Tag Archives | review

Half Firefox 4 Start Time

Half Firefox 4 Start TimesRunning Windows and want to make Firefox 4 start up faster? The add-on Start Faster enables some really nifty optimizations that Mozilla hasn’t done yet to the browser to give you a quicker launch time for your favorite browser.

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My Initial Firefox 4 Thoughts

Initial Review of Firefox 4

Well, I have finally made the switch to Firefox 4 as my primary browser. (Firefox 4 – Beta 9 to be exact) I figured with the big Firefox 4 release date being next month, it was about time I got used to the new way of browsing with the latest incarnation of the Mozilla browser.  So what are some of my initial thoughts?

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PDF Download is a PDF Power Tool

PDF Tools

Quickly create PDFs anywhere from any source on the Web.  The add-on PDF Download will let you save just about any type of content from any webpage as a PDF file.  The extension also promises to remove the pain you can experience when you encounter PDF files online too.

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CoolPreviews Come to Firefox

Preview Your Links

Do you remember when picture in picture TV watching was going to be the next best thing?  You could watch one show, while another one was going on in the corner of your screen.  Well, picture in picture browsing is here and is on Firefox thanks to CoolPreviews.  This add-on from the developers of CoolIris is a great browser add-on that will let you preview links and media without leaving the page you are on.

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Find Image Attributes With Image Spider

Find Image Attributes in Firefox

Want to know specific details about an image you are looking at?  You can quickly find an image’s width and height with the Image Spider add-on for Firefox.

Now I can not see where this would be useful for your normal day to day Firefox users.  I can see where it could serve as an important tool for web site designers.  For any image on a website you can pull up details such as the width, height, natural width, natural height, and HTML elements such as the alt, title tag and border tags.

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Jetpack Gallery

Gallery of Jetpack Add-ons

Do you remember Jetpack?

It is the Mozilla Labs project that makes the add-on building process easier, mixing elements of HTML, CSS and JavaScript.  Mozilla has released an awesome Jetpack Gallery, which serves as a community for Jetpack developers and add-on users.

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Second Look at a New Tab King

It has been a while since I checked out the New Tab King add-on for Firefox, and I have to say I am impressed with the progression of the Firefox extension.  For those of you who don’t know, New Tab King replaces your blank new tab with a much more functional page of tools.

You get instant access to recently closed tabs, personalized suggested sites and even shortcuts to your desktop applications. 

Closer Look at New Tab King

The most recent release also comes with 7 built in themes, so you have a few more ways to customize it to suit your needs.

There is no reason why, these days, your new tab should be empty and bland.  With the New Tab King add-on for Firefox, you can make the new tab page and the Firefox browser even more functional than it was before.

Remember the Sage RSS Reader for Firefox?

Sage-Too - the RSS Browsing Return?

Sage was once one of the more popular RSS feed reading add-ons for Firefox.  However, time went by, years went on and these days it is not making much news.  However, if you still need a lightweight feed reader, there is now Sage-Too.  This is a continuation of the original project to keep it up to date with today’s Firefox browser versions. 

Some of the features include:

  • Reads RSS (2.0, 1.0, 0.9x) and Atom feeds
  • Feed Discovery
  • Integrates with Firefox’s bookmark storage and Live Bookmarks
  • Imports and exports OPML feed lists
  • Newspaper feed rendering customizable via style sheets
  • Technorati and RSS search engine integration

It also has support for the following locales: Argentine Spanish, Catalan, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, and Swedish.

As they say in their own words, “It’s got more of what you need and not much of what you don’t.”  You can give it another shot, or take your first trip down lightweight RSS reading road by downloading it on the Firefox Add-ons web site.

Also, don’t forget to start your RSS feed collection with the best Firefox feed out there today, http://feeds.feedburner.com/firefoxfacts.  Never leave your RSS feed reader without it!

Simple Password Generation for Firefox

For you system administrators, network engineers, and heck – really anybody who needs to come up with a fool proof password, I have an add-on for Firefox that will fill your needs.  The simply named pwgen – Password Generator for Firefox is a simple, yet efficient way to generate a random password on the fly.

password generator for Firefox

Once you install it, a small “P” icon will show up in your browser’s status bar.  All you have to do is click on it, and a password will be generated using the settings you have put in.  By default, the password will be shown to you and copied to your clipboard.  To change the options, all you need to do is right-click on the icon and select options.  From there you have a number of specific settings you can change, such as what the first and last characters start with, the password length, if you want to display the password or not or if you wish to copy the password to the clipboard or not.

Why use a complicated password?  Well, if a password is too short or simple, it is vulnerable to attack.  The simpler the password is, the easier time somebody will have to figure it out.  On the flip side, the more complicated the password, the harder it will be to figure out.

All in all, the pwgen – Password Generator extension for Firefox is a perfect one for those of you who may have a hard time coming up with a random mix of letters and numbers to use for your next secure password.

How Exciting is Prism 1.0 beta?

Good, Bad and Ugly Facts on Prism 1.0 beta I was really excited by the idea of Prism back when it was first released, but little has been done with the product until now.  Last week, Mozilla announced the launch of Prism 1.0 beta and a new site to promote it.  So, now that some time has gone by, and we have all had time to play with it – time to cover the best and the worst about this most recent release.

What I Like About Prism 1.0 beta

Overall, I like Prism as a product.  The idea of being able to run something like Gmail as an application rather than as a web page interests me.  Here are some of the newest Prism features that Mozilla is extremely happy with:

  • New API functionality for allowing Prism-enabled web sites more desktop like power.
  • Ability to set fonts, proxy settings and other application-specific settings.
  • The ability to clear private data on demand.
  • Applications are automatically updated when new Prism versions are available.
  • Tray icon support, as well as submenus for dock and system tray menus.
  • Full OS X 10.4 support, and further OS X specific enhancement.
  • Support for SSL exceptions.

So there you have it; all great things to love.  So what still bugs me about Prism?

What I Don’t Like About Prism 1.0 beta

This might seem a little superficial, and many will answer my annoyance with the fact that is is still, “just a beta” but I don’t like the file download.  When downloaded your just left with an unzipped folder that says Prism.  Why not install it like a regular application?

I also think they need some simple scripting in there, to customize Prism a little ‘bit more.  How could this problem be solved?  Allow Greasemonkey scripts (or something like it).  Eventually somebody will figure out that step on their own, so they might as well get ahead of the curve.  If it is a product that comes from Mozilla, I want it to be customizable.  Firefox is customizable.  Thunderbird is customizable.  Prism just is not customizable enough for me, right now.

Final Thoughts?

Overall, it is getting there – however I am not sure they have been able to release this in a way that gets everybody excited about it.  The biggest hurdle for them, right now, is to answer those people who will say, “So… why not just launch it in the browser?”.  Those of us who are excited about it will answer back with, so that you can create separate applications for web sites you use, of course.  However, returned with another why, the argument for Prism just is not there yet. 

Prism is a fun toy for enthusiasts, but right now isn’t there for the general public yet, and I’m not sure how they would get there.  Do you?