Archive | Add-ons Reviews

Fast Dial – Quick Check Your Favorite Sites

There are a number of add-ons for Firefox that clone Opera’s Speed Dial feature.  There is one add-on with a different twist.  Most open your tabs in this fashion, but Fast Dial does something different.

fast-dial-firefox

This extension will replace your “about:blank” page with a panel of thumbnails of your favorite web sites.  To add sites to the page, all you do is click on an empty cell, assign a URL and click OK.

You can also add sites by right-clicking on the bookmark for them and selecting “Add to Fast Dial”.  (you can do this on open tabs too!)

Where does this come in handy? Well let us say you are hitting Ctrl+T to open a new window.  You are no longer greeted by an empty window.  Instead you have a window with your own personal favorites list inside.  Fast Dial is a unique bookmarking extension that I think a lot of people will get a lot of use out of.

Foxmarks Gets the Bookmark Syncing Right

It took me a long time to give Foxmarks a second shot.  All I remember from the first time around I used it was I didn’t like it.  Seems as if it bugged me a lot or didn’t want to work.

Having given it a round two now, I am happy to say I have done so.

After the death of Google Browser Sync, I was looking for a new way to keep my bookmarks on my desktop and my bookmarks on my laptop the same.  Foxmarks does the trick with what they call Seamless Sync.  I have not had to mess with it once since I installed it. It just works.

With a service or extension like this I’d like to pretend it isn’t even there, and Foxmarks makes it very easy to do just that.  Some of the other nice features of Foxmarks are:

  • Easy Backup & Restore
  • Web Access to your Saved Links
  • Mobile Access
  • Share Bookmarks with Friends
  • Import & Export Your Saved Links

I am delighted to say that Foxmarks has earned a spot on my hall of fame add-ons list for being one heck of a nice addition to Firefox.  If your looking to keep your bookmarks synced up, there is no better solution out there right now.

Add Bookmarks Here 2

Add Your Bookmark Here! Where exactly would you like to put that bookmark?  If you’re in a hurry, and currently in the folder you need to bookmark a link in – you can pickup the Add Bookmark Here 2 add-on for Firefox to get the job done.

This extension adds a new menu item when you right-click any of your bookmark folders to allow you to bookmark your current web site you are viewing into that folder.  Here are a few more features to get excited about.

  • Expand all fields of bookmark popup panel.
  • Allow customize the position of “Add Bookmark Here” & “Open All Tabs”
  • Allow to add bookmarks from the top of Bookmark Menu.
  • Allow to insert a bookmark by using right-click on a bookmark.
  • Auto remember last selected folder when you bookmark a page
  • New option: Don’t show the Edit Dialog when I add a bookmark.
  • New option: Click the Bookmark Star once to show the Edit Dialog.

This is a small change that really does make bookmarking just a little easier.  You can pick up Add Bookmark Here 2 on the Firefox Add-ons web site.

Simple RSS Reader

simple-rss-firefox Maybe your not a RSS feed junkie like I am, but you do like to do some occasional headline tracking from time to time.  Simple RSS Reader might be the extension for you, as it does exactly what you would think.  It is a simple little RSS reader (minus the geeky complications).

The hardest part about Simple RSS Reader is adding the RSS feeds.  Just click on the blue RSS icon and give a name and URL to each.  That is it.  The thing I like most about this add-on is the fast forward, rewind,  pause, stop and play options for the ticker you get at the top.

simple-rss-firefox-2

You have your headline or link at the left, your source in the middle and then your controls on the far right.  An entire feed reader all in one toolbar.  It also has a very small memory footprint, so if you are staying away from add-ons that eat up too much of your RAM you have no need to worry about the Simple RSS Reader.  It might be the best of the RSS news ticker extensions.

You can pick it up at the official web site or the Firefox Add-ons siteOh and if you need an RSS feed to start your collection with, I have a great one for you: http://feeds.feedburner.com/firefoxfacts (shameless plug I know…)

Quick Paste – Quickly Share Blocks of Text

A few weeks back, I posted about a new service named TinyPaste over on Mitchelaneous, which made it easy to copy blocks of text, paste them into a box and then get a short URL so you could share that text with your friends.

What makes this service even cooler, is they have a Firefox extension to help you speed up the link generating process.   Using the Quick Paste add-on, you can highlight text then grab your URL.  Not much rocket science behind it.

Quickly Share Blocks of Text!

Here is a little more about the Firefox extension from the developer:

Have you ever wanted to send a article or long conversation over IM or post to twitter, only to have it be over the limit on size? What about a cool way to share data without the fuss? Thats what TinyPaste is! Its like TinyURL but for text!

You can pick up the extension on Firefox’s Add-ons web site and learn more about the service behind the handy tool at TinyPaste.com.

