZoom – another quick page zoom add-on for the status bar

PhishTank SiteChecker – gives Firefox users a way to bring the community judgment of PhishTank

Forecastfox –  get international weather forecasts from AccuWeather.com, and display it in any toolbar or statusbar

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NoScript – allow active content to run only from sites you trust, and protect yourself against XSS and clickjacking attacks

Download Statusbar – view and manage downloads from a tidy statusbar – without the download window getting in the way of your web browsing

FoxyTunes – lets you control almost any media player and find lyrics, covers, videos, bios and much more with a click right from your browser

Greasemonkey – allows you to customize the way a web page displays using small bits of JavaScript

Stylish – customize the look of the application and of web sites with Stylish, a user styles manager

Gmail Manager – allows you to manage multiple Gmail accounts and receive new mail notifications

Turn it Off? – The last would be to turn the status bar off.  To do so, go to View (in the menu bar) and then click on Status Bar.  Doing so will turn it off.  Repeat the same steps to turn it back on.   So now, after doing 50 tips to tweak your status bar – which did I miss?

6 PDF Power Tools for Firefox

pdf-powertools

With the economy taking a nose dive, people are looking for a way to save cash where ever they can find it.  One good way would be to save on ink and paper for your printer by instead printing to PDF.  That is only the start of it though.  Here are six PDF power tools for the Firefox browser:

PDF Download – The most powerful of the bunch, PDF Download allows you to do just about anything imaginable.  View PDFs in Firefox as HTML, automatically control how the browser handles the PDF format, and also convert any web page to a PDF you can save for later.

PrintPDF – Due to Apple people already having the “print to PDF” feature, this extension (which allows you to do just that) is for Windows and Linux users.  Print any page to a PDF file, and save on some paper!

PDFescape Extension – Want to edit your PDF files from within the browser?  PDFescape brings that functionality to Firefox.  PDFescape enables you to open and edit PDF files & forms online.

LOOP to PDF for Firefox – Upload, convert and combine your files to PDF from a tidy toolbar, without the conversion getting in the way of your Web browsing. LOOP for Firefox allows you to convert and combine files to PDF with the click of a button.

pdfit – This oddly named add-on gives you the ability to convert the current page to an image or PDF formats.  You can also apply some image filters, such as rotate or reflection, to give your conversion a little style.

Send to Google Docs – What does Google Docs have to do with PDF files?  This extension for Firefox allows you to view web documents in Google Docs.  It supports PDF files too. (as well as Microsoft Office and Open Office files)

Know of anymore PDF friendly alternatives for Firefox?  How do you handle PDFs online these days?

Inquisitor Comes to Firefox

1224626449 There has been a lot of buzz around Inquisitor, the new search engine plugin for Firefox from Yahoo.  It promises to “speed up your searches like no other”.  Does it deliver? 

The idea here is to search right from the search box, rather than be taken to a new page to view your search results.  Inquisitor, over time, will learn to understand you better and tailor your results to suit your needs. 

Keyboard shortcuts, that you can add yourself will help extend the searches to other search engine providers too.

It has pretty written all over it.  Visually, this is one of the best looking add-ons for Firefox I have used in a really long time.  Watch this video tease to see it in action.

For more information, be sure to check out the official site:

When push comes to shove, I am still a fan of the Firefox search box.  If you want a powerful alternative to Inquisitor though, I would highly suggest the CyberSearch add-on from CyberNet News. 

Lightest Popular Themes for Firefox 3

Light is a word of many meanings.  It could be the lightest in color or the lightest in its impact on the interface of your browser.  I have done my best to find the lightest popular Firefox 3 themes that would fit into either dictionary definition.

Whitehart – I never did use this theme until I was looking for a simple one for my Kubuntu install of Firefox on my laptop.  Haven’t looked back since!  Very sleek, light and simple.

Whitehart for Firefox

Chromiefox – Now I am not usually a big fan of the knock-off themes, but I do have to say the Google Chrome interface is pretty nice.  Bring it to Firefox with this download.

Chromiefox for Firefox

Qute – An old one, but still a good one.  Qute is simple and unobtrusive with clear, colorful icons.

Qute for Firefox

Aero Silver Fox – Silver counts as a light color, right?  Just like it’s cousin on our darkest popular themes list (Aero Fox) this theme deserves a spot too.

Aero Silver Fox for Firefox

iFox Graphite – When coming up with this list, I made myself a promise before I started – only include one Mac-looking theme.  All Apple inspired themes are light, so here is the one I picked.

iFox Graphite for Firefox

Full Flat – This may be the lightest and simplest theme out there for Firefox today.  Full Flat keeps it simple, but if you enjoy minimalistic and flat browsing, here you go.

Full Flat for Firefox

hmmXP – Based on the hmmXP theme for Windows by Fugacious, hmmXP for Firefox 3 uses simple, flat and small icons, and does away with gradients and rounded corners.

hmmXP for Firefox

Elementary Theme – Yes, elementary my dear Firefox fan boy.  This theme is the official theme for Firefox of the Elementary Project.  Simple, light and doesn’t get in the way.

Elementary Theme for Firefox

iPox – There is no doubt that iPox is an easy on the eyes, white and blue theme for Firefox.  One of the best examples of creativity and originality by far.

iPox for Firefox

Naver – If you can use green and make a simple theme, you are my new best friend.  A new theme on the block, Naver ads just a hint of color and then keeps the rest pretty simple.

Naver for Firefox

Which theme from the light side is your favorite?  Why do we love or hate the lighter themes out there today?  Let me know what you think.  Also don’t forget to check out the darkest popular themes for Firefox too.

How to Backup Firefox Bookmarks

Backing up your bookmarks is one of those chores you have on your to-do list but never get around to it.  Then when they are lost, you say – I wish I would have.  Here are a few Firefox bookmark backup techniques to help you out.

How to Backup Your Bookmarks Manually

From the Firefox menu bar go to Bookmarks >  Organize Bookmarks to bring up your bookmarks manager.  Now you want to click the top button that says Import and Backup.

backup1

Next, select Backup.  This will bring up a “Save As” box where you can save your bookmarks to any location.  Make sure you leave the bookmark as a .json file too.  Since Firefox 3, this is the type of file Firefox uses for backups.  If you wish to export your bookmarks as an HTML file, go to Import and Backup > Export HTML.  That will give you the more traditional .html backup.

Recover Firefox’s Internal Bookmark Backups

bookmark-backupsDid you know that Firefox has been backing up your bookmarks all along?  They are in your Firefox profile folder.  First thing you need to do is find your profile folder for Firefox.  Depending on your operating system this may be in a different location.  If you are unsure, be sure to check out this previous post: 

Once you make it in there you should see a folder named “bookmarkbackups”.  Double-click that folder, and there you have some of your saved bookmarks that you thought you had lost waiting for you to restore them.  If you want more backups to be saved (default is 5) then check out this previous article on the simple about:config tweak you will need to do.

Backup Your Bookmarks with an Add-on

There are many extensions for Firefox that will help you backup too.  My personal favorite is Foxmarks, which comes with the additional feature of syncing them with another PC (another good backup technique in its own right).  Here are the best:

  • FEBE – The perfect add-on for those backing up and don’t wish to rely on other services.
  • Foxmarks – The greatest backup and syncing extension out there today.
  • Delicious Bookmarks – Yes, syncing with services like Delicious is another great way to backup your bookmarks.

Now the question is how do you and when did you last backup your own Firefox bookmarks?