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Firefox EXTRA

FireFox is without doubt the greatest browser of all time. It's fast, it's secure, and best of all - open source. There are probably a bunch of things you can do with it that you had no idea you could do, unless your on Mozillas team of benevolent bug testers or somthing. ;) I thought I'd name a few less known features I've stumbled upon during the past year (I used to use IE, change was forced when the browser suddenly gave up on me completely). Enjoy, if you know more useful tips, don't hesitate to post em.

  1. Mozilla Bible - To fire up your interest a bit, type in 'about:mozilla' without quotations into your address bar, a quote out of the almighty Mozilla bible will pop up at you. ;) Different quotes appear in different versions of Firefox, you'll find a nice list of them over at Wikipedia.
  2. Robots - Little easter egg @ "about:robots"
  3. Advanced Config - Can't reach all the options you need from the regular "Options" menu? To open up the advanced config panel, type in 'about:config' (without quotations) in your address bar. I tried this for the first time when my default search engine setting had been hijacked by StopZilla (bad spyware program btw, not recommended) and I couldn't change it back through the regular list. Don't go changing things without knowing what you're doing though, it will crash your browser, but if you like hacking, this is hacking haven. If you feel like backing up this file, which is a good idea if you mess around with it a lot, go to: \Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ <profile ID>.default\ and make a copy of prefs.js. If you're on an XP, that is. For Mac give <username>/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/<profile ID>.default/ a try. For Vista or 7, I have no idea, you can probably figure it out quickly though. If you use Linux you probably know all of these important paths already. ;)
  4. Spellcheck - One of the great features of Firefox is the built in spellcheck, a far from perfect but already very useful tool to avoid void typos and other errors. It won't appear in all text boxes by default, but you can change this by opening the config above, searching (ctrl + F) for "layout.spellcheckdefault" and changing the value 1 to 2. If the spellcheck is bugging you, turn it off completely (or change other settings) through Tools > Options > Spellcheck.
  5. Speed Up - There are probably many ways to do this, but the one way that probably works best regardless of OS is by increasing the number of requests you can receive at the same time through your config (look above, again). Fire up the page, search (ctrl + F) for 'browser.tabs.showSingleWindowModePrefs' and change 'false' to 'true', or just double click to switch value automatically. Now, find 'network.http.pipelining' and set this to "true" too. After this, find 'network.http.pipelining.maxrequests' and set the number to 60... or experiment and see which setting fits you best. There, faster, isn't it? ;) The more requests you accept at the same time the more pressure this puts on your computer though, so if you have an old computer, don't go overboard with this setting.
  6. FasterFox - Here's a great plugin for FireFox that recycles unused bandwidth and boosts your speed significantly. If things are loading slow, give it a try.
  7. Greasemoneky - This is a plugin that allows you to modify the content of various websites using small snippets of JS code. You can do things like removing all ads from Facebook, downloading flash content automatically, giving the admin of a specific website a username of choice. Of course all these little hacks only change the way you see things and don't do any real modification to the site itself, so they're not dangerous or illegal in any way. There's a great community for GreaseMonkey scripts (snippets of JS code) called User Scripts. Once you've tried Greasemonkey, you won't want to live without it. ;)
  8. Strange Cache - Firefox has an interesting feature whereby it tries to determine which links on a page you might click on and then downloads them so that it can load the pages faster. For example, it will try to download the top result from a Google search automatically. However, this eats up bandwidth and CPU cycles and saves web history of pages you may have never even visited! To turn it off, set the value for 'network.prefetch-next' to 'false'.
  9. Tips & Tricks - Official Tips & Tricks section, with a bunch of useful shortcut keys and features you may or may not have used before, divided up into three levels of skills. Stuff like opening and closing tags through CTRL + T/CTRL + W and reopening closed tags through CTRL + SHIFT + T, or skipping to the bottom of the page with space-bar, and back up again with SHIFT + spacebar, or zooming using the + and - symbols. Ironically all the things I didn't know how to do when I first visited this page were bundled up within the "Beginner" section. I suppose that's one of the dangers of teaching yourself stuff, you skip the elementary things and just hop up to the more advanced stuff immediately without always knowing what you're doing. :/
  10. 8 Million Downloads in a Day - It's a record! Woo.

And that's all I have for now, hope you're brain expanded noticeably. ;)


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