Change the Browser Icons with Favicon Picker 3

Favicon Picker used to be one of my favorite add-ons for Firefox, mainly because I am a ‘bit of a control freak and I like to be able to customize every single little thing about my browsing experience.  Yes, even down to the favicon image that is saved for my bookmarks.

For those of you unfamiliar with the extension, it adds an interface for replacing bookmark icons.  Just right-click on any bookmark, select “Properties”, then “Browse”. (Folder icons aren’t supported yet).

Here are some of the other features of Favicon Picker 3:

  • It works with popular image formats including jpg, gif, png, bmp, ico and animated gifs!
  • Any image size can be used, as well as the standard 1kb 16×16 pixels
  • You can grab images from a URL.  Click “Browse” and paste in an address like http://www.cnn.com/favicon.ico or if a page has an image you like, right click on it and select “Copy image location”, and paste that in.
  • favicon-picker-3

Get to customizing your own bookmark favicons with Favicon Picker 3 today!

Google Calendar Notifier

google-calendar-notifierNeed a quick reminder as to what you need to do today?  Now there are several ways of making Google Calendar more accessible to you via Firefox, but not too many extensions.  the Google Calendar Notifier has been updated to Firefox 3 though to handle that problem for you.

Living in your status bar, the extension will pop up with your daily to do list.  It provides you with robust notifications and display of your Google Calendars for today, as well as showing any upcoming all day events for tomorrow.

google-calendar-notifier-2 On the positive side, this add-on for Firefox looks like it would make the perfect companion to the browser (if your a Google Calendar user).  On the bad side, if you visit the official web site for it the author says he’s not supporting it anymore.

Maybe he could hand it off to somebody interested in keeping it up?

Pick it up while you can, the Google Calendar Notifier promises to keep you up to date when it comes to keeping track of your schedule.

Power Up Searching with CyberSearch

Is Firefox 3’s search functions not powerful enough for you?

If you’d like to power it up some, you need to pick up CyberSearch.  This extension allow you to perform various Google searches right from the address bar.  The fun doesn’t stop there.  It also displays the results in the awesome bar format along with your history.

CyberSearch the Web in Firefox

You can do a number of special searches too, depending on the keywords that you use. You can do a Web Search, Local Search, Video Search, Blog Search, News Search, Book Search, Image Search, or Patent Search.

If you still need help wrapping your mind around this tool, be sure to check out the video tutorial on it they have put together for you.

Pick up this Firefox add-on on the Firefox Add-ons site or from CyberNet News.  Also big congrats to Ryan and Ashley for putting out such an awesome Firefox extension!  Great job!

Need Instant Amazon Review Summaries?

Instant Web Site Summaries Using what they call cutting-edge artificial intelligence, the Pluribo add-on of Firefox promises to deliver you instant summaries of any Amazon.com web page you are viewing on the Web.  Why read the entire review, when you can get the proverbial cliff notes this way?

How does Pluribo: Instant Summeries work?

Well, essentially Pluribo does exactly what you’d do if you had the time: it reads every word, learns what people liked and disliked, and then figures out the key lessons. But, unlike a person, Pluribo does this automatically. So it can fetch you the bottom line at light speed– freeing up your day to enjoy the finer things in life.

This plugin shows a lot of promise.  I too, like many of you, do a lot of shopping on Amazon and most of the review are usually pretty handy to have when it comes to comparing products.  Of course you take it with a grain of salt, but there is no doubt that it helps and this add-on just speeds up that process of skimming over reviews.

Pluribo: Instant Summaries shows a lot of promise, but I would like to see the tool work on more than just Amazon.  I want to see it work everywhere!

Use PayPal like a Credit Card

paypal-firefox-addon How would you like to be able to use PayPal anywhere and everywhere, even where it is not accepted?  At this point the PayPal people hope you are excited because that is what they would like to offer to you via a new Firefox plugin.

Once you get it up and running, a window should come up when you visit a web site asking for your credit card information. With this new Firefox extension, you now have the choice to pay via a card that PayPal creates for you or you can generate a card manually through a drop down menu.

Some of the other features include:

  • Use Secure Cards to shop anywhere online
  • Save and print your receipts
  • Enter addresses with 1 click during checkout
  • Avoid fraudulent web sites
  • Check your balance right from your browserOnly downside is this add-on is only for Firefox 2 right now.  I am sure it won’t take long for them to get it updated for Firefox 3 when the time is right.

    To pickup the new Firefox PayPal Plug-in, you must login to your PayPal account, and then there should be a link to click on your left to “Use PayPal even where it is not accepted”.  Hopefully in the future, they will put this in an easier place to access.  All in all though, great idea if you are a heavy PayPal user.