Sunday, September 2, 2007

10 bits of Firefox goodness

Having just set up my new laptop (finally - why does it always take me so long?!), I thought I'd make a note of all my favourite Firefox add-ons.  I always try to do a cull and review of everything I've got set up whenever I change computer and although I invariably end up with lots of twaddle installed, these are my top 10 add-ons which always make it through the cut...

1.   Scrapbook - absolutely love it!  If you want to take an entire offline copy of a website, then this is the add-on you need.  So many educational websites expire after you've completed the course and leave you with happy memories but nothing which is the equivalent of the course texts you might get in traditional environments - this way, you get to take your books home!  Definitely recommended and the search facility is brilliant too.

2.   Web Developer - if you do any kind of web development at all, then this is a really handy one to have.  You can check for broken links, page dimensions, mess about with the CSS... cookies... lots of HTML goodness!

3.   IE Tab - some websites don't like Firefox - shame on them!  Well, if you want to get round that while still using your favourite web browser, then the IE Tab add-on lets you do just that while convincing the site you're looking at that it's snuggled up in Internet Explorer and everything's dandy.

4.    Foxmarks Bookmark synchronizer - use more than one computer regularly... and you enter 'where are my bookmarks' hell.  Foxmarks does an excellent job of synchronizing your bookmarks so that you barely even notice you've changed PC.

5.    Adblock Plus - bye bye to annoying adverts which blink and distract when you're trying to read the content of a page!  Sorry about the whole lost revenues thing... but I really don't care that much...

6.   404: File is not found? - this one is great if you're doing some research and the link you've got is out of date or duff or has been moved or... well... it's just gone awol.  If the Internet Archive managed to get a copy of it before that happened, then this little Add-on takes you straight to its previous location with no faffing.

7.    Download Statusbar - if there's one thing that niggles me in Firefox, it's the annoying window that pops up by default when you're downloading something.  The Download Statusbar gets rid of that and tidies everything up for you.

8.    Google Notebook - it's my favourite way of taking notes when I'm working online... and this add-on integrates the whole thing neatly into Firefox so taking notes on any page is only ever a right click away.

9. bookmarks - I do like a good bit of, and having a nice little button to press whenever something catches my eye and I want to plonk it into appeals to my lazy side.

10.   Google Reader Watcher - I admit it... I am a bit of a Google-a-phile... and I do like a good RSS feed served up by good ol' Google Reader.  However, I am also extraordinarily lazy and having even to traipse off to check for new stuff doesn't appeal... so this little widget checking in the background is right up my street!

Oh, and the ones which didn't make the cut this time around?  Clipmarks - too messy and complicated for a simple note-taking tool)... Google Browser Sync - clunky and urgh... BlogRovr - never understood it... ScribeFire - should've made blogging nice an' easy, but it had some quirks when using it with Blogger which drove me potty.

I do also use the Google Firefox toolbar and the Facebook one... but browser life would still tick along happily even if I didn't have 'em... so they're not quite top ten material.

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