Archive | Add-ons Reviews

Monitor Everything with StatusbarEx

The web browser is a handy thing to have your monitoring tools in because it is open a lot of the time, and so then the information is always there and in your face. One of the monitoring tools that has caught my eye the most these days is StatusbarEx. It will show you a little ‘bit of everything.

monitor-firefox

It shows tons of useful information right inside of your Firefox status bar. You can find out the memory usage (of the system and Firefox), the network speed, CPU details and more. You can also select which details you would like to have shown and the text color that it uses to do so.

As you can tell from the above screenshot – you’ll also look like a real geek when doing so (which is what we love to do) and impress your non-geeky friends. How many add-ons can do that?

Make Menus Stay Open!

It can become a nuisance when you want to click on multiple items in a menu inside of Firefox and right before you get to click that second or third link, the menu disappears and you have to go hunt it down again. If you want to make your menus stay open then you need to pick up the Stay-Open Menu add-on for Firefox.

stay-open-menus

With this addon you can lock your menus in place so you can go in and select multiple items before you are ready to close. Here are a few additional notes from the developer:

  • Middle-clicking each Bookmarked item in the Bookmarks Menu will open it in a tab, while leaving the menu open for further selections. (Left-click the desired menu to open it, find the items you wish to open, then middle-click each desired item to open it in a tab.) When you are done making selections, click somewhere outside the menu (or press ESC) to close the menu.
  • Also works in the same way with the Bookmarks Toolbar. This applies to the new ‘Smart Bookmarks’ as well, since by default it is a folder residing in the Bookmarks Toolbar.
  • Same functionality in History Menu (added in version 0.5).
  • The Bookmarks Sidebar stays open by default even without this extension, but I prefer the Bookmarks Menu because I like the way the folders automatically open when hovered.

You can pickup Stay-Open menu on the developer’s web site or if you have a login to Mozilla’s Add-on site you can pick it up there too.

Twitzer – Twitter More Text

I twitter, you twitter, we all twitter – right?  Wouldn’t you like to break the character limit there though every once in a while?  Twitzer, and addon for Firefox will allow you to go over that 140 character limit.

twitzer-twitter

Here is a little more about this Firefox extension from the developers:

If you want to post more than the 140 character limit at Twitter, install this extension. Now type away as much as you want and before posting just click on “Twitzer text”. The extension will automatically save the full text at shortText.com, create a URL and replace the typed text with the summary and URL.

All you do is select to Twitzer your text and your good to go.  On it’s own shortText.com is a really neat and unique service with another Firefox addon too.  The purpose of it is to give you a simple tool to post text online with no fuss.  No signing up, logging in just type, baby!

Add Favorite Locations to Firefox

fav-loc Right now I use my “downloads” folder as a catch all for all the things (audio, video, pictures and more) that I download from the Web.  From there I sort it out to where it needs to go.  If you want to add a few more favorite locations to save to from Firefox you can do so with the FavLoc addon.

FavLoc (short for favorite location) will let you set certain folders as favorite locations to easily download files to.  For an example, lets say you subscribed to my podcast, the Web Hosting Show and you wanted to send all the mp3s you downloaded to your special podcast folder.  With this extension, you would just add your podcast folder as one of your favorite locations, then you have instant right-click and save access to it.  No more downloading and then sorting it all out later.

The FavLoc menus will appear on the File menu (for saving pages), the context menu (for saving images and links), and on the download prompt.  Sure there are other ways to go about this, but this one was put in place to save us all a little time.

Super Config for Firefox

Looking for a tool that will help you find and edit all the little hidden Firefox advanced configurations?  Configuration Mania is a powerful addon for both Firefox 2 and the Firefox 3 Beta 4 that does a lot for being such a little addition to the browser.  I am really impressed by this little jewel of an extension because it has just about every hidden away and forgotten about edit and modification you an make the browsing experience all in one place.

Configuration Mania Running Wild!

Want the super tweaker that does a bit of everything?  Configuration Mania is the extension for the job.

Cover Flow for Bookmarks

There is no doubt that the cover flow feature on Apple machines reeks of pretty eye candy that I wish I could enjoy.  I don’t have a budget big enough for a Mac or the time to learn how to use it, so I’ll have to stick with the knock-offs for now.  BookmarksPreviews (found via Download Squad) is a new addon to Firefox that wants to copy that fresh cover flow feeling with your bookmarks.

Cover Flow for Firefox

At the time of writing this they say it works for both Firefox 2 and Firefox 3, but due to their different bookmarking systems some things might be different.  This is a very unique way of getting up close and personal with your bookmarks, and while I don’t see this making it into a future Firefox release – it is nice to see the option out there for those of us who like our eye candy.

Tree Styled Tabs

tree-tabs Who was the person who decided that tabs have to stay on the top or the bottom of the browser or application you are using?  In Firefox the default spot is the top but it does not have to be.  With the Tree Style Tab extension from Firefox you can add it to your side and also give it a tree like appearance.

Now does that mean it will be green and brown?  No, not exactly.  Think of it much more as a folder tree like you would see your folders in via Windows Explorer.  New tabs are opened from links and attached to the current tab.  If you have tons of tabs open this will help you figure out which tab is associated with which topic you are browsing about.

Some of the features of Tree Style Tab include:

  • You can collapse/expand sub trees. It is convenient for too many tabs.
  • When you close a tab which has collapsed sub tree, all of tabs in the sub tree will be closed only one action.
  • The tree of tabs can be show in at right side.
  • Vertical tab bar cab be shown/hidden automatically.

If you have been wanting to find a way to give your tabs a new look and feel or you are looking for a way to better organize the tabs you have open Tree Styled Tab is an addon that can not be overlooked.  It gives you a unique experience just by making one simple change to your browser interface.

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.