Archive | Add-ons Reviews

Keep Track of Time

time-tracker Sitting at the keyboard for hours on end, it is really easy to get off task, get distracted and get to where you forget to check what time it is and what time you started.  Thankfully the TimeTracker extension for Firefox helps you keep track of how much time you browse.

Some of the features of this awesome addition to any Firefox install include:

  • Tracks browsing time across sessions
  • Pauses automatically when you stop browsing
  • Reset counter
  • Pause toggle per window
  • List ‘work’ sites that should not count
  • Tooltip showing total time today, since last reset and since installing.

TimeTracker is a great way to keep tabs (not the browser kind) on yourself and the time you are spending Online.  For those of us who spend our days working within the Firefox interface it also is a helpful reminder to tell us we have worked enough and we might deserve a break.

Add Some Spice to Your Stop Button

Feel like the stop button is just a little too dull these days? Well if you want to add a little spice to the experience I have two Firefox extention additions that will get that done, or just drive you nuts.

hammertime Stop! Hamertime!

Yeah, I wore MC Hammer pants once upon a time, so don’t act like you didn’t. I’ve got a Firefox addon that allows me to peak inside your closet, I know they are there. With Stop! Hammertime! each time you hit the stop button, you hear one thing that both made and broke poor MC Hammer’s career.

Stop in the name of Love!

In the same spirit as Stop! Hammertime! this newer extension replaces your stop button with a heart and each time you hit the button Diana Ross and the Supremes will sing a little ‘bit of the “Stop in the name of love” song. Not something I’ll be jamming out to here anytime soon, but fun to use to pull a prank on somebody.

Both of these oddball addons were created by Ben Dodson, be sure to check out his site and give him praise for his unique addons for your favorite browser.

ScribeFire – Any Blogger’s Right Hand Man

Digging through my archived posts I knew I had written something about ScribeFire before, but could not find it. How could I overlook one of the best blogging tools for Firefox? ScribeFire, which used to be known as Performancing for Firefox) is the hands down best blog editor that turns Firefox into a publishing machine.

scribefire-blog-tool

To get started, all you need to do is download the addon from the Mozilla web site, restart Firefox and then launch ScribeFire by clicking on the orange task bar icon or right clicking on any web site and selecting “blog this page” from the ScribeFire menu item.

For the best blog updater I often recommend people uses Windows Live Writer. If it isn’t your cup of tea though my number two choice would definitely be ScribeFire.

Simpler Mail in the Browser

Not really a mail client, and not really a part of your browser either – Simple Mail wants to be the lightweight e-mail client you thought you always wanted but never thought you could have.  The Simple Mail extension allows you to write, read and get notified about message from inside of Firefox.

Simple Mail Screenshot

Some of the features include:

  • Color coded messages
  • Search
  • Can set to “download headers only”
  • Delete messages from the server
  • Address book

If you are used to using a heavy duty e-mail client, this might not be the addon for you.  If mail management isn’t that important to your day to day life and you just need an easy way of checking it, then Simple Mail is the client for you.

Mahalo Follow

I am a big fan of Mahalo – an alternative to your traditional search engine. I didn’t have a clue until now though that they had a toolbar too. Mahalo Follow gives you all kinds of goodies to help you use Mahalo and a handful of other bonus services.

Screenshot of Mahalo Follow

Some of the features of Mahalo Follow for Firefox are:

  • You can quickly recommend links to Mahalo for search results
  • Share your recommended links on Twitter, Faves, del.icio.us, Google Bookmarks, Stumble Upon and more.
  • Follow Mahalo results from the toolbar
  • Follow links and do a little random browsing of the Web, based on links to relative content

For those of you not up on what Mahalo is, it is a human powered search engine. All the search results are put together by the community, and by doing it this way you can often get results that make much more sense and that are at a higher level of relevancy than your traditional searches.

Pick up Mahalo Follow for yourself. If your a fan of the Mahalo search, I would highly recommend it as a useful addition to that Web tool.

Dummy Text Addon for Firefox

lipsumgen Many designers, when they are in need of some dummy text to fill in a layout won’t do what I do.  Personally, I like just to write random sentences such as, “The duck likes to party with the midget at Wrestlemania.” over and over.

The dummy text they use has a name though – it is called Lorem Ipsum.  While it does resemble classical Latin, it (much like my sentence before) has no real meaning.

Dummy Lipsum, a Firefox extension, does the hard work for you and will auto generate this text for you.  After installing you can setup how it starts, you can show HTML tags and you can also set how much text it generates and how it is formatted.

When your done, you just hit the generate button, and then copy it to your clipboard.  From there, you can paste it any place you might need it.  As a bonus tip, I’ll also share this little tidbit of information.  You can do the same without an extension by just visiting the lipsum.com web site.  The Firefox addon though does make this auto generation a little more handy to have when your in a hurry to generate some text that really means nothing at all.

Give Firefox 3 Firefox 2′s Address Bar

Today I saw my first Firefox 3 extension that bring back “classic” features of Firefox 2. It was only a matter of time before some of these started to pop up and I have a feeling that many more may be on their way.

The oldbar addon replaces Firefox 3′s new address bar with the one that you are used to now in Firefox 2. Here is the new Firefox 3 address bar (or otherwise known as the location bar):

firefox-3-location-bar

Then here is the classic one you will get with this Firefox 3 extension:

1-1

You can pick up the oldbar extension over at the Mozilla addons web site.

Interclue for Firefox

Interclue for Firefox kind of excites me because I think they are trying to do a good job with a browsing idea that really hasn’t been my cup of tea yet, the “thumbnail preview”. One positive is that they say it stays out of your way when you do not need it – which is my argument against other extensions like this. As you can see in the preview, they offer more than just your standard screenshot of the next page too.

Interclue Screenshot

Here is how the developers of the extension describe it:

Interclue displays useful information and relevant next actions for almost any link on the web. Clueview tooltips are not like other previews, they show you only the most relevant content straight from the page, rather than relying on small cached snapshots or large scrolling windows.

This could either be a really helpful tool or an annoying clutter feature that drives me batty after 3 minutes of use. I think different people may take different things away from it. if you enjoy the idea of having a sort of “picture in picture” preview with some other handy links give Interclue for Firefox a shot.

Quick TransLation

I have spoken the English language all of my life, (some may debate how well I write it though) so the Web is not that scary of a place for me. I could see however that for somebody who has not mastered English – it might not seem so welcoming. The Quick TransLation extension for Firefox gives us a tool to all bridge the language barrier we share.

Here is what Quick TransLation looks like in action:

Quick TransLation in Action

Of course that is the English translation of an English word. The highlight is you can select from the status bar flag that is added the language you would like to read that definition in. If you spend your time reading a lot of content on the Web that is from another country, this extension would be a handy addon to make use of.

2nd Look at Better GReader

Better GReader = A+ ExtentionI have gotten a few e-mails lately wanting me to give Better GReader a second look. Maybe I didn’t give off enough of an ecstatic glow with my last look, but this time I promise to do better!

For those of you who are not familiar with the idea, Gina at Lifehacker is a master at rolling up a lot of great Greasemonkey hacks into one big extension for Firefox adding form, functionality and style to various Google services.

Here are some of the Greasemonkey Google Reader scripts that got rolled up into Better GReader:

I always look forward to seeing what they do with their “Better” Firefox series of extensions at Lifehacker and this one is no different. Pick it up for yourself and let me know what you like or don’t like about it.